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Hello, I'm 25 years old and I lost my mom almost 2 months ago... I find myself unable to cope much less function since it happened so I wondered if anyone has some advice they could share with me... It's my first loss.

My mom was my best friend, my mentor and the person I valued most. We shared everything, we had similar tastes, we confided in each other and we were both childlike, enjoying video games and cartoons together. She knew how to find pleasure in the little things in life but was also a big planner for the future. She was a very loving and generous person. We were absolutely inseparable.

In september 2019 she told me she had back pains, I thought it was some sort of lumbago, and she agreed. I didn't think much of it because my mom didn't seem in pain, only mildly uncomfortable. As the months went on her ability to walk diminished, she went from walking fine, to sitting most of the time, to unable to get up .We suggested to get a doctor multiple times and she refused in a way I've never seen her, hostile and hardheaded. She yelled at us that all was under control, and she never complained about the pain thus far. My mother was always a calm and quiet person, so yelling was completely out of character. Thus we noticed bit by bit how her personality shifted. Was it depression? Was it the stress, the frustration?  Was it the pain? We didn't know

Fast forward to 2020, when Covid is rampant. We got her a psychiatrist to come and visit her at home since we suspected she had depression. When the doc arrived (against my mom's wishes) she acted like she normally did, very polite and smiling until she let something slip- that she had a mass on her back we were unaware of. Sure enough the psychiatrist goes to take a look, again despite mom's wishes, and is completely taken aback in horror- my mom had a huge external tumor...

Our family was in shock. We were completely frozen. Suddenly the little mannerisms of covering herself up, going to bed really early made sense. Once we knew we dealt with something serious we rushed her to several hospitals numerous times only to be turned down again and again... no surgery... no radiotherapy.... no nothing. Nothing could be done... It was Cancer that had metastasized.

Nobody even taught me how to take care of my mom and her tumor but I did it as best as I could with some advice the nurses gave me. It was a traumatizing sight and it was all my responsibility. I changed her bloodied bandages 2 times per day and tried my best not to cry in front of her.

I saw my mother get slimmer and slimmer, her once brilliant mind getting duller. I can't imagine how she felt, the pain she was going through... the fear. I felt like an utter failure, I was extremely close to my mother and never even noticed something more was going on. The last few months with her were heartwrenching.

She passed away in our home, surrounded by my dad, my brother and myself. She was only 67. Since then I've been reliving the loss every day, blaming myself for all that happened but not once was I angry at her. My mom did what in her mind was right, always... and she paid the ultimate price for trying to spare us pain... in the few times she was able to talk she told us she made a mistake by wanting to do everything alone.

I love my mother dearly and I can barely believe I'm living in a world without her. I'm still trying to see if there is a way to wake up from this nightmare. Until the very last breath she took we all hoped for a miracle... we all once had faith in a higher power. Since I lost her I lost that faith and a reason to keep going... life seems so empty and meaningless when I can't share it with the person I love the most. With every sunny day, every pretty flower I see, I miss her even more. She wanted me to be happy but how can I, having seen her succumb to that terrible thing on her back...im still in shock. I dont know how i can keep going.

Thank you for having read everything, I know it's long but I'm still reliving the loss over and over again vividly. Words aren't enough to express what my mom meant to us, and the pain we all went through but I tried my best to be factual. How can I keep going when I feel so guilty for not having insisted with her...how can I make sense of my life now...

Thank you again for taking the time to read, it means a lot to me.

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27 minutes ago, Alie said:

I was extremely close to my mother and never even noticed something more was going on.

You could only know what she allowed you to know.  Please don't fault yourself, she did a good job of concealing it.  Either because she wanted to spare everyone or SHE couldn't deal with it...understandably.  If she'd told you, then it would become her reality whereas if she didn't, she could stay in denial.  

29 minutes ago, Alie said:

not once was I angry at her.

Of course, any anger belongs to the cancer, or life's unfairness!  I am 67.  My sister's husband (he's my "brother" as they've been married for 50 years and they live in my town, was just diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his stomach.  I seriously doubt they'll do anything for him, he's very weak, very sick...and he's 80.  My life is in an upheaval right now, trying hard not to worry (my sister is disabled and doesn't drive, he took complete care of her) and take a day at a time.

I am so sorry for your pain at all you've been through and your loss.  I was 29 when my daddy died, I was a daddy's girl and I've had to live my life without him in it.  I tried to keep his memory alive but telling stories about him to my kids so they could know who he was.  Sometimes memorializing can help.  Realizing they are here with us in love and in spirit.
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html

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@kayc Thank you so much for your kindness... it does make sense that she was in denial because so were we... not once did we talk about death during all this ordeal. "Out of sight out of mind" was then her way of maneuvering her situation...  she was a very good mom and im proud of her...  It helps to know the opinion of someone who has gone through grief such as yourself and I value your comment dearly, especially after feeling alone in this. Most people I know, haven't gone through a loss like this so they don't know how to connect and neither do i since I'm not the same person anymore.

I hope your brother in law gets the help he needs, sometimes 1 good willing person is enough to turn the tide but I know the feeling of helplessness in this situation. Hope is the last thing to die, as they say, and I don't think its a bad idea to hold on to it, despite reality... Had I succumbed into despair I wouldn't have been able to take care of my own mom... taking one day at a time is very wise.

I can relate to the pain of losing your beloved father... I have now to live my life without my mommy and I know it's going to be tough, it already is. I do feel she is with me, as you said, in the memories we forged and the love we still share, but id still give anything to hug her one last time and tell her how proud I am of her...

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with me, you've made my day a bit brighter despite the gloom

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Alie, my dear, I too am so very sorry for your loss. We only have one mother in this life, and when you are as close to yours as you describe, the loss of that physical presence you've known all your own life is catastrophic.

I agree with Kay that your mom worked very hard to conceal the seriousness of her illness, and clearly she was very much in charge of how she chose to deal with it. I don't see how you could have done any more than you have done to care for her, and to support her in her choices, no matter how difficult it must have been for you. 

I invite you to read this article: Guilt In The Wake of A Parent's Death. As I write in that piece, we adult children often think that it is our responsibility to keep our parents healthy, to protect them from illness and save them from death – and we feel like failures when we discover that we cannot. (You'll find lots of additional readings listed at the base, which I hope you will find helpful too.)

I hope you will find ways to honor your mother as you go on to live the life that she would want for you. She is part of your very DNA, and she lives on in you, just as long as you keep her love and her memory alive in your heart. ♥️

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@MartyTThank you so much , I'm overwhelmed by your kindness I actually had to cry a bit before I could respond. 

I will try my best to honor her memory and live my life for the two of us when I manage to get on my feet again. Right now I don't know what to do but I'm taking it day by day. The guilt I felt was eating me up from the inside... My mom was my world yet I felt like I never checked up on her as well as I should have. This forum allowed me to determine if I did enough for her, and it gave me some peace of mind. 

Thank you for the article, and for your comment, it means the world to me.

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@MartyT Thank you for the wonderful articles. I'm relieved to know that the whirl of emotions I feel are also a part of grief. I couldn't thank you enough for offering me a bit of guidance now that my mentor is gone. I wish you a very pleasant week ❤

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Marty, beautiful responses, they brought tears to me as well!  Alie, I hope you'll let go of the guilt feelings, you were there for her, you're wonderful, that's all any of us aging parents can hope for!  Wishing you peace in your life...

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@kaycThank you,  you're very kind, talking to you and @MartyThelped clear up my clouded mind quite a bit. I love my mother so much I now realize that no matter what I did, in my eyes it would have never been enough... My last hurdle will be to be able to move past those intense memories of her pain seared into my mind. I relive them as if she is still going through that in limbo. At least I don't feel like I contributed to that pain anymore.

I also wish you both peace in your lives, and if I may, also a lot of happiness... I haven't been able to talk about what I felt towards my mother's passing with anyone else since I don't want to deepen my family's sorrow nor do I wish to burden my friends with a mental battle they can't relate to. I am so thankful for the advice and the time you've both given me. I've never felt so lost yet even in the darkness I find kind people willing to lend a hand. Thank you❤

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We are here for you whenever you want to "talk"...I will be gone Thursday through the weekend but will try to catch up Monday!  Wishing you comfort as you strive to get through this.  (((hugs)))

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First I want to say how sorry I am about your loss.  I too am grieving the loss of my mom who was my best friend. She died of cancer and also waited and didn’t want treatment. I have a lot of guilt about my decisions prior to her death. That is why your story touched me, I can totally relate. I am much older than you and on top of my mom passing, I just had a son go into the army in the middle of COVID and a failing marriage (probably mostly due to my depression after loosing my mom). So I am really grieving!
 

I don’t know if it’s allowed on this site but if you want to get in contact with me you can email me at . I believe that the lack of human contact is deepening my depression that is why I am writing this. (If you don’t feel comfortable, I completely understand!) I am just thinking that maybe phone calls or emails might help. Regardless, I am praying for you.
 

 

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@Skillet I'm terribly sorry for your loss and understand your pain to the core of my being. What I've learned while talking to people about my own mom is that hiding illness is a very motherly thing to do, I dare say it's an instinct. They dont want to cause any pain to their children, and when it comes to more serious illnesses they also want to deny reality as much as possible so they retain a sense of normalcy.... Cancer is something that affects the whole family, and whose heavy treatment may cause even more suffering that can last years.

Guilt is a very normal feeling in this situation... I'm sure you've done what you thought was best at the time. You were faced with a situation nobody could have ever prepared you for. In hindsight it is always easier to pinpoint the moments where one may have made a mistake, but when one lives it in the present it's a whole different story: your mind is clouded by worry and panic and you only focus on the route that would help your mom the most. Be kind to yourself, I'm sure your mom wouldn't blame you for anything and wouldn't want you to torture yourself on a decision she made... I'm speaking from experience having had my mom as my best friend as well, that close bond of yours will never fade. 

I can imagine how grief has affected every aspect of your life, it has changed my own completely. Having dealt with grief for 2 months, I am familiar with it enough to suggest a few tips to help. If you want to cry, cry your heart out so you don't let the pain build up inside you where it can explode at any moment. Talk about your loved one as much as you want, I myself love talking about my mother it makes her feel tangible and real and shows the impact she had on my life.

I'd be more than happy if you keep talking here on the forum where other people may pitch in to lend a hand :) I also talk to my mom, I talk to her pictures, and at any given situation I ask myself what she would have liked/ done. You don't have to go through the pain alone, don't isolate yourself, no man is an island after all.

I cherish your prayers and hope to hear from you again

 

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I am so glad I returned to this discussion group to read other people's experiences and to realize I am not alone in what I've dealt with. 

It's fast approaching two months since my mother died from cancer and I'm still thinking about my time as her caregiver and second-guessing myself.  Part of me is still in shock how quickly she deteriorated.  All cancers are bad, but I've been told that ovarian cancer is one of the worst mainly because all these years she never felt any pain, so by the time the symptoms started affecting her at the beginning of this year and they found the tumor it was pretty much too late.  Her once sharp mind was already starting to have issues as she was in her 80s, but for it to fade so quickly from the cancer and the treatments was painful to watch.  Many times I grew frustrated and impatient with her, and now I look back and I feel so awful about it and hope wherever she is that she forgives me.  I was completely unprepared to be thrusted into caregiving duties and for it to be completely my burden because of COVID-19 so no other family could come to the area to assist.

Jeff

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@jc1030 I'm sorry for your loss. I'm also amazed by how many people went through the same heartwrenching experience of losing a mother to cancer... sharing our experiences allows us to think more objectively, which during grief can help a lot to deal with the pain. I empathize deeply with what you went through.. cancer is the worst, it's destructive and parasitic, it eats away at the person in both body and mind... and yes the deterioration can take just a few months, such in my case... 

I know exactly what you mean about your frustration and lack of patience. I loved my mother beyond description, and yet sometimes I lashed out at her when she needed me.. the guilt ate away at me. You were unprepared to take care of your mom and were angry at the situation, not at her. You were surely tired and scared.... there was too much responsibility on your shoulders and to top it all Covid was limiting other chances of helping her.. who wouldn't be on edge? When I turned into my mom's caregiver I was a different person, I was tougher, more distant. My psychiatrist told me it was a defense mechanism, had I not been this way I wouldnt have been able to tend to my mother's needs. The responsibility you had with your mother was huge... and I bet she was thankful to be cared after by kin... I noticed that with my own mom, that even though we didn't talk like we normally would, she was thankful it was me looking after her... I was lucky enough to hear her say it. I still wince at the way I spoke to my mom at times... but it came out of pure fear of losing her, of realizing how little control I had of the situation...

Dont be so hard on yourself, as you can see you went through normal feelings. You did all that was in your power to take care of your mom...  I think any one of us would move heaven and earth for our mothers if we only could.

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@Skillet, I am sorry for what you are going through in your loss.  I am losing my BIL to cancer right now, not expected to live out the week, just found out.  He's been married to my sister 50 years and like a brother to me.  Our relationships are the most important things we have and these losses are so hard.  I hope you continue to come here, it does help to express yourself and know you are heard and understood by people who get it.

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