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Lost my mother 3 months ago


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Hi, I'm 22, I lost my mother to cancer 3 months ago and I'm in the mood to rant. I usually write this type of stuff on paper and burn it but I thought why not share it. It was all pretty sudden, after a turbulent 2 year battle with stage 4 lung cancer, she went into hospital for a respiratory infection and passed away 10 days later. I was abroad when it happened, working on getting my masters degree and unable to return due to travel restrictions until after the funeral and everything. So I didn't get much of a goodbye... A whole 15 second video call (courtesy of my brother) 3 days before she died. He held up the phone to her so I could tell her I loved her and I was looking forward to giving her the biggest hug when I got back. I watched her struggle to breathe as she repeated "I know, I love you", then I told my brother to let her rest because it was clearly hard for her. It has been 3 months now and I still can't stop feeling terrible about how it all happened. I know (because she expressed this) that it was hugely important for her to see me work towards a future, but going abroad and getting my masters is now my #1 regret. It's not that I feel guilty for doing it, because she played a big part in that decision. It just hurts a lot to have missed out on the end of her life... I know it must have been heartbreaking for her too, looking around her hospital room and not once seeing me there. People who have experience with grief, say it gets easier with time, but I'm really not seeing it. I wake up every morning feeling first the pain of the loss followed by the disgust with how it happened. I have completely lost my motivation to do anything at all... I haven't even visited her grave yet, and I'm falling behind on my studies. Usually she would be the first person I'd go to when I feel down and without her on my side I feel pretty lost. 

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I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry too for the circumstances that kept you from being there in person before your mother died. Whoever told you that grief gets easier with time cannot possibly know what this loss is like for you, because grief is unique to the person experiencing it ~ and at three months you've barely just begun to process this major event in your life. The loss of your mother will be with you for the rest of your life ~ but that does not mean that you must suffer the pain of it forevermore. If you allow yourself to learn what is normal in grief and what you can do to manage your own reactions, and if you expose yourself to what others have learned along the way, you won't feel so isolated and alone. Just reading through some of the threads in this forum will help.

I see that you're in the UK. Does your university offer any sort of individual counseling for students coping with loss? 

At the very least, I can point you to some resources that you may find helpful. You might begin with these ~ and note the additional readings listed at the base of each article I've listed:

Grief: Understanding The Process

In Grief: College Student Considers Dropping Out of School

Bereavement: Doing The Work of Grief  

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I am so sorry.  As a mother, I'm sure your mom was well aware that your heart is with her even if not able to be there in time and her interests would be for your good.  We can take this experience and honor them by being the best we can be and making them proud!

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