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Every Time I Think Of My Mom I Cry

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I come to this site hoping that I'll find some relief and it helps. I just wish for the day when I can think of my mom without crying. Why does it seem to last for so long, it's been 5 months since my mom passed and I still can't think of her without balling. I've been very depressed lately and some days are better than others, but it often feels if I'm on a rollercoster. I just want to keep it together for my daughter, I don't like falling apart in front of her. I wish there was an easy solution to all of this pain. I just want my mom back in my life. I want her to be here for me! I want my dad to not be lonely, I know he is. I don't know if coming to this website allows me to express how I feel, or is it just a reminder of how much I've lost?

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While I’m so very sorry for the reason that brings you and all the others to this site, I am grateful that your coming here offers some relief. I want to respond to some of the issues you raised in your most recent post.

You say it’s been just “five months since my mom passed and I still can’t think of her without bawling.” First of all, consider the fact that for your entire life on Earth so far, your mother has been an important part of your daily life. Is it reasonable to expect that, barely five months after her death, you would be able to think of her without being moved to tears? Five months is a very short span of time, considering the magnitude of your loss – and because the initial shock and disbelief that normally serve to cushion a blow like this are beginning to wear off, you’re probably just now feeling the full force of your grief. This is normal and to be expected, as I’m sure other grievers coming here will tell you.

Your description of feeling as if you’re on a roller-coaster couldn’t be more accurate – it is as if you’re stuck on a terrifying, nightmarish ride that you never asked to get on, you have no control over the ups and downs of it, you don’t want to be there, you have no way to predict when the ride will end, and you want desperately to get off as quickly as possible, but the person running the ride is nowhere in sight. You feel dizzy, nauseated, terrified, disoriented and confused, and your entire world has been turned completely upside down. Nothing feels right, and you don't know when it all will end. Is there any more accurate description of grief than this? All I can tell you is that, gradually and over time, the ups and downs of this ride begin to level off somewhat. It won’t always feel as bad as it does right now, and eventually you will regain your bearings.

You say you want to “keep it together” because you don’t like “falling apart” in front of your daughter. I don’t know how old your daughter is, but may I suggest that if and when she finds you crying, you can simply reassure her that it’s not because of anything she did or failed to do that has you upset – and then you can go on to explain that you are simply feeling very, very sad because you’re missing Grandma so much right now. Feeling, showing and verbalizing your own pain gives your daughter an example to follow, while holding back implies that feelings are to be suppressed. Refusing to cry in front of your daughter may lead her to wonder if you would cry if she died! Children need to know that crying is a natural and healthy way to release emotions. Read what Washington Irving had to say about tears:

There is a sacredness in tears.They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

— Washington Irving

You say you don’t want your dad to feel lonely – and yet, isn’t this exactly how you would expect him to feel at this point in his own grief journey? You cannot bring your mother back to him in a physical sense, but I wonder what would happen if together with your dad and your daughter you could find some ways to remember your mom, to bring her back in a different way, by bringing her to life in your conversations with one another? You can model reminiscing and talking openly about how much your mother meant to you and your family; you can go through photo albums and share special stories and find all sorts of ways to keep her memory alive, in your minds and in your hearts. So often we keep ourselves from mentioning the person who has died for fear of upsetting the bereaved -- but do you really think your dad is thinking of anyone BUT your mother anyway? Maybe he is longing to hear someone speak her name and to talk about how much he misses her.

Finally, you say you’re not sure whether coming to this site is helpful or whether it simply reminds you of how much you’ve lost. I suspect it’s both, my friend – but I want to encourage you to think not just of how much you’ve lost, but also of what you still have that your mother has given to you, to your dad and to your daughter, and to everyone else whose lives your mother touched in one way or another. How would she want to be remembered by you? What is the legacy that she has left to you? What has she given to you that will sustain you now, as you learn other ways of keeping her here with you, now that you are no longer separated by time and space and distance? Death may have ended your mother’s life, but it has not canceled it. She will always be your mother, and you will always be her daughter. She will always be a part of who you are, and the relationship you have with her will go on forever.

I invite you to tell us what you think about all of this, and I hope our other visitors will share their thoughts on these matters, too!

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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I am not sure if I can offer any words of advice or just simply an understanding of what you are going through. My father died very suddenly 11 months ago. we are nearing the one year mark and its getting harder to think about it. I too worried that by coming here i was setting myself back. Although i feel good fro coming here. In one month it will be a year and I cried this morning so its quite normal to cry you will probably cry for a while. For a little while I was ble to push it away and live. I could say the words dad's dead.. oh my dad died.. but never felt them. Today I feel them.. I am lost without him. I need him and woudl give anything to wake up from this dream. I too am 32 years old and have my own family but losing my dad is still hard

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Dear Marty, your reply to lost32 elicited some tears...you have just captured the very magnitude of how it feels when a parent passes on to the next level in the context of a roller coaster ride. It will be a year for me since losing my mom on Aug 23, 2003 in a month and change. I still think of her every day and all the times I've tried to help her and the times I've been there for her when no one else cared. It seems that no one else cares still, and I am here remembering her. I am fighting to bring dignity to her passing as it has been nothing short of a circus since her passing.

I appreciate your eloquent words and encouragement. I always find what I need here and I'm glad there is a place for us to share.

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As someone who has lived without her father for 6 years now, I can tell you that the rollar coaster of grief never really goes away. The twists and turns will always be there, and they will always be a surprise, but they do level off somewhat, as you get used to the sensation.

In the beginning, I found the knowledge that the pain would ease with time more painful than anything. I was so scared that I would forget my father, as I was only 14 when he died. I'm happy to report that time has not faded my memories, though they certainly should of since I can rarely remember where I left my wallet, let alone events that happened years ago.

Crying helped me more than anything. I couldn't cry for the longest time, it wasn't until I started back to school the September that my dad died that things really hit me. (He died in July). I had about a week, where I just cried and cried. But after that week, I came out partially healed. Understand, that you will never really be healed. There will always be a scar, but it'll stop aching so after a time.

Five months isn't a long time, but it can also be an eternity. Please don't try to compare your grief to anyone else. It's a process unique to each individual. That said, I found it helpful to read a book on grief. There really are stages, and I found it freeing to read about them. But don't pay attention to any book that gives you a time frame for grief. Take it as you need it.

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  • 16 years later...

My late mum passed away in 2008.  It's 2020 and I still cry whenever I think about her. I can possibly say that it is the only thing that can make me cry as an adult. In the past I always say to myself to get it together whenever I cry thinking about my mum. But now, I feel glad that I can still cry thinking about her. It is such a relief that her memory doesn't fade away and she's still in my heart. I love you Mama!

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