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My Mom


CaseyLane

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I lost my mom, my best friend to cancer on September 1 this year. She suffered from cancer off and on for about 5 years: breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, then finally brain cancer. She found out about the brain cancer almost one year ago and was treated unsuccessully with radiation. At that point her treatment plan was changed to palative care. For a while, it was me and her at home, spending time together. I was her primary caregiver, but when the care she needed was too much for me to be able to provide, she was put in a group home. That's where she eventually passed away. Even though I knew it was coming, it was stll a huge shock when it finally happened. I think I'm still in shock and probably denial. I don't want to have to face what happened but I know that's the only way I'll be able to move on in a more positive and constructive way. I would appreciate any advice! :] Thanks for reading.

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  • 3 months later...

Casey, dear, I'm so very sorry for your loss, and I know your post has been sitting here for quite some time, waiting for another teen to find your message and respond to you. I hope that in the meantime you've taken time to read some of the earlier posts in this forum, to see that you're not alone.

I don't know how you've been dealing with your mother's death these last five months, but there are certain things I would want any grieving teen to know, so I am going to share them with you now – and with others who’ll read this message. (Parts of this message were included in a response I wrote to another bereaved teen in this forum some time ago, but I think this material bears repeating here.)

First, grief is best dealt with when you are able to show your emotional pain, talk with others and express your feelings about a loved one's death, and accept support from family and friends. I don't know what support you have available to you, but at your age (as a teen learning to separate from authority figures and find your own identity), it would be very normal for you to feel somewhat alienated from adults. That's why most teens normally turn to their peers for support. At the same time, they don't like to stand out and to feel different from their friends – they want to belong. I can tell you that grieving teens do best when they're helped to find peers who've also experienced a death. They're often very relieved to discover they're not the only ones who've had someone close to them die.

I want to encourage you to find someone you trust (a teacher, school counselor, neighbor, friend, relative, clergy person, etc.) and with whom you feel comfortable talking. You need an opportunity to talk about this wonderful person who died and what was special about your mom. Tell about your experience with the death itself: where you were when the death occurred, what happened right afterward and what you're experiencing right now. Share any dreams you may have had about your mom. Write a letter to her and say whatever you need to say. Gather pictures, words and phrases from magazines and make a collage that tells a story about what you remember about her.

Call your local hospice and ask if there are any support groups or programs in your community aimed at teens who've lost a parent. (See Find a Hospice Program to search a data base that contains all the hospices in your geographic area.) Go on the Internet and find some of the other sites that offer information, comfort and support to teens who are grieving. See especially these and other sites listed on the Child, Adolescent Grief page on my Grief Healing Web site:

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Teens

Helping Teenagers Cope with Grief

KIDSAID: 2 Kids, 4 Kids, By Kids

When A Parent Dies

Learn what normal grief looks like and feels like, so you'll know that what you're experiencing is normal and that you're not alone. (See, for example, the articles, books and resources listed on my site's Death of a Parent page.) Think about what you need from others right now and let them know about it. People won't know what you need from them unless you tell them.

You also need to know that grief changes through the years. It will change you as well, influencing who you are in the present and affecting who you'll become in the future. This death of your mother must be worked through, adapted to, and integrated into your life, as different situations will require you to accommodate this loss again and again. You will re-visit your dmom's death continually as you grapple with its meaning— emotionally, socially, economically and spiritually— and as you struggle to find a place for her in your present and future life.

Finally, know that death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship. The special bond you have with your mother will stay with you just as long as you keep her memory alive in your mind and in your heart. She will always be your mother and you will always be her daughter. In a very real sense, your mom is very much here with you now, wherever you are, because her spirit and her memory live on in you, and because you are so very much a part of her. In many ways, you are more inseparable now than you were before, because you are not limited by space and time and distance.

I'm so glad you found your way to this special place, my dear, and I hope this information proves useful to you. Please accept our deepest sympathy over the loss of your mother, and know that we are thinking of you.

And to any other teens who may one day come across this message, please know that you are most welcome here as well.

Wishing you peace and healing,

MartyT

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  • 1 month later...
Guest moparlicious

Casey,

Let me start out by saying how sorry I am for your loss. Although I did not have a parent who passed away, I do have a husband and that husband has 3 children. My husband had cancer as well, it did eventually go to his brain and he did radiation to his brain, but after treatment it began to spread and took over. He was 41 years old when he past away. He was 43 on March 25th. I have a son who is now 21, a daughter who is 20 and our youngest a daughter who is 17. They are all very shy and and have read posts on here, but they are not at the point yet where they can post . Drop me a personal line and we could talk privately, for we are local too. I am thinking of you and again please accept my deepest sympathy for your tremendous loss. God Bless you. I wish for peace for you and all of us. Love, Kim

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