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My Mom Is Gone

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so i lost my mom a little over 9 months ago. she had a massive stroke the morning before my 21st birthday. after a week and a half, which involved surgery and being put into coma, my family had the hard decision of putting her into comfort care after no improvement. she was put into comfort care and remained there till her passing. during all of this i tried my hardest to finish as much of school as i could, which left me with 3 completed course and 2 incompletes for the semester. not a good semester least to say. and how many 21 year olds can tell you that they were completely sober on their 21st birthday, not to many i bet. i truly believe that one of the reasons i made it through all this was my boyfriend, my mom's amazing fiance, and my psychology teacher. with out these people i believe i would not be where i am today. these last holidays have been horrible. since i was about 8 or 9 years old it's been only my mom and i in basically everything i did. my parents divorced and i barely ever saw my dad. so losing her has been extremely rough and mentally straining. sometimes i just can't figure out things and school is hard to complete at times but i know she wants me to.

well i can't read my screen anymore so i need to stop rambling for now.

thanks for your time


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The first step is to breath and count to 10. I know how my daughter felt at the same age when my mom died. Think of all the great times that she gave to you and know that it is ok to let school take a back seat for know. I am sorry for the pain that your feeling, but take it one step at a time and take time to smell the roses. I bet that mom loved those.


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Dear Stacey,

Having been a daughter ... a mother ... a teacher, and a student ... I know -- there is nothing nearly so hard as being a college student (especially a college student during finals) -- even pushing out a baby ... up and until, you lose a parent.

It breaks my heart to hear your story of loss at such a young age. I am so sorry ... so very, very sorry ... and so very pleased to hear about your boyfriend and psychology professor (and your mom's fiance, of course). Condolences also to him.

Please hang on to those who love and support you best. Write here ... and as you're able, keep pushing forward. I have found comfort in books .... I was acquainted with Kubler-Ross' work on death and dying, but had forgotten, I suppose -- that there were also stages of grief ... for those of us who are bereaved (and plenty of detailed writing that helps explain, support, and ease our understanding as we move along the continuum).

After my dad died (10 months after my mom), I found support in a different type of reading. If it speaks to your interest, you might find comfort in books by those who've had "near death experiences ...." As I said, whatever works -- grab for it! I spent some time in a monastery, and reading about "Heaven" ... it was helpful ... even if not always speaking to my views.

Finally, there's a lovely American-born Buddhist nun with massive amounts of materials both in print and on CD that you can find at your local public library. Lately I've been listening to Pema Chodron on my iPod at work ... just bustling about doing my thing, while she's walked me through discussion of the "Bardo" (Tibetan place of rest between lives), and more importantly -- how to deal with issues of grief and pain in THIS life ... while keeping our hearts open (and our feet moving forward). I strongly recommend Pema. If it resonates? Go for it .... Do give Pema a listen. :-)

Last, hang in there with the loving support and advice from friends you'll find here at Hospice of the Valley. This is truly a blessed ... healing ... special ... place. You will find the right hands to guide you in all of these things ... and the needed comforts and supports.

Hang in there ... keep moving forward. You are amazingly strong, with such a full and beautiful life ahead; and even if it seems incomprehensible that you should -- that life should have required that you suffer so ... there is nothing that will help you better understand the brokenhearted than having had your own heart broken. And there's such a need for authentic compassion on this planet.

You can do it!

Having had my own academic career derailed due to illness ... then death of one parent ... then death of another ... I am still, at 55, seeing windows open with every door that slams shut. It is possible I can still get that thesis written with work I started today being "reading buddies" with a grade one classroom that happens to have the ESL population I need. Oh my! Who would ever have dreamed this late in my academic career (after so many derailments) I would find yet another possibility. And if I can dream this big at my age, you can too. You can do it! You can, and you will.

Keep relying on help, friends, and whatever supports present. That's the way you carry on your mother's love (and wouldn't she be proud of you).

Many blessings, Stacey,


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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know why this is happening to me but i feel as if i'm going through a quarter life crisis. i'm disliking school and not enjoying my major anymore. everything reminds me of my mom. i'm overly emotional lately, don't know why. ok well i know it was a year on the 23 of february that my mom came to school to help me with my projects for the weekend and on the 24 of february she was proposed to. and coming up here in april will be 1 year and my birthday. i almost want to just skip over april, may, and june and go straight to july. those three months have to much that are gonna make things seem like a downward spiral.

lately i've felt like a little child just needing her mommy to comfort her and she's not around to do so. i also feel as if i skipped a stage in life. like i went from being a college student to an adult in the matter of a blink of the eye. i know i'm still a college student but i'm a completely different college student then i was a year ago from now. i skipped something in there.

well just trying to put my thoughts down.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Stacey

I lost my mum when I was 16 doing final exams, my granda 2 months later and my gran 3 months after that. I kept going and did them all to my best, and then moved on to college and then into a job, all without stopping, but it has caught up with me in a major way, all that trying to keep busy. Its definately not what the soul calls for. Listen to your body, your heart and your soul, you will know in quiet times in your gut what you really need to do for YOURSELF - whether that is to keep pushing forward or to take some time off and be with yourself to grieve. Try to lay aside all the mental arguements about what you should do, what others think you should do, and instead listen to your heart, and yes, it could be your mum or an angel giving you this guidance too... just listen in the quiet moments, like first thing in the morning on opening your eyes, or after a long walk in the fresh air... I wouldn't say your mum would want you to finish school, I would say your mum would want you to do what brings you most peace and happiness right now... whatever that may be....

And you are going through a quarter life crisis - but thats ok. You have just lost the most significant person in your life - what's not a crisis about that? And so what if you are overly emotional right now? Don't put any judgements on your feelings, just let them have their own flow, trust them, allow them. Blocking them or trying to rationalise them only puts a stop in the pipe and it will have to come out eventually. Better out than in my friend.

I still feel like a little child that just needs her mummy to comfort her, a part of me has always felt like that.... and probably always will. Now we have to learn to comfort that part for ourselves, its like learning to re-parent yourself in a way, and its hard. And I don't know the answer yet! It may sound weird, but I bought a little dolly and when I am upset I hug her and imagine what my mum would say to me to comfort me, and I say it to the doll, which represents the part of me hurting. Its a small comfort and I think will help on the road to re-parenting yourself.

Regards skipping a stage in life, that is true. At this age you are meant to be propelling yourself out in to the world and into your future, but instead you are having to deal with this. Most of your fellow college students will not understand what you are going through, and you are set apart from them now. Don't try to make yourself continue with your future plans the way others are continuing with theirs - nothing has changed in their life situation... everything has changed in yours. And you don't even have to continue with the plans you made for your future before your mum died - because that single event changed absolutely everything for you, and its completely ok to readjust and rethink everything if you need to.

The best and simplest advice I can give is to do what you need to do for yourself. And if you don't know what that is yet, then thats ok too. You will know some day. This is life. There is no rush and no prize at the end of it. Life is about the journey, not the destination.

There may also be the possibility that continuing on with your studies is right for you, and it may be a structure that you need right now, but that you just need to be a bit more lenient and gentle with yourself and remember that you are not studying under normal mental/emotional conditions like everyone else.

For now just try to relax into the grief you are feeling and let it be what it is... No more shoulds and 'trying' to work it out... the mind cannot heal the heart... and it is your heart that is in pain. Ask for grace from your angel...

Sending angels blessings to you,


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Thank you so much Rachel for such inspiring words. i changed my major and that has helped so much to have this unbelievably stressful feeling of one major off of me. i can see a light at the end of the tunnel and it feels good.

i don't know how to tell my teachers that i'm just not me anymore. whenever i try i get this feeling from them that i should over it by now. it's been almost year and i should have moved on by now. i haven't it and i think it's gonna be awhile before i do.

i just wish that everything was so much simpler.

sorry to hear of your losses rachel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On Sunday, April 12th, it'll be the 17th anniversary of my mom's passing. Even now, it seems so difficult to go through the grieving.

I had seen her on the Saturday before she passed. Coming home, I started crying because I knew in my heart that it was the last time I would ever see her. I'm just glad I wasn't driving!!!

On Monday morning, at about 7 in the morning, I got a call from the hospital. They told me they had her on oxygen. She hadn't wanted any extra measures to keep her alive. It's called a DNR. I figured I had time to get there. I took my son to school. Got my daughter off to school too. No sooner did I walk back in the door, but the phone rang. They told me she was gone. I tried to call my mom in law. No sooner had she answered, I lost it. I cried. I had to pass the phone to my hubby so he could talk to her.

Later that day, I had to explain to the children we would never see one of their grandma's. They were absolutely devastated!

I was a bit on the looney tunes side for about a month afterwards. Looking back, I still don't know how I did things, except on automatic pilot.

After all these years, I still have an ache in my heart. I still miss her so much!!!

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it's one year today that my mom went into the hospital after after a massive stroke. and tomorrow i turn 22. all this feels like it just happened yesterday. i can't tell you in exact order of everything that went on last year at this time but i remember it so clearly. gonna be a tough rest of the month.

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