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Is It Normal To Be Ok?

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Hi all.

I'm new here. My mum passed away last week of cholangiocarcinoma. She was diagnosed seven months ago and the cancer spread very rapidly. She had lived at the other end of the country from me for about four years, and so when she learned she was sick she came down to visit us kids and the grandkids. Then as she got sicker we all went up to her for a week of quality time with her, each kid on their own, and in the very last week of the illness we went once more to say our goodbyes. We wanted to be there for her more but plane fares were so much money and I for one had children to consider. In the better stages of her illness we skyped often and towards the end I rang her every two to three days to let her know I was as there as I could be, I did this until she couldn't answer the phone any longer. She was not alone in this time as she had moved to be with her brothers, sisters and elderly mother after spending seventeen long years raising us as a single mother.

The funny thing is, now that she is gone I am doing OK. It worries me a little. Am I supposed to be, or am I allowed to be doing OK? I think what has happened is that I had plenty of space in which to process Mum's illness while it was happening. I did a lot of crying while Mum was ill. It seemed that every time the phone rang we heard more bad news, and as her illness progressed so did the phone calls. So the crying became more and more frequent. I had a few temper tantrums but not many. In the last stages it felt like walking on eggs shells waiting for the call to say she'd gone and I did suffer many nightmares. I also battled terrible guilt because I know she wanted to come down and have me look after her and I wanted that also but the situation was that it was impossible for her to move being so sick, and impossible for me to leave my children for any great length because of their needs. I kept myself healthy with exercise, training at my local fire station and making sure I ate right. I let myself feel whatever it was I needed to feel at the time but did not allow myself to become bogged down.

When she did die, I was distraught for maybe three days. Then, strangely and unexpectedly, I accepted very quickly that she was gone. It did not stop me having moments of sadness, loss and even horror but I never expected to hold up so well and there's a part of me that is slightly concerned that it may all come back to me at some stage later down the track. I think though, that the worst and most horrible part, was watching her die the terrible death she did. Her being alive and suffering was by far the most grueling and so when it was over - it was just finally over!.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of response?

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Honey,I seen this a day or so ago and I waited for someone to reply to you.If you look under I think the loss of spouse forum there is someone...IMBLESSED..I think,anyway,she lost her husband and the same thing happened to her.Of course you could be in shock.I dont know.But there are other people that have experienced this same thing.You are not alone.It happens.And you should feel lucky although I'm sure your feelings may feel like a rollercoaster sometimes too.I'm sorry for your loss.I lost my closest parent 3 months ago.It is a rollercoaster,but I hope you continue to feel some kinda peace.good luck dear,and keep me posted on how you are feeling, ok?

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MelissaJane, Good afternoon!!

I came across your post this afternoon and thought I should share a story with you. While in high school my friend (we will call her Jane for privacy sake) dad died. He committed suicide in front of her by gun shot to the head. I think she was about 16 when it happened to her. It was while we were all out on Christmas break when we heard of the news. All of our friends showed to the funeral for Jane's support. When we arrived we were shocked to see that Jane was "fine". She was smiling and just being "her normal self". We were all young at the time and did not understand why she was okay with this after seeing such a traumatic event. She was fine for about 4 months and then just 1 day in class, she snapped. It all just crashed down on top of her. It was like it just hit her that her dad was gone.

I look at it this way; everyone who grieves does so in their own unique way. Just because you are "ok" with it does not make how you feel "the wrong way to feel". It is your right as a human to grieve in your own way. There are no rules or laws to it. You may be fine forever and that is ok or maybe like my friend you will just one day not be fine and that is ok too. Just know that there have been others who have felt the same way.

I hope that helps if even a little bit. There is nothing wrong with you.


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My situation is different than yours, as my husband died quite suddenly. However, from your post, it sounds to me that you began your grieving while your mom was dying. Perhaps this is why you have accepted it more quickly than you would have expected. More than likely, you will have episodes of more intense sadness/grief/anger, as time proceeds, but as pointed out, there is no rule to the grief process. There are general similarities, but we each travel our own unique path.

One thing I have consistently experienced is that my head and heart are rarely at the same place at the same time.

Take care,


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My husband was an alcoholic. He was very intelligent, but the alcoholism had taken hold, he had been unemployed for a year, had lost three jobs in six years, and was unhappy in general.

It was not a surprise that he had developed lung cancer; two packs a day for 38 years will do that. He died very suddenly 5 weeks after his diagnosis, though, and that was a shock. And we were renovating a house.

But I had posted on another forum about his cancer, and someone had written, maybe if someone is suffering, (from cancer or depression) the end is something of a relief. I have spoken with quite a few people who have been in similar situations who were of the opinion that chemo and radiation extended their loved one's lives, but didn't add to the quality of life.

So although I still have my moments, I guess one could say that my grief is tempered by the understanding and knowledge that my DH was suffering, and had been suffering, long before the day we heard the diagnosis.

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