Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Questions About Grieving

Recommended Posts

My mother (now 80) has been ill with liver failure for four years and is now very close to death. She now has a bowel obstruction and is being moved into palliative care at the local hospital. There is nothing more they can do but give her medication for the pain, which is making her almost comatose, and hope the obstruction relieves itself.

I have been grieving on and off since Mom was first diagnosed in 2006 and we learned that her condition was progressive and ultimately fatal...in fact, back then, no one dreamed she'd live another four years. At the time, I almost had a mental breakdown and couldn't function for two months, but over the years I've gradually come to accept that her death is inevitable. And she did quite well until about 1 1/2 years ago, and then she started going steadily downhill. It's been a long, continual decline every since. She spent five weeks in hospital last fall and this time has been in hospital for six weeks and probably won't ever come out again. Even if the intestinal blockage relieves itself and she comes out of palliative care again, she'll have to go into long term care because she's lost her mobility and has dementia.

My family and I are preparing ourselves for the worst (although this isn't the first time we've done so over the years, and she's surprised us before). I have some questions about the grieving process. I find myself keeping as busy as possible so I don't have to think about losing Mom too much. I can't just sit and do nothing...I have to be busy and occupied all the time. I've packed the upcoming weekend with things to do and people to see. I've been told that it's important to feel and process all your feelings, and not avoid them with excessive busy-ness...but I find if I sit around and think about losing Mom too much, and open myself up to feeling grief and sadness, I start sinking into serious depression. (I'm already prone to anxiety and depression and have been on low dose anti-depressants for years.) Keeping busy and occupied is the only way I can think of to keep myself from becoming too depressed to function. Yet I don't want to set myself up for illness later becase I haven't processed my grief properly.

In short, there seem to be two schools of thoughts about grieving -- one says it's important to experience and express all your feelings, and the other says to stay busy and think positive. Can anyone share their thoughts on what's best?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert27

Hi Charlotte61

Let me first start off by saying I'm so Sorry You've had to go threw this with your mom, I dont think there is no one set way to deal with grief, everyone deals with grief diffrent, however

I do believe that takeing into account that you said you stay busy to keep yourself from sinking into futher depression, then maybe thats the best thing for you to do, in order to help you

keep going, I do know the pain of watching someone you love die slowly, as my grandmother had dementia hers was mostly Alzheimer's disease, and we watched her get worse and worse, She passed

on March 16th of this past year and it was very hard seeing her get worse by the week and few months,

just want to tell you I care,

Take Care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Charlotte,

I'm so sorry about your mom, and I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you and the rest of your family. Robert is right: there is no right or wrong way to do the "work" of grief ~ there is only your way, and you will discover that for yourself as you work your way through all of this. You may find it helpful to read this post, Anticipatory Grief. See also today's edition of the Daily Om, which just happens to be entitled Embracing Grief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your kind words. My mother passed away early Sunday morning. It wasn't unexpected by any means, but it was still a shock...we're never ready to lose a loved one, no matter how long we've had time to prepare, and in my case it was four years.

Though I feel profoundly sad, and as if there's a huge empty hole in my heart, I also feel calmer and more at peace than I have been in a long while. I am grateful that Mom is finally free of her ill, broken-down old body, and that she is no longer suffering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I too am sorry for your loss. My dad dealt with Alzheimer's for years. I thought I'd grieved so much all these years that once he passed on it would disappear. It hasn't. Seems like no matter how much we "prepare," we can never really prepare.

What we can do is be grateful our loved ones are no longer suffering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Charlotte, I am sorry for your loss. I lost my mother mid-October, and I totally understand the feeling of having more peace, but also sadness, knowing she is free of pain. For years I was in a state of anticipatory grieving. A month before she died (because I really knew it was close, even if the nursing staff did not), my concentration was about zero, I forgot some important commitments (not like me), and was consumed with endless thoughts of what I should and should not do for her. Mother is gone somewhere else, she is at peace, I feel sad, but the discomfort she was in, even with pain meds, was just too much for her, and, in many ways, too much for me to deal with. Take care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...