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How Do People Get Through This?


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It's been 8 months since I lost my mom, and I still feel absolutely miserable almost constantly. I get up, go to work, and put on a happy face in front of people, but I literally NEVER stop thinking about my mom. My thoughts range from just missing her, to remembering her in the hospital, to the moment she passed, to when before she was sick. It's constant. From the outside, most people would probably think I'm doing remarkably well dealing with the loss, but I feel like a shell of my former self. I'm depressed and angry and bitter and just different.

I know I'll get through it because I have to -- time keeps moving forward and I have no option but to move with it. But is this it? I feel like I'll never be truly happy the way I was before, that everything will always be at least somewhat sad because she's not here. Is that how other people feel, and they just put on a happy face for show? Are they falling apart inside too?

Erin

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Dear Erin,

I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a mom is tough...it changes our lives. It has been 16 months yesterday since my husband, Bill, died and I could have written your first paragraph. Many of us feel the way you feel....it all sounds so normal, sad as that is. We get through it a day at a time knowing that a significant loss does change us forever and that someday, when you are ready, you will feel better....at least that is what I am hoping for in my life. I too put on a happy face but am in pain inside. I think most of us do a lot of that in part because the culture does not deal well with death and in part because it is good to smile and get a bit distracted from our grief. You are not alone....we are all with you here. This group has helped me a lot...listening to me and supporting me. You will find the same thing to be true for you. No one judges and we take ONE day at a time...a slow journey for most of us. Peace, mary

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Guest Nicholas

Dear Erin (& Mary),

I echo everything you have written, it is 7 months today since I lost my son and I feel the same as both of you.

Some obviously cope better than others, guess it depends on so many factors, how close you were to the individual, what else you have going on in your life and how sensitive/caring a person you are. Everyone on here seems very caring so that may be why the pain is worse.

Nicholas

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hi Erin,

I am right there with you, looking fine in work, most people here forgotten now but my Dad is always on my mind, always missing him and yearning for him.

I had a dream about my Dad last night and it was pretty horrible, he was in hospital sick and dying (we lost him suddenly so it's nothing related) and I remember so clearly being with him, wanting to just stay in his arms all the time and getting panicked wanting him to write me a letter before he "died". I woke with the most awful feeling because in a sense it was like I was with my Dad even though he was sick but I just want that feeling of being with him so badly, I had to fight the tears coming to work and I just want to be able to get out of work and cry it out.

It really is what is so deceiving about grief that on the outside after time you can look ok but as you say inside just falling apart, completely broken. I feel the sadness ALL the time, I feel like I no longer truly understand what happiness is, I can't comprehend how it can exist for me without my Dad so I can't even have the attitude or hope that someday I'll be happy because it's just no longer something I get.

I know people say my Dad would want me to be happy and yeah I get that but when I don't understand happiness anymore how can I hope for something I don't understand ? I just feel life will be always be a struggle until I get to be with my Dad again.

I'm sorry you are so understanding of this, I just wouldn't wish it on anyone but I'm grateful to know I am not the only one too.

sending you lots of (((hugs))) and love,

Niamh

x

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Thanks everyone. I hate that you're all going through this too, but it's also a relief to have people who understand.

I was just having a rough day yesterday, but am feeling a little more optimistic today. It gets overwhelming sometimes, and it's hard to imagine ever being truly happy again. Will everything always have this black cloud hanging over it? I do have good moments, but I still never stop thinking about her and I hope I never do. At the same time, I just want the pain to go away. I'm tired of dealing with this and want it to be over already, but the only way I want it to end is to have her back here again.

I guess I just wonder, is this it? Is this how life is going to be from now on? I look at other people, strangers, and wonder how many of them have experienced a devastating loss. I think about my mom and how depressed she was (more so later in her life, as she got sicker) and I wonder how much of it was related to the loss of her grandmother (they were very close). We never talked about it because I was young when my great-grandma passed away, but I wonder how my mom dealt with it.

Erin

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Sometimes I feel like I dont have the right to feel the way I do. I have a close who lost his fiancee suddenly three years ago and then his mother a year ago. So in comparison, my loss is very different. Yet, I feel so sad every day. I wake up and the first thing I think is that my mother is gone. Every night I go into the bathroom and cry. Its usually about the same time every night. Like I told a friend, when my mother first passed away, I felt relieved..Im done feeling relieved, I want her back. She was my best friend, the one who encouraged me, comforted me scolded me, loved me unconditionally...I dont feel I have that in my life anymore..at this point I feel more like everyone's personal slave/assistant.

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BellaRosa,

I am so sorry to read that you and all the others feel the same way as I do. I put on a smile in front of others most of the time but, if I get asked about my parents, sometimes the flood gates open and I can't control myself. These days I can change the subject and move on. Such an interesting choice of words "move on"......

This morning I thought I was alone while in the shower and I just let loose sobbing, quietly so i wouldn't wake up the girls. My husband walked into the bedroom and heard me. Of course he is supportive but, I just feel like a broken record sometimes. That is why I love this site and all of you for always being here.

I have one friend who actually has the courage to ask me how I'm doing. I can feel the smile and the color wash away from my face but I appreciate her genuine concern. She asks because she really wants to hear the answer - good, bad or ugly. She knows I'm having a hard time but I am trying to deal with it the best I can. Actually, I keep really busy with the kids at home, activities, running around and all. It's when I stop moving or when i'm driving that is when it hits me all over again.

Anyway, sadly, you are not alone.

Peace, love and hugs to you all.

2sweetgirls

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After feeling pretty down things started to get a bit better this week. Of all things a series I used to watch made me laugh. I hadn't done that in awhile. I ended up ordering the dvd set. This gives me something to look forward to each night. Then this morning I woke up and felt pretty down. As I got up I looked outside and it was dreary out. I just felt pretty depressed. I then went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine I needed and the lady behind the counter asked how my mother was doing. I told her and she was shocked and very saddened. Luckily this was when I was ringing out because I was about to loose it. I shed a couple tears when I got out into the car.

It's something because I had visited my mothers grave and felt I had made some real progress with coming to terms with my moms death. I even told her I'll be alright. I do feel I'm making baby steps forward. I also realize that I'll have days that will be better then others and I have more hard days ahead of me. I guess for me I'm trying to suck in the good, or bearable, days for as much as they are worth. When the bad days come I'll just have to deal with them.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that although today is not a good day for me I saw some hope last week. Each laugh or good thing that happens along the way is one more glimmer of hope that things can and will get better in time.

I hope tomorrow you'll find something that will bring a smile to your face and bring a little hope to you! :)

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Erin,

I lost my mom in 2005 and to answer your question yes you will go back to feeling like "your self" again. However, the grief will never "go away" and obviously you will always miss your mother. I still have images of my mom in the hospital and remember our final conversations. Now I am experiencing this horrible grief all over again. I lost my dad (March, 2) of this year. He was such a great dad and my best friend. It seems much harder this time around and I'm not sure why. Maybe it is because I have now lost both of my parents much earlier then I anticipated. Everything that you described is exactly what I am feeling. You're not alone. The last five months have seemed like a blur to me. I have been in total "Zombie" mode and seem to be just going through the motions. I am very sorry for your loss. It gets better, Good luck and hang in there.

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Dear Erin - I am new to this board and so glad to have found it. Everyone's comments mirror my own. I lost my Mom 6 weeks ago today. I think at times we feel we are the only ones feeling this heartache and then I read all of these posts! I have so much to say about how I am feeling. I know my feelings are part of the grieving process. I just miss her so terribly. I talked to her 2-3 times a day and miss that so much. Waiting for a sign from her if that is possible as we were so close she promised to let me know something. I would like to just have a comforting dream about her. Our last words were I love you and I am so thankful for that!

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Dea Erin, Im so sorry for how you feel and its so crappy that after only 8 months you have to carry on and put a happy face because of other people. The worst is how everyone then assumes you're ok. I dunno its been over a year now and yeah most days are ok and I would never have believed it because I dont know how/why they are just cant explain it but then some days are bad again and you just feel miserable and think about it

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Erin, you said exactly how I feel. I lost my Dad May 2012 and I still feel those very emotions. I wonder if I'll ever be myself again. It is so hard. You are right about we have no choice but to get past this but it seems as though the flashes and dreams will never end. They continue to tell me the first year is the hardest because you experience all the things for the first time w/o this person. The weird thing is that I feel like my family has handled this so much better. We've all stopped communication. I've never seen a family do that. You said it perfectly when you said it is like a shell of yourself. I'm not sure how you learn to make this a part of your life and move on yet find a way to smile and laugh again. I'm still waiting...sending prayers your way!!! You aren't alone with your feelings.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Erin,I feel ya.my mom passed and it is something i will never get over.I think about her all the time.I too get up,work,try to do things but just can't seem to do anything.it's really hard because we were so close.I just can't handle being here without her.I try to put on a happy face for others but i just can't do it anymore.My Mom passed in Jan and my Dad in June.Losing both of them has just killed me inside.Everything for me has changed so much because I took care of them both for years and now that is gone.I feel so useless and not sure what to do with my time.I was needed by them and now I just don't feel needed like that anymore.Don't think I ever will again.I wiil pray for you to be strong.

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I don't know what it's like to lose a mom but my situation is different with my mom, but I do know what it's like to lose my dear sweet husband, and I know how hard it is to try to live with the biggest hole in your heart. Being a caregiver makes it all the more difficult to adjust as you lose your sense of purpose. I took care of my sweet MIL nearly three years when she was bedridden with cancer, it was very hard to watch her go through it and the finality of losing her was very hard. If she'd been my birth mom it would have been all the harder as she'd have been there from the beginning, as it was, I didn't get her until my 20s.

All I know to do is try to stay in the present as much as I can so I don't lose the value that is here today and carry my George with me in my heart, along with all of the others I have lost. They live in our memory and our love carries them with us always.

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  • 1 month later...

I am not sure who will see this but I will put it down never the less. Maybe I just need to get it out of my system. Yesterday marked the two month mark since I saw my dad die in front of me at Hospice. I cannot believe what I have gone thru since. Thank God for this site and the two books that I have been reading. Wife picked up an old book from 69 called "On Death An Dying". If you would have told me a few months ago that I would have gone thru all this pain and turmoil over my dad's death, I would have said No Way. We didn't have that close of a relationship growing up. Obviously, I felt more attached to him than I thought.

Have either had 4 dreams or visions of his 5 times since he died. For some unknown reason, during the past three days, I keep getting flashbacks to being back at the chapel with the open casket and being back at the cemetary. Don't know why. I cannot look at the Father's Day cards and the commercials are driving me up the wall. Am planning to go to the cemetary on Father's Day but not really looking forward to it. Seems very strange going to the Parent's house and he is not there.

My brother who had been in the hospital due to a heart attack could not attend the funeral. He has started drinking again. Thankfully I have gone back to the recovery meetings before I end up smashed or in a psych ward. Having never gone thru anything like this sober before is putting me in a whole new unfamiliar world. Please tell me it is going to get easier. Wish I could say that I had a support system and people to hang with but I still find myself alone. My wife was with me at hospice but she is limited on understanding on what is going on in my head. Now it is time to get back to work. Have a good day. How do I get thru this, I DO NOT KNOW

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I think it takes tremendous courage to face hard problems without drinking. Drinking is the easy way but doesn't solve anything, it's more of a numbing. My dad was alcoholic, drank since the war, and I could understand that, but it wasn't without cost to the family.

You are doing it though, the same as the rest of us, a day at a time.

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  • 6 months later...

Losses change us but I believe if we grieve our losses and do our grief work that we find new strength, new parts of our self and even happiness. The loss is there and always will be but we learn how to carry it, integrate it, have a relationship with our loved one that is now very different but still very real.

As for plastering smiles on...on rare occasions we smile or act like we are fine because it is safer and sometimes more appropriate than crying (if those are the only options). I am talking about safe in the sense that if I am with someone who I KNOW can not deal with my loss and grief, and I do not want to be hurt, I choose (yes, choose) not to let them in so I will not share my pain or let them see it. I also takes risks and for the most part give honest answers. I do not hide. You are in charge of all of it and you WILL find the strength. Being here is a huge step in the right direction as you will learn as you have from reading posts and seeing how people handle loss and you will get a lot of support. Peace, my friend, Mary

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