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Lost My Mom About A Month And A Half Ago (This Is Long, But Please Rea

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Well, where to start. First off my name is ashley, and im 26 years old. I lost my mom a month and a half ago, and im unsure of why she passed she was 64 years old, and was a year cancer free. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in april of 2011. We found out initally when i decided to take her to get her hearing tested as it was getting worse and worse. I took her to multiple appointments during a 5 day period, and when the last appointment came the doctor had told us she had a mass on her brain and we needed to see a neurologist. Through this we took her to more appointments and they had found out her brain tumor was caused by the lung cancer she had. This was march of 2011, i had only known about the brain tumor as i was there with her, and i had to return back to school that following weekend. It wasnt until may of 2011 until i was told about her lung cancer. I didnt know much about cancer except that it was a terrible disease, i did my research and read the odds of survival for stage four and was pretty much devestated. I was also upset that my family had with held this information from me for the time being. I understand the reason they did not tell me, but it still was hard to grasp.

Through her chemo and radiation i saw the effects that cancer and its treatment could have on someone, it was difficult but at no point did i feel burdened i rather wanted to be the one going through the treatment than her. My mom her entire life has been a little lady, her max weight in her lifetime couldnt have surpassed 80 pounds. During her last years she was max of 70 pounds. As of November 2011 my mom had beat cancer, all traces of cancer in her body was gone, it was truly a miracle. Im a firm believer in positive thinking and i believe this is what got my mom through her cancer. Her hearing was bad like i said and initally when she was told about the brain tumor she thought it was a mass on her head (not her brain) as for the cancer she never knew how serious it was, as she couldnt follow the conversations at the doctors because of her hearing. When i had a talk with her after she was cleared i explained to her how serious it was and how amazing it was that she overcame it.

As of November of 2012 my mom was a year cancer free, however she had not been eating and her weight was dramatically decreasing. A couple days before she had passed she had fallen and fractured her vertebrea, this is the second time this had happened. She also had osteoperosis, i was at school when this happened and was not told about what had happened until 12 hours later. I was sure she would make it through it as she was a fighter. about 3 days after her fall i was at school working on my final project for school, it was a friday, i had been at school for 18 hours and had gotten back to my apartment friday morning at around 6am, i had fallen asleep around 8am. I woke up around noon and saw a missed call and text message from my father who lives in tennesee, i was in buffalo,ny for school and my mother lived in albany, ny with my brother who lived in the house with her, and my other brother was local to my mom living with his wife. my mother and father were seperated, not divorced. he had been an amazing supporter to her during her time being sick, has always been there for all of my family. Anyways, i had woken up and saw the text and missed call but called my moms phone first as she was the first and last person i spoke to everyday, we would usually talk about 5 times a day, we were very close. So i called her and her phone was off, i thought this was odd, her phone was never off. I had a feeling something was wrong. I called my dad, his phone was busy, called my moms house line and my aunt (my moms sister) picked up. She was a prime caregiver to my mom, she took her to every single appointment. She answered and told me to hold on, the phone disconnected. So i called what i thought was my aunts cell phone, it was her house phone, my uncle picked up and said i had to call aunt pats cell, i told him no and that he had to tell me what was going on, it took a couple of tries to get it out of him, but he eventually told me my mom had passed. I was in shock, mad, sad, angry, everything. during this time of calling people, i was on my way to school. By the time my uncle had told me i had arrived at school. I turned around went to my apartment and started packing. My other aunts were 20 minutes from buffalo to pick me up when i found out.

My aunt pat was at my house that day because the night before (thursday) my mom wasnt able to walk, they were going to admit her into the hospital, again no one told me this. My aunt pat and my aunt jo ann went to my house, my mom was what they thought was sleeping on the couch (this is where she slept) my moms dog wasnt on the couch with her so they went and looked for the dog, as when she is not on the couch with my mom it usually means she went to the bathroom somewhere in the house. my aunt jo ann went to my mom to wake her up and told my aunt pat that she was cold, my aunt pat replied well she is always cold, this was true, my mom was always cold. My aunt pat went to wake her and there was no response. they called 911 and they arrived and said she was passed. All this was around 8am friday morning, an hour after i had fallen asleep in a different city four hours away.

When i had gotten back from school that friday morning, i was looking for my eyebrow tweezers as i always do my eyebrows, i had looked under my bed as i thought thats where they might have fallen. I had crawled under my bed with a flashlight and saw a lifesaver candy, this was my moms favorite candy. i sat there and stared at it, thinking this is strange. Now the week before i had been home for thanksgiving, before i came home i had cleaned my entire apartment and even under my bed, so i thought it was odd this candy was under my bed, because i had just cleaned under my bed. now at this time i had no idea that my mom was passed. I didnt find that out until four hours later.

Now im a firm believer in spirituality, positive thinking. I used to be very religious but it diminished when i was younger, as i started paying attention in school especially in science class, it took my faith away. When my mom was sick with cancer i would pray constantly, i didnt pray to anyone in specific, but it was a way for me to get my thoughts to the universe or whatever may be out there.

After my mom had passed i was a wreck the first couple of days, for the wake and funeral i was okay though. a couple days after this i went back to school to finish my final project. i was sad but it hadnt really hit me yet. I was concerned to why i wasnt upset, i felt as if i were selfish or if i didnt care which is absolutely not the case. When i finished my project i packed my belongings and moved home, as i had just graduated - my mom wanted to see me graduate so badly. i moved back and i was a wreck, and i still am, cry myself to sleep nearly every night.

I worry because i dont know if theres an afterlife, i've always looked at death like this - for myself im okay with it, im okay with the fact that i will eventually die and there may not be an afterlife, it might just be black. I've been okay with this for myself, but not for others. Now that my mom has passed im not okay with this at all and it drives me crazy because i want to know if theres an afterlife, it drives me crazy everyday thinking about this. Im a type of person that needs to know everything, and when things are beyond my control it drives me wild inside. I'll research things top and bottom to figure out what i can do to help. But im stuck because i cant do anything...

Also since my moms passing i've been having difficulties with my sister in law, and its upsetting to me because shes my sister in law. shes a great person but tends to take the authoritve role in situations. christmas eve our family comes over to our house to celebrate, we continuted it this year in my moms tradition, my sister in law had taken it in her favor to decide to take the thank you cards out for my aunts and uncles to decide who they need to write them to, i thought this was not the time or the place to do so, i had told my brother (sister in laws husband) that this was not the right time for this, she had overheard and interupted and said "well ashley we had to get it done so we are doing it now" plain to say, i flipped out. i apologized the next day for flipping out as it was not in my character to do that in front of family. a couple weeks later she had texted me asking if i could bring the thank you cards over, i said sure. later in that text she was asking if i was going to speak to someone about my emotions, i told her i didnt believe in psychiatrists or therapists and my emotions, sadness and anger were perfectly normal during this process. She then scrutinized me in how can i learn to deal with this stuff if i dont have someone to teach me, it frustrated me. I had a conversation with my brother the next day about this and he told me to screw off basically. Since then i have not spoken to either of them.

Lastly about my mom, the week before she passed i had taken her out christmas shopping and to lunch, she had told me at lunch she didnt think she was normal, and that she was losing it. i told her not to think those things, that to me shes perfect. Shes always been self concious about her appearance, as she was a smoker and it aged her a bit, she also had the hearing problems as well she had ptosis (an eye condition where you cannot open your eyes fully).

So i guess my questions are, how do i deal with my sister in law, and also how do i deal with not knowing if my mom is in a better place and is still able to hear me talk to her and able to know that i love and miss her dearly.

Thank you for reading it means alot to me

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Thanks for sharing your story. I'm really not sure what to say, because I'm not in a great state of mind myself. I'm also grieving terribly for my mom. She died of stage for renal cell cancer last year. Please don't let your sister in law control how you grieve being the controlling type. This pain is yours and yours only, no one can tell you how fast to heal. I'm not sure about the afterlife either, and this scares me. I was raised roman catholic, but the belief is that if you take your life, you go to hell. I refuse to believe that my dad is suffering now. He died from a disease, just like my mom did. I believe that I will one day be with them again. I'm not sure in what form, but this simple belief is enough to keep me going for now. I like your interpretation of the lifesaver. :) Your mom is watching out for you!

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Dear ashley1986,

I have read and re-read your post. I am so sorry for all your pain. I want you to know that you have found a safe place to share your story. Those of us who have found our way to this forum have had the support and love from ones who know what pain is and we find comfort in being here.

I am sorry that you have lost your mom. No words can comfort you at this time but knowing that others are with you will help you dig your way out of all the questions you have. You are so young to be going through all this pain. Through all of your writings I hear all the love and care you have for your mother. We are protected form most of the reality of loss during those early weeks and months. It is how we survive the cruel pain we are enduring. Only later do we start to realize what has happened and then the emotions come. This is all part of grieving. Any emotion you feel is all part of the package. Small steps are what you need to take. Do not allow anyone to tell you how you will go through your grief. Back away from negative people and know that you have support from those who understand right here on this forum. Your mom knows how much you love her. Talk to her, write her a letter, and be assured that she is watching over you. This is what I believe anyway. Peace, Anne

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Bless your heart Ashley,

I read your story, and I cried. I went through just about this same thing with my Nana, my Mom's Mom when I was 26. She was a Mom to me... Especially since I was 15 and my Mom had been murdered in front of me by my stepfather. I have been judged about my grief by all of my family. I was the one there taking my Nana to chemo and radiation for her lung cancer. I was the one who heartwrenchly watched her hair fall out and her beautiful petite 100lb body grow tinier and so fragile. She like your Mom, was so into needing to be beautiful and a little lady.

It's so hard to be with our grief when others judge us. But your grief is just that, yours and yours alone. You sound like such a positive young lady. I honor that and respect that. I am 39 and struggle to stay positive. Keep doing what you're doing. As for afterlife, that's ones personal quest... But I firmly believe, though some days it's hard to reach, that our loved ones are free from pain and are just over the horizon watching us as close to our heart beats.

God bless you in your journey. And you have found a compassionate "home" here with people who will listen anytime.

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So i guess my questions are, how do i deal with my sister in law, and also how do i deal with not knowing if my mom is in a better place and is still able to hear me talk to her and able to know that i love and miss her dearly.

My dear Ashley, I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your mom, who died too soon at the age of 64, when you are so young yourself. Absolutely not fair. You sound like such a devoted daughter ~ Clearly your mother taught you well what real love is, and I hope you will consider that as her precious legacy to you.

You've asked two important questions, and I'd like to offer my response to those.

Your sister-in-law's behavior on Christmas Eve was appalling, and I can understand why you reacted as you did. First of all, if there ever is a time when being prompt with thank-you notes is entirely unnecessary, it is when you've lost a loved one. This is a time when etiquette must take a back seat to making room for grief, and I'm sorry your relative was so insensitive in that regard. I'm sure that most of us would have reacted the same way that you did that evening, so please consider forgiving yourself for being human. Furthermore, the way to deal with your sister-in-law in the future is the same way you would deal with anyone else whose behavior is hurtful to you: Avoid her like the dickens, at least until you're not feeling so raw and vulnerable. Your first obligation in grief is to take care of yourself and your own feelings, and if someone in your family (or anyone else, for that matter) does not seem to "get it," you have three choices. As I stated in my blog post, Grief Support: When Others Fail to Meet Our Expectations:

When dealing with others who aren’t living up to our expectations of how we think they should “be there” for us, we have three choices: We can choose to bear with such people and simply ignore their shortcomings; we can assume a teacher's role and enlighten them about what we've learned about grief and what we need from them; or we can look to others who are more understanding to find the support we need and deserve.

Your second question has to do with your belief in an afterlife, and once again, your calling into question whatever you've been taught and whatever you've believed up to now is totally normal. That's what losing a loved one to death does to us: It forces us to confront the big questions we've probably not given too much serious thought to until now. I invite you to read this post on my blog, as I think you'll find some interesting information there: After-Death Communication, Continued. (Please be sure to follow the links embedded in the article as well.)

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