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I lost my elderly mother 6 months ago. I had been her primary caretaker for 3 years. I did experience some anticipatory grief and did fairly well for 2 months after her death. Has that changed!

I have a history of clinical depression throughout my life and am feeling worse by the day. It seems all I can do is sob. My mom was my best friend and helped hold me together through the death of my 6 month old daughter as well as the stillbirth of another daughter, the day before her due date. I am trying everything to get myself back into life including therapy and switching to a new medication for depression. Nothing is helping. I have no interest in life. I am not suicidal, but wouldn't mind if I did die. I thought that this being a "expected" lost, I would be feeling much better at 6 months after mom's death. Am I stuck? Has anyone else felt this badly 6 months after the loss a sick, elderly parent?

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So sorry for your loss Ceili.  If it's any help I'm struggling after 14 months but it's not always so.  At 6 months I was in a very bad state and my history of depression didn't help.  If you read any of my threads you'll see I was my mum's carer for years whilst working full time but I would do it all again in an instance.  Be patient and be kind to yourself.  Depression is natural when grieving but it's a reactive depression not a clinical one.  You're where you're meant to be at 6 months following the loss of your mother and best friend.  I'm only just beginning to take a little interest in other things but didn't think I ever would.  Please be kinder to yourself and know it takes more time than you think to take it all on board.

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It's been 2 months since I lost my mom and I now feel worse than I did. My daughter is starting high school this year and I am so incredibly sad to not share all this with my mom. I think this is in part what's making it so hard right now. 

I think it's ok to feel how you are feeling. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to "be ok". My brother recently told me when I started crying- "omg, you need to get a grip. It happened and u need to move on". I was devastated that he would say that to me. I'm not going to let anyone make me feel bad for how I feel. My aunt is a therapist and she says on average it's 2-7 YEARS of feeling grief.  

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How you are feeling is normal and common with grief/loss.  After a bit of time passes, reality sets in and it can be even harder than when it first happened.  I hope you'll see a grief counselor to help you waft your way through this, it can be a bit much to try and tackle on your own...they are like the instruction manual we need for an uncharted situation.

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I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks. Right now it seems that each day is getting worse. My husband is very impatient with me and I have to go hide in other rooms to cry (or take a drive). Right now I am afraid that this will never end. I miss my mom/best friend so much. Just between us (the entire internet), I thought a lot about dying today. It really frightened me. I have no one that I want to tell about this. It has been overwhelming.

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Thank you for sharing with us such personal thoughts.  There are many of us that have similar thoughts.  It is a very scary place.  Some times death tries to drive us to the same place.  You being aware of your feelings can help you to begin to heal and grow from the grief,  There are grief counselors available if you do not have anyone to safely share these feelings with. Sometimes friends and family don't understand but there are many who can help. 

                      (Serenity Prayer}

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things, I cannot change.

The courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to know the difference"

Ceili, go to your pastor, priest, grief counselor; someone who can help you.  You are valuable to us.  Know that I am praying for you that God will see you through..  When you cry out to the (Lord, higher power, whatever you believe), you will receive peace and comfort.  Grief is overwhelming.  You are not alone.  Please come often here to share will us.  It will help you.  Shalom, George

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Ceili, you said "Just between us (the entire internet), I thought a lot about dying today. It really frightened me. I have no one that I want to tell about this. It has been overwhelming."

I sincerely hope that you will read this article, as it could have been written just for you: Thoughts of Suicide in Grief ~ and take a look at some of the Related Articles listed there, too.

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It seems to me that you could benefit from family therapy...not only help with your feelings, but your husband needs to be in on it and be aware of how his responses affect you and how he can better support you.  I didn't feel suicidal when my mom died, but I did when my husband died, he was more than my best friend, he was my everything, we meant the world to each other and I didn't see how I could go on without him.  I did realize, shortly after experiencing these feelings, though, that it wasn't that I wanted to die, but rather I didn't want to go through what I'd have to go through to go on without him.  That is a very distinct difference and it helped me to begin to plog through my grief journey, to learn and grow through it.  It took years of effort and grief work, but I finally processed it and years more before I was comfortable living alone and being on my own.  It wasn't my preference, but it was something I learned to accept.  For both my mom and my husband and many others I've lost over the years, I look forward to the day we'll be together again and my faith sees me through.  One of the most important lessons I've learned on this journey, beginning at about two weeks out, was to focus on the present and learn to appreciate what IS, rather than only look at what I've lost.  There are still good things about today, each day, some of them small but nevertheless worthy of our acknowledging them and appreciating them...and I think that is very key in continuing in the present as it is.  The other is making determined effort to make your life what you want it to be, to strive for balance and make sure to fill existing voids.  I've retired, make effort to get out and around people some, as well as enjoy my solitude.  I volunteer two days at a senior site, and I'm church treasurer, which gets me out at least one other day.  I'm also on the morning worship team (music) and have practice two times a week.  I got a dog and two cats (chosen since my husband's death) and they keep me great company and give me great incentive.  None of this transpired overnight, but took effort and choices over the years.

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Ceili, I sent you a message.  After witnessing my Mom's passing, sitting next to her, knowing how much she loved everyone in her family and her concern that we would all be ok, I have to stay strong. I would be letting her down if I lost the hope and courage to move on.

Reading all the advise from everyone here, I can see people have been at this for a long time now, but it has been one of the most difficult times of life  and very new. Having a way to tap into some spiritual strength, for self renewal and hope, has been the most important thing for me. All the other advise helped as well, drinking enough water, exercise, getting some sun, giving myself time to adjust, let the feelings out, all these things do help. Learning from you all has also been helpful. Hang in there Ceili.

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Ceili,

As you see from the other replies (especially that wonderful link from Marty) thoughts of not wanting to go on are entirely normal but at the same time so very scary.  I'll be honest and say I still get those moments when I think "what's the point" but usually they are very brief and when things really get on top of me. You are going through possibly the worst time of your life and it's your own private hell unique to you and unlike anybody else's grief.  It's now when the enormity of what's happened really sinks in and takes hold.  You are amongst friends here though.  Please keep reading other's threads and voicing your worries.  I find comfort in believing our loved ones are with us....so much love just can't disappear just like that.  Take care.

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Thank you all for your words of support. I will definitely keep coming back to share, read, and help others in whatever way I can.

KayC - I never thought it would happen but my husband agreed to go to the grief counselor with me. I would not have asked if it had not been for you. Thanks.

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I am so glad!  A lot of people really don't understand grief and it helps to have a professional guide you through it plus help him understand what you're going through.

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Will this pain ever lessen? I am frightened that it won't. Really frightened. I am looking for an answer but can't find a definitive one. I am a grown woman yet I feel like a little girl uncertain how to navigate this scary world. Mom, you taught me alot but never how to live without you in my life.

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Hello Ceili,

Trust me I know that feeling all too well but please believe me when I assure you it's normal.....but knowing that doesn't make it any easier does it.  I'm a 52 year old guy and  grief turns me into a frightened child at times too but then I think it does that to most people.  Your grief journey will be full of ups and downs like a cruel dark roller-coaster.  Kayc once described it as a long dark tunnel where you are immersed in darkness only to eventually see a tiny light that gets closer and closer.  It will take a long time, longer than many people who've never made the journey think but you will get there.  Wishing you peace.

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Just today I was wishing my mom was here, and she's been gone over a year now.  I don't think we ever stop missing them, but we do learn to live our lives without them physically here. Knowing we will see them again, really helps.

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Someone help me. My grief is so intense and tangled with past losses. In the late 80's, I lost 2 children and had a late miscarriage. It happened during the fall over the course of 3 years. My first daughter Lauren, was born with Down Syndrome and a serious cardiac defect. The docs told me the most she would live would be 7 years. She lived 6 months, dying on Oct. 6th, 2 days after cardiac surgery. One year later, I had a 14 week miscarriage - another little girl I named Olivia - on Sept 30th. Exactly one year later, I had a little girl, Maura, who died one day before her due date from a cord accident. On that Sept.30th, I had to undergo labor and delivery, to give birth to her...deceased. We buried Maura 2 years to the date of Lauren's death. 3 years later, in October, my husband and I divorced. I am now remarried to a wonderful man who admits that he does not know what to do each fall. The only person who remembered each anniversary date was my mom who died 6 months ago. This is my first fall without her support. I feel like I am going crazy. All I can do is cry. I pray for help but feel like God has abandoned me. When I was 17 I lost one of my best friends in a drunk driving accident, again in Oct. I am shocked at how much I miss her. I found a really good therapist whom I have seen 3 times now. She promises that I will feel better, but it will take some time. I have cried every day since mom died - she was my last remaining parent. I don't think that I can take the intensity of this pain any longer. I want to live but don't see hope any longer. Just grief and loss.

Thank you for listening.

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Ceili, my dear, I want you to know that your voice has been heard, and I am so very sorry for all the losses you've endured. Clearly you are in a state of grief overload, and here you are, headed into the fall ~ the season of death anniversaries, when so many of these deaths occurred. It is good to know that you are connected with "a really good therapist" ~ and if you continue to feel as you describe in your most recent post, I urge you to make contact with your therapist ASAP. Please don't wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment ~ Instead, do whatever you can to get in to see her quickly ~ or at the very least, to talk with her on the phone. Coming here to share your thoughts and feelings is fine, and I'm so pleased that you are doing just that, but I think that right now, given the intense pain you describe, you need and deserve someone you trust who can "be there" for you face-to-face and in person. Meanwhile, please know that my heart goes out to you, I am thinking of you, and I'm holding you close as I send you love and light. 

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Hello Ceili,

Please be assured you're not going crazy and try not to be scared.....easier said than done though I know.  You need to talk to somebody as Marty says and trust me a good therapist really will help you.  As for crying.....I'm not ashamed to say I still cry every day and it's been 14 months.  I used to worry about that but letting the emotion out is exactly what you need to do.  No 2 people grieve the same and you own your grief.  You're hurting for your dear mom and that is narural.  Express your pain and don't try to push it back or keep it in......it'll only make things worse.  A big virtual hug on it's way to you Ceili.  My heart goes out to you too.  Take care.

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Hello Ceili, I too, seem to cry everyday since my wife passed away suddenly almost seven months ago.  Since men are not supposed to cry(which is a lie) it can seem like it is wrong.  However much research is done that tears actually reduce your  stress.  When a person loves someone deeply, crying helps to relieve and cope with the painful loss which is real.  Seek help where you can, come here and share with people who care and can come alongside you.  Praying for you.  Shalom, George

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Ceili,

I am so sorry for all of your losses.  To lose one child would be horrid enough, but three???  I'm glad your husband is honest with you, it helps somehow.  If you can tell him what you need from him, what you want from him, it would be good for both of you.  Maybe if he just remembered the dates by giving you a thoughtful card, and maybe extra TLC on that day?

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That is a good idea Kayc; I will do that. How could he know if I don't tell him? I want to thank you all for your responses to my last post. I appreciate and respect all of your opinions. I did try calling my therapist yesterday but she was out of town. She did call however and we talked a bit. She wanted me to go to the ER if it got so bad again and she was not around. I almost did just that this morning but was able to clear my thoughts a little on my own. All of the dates, my babies, my mom/best buddy...it gets so overwhelming I just want out. I was told old losses come back but I never imagined the intensity, the flashbacks, the lonliness. Each and everyone of you helped me yesterday. Bless you.

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It has to be hard, I'm glad you were able to talk yourself through it.  Try to remember that how you are feeling today will not hold the same level of intensity later on.  Our bodies are amazing at adjusting to even the unthinkable if given the chance, although sometimes we need a little help with it from professionals.  

Fresh loss serves as a trigger for old losses, so that it all feels piled up and amounts to overwhelming.  Try isolating your feelings to just the current one and when another emerges, tell yourself you'll think about that one later on.  For instance, if you're thinking about your mom and thoughts of your babies emerge, tell yourself you'll get back to those (maybe even set a time) and go back to thinking about your mom.  Some people have been known to set aside a time for grief.  I know it sounds weird, but with practice it can help.  It's so hard to go on living when our lives are consumed with grief!  We have to have some let down time to be free of it.  In the beginning, I don't see how that'd be possible, but later on, with practice, it can help manage it.  

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