It’s been 19 years today since I lost my mom . Almost 31 years for my Dad.
Seems like forever and yet I can’t believe 19 years have gone by so fast.
If your mom has passed away in the more recent past, I want you to know that I am very, very sorry for you’re loss. I remember some of what you are feeling, and most of what you are trying not to feel. If you loved your mom so much that you are practically certain that you can’t go on, I want to tell you something.
You can…..and you will
The cruel irony of losing your mother is that right after her death is when you really need her the most. She was always comforting and knew just what to say to make it all better…
There are no words anyone can say to ease the pain or take away that emptiness you’re heart feels.
There are days even now , when I think I have managed through the emptiness and accepted the grief and the years that have passed by , I hoped time would allow me to just recognize the day and then bam….something happens and it knocks me flat all over again.
In the beginning grief felt suffocating, it was like standing with your back at the ocean and being suddenly hit with a tidal wave.
Now it comes occasionally ,like a small wave
People say give it time, it gets easier…. usually those people still have their mother.
What happens is, you just learn to accept the fact that mom isn’t here anymore and you learn to go on with your life. But it never gets “easier.
In the years since my mother died, a few friends , who were also grieving because they lost a parent- have approached me, sometimes they wanted advice or guidance on how to cope and not get smothered by grief, as if I had some magical wisdom to offer.
Other times, they just want to talk to someone who has lived through a similar experience. And that’s fine.
Losing a parent but especially your mother sucks , it never gets easier we just learn to cope and continue living our life.
Will you recover from losing your mother….
Not fully. Not ever fully. But one day, maybe a year down the road, you will realize that you are doing okay. Perhaps one day in the future you may even feel strong enough to share your own mother-loss experience with other men and women.
But not right now.
In the early stages after losing your mother, you will find yourself having some difficulty getting through the motions of daily life. Don’t forget to eat, and drink lots of water. Brush your teeth comb you’re hair. Put clothes on.
I will tell you the one thing that has sustained me through nearly two decades of “mother missing” has been that I always speak to my mom. In my head, that is. I talk to her about all of the good things that are going on, as well as the bad or scary stuff. And because I knew my mom so well, as you did yours, I can always, always hear what she would say, if she were here.
You will hear your mom too. It might be too painful to chat with her in the beginning because you are just going to want to keep asking her why she had to die. That will soften. Keep her close and just listen to your heart. Just ike her favorite music, photos of your mother will bring you both comfort and agony right now. When you are ready, speak to her photos and tell her what you are going through.
You will have learned that you must take care of yourself or else your going to end up sick physically or screwing up your life completely.
Just because a parent dies doesn’t give you an excuse to become a train wreck.
Take care of yourself, please listen to me here, grieving blows but you have to take care of your self.
Eat healthy, don’t go off on any drunken binges don’t start taking medication for extended periods of time to help you cope.
Do not ever drive under the influence ever.
Although it certainly feels like the world stopped it doesn’t as you will find out the hard way.
The world doesn’t stop spinning when your mother or father dies.
It only feels that way.
The bills still arrive, the laundry piles up. Bosses want you to return to work after a few days off.
Keep an open dialogue with the people around you at home, work and school.
Let people help you. Just don’t let them tell you what to do.
You need to feel in control of something right now so don’t be pushed around or pushed into making important decisions based on pressure from others.
Ask for help when you need it, and don’t be afraid to scale back when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
I wish that I could tell you that in 1-5-10-20 years from now all of what you are going through will be behind you.
Much of it will, but the longing for one more day, one more talk over coffee or tea, one more argument even, will likely never fully go away.
I am fifty-six years old and there have been many times over the years when I have whispered to myself I want my mom. Daughters never get over losing their mother, but they do get through it.
I did. You will. Our daughters will.
And after all is said and done, we really are really the fortunate ones. We had amazing mothers. Our mother-daughter bonds will never die.
This year I am going to celebrate my mother and the life I got to share with her.
Thank you for being a good mother,grandmother and great grandmother while you were here. ❤️
When an Adult Experiences the Death of a Parent
Your parent has died. Whether their death was sudden or expected, hearing the news or being there with your mom or dad in their final moments is a shock to your system. Life will no longer be the same without them. Changes abound no matter if you lived with them, saw them or spoke to them daily, or had less frequent contact.
Typical Reactions to a Parent’s Death
While it is true that from the time you were a child you imagined, and perhaps feared, that your parent would die someday, you may not feel prepared for the overwhelming impact their death is having on you. A myriad of thoughts and feelings swirl around in your head. Your body reacts with physical ailments and symptoms. Emotional and spiritual issues arise as you ponder the meaning of life without your parent.
How Can This Be?
It is hard to fathom that your parent, who has always been there, is now gone. There were so many things you did together or had hoped to do with them. Now you must adapt to a new way of perceiving the world.
No One Can Take Their Place
Your parent is irreplaceable, no matter if they were your parent by birth, by adoption, or by circumstances. Whether you were on the best of terms or if you were experiencing challenges in your relationship, their death shakes up your family structure and profoundly effects your perception of yourself as a member of the family. Perhaps a great deal of your role identity and/or your daily schedule involved caring for your parent; all that changed with their death. No matter what your age, or how long you have been independent of them, you may find yourself longing to be someone’s little girl/little boy again. Or you catch yourself thinking, “No one will ever love me or take care of me like my parent did.”
I Have So Much to Do
If this is your first parent to die, you will not only be going through your own grief process, but you may be witnessing your surviving parent’s grief. They may need you to comfort them in their sorrow. It may now be your responsibility to look after your surviving parent. Being in charge of tasks that previously were done by the one who died can be daunting, both physically and emotionally. Recognizing all the business that you now are expected to take care of can leave you exhausted and overwhelmed.
If This Was Your Second Parent to Die or If you only had a Relationship with One Parent
You have acquired a new title. Now you are an “adult orphan.” Although the term orphan is more commonly used in reference to a young child, the fact remains that you now have no living parents. This change may usher in a second identity crisis as you wrestle with the meaning of being the oldest generation in your immediate family.
Your Emotional Inheritance
Consider the traits and life lessons given to you by your parent. What are some of those characteristics, values, and ways of being in the world that you treasure? How will you uphold their ideals or continue to pursue their goals? What do you tell others, who didn’t know them as you did, about who your parent was?
Bittersweet Discoveries About Yourself
What are you discovering about yourself as you go through the grief process? Are you stronger or more capable in some areas than you might have anticipated? Of course you would probably prefer to have your parent still alive and NOT be learning these lessons. But given the fact of their death, are there some things that you admire about the way you are handling things?
Mixed Reactions From Others
Since your parent died, you have probably been surprised, both positively and negatively, by the reactions of your friends and co-workers. Have you heard phrases like: “Well, he had a good life,” “At least she isn’t suffering anymore,” “You knew that this would happen one day; now you are free to live your life as you wish” or even “Aren’t you over it yet”? Some people just don’t understand. Yet others may pop out of the woodwork with words of condolence and helpful actions.
Following the Death of Your Parent
- You may find yourself eager to be around other family members who knew your parent well
- On the other hand, you may feel apprehensive about being with others and prefer to be somewhere alone where you can grieve privately
- You may find a sense of comfort in being in their home, or find it hard to walk through the door
- You may feel relieved in some ways
- You may find it hard to believe that your parent has died and miss them when you have accomplishments that you long to share with them
- You may catch yourself daydreaming or unable to concentrate on activities that require your full attention
- Your friends may not understand why you are having such an intense reaction to your parent’s death and want you to be the same old person you always have been
- You can anticipate that holidays and family gatherings will stir up intense emotions
- Your thoughts about the meaning of life may change
- You may have an acute awareness about the fragility of life
- You may decide to change your goals, make new choices, and evaluate your priorities
- Let your siblings, friends, and family members know how you are feeling; be available to give and receive support from each other
- Invite conversations about the memories you have of your parent
- Set up a memorial space in your home; place flowers or candles, a picture of your parent, a place to write messages or thoughts
- Give yourself plenty of time to grieve and process your feelings
- Take good care of yourself and know that your heart is healing in baby steps