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Dealing with the loss of a loved one

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

how can we grieve? what is right or wrong? does anything make sense at all? going through this process is very hard, very painful. I just lost my mom to cancer, it was through her whole body at 83 years old. why cancer? no dignity... she died May 20th, last Sunday in NY... I am now back in Florida trying to cope with life without our bi weekly phone calls. at least losing my dad 25 years ago to a heart attack was quick, he didnt suffer , although he was young at 60, it still was easier for him and us. I am sure I am not alone feeling this pain. I can only imagine what my mom must have felt and the fear she felt and expressed. she was lucid till the last two days. I AM glad for the time I got to spend with her in her last two weeks while she was alive and talking and laughing and loving.... we made peace and said goodbye, but it still hurts so much.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

debrieanna,

I survived cancer only to lose my younger brother to suicide in '94, my father to stroke in '98, and my mother to a bowel infection and kidney failure just this past August. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no time-table either. Whatever you experience at the moment is right for you and no one can tell you otherwise. Time will not take your grief away, it will only make it more bearable. Your mom would want you to be happy. Honor her memory by living the kind of life she would hope for you. When something good happens in your life, think of it as your mom's gentle kiss. Our families never completely leave us.

Love and Courage,

Rick

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Thanks Rick for your encouragement and support, it made me cry, but in a good way... right now I need to cry, it is all part of the process. I am so sorry to hear about all your losses. wish there was something I could do or say to help you except hang in there as my mom would say. I guess we just need to support each other going through grief of any kind, whether it be from cancer or otherwise. and you are right, my mom would have wanted me to be happy, with or without her, that is ALL she ever wanted for me. I have suffered depression most of my life off and on and attempted suicide on several occasions, she saved my life the last time and I am ever grateful for that. Too bad I couldnt save hers.... If you have any trouble with the suicide of your brother, trying to understand it, maybe I can help. I commend you for dealing with so much loss, I guess I am stronger than I give myself credit for since I am an emotional survivor too, experiencing many losses thru my life, death of my dad 25 years ago while going through my first divorce at 26 , having to give up my daughter for 3 years the same year cause I could not emotionally or financially take care of her. I didnt even have a job when my husband left and 6 weeks after he left my dad died suddenly at age 60, all at holiday time. And there have been many other losses.... all a part of life. Maybe the dead are the lucky ones, it is the living that must deal with the pain. Someday it will be our turn and peace will return, but not for now. In Gods time.... God bless and thanks again.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

debrieanna,

I went through a divorce, also, about three years after I completed chemotherapy. It seems that "when it rains, it REALLY pours" doesn't it?

My mom was encouraging my efforts to return to grad school to complete my second masters degree. She died, never seeing my diploma, which I just received in the mail. Mind you, I am 55 years of age. Mom was 89, when she passed away. I also have my father's full name, which is my middle name, on all three of my university diplomas to honor my father who never had the opportunity to attend college. Our lives can serve as tributes to our parents. Anytime I look at my diploma, I can say, "Mom, Dad, this one is for you!"

Love and Courage!

Rick

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

That is really great what you have done with your life Rick in spite of it all.... I think we learn and grow through all the hard times and pain. There is always a lesson and we are never too old to learn. I tip my hat to you. I know there is so much of my mom in me and one of the best things I got from her is her talents and her gift for writing, poetry in particular. As a matter of fact, I am gonna put one of my poems that I just wrote yesterday in the expressions gallery here on this site. Thanks for all your encouragement, it is so much appreciated. :) And keep up all the good that you do as a legacy to your parents. Your Mom may not have "seen" your diploma but I believe that she "saw" it anyway... if you know what I mean. Lots of love, Debrieanna

lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 823
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi,

I lost my dad to prostrate cancer last Sept. I had just gotten through chemo for stage 3 colon cancer in July and figured we would beat this also. His body just started to give out. He died at 70. We were still trying to get him through this when after his second chemo he got pneumonia and we didn't know. It is never easy to loose someone. Do you have any other family you can talk to? Are there any support groups you can join? Check out the oncology depts in your local hospitals to see if they have any. I don't think the hurt ever goes away totally but after a while doesn't incapacitate us when we think of it. HUGS and please e-mail me on this site if you want to talk. Lfondots63

Lisa F.

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Hi Lisa... thanks for your encouragement and support. I too lost my dad 25 years ago , not from cancer, but from heart disease. It was not only a loss, but a shock. It took a long time to grieve, so I do know what grief takes... it is just so hard, its been awhile. and as you say, you never truly get over it, it just gets easier with time. It is all part of the process. I am so sorry for your own losses and I hope and pray your cancer and you will be fine. I have my sister and daughter whom I can talk to. and I am sure there are support groups in my area. Right now I know I am right where I need to be in the process so I wont join any unless I am still consumed with grief a month or so from now. It IS getting easier day by day. You can email me too on this site if you like. God bless and thanks again. Deb

JKAlley
Posts: 84
Joined: Apr 2003

deb, your post was a tough one for me to read because as a cancer patient one of the hardest things to think about is if you have to leave your loved ones, and for me - especially my daughter. I'm a single mom, and have been since she was 3 (she's 21 now) and she's my only child. Needless to say we are very close. So as a mom, let me tell you what I would want to tell my daughter. Be happy and do what makes you happy. Be sad, but only for a little while, don't let anything sad consume you. Laugh every day, but challange yourself every day too. Live your life to the fullest and be the best person you can be. Remember the things your mother taught you, she knew what she was talking about. When my daughter was little and we would have to be apart (she would take vacations with her dad) I would tell her that when she was in my tummy God took a piece of my heart to make her heart, so no matter what I will always be with her. I know you are not a child, but as a mom I know I will always be with my daughter, no matter what. I love her way too much not to be. You said you spent the last 2 weeks of your mom's life with her talking, laughing and loving. That was the last gift, and one of the best, she was able to give you. She stood in the mist of the worst diversity and showed you how to laugh, love and live. Take her strength, her love, and be the woman she would want you to be. A big mom hug, Judy

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

I think you couldn't have said it any better. I lost my mom to a different disease 10 years ago and watched her suffer for many many years. Now my husband is battling stage 4 cancer. It's hard to think about, but your right. As a mom too, I would want my daughter to carry on with her life, cherish the good memories, and remember that one day we will all be reunited and if we pass from this world, we may be out of sight, but always there. God Bless. ( Deb, my sympathies on the loss of your mom. I know it's a really difficult time for you. Judy's right though, take time to grieve, but live your life to the fullest. Your mom would want that. God Bless)
Diane

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Thanks to you both, Judy and Diane for all your support. I know my mom would want me to go on and live my life to the fullest which I am doing. I am a grown woman, yes, but always will be her daughter, even a little girl. (She used to buy me things all in pink, lol amd I am 52 years old... grrrr.) I thank you for your strength and encouragement and I too am a mom, my daughter is 31 and I would want my daughter to move on with her life and take all the good things I taught her along the way. I wish you both well, also in dealing with your losses. My prayers and thoughts go out to you. Hugs, Deb

GrammyJones
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Debrieanna. How do I begin this letter I ask myself. I'm not sure but after reading your message I felt a "need" to reply. I am 50 yrs. old, a mom to 3 with the youngest now being 25. My world changed last Aug. 06 with 3 little words... "You have cancer!" My entire life flashed before me... along with anger, upset, hurt,fear, every emotion ever there was! I was diagnosed with Extensive Small Cell Cancer Stage IV last Aug, just days before my 50th birthday! I was given no hope whatsoever to survive... maybe 3-6 months if I attempted chemo. Today, 10 months later, I am still here and continue planning for my future although once again the cancer has returned and I'm doing chemo again. I will never be cured but by staying positive I can continue to survive. I believe maybe my thoughts are the same as those of your mother's upon her being diagnosed and right to her final days. My biggest fear is leaving my children and grandchildren but when I do leave and go back "home" I only wish happiness for each of them. I've done some private writings not truly knowing what my future may bring or my ability to relay my thoughts at a later date. Let me share with you my thoughts...

"Sometimes in life we are fortunate enough to meet the real thing. Someone who is genuinely kind and generous in spirit. Someone who just shines with goodness and love. Several times God has smiled down at me with so many loved ones in my live. My family has completed me in every way. I hold so many wonderful memories and so much love that we've shared. Each of you have blessed me with so much love. Always there when I needed each of you the most. Each of you holding a special place in my heart. Please know that I may be gone but just for a short while. I will wait and watch over each of you. Please honor me and my love by living the rest of your life in joy. I would want nothing more than that from each of you. Please don't cry for me. I have been set free. Let me go. I may be gone but our memories will live on forever."

I Am Always With You
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".

Please do know Debrieanna... Your mom would want nothing less than you being happy. She may be gone but your memories live on forever. How precious it is that you were able to spend her final 2 weeks with her... memories you will carry in your heart forever. My prayers are with you. I live each day as if it were my last... none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. When it is my time to meet our Lord, he will call me home, cancer or no cancer. God Bless you... Vicki

debrieanna's picture
debrieanna
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Vicki...Thank yu so much for your kindness and support. that was an incredibly beautiful poem.... I write myself and wrote two for my mom. She also wrote poetry. you are so right as I know my mom would want me to go on and be happy. Just right now, its too fresh and new and I am grieving for a while. I know she is in a better place with my dad. And yes, I am very glad to have at least spent the last of her days here on earth with her, holding her hand. Your words made me cry cause they really hit home. Thanks so much. hugs to you and may God bless you always and I will pray that God will give you alot more time to be with your kids. Good luck . Deb

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