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I'm 26 and just lost my mother

michelleg17
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2014

My mother passed away a week ago after a 3-year battle with ovarian cancer. She finished out her last days at home, and for her last two days, I was her primary caregiver, doing things I never imaged I would be doing for my mother. I don't think that the reality has set in with me that she's really gone...and I don't know if I'm handling things properly. I think my grieving process started when we heard the initial diagnosis. And then again when things escalated and we knew she only had days left. Now she's gone and I feel overwhelmingly numb most of the time. People keep asking me how I feel and I can tell they expect me to be crying and devastated and I don't know how to tell them that I don't feel anything most of the time until something so unpredictably random will hurt my heart...like realizing that I will never actually hear her voice again, and then mentally going through a list of electronic devices that she may have left a message on to see if I can drum up anything at all with her voice. And then realizing that obviously I can just call her cell phone and listen to her voicemail message, but then being irrationally afraid of doing so. I'm "normal" most of the time and then just have these random moments that devastate me. I am certainly not going through the "typical" grieving process, but I guess I am just wondering if that's because I had so much advanced warning that it was coming? I'm feeling really lost. 

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 339
Joined: Apr 2009

Michelle:

 

I assume this is your name, I apologize if this is not the case. First of all, I don't think (personally) that there's "normal" grieving process at all. Everyone handles the loss of a loved one differently. I was completely numbed myself, and I whenever thoughts hit me I was trying really hard to surpress them and ignore them. I wanted to pretend that nothing happened. It was not a good route. The more I tried to ignore it and suppress it the more it was trying to hit me back and I was fighting and fighting until exhaustion. Then I fell into depression, alienated everyone around myself, hated every teacher and every kids at school...but never cried!!! Didn't talk to anyone, if someone tried approaching me I just attacked them with a very short sentence indicating that I have absolutely no will of talking with them. I was going in a spiral downhill and even got expelled from school. That's when things have changed. I've got ordered to Psychological service. I was mad and even told the lady I don't want to talk right at the first session. And no, not nicely, in a very disrespectful, mean way! That day is when I completely collapsed. I realized that if Mom sees me up there she is very very very sad! And I felt guilty for making her so sad. I apologized to her and promised her I'll change. And on my own will decided to force myself to change, to do things that would make Mom happy. But listen, this depression lasted 2 years and after 2 years is when I realized that I need to change for Mom. And now? I still sometimes wonder why things happened this way. It's been almost 5 years she left, I'm almost grown up (I'm 16 years old) and yet I still don't understand this whole thing, and I still don't want to believe that she's gone.

So I say give it time. It'll take a long time!!! But try to think of your Mom in a way that she still sees you. You have to do things in a way that she is watching you right up from there and wants to be proud of you! Do things that would make her happy! And definitely keep the voice recorder! Honestly, I think that is so great that you can still hear her voice. Too bad I didn't have that at the time...I kept some of her things and I will never ever throw them away!

I wish you strength!!!!! Hold on!!!

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

First let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your mom. Yes, I think we begin the grieving process when we get the Dx. I know I grieved for the life I expected when I first learned my husband had cancer. During his 6 year battle, we grieved together. I don't think there is such a thing as grieving wrong. Grief is as individual as we are. Some follow the grieving process as it's often depicted. Some skip steps. Others double back to stages they have already been through. Some take longer than others. Some need help from meds. Some find grief counseling and groups helpful, and on and on. We each must grieve in our own time and way. There really isn't any normal. There is just what is normal for you, and even that can change. in the early stages of grief, I think it is pretty common to feel lost and confused. One author I read called it the "fog of grief." I was so glad when I found that because it pretty much described my first days and even months at times. I even ran my car into the side of my own garage once. Still don't know how. I have since learned that minor accidents are not that uncommon for the newly grieving. Now is the time to take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and don't worry about being normal. Your normal is all that counts, and, that has undoubtably changed. Fay

SWassill's picture
SWassill
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2014

Hi Michelle

 

I am 21 years old and lost my mother last spring. The first few weeks is a complete blur, I barely remember them except feeling crazy wild emotions, sometimes inappropriate ones (like laughing and things like that, which somehow helps). I have been struggling with the healing process as well, even though it will be almost a year. I still hold on to things like her facebook posts to me (she was always tagging me in funny things or making embarassing fb posts which I now love so very much). I hold on to our photos together, and now I am getting married so I have been trying to bring her style into my wedding as much as possible in her honour of not being here.

There is no right way to handle things, but if you find one let me know! of course there are healthier ways and not so healthy. Some days I'll be driving to school or work and all of a sudden I get a memory of her and I start crying like a child. You'll feel that it is unfair she is not here or feel angry, and sometimes thats ok. But I learned to get through my days one at a time, knowing she'd be happier if I smiled that she was in a good place somewhere on a hot beach drinking some pina coladas (our fav). I hope to see some updated blogs of you, and I am sending prayers and good vibes your way.

 

Susie

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