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Grieving after death

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2003

I am new to this website and would just like some people to talk to. I just wanted to know what coping mechanisms others have found helpful when grieving over the death of a loved one. My mom died of cancer in October 1997 and she was only 56. I was 20 at the time and that was the hardest thing I had to deal with. Then two years ago my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am happy to say he is doing great now but just extremely tired. Even though it has been 6 years, I don't think I have ever fully grieved. It has been hitting be hard here recently because of the problems I am having in my personal relationship. I want to call my mom and talk but obviously I can't. I have a few coping mechanisms of my own and would be glad to share them with anyone but would like to hear what others have to say. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I also have no siblings and no grandparents so I am pretty alone familywise. My boyfriend's family has tried to take on their roles and I love them so much. It just isn't the same and if we were to no longer be together I would lose them as well. Any ideas of how to deal with the loss of my mom?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2003

I know the feeling, and I think it is independent of how a loved one passes away. I'm a lot older than you, but miss my parents, one of whom died of cancer, the other of heart disease, within the past few years. It is a function of loving people that it hurts to lose them.

I suggest trying to broaden your circle of friends. Friends usually dont "break up" with you, they don't have hidden motives for appearing supportive of you when they are not, and you dont lose them when you break up with a boyfriend or spouse.

Do you have any interests that could translate into group activities? Hiking, bicycling, etc? There's a double benefit to sharing healthy outdoor activities; I find long duration, moderate exercise helps clear up my mind and lets me think more efficiently about how to deal with problems.

Just my two cents. :)

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

I am also new to this website but would like to help others if I can. My mom died of cancer in October of 1994 so I know what you are going through. She was alittle older than your mom and I was older too but I was devastated when she passed away. In her last few days she slipped into a coma and I never really thought she could hear what we were saying. We kept talking to her about how we were there and the hospice nurse was coming to see her. When the nurse did get there and "talked" to my mom, my mom opened up her eyes and sighed like "you did come and are finally here" so now my kids will be okay. The reason for all this - your mom is always with you. She is always watching over you. And I, like you, want to call my mom and talk to her about stuff. I feel like I do - I go to the cemetery where she is buried and I "talk" to her. I know she can hear me and know somehow she gives me the answers I need. Without siblings, rely on friends to listen. Sometimes you just need to "let it all out" and they will help. And cry . . . you need to cry! It helps!

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

My mom just passed away in April of this year. She was 48..8 days shy of her 49th birthday. I am 20. I was in the room alone when she took her last breath. The nurses were outside arguing about their lunch break. I swear. I didn't cry then or even at the memorial that I put together. It was a big memorial. About 90 people. A lot of my family was there, but like you, I don't have any brothers or sisters and my parents were divorced long ago. I am back in college this year and for the first time about a week ago, I got upset about her death. My mom and I were very close even before she got sick but after she got sick it only strengthed our relationship. I guess i'm lucky in that i don't have any regrets about her wondering if i loved her or not. she knew. and i knew likewise. But I got upset because when I go home for winter break this year I know that she won't be there. Or that the house won't be decorated for the holidays. I find that it's the smaller things that are hard to deal with. However, I had been dating this guy for over 2 years when she passed away. He tried to be there sort of,but I think it was too much for him and he ended up calling us off..i dunno, maybe i changed because of it. But what it comes down to, is that you have to be okay with yourself i think. i don't think i've dealt with it yet..but you've kept it in for 6 years and i don't think i'll be able to stay productive if i continue down that path. no one seems to get that. and although my friends care, they don't get it. i don't talk about it with them because i think they feel bad and i don't want to be the downer in the group. i guess this wasn't helpful for you. but i just wanted to let you know that you're not alone and if you want to vent i understand wbat you're going through.

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2003

This is my first time to this site as well. Reading some of the messages has made me feel as if I'm not alone. My mother died a little over a year ago from cancer of the paratinian. She was gone, almost as quickly as we found out she was sick. She was never a person to be sick in life. Never even so much as a cold. When she was diagnosed, she and I knew it was the end. There would be no fight as it had already spread throughout her body. She lived only 18 weeks. Others thought she would live for a year or two and she did try chemo, but half way through there were complications and we decided to let her go peacefully. I too have not grieved properly for her. I'm not sure what that really means. Although I am 35, I lost my father when I was 24, and to be honest, I still haven't fully grieved for him either. I think it is a never ending process. Every day I get up and try to live the best day that I can. I try to think positively, and if it gets tuff I'll let myself have a good cry if I need to. In both losses I have turned to food. Before I knew what had happened, I had blown up 60 pounds, and in both cases I stopped and realized what I was doing. 10 years ago I focused myself on losing the weight and I did it, and I am on the same road again. Sometimes the past year is a fog to me, but I have found comfort in one thing.....writing. When my father died it was devastating, but I had my mother, in all her wisdome, to guide me. Now, who do I have if I am an orphan? I have my husband and my children, but they really have no way of understanding my loss. Like you, I cringe when I want to pick up the phone because I need to hear her voice....I've had a bad day, or I need to make a big decision. It was driving me bonkers when I realized she would never be that for me again. I started to think of similar situations in the past and what she had said to me. I would go over in my head advice she had given me and try to find comfort in my memories. That's when the writing started for me. I wanted to remember the things she had said. I wanted to be able to pass them along to my children and I didn't want time to put wholes in what I remembered, so I startred writing. I will probably never stop writing. I am sure I will always remember something. I know that I will never stop grieving, but I will learn to live fully while doing it. I hope this has helped. Let me know.... :)

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

i'm new too in this website. My father died in january 1992 from a liver cancer (i think so), as i was ten. At that time I thought it didn't have an effect on me, but then, when my mother died from bone cancer in september 2000 (supposedly a great year!), i understood by reacting exactly the same way during the years after, that it had a big effect on me. And the hardest are the 2 years afterwords. Both of my parents lived 1 year ill. I was assisting my mom in her last three months, and i was on my own, in my brother's appartment in south of france (I'm french), my brother working in Holland, and with no family nor friends around. That were the three most horrible years of my life. Seeing your own parent, the one whom you've seen since you were born, confronting death, knowing she's going to die, but not wanting to believe it. My duty was to help her mentally, so that she would want to fight more against cancer. But she died, and i failed. when she died, i was feeling like I was nothing anymore, really, nothing. She had died, then I was like dead too. But i had felt so much pain during those three months, that i didn't know that i was feeling so bad. And just like you, i needed to call her, to hear her voice. Everytime something new would happen to me, my first reaction would be to want to call her. But i couldn't, so sometimes I would just talk to her, as if she was there with me. But most of the time, i would write her letters. I wrote her so many letters during the first months, and then, gradually, I stopped. The best thing I did in order to feel better was to go see a psychologist once a week and talk about it with my friends during the week. It helped me a lot. During the first months after her death, I was feeling so restless, i needed peace that i would sometimes try to take by spending a whole afternoon lying on the grass, under nice trees, reading a book on my own. I didn't know it at that time, but this was hell. Now I know, because I feel better, and seeing a psychologist still helps me. I stopped seeing a psychologist 2 years after her death, and this year, i would be crying every week, finding any reason to cry, but the true reason was my mom. I still need her so much. Now, it's been two years that I'm going out with the greatest guy. He and his family helped me so much, and still help me. But I just feel the same way, that whatever love they can bring me, they will never be able to give me the love of a mother, a parent, the one love that never disappears, whatever you do, wherever you are, they're always there for you. And now, I'm all alone, nobody will never be here again for me forever like she was. I love her so much, and I need her so much. And if it still hurts a lot talking about her- I still don't feel peaceful yet- believe me, talking about her with a psychologist is the best way to feel better.
i hope you'll find your own peace soon :)

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2007

I came across this website tonight... I lost my mom to breast cancer in October 2006, she was 52. I'm 26 years old and expecting my 1st child around July 5th... My mom's birthday is july 8th. I really miss her a lot and I'm trying to move on, stay active with work and home life but a part of me is angry b/c I want to hear her voice or have her rub my belly, this would've been her 1st grandchild... My father has moved on and 6 months after her death, he's met another woman and dating which is hard for me and my 22 year old sister to readily accept... I just feel like I have no family support when I need them the most... I keep thinking how I am going to have this baby without my mother. She was the ultimate caregiver and the most unselfish/loving person. I just have started to get upset about other women bashing their mothers for doing something with their kids... My child won't even get to meet his/her grandmother...

I've been trying to come to terms with it but missing her and not being able to hold her hand or hear her voice is the hardest part...

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