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When does it stop hurting?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom, my best friend, is dying of lung cancer right now and I can't even imagine a time where I won't ache with raw, searing pain. I'm twenty four years old and this all happened so fast. She only started chemo two weeks ago and now we're discussing removing life support, letting hospice help us arrange her final days (she can't come home from the hospital but they can help make it a little easier on us and her), and how we want to go about the wake and funeral. I'm so scared I'm going to forget what she sounds like and that I won't be able to recognize when she's near and watching over me and I'm so conflicted because I'd love just a little bit more time but can't bear to see her suffer any longer. I'm also terrified of one day picking out a wedding dress or going through my first pregnancy without my mama by my side. It just hurts SO bad and I can't even see or think straight anymore. It's even harder because my younger brothers have been leaning on my dad and I for support and I just can't carry the burden for all of us. Does anyone have any advice on how to get through a daily routine without crying, or being able to get to that point where I'll be able to laugh about happy memories without feeling like throwing up? I'm just at a loss on how to pick up the pieces. My mom is my whole world and I've never gone a day without speaking to her- how does one find the strength to keep going at twenty four, knowing that a lifetime of hurt lies ahead (I say this because my mom found out about the cancer a year ago but tried to hide it from us and didn't seek treatment until recently when it was obviously too late. I knew about it and never could find the words to urge her to do anything, so the guilt is eating me alive as well)?

Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2010

Your story sounds so similar to mine. I don't know when it stops hurting, I lost my mom and best friend on May 8, 2010.

She too was in the hospital and was given hospice care there since she had no time to be transferred. It happened so quickly, we began hospice care on Thursday night and she was gone Saturday afternoon.

I look for signs from her everywhere. Just last weekend I was sitting on my porch looking to the sky asking her to give me a sign she was okay. Then a robin bird landed right in front of me on the porch and stared right at me and flew away. I know it was just a bird but to me it was a sign. I guess its how you look at it.

I saw my mom about 4 times a week and talked to her everyday. I feel this total emptiness now.

My mom was diagnosed 3 months ago so it was very quick for us. She went through one round of chemo but never bounced back. She never went to the doctor so who knows how long she had the lung cancer.

I realize my post isn't much help to you but just wanted you to know you are not alone. On the first day of hospice care my sister and I just cried by her bedside, my mom said her final words to us "I love you" and then pointed her finger at us, as if to tell us not to cry for her.

I am so sorry you are going through this.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you. I found out about the cancer a year ago and can't get over the guilt of not saying something sooner and letting her know I knew, thinking maybe if I had said something she would've gotten help and we wouldn't be in this situation. My dad is fighting with the agonizing decision of when to remove life support and while I'm all for it at this point (just to make the hurting stop for all of us), my brothers can't let go yet. We're hoping that we can talk to them today and convince them this is the kindest thing they'll ever do for our mom but I just can't even imagine the next however many years of my life without my mama by my side. I love both my parents but I've always been a mama's girl through and through and I feel bad because my dad knows it and he has no idea how to raise a daughter. Technically I'm grown and living on my own but I spend just as much time at their place as I do my own and I can't even sleep anymore without my daily "goodnight, I love you" calls to my mom. I'm battling with myself lately over where I stand on religion anymore but if there is a God, I just pray he gives me the strength to get through this and the peace of knowing my mom loved us to the moon and back and will be watching us from heaven. I just wish it didn't have to hurt so much- it's unbearable.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

In answer to when does it stop hurting, it doesn't. There will always be a sore spot in your heart, but there will also be the good memories and the love. You will learn to accept the hurt and go forward as your mom would like you to. Luckily, I did not have to remove life support for either my dad or my husband. I can not imagine how hard that is for a family. I did tell my husband that it was alright for him to go when he was ready. That was hard enough. Don't try to get through the day without crying. Crying is a good release. The grieving process has started and you need to cry. Your mom made her own decisions and choices about the cancer. Don't let guilt eat at you. The could of, would of, should ofs often haunt us, but we really do need to let them go. I am sure you will find strength you never knew you had, but strength is really overrated. We all have to grieve and it is ok to fall apart now and then. It you are anything like me, the few days after your mom's passes will feel like you are moving through fog. You and your family will do what you need to do in somewhat of a daze. If you do, that is ok, too. Don't let anyone tell you what you should or should not feel. If you do find that you are having trouble dealing with the loss of your mom, get help, grief counseling, or medication if your doctor recommends it. Don't try to do this alone. Give your dad as much support as you can. He is hurting, too. Our sons were really a help to me when I lost my husband and their father. I know that they were hurting, also, because they were very close to their dad. Sharing memories with them was very helpful. We laughed and cried together. Reach out to a trusted friend. Grieving is hard work and you will need all the help and support you can find. Take care and come here when you need us. Fay

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