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Dealing w/Mom's Passing

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

My mother passed in February, 2011 and I am having a difficult time. She was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, and died suddenly at home from a blood clot. It was the most horrific thing I have ever experienced and I am not dealing with it very well. She had been to her Oncologist that very day, was having trouble breathing, low blood pressure, yet he diagnosed a possible bronchial infection, prescribed some meds and sent her home. Within 3 hours she had passed. I have no other family other than my daughter, and was very close to my mother. The crazy thing is, her tumor was shrinking and her cancer count was down, so we were hopeful that she would beat this. I blame the doctor and myself for not recognizing that her symptoms that day were comparable to having a blood clot. If we had, she more than likely would still be alive. I am having great difficulty getting the images out of my mind, as well as the overwhelming feelings of guilt. I am unemployed at the moment, so any kind of counseling is out of the question. I guess I'm hoping someone else will read this and possibly help in some way.

tanker sgv's picture
tanker sgv
Posts: 125
Joined: Nov 2010

You didn't kill her, I know how you feel I have an almost identical story. I blame myself for my whole family dieing but I know it wasn't my fault. Not sure what to say but you can ask me anything.

Posts: 1862
Joined: Aug 2010

Lora, if you were there at the moment of your mom's passing, and if you saw things outside of the normal bounds of a person passing at home, i.e., you mention it was horrific, you may need to get medical and psychological help to move past this, especially as it has been a few months and you are still struggling with the event and don't seem to have accepted it.

My uncle had esophageal cancer and died at home with the death accompanied by a large loss of blood. If this, in particular, is what happened to your mother and you witnessed it or were there shortly after (before any cleaning up occurred), you will need some help getting past this.

Please see your family doctor and let him or her know what you have been through and that you are still struggling with the death or with its images. There is help available for this and you should take it.

That you miss your mother is one thing: that you cannot reconcile yourself to her death or its manner is completely different.

Please know there is nothing you could have done to prevent this death, lora. A blood clot of the magnitude that a person's life ends that quickly may well have been something no medical intervention could have helped. The false sense of security that came from her visit to the doctor just hours before she died made it that much worse: you (and your mother) temporarily let down your guard and were vulnerable. That makes the subsequent stress that much more difficult to deal with.

Please see your doctor as soon as possible: your mom would not have wanted you to feel as you are feeling.


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I can tell you that guilt is a wasted emotion and that you did nothing wrong, but that won't magically help you. I am sure it is true though. I'm sure that you did the best you could at the time. That is really all we can expect of ourselves. I can even tell you that guilt and anger is not unusual when we are grieving. I know that none of those words can really help. As one of my granddaughters says," it is what it is." you are grieving and you need to work through this. You will always feel the loss, but you will need to find ways to live with it. Check out your resources. The American Cancer Society in your area may have support or grief groups you can attend. Check with your local mental health department. They often have free or reduced cost counseling available. They may also be able to direct you to a grief group. Local churches sometimes have groups as well. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We all need it at times and grief is often one of those times. Come here, too. Many of us are grieving and we are here to support each other. Take care, Fay

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