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  #1  
Old January 21st, 2011, 05:11
Data Data is offline
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Default I lost my mother on January 15th, 2011

My mother had been in the hospital for a while. On January 15th, she was having open heart surgery and died from complications during surgery. I called back her surgeon who told me what had happened.

I am still in a little bit of shock over what happened. As the next of kin, I have had a lot to do. My mother's memorial service was on January 19th. It was the hardest I have ever had although it helped to be able to talk with family members and friends. My uncle has helped me out a lot regarding what to do. Some days I don't do too badly, but I always feel a hole inside. It's hard going through my mother's apartment. It feels like she should be there but instead my uncle and I are going through her belongings! Everything reminds me of my mother and I can't stop thinking of all of the things she'll never get to do. I am so busy that I barely have time to eat and don't sleep well. I'd give anything to talk to my mother one last time! The day before she started getting sick was the day after my birthday. We had went out to eat and spent the day together. I don't know how I should be feeling. My father left before I was born so I don't know his side of the family. My boyfriend has been enormously supportive. I don't know what I would do without him!

Last edited by Data : January 21st, 2011 at 05:28. Reason: I needed to add something
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  #2  
Old January 21st, 2011, 20:09
faeriechic27 faeriechic27 is offline
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Hi Data,
I just want to say how sorry I am about your loss. I lost my father on 1/11/11 and I have been in heartache since then. It must be difficult to sort through your mother's things right now, while the pain is so strong. My mother and I have yet to go through my father's things....I just can't give anything away or put things out of sight. My father's spirit lives through this house...he has built many things(he was a talented woodworker).
Our losses are so fresh and the pain is still so overwhelming. I know that it is hard, but right now you need to focus on taking care of you. It is so hard to eat or sleep. I myself have so much regret, my father was shoveling snow and had a massive heart attack. I blame myself for not telling him to stop, but he wouldn't have listened anyway.
This has been the most significant loss in my life. I go through different emotions all day long. Yesterday I was numb and couldn't cry. Today I woke up angry, then okay, and then I started sobbing uncontrollably. It really does help to talk to someone and it sounds like you have a great support system. Our journey through this heartache has only began...take comfort in knowing that your mother hasn't left. She is still with you...only in a different way. Through your heart and memories she lives.

Take Care,
Angela
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  #3  
Old January 21st, 2011, 21:12
Data Data is offline
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Hi Angela,

So sorry for your loss. I bet that your father has built a lot of beautiful things. So far the only comfort that I have felt while going through my mother's things is when I found a diary, some photos, letters from when she was in high school and the year after high school. Seeing those made me feel connected to her in a whole other way. I am learning more about my mother than I ever knew.

Like you my emotions go up and down. They vary from day to day, hour to hour, even minute to minute. My emotions are raw and very close to the surface. I went downtown today to some errands and everywhere that I looked reminded me of my mother. Memories of her were(are) in every building, in every store. It felt very overwhelming and I felt such a profound sense of loss that it was hard to push on. My mother and I spent a lot of time together downtown. I talked to one of my mother's friends downtown and the sorrow in his eyes almost made me breakdown.

I find that when I keep busy that I feel almost numb and do what needs to be done. But when I'm alone later on anything can set me off to sobbing uncontrollably. I sometimes hug a teddy bear that she bought me for Christmas. I remember her saying that everyone needs something to hug. Hugging the bear even for a minute helps me feel better. Sometimes, when I'm alone I'll say how out loud how much I miss her and how much I love her. She and I used to talk on the phone a lot which is something I really miss.

I do have a good support system in my boyfriend, my family and his family. Do you have any siblings or close friends to lean on? It's good that you have your mother to lean on.

Please don't blame yourself for your Dad's heart attack. There's nothing really that you could have done. I know it's easier said than done though because I feel guilty over not convincing my mother to go to the hospital sooner. She suffered for so long before she consented to go to the hospital. At the time neither one of us was aware that she had had two heart attacks.

I do everything that I can to feel closer to my mother. I eat foods that she liked and wear the ring she bought me when we went to a Christmas craft show. (I also wear the ring she bought at the Craft show for herself)

Thanks so much for your response. It helps knowing that it's normal to be on such a rollercoaster of emotions. I used to think that there were set stages of grief that one went through. That emotions would be clear cut. What I'm learning is that emotions vary day to day, hour by hour; even minute by minute. Please feel free to post your feelings on here and if you ever need to talk email me. Not sure if chat works on this board.

Take care of yourself Angela

Sincerely Riann
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  #4  
Old January 21st, 2011, 22:56
faeriechic27 faeriechic27 is offline
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Hi Riann,
Thank you for your words of encouragement, it really helps to know that I'm not alone with these new emotions. That is so wonderful that you found those personal things of your mother, I wish I could find things like that of my dad...but he was such a quiet person and did not like his pictures taken lol. I did however find some pictures of him that were rather recent, but I sob when I see them. My support system is limited, I am the only child and my mother and I are very close. I fear losing her, I know that my grief for her will be much more difficult. My boyfriend has been my strength through this. He is so attentive and drops everything if he sees me crying.

My father and I too used to go shopping together and it is going to be difficult going without him. I know that he would want me to keep on going and doing the things I love, but its going to hurt doing it. You mention that you are eating the foods your mom loved and wearing her rings. I have been avoiding those things. In the weeks before my dad died, we had began doing these number puzzles together. He left an unfinished book and I haven't picked mine up since. What you are doing makes sense. I shouldn't avoid doing the things we used to enjoy, but continue to do them to remember the good times we had together.

I know it isn't healthy to wallow in the what-if's or the guilt. I guess I am just trying to make sense of his sudden death. I assumed that when he was taken to the hospital that he would be okay, like he had always been(he had 2 previous heart attacks and made a complete recovery). I guess I believed my dad was invincible...my dad couldn't die. It teaches me to not take anything for granted and that tomorrow is not promised.

Thank you again. It feels so good to talk to someone who knows exactly what I am going through.

Angela
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  #5  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 05:24
Data Data is offline
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Hi Angela,

You're welcome Angela. I'm glad that my words could give you encouragement. Reading your words also encouragement me because I know that I am not alone.

I am an only child as well. Well, I do have a half sister but I don't know her. She doesn't even know about me and we only have the same father. You could keep some of the recent pictures of your Dad and look at them when you're ready. I sometimes go through the packet that I received from the funeral home. In it are two wonderful pictures of my mother that bring me joy. Also the register book that was at her service. In it are condolences that were posted on the funeral home website. It helps reading those condolences. My mother's life impacted so many people. I'm glad that your boyfriend is a source of strength for you. My boyfriend is the same way; he does everything he can to make me feel better. Without him, I wouldn't be able to get through this.

Yes, you when you're ready you can do the things that you and your Dad used to do together. You can do it in rememberance of him. Hold on to the good memories they are so very important. The good memories can become a source of strength. No one can take them away from you. You can remember the times that made you smile, the moments you cherish even in the dark times they can be a source of light.

I know what you mean by trying to make sense of your Dad's sudden death. Even though I knew that my mother was very sick when she went into the hospital; I thought that they would just give her fluids and get her blood sugar under control. Both she and I were shocked when the doctors said that she had had a heart attack. The last time I saw her she was sleeping as I left the hospital. A few days later she transfered to another hospital in another city. I thought she would come through the surgery because she had come through so many surgeries in the past. (She had had polio as a child which had required many surgeries over her lifetime) The anethesiologist said that she was happy and upbeat as she was going under the anesthetic. That does bring me some comfort that she was happy and that when she died during surgery that she didn't feel any pain.

Yes, never take anything for granted. Always try to do something you enjoy each day and always tell the people you love how you feel. You never know what will happen. Just take it one day at a time.

I wish that I could hear my mother's voice instead of only in my memory. I wish that there was a message from her on my answering machine. If I had known what was going to happen I wouldn't have deleted her old messages. I would give anything to spend some more time with her! To let her know how important she is to me! How much I love her!

You're welcome Angela. It feels good for me as well to talk to someone who understands exactly what I'm going through. I'm so glad that we can be there for each other!

Riann
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  #6  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:34
faeriechic27 faeriechic27 is offline
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Hi Riann,
I cried myself to sleep last night. I was remembering some of the things that we used to do and I lost it. Oh, I have so many regrets. I long to spend one more day with him. I truly am lost without him. It just doesn't make sense, I feel a part of me died with him. Oh how I wish to see him walk through the door again.
It sounds like your mother was a wonderful person and a great inspiration to you and other people. People like her are rare gems(of course, I don't need to tell you that...you already knew :-). Your memories of her will help guide you and provide you comfort in this trying time.
Was your mother diabetic? My dad had diabetes and was having difficulties controlling his blood sugar before he passed away. I have heard that diabetes puts a strain on the heart, perhaps this is what happened. My dad was a reserved person and did not like to complain about pain. I feel that he was probably sick for some time and just did not want to worry my mother and I. Even when he come in the house from shoveling the snow he was more worried about comforting my mother and I....he kept saying "I feel a little better". But I knew that when he let me call 911, that it was serious. At the hospital, I got to call him and talk to him. My mother and I were unable to go to the hospital because of the snow and ice and our cars were in the garage(he had the keys). They were waiting on blood tests to come back and I spoke with him. I asked him "are you okay dad? Did you have a heart attack?" He said..."I'm feeling better, the doctors are checking to see what is going on". But he sounded different, out of breath. He sounded somewhat distant. I felt the need to tell him that I loved him...but didn't because I thought he would be home later that night and I could tell him like I always did before bed. His last words were, "I'll talk to you later". He coded shortly after that.
I know what you mean when you say you wish you could hear your mother's voice again. I wish I could hug my dad and tell him I love him. Sometimes I talk to him when I am alone. I always tell him that I love him and miss him. I thank him for everything he has done for me. I just wish that I would have done that more when he was alive.
Thank you for being so supportive. I am happy that we can share our feelings with each other.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 16:34
Data Data is offline
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Hi Angela,

Aww, I'm so sorry that you cried yourself to sleep last night. I have done that a few times myself. I know what you mean about things not making sense because I feel like that all of the time. My mother and I were just starting to reconnect and then before I know it she's gone. Where is in the sense in that? I also feel like a part of me died with my mother. Yes, she was a wonderful person, always taking care of me as well as others. When I was sick she always knew what to say or do to make me feel better.

Yes, my mother was diabetic. Her blood sugar was extremely high when she was admitted to the hospital. The cardiologist that saw her in the ER told me that diabetes does place a strain on the heart. All my mother complained about was being more tired than she had ever felt and out of breath. I was at the hospital when my mother was brought in to the ER. I stayed with her until they brought her up to her room in the cardiac care ward. I made sure that she was comfortable. The last image I have of her is her sleeping in the hospital bed, looking so small and frail. The nurse let me talk to her once on the phone and like your Dad she sounded distant, not at all like herself. For some reason when my mother was in the hospital that specializes in cardiac care; they kept telling my uncle and I that my mother was resting comfortably and having tests done. No one really told us the seriousness of her condition. The next thing we know she's going for open heart surgery!

I wish that I could hug my mother too and tell her that I love her! I'd want to hug her and never let her go. I wish that my mother and I had more time to spend together. It's hard not to think of all that she will miss out on.

I went to my mother's apartment today with my uncle. We went through more of my mother's belongings then he went to help a friend of his. I was left alone in my mother's apartment for over an hour. I kept busy because any time that I wasn't busy; I felt like my mother was present in everything in her place. It felt like I shouldn't be there without her. I was a little upset that my uncle brought back his friend to help with the apartment without discussing it with me first. It was good to have a third set of hands.

You're welcome Angela. Thank you for your support. I am so glad that we can share how we are feeling.
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  #8  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 21:57
faeriechic27 faeriechic27 is offline
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Hi Riann,
How are you doing tonight? It's been a rough day today. Been on a roller coaster of emotions. I am currently in grad school trying for my Master's in Psychology...it's been so hard to concentrate on my work. I would have took a break, but this work is the only thing keeping my mind off of things. I totally understand when you talk about reconnecting with your mom...my dad and I were becoming closer and it just seems like I didn't have enough time with him.

I cannot believe that the doctors at that hospital were so misleading. They should have let you know the seriousness of her condition, rather than saying that she was okay. Perhaps if you would have known, you would have had more chance for closure. Her death would have still been painful, but at least you would have been prepared. Uggh, that makes me mad that they treated you like that. I too question the care my dad was given at the hospital...I wonder if there was more that could have been done for him. I worry that they did very little to try and resuscitate him. Maybe it's just the anger in me trying to make sense of this.

Is your uncle good support for you? I can understand your frustration with your uncle bringing his friend...that's your mom's house and you are trying to go through her personal belongings. Your uncle probably thought he was being helpful. I think that you handled the situation well by staying busy. Seems like when we having nothing to focus on, is when we begin to worry and grieve. I have been trying to stay busy myself, but I cannot bring myself to go through my dad's things. I know that I will have to sometime, but not now. I just can't.

I'm really just so angry. Yes, I am sad. But anger is starting to take its place. I am angry that my dad went outside and shoveled that snow...why didn't he just leave it alone. I should have been out there to help him. Why did the doctors not save him? We live in one of the most medically advanced countries and the doctors cannot save my dad's life? Why does it seem like everyone else around me has gone on with their lives, when I am left here alone in my grief? It was my dad, he done so much for everyone else.....it's not fair that he's gone!!!! My dad deserved more than just 65 years!

Thank you for listening to my rant tonight. Take care.
Angela
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 09:29
Data Data is offline
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Hi Angela,

So sorry that you had a rough day today. Wow, it would be hard to concentrate on school work; but like you said at least it keeps you busy. There never does seem to be enough time with our loved ones before they're gone. I have an 8 year old son who lives with his Dad in Delaware. I'm in Canada and barely get to see my son. I have had chronic hoarseness for over a year now and because of that I haven't been able to talk to my son on the phone nor work. The doctors can't figure out what's going on and needless to say it's very frustrating. The only "work" that I have right now is going through my mother's apartment and doing everything else.

I agree, I wish that the doctors had told me more so that I would have been more prepared for what happened. It makes me mad that they denied me that knowledge!

My uncle is helping me know what to do in order to get my mother's affairs in order. He was a support at the memorial service; he sat beside me and held my hand. But before my mother's death I barely saw my uncle at all. Now, it's kind of awkward around him. He tries to make me laugh sometimes.

I know what you mean about feeling angry, because I'm starting to feel the same way. Everything just seems to be going back to normal when for us nothing will ever be the same again! When I'm not busy I feel like I'm going through the motions. Sometimes it feels like it's an effort to want to take care of myself. It seems even when I do something that I enjoy doing, it is always tinged with sadness. I feel like I'll always be sad and feel this profound and suffocating sense of loss. Are you scared of letting all of your grief out? I am because I worry that it will be such a flood that I won't be able to contain it. That it will crush me! My mother deserved more than 65 years as well! She deserved to watch her grandson grow up! It's not fair at alll!!!

Thanks for listening to me Angela. Take care.

Riann
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:24
faeriechic27 faeriechic27 is offline
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Hi Riann,

How are you doing? It must be very frustrating dealing with your hoarseness. Are there any treatments for it? You have a lot to deal with, with your own health, your son and now your mom.

I am glad that your uncle has been a source of support for you. It seems like he is stepping up and helping you. I know it must be awkward, but it will get easier to trust him and lean on him for support. I am glad that you do not have to get your mom's affairs in order alone.

Yes, I am very afraid to let my grief all out. I fear that it will be too difficult to handle. I am already dealing with so many emotions...I feel like I will never be stable again. I find that I am adjusting to being angry and that scares me. To me, being angry allows me to stay in denial. When I am angry, I don't have to think about my dad never coming back home. I can blame others and not have to feel so lost. On the other hand, I know that being angry is not the right choice. It is only a phase of grief and it will pass. I fear the depression. I already feel so lost, I am afraid of how difficult this depression will be. I already deal with anxiety and take medication to control it. I have dealt with depression in the past, but never to this extent. Honestly, I am afraid. Like you, I am afraid that it will crush me. I believe that the numbness that we feel, is our protection. We will gradually enter the next phase of our grief and deal with it in smaller increments.

Take Care,
Angela
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