My Mom is gone

My mom is gone. My mother passed away. Mom died. I feel like I am having to say these words over and over and over. Then again that is the mantra on repeat in my soul too.  At the beginning of December my mother had a seizure out of nowhere. She was a healthy, relatively young woman at 57. She ended up in a coma in the ICU. She was diagnosed with encephalitis.  It turned out that diagnosis was wrong. She, in fact, had two large and aggressive tumors in her temporal lobe. She did 8 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. The tumors blew through all of it growing .5 to 1 cm each and she developed a new tumor. She also developed and infection in her spine and in her brain and about two weeks after finishing chemo and radiation my Mother died.

My mother died.

My father died when I was three.

The grandparents who raised me are dead.

My mother’s only sister died of cancer when I was 14.

My father’s family doesn’t approve of me and has little to do with me.

In many ways it feels like who I am, who I was, died with my mother. There is this gaping painful hole inside of me. I keep being told that it has only been a month and to “be gentle” with myself. I feel so alone. I feel incredibly lost. I just want to go somewhere in the woods alone for a week and find myself again.

But I am a mother and a wife and I am needed here. I am screaming in my head for space but I don’t get to have space. I have to keep going. I have to keep doing the same things as if anything is still the same. I am not doing a very good job of that. My house is a disaster. I go to the store for whatever I need that day but in general I haven’t genuinely been grocery shopping in a month, maybe more. We have food mainly because, before (the great Before), I had a habit of grabbing extra just in case something happened. Well, something happened. My entire world exploded. It was less than 6 months from the time Mom had that first seizure until she was gone. That 6 months is a giant fuzzy blur.

I was so far away for the time she was sick. She lived on the East Coast and I live on the West Coast. My siblings and step father took care of her but I was the one closest to her. I should have been there. But I could no more drop my family and it’s needs then than I can now when I need space to grieve.

I have lost so many family members and friends that I thought I knew what grief was. Even all the miscarriages I have had come no where near what it feels having lost my mom. This pain is more than I ever imagined grief could be.

I feel like I let her down.

I keep going over things I regret and wish I had never said to her or that I’d never done.

Mom and I were really close in the past 12 years but before that our relationship was beyond strained. I went a full year without speaking to her after I moved out. I know I was justified. I know that it was important to set that boundary and let her know that, unlike my siblings, I could be pushed too far and I would walk away. It is part of what helped our relationship grow in the last decade, those boundaries. I know all of this but I still regret that time I lost. It is hard knowing intellectually I have nothing to feel guilty about but my emotions scream other things at me.

I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. My mother wasn’t my identity. My relationship with her wasn’t my identity. I had actually spent a good amount of time making sure that the manipulations of our past weren’t a part of my identity. So why do I feel like I am falling, flailing for a handhold, and wanting to stop everything I used to be. I want to rip off everything I was, set it on fire, and start again.

I am an orphan at 32. My siblings who remain don’t understand me at all. They judge me much like what remains of my father’s family. I find that just deeply exhausting and I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I have no emotional bandwidth left for other people’s bullshit anymore. I know that is causing strain in my marriage and strain in my relationship with my kids. My son has ADHD, Anxiety, and SPD. I am usually the one who handles his meltdowns and his behavior and I. Just. Can’t. right now. I’m trying so hard to access that loving compassion I have always used to deal with him and instead it is just pure frustration.

I need the world to stop for me. I know it won’t but I need it to stop just for a little while so I can grieve and re-group. So that I can deal with this new reality. So that I can find who I am now and reconcile her with who I used to be. I am so tired but I can never sleep. I am searching for something that is just gone. There is nothing to fill the hole in my life and I don’t have the time and space to figure out how to heal what is left behind.

My mom went off the rails when she lost her mom. Seriously off the rails with horrific consequences that, more than 20 years later, my family is still dealing with. I don’t want to do that but I can really see how she got to that point.

Most days I am just struggling to breathe.

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July 9, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss.  I wish I had more words of wisdom, but, you really do need space & time to grieve.  It’s tough losing a mother. I will pray for you that you find some solace somehow and some peace. with loving thoughts and prayers I am Butterfly4Him.

July 9, 2018

I know that it doesn’t feel like it now but someday in the future a moment will sneak up on you where it doesn’t hurt as much, you will find yourself thinking of her and smiling with only a soft hollow ache instead of the ripping grief. It will take time and it will hurt again and again and that’s okay. My mother died 7 years ago and I still miss her so damn much but now there are more soft days than gripping ones. The pain won’t fade but it will soften. Until then just keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that your grief is yours and it’s okay to feel it. If it will help to feel less alone you can go back and read my entries from the end of 2010 to the begining of 2011. Sometimes it helps to know that some one else can empathize.  Your loss is great and I’m sorry for that I hope that one day the pain will soften.

July 9, 2018

I’m so sorry for you, that is a very hard thing. Don’t second-guess what you have done for your own family, they need you and you did the right thing. I hope you will find some healing.

July 9, 2018

I understand. My mother died due to cancer when I was 26. Just be gentle. It never heals but it does get easier to bear. Just day at a time. Can you get counseling? It can help. Don’t let anyone say how fast or slow your recovery should be. It is your pain and it is not for anyone else to say. Please just be gentle to yourself. Please.

July 9, 2018

I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this. She was so young and it sounds like it was very unexpected.

It might be hard, but I’m sure if your mom was hear right now, she would be telling you to celebrate her life. Think about the things that you guys did, together, which made you smile and laugh. The good memories.

July 9, 2018

Oh, such a hard thing. I am very sorry.

July 9, 2018

I understand. My mother died due to cancer

July 9, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost both of my parents and just recently (April 2018) I lost my husband. I know the deep feeling of loss when your parents are gone. Even when you have siblings. It just feels like you lose your core. Your sense of belonging. It is going to take time. Nothing will feel right for a while. But eventually, it will get easier. You will always feel the loss. You will just learn to accept it differently. My heart still breaks over my husband. He passed on our son’s birthday. He was my rock when both my parents passed. Now it’s just my son and I and my daughter in law and granddaughter. My siblings live in their own little world. Maybe try to find some time each day to be alone even if it’s after everyone goes to bed or before they wake up. If that is all you can get right now. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

July 10, 2018

I’m sorry for your loss. I remember the pain of losing my mom. Cry all you need. Praying for you.

July 13, 2018

I am sorry for your loss . Hope you will get over these hard times soon .