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About carolyndiana

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  • Location
    Ontario, Canada
  • Loss Type
  • Angel Date
    10 Jan 2015

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  1. Missing my mother

    In that early time after losing my mom, there was a numbness, a disbelief, and the deepest pain ever that took over my life. And now, 2 1/2 months later, it is still very raw and the reality is hard to bear, but I'm learning that grieving is it's own journey and there is no choice but to walk the path. It is so very hard to function in one's everyday life so you have to try to put as little pressure on yourself as possible. I found that all I could do was to minimize all responsibilities, become a bit of a hermit at times, and give myself permission to ponder, cry, and remember. I have found it helpful to have notebook and a pen... I've been writing every little thing that comes to mind about my mom... from my earliest to most recent memories, her often-used expressions, regrets, the smiles, everything, right up to the last few hours, and in no particular order. At first the memories were hard to retrieve including the sound of her voice.... but I think I was in shock. Then when the memories started coming, I started writing. I've been adding little poems and pictures to my notebook that illustrate grief and longing and love. And I've been collecting things to remember about her... wearing a ring of hers, putting her lotion on my face, and so on. And sometimes I use the voice recorder on my phone to record my thoughts when I just can't get to my notebook. Like you, I don't want to forget anything about her. I hope you can find someone to talk to about her... someone who understands and can just listen with empathy. Or tell us about her right here... we've been there and will be that listening ear and heart. You were so close to her, and such a wonderful daughter, friend, and caregiver, and you put a lifetime of caring into those years with her. What a beautiful gift of time and love you gave your mother.
  2. My mom passed 3 months ago

    I never could imagine how deep and all encompassing would be the pain of losing my mom. It was a place in my mind I just couldn't go. Or maybe I knew, and just couldn't fully acknowledge it before it happened. My mom was ill for 2 years with cancer and was gradually getting worse. Even when the doctor said her leukemia was progressing, even when I thought maybe she had 2 or 3 months left, I told myself "later... but not yet". So when she got a bad pneumonia and ended up in the last few days of life, confused, no longer eating, and sleeping all the time, I wasn't ready. I hadn't said and done all the things I wanted to say and do, I hadn't asked her enough questions about her life, I hadn't spent the time I could have with her. What I wouldn't give to turn time back... to a time before she was sick, when she was "always there", when I took for her for granted. Only I wouldn't take her for granted this time... I would create hundreds more of those special moments together that I now miss so much. Our moms become even more beautiful to us when we see their frailty, their declining health, their attempts to cope the best they can, their vulnerability, their grace, their hope. It can create moments of deep connection and compassion. My mom passed away 2 1/2 months ago. My thoughts turn to her constantly. I have put countless hours into writing in a journal, talking about her, looking at photos of her. A couple of days ago I dreamt she was driving towards me to pick me up in her car... I was so happy to see her, she looked younger and she looked healthy... then I realized even in my dream that this wasn't true and I woke up crying. Thank you to all of you for writing here... as soon as I got home today I looked into this site. When I read your posts I was grateful for you for having shared your stories and your feelings. We're all loving our dear moms who were wonderful human beings and did their best in this world. Like you, I will deeply miss my mom forever.
  3. As this is an older post I'm not sure if prn123 or Dell1960 will see it, but I want to respond anyways. It is so very difficult when one is a nurse and takes on the responsibility for one's ailing parent. I am a nurse too and have been going over every little detail of the last month when my mom was home, before she went to hospital with pneumonia and then died, a little over 5 weeks ago. My mother was 81 years old, had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, and she lived with my 86 yr old father. I've been trying to remember every little visit or phone call to her of that month, of what I did when. All I can think of is how I should have done things differently. First of all I wish I'd taken time off from my fulltime job.. I could have... I had access to 8 weeks of family medical leave but I kept "saving" it for some unknown future time. Even if I'd taken a couple of weeks of the leave, I could have spent more time with her, talking and having some quality time. But because life seemed so busy, I was getting over to my parents about four times/week and I would focus on practical things like preparing food, or cleaning, etc. Also, It's possible if I'd been there more, I would have realized the disease was progressing and also jumped on things a little sooner... with her leukemia she was so at risk of infection and when she had her follow up appointment there it was... a respiratory infection which then only got worse and worse. I feel that I should have been looking at things more realistically and prioritizing. Her deterioration was fast, ending what had been a chronic, life threatening illness, but how can I say I didn't have time? Unlike sudden and unexpected deaths, we knew she could deteriorate at any time. In my anxiety and denial I just kept doing what I had been doing for all the previous months. But I'm a nurse, as well as a daughter, so I should have made better decisions. Regret complicates everything and makes it all so much more painful.
  4. Loss of my Best Friend (Dad)

    What incredible stress you have in in your life right now. It truly sounds overwhelming. Losing a beloved parent is indeed so extremely painful on its own, never mind when its combined with a lack of emotional support and some very real worries in other parts of your life. I'm sure life feels as if it's completely fallen apart and there is no hope. I can only imagine how your dad would want so much to help and comfort you right now. He sounds like a wonderfully caring person who loved you so much. He was a good and decent person even while he had his own heartaches and disappointments with his marriage, but he was always there for you. I hope as you think of his strength and love, that you will be able to let go of your mother's bitterness and accusations which are so unfair and cruel. You gave your dad the pleasure of being a dad to you, as well as a friend. And no doubt you made his life feel worthwhile and happier. I hope you can know deep in your heart that your dad would want you to keep going, getting through each day as it comes.
  5. Thank you BaileyB for your thoughtful words. I've actually returned to your message a few times. Yes, I think I'm now a more understanding person about grief and loss. Before, as I'd not had such a significant loss, I was an observer feeling sorry but never fully knowing the agonizing pain and hurt and missing. I guess in some ways I feel more human.. more connected to the rest of the world.. the real world out there. Even though grief is very personal and can make one feel so isolated while the world goes about it's business, I'm more aware of the suffering of others that is usually hidden away from sight. And no, I shouldn't second guess what I did do for my mom. I have to be glad of every little thing I did even though now I can think of 100 things I could have done. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. I made decisions based on certain things and I didn't know what I know now. I can't let regret taint the special moments of care and love that we did share. And of the things that I wish I'd said, I have to count on my mom having understood, like I do with my own kids. Underlying everything is the fact that I just really, really, really MISS MY MOM! I want to hear her voice again, see her smile, and feel the security of still having a mom. I will continue to often have moments when I silently "wail" to the universe... like a lost child crying. But it's one step forward after another as the days pass. Carolyn
  6. I lost my mother, age 81, three weeks ago to leukemia. In the weeks before she died she was very weak and frail and I knew that at any time a bad infection could end her life. I focused a lot on the medical and comfort side of things... taking time off work to accompany her and my dad to doctors appointments, going over to their home in the evenings to see how she was doing, check the swelling of her ankles and maybe take her temperature, bring pureed high calorie foods, help her get ready for bed, rub lotion on her flaking dry skin, brush her dentures, clean and tidy and sort. We didn't talk a lot of her past or of the disappointments in her life but sometimes she looked so sad. She would say something like "I have to let some things go" and I would nod understandingly. I think in my anxiety I felt better just focusing on the present, hoping that she felt loved and cared for. In December she was admitted into hospital with pneumonia which brought her quickly into her last few days of life. She became confused and slept all the time and then started to need morphine for pain control as some lymph nodes had become huge. My dad was willing to have her pass away at home so we did a rushed discharge from hospital and she had two days at home before she died. We had the help of home care nurses and had medications to inject to manage pain and restlessness and secretions. It was very intense and I slept an hour here and there. When she died at 2am, I was still so much in the "looking after" mode that I couldn't believe this was it. She was gone. There was a huge emptiness in the 2-3 days that followed. I had no memories of her and I couldn't recall the sound of her voice. My mind reviewed over and over her actual dying. I tried to support my 86 yr old father who was heartbroken and exhausted and was having a lot of physical aches and pains and he could barely walk. I went through the mechanics of calling people, starting the paperwork and cancelling of bank accounts, etc. I had a week of bereavement leave and I didn't see how I was going to return to work for I felt like a robot and I was crying at the drop of a hat. Finally, thankfully, little memories started coming back of her as a young mom. But so did regret... that I should have talked with her more about her life and feelings. Asked her "what do you think about when you can't sleep at night?". Regret that I hadn't done more for her in years gone by. And sadness... for before she died she told my dad that she didn't feel she had accomplished anything in her life. She had been the kind of person who is just too nice for their own good... doing everything for everyone else, listening to everyone else but not being listened to. She had never got a nursing career off the ground for various reasons and that had been a lifelong regret of hers. I lit a candle one morning and thought of the flame as representing the warm, bright soul she had been in this world. And when I looked at a picture of her kind face I imagined myself talking with her and telling her how terrible I felt, how much I missed her, how I was sorry for not helping her more, sorry for having taken her for granted, and how I was sad for her sadness. Then I had a peaceful moment when I could imagine her reassuring me, telling me that it was all okay, as she would do if she had been alive, and I felt a little better, I felt some of the load of misery lift, at least for awhile. Recently I heard myself saying "Oh...I see!" in exactly the same way she used to do. So I'm realizing there are ways I'm linked with her that will always keep me connected...in the inflection of our voice, in our genes, in some of the things we both liked. I've written a lot in a journal including the regrets but also the things I did right. I think I'm going to keep lighting that candle and writing in my journal and looking at pictures and imagine myself talking with her. And crying whenever I feel like it. And thinking about her when I go to sleep and wake up. And I'm only going to focus on a day at a time, for the thought that 3 weeks is going to turn into 3 months, then 3 years, then 30, is way too painful. As my mom would say, this is a "new normal". I won't ever be quite the same person I was before.