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Flory

guilt
How can I live with myself?

4 posts in this topic

It's been almost 3 months since I lost my mom. Everybody keeps telling me to be patient, to let time heal, but things are just getting worse for me. And I've tried to cope with it, but it just keeps coming back. I'm more a spiritual than religious type of person and I'm seeing a shaman. I've been working with her, it's better at times, but there are days when I just feel I can't go on. 


My mother was my best friend, my sister, my soulmate, my all. She was my rock, the person to which I turned to every time, the person who gave me strength, the only person to whom I gave all the love I was capable of. 
I found out that she had cancer in January, when it was already too late and I decided to not tell her immediately because I was afraid. She believed that once one gets cancer, there is no escape from dying and she was also a person who, once she had her mind set to something, that thing would happen. So I wanted to try to keep her in a positive mindset for as long as I could. It was the first time I lied to her sincer I was a kid. After a while, it got out, I told her a part of it and things started getting worse. Afterwards, I told her everything and in about 2 weeks, she died. 


I blame myself for taking this route but I don't know if I would have done it the other way around, I don't know if things would have been better if I would have told her from the start. But the most awful thing is that the last two months were filled with anger and a lot of disputes. Meaning exactly the opposite from how we were before. And this just kills me.
I was trying to explain that all cancers have also emotional causes and that she should change, that she should think more about herself (my mom always thought about before thinking what's best for her), that she should try solving those issues. And she was asking me to be patient, because maybe we have time, and I was not because I was desperate and afraid and I knew that time mattered. And from this we always started to quarrel. 


I don't have regrets when it comes to my relationship with my mom, but I have a lot of regrets related to the last period spent with my mom. I could have just shut up and not try to tell her what I think she should do, I could have just renounced trying to change her. I had faith she would get better until the end, I was trying also in the few hours in which she was in a coma. Because I just couldn't stop.
But I don't know how to live with myself knowing that the last months with my mom where how they where, that I didn't offer her the understanding and the support that she needed. Because I think that in the last period she wanted to be left alone, to die. 
My mom was always there for me, she knew how to cheer me up, she knew how to support me, she knew what to say to make it all better. She was always there when I needed her, when I was sick, she always made me better or knew what to do or where to take me to solve the problem. She always figured out a solution and I didn't when it came to her needing me. 
I couldn't save my mom and offer her what she needed, when it was my turn to do it. 
And I just don't know how I can get used to living with this. 

Does someone here have a piece of advice? 
Thank you and I really hope that somehow, each and every person here will find his or her peace. 
 

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Dear Flory,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your beloved mom. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hear you, my friend. It sounds like you and your mom loved each other very much and had a great relationship. I know these last few months have been very tough.

Its only natural to go over every detail. I still do it and its been 8 months since my father passed away. Everyone has told me, I did the best I could for my dad. I did what I thought was best and yes, its torture in hindsight. I thought to myself "if only" and then the outcome would be different. We are only human. I know its cold comfort sometimes during this painful time. And so many people say "forgive yourself" because in your heart and soul and mind, you really did try and do what you thought was best for your mom. It wasn't easy but you tried to keep the peace. You, too, tried to "fix it" for your mom just like she did for you when you were a kid.

I don't think its a matter of time that helps us cope with grief. I know everyone is different, but I would try and seek out additional supports. Its going to take a long time for our minds to accept this new reality. I have tried grief counselling, support groups, reading different books and articles. I find these websites helpful: What's Your Grief and the Grief Healing Blog.

Try to be kind and gentle with yourself. I know its a lot easier said than done, but I hope you will try. You loved your mom. Wanted the best for your mom. You tried, my friend and that is more than anyone else did.

Thinking of you. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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Dear reader,
Thank you so much for your reply. I see that here there are people who understand the pain and the thoughts that won't stop coming in my mind. I say this because most people with whom I've talked to, my friends and so, really try to be there for me, but I can see they can't understand. They don't understand my relationship with my mum, because yes, it was special, or they don't understand what I'm going through because thankfully, it didn't happen to them also. It's not their fault, but they just can't understand. 

I have my moments when I cry in front of them, they try to be next  to me, to help. But the next day, life goes on for them. It's normal for them, but not for me. My life does go on, but there isn't a second that I don't feel that pain, that feeling that something is missing, that I'm alone. 
Because the parent and child connection is something out of this world, especially if you embrace it and are conscious of it. It's one of the most beautiful thing in the world, but at the same time it's the most horrible feeling in the world when you actually feel you don't have it anymore. Cause I don't feel it now and it's probably because of all the guilt, frustration, anger that I feel towards the situation. I'm sure that once I'll find a little bit of peace, I'll feel my mom again by my side. Cause she would have never left me just like that.

Dear reader, to sum up, I guess I just want to say: thank you so much for understanding. It really helps to see that there are people like me out there. I hope we all find the strength to go on, to learn from our mistakes, to help also others and make ourselves and the loved ones that have passed, proud. Otherwise, their struggle, pain and everything they went through would be in vain.  

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Dear Flory,

I really feel for you.  I understand how you feel.  I too was very close to my mother and I also find after a few months as the panic and trauma wears off a bit the sadness and feeling lost is magnified.  I too pour over the details that lead up to my mothers death.  The 6 months prior.  Family unpleasantness and disputes over my mothers care.  My mother in the hospital.  All the details circle my mind of what I could have done differently how I could have handled it differently.  But what helps me is what could possibly help you too.  You had a loving and beautiful relationship with your mother.  In the scheme of things, the last few months of your mothers life are just moments in the big picture of your whole life with her.  Try not too overly focus on the last few months.  I know it's hard.  It's hard for me too.  I have a picture of me and my mom together by my bed.  It's over 15 yrs ago it was taken.  We look happy, we were happy.  I remember the moment.  Looking at it every day makes me remember the happy times and what she meant to me.  I still feel angry inside toward my family and everything that happened prior to my moms illness.  I look at the picture and I try to think of all the good times.  How selfless she was.  Now she's gone it's relentless sadness.  It's important though to remind yourself you had a wonderful relationship with her.  Not everyone has that.  Mother daughter relationships can be complicated.  Yours was special and beautiful, please keep reminding yourself of that and not the very brief last few months, which is a blink of an eye in the story of your life together.

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