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Today after driving for over 8 hours, I reached home and suddenly began having a panic attack. My entire body felt as if I was vibrating. My hands were straight out and I could not bring them back together for 10 minutes. I felt as if I was about to pass out, but I never did. A lot of things reminded me of my mother during the ride. On the way home, I cried for three hours straight. I almost crashed four times, but I did not. That made me feel more guilty of how I can avoid death but my mom died anyway from sepsis. My sister helped me calm down and breathe normally again. I'm still feeling a little off. My issue is that the more I think about how my mom is no longer alive, the more it feels like a dream. I don't know how to explain this. I literally feel as if I'm just stuck in a nightmare but I cannot wake up from it and that's when I start panicking. The more I remember how my mother passed and that I will not ever get to see her or speak to her again, my mind feels distant. As if this is all just a test. My chest also starts to hurt. The flashbacks make me feel the same pain over and over each time. Has someone ever said something really mean to you and it hurt your feelings? That's how I feel every time I remember how my mom died. It's starting to not feel like reality anymore. Like I'm not really even a human being. It all feels like a huge prank being played on me. Deep breaths and all those techniques only help for a small amount of time. My throat tightens as if I'm about to cry. And I do. I cried today more than I did at the funeral. When I think about how much I cried, I want to cry again. This is just getting too much to deal with as time goes on and time is surely not healing this wound. What can I do to stop panicking and bring myself back to reality? How will I continue my life without my mother here with me? I literally want to press the "start over" button and go back to when I was a baby just so I can see her again.

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Dear Sweetheart346,

I'm very sorry, I know its hard. We all want our parents back. It is unfathomable that we have to carry on living given what has happened.

I was reading about this tonight.  Because I too have the same thoughts and feelings about my father's passing.  I too want a do over if at all possible.

I know its always easier said than done, but try to keep taking it day by day. There are going still be a lot of rough days ahead. Allow yourself to feel these emotions. But also try and look for as many supports as you can. Lean on friends and family. Consider counselling or grief support.

I wish I had better words for you my friend. Thinking of you. Please know we are all here.

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I have read you words and it seemed like I was writing them. I really know how that feels, even though I know your relationship with your mom was special and nobody can understand it (cause I feel the same way), I am there, in the same situation, cause my mom was my everything.
I don't know if you have PTSD and maybe going to a counselor might help. What I know, based on me, is that when this type of  special relationship ends, you just don't know who you are anymore and you feel like you are empty inside. And for me, this is why I have these "attacks", this is why I panic. I am lost and I think you are too. A big part of you is missing, you can't find it where it was before, meaning in the physical realm. And this is hard to grasp. You lost your mom and because she was such a big part of you, you lost also yourself. And you can't function properly in a world in which so much of you is missing.
But, in fact, she is not missing. She is there, mine is here, inside of us. We are just too scared, upset and sad to feel them. But with time, they will be more obvious. Just look at yourself and see how many things you have the same as your mom: your behavior, maybe the way you tell jokes or the way you walk. Just observe yourself. In the physical realm she is in you, in the spiritual world, I am sure she is next to way, making sure that you don't crash your car. Four times!  

And yes, I feel that this is a nightmare from which I need to wake up. This doesn't seem my reality. Maybe it's because I don't fully accept what is happening, or maybe it's because I don't actually feel that my mom is gone. Because, probably she isn't. She was always there when I needed her, she knew how to confort me, she knew what to do and say. She was my support and I was hers. That's how I know she couldn't have left me. That's how I know your mom couldn't have left you. 

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Dear sweetheart346,

I understand your feelings well.  I don't know if you have PTS.   I agree with Flory.  It all seems unreal and too wish I could do it all over again and be better in life.  None of us can though.  It seems we all feel lost.  I never imagined this before.  I always knew it would be hell when my mom died but to what degree I had no idea.  I too have repeated flashbacks of being in the hospital with her.  The year leading up to her death was so painful watching my amazing strong mom diminish as a person through Alzheimer's.  I was grieving loosing my mom before she even died but she was still there.  I hoped her suffering would not last and she would go quick and she did.  It was the right time but still the loss is unbearable and I feel empty and lost and rootless.  So I understand you and Flory.  Sweatheart346 if the panic attacks continue, please seek help.  Talking help, therapy.  I think if you slowly begin to talk more openly that overwhelming feeling of panic will start to lessen.  I look at pictures of my mom and me together and can remember all those moments like we are still there sitting together in my apartment over the years, in her house, in her garden etc..  I feel overwhelming sadness and loss but I also feel grateful I had a good relationship with my mom and we shared a lot and we did things together.  Try to bring in some of your good memories, maybe if you can put pictures in a book?  it helps me.  I say that but I am still a mess!  I am still suffering with plenty of coping mechanisms.  What I am saying is all of that pain is still there every single day but I also try to include the goodness in there too so I don't suffocate in my pain.  Thank you for sharing your feelings sweetheart346 and Flory.

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What you have described is exactly how I felt and what I experienced when my father died. As I kept reading, I begin to feel the tightness in my chest, my breathing became erratic, and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. When those attacks occurred after my dad died, I found it was debilitating, scary and horrific all at the same time. I can tell you that those anxiety attacks slowly faded with time, and I only have them occasionally now, like during anniversaries  (my dad's is coming up next week), holidays, etc. I've learned how to refocus my thinking on something positive while in the middle of them. 

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious mom.

We will be here with you,


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