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Sehiza

My mother's death is affecting me so much

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My mother passed away last year, after losing her long painful battle with cancer, she passed away right in fort of my eyes at the age of 50, for the few first weeks it didn't feel real and I didn't feel that sad, my heart and my head were all empty, but as the time was passing it started to hit me, I felt such an unbearable pain, I hoped I could take my heart out of my chest and throw it away and the pain was getting bigger as the time goes by, I was acting fine and smiling when I'm around others but as soon as I am alone I would cry my heart out until I fall asleep. I'm the biggest daughter 21 years old, mom left me with my younger brother and sick father I had to be a replacement for her and take care of my family, I lived the past year with so many regrets and so many fears, I eventually fall into depression, I put an end to most of my relations with other people,  I failed my studies, and I spent most of my time alone, all I did was eating non stop and sleeping, in a short amount of time I gained more than 50 lbs, as someone with a eating disorder who struggled with maintaining her weight for a long time, that made me even more depressed.
Now I feel like I'm wasting time, I don't want to live the same way anymore, I decided I will get up and get a grip of my life, but I feel like I will be betraying my mom letting go of her so easily and so fast, I think she will be sad seeing me forgetting about her and living just fine when she dedicated her whole life to me, even the last thing she said moments before her death was my name, I don't know what to do I'm having a battle with myself, I'm so lost and I don't know from where I should start.

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Getting on with your life is not betraying her, it's embracing her. Remember, "My mother's love, from the sweet by and by, my mother's love, will never ever die" ...... these are some words from a song I wrote. If you go to my second post on this website, you'll find a link to the song. It's a sad song, but it also shows how much your mother loved you. Helping yourself to cope with life is probably the greatest gift you can give to her. Take care.

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Dear Sehiza, 

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mother . Even though you knew she was sick , her passing was still shocking . My own mother died in my home from a long time illness. I fully expected her death to play out the way I thought it would , and when it did , the impact was not immediate . There were things that needed taken care of . I had insurance and bills to care for , visitors, cards and letters to read , pictures to sort thru. Two years later , I still long for my mother . 

Please allow yourself to cry and remember how your mother was in good health . With your siblings , look at her photos and share funny stories . I am at peace with the Biblical thought that my mother is only “ sleeping in death “ . Even Jesus cried over the death of his good friend Lazarus . But , as you well know , a sleeping person can be awaken again . This is exactly what Jesus did for Lazarus. He restored Lazarus back to life ! 

I just want to reassure you that there is no hurry to grieve for your mother . And the fact that you now are a caregiver to your siblings and father is a heavy burden to bear . I can’t remove the pain you are feeling , but I make an effort to share encouraging strategies and tips on coping with the death of our loved ones in the form of a brochure . We provide it to persons in our communities at no charge . I would love to send the link with your permission and provide the account about Lazarus coming back to life again . Please feel free to contact me and we can speak privately .

Again , my deepest sympathy during this difficult time . 

Sincerely,

Frances 

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Dear Sehiza,

I'm so sorry for your loss and pain.  I know how hard it is because I'm struggling too.  I've come to realise that the pain of loss grows over time.  After a few months after the shock that what we feared the most has actually happened, it takes a long time to absorb it.  So its not a surprise that things got worse for you after some time had passed.  it did for me too.  I too have developed coping mechanisms with food and anything that takes me away for a little while.  Endless tv series!  Let me get lost in other stories other than my own.  Give me distraction from the pain of constant thinking of my mom.  

You said you'd be betraying your mom by letting go so easily and fast.  Firstly even if you wanted to forget her it would not be possible.  You will always carry her with you.  She made you.  You are part of her.  Moving forward doesn't necessarily have to mean letting go.  You can takes steps in healing, doesn't mean you are letting go of her.  Its life changing loosing a mother.  It really is.  I feel changed forever and unable to navigate the future.  In time I hope I will be able to.  I hope there will be another chapter that I'll begin.  You can honour your mom every day by doing the best you can to be your best self.  Try not to think things like "get a grip".  It takes a long long time for us to be ready to take steps into the world without our moms.  Its hard.  Do the best you can.  Sounds like you do a lot!  I too have lost friends so I know what its like to be alone and feel lost at the worst time of your life.  I think you are doing the best you can.  Try to give yourself a break from the harsh inner voice.  I know its hard.  I know my harsh inner voice intimately.  He is unfriendly and cruel at a time when we all need more tenderness and love.  Wish you an easier time Sehiza.

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Hi Sehzia,
Don't look at it as letting go of your mother and forgetting about her. Look at it as your mother continues to live through you. As sadandlost wrote - she is part of you.
If the shoe was on the other foot, and you were the mother, what would you want your daughter to be? To be a blubbering mess crying over you? Or to be back out there living life to the fullest?
You mother would want you to be happy, right? So do it, start living again as your mom would want you to do. No guilt, there is nothing to be guilty about.

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Sehiza, my heart breaks for you to have to go through so much at such a young age. I can relate to everything you are feeling...the pretending to be OK, the taking care of others, the drowning of sorrows in food and I am 41. I lost my mom 2 months ago and it is the hardest thing ever. I have my own daughter who is 12 to take care of, and now I am taking care of my nephew who is 16 (he lived with my mom for the last 10 years so he basically lost his mom as well). The only thing that helps is remembering all the love my mom had for us, talking about her and sharing good memories. I cry every day, I find myself not wanting to talk or be around people sometimes. But I know that I have to be strong because that is what my mom would want for me, and the role model she would want me to be for the kids. They have their whole life in front of them, like you do, so we need to be strong and be the best we can in order to honor her. I will be praying for you. 

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