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She’s Gone


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My mother passed away the day before my birthday; just over 9 weeks ago.  

The day before she appeared fine to my sister, who she lived with.  As the day progressed she started vomiting and saying her stomach hurt.  No fever or anything.  My sister monitored her symptoms and brought her liquids and when she went in the last time, my mom sat straight up in bed and said, “something’s wrong”.  She leaned forward on my sister and my sister yelled for her husband to call the ambulance.  

They came and took her to the emergency room. Her heart stopped in the ambulance, but they were able to resuscitate her and put her on a ventilator.  

My sister and I sat up all night in the family waiting area, waiting for updates from the doctors.  They finally came and said that she was very very sick and that we could see her.  They were using every medication in their arsenal to keep her blood pressure up.  She was unconscious and ventilated.  The doctors didn’t know initially what was wrong, after an mri, and several scans, and tons of blood work they determined she had a sudden urinary tract infection that had spread within hours to her blood and caused sepsis.  Evidently this isn’t unusual in the elderly; she didn’t have any UTI symptoms.   They said that she was not going to make it.  She never regained consciousness.

We kept the ventilator in place so that she would not struggle to breathe in the end, as her blood pressure and heart rate slowed over the next few hours.  We held her hands, and sang to her, and said the things we needed to say.  We all took turns telling her it was ok to go home; and with that reassurance her heart stopped.  

In less than 24 hours she went from ok to gone.  She was 87 years old.  

I’m trying to learn to live without her.  There is something very different about loosing your mother, compared to other loses.  I haven’t figured it out exactly.  Perhaps it is because the one person, who carried you in her body and her heart, who would die for you, is gone. 

I’m considered “middle aged” I guess, though I vehemently deny that fact.  Unmarried, no children.  I have a partner, my sister, friends; but still I feel completely alone.  Numb and empty. 

I can’t feel her presence in any way; I’m greeted with only silence and it is a cloying reminder of the finality of it all.  

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I am so sorry for your loss. You have come to the right place to share with us.

I think I can feel your pain because I am in a  simular situation. My mother also died of sepsis. Only it was much worse, as it was a doctor's mistake probably, if they hadn't operated on her she would be alive. I wasn't even called and didn't know she was in the hospital.

So as hard as it is for you right now, and it doesn't feel like anything to be thankful for, at least you got to say goodbye and the doctors are probably not to blame. Yet i feel for you and losing a mother is probably the hardest thing in life. Come back here often and talk to us, it might take a while for someone to answer, but often someone will.

I am glad your mother didn't have to suffer long. Given that other people suffer for months, it was probably a shock to you and your siblings, and still not the worst thing that could happen to her, as strange as it sounds.

The fact that they are not coming back is incredibly hard to deal with and the circumstance that she got quite old and seemed okay until the end, is probably not very soothing to you.

All my best to you!  I am also single and without children and especially the night time is very hard. Like you, I keep waiting for some sort of sign, and I wonder if my mother is mad at me, because she doesn't talk to me. It seems like you have nothing to blame yourself for, different in my case. But not the topic of my post here today.

I wish you all the best and like I said, please come back and talk to us, I think it really helps.

Big hug,


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My mother has been gone since just after Christmas.  She died pretty suddenly of Covid after they put her on the ventilator.  I was the one who had to make the decision to not continue life support on her.  After she died I felt alone.   My sister was not around to make the funeral arrangements and my dad was in the hospital.  I think about her frequently after work mostly as that was when I would talk to her every day.  I miss her a lot.  I understand your grief.  I am sorry for your loss.  You were fortunate to be with her at the end.  I am still trying to process my mothers loss as I could not be with her at the end nor even touch her in the hospital after she passed.

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Wandering Soul

Hello, LostVal. 

I'm so sorry that you've experienced the loss of your dear mother.  I'm glad you're here.

I didn't have the same experience as you, but similar.  From your post, it sounds as if your mother's passing came as quite the unfortunate surprise to you and your family.  While under great distress, it sounds as if you and your family handled this unfortunate situation with grace and strength.  I love that you took turns holding her hand, singing to her, talking to her; how kind, loving and compassionate!  I'm grateful that your mother didn't have a long period of suffering; this is definitely a blessing.  

This new, unwanted reality is hard to grasp when the loss you have felt is so recent.  I very vividly remember feeling struck by the feeling of loneliness after my Mother (and Father's) passing as well.  It's a very empty, hollow and numb feeling.  I too was surrounded by people who cared about me, but it didn't seem to decrease the feeling of loneliness.  In looking back, I realize that this happened for several reasons... The first being that many of the people around me could not closely relate to the experience as they still (fortunately) had their parents!  The second being that I felt "different" - almost like a pariah and as a result started to isolate myself a little more from people.  It became clear as well that some folks really didn't know what to say or how to help, even through they wanted to.  It's definitely a difficult time and the feelings of loneliness you have are very real.  

Coming on this forum, reading the stories and responses of others who have lost their parents as well helped reduce that lonely feeling.  Suddenly, there were people "around" who had similar experiences, feelings and thoughts.  It helped.  

Your loss is rather recent and you're still most likely working your way through your grieving journey.  Grieving "timeframes" vary in length from person to person.  I can tell you that time seems to help in the sense that it dulls some of the pain/sadness.  (I'm not sure pain/sadness from a parent's passing every really completely goes away.)  Time also helps provide clarity concerning what you've just experienced.  Recovery from the wave of emotions you feel seems a bit easier to manage and recover from in time as well.

I've found over time my grief has slowly morphed into an intense gratitude for the unconditional love, experiences, and opportunities my parents provided.  I've always been thankful for my parents and the sacrifices they made, but in their passing, this thankfulness has just continued to build; often to the point where my heart feels like it could explode with love and gratitude!  

I also think that the depth of our healing journey often correlates to the amount of work we are willing put forth in finding peace.  For me, it's been work!

Love is an amazing, beautiful gift.  Although your mother is no longer physically with you, her love for you remains - as your love for her continues as well!  You still have that very real connection with her.  Hold on dearly to it!

As the grieving journey for you continues and as you become stronger, I'd encourage you to find ways to honor your beloved mother.  This can be done in so many ways (big, small, public or private) and usually seems to help us foster healing, peace.  I believe you'll get there.  Be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate this new course.


Wandering Soul

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