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Lost my Mom, and was her caretaker for the final months


AaronB

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Hello Everyone,

I've been lurking for a few days and reading all the posts. I just wanted to start to get some stuff off my chest because it has been a very hard week and a half. My mom passed away on Feb 20th from cancer. In the last few days I have been having severe panic and anixiety attacks. They basically last all day. Not sure what to do. I feel okay in the evenings, but as soon as I wake up, I'm starting to think about how a panic attack is going to come on...which in turn makes me freak out and start having panic.

Before my mom passed, I was taking her to all her appointments, errands, everything. Her mind started to go and she got really angry at everything. arguing, thinking I was taking her money, yelling at store clerks, etc. Through it all, I never felt upset or panicked. Just kind of rolled with it. Now she is gone and I am having these really bad panic attacks and anxiety attacks. I'll be in a store or something and this wave of anxiety rolls over me. It's the worst feeling. Now I'm scared of this anxiety so much, it's like I can't even mourn my mothers passing. I find myself feeling like I'm going crazy and that this will never end. Is this just another way someone grieves? My mother and I had a good relationship growing up, but I think she suffered from depression all her life. There was lot's of love in our house, but my mother interact with us like normal. We were raised to be very independent and free thinkers. we kind of fended for ourselves, but could always count on my mom to be there if we stumbled.

Taking care of her in the last 6 months was very difficult. I feel the rest of the family didn't see her the way I had to. So now, it seems everyone is back to their lives, and I'm stuck here, freaking out unable to process this all. I have been seeing a therapist and he basically tells me I'm normal, and that this will pass. Ugh, it just doesn't feel like there is a light a the end of the tunnel. I took some time off work, but went back because being in the house was getting to me. My first day back was yesterday, and I felt pretty lousy.

Does anyone here have any advise?:unsure:

Thanks for listening.

Aaron B

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I am very sorry for your loss. I also lost my mother right before Christmas. I have never had anxiety attacks, so I can't really comment on those, but I am glad you are seeing a therapist and hopefully you are able to work through them. I am really surprised you are back to work so soon. I also went back to work about 2 weeks after my mom's death then end up taking more time off. I had trouble sleeping and ended up having to take sleeping pills for 2 weeks. I was also very tense for 2 months and couldn't relax. I think I went back to work after 3 weeks and was able to cope. I have a few co-workers that have been very supportive and management has been as well, so it made things a lot easier for me. I also understand what you mean when you say the rest of the family have gone back to their lives. My mom lived with me and the void is so big. I still haven't cleaned out her room, except the mess left behind by the paramedics. I am left here to deal with it everyday. I see her empty chair in the living room all the time. It is kind of like everyone else can go on and pretend nothing happened because their daily lives haven't changed. I have accepted the fact that the void will always be there. The best advice I can give you is to talk about your mom. Talk about the good memories and the bad ones. Talk about how you miss her and how you feel. If there is no one you are comfortable talking to, share your feelings on this site or start a journal. This may sound morbid to some, but I listen to the songs we picked out for my mom's service. They are uplifting songs and give me some comfort. I am finally able to make it through the day without becoming sad. I can laugh with friends. I think I am doing really well, but that isn't to say that I don't have my bad times too. I cringe when I hear sirens. I still think "Oh I should tell mom about this" and then realize I can't. I make it through the day only to break down once I go to bed. But everyone is different and grieves differently. You will never be completely over your mother's death. Years from now something will remind you of her and you break down and cry. Just take things one day at a time. Try to keep busy. And make sure you share your feelings and talk about your mom. Don't keep it inside.

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Im so sorry Aaron, with regard to your panic attacks, sit somewhere comfortable close your eyes and do some deep breathing when this happens if your at home of course. You will get better. I was alot better after about 6 weeks, its been 3 months now. Each week gets a little easier. Give it another 3 weeks or so and i hope like me you will not feel as panicked. Your so used to caring for your mother your mind has not let go of that yet.

Cry if you have to, get it out and i always feel relief after i cry.

I hope you get better over the next few weeks. Prayers ffor strength, endurance, acceptence and new horizons and things to keep your mind busy.

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I am very sorry for your loss. I also lost my mother right before Christmas. I have never had anxiety attacks, so I can't really comment on those, but I am glad you are seeing a therapist and hopefully you are able to work through them. I am really surprised you are back to work so soon. I also went back to work about 2 weeks after my mom's death then end up taking more time off. I had trouble sleeping and ended up having to take sleeping pills for 2 weeks. I was also very tense for 2 months and couldn't relax. I think I went back to work after 3 weeks and was able to cope. I have a few co-workers that have been very supportive and management has been as well, so it made things a lot easier for me. I also understand what you mean when you say the rest of the family have gone back to their lives. My mom lived with me and the void is so big. I still haven't cleaned out her room, except the mess left behind by the paramedics. I am left here to deal with it everyday. I see her empty chair in the living room all the time. It is kind of like everyone else can go on and pretend nothing happened because their daily lives haven't changed. I have accepted the fact that the void will always be there. The best advice I can give you is to talk about your mom. Talk about the good memories and the bad ones. Talk about how you miss her and how you feel. If there is no one you are comfortable talking to, share your feelings on this site or start a journal. This may sound morbid to some, but I listen to the songs we picked out for my mom's service. They are uplifting songs and give me some comfort. I am finally able to make it through the day without becoming sad. I can laugh with friends. I think I am doing really well, but that isn't to say that I don't have my bad times too. I cringe when I hear sirens. I still think "Oh I should tell mom about this" and then realize I can't. I make it through the day only to break down once I go to bed. But everyone is different and grieves differently. You will never be completely over your mother's death. Years from now something will remind you of her and you break down and cry. Just take things one day at a time. Try to keep busy. And make sure you share your feelings and talk about your mom. Don't keep it inside.

Thanks Bridelyn, It helps to hear from you guys. Makes me feel I'm not the only one out there feeling lousy

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Im so sorry Aaron, with regard to your panic attacks, sit somewhere comfortable close your eyes and do some deep breathing when this happens if your at home of course. You will get better. I was alot better after about 6 weeks, its been 3 months now. Each week gets a little easier. Give it another 3 weeks or so and i hope like me you will not feel as panicked. Your so used to caring for your mother your mind has not let go of that yet.

Cry if you have to, get it out and i always feel relief after i cry.

I hope you get better over the next few weeks. Prayers ffor strength, endurance, acceptence and new horizons and things to keep your mind busy.

Hi debbie, I wish there were some tears. I just don't or can't seem to cry. I really would if I could. 6 weeks? Man, that's a long time. Thanks so much for writing me back. makes me feel much better

Aaron

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Hi Aaron,

I tend to have panic and anxiety attacks when I am alone. I am not alone often but I seem to be consumed with the loss when I am all alone. My Mom died 7 weeks ago and she was my everything I miss her so much. I cry all the time. I also have the same issue of everyone going on with their lives. My dad and I are the ones really having a hard time. I live 3 miles from my parents I was with my Mom nearly everyday for the 36 years I have been alive. My siblings are older and all live far away. Once they went home they did not have to have the constant reminders my dad and I do. It's very very hard. I just wanted you to know how sorry I am and I think what your going through is normal. Your not alone please continue to come here and share your feeling talk about your Mom it really helps.

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Hi Aaron,

I tend to have panic and anxiety attacks when I am alone. I am not alone often but I seem to be consumed with the loss when I am all alone. My Mom died 7 weeks ago and she was my everything I miss her so much. I cry all the time. I also have the same issue of everyone going on with their lives. My dad and I are the ones really having a hard time. I live 3 miles from my parents I was with my Mom nearly everyday for the 36 years I have been alive. My siblings are older and all live far away. Once they went home they did not have to have the constant reminders my dad and I do. It's very very hard. I just wanted you to know how sorry I am and I think what your going through is normal. Your not alone please continue to come here and share your feeling talk about your Mom it really helps.

Thanks Mrssumr,

Today I have been basically lying on the sofa sleeping. I feel like "what the H"? what can't I get going and enjoy my day. This horrible. Glad I'm not alone

Aaron B

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I know what you mean I feel the same I have been home all day with my kids just crying off and on. I am about to leave to go see my best friend. I think staying busy helps a lot but my Mom is never far from my mind. Hang in there I know how very tough it is!

Thanks Mrssumr,

Today I have been basically lying on the sofa sleeping. I feel like "what the H"? what can't I get going and enjoy my day. This horrible. Glad I'm not alone

Aaron B

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Aaron just remember your not alone we are all suffering in one form or another. I have roommates and feel so removed from my mother... I am going to try a new church tommorrow see if that helps...

Hang in there it gets easier as time goes on. I still love and miss my mother terrible. I am an only daughter and put stuff in storage today and moved and i burst into tears on the highway. I feel like i will never be the same and it sounds like you do too.

Prayers of healing for you.

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Had my first real cry today. Finally admitted to myself that my mother and I were very close and that I miss her very much. I just felt I must get over the grief and move on. All my journal entries always dealt with my mood, not my missing my mom or my real sadness for not having her around. Really remembering the little things when I was a kid then teenager then young adult then married with kids, moving into middle age. I need to cry more. It helps

Aaron B

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Aaron,

Crying does feel better at times, doesn't it? I know it certainly helps me. I'm glad you feel a little better for today.

ModKonnie

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It does help. want a hard two weeks it's been. I have to really tell myself she meant a whole lot more to me than I was admitting to.

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chandralynn2012

I lost my mom a week ago this past Friday. She lived in the nursing home I work in as IT , and I was with her everyday. I helped feed her lunch, get her dressed, and calm her down when she was so out of it from the morphine she was taking. My dad lives across the street from here and was here with mom quite a bit. My brother and sister live 4 hours away. My life has been completely turned upside down...Today was my first day back at work and it feels surreal. Everywhere I look I see mom and the things she touched. My dad is taking mom's death well..a little too well. He informed me the day after she died that he was going to ask a family friend out. My mom had been in and out of nursing homes for years and my dad hadn't had a real marriage for most of that time, and he is now able to do something about his loneliness. I am happy he is searching for his own happiness and not withering, but I feel like I am betraying my mom's memory to stand idle by and watch him pursue someone who is not mom, a week after mom's funeral.. I am jealous of my siblings because they live so far away and can go home and try to move on with their lives- I live my mom's memory everyday and cannot get away from it.. I want so bad to take a trip and get out of here for a couple days but I used all the rest of my PTO time up with my bereavement. I didn't start having panic attacks until last night-when I realized I was going back to work and mom would not be there. I tried convincing myself that the past week had been a dream and mom had gone to the hospital, gotten better, and was just waiting patiently for me back here at the home. Then I got up this morning and saw the funeral flowers sitting on our dining room table, and the bag from the funeral home with the funeral flyers and thank you cards...Then I walked into work this morning and saw my mom's name missing from the directory board, and her empty room being re painted for someone else to occupy, I started to realize that she didn't get better, and I will never see her again.. I am worn so worn out from crying and mourning-I just want to laugh and be ok with life again. Everyone tells me time will heal-I hope that's true..

Hello Everyone,

I've been lurking for a few days and reading all the posts. I just wanted to start to get some stuff off my chest because it has been a very hard week and a half. My mom passed away on Feb 20th from cancer. In the last few days I have been having severe panic and anixiety attacks. They basically last all day. Not sure what to do. I feel okay in the evenings, but as soon as I wake up, I'm starting to think about how a panic attack is going to come on...which in turn makes me freak out and start having panic.

Before my mom passed, I was taking her to all her appointments, errands, everything. Her mind started to go and she got really angry at everything. arguing, thinking I was taking her money, yelling at store clerks, etc. Through it all, I never felt upset or panicked. Just kind of rolled with it. Now she is gone and I am having these really bad panic attacks and anxiety attacks. I'll be in a store or something and this wave of anxiety rolls over me. It's the worst feeling. Now I'm scared of this anxiety so much, it's like I can't even mourn my mothers passing. I find myself feeling like I'm going crazy and that this will never end. Is this just another way someone grieves? My mother and I had a good relationship growing up, but I think she suffered from depression all her life. There was lot's of love in our house, but my mother interact with us like normal. We were raised to be very independent and free thinkers. we kind of fended for ourselves, but could always count on my mom to be there if we stumbled.

Taking care of her in the last 6 months was very difficult. I feel the rest of the family didn't see her the way I had to. So now, it seems everyone is back to their lives, and I'm stuck here, freaking out unable to process this all. I have been seeing a therapist and he basically tells me I'm normal, and that this will pass. Ugh, it just doesn't feel like there is a light a the end of the tunnel. I took some time off work, but went back because being in the house was getting to me. My first day back was yesterday, and I felt pretty lousy.

Does anyone here have any advise?:unsure:

Thanks for listening.

Aaron B

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I lost my mom a week ago this past Friday.

Hi chandralynn,

So sorry for your loss. I don't know how you can do it. I tried to back to work yesterday. I had to leave. My mind is just filled with grief and thoughts of her. I never had a dad growing up, so losing my mom feels like losing both at one time. I even have my own family and things going on, but I just seem so lost without her. I never admitted to myself that she was far more important in my life than I thought.

Please keep me updated on how your feeling.

Aaron B

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chandralynn2012

Aaron,

I left work just an hour early yesterday-I was proud of myself for making it almost all the way through the day my first day back. When I left work, I went over to my dad's apartment-he left for Kansas City to stay with my brother and sister a couple days after the funeral, and asked me to check on his place while he was gone. The last time I was in his apartment was the day before mom died, and as soon as I walked in the door all of those memories came back to me. In one of his rooms, he had a box of mom's belongings from the nursing home. I started looking through them, and found a journal she kept. On the very back page was the prayer she had written to say at our Thanksgiving dinner-that was the last and only time she was able to come to my house. The tv that had accompanied mom in her room here at the home sat on a night stand in front of dad's bed. Even outside of the nursing home, everywhere I looked was a little piece of mom. I feel for me, the biggest hurdle is getting over the last day I spent with her-she was so weak and kept telling me she needed to go to the hospital. A part of me believes that if I had been more insistent about her going, that I could have at least prevented her dying alone. Everyone tells me not to blame myself, but the events of that day keep playing over and over in my head-and I can't turn them off because those events all happened here, where I work. I always said that when mom went I wanted her to die in her sleep- this did not happen. I know that because I saw her body just after she died. Her eyes were closed, but her mouth was open in a gasping for air motion. She not only died without me there, but she died in the way she feared the most-not able to breathe. I don't know about you, but I am really tired of people telling me that mom is in a better place as a means of comfort. I believe in God, and I have always believed in heaven and angels-I am more than happy that she is no longer in pain and may be sitting up there right now having coffee with grandma and grandpa, but my pain comes from the fact that I will never see her living again.. I will never again get to hold her hand, or brush her hair, or hear her laugh. The last 2 months of my mom's life she was for a lack of a better term "out of it". She slept most of the time, and when she was awake, the things she said would most often make no sense. There were even a few days that she didn't know who I was. The last time I really got to talk to her and she understood me was back at Christmas. I want so bad to call her and talk to her like we used to..to just have one more time where I can hear her voice and know that everything is ok. I'm glad I found this forum :) It's hard for me to get all of my feelings out talking to people-I have always felt more empowered by writing. Thanks for listening Aaron :) (((HUGS)))

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Chandralynn, thank you for your update. It's just so hard.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me where they where(emotionally) two weeks after their parent passed? I'm not sure where I am, ya know? Of course sad and depressed, but what level of function were you guys? Could you get out of bed, go to work, take care of bills and family stuff? I feel I can't do any of those things. I know it's only been two weeks and I'm really not trying to fight the sadness anymore because that was just leading me to panic and anxiety attacks. I'm just trying to let it roll over me without resisting it.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any insight on what the first two weeks should be like, then the next two weeks and so on and so on. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

Aaron B

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Hi Aaron. 2 weeks after my mom died was the week after Christmas. I had returned to work and lasted half the day. one of my managers and friend stopped by to offer her condolences and i couldnt say a word. if i did i would have burst out crying. because it was the week between Christmas and New Years, there was very little people at work. i thought it would be a good time to go back so i could adjust to the changes while it was very quiet. there was a couple of Christmas cards and sympathy cards on my desk, which was tough to deal with. i had taken down our Christmas tree a few days before Christmas. we didnt celebrate it. at the time i wasnt sleeping. it is amazing how you can manage with only a few hours of sleep each day. i left at noon and never went back. the following week i ended up getting a note from the doctor and some sleeping pills. i was a wreck. so i ended up off for another week. the day i was to return to work i didnt go. but went the follow day. i had paid a coworker to make a quilt for my mom for Christmas and because of everything i never took it home. she came to me to offer me my money back but i said no. she asked if i wanted the quilt then and i said no. i just couldnt look at it. i was going to donate it to a local senior centre but decided to keep it. for some reason it has some special meaning to me. so i guess at 2 weeks i was crying a lot. sleeping very little. talking about mom a lot. talking to my mom. i was angry and sad. any little thing triggered an emotional response. i was very tense all the time. and very sensitive to my surrounding. i noticed everything. like how the morning of my mom's service was cloudy and how the sun came out when we left to go to the service and how the sun shines through the stained glass window and how it started to lightly rain when it was over. so i think you are pretty normal where you are at. but remember everyone is different.

Hi Chandralynn. Sorry about your loss. It is so tough to lose a parent, anyone close to you for that matter. You touched on the issue of blaming yourself. Everyone can find something to blame themselves for. I was sick the day before my mom passed away. She lived with me and my son. I heard her up through the night in the bathroom and it sounded like she had caught the flu as well. I couldnt sleep so went to watch tv and lay on the couch and when i went back to bed i noticed her light was on. i just wanted to lay down and now i wished i had checked on her. So yes I also feel the guilt. But so does my son. He was the one who brought the flu into the house. However, the flu had nothing to do with her passing. The point I am trying to make is that anyone can find a reason to blame themselves and think if only they had done something differently, she may still be here. But in the end, as the reverend said at my mom service, when God calls someone home, no one can change that. When it is time, it is time. I also wish I could talk to my mom one more time. That is completely normal. There are so many things I wish I could say to her.

I am having a couple of sad days. I am not really sure why or if anything triggered it. I guess I am just feeling alone without my mom. Ive been thinking about Easter. We always had the family for dinner at my place every holiday. Mom would cook. We will do it again this year but it will be different. Yes and that makes me cry. But I also know my mom would be happy that we are continuing with our family dinners. She always worried that we (my siblings and me) would just go our separate ways after she died. Sorry to write so much. I wish I could just go away for a while, but that isn't possible right now. take care you two.

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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Things are picking up for me. I can function and do stuff, but I haven't gone back to work yet. I will when my head is ready to get back in the game. I just want to focus on my grief. That is my job right now. Work will be there and unless I'm 100%, I won't go back.

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Aaron: sounds like your on the right track.. I saw a therapist tonight and look forward to our meetings where i can share my missing mom grief....I can't believe its been 4 months for me. wow

Prayers for us all for healing peace and contentment.

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