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I lost my mom


RachelSH

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Hi everyone,

First I would like to say thank you in advance for your support and my condolences to any of you who have experienced a loss.

My mom passed away a few days before Christmas, she had cancer and we knew it was coming but not this quick. I am completely devastated and heart broken.

She was my best friend and biggest supporter throughout my life, I spoke to her everyday and made sure she knew how much I loved her. She truly was the best mom I could have ever asked for and was the sweetest person I know.

I don’t know how to live my life without her, I miss her every second of everyday and can’t believe I will never get to talk to her again or hug her or see her smile. She didn’t deserve this and I am so incredibly sad.

How do I even begin to pick up the pieces of my life and move on? And I am worried about my dad too now, he has my brother for company thankfully but my mom did so much for him  (all the cooking and cleaning) and I worry how he will get by without her. Of course I will visit as often as I can.

I feel like my life will forever be sad. Any words of encouragement or ideas on how to begin to move past this are appreciated.

Thank you 

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I lost my mom just a month back in November. I am grieving a lot and crying almost every day. Everyone tells me the pain will lessen with time. I find comfort in hearing near death experience stories, reading books related to the other side.It makes me feel better knowing she is still there on the other side, that life still goes on and doesn't end with death. Listening to tedx talks about other people who are grieving also gives me strength. It makes me feel that I am not alone in my grief. 

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On 12/28/2023 at 4:08 PM, RachelSH said:

Hi everyone,

First I would like to say thank you in advance for your support and my condolences to any of you who have experienced a loss.

My mom passed away a few days before Christmas, she had cancer and we knew it was coming but not this quick. I am completely devastated and heart broken.

She was my best friend and biggest supporter throughout my life, I spoke to her everyday and made sure she knew how much I loved her. She truly was the best mom I could have ever asked for and was the sweetest person I know.

I don’t know how to live my life without her, I miss her every second of everyday and can’t believe I will never get to talk to her again or hug her or see her smile. She didn’t deserve this and I am so incredibly sad.

How do I even begin to pick up the pieces of my life and move on? And I am worried about my dad too now, he has my brother for company thankfully but my mom did so much for him  (all the cooking and cleaning) and I worry how he will get by without her. Of course I will visit as often as I can.

I feel like my life will forever be sad. Any words of encouragement or ideas on how to begin to move past this are appreciated.

Thank you 

Dear RachelSH,

When you are so close to a parent as you were to your Mom, the loss is an enormous shock to every part of your body. I  truly send my empathy and condolences to you.

Considering she only passed a few days before Christmas, you are in what I would describe as the acute stages of grief. Nothing feels real, until it does and then it hits ferociously. All kinds of feelings come up - none of them are right or wrong and everyone here will tell you it's different for every grieving person. The first few months for me were weird. I couldn't cry and felt awful about it. Then the pandemic hit and being isolated triggered all the pent up feelings. I cried so much, I broke blood vessels under my eyes. It went on sporadically, but for months.

I had a close friend whose mom died the week after mine and we could talk about it, so that helped. I also had my sisters. (although I wasn't speaking to one at the time) 

I journal a lot and so I bought a journal specifically for writing to my mom in. It helped to share my feelings with her, send them out into the universe and pray she could 'hear' my words. I went for long walks in nature with my earbuds on, listening to audio books on grief and loss etc. 

As another poster here found, I took immense comfort in the Near Death Experience stories on YouTube. I would say they profoundly changed my grief from "someone I lost" to "someone I'll be reunited with again." Watching those videos sent me down a spiritual path that I embrace now. It has been life-changing.  I no longer fear death. I know with absolute certainty that our consciousness survives outside of our bodies. We are all part of something much, much bigger. It has taken me 4 years to get to this point, so please give yourself time. You will always miss your mom, that's a given. But you will be able to smile again and find joy in the simple pleasures life offers. 

For now be gentle with yourself and process this life-changing loss on your terms. 

Sending hugs,

Traz

 

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RachelSH

Thank you KayC, Paula123 and Traz for your kind words and my condolences in each of your losses.

I do have support with family and close friends but my best friend has never experienced a loss like this so I know she is having a hard time trying to do and say the right things. It’s hard for her to understand. It’s also hard for me now as I feel like I am bringing everyone down when it’s supposed to be a joyous time of year.

I have been talking to my mom everyday and praying for her, I really hope she can hear me and that she’s at peace.

I am going to look at some of the near death stories on YouTube as suggested, it seemed to have helped two of you so I’m hoping the same for me. Thank you for the suggestion. I am also looking into a grief support group.

Thanks again for your responses 

 

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Hi RachelSH,

You're very welcome and I'm glad to read that you have family and friends to support you. I understand what you mean regarding your best friend. If she hasn't been through a deep loss like this, she won't be able to comprehend it on the same level as you. Maybe let her know what you need from her - a hug, a listening ear, or whatever it is you need at that moment. My very good friend is 59 with both parents still alive and healthy. Both my parents are no longer here and I truly think she has no idea of how hard it is for me. Especially at Christmas, when she's telling me about her family togetherness and how wonderful it is. I don't begrudge her happiness and by the same token, you shouldn't have to worry about bringing other people down. You are allowed to grieve, even if it isnt convenient for someone else. You just lost your mother. 

I hope you find the stories and near death experiences comforting. The first one I ever saw was on on the  YT channel Anthony Chene Productions. A man named Jeffrey Olsen lost his wife and son in a car accident and he nearly died too. It's long and some parts are intense but the beautiful message is that our love ones aren't 'gone.' They are transformed. 

Take good care,

Traz

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RachelSH

Hi Traz,

I have been letting my best friend know what I need and she’s definitely there for me and has been great support for me through this, she constantly checks in and I know she cares and I am so lucky to have her. She even said she’s afraid of saying the wrong thing and doesn’t exactly know how to help but we are getting through it together.
 

I know what you mean about your friend talking about family and the holidays, she was showing me pictures of hers and her mom and all I thought is I will never have that again with my mom. It’s heart breaking. I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost both your parents, I can imagine how hard the holidays are for you and my heart goes out to you.

I have two close friends at work who have both lost a parent and I was talking to one today and I relate so well to her. She lost her mom earlier this year (same situation where she was her best friend) and I told her I am thinking what’s the point of my life now, to be sad everyday for the rest of my life, what type of life is that? She told me she felt the exact same way, it helped to hear that I’m not alone in my thinking. The other day I was quite upset about losing her and thought I will call mom (I always called my mom when I was upset), for a second I thought I was losing my mind. She said she also still experiences that where she thinks she should tell her mom something. I guess it’s all just part of the grieving process.

I will definitely  watch the near death experience you recommended, I feel like it might help me to better understand and know that my mom is at peace. 

Thanks again for chatting with me 

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ahurtingheart

I am sorry for your loss and in ways, I understand it as I have lost my mom in a similar situation as yours.  The grief is so heavy and hard.  I can't tell you that it will go away but having been down this path and a little further down from where you are right now, I can tell you that I have found healing and hope again to move forward.

I found myself also asking: How do I even begin to pick up the pieces of my life and move on?

My answer is that you just do.  You take each step day by day (or sometimes hour by hour).  You do what you must to survive; you get up, you eat, you get back to school / work, you (try to) sleep, all with crying in between.  Now is not the time for thriving.  Just survive.  You say no when it doesn't serve you. You cry when you need.  Listen to your  body. You lean on those that you can.  Perhaps your social circle get smaller including just the core of those that can hold you up. You ask for help when you can.  You support your dad and your brother in their grief (and if you are the oldest in your family like me, you are the one holding the family together as mom did or would have done).  You do the best that you can.

So many of my friends would tell me that I was so strong in losing my mom so early in life.  But I never felt strong.  Feeling strong meant that I had a choice to be brave but it was never my choice to lose her.  You are strong because there is no other choice.

My heart hurts for you and your loss.

I hope you take care and be gentle with yourself.

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Rachel,

When I read your first post, you sounded just like me. I, too, lost my mother just a few days before Christmas 2023. I was my mother's caregiver for the years when she needed help and I lived with her many years. She was my buddy for traveling, the person I could tell anything to, and the person who would always support me. Of course, we had times when we disagreed and we'd even yell, but that quickly vanished in seconds. We could never be angry with each other for long. Mom was under Hospice care and people were coming and going from our home. I treasure that Mom said to me before she died, "Home is you and me". Now I'm in our home and I'm the only one in the family who can't stop crying. I know it's because I lived with her and they didn't. She wasn't a constant presence in their lives. But I didn't mean to talk about me though, Rachel, I just wanted to tell you that there's someone else on the same timeline, going through the same things you are. I think we'll make it. I tell myself Mom would want me to go on and I'm sure your Mom would, too. I read someplace that people will say "She's in a better place." The person then worte, "That's probably so. But we're not." As you go through this, picture my hand in yours, my arm around your shoulder, a quick hug when you need it. You're not alone. Miles away someone else is thinking of you, wishing you strength, and hope with a smile, albeit a little damp from tears. 

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Thank you for your kind words ahurtingheart and Amills.

Ahurtingheart it makes me feel not so alone to know that someone else also questioned how to pick up the pieces of life and move on, I am struggling with that concept a lot. I feel like my world has stopped and everything is going in slow motion and the days are very long while I feel like the rest of the world is just continuing on without me. I am also exhausted in every sense and can’t seem to shake it.

Amills sounds like we went through a very similar situation and it’s very fresh for you as well. People are telling me she’s in a better place too but I think the same as you, what about me? I’m not in a better place now.  I know our moms would want us to be sad for a bit and then go about our lives, much easier said than done, but I am trying my best even through my daily tears. I miss her every second of everyday.
Thank you for your words of support,  I wish you peace and strength too.

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Rachel, I'm trying to force myself into the world just a little. I try to go out or call someone each day. I've joined a club my parents and I used to belong to. They'd surprised me and had sent a sympathy card, so I thought attending their monthly meetings would get me out among people and they're obviously a good-hearted group. A little history and genealogy can't hurt me. Right now the snow is falling in buckets, so to speak, and I'm stuck in the house, so I'll have a quiet day. I've wanted to write children's books as my mom and I have told stories for a long time. I can't quite get started on it yet even though I have one that just needs some rewriting before I submit it anywhere. I have a goal. Is there something you really enjoy? Perhaps you could start with that. When I work on genealogy, I've found it occupies my mind and helps me get through some rough spots. Doesn't always work. I can cry just looking at a dish towel that Mom used.  But we can do this for our moms, Rachel. Inside right now I feel like I can't, but a little voice is also saying I can do it. It won't be easy and it's still very new for us. I'm miserable. I'm borrowing someone else's words, but hurting now means we loved a lot and were loved a lot. It's a blessing. Not everyone has had what we had. That's not much of a balm right now, but my logical self agrees. Still eerything seems so empty right now, doesn't it? I've found that a few deep breaths help me stop crying if I have a wild crying fit. I'm sorry that I'm skipping around in my thoughts while I'm writing this. I'm not very orderly today. I keep changing the subject. I wish you a better day than yesterday. Let's go forward, reluctantly, but together, small step by small step each day. We have kleenex. We can do it.

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It sounds like you're doing the right things, it will pay off. ;)

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AMills I’m trying to get out too, I went to a movie with a friend last night and am seeing another tomorrow. I am off work now for another week, I tried to go back the week after to be distracted but I couldn’t do it so I took two weeks off and now am trying to stay a bit busy but also balance that with time to myself to cry and come to terms with things. I have also registered to join a grief support group starting next month, a friend from work joined one after her mom passed and she said it helped a lot.

I think writing a children’s book when you are up for it is a wonderful thing to do and a beautiful way to honour your mom, I think she would be proud of you. 
 

I’m the same way when it comes to my moms things, I took some of her clothes and her hat she used to wear when she went for walks and I can just sit and hug and smell them and cry my eyes out. I also can just randomly feel tears coming on when I’m out which is hard to deal with. I talk to her everyday, multiple times a day and tell her how much I love and miss her, it comforts me to think she can hear me.

You are right in that everything feels so empty, I feel like the world is continuing on without me and I am moving in slow motion with a piece of my heart missing. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Thank you for being so supportive, I know it’s not easy for you right now either 

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Rachel, the things you say are almost exactly the same way I'm feeling. I'm glad I decided to write to you. I know what you mean about the tears that come when you're out in the world. I barely managed to get out of the grocery store the other day dry eyed. I kept thinking of the food I wouldn't be buying that was intended for Mom. I couldn't get out fast enough, but then I got behind a man who had about 30 items in the 8 items only lane. I was trapped. I just stood there, gritted my teeth, pasted a smile on my face and managed to make it through until I got to the car. Now that I write it, it sounds a little funny. I like to look on the funny side of things, but losing Mom has dampened that a lot. Perhaps you can share a smile with me: I put some things in Mom's closet the other night and must have dropped something because the next day I noticed a piece of her clothing lying on the carpet right beside a stain that had occurred a few days before she died. I'd tried to clean it earlier and it didn't come out. Then I forgot it. I looked at the clothing now and looked at the spot. And said outloud, "Okay, Mom, I'll clean the stain. Don't get excited." I think should would have appreciated the laugh. And I know she'd want the stain cleaned. What things did your mother like to do, Rachel? What was she like, if you're up to tell me. 

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AMills, I’m glad you decided to write to me too, it helps me to not feel so alone to know someone else is going through the same thing, as sad as it may be.

I had a similar experience today at the grocery store, my mom loved the magazine woman’s world (I was actually going to get her a subscription for Christmas) and I saw the newest copy at the register and almost burst into tears. I brought her a copy every time I visited and she was always so excited to read it.

I’m sure your mom would have appreciated the laugh too, it’s nice to have moments like that :).

My mom was such a wonderful person, she honestly was the kindest person I know with a huge heart. She always appreciated the simple things in life and didn’t need a lot of money - she loved going for walks and getting a coffee and sitting at the park, reading a good book, she loved going to bingo and playing bingo scratch cards, or just chatting with the neighbours. She was such a special person. She would also call me with her little random cleaning or cooking tips whenever she thought of them, it was really cute and I miss those phone calls a lot.

What was your mom like?

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My mom played the church organ for 60 years, Rachel. I cannot imagine how many Masses she went to in all those years. And she loved to travel. When we were kids, we always traveled somewhere during summer vacation, usually camping. Then when Mom and Dad retired, they continued to travel in a small RV. After Dad died, Mom and I traveled together and my sister joined us whenever she could. Like your mom, she loved to read, especially cozy mysteries and Regency romances. She worked at a utility company before she got married, raised two daughters and then worked at the local library. She also enjoyed working on the family genealogy with me. She and Dad built their home in her mother's garden and I still have the grapevine my great-grandfather started. She also loved "Murder She Wrote" on TV. She has all the episodes on CD (Christmas gift some time ago). They're showing them on TV now and I can actually watch them without crying. Phew. Speaking of which, it sounds like the grocery store is an obstacle course for us right now - a place of hidden, pop-up memories.    Your mom sounds like a lovely lady. I wish I could have known her.  When you mentioned cooking tips, I realized I'll be on my own tackling my great-aunt Lou's stuffing for special events. I'm doomed. Are you getting outside much? I'm in the north with my snow and soon to arrive below zero weather. I was trying to walk every day. It helped me when Dad died, but I haven't done as much walking now. I think that's something that might help me feel better at least for a short time. Being outside seems to help me. I'm going to head off the computer for the evening. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow. Are you having trouble on the day of the week your mother died? Mine died on a Saturday morning. I try to distract myself on Saturdays. It's not easy, but it hasn't been that long, and the funeral was on a Saturday, too. Augh. I wish you sweet dreams.

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Your mom sounds like a wonderful person too, seems like she was a busy lady! Sounds like you have such great memories of time spent with her, hold those close to your heart.

I am also North and we have a snow storm going right now but besides the weather today I have been getting outside, I try to go for walks everyday that I can just to think and clear my mind, I think being outside helps too. I always took walks with my mom when I was at her house, she loved to walk and I miss those times terribly. When I visit my dad I still go on the walk alone that we would have went on together and have a good cry. 

I too have been having a rough time on the day she passed (Friday), it was actually 3 weeks today. I try not to think of the day but it’s hard, I’m trying so hard to remember her healthy and beautiful but I think the shock of losing her is still so fresh in my mind that it’s hard, I know I will get there in time.

I hope you had a good night and we will talk soon :)

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Good morning, Rachel! My delightful neighbor has used her giant snowblower  to clean my driveway of snow, so I only have a little shoveling today. Today, like your yesterday, my mom has been gone 3 weeks. I have plenty to keep me busy today, but I feel more like curling up on the sofa and napping. Bad idea, I think. Then I won't sleep at night. In case you don't hear from me for a few days, my computer is not working right. I don't want you to think I've left. I get a google screen and everything else is black. It's got to go to the computer doctor. I do have an old computer in the basement, which I'll try to use, however, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, my sister and I are going on a short trip, so I won't have a way to write. I'm hoping the trip will be helpful, but I'm worried it'll remind me of all the trips with Mom. Still, I'm in a traveling family, so I've got to face it sometime, so why not now? How are you doing today? I'm glad to hear you're walking. You're encouraging me to do more of that myself.  Once the streets get cleared off, I'll go for longer walks. We have beautiful snow all over. Did you get a lot?  Now where's my shovel?   Three weeks for us. Big hug your way. We can't feel much worse, so better days must be ahead even if they're slow to arrive. Perhaps we should buy stock in Kleenex or Puffs.

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Hi AMills, my neighbour shovelled my driveway ( we have a joined driveway) so that was nice, it actually rained after the snow so it was more slush. 

I know the feeling of wanting to curl up on the couch and do nothing but you are right in that it’s better to stay busy. Do you find it better to be around a lot of people or small groups? I am finding it easier to be around small groups of people who understand if I am upset - my friends dad is having a dinner tonight and they’ve invited me but I know it’s going to be dinner and drinks and playing cards after and I can’t bring myself to go. As awful as it sounds I can’t try to be happy and fun when I am feeling this devastated and being around happy people makes me feel worse, I hope that doesn’t sound awful. I don’t want to bring anyone down. I told her to go and have fun, shes saying they all understand if I’m sad but I can’t do it.

I hope you can get your computer fixed! I think a trip with your sister sounds lovely, you can reminisce and lean on each other for support. I hope you have a great time.

I feel really sad today as I’m sure you do given that it’s a Saturday.  Hopefully you can get out for a walk if the weather clears. I’m just missing my mom so much.

Take good care and we’ll talk soon 

 

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I finished my shoveling, Rachel, but it's now 10 degrees, so I cancelled my walk. I may come from Swiss stock, but 10 is still cold to me. I feel more comfortable with a small amount of people. I can't seem to face more than two or three. I think it's okay to stay home from the dinner tonight. I'm sure they understand. I thought about what I'd do and that would be to stay home, but perhaps next time, you (and I should the event arise here), might go for just dinner and then head home, letting them know ahead of time, of course, so you/I don't get guilt feelings. I don't want to cry in front of people trying to have a good time and it's only been 3 weeks. Just remember, only we know if it's the right time or thing for us (er, well, I guess sometimes we might need a gentle push, but it's just 3 weeks). It's just so new and we're still trying to get used to it. I'm missing my mom a lot today, as if I don't every day. I wonder if our moms have found each other and are sitting there saying, "What are we going to do about the 'girls'? We raised them to be able to handle this. We're okay.  Will someone please tell them to take one hour, just one hour, dedicate it to 'Mom', and spend that hour doing something they used to enjoy ... something that won't make you cry, girls,"  Lots of luck with the don't cry, Moms. And since that just came into my head, I think I'll try that tomorrow. One hour of working on the family tree. What would you do if your mom asked you to do that?  Rachel, don't feel compelled to do join me. That just popped into my head, but I'm a writer, not someone who gets saintly visions. If God talked to me from a burning bush, I'd probably scream and run. I watch too many horror shows or science fiction shows. Anyway, I'm thinking I might benefit from trying something I like to do for just one hour that takes my mind off the ache, at least a little. Do you know much about your family history? If you like frustrating mysteries, it's a good hobby. The computer is still working. I'm afraid to shut it off. Now it's 9 degrees. I hope I can find my long johns. You said you're in the North. I'm in the Midwest to narrow my position a little. Take care of yourself this weekend and especially tonight when you're staying home. Remember you've got a new, although somewhat invisible, friend, and anytime you want to talk about your mom, just write away. I'd love to learn more about her and I'm here to listen.

Rachel, Read this with kleenex handy. This was on Facebook posted  by Emily McCartney.

Hi. This is your late loved one speaking. I don’t have long, so listen up because I have a lot I want to tell you.
First off, I get it.
Ever since I left this world you have missed me, and I know you’re bracing for the holidays without me. No matter what anyone says, this year’s festivities are going to be really tough.
In fact, let’s be honest, this festive season will probably suck pondwater. But then, Thanksgiving and Christmas are tough holidays for a lot of people. You’re not alone.
See, the misconception about the holidays is that they are one big party. That’s what every song on the radio claims. Each television commercial you see shows happy families clad in gaudy Old Navy sweaters, carving up poultry, smiling their perfect Hollywood teeth at the camera. But that’s not exactly reality.
In reality, fifty-eight percent of Americans admit to feeling severely depressed and anxious during November and December. In reality many folks will cry throughout the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Well, guess what? Nobody is crying up here in heaven. This place is unreal. There is, literally, too much beauty to take in. Way too much.
For starters—get this—time doesn’t even exist anymore. Which I’m still getting used to.
Right now, for all I know, the calendar year down on Earth could be 1728, 4045, 1991, or 12 BC. It really wouldn’t matter up here. This is a realm where there is no ticking clock, no schedule. Up here there is only this present moment. This. Here. Now. That’s all there has ever been. And there is real comfort in this.
I know this all seems hard to grasp, but if you were here you’d get it.
Also, for the first time I’m pain free. I feel like a teenager again in my body. You probably don’t realize how long I’ve lived with pain because I never talked about it, I kept my problems to myself because I was your loved one, and you needed me to be brave.
But pain is a devious thing. It creeps up on even the strongest person, little by little, bit by bit. Until pretty soon, pain becomes a central feature of life.
Sometimes my pain would get so bad it was all I thought about. No, I’m not saying that my life was miserable—far from it. I loved being on earth. It’s just that simply waking up each morning was getting exhausting.
But, you know what? Not anymore. In this new place, I am wholly and thoroughly happy.
But enough about me. I don’t have room to describe all the terrific things I’m experiencing, and you don’t need to hear them. Right now, you’re grieving, and what you need is a hug.
Which is why I’m writing to you. This is my hug to you. Because you’ve lost sight of me. And in fact, you’ve lost sight of several important things lately.
Death has a way of blinding us. It reorganizes the way you think, it changes you. You will never be the same after you lose someone. It messes with your inner physiology. It reorganizes you’re neurons.
But then, there’s one teensy little thing you’re forgetting:
I’m still around.
Yes, you read that correctly, I’m right here with you. No, you can’t see me. No, you can’t reach out and hold me. But did you know that one of the things I’m allowed to do as a heavenly being is hang out with you?
It’s true. I’m never far away. I’m in the room with you now, along with a big cloud of ancestors, saints, and witnesses. I’m shooting the breeze alongside you, watching you live your life, watching you raise your kids, watching your private moments of sorrow.
Here, in this new realm, I am in the perfect position to help you learn things. Which is what I vow to spend the rest of your earthly life doing, teaching you little lessons, lending you a hand when you least expect it, and desperately trying to make you smile. Actually, I’ve already been doing this stuff, you just don’t realize it.
What, you don’t believe me?
Well, wake up, pal. You know that tingle you get in your spine whenever you think of me? That’s me.
You know how, just yesterday, you had a beautiful memory when you were driving and it made you cry so hard that it actually felt good and you began to laugh through tears? Also me.
You know how sometimes when you’re all alone, preoccupied with something else, suddenly you get this faint feeling that someone is standing in the room with you? Hello? Me.
You’re not alone on this earth. You never were. You never will be. So during this holiday season, when cheerful families are getting together and making merry, and taking shots of eggnog, I’m going to be clinging to your shoulder, helping you muddle through somehow.
I’ll be making your spinal column tingle a lot, and I’ll be sending plenty of signs. Each of these signs—every single one—is code for “I love you.” So start paying attention to these hints.
Because this was one.
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That’s a good idea, maybe next time I will say I will come for the dinner and leave early just to make an appearance and see how I feel. I know she’s trying to be supportive and everyone grieves differently and maybe her being around a lot of people would help. I am more introverted to begin with but do enjoy get togethers but I have to be up for them and today isn’t a good day for that. I was talking to my mom about this and I know she would be telling me to go and enjoy myself but I just can’t, not yet at least.

I am also missing my mom a lot today, I was telling a friend earlier that I am feeling especially sad today, I feel like I have ups and downs where sometimes I feel sad but that I will eventually manage and others I feel so devastated and shattered that I don’t want to get out of bed. I have her purse and hat and some of her clothes in my room and sometimes it hurts to even look at them, I just miss her so much.
 

I would love to think our moms found each other and are at peace together wondering what to do about us. If I spent one hour doing something she loved it would be going for a walk or playing bingo, I am happy to do those things to honour her.

I’m in Canada so I know all about the cold and snow, it’s currently snowing again now. Hope you found your long johns :). I am glad I have you as my pen pal/friend, it is comforting to know someone is out there to cry and share stories with 

That was a beautiful note, thank you for sharing it with me. It did give me some peace and a lot of it felt like it was coming directly from my mom, the part about being in pain and now she’s not and how she’s trying to make me happy. That’s all our moms want for us, to be happy. Thank you for letting me read that, even though it was through a lot of tears it did help 

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Rachel, you win the up north prize. I'm in Illinois, northern Illinois, but you've still got me beat. It's just reached below zero here now and I have church in the morning. No dress for me tomorrow. I'm looking for my warmest slacks. I'm glad you liked the note. It was truly something to bring on the tears when you're in our shape, but yet, I thought, it also made me feel better in a way. So, if you just did something you like to do that you didn't do with your mother, what would that be? I'd say horseback riding, but I won't be doing that right now. My neighbor's father lives in the countryside and has horses. I've been able to go riding with him for a few summers. This past summer I only went once as I didn't feel I could leave Mom alone, but she was worth more than a horseback ride. I sure do love riding horses, though. It was Dad who taught me to like riding horses. I don't remember ever seeing Mom on a horse. Dad grew up on a farm as his father farmed for many years. He never owned any of the land, so I didn't have a farm to put horses on. Probably saved my dad a lot of money. I want to thank you for writing to me. You're making my days easier. I hate that you're hurting like I am, but I'm very happy to have met you and to be able to "talk" to you. Now I'm heading to bed. My computer is trying to pretend it's normal right now, but it can't fool me. When I was doing a search, the letters I typed came out backward. I'm hoping it'll keep going for a few more days until I can get it to the repair shop. We have a holiday on Monday.  Just a reminder, as we may be forgetting things now and then, such as I left two frozen meals sit on the stove for 2 hours when they were headed toward the freezer, that if I don't write right away, it's a computer problem. I haven't run off to Mexico. Where it's warm. Get some rest. Here's a big hug. 

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It’s -10 here so it’s too cold for a walk today, I could maybe do it without the wind but the wind goes right through you. I hope you weren’t too cold at church this morning!

I actually love to swim, there’s a community centre about a 7 mins drive from my place that I go to most weekends to swim at and I swim a lot during the summer. My mom was never a swimmer, in fact she was a bit scared of the water. Horse back riding sounds lovely, I’ve only been a few times but I had fun, I’m glad you have a hobby that you can enjoy and distract yourself.

Missing mom a lot today, my phone rang earlier and I still look at it and expect to see “mom calling” and it’s heart breaking. One of the first things I did after she passed was change the contact name to dad to try to make it easier. Do you ever have those moments?

Thank you also for writing to me, it does help to know I have an extra friend out there going through a similar situation. I hope your computer holds out or you can get it fixed soon. If I don’t hear from you have a great trip with your sister, laugh, cry, reminisce and enjoy each others company.

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It's still working. I'm going to take it with me and then take it to the shop when I get back if it acts up again. I do expect it to quit at any minute, but so far, so good. And to answer your question, yes I have those moments. Just a little bit ago, it was seeing Mom's slippers by her closet. I put those slippers on her every morning and took them off every night. I had to have a cry and hug the slippers. I admit it. -13 when I went to church, so I didn't attempt a walk either. Swimming is nice. I enjoy being in the water, but I'm more of a floater. I can swim, but not that well. For some reason Sundays seem bad. Mom hadn't been going to church because she couldn't see what was going on very well and couldn't hear our soft-spoken priest too clearly. He has a beautiful singing voice though, we both agreed. I guess it's coming home from church and she's not there with her hospice volunteer who sat with her while I went to church. I suppose I'll get used to it over time. What are we supposed to do until that "time" comes? This is downright terrible. Do you mind if I ask what province you're in? I've been to Canada a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Those we met were friendly and your country is lovely. Rachel, do you go back to work on Monday? I looked back in the posts and couldn't find where you talked about work. I probably read right over it. How are you feeling about returning or do you have another week or so yet? I think I may get my family involved as I've started a journal. In it, I talk about how I'm doing and I also am listing everything I can remember Mom liked or hated. I realized that I'm fuzzy on topics like that about Dad, who died in 2012. I wrote a few things down, but not enough. Anyway, I thought I'd ask my niece and nephew and my sister to write down what they remember Mom liked and didn't like or her habits that they noticed and I'd include them, while our memories are still fresh. Do you think that's a good idea? And you can tell me you hate it and I won't mind. Do you have any brothers and sisters? I only have the one sister. I do have two double cousins, both female. A DNA company said one of my double cousins was my half sister. I guess when your father's sister marries your mother's brother it can get confusing to the DNA people. Any pets? When I was a kid, we had a dog and she was adorable. Now I don't have any pets, although I think one would help perhaps. It's because of wanting to travel. You can't always take a pet along and you always have to worry about getting back to let the dog out, for example, even on a day trip. I keep saying I want a parrot, but they're out of my price range. Now I'm going to try to get some bills paid and paperwork organized. I just realized a witch movie is on taking place in the Middle Ages. It looks rather ... well, it's not Disney. Let me know how you're doing. Stay warm. I read that a pampering thing is to take a hot bath. If you have a tub, it might be relaxing or help in getting to sleep. I do have a tub, so I may try it tonight. Have a good night.

 

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Those moments are hard. Tonight I was watching a show and in the background was a box of shredded wheat (it was an old show from the 90’s) and when my mom was sick she ate shredded wheat all the time, she just craved it so it made me cry seeing the box. There are constant reminders of her everywhere.

It’s -20 here now and supposed to be -15 tomorrow but feels colder so probably no walk for me either.

I can understand how Sundays and church are hard for you for sure, coming home and her not being there sounds heart breaking. I am going to visit my dad and brother tomorrow and it’s so hard to be at the house without mom and looking at the chair she always sat it.

I am in Alberta and have another week off work, this will be my second week off work. I had a half week off work due to where the holidays fell and then tried to go back to work and went for one 12 hour shift and couldn’t concentrate and was too sad so I took the rest of the week off as well as this coming week, depending on how I am feeling I might take the following off too. I am having such a hard time with life in general and feel like it’s passing me by while I move in slow motion. I have supported other workers when they took leave of absences in the past and in the 12 years at my work I have never taken an extended period of vacation so I’m due for support. Are you working right now?

I think the journal is a great idea, especially getting family involved to help with the memories, it’s a great way to reminisce and bond, lovely idea.

I have a brother and a sister and no pets, I did have a dog but he passed away a few years ago and I’m not ready for another just yet for the same reasons you listed, it’s hard with my schedule and the responsibility of being home for them. I love animals though and will definitely get another dog in the future. I know you have a sister, are you close with her?

Hope you have a great night, stay warm and talk soon 

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Rachel, you and I keep getting into the same boat going upstream without a paddle. Everything's been setting me off today. A newspaper clipping from the obituary, paying the funeral bill, looking in her closet, and packing for my adventure - crying. I think it's the idea of a trip without her that has me on the edge of tears today. However, I'm going through with it and I plan to have a good time. My sister won't mind if I get weepy. She's used to me.  I'd say my sister and I are close. We're definitely different personalities. I'm the history, writing, English one; my sister is a chemist and leans to science and math. She's on her cellphone a lot with her two kids. I hardly use mine. (I just got a new one and I'm lucky if I can turn it off. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do or my fingers don't work right.)  I've been guessing that I'm much older than you, which means age doesn't matter when you lose your mother. I'm retired. I was working for a paper bag maker, but it was sold and things got bad. I then ended up typing for a weekly newspaper and from there, since I love to write, I became a reporter, and eventually an editor in a nearby small town. Then an opening appeared in my town, so I got that job and after several years ended up retiring as the community editor, not too long ago. My sister doesn't live close to me. She's a 3-hour drive north of me in Wisconsin. While at the weekly paper, I finished up my bachelor's degree. Mom and I took a trip to England and while there I was able to meet with an English professor and do a course on castles and abbeys, which Mom and I then visited. It was great fun. (I wrote that and didn't cry.) I don't know how to advise you about work. I know it helped me to go back to work after Dad died, but my desk was five steps to the bathroom and not much further to the side door. We were quite free to move around as we liked. I'd just step outside or into the bathroom if I needed to get myself back on track. When I started to think about something sad at work, I tried to say "stop" to myself. Of course, I cried driving home, which probably wasn't very safe (fogged my glasses). Now I can just take off my glasses as I use them to read, but wear them all the time. On the other hand, work can be overwhelming when you can't concentrate and there's the noise, people talking, people laughing (that's the worse), etc. Let's just say I see you walking the plank of a pirate ship and I'm not going to be the one to push you off into the work sea. Whatever you decide will be right for you and you won't be doing it alone. You've got me here holding your hand as you jump or luring you back to the ship for a cup of hot tea. And there's the Mom principle. Your Mom's looking out for you and when you do go back to work, I do think she'll be watching or whatever more Heaven allows her to do. I watched a television show, a murder mystery, where the detective, at the end, was telling a man whose mother had been killed that he could get on with life now that they caught the killer and he was no longer a suspect. The guy said, "Are you kidding? I have to be good. Now my mother can see EVERYTHING I do."  The computer is still working. Stay warm. I'm going to, also. My sister is going to shovel for me. I'm the older sister. Are you the oldest? What's your favorite hobby? What month were you born, if you don't mind my asking? I'm an April person. Just trying to keep your  mind and mine off other things for a minute. Try to have a relaxing day, but maybe call your friend for a chat later on. Why should I be the only one having to call people? Just kidding. I saved myself today by chatting with the funeral director at some length. Or is that cheating?

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Those days are so hard, where everything triggers the tears. I am at my dads with my brother and being here is so hard as all I see is mom everywhere. My dad still hasn’t done much with her things and it’s hard for me to look at them. I’m trying to be strong for them and I can tell my dad is also trying. I had a good cry on the way out here so I could hopefully hold it in while I’m here.

I’m glad you and your sister are close (even though you don’t live close) and can take this trip together. I know it will be hard for you without your mom as the memories will be everywhere but I think it will be good for you to have the support and company.

Sounds like you were very busy when you did work! Good for you, especially working in the field that interests you. You sound very wise. 
I did try to go back to work but found it too hard, problem is I’m a nurse so I have to be alert and concentrate and right now I can’t. Having the bathroom so close to your desk I’m sure came in handy when those crying fits came on. And also what you said about the noise etc, I find it so hard to be around happy people goofing around without a care in the world when I am struggling so bad. Does that sound awful? I don’t want others to be sad but seeing them so happy is really hard for me right now, not really sure how to explain it.

I’m actually the youngest, my birthday is in November. My favourite hobbies are swimming, exercising, playing cards/board games, watching blue jays baseball and movies of course. What are your hobbies?

Have you ever considered a grief support group? My friend lost her mom last year and she went to one and said it helped immensely. I am starting one next month, it’s weekly sessions for 3 months and I’m really hoping it helps. I’m so tired of being sad constantly.

Thank you so much for your support, writing to you brightens my day 😊.

I do believe our moms are watching over us all the time.

If I don’t hear from you before your trip have a great time, laugh, cry, reminisce and enjoy.

P.S. chatting with the funeral director isn’t cheating 😊

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Rachel, just a quick note as I've burdened my sister with all the work. I can completely understand the challenge of being a nurse and going back to work. That's a heavy load to handle and I mean emotionally. I admire you for being a nurse. It's something I couldn't do. Since I know your job now,  an extra week might not be a bad idea. If you have some time yet before you have to decide, then try not to think about it for a bit and then study the idea of going back before you need to let them know. I think that's what I'd try. You'll know best. My plans often don't work. I think that's why I have a sense of humor. And no you are not awful to answer your comment of the happy people. I'm feeling the same way. The entire world should be mourning our wonderful mothers. That's what my heart says. It feels very hallow to hear happiness. How can we be happy now? Yep, I know how you feel and it's not terrible of us. In my reading, it seems that our culture expects mourners to be back to normal in a few days or weeks, but mourning can go on for years or until we meet them again. At least we're not expected to wear black for a year. I look like a ghost in black. People have all their own problems to think of and they get busy and forget that someone else is still fragile. And, of course, we can hardly blame someone in a restaurant who doesn't even know us. Oh, yes we can. Well, we shouldn't .... And people don't know how to deal with us - the survivors. They don't know whether to talk about the beloved deceased or skip around it. They don't want to upset us. They don't know what to say often. It's a big mess. This mess, though, is teaching you and I how to treat people we know who lose people they love in the future. I had a friend come over and talk without waiting for me to call. That was great. She called to ask if she could come over and over she came.  I'm going to call people now and not wait for them to. A visit is very nice. I'm going to attend funerals and stay for the lunch. I usually skip the lunches, but that's the time you can help the family by showing more support. You and I are going to be so good with compassion, thoughtfulness and support. And you're already ahead of the game as you're a nurse. I got off subject. It doesn't help us now with the happy people around us. I think it's okay to be resentful. They just don't know the effect on us. We can just say to ourselves, "Bless your heart" and push it away.  We have a family joke borrowed from a comedian who said Southern US ladies when they're annoyed with someone always say with a smile and in a lady-like fashion, "Why, bless your heart." And they mean just the opposite. We, however, should have good intent because our mothers can see EVERYTHING we're doing now (or so that mystery said).

I've been considering a grief support group. I talked to the hospice counsellor twice and she said they'd be sending me information about their groups. The one I wanted to join ... well, she said I was too new yet. However, they have a place where they do crafts and woodworking. I've always been interested in working with wood, so I'm going to call her and arrange to take a tour and see what their "shed" is like. Be sure to let me know how you like the group.

How is your dad doing through this? 

My hobbies are writing stories, genealogy, I collect German and Swiss weather/temperature chalets (they have two little figures - the girl comes out if it's sunny, the boy if it's rain) and I garden and travel. I'm trying to teach myself whittling so I can make gnomes. I got a kit for Christmas a couple of years ago, but have had no time to work on it yet.  So, now I'd best feed my sister. The computer is coming with me and is still working so I should be able to write tomorrow sometime. I hope I'm helping us smile a little. I really feel less alone since I've been writing to you! 

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That’s exactly the thing, being a nurse is emotional on its own and I am already so emotional I am worried about taking on too much. I still have time to decide when I want to go back so I will think more about it this week. 
 

I’m glad you feel similar about the happy people and how hard it is to be around them and yes, the entire world should be mourning our mothers, how dare they carry on their lives like normal….that’s my irrational thoughts at least. I feel angry at the grocery store when I see people going about their happy lives, it’s unreasonable but how I feel. 
 

And you are right, people don’t know how to go about talking to us after such a loss, I actually feel very unsupported at work as only a few people have reached out to check on me (the ones I would consider friends have) but I still expected others to at least check in, how can we work together everyday and you not send a quick text to check, makes me feel very uncared for. 
 

This is definitely teaching us how to deal with people going through loss going forward, it’s actually making me see life so differently now, do you feel like that now too? I feel like nothing else really matters like it did before, all the little things that used to annoy me seem so insignificant now and I want to appreciate all the small things in life that I took for granted. 
I’m glad your friend took the initiative and came over, I’m glad you have that support. And definitely call others if you need to and don’t wait for them, good for you.
 

Crafts and woodworking would be a great distraction, I’m glad the hospice counsellor has been so helpful to you. 
My grief support groups starts mid February but I will let you know how it goes for sure, I figure I can at least try it and if it make me uncomfortable or upset just respectfully decline continuing on with it but I’m really hoping it helps.

My dad is sad but trying to be strong, his house is clean and he’s keeping up with his dr appts and they have arranged a social worker visit for him just to make sure he’s ok so I’m happy about that. He did tear up today (he tried to hide it) when we were talking about mom which broke my heart, I know he’s devastated but trying to be strong. He supported her all throughout her sickness from taking her to all her treatments and appts, to getting snacks she craved and tucking her in at night. He was a rock through it all and I love him so much. 
 

Wow, you have so many hobbies! You seem like such a creative person. I’m glad you keep busy. 
I’m also glad you are taking your computer with you and we are both feeling less alone through this 😊

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Hi Rachel! I almost wasn't able to write to you this afternoon. There were no three-pronged plus here, or so i thought. I finally found one in the kitchen, the bathroom and the hall. I chose the kitchen as it has a long countertop and I can put a tall chair up to it. The bathroom seemed silly and i didn't want to sit on the hall floor. i actually spent most of the day on the road and I didn't get too sad - only once when i was in a gas station's store and though what Mom might like. Once we arrived, i had another sad attack wishing Mom was with us, but I'm determined to do my best to spend the two days occupied with other thoughts. It won't work, but just getting out of my new terrible routine without her is distracting me for a bit. I wish you could be here with us.  And yes, i feel like you do that the little annoying things are no longer annoying and I'm appreciating things better, especially the people who did care enough to attend the funeral. I'm sorry you haven't heard from more people at work. I don't mean to defend them, but they could just be so wrapped up in their own lives and problems that they're not thinking of what you might be battling. When you go back to work, you may find that they really do care. it just didn't dawn on them to contact you; maybe they also didn't want to bother you. You know. People being a little dumb.  I was surprised at not hearing from some people Mom and I knew and from only one person I used to work with at the paper. I'm thinking fewer people get the paper now so they just might not have heard. i've got to help get our supper going, so I'm leaving you with the thought that although we don't have our moms, they've brought us help - we've met.  And if you'd like to, please tell your dad that an American stranger sends her condolences. I know we'll all make it through this.  I think the key is having someone who really understands. I hope the group will work for you. I'm going to try one, too, as soon as I visit hospice's shed and see what they have to offer or get that letter they're sending. Hugs, and pamper yourself tonight. Ooops. I meant to ask what you did today. Did you keep busy or spend a relaxing day? Can we actually relax? I hope we can without those nasty sad thoughts sneaking in. I still don't trust myself out in public for a long time.

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Hi AMills! I’m glad you were able to find a plug! Glad to hear you weren’t too sad today, I’m sure it’s hard travelling without mom but you can do it, keep distracted and a smile on your face that you are able to travel with your sister.

It’s weird how that works isn’t it, all the little annoyances don’t bother me anymore, it’s like we see the world completely different now, I’m glad you understand that. And you are probably right in that people at work are so wrapped up in their own lives and don’t think to reach out, I guess it’s all the same where I feel like my world has stopped so everyone else’s should too and of course that’s not how life works. 
 

Yes that is the one blessing out of losing our moms, we met and are friends and can reminisce and cry “together”, you are such a kind hearted person and I am glad we are friends and pen pals. I will tell my dad condolences from you for sure, I think he will be happy to know there is another person I can talk to besides family and friends here, especially someone going through the exact same thing as I am. 
 

I am still at my dads with my brother and spent the day watching movies, playing cards and making dinner. I’m going to go home tomorrow, just wanted to make sure he’s ok before I leave. I will still visit as often as I did when mom was here so he never feels alone. Back to home and reality tomorrow and the trouble of being out in public and trying to keep it together.

How was your day with your sister? I hope you are having a great time.

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It sounds like you had a little fun today with your family and my sister and I had some fun, too. We went to a museum, did a little shopping (I bought a gnome),  stopped for coffee and then headed back to where we're staying where we played Clue. With only two people, we played a few very quick games and we did a little crying together. We also finished off all the thank you cards from the funeral. So that's caught up. i know Mom would be thinking  I should have done it sooner.

I go home tomorrow, too, and we expecting more snow tomorrow night. My sister will leave on Friday if the weather isn't too bad. I may get her an extra day, but she has to leave Saturday morning as she has to be at her church Saturday night. I held together today pretty good. You know the feelings didn't really leave me, but there was a lot to distract me from thinking too much. Friday and Saturday are coming up. What could we do to help ourselves? Do you think if we lit a candle (battery, electric, real) that day for our moms, even for a short time, we'd be starting a little ritual that wouldn't have to be sad? I could light one on Friday for your mom, too. And you could light one on Saturday, as well. What do you think? Perhaps you have an idea of something else or additional we could do? Perhaps someone else reading our posts might have a suggestion as well. I just think we need to try to take the sting out of those two days. Maybe candlelighting would still be sad right now, but I think it might have promise. We could say a positive message of our choice such as "Thanks Mom" or "Love ya" etc.   If I say "miss you" I'll cry.

i await any ideas you have. You usually have some good ones.

If we think it's too much right now, we can always say, I'll look north, you look south and we'll both wave to each other.      (Are you smiling a little? )

Drive home carefully and I'll write tomorrow when I get home. Good night!

Rachel, just noticed you wrote yesterday and I'm writing on Wednesday. Sorry if my timing seemed a little off.

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I’m glad you had such a nice trip with your sister, sounds like such a nice time. Clue is actually my favorite board game, it’s still fun with only 2 people. I’m so glad you and your sister have each other for support.

Did you get much snow? No snow here but we are -25 right now, it’s too cold. I have those days too where the sadness is there always but the distractions help even for a little bit. 

I can’t believe tomorrow and Saturday is the one month mark, it feels like it was so much longer ago but also feels like I just spoke to her too, if that makes any sense. 

I think the candle lighting for our moms is a lovely idea! I know my dad lights one at church for her every week. I would love to light one for both of our moms and will do so tomorrow and Saturday, such a nice gesture, thank you for suggesting it. I don’t really have any other ideas except to do something she would have liked to do and of course saying a prayer for them. I talk to my mom everyday, do you talk to yours? Do you believe in signs? I read online there are signs that may tell you they are at peace or are with you such as seeing a rainbow or feathers on the ground. 

You did make me smile, you are such a kind person ♥️.

Hope you had a safe trip home.

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Rachel, I'm home. The roads were good and, although we didn't stop to eat (we kept thinking the next town would be better), we had fun. We only saw one eagle on the way back and there was more traffic. I do believe in signs. I asked God to give me a good, clear sign that Mom and Dad were okay - one I would absolutely know was a sign from Him. Then the next day I was driving home and turned on the radio. They were playing an odd song and I wasn't paying attention to it, until they words "Your Mommy's okay . Your Daddy's okay." My jaw dropped. I don't even know what the song was, but I decided that was my "couldn't be anything but a" sign. After Dad died, I found a penny stuck in my clothes where one ordinarily couldn't have gotten and I wasn't around any change. Immediately in my head the song title "Pennies from Heaven" popped up and I started singing it to myself. I decided message from Dad. I'd been upset before this happened.  Coincidences, maybe. I'm betting on signs. Have you had any?

I think early this week we got about 6 inches of snow. We're supposed to get more tonight. You're still colder than me. I've got a sweltering 15 degrees. 

A month tomorrow and Saturday. Doesn't seem possible. Let's light the candles to start with and say a prayer and/or do something they liked or we like that would make us feel better even for a short time. I think they'd like us to feel better.  And yes, I talk to my mother, too.  When Dad died, my church's former pastor said he talked to his mother and had some of his best conversations with her since she'd died. It did comfort me about the talking, but made me wonder what kind of conversations he had with his mother when she was alive. Actually, he's a very funny, pleasant man and the entire congregation hated it when he was transferred.

I do have a suggestion learned from my trip. As I mentioned, for two days I was away from home and I felt a little lighter. I was still missing Mom, but I also had new things to absorb and even enjoy a little, like I know she'd want me to do when traveling. I still cried a little each day, but the distraction of new things allowed me to rest a little. No, not sleep better. I still woke up all the time, still missed, Mom all the time and wished she was seeing what I was seeing, but met some nice people and if anyone talked to me, I talked back. Now I'm back and the weight of loss has sunk back down to where it was before. Yet, I recommend, if you can, take an overnight or two-night break from your normal routine. Either go with a friend or relative or go visit a friend or relative who's out of your town. While visiting, go out to eat at least once and go see something you might not usual see, such as a museum, art gallery, etc. Something that involves engaging your mind in it. Have someone with you as I think that's part of the "therapy", having someone to talk to and to keep you occupied. (I just let thoughts of Mom come and go as gently as possible and tried to concentrate as much as I could on what was going on around me, but in a quiet way. I tried to avoid loud crowds and chose gentle environments, so to speak. That little break was rather nice for me. I'd like you, if you can, to give it a try before you go back to work. I felt a little stronger when I was away, so perhaps I'll feel stronger at home sometime. It just takes time. But that's okay, we've got a lot to adjust to. I hope I made some sense. My sister is here and I'm trying to unpack. I wanted to let you know I got home safetly and the trip was like a little therapy session. I don't know if you can arrange some kind of getaway from town, but if you can sometime, go for it. I didn't crack up. I don't think you will either. We have Heavenly Mom Power with us. 

Have a good night and I'll be lighting two candles tomorrow, missing our moms. 4 weeks. One day at a time, one step at a time. Surviving. 

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Glad to hear you made it home safely. 
I definitely think the song and penny were signs, I hope they gave you some peace. God wanted you to know they were ok. My mom loved owls, she has owly things all over the house and in November I bought her an owl snow globe that I was going to give her for Christmas. I was at my friends house on New Year’s Eve talking about her and crying and I mentioned the snow globe I bought her and how I have it on my dresser with her pictures. She went to get a Kleenex box for me and there was an owl on the box, I’ve never before seen an owl on a Kleenex box. We later watched a movie and the actress was putting on mascara and said she felt like an owl, my friend and I just looked at each other in awe. I had been asking God or my mom to send me a sign since the day she passed to let me know she was in heaven and at peace and I think those were two clear signs. I was so happy to see them that I was crying my eyes out from happiness and also sadness I guess.

It’s -17 here today but no snow in the immediate forecast so I am going to bundle up and try to go for a walk and think about mom. We’ll see if I can make it through the cold. 

4 weeks today and tomorrow, I feel very sad today thinking about her and missing her so much. I am going to light two candles today, one for her and one for your mom and also say a prayer. And of course I will talk to my mom, I do everyday.

I’m so glad to hear that your trip helped you with the healing process even a little bit, it’s always good to have a distraction. I think it’s a great idea and I definitely will try, in fact today is my friends daughter birthday and we are going to a dinner and I think I’m going to spend the night at their house, might not be as good as a get away but definitely a change of scenery. Being around a good friend helps. I did warn her that I may cry at any time but we have been best friends for years and she will of course understand. I think of her more as family than a friend. I am so lucky to have her.

How are you doing today? Hopefully a bit better than me, I have already had two good crying fits today but we will get through this. 

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 Hi Rachel!  My sister has gone home. I've lit two candles, one for each mom, and said a prayer. I felt like I needed just a little more, so I looked up utube for monks singing "Adoro Te Devote".  I found one with the words and the notes so you could follow along. I took Latin in high school, and forgot it all except Ave Roma Immortalis. Hail immortal Rome. Now you can't use that every day. Anyway, I sang along with the monks and it felt good to do so. I'll do the same thing tomorrow.

I've had one bit of crying today and almost cried at the art gallery when a lady was asking me about Mom. She said she lost her husband and she didn't cry because he had been in pain and was now in peace. I told her I cried, but I was trying to get out and do something or call someone every day. She said that was good and admitted she was a retired counsellor. I was at the gallery to pick up a picture of a barn roof with snow on it that my sister bought for me for Christmas. Odd that I should meet a retired counsellor. On the other hand, I'd forgotten the picture was being delivered to my house. I felt really dumb. Everything swirls in my brain and sometimes gets dumped in the done basket too early. I also cried during our little ceremony. It felt good though to do the ceremony. One more tomorrow.

You'll probably be reading this when you get home, so I hope you had a good time and the stay at your friend's certainly counts as a getaway. I hope it helped you as much as my little trip helped me. Let me know how things went. I hope you were able to have a little fun. Remember moms want their daughters to be happy. It's a rocky road for us right now, but I try to keep telling myself our moms are where God wants them to be and we're expected to carry on. But boy is that hard. I wanted to tell Mom something my sister told me when she called to say she got home okay and almost turned to where Mom usually sat. I caught myself, but mentally, but I wasn't fast enough. My heart caught on and I could feel those tears forming. My brain has got to be more tricky because my feelings are too smart for it. 

I'm going to take it easy tonight, yet keep myself thinking of our mom since it's our month marker today and tomorrow. And I think all those owls were a sign for you. My mom used to collect owl things years ago. What a hoot! They shared a hobby. So glad we discovered each other. It's really helping me.

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I lit two candles today as well, it makes me feel good to honour our moms that way and I think they are smiling down at us.

The lady at the art gallery saying she doesn’t cry because her husband was in pain and isn’t anymore is making a good point, I am going to try to remember that. And also that they are in heaven where it is peaceful, no more suffering. 

Don’t feel bad about forgetting that the picture was being delivered and you forgot, I think that is completely normal for people grieving. I too feel like my head is in a fog sometimes and it’s hard to concentrate.

My night was fun, we went for dinner and then watched movies and played games, it was nice to get away and try to be distracted, mom is always in the back of my mind but to have a night to focus on other things helped.

You are right, our moms are where god wants them to be, that brings me a bit of peace. Although I don’t understand Gods timing of this, I can’t question it. Wanting to tell your mom something hurts so bad, I know the feeling. I was walking down my stairs and thought I will call mom earlier today and my stomach sank, it’s so heart breaking when we think like that but I also know it’s normal. 

I’m glad our moms shared a hobby too, my mom was the sweetest, most innocent person I know and I’m sure your mom was too. I’m glad we are friends too.

I was watching a video online today and had a little chuckle and then immediately felt bad for laughing, which sounds so silly as it doesn’t mean for one second that I am over my mom passing or happy in general, it was just a moment. Is that silly to think that way? I know my mom would want me to be happy but I felt bad for laughing. I miss her every second of the day and nothing will ever take away from that, I just felt guilty. 

I am heading out soon to meet a few friends from work for dinner to catch up before I go back next week so have a good night and we’ll chat more tomorrow. 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with us having a laugh. It's good for us. I feel a little guilty when it happens to me, too. My sister and I had a few laughs on our trip. I know you and I both know that mothers want their daughters to be happy. They're smiling when we laugh.  Let's try not to feel guilt. There's nothing wrong with our feeling moments of cheer. We'll come out of this horrible phase of grief, we'll cry less, smile more, crawl out of the dark hole we're in with our fingertips and our nose sticking out over the edge, but the moms want us to go on. You know they want us to live life and make it a good life. How it can ever be good without them may not seem possible right now, but it can be a good life. We can't let them down, you know. 

I'm having a rough day today. Can't seem to stop crying and haven't had anything to eat. I'm going to eat now though and try to settle down. I've had a friend call and one of the hospice volunteers called to check on me. I know people are praying for me and care about me. I'm just missing that special one so much today. It seems like every time I get into a good desperate cry, God has someone call me today. So, I'd better get the message and food. 

I hope you've had a wonderful time with your work friends, got all the gossip and are filled in the enough news to get you ready to go back to work. Do you start on Monday? I know you'll do just fine. 

Sweet dreams!

 

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I know our moms want us to be happy for sure, it just felt odd to laugh, I guess I haven’t done a lot of that lately. I’m glad you were able to have a few laughs on your trip. But that’s exactly how it feels, how can it now be a good life without them? I feel like what is the point of my life, to be sad everyday? But then I catch myself and think mom would want better for me and to not think like that.

I was on my way out and saw your message - I’m so sorry you are having such a bad day today (that was me yesterday). Please make sure you eat and of course that’s God sending a message when someone calls to make sure you eat. You are definitely cared for, I care about you too! I know I am a stranger from Canada but we have bonded so well, please take care of yourself. I will say a prayer for our moms and you as well when I get home tonight.

I will definitely get the gossip tonight. I start work on Monday and am kind of dreading it. 

Enjoy your dinner and keep Kleenex close by. We’ll talk tomorrow 

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Rachel,

How was your dinner with the work friends? I hope after talking to them that you're confident in your return to work. I think it's a good thing. If nothing else, it will keep your mind busy. Nurses are so busy! I did eat and I'm eating today and drinking my 64 ounces of water I have as my goal. I'm still a little more weeping than before my trip, so I assigned myself the task of going through all the paperwork I hadn't sorted when Mom was sick. That's hers and mine. I started with mine and that went good. Although I almost shredded my original savings account agreement with my bank. Ooops.  Tomorrow, following your example, I'm going to go to  morning Mass Mondays through Wednesdays at 7 a.m. And then try to work on my children's book that needs rewriting. I also have Mom's paperwork to sort. And countless dust bunnies to chase down. I promise to just do a little bit though. I'll do whatever feels good to do at the time. Today, I also spoke to my priest again about talking to him and I'm going to make an appointment. It can't hurt. I'm not sure he's exactly the type to help me, but it keeps nagging at me in my head, so someone wants me to talk to him. I may be crazy, but I think you and are getting little nudges here and there and when we do, it's good that we're following them.

Now remember, Rachel, tomorrow, if it gets a little difficult, that you've got American backup although it's a wee bit distant from you. I care about you, too. Work is good therapy and you have the opportunity to help other people. It's a blessing. And now you've got a new insight about things even if our feelings are right on the edge. You might look at some things a little differently. Who knows? And after work, come home and let me know how it went, but maybe call your dad first and tell him. He might be worried.

And you're not just a stranger. I think we can safely say we're friends now. Oh, before I forget, if you're tired when you get home, you can let me know how it went the next day. We both need our sleep right now and shouldn't stay up and watch giant spider horror movies like I did last night. Do you think the moms were watching me do that? Oh dear.

Have a good night. Sorry I didn't write sooner. I wanted to get that paper pile done.

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Dinner was really nice, it was good to catch up and have a fancy drink too. One of my friends lost her dad a few years ago and the other lost her mom earlier this year so it’s helpful to talk with them. I had a few tears but mostly held it together and then they filled me in on all the work gossip I have missed. I’m a little nervous about work tomorrow but hopefully I can get through it, I just don’t want to have a break down in front of anyone. 

I’m glad to hear you are eating and drinking lots of water, sounds like you are doing better today? I am the same where I have ok days (can’t call them good as no day has been good since mom has been gone) and really bad days, the bad days I don’t even want to get out of bed. 

I’m happy to hear you are going to work on the children’s book, I think your mom would be so proud. Sounds like you have a lot to do but please take it easy, don’t do too much, just do what you feel you can.  Talking to the priest is a great idea, it’s definitely worth a try especially if you are getting feelings about it. We definitely need to go with any signs we are experiencing right now. 

Thank you for your words of support about work tomorrow, I am glad we are friends. I will let my dad and you know how the day goes. Deep breaths all the way, I can do this.

We are definitely  friends 😊. And our moms were definitely watching you watch the giant spider horror movie, wonder what they thought about that! 

Sleep well and talk soon 

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The moms no doubt thought I should have been sleeping in my warm bed and not watching giant spiders. 

From the few pieces of books I've been reading, it seems like we can expect bad days and sort of good days. I'm with you that there really hasn't been a good day since Mom has been gone. 

However, tomorrow is going to be an as-good-as-it-can-be day for you - first day back at work GO RACHEL!  YOU CAN DO IT! Note where the restrooms are  at all times. Good places to go for a quick wet eye or two if you ever get a chance to not be on duty. Cry on the way home from work in the car, but not so much that you can't see where you're going. Or better yet, wait until you get home to let it all out. However first, call your dad; then write your American. Don't fret about tomorrow. Get as good as sleep as you can (yeah, I know how we sleep - not so great all the time). I know you'll do just fine tomorrow. It's a long day, settle in, you know what it's going to be like more or less, you can handle it. And our upside down, runaround emotions will sometimes follow our brains for a little bit. Make the Moms proud.  Ah, you caught me on that one. The Moms will be proud if you and I just get out of bed and give it a try. You WILL be fine. American cheerleader going to bed now.  Good night and pleasant dreams. 

P.S. If it's not so fine since it's the first day, even though I know it will be, you know you can tell me all about that, too. I'm here to listen. 

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WELCOME HOME! How was your day? I went to church, then to my favorite coffee place drive-thru to get breakfast (we have ice on the roads, so I was afraid to get out anywhere after ice skating in the church parking lot. Now I'm back to working on paperwork. Haven't gotten to my writing yet.

Anyway, let me know how things went when you're up to it. Treat yourself to something relaxing and know that I was thinking about you all day on your first day back to work.

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I made it through the day! It was hard, not going to lie, didn’t get a good sleep as I was filled with anxiety about going back but that’s usually the way it is.  I managed to keep it together most of the day as it was quite busy (had one teary moment in the bathroom) but otherwise powered through. Called dad to let him know how my day was on the way home and of course had a good cry after getting off the phone  (it was snowing but I am such an expert at crying while driving now so I was safe). Picked up take out as a reward for keeping it together all day. Also had to shovel the driveway so now am quite exhausted.

Thank you for all your support! You are one of my biggest cheerleaders and I am so grateful. Talking to you helps lift my spirits for sure. 

Sounds like you had a good morning of church and a stop at your favourite coffee shop, how was the rest of your day?

I’m off to have a shower,  talk to mom and say a prayer (and probably cry some more).

Have a good night and we’ll talk tomorrow. 

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I'm glad you survived your first day. Congratulations! Keep at it. I think it will get easier. I know I cried all the way home most of the time after Dad died. It's probably good that you had snow to shovel, stopped for a treat and were exhausted. Hopefully you slept better because of it.

I was proud of myself yesterday in that I finished the two stacks of paper I had ready to look through. That's just the start, but today I think I'm going to just take it easy. i went to church and on the way home had a crying attack and I'm still getting little surges. I don't know what set me off - just missing Mom I guess. I just want her back, but how can i say that when she's in Heaven with your mom and that's got to be the most wonderful place - something we can't even imagine how good it is. So I'm feeling sorry for myself mostly, I suppose, it's just difficult to be alone in the house when I'm so used to having her with me. Something's missing and it will be missing from now on. No one can take her place. You know what I mean. Today it just hurts. It was a sneak attack. 

However, the weather is terrible here. The church parking lot was covered in ice. A couple going into Mass each took one of my arms and walked me into church and then back out. A group of ladies invited me to stay and pray with them, but I told them I couldn't today because I had my walkers with me  to help me get back to the car.  I still have my sense of humor. That reminded me that I have about 3 of Mom's walkers in the basement. I suppose I'll hang onto them. I may need them some day as I age.  Anyway, that may have brought on my "attack". That parking lot was so slippery. I had visions of all three of us ending up in a pile. We made it though. I had planned on going to a couple of places - visiting a family friend and going to one of the local museums to see if they'd want a couple of things, but i decided just to stay in instead. I have a bunch of old valentines, beautiful ones with lots of flowers and lace, probably from the 1920s or so that were my neighbors. Her son was going to throw them away after she died, but said I could have them. Some were even for her mother, and that's getting way back there as the neighbor was older than my mother.  I just think they should be in a local history museum if they want them. Otherwise, I suppose I could sell them to a collector - just keep a few to remember my neighbor by. She gave me her set of china cups and saucers she'd purchased on trips she and her husband took. That's something I forgot to tell you. I have a collection of cups and saucers. If we ever meet, I can serve you a lot of tea. Do you like tea? I don't drink coffee and hated tea until I visited my pen pal in England and she added sugar and milk to my tea. I love it now! I have to drink it British style to really love it. Now, tell me what happened today that brightened you day a little, since I'm being a hermit today.

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Rachel, Kleenex warning ..... I just read this and thought of us. Someone wrote "I have an angel in Heaven watching over me. I call her Mom."  Now to make you smile, I called the church office to get an appointment with tbe priest and the secretary said she'd leave him a note to call me. I really almost laughed. I kept thinking why didn't he just write down my number and call me today on his own. Did the secretary need more work to do? I thought she was going to set up the appointment. I'm still chuckling a little. The irony if it all.   Did you get anymore snow?  Oh, and it dawned on me. You don't know my name.  I go by Andy (and I'm female - didn't want to confuse you with the spelling). Hope you had a good day at work. And if you get time, could you check to see how your dad's doing for me? It must be difficult for him, like it is for us. And like me, he's living in ground zero with all the memories hitting a person in the face all the time. There's a certain comfort in it sometimes, but the reminders are constant that someone important is missing. But, anyway, I come by worrying about people naturally - my dad. He was always concerned about everybody and he also always wanted to feed anyone who came through the door.  He worked for ComEd, the electrical company, in the plant that used to be by the river here. They tore it down. He was a boiler operator. And then he ended up before retiring working in the local ComEd garage as a mechanic. We were lucky he got that job otherwise we would have had to move, or he would have had to get an apartment in whatever city he was transferred to. God smiled on us and he was one of the boys at the garage. He did a lot of driving trucks back and forth, which sounds rather fun to me. Thats my dad story for the day. Get some rest, put your feet up. Did you sleep better last night?  Good night. More babbling from me tomorrow. Down here in the south it's 33 and holding.

 

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Hi Andy, nice to know your name :).

I slept a bit better last night, probably just so tired from the lack of sleep the night before. Work is busy which keeps me distracted, had a cry in the bathroom but was able to text a friend and she helped me feel better. 

I also get the crying attacks, tonight I was cooking dinner and just randomly burst into tears, the type of crying where you can hardly breathe. When will it start to get easier? I’m just missing mom so much and said exactly what you did - I want her back. I would give anything to have her back or even to have one more conversation with her or give her one more hug. I know exactly what you mean when you say something is missing, I feel like a part of my heart is missing. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be in the house and not have her there but you are right, they are in the best place ever - heaven. 

The weather is bad here too, I shoveled when I got home and it’s still snowing. I’m glad you made it through the church parking lot safely! Thank goodness for the couple that helped you out. 

So nice of your neighbour to give you those gifts, I definitely think you should keep a few to remember your neighbour. I prefer coffee but I do occasionally drink tea, there’s something soothing and comforting about tea.

One of the drs I work with complimented me today, he said I am a great nurse and he can always count on me and to keep up the good work, that brightened up my day. I know you were a hermit today but did you have any moments that brightened up your day?

Thanks for the Kleenex warning, I definitely needed it, that was beautiful. 

I check on my dad pretty frequently, I know it’s hard being in the house without mom as I find it hard being there and looking at the chair she always sat in. The void she left is huge. He seems to be doing ok, he’s trying to be strong and I know he prays for her daily, I think multiple times a day. He’s a good man and I love him with all my heart, he took such good care of my mom when she was sick. 

I am also a worrier but I got that from mom, I am so much like her but I hate that I inherited her worrying! Nothing I can do about it I guess. 

Going to sit and watch some tv before heading to bed, have a good night and talk tomorrow. 

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Hello Rachel! How was work today? What a nice thing the doctor said to you. A compliment like that makes you feel so good! On my hermit day, except for my crying bouts, I had a pleasant day. I looked through my grief books, but branched out and read a book about murder in the garden. The author wrote about murder mysteries that take place in, or involve, gardens. I'm actually enjoying it, probably because I love murder mysteries. 

It seems that we're feeling the same way about our mothers and them being gone. It hurts. It's lousy. It's a big black hole and we're in the middle of it. One of my books said the brain catches on very quickly about what's happened, but the heart can't take it in that fast. It has to absorb what's going on in little pieces. So perhaps that's what's happening to us right now. Our brains are trying to get us to, not forget, but to keep moving and doing because we really don't have any other choice but to push on in honor of our mothers, however, our pesky heart/feelings aren't ready for our pushy brains to rule the roost. Our hearts are hurting and they want attention paid to that. They need time to reach the point where they can join in once again. It's like they've told our brains that they'll give it a try, but they needn't think this is going to be a 24 hours thing. Therefore, kaboom, we're crying. Then we're more calm and then it hits us again. It's probably going to go on for quite awhile, but it will get better. It's just a slow process. I feel like I should be more in control, but I'm not there. I just want my mom. I sound like a toddler. This has knocked me off my diet and I can't seem to get back on it. I keep trying. I'll keep trying more. A very nice lady in church talked to me today about how hard it must be for me to be living alone after all these years, but what a wonderful life my mother had. She said it would get better. I believer her. I think she's a widow, so she's gone through this and more probably. I know there are probably more like us who lost someone special on the days we lost our moms. I am so glad to have found you, Rachel. You understand. You encourage me. I think we're probably improving a little every day, but just don't realize it.

I'm still surprised how comforting I'm finding going to morning Mass. I rather like it (it's very short). DNow I've got to get ready for my priestly appointment and checking out the ice by the church office.  Is it still snowing where you are? My snow is now heavy, wet and sloppy.

More later.  Thinking of being at work and hoping all is going smoothly. You have doctor approval! Wow!

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