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My Mom


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My mother passed away on 1/3/13 from COPD. I am struggling with this loss because it is not your typical "mother/daughter" relationship. My mother was an active alcoholic for the majority of my life & suffered with mental illness. She had some periods of sobriety, but the majority were filled with abusing alcohol. I caught her drinking when she was watching my son & she missed the birth of my second child.She was divorced twice & her last divorce was a complete shock to her & this resulted in her steady decline for many, many years. She lost everything... her home, furniture, personal belongings, jewelry, friends & family.

Shortly, after my 2nd child was born, I had to make a painful decision to cut ties with my mom for many years. She took in a roommate in 2003, who stole my husband's identity & used bad checks in his name. It took almost a year to get our credit back to normal, but the wounds remained for a very long time.

During our separation, she was arrested for a DUI in 2006, served some time in 2007, was arrested again in 2008 due to a probation violation & in 2009, she was evicted from her apartment. She contacted me in 2010 & I was shocked to hear from her. I filled her in on all the things that were going on in my life at the time & spent over an hour on the phone with her. She would call & leave messages & I wouldn't return her calls. Finally, after a while, I started talking to her regularly. I knew that she was sober from our conversations & we had some good conversation. Something, I longed for my entire life. I allowed her to talk to her grandchildren on the phone & they enjoyed her calls as much as she did. She desperately wanted to see me & the kids, but I just didn't feel ready. I told her to give me time whenever she asked.

I found out that she was living in an adult care home & was in & out of the hospital for various things. She had a stroke & I also found out recently that she had COPD. I told her that she should stop smoking & her response was, "How many things do you want me to give up?" I told her that she was giving up bad things & she would laugh at me. Due to our separation for many years, I was not aware of her health issues as she did not have me listed as a contact person at her doctors or hospital.

On December 22nd, I received a call from one of her caretakers that she was in the hospital. I called the next day & found out where she was & went to see her. I took my daughter with me. She was shocked, but happy to see us. We had a nice conversation, shared a few laughs & she got to see her granddaughter after almost 10 years. I asked her how bad her COPD was because it comes in stages & her reply was, "It's mild." She was discharged on December 24th & I called her & she was unable to talk to me. She told me she couldn't talk & that she was in pain. I waited a few days & called again & received the same response. I was worried & called her caretaker to ask if she was ok & why she didn't want to talk to me.

Unfortunately, on 1/3/13 at 7:41 a.m., I received the worst phone call of my life.. that my mom was unresponsive & she was gone. I was devastated. I was always scared to see her as I didn't want to be shocked by how badly she looked & now that I got that out of the way at the hospital, there would be nothing holding me back from seeing her again. In a matter of 11 days, my whole world changed. I've spent my time on the computer looking up end stage of life in COPD to find out what was really going on with her. I look back on her response of, "It's mild" knowing that she was sparing me with the fear that she was dying. Even, with all her demons, she still did what a mother does... protect her child.

I found out from the same caretaker, who told me that she was in the hospital, that my mom told her that I came to see her with my daughter & that it was the best Christmas present she ever got. Even with those words, the pain I feel is awful. I am filled with alot of regrets of what could have been & why we didn't have more time to expand on the new found relationship we had. I miss her calls & long to hear her voice. Saturdays are rough for me as this was the day she would call me & the kids. Even though I am filled with feelings of denial & saddness, I am grateful to God that we had a good relationship for about 2 years, even if it was over the phone. I guess we both received our closure in a way.

My mom had a very rough life & struggled during her time on earth. My only consolation is that she is finally in peace, happy & is no longer suffering.

Looking for advice as to how to cope with my loss. Thank you.

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im very sorry for your loss....my mom had a crappy husband who constantly hurt her even on her death bed, when she passed away last dec 11 2011 i felt so depressed but a part of me knew she was in a better place away from the demon of a guy. Its hard to accept that shes gone and the pain is sometimes unbearable especially when other things go wrong but sometimes i also imagine her looking happy and healthy and free from all pain. i guess for me that keeps me going..talking about it helps, especially in a support group where people understand..its hard and i dont think ill ever be the same but i need to try at least for her.. you still need to live your life and never let go. just try to understand that shes in peace and try to remember the good memories even if it was only through the phone...

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