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Emotionally crippled after mom's premature death?
I’ve posted about this before but now I need to deal with the real problem with my Mom dying: the horrible grief and sadness I feel for her every day.
Some of you may have read previous posts of mine… (See here: http://www.fluther.com/153459/how-can-i-protect-my-terminally-ill-mom-from-my-rageaholic/ And here: http://www.fluther.com/156911/could-my-father-get-me-for-defamation-if-everything-i-say/)
It’s been really hard for me to deal with my father’s nasty antics on top of my mother’s death but mostly now I’ve just been feeling sad about her.
My Mom was my best friend, my constant cheerleader and my greatest ally in 24 years of life. She was head-turningly beautiful, intelligent (read every great piece of literature under the sun and spoke decent Latin) and had a delightfully twisted sense of humor.
She was the type of Mom that even as a teenager, I could relate to her as a friend and I loved her even when she had to be a hard ass with me. My friends also loved her and many considered her to be like a second mother when they needed one most. Anyone was welcome to stay for dinner anytime and she was locally known for her generous Italian demeanor. Once told her I liked her shirt and she tried to take it off and GIVE them to me right there. Such was her love for her three children that she never wanted us to go without even if it meant sacrificing for herself. I’ll never forget that.
She was awesome and I adored her with all my heart. But my world came crashing down when I returned from a 3 month trip abroad to find her terminally ill with stage IV cancer that she had hidden for over a month. I spent the last two weeks of her life by her side, taking her to appointments and trying to help her stay comfortable until she died suddenly on New Year’s day of an apparent blood clot.
She just collapsed in front of me… twitching with blood coming out of her mouth. I knew that she was dying and there was nothing I could do to save her. Paramedics came quickly and tried to revive her, then took her to a nearby hospital for legal reasons but as my brother, boyfriend and I followed the ambulance, I knew she wasn’t coming back.
When I saw her lying in a little room, dressed in a hospital gown, she didn’t look like she was sleeping or ‘at peace’—she looked dead. Her face, distorted from tumors, was black and blue from the sudden loss of O2 and her eyes were already sunken into her head. The fact that her 5’10 frame had wasted to less than 120lbs made her look even worse and after touching her cold waxy hand one last time, I just had to leave. That was the last time I ever saw my Mom…
When I think of her now, I try not to retraumatize myself with tragic memories of her final days. I try to think of her as I saw her just a few months before she died: bending over to weed her prized garden or reading a book on the porch. I try to remember how even in my 20s she would always make a point to hug me whenever she could for no apparent reason and tell me how much she loved me.
I try not to be mad at her for smoking two packs a day, drinking a little too much or staying married to an abusive jerk for 25 years. But I just can’t help but think “what if…” sometimes. My Mom was a pragmatic agnostic but she had a strong belief in life after death and spent years researching the subject. After losing so many loved ones herself, it brought her comfort to think they were still alive spiritually and she would often say that she would always be with me.
When I was three years old, she took this pottery class where she painted this female figure and gave it to me on her birthday with a nice note written for me on the bottom. About 15 years later when I was 18, she found it again and left another note next to it that simply said “I’ll always be with you.” Sometimes I wonder if my Mom knew she was going to die young and wanted to preemptively give me some comfort. She was very perceptive and often predicted things long before they happened. Seriously, the woman could tell you the results of any election six months before the polls…It was almost eerie at times how much she knew.
Since she died, I’ve moved to South America with my boyfriend to get some distance and perspective on my Mom’s death. I like to think that being here helps but my boyfriend is concerned about me because it’s been more than two months and I still cry all the time. He feels helpless to make me feel better and sometimes blames himself for not being able to make it go away.
Lately the crying has been worse and I think her loss is just starting to “hit” me. I feel crappy all the time, sometimes I cry until I can’t breath anymore and the sadness is starting to affect my physical health.
How long did it take for you to get over the acute grief phase for a loved-one? I’m going to seek therapy ASAP but mostly I just wanted to get a few things off my chest.