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How?????


Madison70

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I lost my Mom this week to lung cancer. She was diagnosed in March of 2003 with Stage 1 lung cancer. They could not take it out because her lungs were too bad. She had radiation and everything went well for a little over a year and then it came back. She took chemo and it really took her down. We knew the cancer would take her eventually but it came so much sooner than we expected.

I guess what I am doing is asking people who have been through this how they got through it? When does it stop hurting so much? When does that knot in your chest go away? When do you stop waking in the night realizing that your loved one has died? When do you care about anything at all? How do you keep on taking care of your kids when you don't feel like doing anything? How do you keep from smothering your remaining parent because you are so scared that you will lose them too?

I just don't know how to do any of this.

Madison

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Madison, I am so sorry for your loss. No wonder your are feeling so badly right now, it has just happened. Of course you are feeling all those things. Go ahead and love them, do the best you can, you are so hurt, you have to be patient with yourself as well as them.

To go straight to your questions, when I lost my Mother at 72, I guess at first you just go through the motions, one day at a time. For me, I kind of coasted for a good while, then had an hours long crying fit months afterward. A long time after, I don't remember the pain, I remember the good things. Even the ways in which we didn't get along have mellowed and the memories are good. Maybe your heart does heal in time, or maybe some pains just get walled off in time.

The lump in your chest - or for me it was my throat - put your chin all the way down to your chest, it makes it easier to breathe. And breathe and concentrate on relaxing.

The doctor can help, too, there are medications to help with overwhelming emotions, if you need them for a little while.

Again, I am sorry. What you are feeling is probably normal. Just get through it. Love, Margaret

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Madison,

I am so sorry that you lost your dear mother, and I know how much it hurts as I have lost both my mom and my dad.

I can't add much to what Margaret said; she said it all so well. It's early, and you are still in shock. It feels like your world has caved in and it's hard to understand why everything is still going on around you just like before. It is going to feel this way for a while.

As time begins to pass, the one thing I would suggest is that you try to force yourself to think about other things. There's an old saying that says, "What you think about, you bring about." That can be used in a positive way or a negative way.

As time passes, if you let yourself continue to think about your mom not being here, about her pain and suffering, about how unfair it is, and how miserable you are without her, I can guarantee that you will stay depressed and miserable because you will be bringing about what you are thinking about.

On the other hand, if you can focus on your kids and their lives and activities, getting your house spic and span, giving time, money or gifts to needy families, going out to dinner with friends, and smiling about all the fun times you had with your mom, you will bring about more of the same. Your dad has just lost his soul mate and needs you. When he sees you, I hope he sees a smiling face, gets a cheerful hug, and gets to laugh and play with his grandkids.

It's probably a little early to expect much success with this, but try to begin to think in this way, and the healing will be more swift.

I still miss my mom and dad terribly, and I sure do wish they were still here, but it doesn't hurt anymore because I just won't let it.

I'm saying prayers to God that He send you His peace.

Love,

Peggy

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there is no map for grieving. i am so sorry for your loss. the grieving process is so different for everyone. how will you get through it? i don't know. but i know you will. because you have to. because your mom would want you to. because you must be strong. and carry on. because right now, you don't belong in heaven. things aren't going to be easy. and nobody can expect you to be a pillar. there is no way but right through it. and there is no right way. it may take months, years, or days. but you will get through it. here is wishing you strength, tears and happiness for this next part of your journey. thinking of you. mirrell

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I am so sorry for your loss. I know there are no words to dull this pain.

I think the most important thing is to be grateful for the blessings in your life. For me, it took realizing how much tougher my housekeeper's life was than mine, and seeing her sunny disposition anyway. I am sad that it took seeing someone having to struggle even harder to make me see my blessings - a better man could have seen them all straight away - but I am glad Julie was there to be that model.

I am guessing the 70 in your name is your birth year, and so you had a loving mother for 34 years. My daughter had one under four years. Be grateful for the blessing that your mom has been.

And then take the lesson of this loss to live life better. This time is so short, and it is so beautiful. That is why your mom and my wife fought so hard for every day, to do all the things that brought them meaning. So do not take this day for granted. They run out far too quickly. So live them well. Be more expressive. Tell more jokes. Wear your purple now. Let your mom's legacy be that you live a more meaningful life, in whatever that means to you.

And above all, forgive yourself. You will not be as good as you're used to being at many things for a while. Work will be a struggle. Parenting will be a struggle. Prayer will be a struggle. And that is okay. I read the Genesis story a couple of months ago, and I have told this before but it is valuable I think. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and covered themselves with fig leaves, God asked them, "Who told you that you were naked?" There was no shame in their being naked, just as there is no shame in you grieving. The only shame would be believing the world when it says grieving should go a certain way. It says we should be back to normal in a couple of days or months. Do not listen to the world. Listen to your heart.

And if you need help, try a therapist. Most insurance companies will cover them in this circumstance. I am pleased to be heading to mine Tuesday.

Curtis

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I just want to say thank you to Margaret, Peggy, Mirrell, Curtis and JC.

I want you all to know that I have followed your stories since I joined this board. Being a little shy I don't post often but check this site out every day. There have been many of times I have sat at the computer and wept because someone got bad news or lost someone they love.

But nothing has prepared me for losing my mother. Next to my husband she was my best friend. We talked every single day.

When she was first diagnosed I cried for 2 months. She did so well with radiation and had a year after that of being NED so we relaxed some. Then this last September they said it had come back. She just did not handle chemo well even though they gave her the lightest dose/kind that they could. I am holding on to the fact that I got to spend the last day with her. Of course neither of us knew that it was going to be the last day. She had been having trouble breathing and was waiting for Cat Scan results to come in to schedule a time to have fluid drained from her lung.

My head says that she went the way she would have wanted. No hospitals and in my father's arms but my heart won't accept that yet.

My heart breaks for myself and then again for my father.

My 10 year old son asked me last night if I was done being sad. I know it bothers him to see me cry but I have just not been able to hold it back.

I have always known that losing my mother would be hard but I just never imagined that it would hurt this bad.

Madison

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Hi Madison,

I'm the one trying to hold back the tears in my eyes just reading how hard this is for you. I'm not good at grief counseling, especially since I've been able to cope reasonably well with the deaths I have had in my family, so I'm afraid I don't have any magic words.

First, I was wondering how old you are. If your son is only 10, I expect your mom was pretty young, as are you. I think it's a lot harder when you are younger and you lose a parent. My parents were 69 and 76 when they died. I think a person adjusts a little better when their parents are older because it's just known that it is going to happen some day. In my case, both of my parents had been very ill with lung diseases for 10 or more years, so even though it was hard, it was expected and it wasn't a big surprise. I'm not saying that makes it easy, it's just not as big a shock.

Second, please remember that what you are feeling right now is normal. Your mom has just passed, and this is going to take some time and adjusting. There's just no avoiding it. If after some time passes and you feel like you should be doing better, but just aren't, please, please, please seek grief counseling to help you.

Last, always remember that all of us here at LCSC are here to help you if we can. This is a good place to vent your feelings, and oftentimes someone says just the right words that gets someone over a crisis. I hope we can be of some help to you.

Love,

Peggy

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Dear Madison,

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mother...I know how devasting the pain is..I lost my precious dad a little over a year ago and I remember oh so well being in your shoes...The pain is so overwhelming and I bet you feel that you will never be okay again..

Its so hard because it feels like you are alone and no one understands the depth of your sorrow, I understand..With all due respect to Peggy I have to disagree about the age thing..My dad was 70 when we lost him and the devastation is still felt in my family...

I think if it helps talk about what you need to talk about, so many here can relate to your feelings just let us know and you will find some relief knowing that everything you feel is normal, although we all grieve differently there are many similarities to our grief..

Time does help trust me it does, it wont take your pain away it just sort of teaches you how to live with it..When you have a beautiful relationship with a loved one and then they are taken from you its only normal to feel your heart shatter in a million pieces...

Everything is still so raw for you, I'll pray for you and your family to somehow find some peace and begin to heal..

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Madison,

I cannot add to anything that anyone else has said here. I am just so sorry for your loss and I don't know how I got through the loss of my parents either. I truly believe that it was a pain that I could not handle all by myself. Even though I didn't have a close relationship with God at the time, in hindsight, I know it was He who helped carry my pain. It is a pain that is impossible for one to bear alone. I know that it hurts so bad. And I am so sorry.

Love Cindi o'h

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Thank you everyone for your kind words.

I finally have gotten some medication to take. It does at least dull the pain some.

I feel so inadequate that I am dealing with this so poorly. I know the rest of my siblings are grieving too but they seem to be able to do it in a functioning way.

I always talked things over with my Mom and I can't talk about this with her. That's what is killing me right now. I know my Mom would have wanted to go the way that she did. She was going to have fluid removed from her lung and be tested for cancer. I know that if she got bad news that she would be horribly upset right now and not ready for another fight. She has been just too tired, she was 71. So it's a blessing that she didn't know that God was going to call her home that night. But I know my mother well enough to know that if she had known she was going to be going that soon she would have left me a letter or something. She would have told me how I was going to get through all of this and what to do to help my Dad.

I am usually a pretty stable person but this has knocked the wind out of me.

Madison

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Madison,

I'm so sorry...I know what it feels like to get the wind knocked out of me, too.....After a year, I still feel that way sometimes. Ironically, when my dad died...both of his lungs were clear of cancer! Go figure that, huh?

I wanted a letter or a video or some words myself....I didn't get any. My dad slipped into a coma the second day he was admitted into the hosital and died peacefully 11 days later. He never spoke to us. I always wish he had. But amazingly he smiled at us just before he died. I always hold onto that, at least.

I don't know the words to say to help you--or advice on how to get thru it all, or how to help your dad or your family cope....somehow it just happens.

Sometimes you're ok, sometimes not good at all...but we cope one second, one minute, one day at a time.

I have to believe your mom is watching you- and wanting you to find some peace and comfort.

I don't know why things happen the way they do-- I just know that it feels better to have others beside you as you go thru them.

Keep posting, we're here for you.

((HUGS))

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