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Time


Treebywater

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I know the saying, "Time heals wounds." And I know that there is some truth to it.

But what I have experienced lately, is that the farther I get from Mom's death, I hurt simply for the time that she hasn't been in my life. It is the time itself that inflicts the pain... Just feeling so far away. In two weeks, it will be 11 months. I look at that number and gasp, because it STILL doesn't feel real sometimes. And when it does feel real, it STILL feels like it just happened. I know I say a lot of the same things when I post here, but they are the same things that trip me up.

My husband's father has been gone for seven years. When I think about the idea of being without my Mom for seven years... Well I just can't even imagine it. How could that even be possible? But my husband is proof that one day it will be. It makes me feel a little better to see what a vibrant part of his life, his Dad still is... But I still can't imagine that time. I don't want to get that far away.

It feels like each day that passes I am that much further away from her, and I hate that the rest of my life when I wake up in the morning, it will be one day more.

So... time seems like an enemy, and not a healer. It seems like a mechanism that brings me farther away from my Mom.

I know that it could be much worse. And I thank God every day for the blessing of having my Mom for 24 years... but most days, I just feel like I'm too young to not have my Mom with me anymore.

Anyway... Since things in me have started getting unstuck lately, things are raw, and these are my thoughts today. I figured they might be relatable for others, so I decided to share.

For the record--I know that I am progressing through my grief. I don't sit in it all the time... I'm afraid that's what people might think. And I try to maintain perspective... I do. So please don't think I'm stuck, or that I'm not trying to 'move on and be happy.' I AM happy. But the happiness and the continued grief have to coexist. I know Mom wants me to be happy, but she showed me how to grieve more than anyone else did... And I know she would understand why I still cry sometimes. That was a million miles from my topic--but I didn't want anyone to think that I am just wallowing constantly and making no progress.

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Time heals all wounds but the scars remain. One never gets over losing parents completely. It just gets a bit less painful. Give yourself time -- and definitely keep expressing your feelings.

I lost my parents within a year of each other when I was in my early twenties. Many years later, after I married and had my own children, I was sitting in on a discussion about parents and I chocked up. The leader noticed and asked me to express my feelings of the moment. I had realized that my children would never know my parents and my parents would never know them.

The leader suggested I write a letter to my parents, telling them all about my kids, and mail it without return address. I did that and it did help. I actually sent the letter to the cemetery address, with no return address.

Later, I got out some old letters my parents had written to me, and I copied and shared those with my kids. Yeah, it would have been better if they had loved each other in person, but it was the next best thing. I have talked about my parents many times with the kids, and made connections where I could.

Give yourself time. The pain will diminish, but there will always be a vacant spot. And you have the memories. Don

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I know from personal experience, it IS hard to lose a parent so young. I know I feel cheated, and I wouldn't be surprised if you do as well. (I'm only 27, and my dad died almost 3 months ago). Give yourself the time, space, and energy to grieve. Life does go on, but that doesn't mean that grieving isn't living. It is a part of life we all go through, whether we are young or older. Be easy on yourself, and please don't feel like you have to explain your grieving process to anyone. It is different for us all. Big hugs, and please let me know if you ever want/need to talk.

Laura

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Great advice so far. I felt like you were talking about me when I read your post.

I feel like that too- like 2.75 years is SO LONG ago without my dad and all the memories I have made that don't include him, but when I really think about it, it feels like just yesterday.

I wish I had some great advice like Don or Laura- but I am an ostritch most times and keep so busy that I can't think too much or too deep about things or I fear I'd go completely mad. I just have bits of certain days that I allow myself to grieve, certain special days that I allow myself to really miss him...may not be the healthiest thing to do, but it works for me for right now anyway.

Just know that we are all here for you. Vent here always, we understand.

Hugs

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Oh, Val! I feel so lucky to have you as a virtual friend, because once again, everything you say, you put so eloquently into words and I am actually gasping while I read them, it is all so familiar to me. I am getting to the point where I feel like when I tell people I lost my mom four months ago, they would just say, "Oh, I'm so sorry," but think, "well, she should be over it all by now." So I feel like if I talk about it in weeks, people wouldn't be so apt to think that, because it sounds like it just happened, you know? (and for me, it did!) So, my mom has been gone for just 16 weeks tomorrow. Just like Ian is twelve weeks old. It makes him sound NEW.

Ah, well. I was in the shower a little while ago and realized I don't have anyone anymore who can tell me about things I used to do when I was little. Or remind me of experiences I had or trips I took that I may have forgotten about. My aunt is very near and dear to my heart, but she has her own daughter with their own memories. My grandparents, who helped raise me until I was 14, are gone, too. I am on my own and I am lost.

I swear even though I feel like I'm coming out of this shock somewhat, a big part of me still feels like my mom is coming back SOMEDAY. I really can't do this alone, can I? I never want to relive the dreaded "phone call" ever again, but each day that goes by is another day away from the last time I talked to my mom on the phone the last time. Or saw her. Too many things were left undone and unsaid between us. I mean, no proper "goodbye" (and what does THAT mean, really?). I talked to her around 6pm, and she said her dinner had come and she'd call me back. When she didn't I didn't think much of it; she had had a doc appt that day and I knew she was tired, and lots of times we would say "I'll call you back" and we just don't get around to it. There was always tomorrow. Except this time there wasn't.

Thankyou so much for responding to my post. My mom always was just a tad jealous of my in-laws, mostly because they used to take the twins out and my mom wasn't able to do that. Now I feel like, here they are, considerably older than my mom, and they're both still here (and of course I do not begrudge my husband of that at ALL) and my mom's not...and she's missing out on all of these changes. Yesterday I was thinking about how in just four months, the twins have grown and changed a lot. They are outgrowing their clothes. My mom bought clothes for them for school, winter clothing, and now of course it's summer, and those clothes are too small. It breaks my heart--it's the last things they will ever wear from my mom.

I'm a very lucky person; I was raised with morals and values my mother instilled in me, and I consider these all to be incredible qualities I've inherited from her. I look like her. I am the way I am because of her. I have a beautiful family, a wonderful marriage, and caring family and friends. But even with all of these things, my mother's death blew a hole in me that left a wound that will never quite heal. :(

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Hi Val,

Your post is a wonderful testament to the love you have for your Mom. Like you, I feel like I've been cheated out of my Mom all too early.

I particularly liked what you wrote about happiness and grief needing to co-exist. I can relate to that entirely. Given our realities, we have to make room for both of them in our lives. And on good days the smiles outweigh the tears - thank goodness!

I don't think you're wallowing in anything, Val. I think you are loving your Mom and that she is definitely proud of you!

Hang in there!

Kel

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This July 5th will be 12 yrs since my mom died from nsclc.

I can not believe it has been that long, feels like it was just a few days ago she was still here.

My nephew grad. the other day and had one of her earrings in his pocket. Sweet.

I still dream of her as if she was still here. When I awake, I feel sad but happy that I do still remember her as she was before the disease.

Cindy

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Val:

I am going to focus right in on your "for the record" stuff.....first of all, don't worry for one second about where you think you should be in the grieving process or that somehow you're concerned that you're "not over it yet" -- it's your personal loss and we all handle that differently. We all handle it exactly perfectly for us, and that's enough. No one else's opinion of where they think you should be at with this matters.

I was "fortunate" to not lose a parent until I was 43. But, I had a close friend who lost her dear mom when we were both in our early 20's and it hit her long and really, really hard (she and her mom were super-bonded, if you will -- I had never seen such a close, strongly loving, family before) -- at the time, info. out there was to expect about a year for grieving process -- that wasn't near long enough in her case: took her many, many years to work through her personal grief. But she did move through it -- at her own pace, in her own time. A pace that allowed her to find her own balance in cultivating happiness in her life with no real soul-scars to speak of, while remembering fondly the times with her mom and all her mom taught her.

There just is no "set time" where suddenly we are through it. My friend did "wallow" in deep grief for what I thought was a long period of time too -- understand that even if it comes to that, that is perfectly OK. That was my first experience with grief and I swear had I rushed her to "move on" with her life prematurely in our talks, it would have just made things worse for her. What's important is to have people around you who will just listen and support, and not criticize your personal process.

As Don said, give yourself time.

Hugs,

Linda

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