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It's not how I thought it would be


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I don't know how I imagined I'd feel when my mother died, but I keep being surprised.

I cried all day and night the day she died, but from the day after until the 1 week mark, I just felt tired. Not quite numb, but not terribly upset, either. Just out of it, busy with 'arrangements' and tired. And sick. I woke up with a head cold the day after Suki died that developed into my first-ever sinus infection.

I came back to work on Wed., 10 days after her death, and was happy enough to get back. I like my job and the people here have been an incredible source of support since November when we found out about her mets. And I was happy to go home and be with Levi in the evening, like I used to, rather than going to Calvary and getting home at 9-10, long after he was asleep.

Then, over the weekend, I was so ridiculously happy. I spent the whole day Sat. doing fun things with Levi and Dave, I picked up cufflinks I had made for my brother out of one of Suki's rings which gave me great joy, I slept well, I ate healthier, and, above all, I was consumed with happiness that Suki did not have to suffer any more. Levi even talked about her a few times unprompted -- "Grammy. Blue fish. Eggs." All things he associates with her time in hospice. And, yes, I felt relief that we aren't going through it any more, either. I had time alone yesterday and I spent it doing laundry and thinking about her in a very not-sad way.

And then today - BAM. I feel like someone is sitting on my chest, it hurts so much. I am posting here because I am afraid if I open my mouth I will melt down to the point that I will not be able to pull it together to finish the workday or get home on the train. Nothing happened. Nothing reminded me of her more today than other days. It's rainy, I'm hormonal, I suppose that could all have something to do with it. I just want to crawl into bed for a month.

It's two weeks today. In fact, it's two weeks ago almost to the hour that I kissed her for the last time and left her for Calvary to do whatever they do. We spent 90 minutes packing up and dealing with all the stuff in her room after she stopped breathing. We were laughing that if she hadn't already died, she would have when she saw me cleaning up. She laid there as we did, all of us moving around her, making lots of noise with paper and bags and talking. It sounds crazy when I type it but at the time it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. When we were finished, my brother and I each spent a few moments with her, then we said good bye together. He cried; I didn't. I told him everything was OK, and believed it.

So what happened to me today? Is this just how it's going to be? Blind sided by sadness and emptiness with no 'trigger' or anything? I'm not good without a map.


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Hi Bunny,

Happens to me all the time. My Mom passed in Feb. and at first I was just slammed flat devastated. Then it got to where I didn't cry every day, then a whole week with no tears. Then just out of nowhere that horrible loss hits again. I guess that's just part of losing someone you love.


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Would it suck too much if I answered, "pretty much." This is, or isn't how it's going to be....

Grief is nothing if not unpredictable. You can't plan for it. There is no map. The day my Mom died Andy, Carolyn, and I went to the park, went shopping, were together as a family... And I felt good. I felt joy. Normal stuff still happens and normal feelings still happen. I always thought it was like... the end of normal altogether. And it is, but... it's also not.

All of your feelings though are valid, and ok, and normal, and real.

It came in waves for me--the buckling points, and the black clouds, and the sadness, and the longing and missing and barreness. It still comes in waves for me. The waves get smaller and smaller--not the feelings or the intensity of the love... But I'm not swept under by them. And I've learned how to ride them a little.

If there was a map, I'd Fed Ex it immediately.... but it's different every day, every second, and different for every person.

Love you, friend...

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Bunny grief has no rules or boundaries. It hits us at the strangest times in Life and we never know when we will get hit with it. I used to break down in the grocery store after deb died and the girls used to help me out and let me sit in the office or break room for a while . They knew us. Grief just doesnt have rules it does its own thing when it wants to. One of the things that helped me out was to talk to Deb after she passed away. I would go outside under the stars at nite and tell her everything that happened during the day. And it helped me out a lot. Calmed me down and kept me connected. Wish I could give you the answers but only some advice.. Thoughts Prayers and Hugs today, Randy In NC

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Hugs to you.

It's been a long time for me - 25 years, so I can't say I recall the details exactly. I remember going to work for a week or two, and soon, just staring at my work. I got a little Rx to help me concentrate, but didn't stay on it long. Not knowing any better, I took myself off. When? Right after I got a full immersion of unconditional family love! I attended a family reunion of my maternal line about a month after my mom died. It was the best therapy I could receive. I did try some talk therapy after that, but it had little to do with her, in retrospect, and I didn't find it particularly useful.

After that, the sadness still came, tears at bad movies, wishing she was around for special moments, and tears at random times, but nothing like the first month. The first year was tough overall.

Now, that experience isn't easily replicated, but there are probably other things that might help. I still wish I had gone through her belongings and helped decide what went where. I lived far away and left it to others. I still talk to her sometimes.


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Isn't it wild? How can I be blissfully thankful to have had my mom for the time I did and feel like everything is fine, and in the next moment question how do I do all of this without her...2 1/2 years later, I still have these moments.

And I wonder how do all these emotions exist?

There is no roadmap...and also, for our part anyway, there is no expectation...feel how you feel, and feel free to tell us about it, we get it.

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I remember my mother telling me a story about one of the last shopping trips she took with her mother (my grandmother) before she died. My mother started to cry when she was telling me the story, and I was surprised because my grandmother had been gone 15 years and I figured after 15 years you should be "over it". But my Mom's been gone now 11 years, and although most of the time I remember the fun times, and do just fine, every so often it still hits me like a ton of bricks just how much I miss her. I've pretty much decided that this will continue to happen for the rest of my life. I just think the loss of our mothers is a bigger loss than maybe we see coming. Your loss is very recent, and I know the the first year or so after my Mom died my emotions were all over the place. Time does help.

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