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First post - loss of Mom

Discussion in 'Loss of Both Parents' started by Momto3, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Momto3

    Momto3 Member

    Hi - I just recently found this site. Hate that I have such a horrific connection with the loss of both parents, but glad there is a community of support. I lost my Dad in 2009 to lung cancer. With his loss, I became many more things to my Mom than just a daughter - I became her best friend, confidant, counselor and partner. She grieved so deeply for my father. They were very close, plus she had the extra struggle of "doing life on her own" for the first time ever. I was there for her, but struggled because I knew (and so did she) that she would never be 'happy' in that way again. My Mom started having some random strange symptoms over late spring/summer of 2020 and was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late August and given 3 months to live. She died 7 weeks after her diagnosis. Much of that 7 weeks was entangled with appointments and managing symptoms. We never truly got those under control. While we heard the words 'terminal' and had a timeline, I don't think either of us had time to fully accept it. I spent a ton of time with her, and we both got to say everything we wanted to. She died Oct. 10. I have been busy cleaning/selling her house and settling her affairs. I really thought I'd be farther along with my grieving by now and I'm just not. I can't seem to get past wondering where she is and the deep sense of loss that she's gone. I don't feel like we had unfinished business and I did all I could for her. But I still feel waves of regret. Those feelings really confuse me - without being able to properly identify the source of the regret, I feel like I can't get past it. I felt deeply sad after my Dad - we were very close. But this is very different. I don't know if this is deeper because it's the loss of both parents now, if the relationship with my Mom was just different or if somehow my care for her in the wake of his death distracted my grieving. I still can't sleep well and just have waves hit me of memory, hurt and regret. I start crying when I think of her. Even when I do mundane things like cancel her credit cards and the customer service person says a generic 'sorry for your loss,' I just get choked up and cry. I miss her so much - I just can't imagine that someone who was such a deep part of my life for almost 50 years is just gone in an instant. I've been a spiritual person, but that has not provided comfort during this; in fact, I think I've questioned my faith deeply through this. I don't know how to manage this grief to move forward. Hope to learn from all of your experiences. Thank you.
     
    nowords likes this.
  2. nowords

    nowords Member

     
  3. nowords

    nowords Member

    Hi - I just found this site a few weeks ago too when things weren't going great for me-I AM sorry- I DO know in some way what you are going through-I could have written your post- a bit different scenario- I lost my dad in 2007-cancer-and immediately took on my moms household upkeep/repair- lots of dinners out-and drives to keep her busy and engaged- I think this helped my grieving of my dad -the purpose-keeping her and my house operating etc.....well a month ago my mom passed suddenly- and immediate-at home- as she wished- never wanted to move to an old folks place- the idea made her sick- I saw her almost every day as she lived close by-in case she needed milk or buns or whatever.....So I am "happy" that she didnt suffer-and was at home till the last second- but I am a wreck-total wreck- way worse than when my dad passed- I think the fact that I was so much more involved for the last 14 years- not just as a son but a repair guy- social friend to her-fix it guy- the loss is multi layered-I have had some professional help in my grieving-and small doses of Xanax- just so I can function- 1 mg in the am and .5 mg afternoon- this is just a stop gap measure-and im hoping that it will buy me some grieving/healing time- I am devastated - I have so much more to pour out- but dont want to sound crazy-Please share anything else you would like- and I will as well if I hear any response - I'm a male- middle age- but I feel like a kid in the store thats lost his mom and crying like a child for her-
     
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  4. Momto3

    Momto3 Member

    You are certainly not crazy. I think it's very strange to lose both parents, and no matter what your age, you feel abandoned. I'm reading two books that have been insightful to me - one is The Orphaned Adult (Alexander Levy) and the other is It's ok that you're not ok (Megan Devine). The first really explains alot about this childlike response to grief after losing both parents. The second helps to talk about grief in a way that is real, honest and unconventional. I found them both very helpful. I think the best thing we can do is be gentle to ourselves. Since she died in October, I've found myself move from shock to depression. I'm not at acceptance yet. But I'm realizing that I can't escape my memories of her. Every spot I'm reminded of a time I spent with her there; every date/celebration, there is the memory that 'she was here last year for this.' Someone told me that the memories will go from bitter, to bittersweet, to hopefully, one day very sweet. But that can take years. Right now they are as raw and bitter as ever. While it's hard, I try not to get upset at myself for crying out of the blue or having to pause to make a mental reset. I'm just still deep in the valley think I'll be here for a while. Good luck to you!
     
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  5. nowords

    nowords Member

    Thank you for your response- I wish us both the best in the future-I will order up those books- I find reading/researching somewhat calming- if thats the correct term - This previous weekend I did a little trial run - cleaned out a couple of my moms drawers - some shoes etc- ok -well I found out 4 weeks from her passing is NOT ENOUGH time for me to start this-ugly ugly response and out bursts-I wont try that again for awhile- I am sorry for your loss- truly-you're not alone
     
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  6. Momto3

    Momto3 Member

    Yes, the cleaning out of the house is just... brutal. I had a sibling in town and forced myself to do it. For me and my personality, I wanted that over with. It was very, very hard and in hindsight, I should have put that off. The hardest - for me - was finding things that I had questions about. I spent so much time with her, but when I come across a picture or item that I'm not familiar with, I am reminded of how much more time I would have liked to have. I wish I would have gone through things more when she was here so I could know. Peace to you!
     
  7. nowords

    nowords Member

    Sorry to keep on this- how long after your moms passing did you clean her things- and how long do you think you should have waited- I got through 2 boxes in 8 or 10 minutes and that was it for my day- too much for me to handle-so- invasive going through her things-in her house- it felt like I was robbing my own mom -
     
  8. Toni24

    Toni24 Member

    I lost my mom many years ago in 1992..I was a young adult. My father passed away last June. I am still in the process of finishing up the cleaning out of their home since Dad's death. I totally get the feeling of robbing your parents. It is so invasive at a time when you are most vulnerable.

    My brother and I waited until the end of September to split and divide what we could...so a couple of months after Dad's death for the big tasks. I had been cleaning and organizing up to that point but not throwing anything out. My brother lives across the country from me and his help with the minutia is just not reasonable. So now, I just do what I can, when I can. I feel sometimes I have kept too much and others I long for those things we let go of. We had an auction for most of their belongings 6 months after his death if that timeframe is helpful.

    In my experience, it was easier to organize before tossing. It gave me time to look at things and reminisce and just cry. I am at the point now I need to sell the home and release this burden. I am thankful I have had the opportunity to take my time...I know others aren't so lucky.

    Peace to you during this process. This part is very hard, too.
     
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  9. nowords

    nowords Member

    Thankyou so much for sharing that- we have unlimited time to clean things out-the house is alarmed and theres great neighbours all around watching-its more what the best timing for us is now-Thank you again-
     
  10. Momto3

    Momto3 Member

    I agree - if you have it, take your time. My situation was a little different. I have siblings that all live away. They took time while in town for the funeral to go through things and take things for memory, the grandchildren did as well. It was hard, but the time spent together going through things and sharing stories actually was comforting. After everyone left, there was still a decent amount of stuff. My Mom had recently downsized, so it wasn't a huge amount, but still a lot. Her condo was prone to some water issues from the unit above hers, so I was a little paranoid of leaving it for days on end without checking it for concerns that there would be a leak that would cause damage. I got rid of the furniture first, largely because there was little sentimental value. The rest I boxed up and took my time going through - I could only do it in about 30 minute increments before it just got either emotionally too hard, or I'd go down a bunny trail, sending pictures of things and starting text conversations with family members. I was prepared for the things I knew would be hard - the photos, etc. The thing I wasn't prepared for was the emotional reaction I had to various mundane things: for example, she had a full set of cookware that had not been touched except for one small pan. Made me realize just how lonely she was, only cooking for one. I also found going through her clothes to be more emotional than I expected. I very much did feel like I was robbing her or disrespecting her memory in some weird way. My mother kept every record, but not necessarily in any great order. Managing all of her affairs, I was paranoid about throwing any of that out until I was sure bills were paid and accounts were closed. It has been over four months. I have everything sold or moved to my house. I will have a handful of boxes of memory stuff that I have put away and just can't go through it. Every time I think about going through it, I cry. I'm just giving myself time, hopeful one day I'll feel like I can get through it.
     
  11. nowords

    nowords Member

    Thank you for that- I'm on week 5-6 now-and like you I'm good for up to 1/2 hour then I need to leave-and shaking like a leaf-I had planned on boxing the real special things- photos- other little things I know she was especially fond of- little gifts that my Dad bought her and putting them in my basement till- whenever-- my one sibling lives 10 minutes away- and I live 20 minutes away- so no issues with that- theres just no room anywhere in out houses for her dishes- the everyday ones and the good china-the cooking stuff from the last 60 years-which each have a memory of a certain type of food she made- the baking pans- the decades of birthday cakes- the casseroles- I think that these things will just need to be boxed and donated in the near future-quickly- without thinking too much into it-ugh..and the nice dishes- are worthless to todays generation -as well as all her lovely solid cherry and solid mahogany furniture-- I see similar items selling on Kijiji of $200- full sets of furniture that cost my parents many thousands of dollars-I would gladly give it away if someone would enjoy and appreciate the solid wood quality- kids want Ikea press board now it seems.....as far as the paperwork- my mom was very particular -so that hasn't been an issue- other than going through papers with her lovely handwriting on it-that gets me all messed up....and on another note- Thank you so much for your comments/sharing- I am hoping that this is a part of the healing (for both of us?)- I read and absorb every word you write and am so sorry - and I am living this now with you and others- so I do get it- Thank you again!
     
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  12. Momto3

    Momto3 Member

    Thank you for sharing your story also. It has been very comforting to hear your journey, knowing the experience is mutual. I don't have many friends that have lost both parents and I find that experience very lonely. They're happy to listen but just can't empathize - in fact, the conversation typically ends with them talking about how they need to spend more time with their parent(s) or get things prepared. While it's nice to hear another voice who is going through the same thing, I'm so so sorry you're in the same position. It's a deep valley and I hope for light for you. Good luck and peace to you!
     
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