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i lost my mom last week

twiddles Member Posts: 1
edited June 2014 in May Their Memory Live On

i'm having a hard time managing my grief for my mother who passed away last week but reading that others know what i'm going thru gives me strength.

my mom was diagnosed stage III breast cancer (it had spread to her lymph nodes) in 2005. after an agonizing year of chemo and radiation (including a year of herceptin which weakened her heart), she was thought to be in the clear. a cough developed in december of was misdiagnosed 6 or 7 times...bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, allergies, etc...finally a lung specialist ordered an mri. the cancer had returned with a vengeance. it had metastasized to her brain, spine, lungs, liver and blood. they told her it was 'treatable' and she could live years but after 3 weeks of radiation and one week of chemo pills, she started to decline. her passing was a slow process...i watched her whittle away gradually over the course of 2 months. she lost her short-term memory. she refused to eat or drink. she could no longer walk. then she was hospitalized for dehydration 4 times and ended up in the icu with congestive heart failure. she was on a respirator for 4 weeks. we let her go on april 25.

i know a lot of people say this about their mom, but she was my absolute best friend, my favorite person and the glue that held my family together. she'd light up the room. she was generous, caring and loving. she was brave and selfless. she was funny, warm and loyal. she loved us more than anything. she was the most caring mom to me and my brother, and even caring and generous towards complete strangers. me and my brother were unbelievably lucky to have her as a mother.

so now i feel shattered. i try to go about my day and i forget that she's gone for 10 minutes maybe, and it catches up with me that it really happened and i feel that tight sensation in my chest and stomach. it's like it's a nightmare and i'm going to wake up. i can't bear to look at her gardening tools, her bike, her clothes, her medicine, her handwriting, her text messages to me...i miss her so much it physically hurts. i'm relieved she's no longer in pain but i didn't know my grief would be this heavy and debilitating.

i keep asking "why" questions that have no answer. why does this disease exist? why do people have to suffer like this? why her? why now? she was only 61. why me...she'll never get to meet her grandchildren? why didn't she get tested sooner? why didn't my family insist she get physicals every year. why didn't she make it the "couple years" the doctors promised? why did this happen so fast...this is a person who was riding her bike last summer and walking thru art fairs in the fall?

this is the hardest thing i've ever had to go thru...actually being there when she passed and then dealing with the aftermath...the giant, gaping hole in my life. anyone else who has lost a loved one, i sympathize with you. i hope to get to a place soon where i accept her death...when it's no longer unbelievable... and i'll still miss her and hurt over it but will want to live my life fully, in a way in which she would want me to.

thanks for listening. "twiddles" was my mom's nickname for me.


  • Gitane
    Gitane Member Posts: 58
    edited May 2008

    I have no advice. I just want to say I am so sorry you are experiencing this loss, it's so hard. The hurt is deep because the love was deep. I guess we cannot have one without the other, and we certainly would never want to give up one minute of the love we shared with our mother. Living through the pain is difficult. Your mom, like mine, would want you to live the best life you can and remember her with love and eventually peace. May you have strength in the days to come. Warm thoughts come your way tonight.


  • TenderIsOurMight
    TenderIsOurMight Member Posts: 55
    edited May 2008

    Oh twiddles, your Mom was an Angel while on earth. You describe one which I aspire to be, yet no where near come close to (for one thing, never spontaneous with a joke, go figure).

    My one thought is what a great gift she gave you, your Mom (I absolutely always define Merriam Webster by capitalizing Mom, but they're too great imo to warrant a small "m"). With all the fun, support, earnestly she en-captured for you, it's bound to have rubbed off. Maybe someday you'll have little ones, and have the wonderful opportunity of replaying and revisiting your Mom again.

    So difficult to see a Mom or Dad linger in illness, and you saw enough. These are fresh memories, capitalized by this coming Mother's Day next Sunday. Might you be with family or girlfriends that day, to verbalize the memories, and have someone close to touch you and wipe away the tears.

    My Mom was a light in my life, and the glue for our family too. She passed suddenly when I was about to give birth to my second child and on bed rest, unable to travel. She had just visited me, and I have a video of her playing with my 11 month old. Such joy and one I replay in my head frequently.

    I wish you a modicum of comfort with these words, as I realize now hardly anyone or anything will replace your loving loss. I will think of you on Mother's Day, twiddles, so as in some very small overture to let you know you are cherished.


  • celia088
    celia088 Member Posts: 975
    edited May 2008

    twiddles, i am so sorry to hear this news.  It is very hard to lose a Mom. My condolences to you and your family.  Your mother has been added to our List of Angels in Commemorating Loved Ones.


  • Jule
    Jule Member Posts: 85
    edited May 2008


    I firmly believe that our loved ones are with us after they our hearts, minds, and in spirit I think sometimes. I remember after my sister died from bc, I would wake up suddenly and I had been dreaming. It used to make me cry, but I would always feel better because in my dreams she looked so peaceful and happy. I don't know if that was her way of letting me know she was okay, but it felt like that. So, know that your mom is with you and will always be with you.  The pain will be there, but it will be tempered by all of those good memories and goofy memories. My favorite memories of my sister were times that she drove me absolutely crazy, because they make me laugh and shake my head now. 

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  

  • mk24
    mk24 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2008

    Twiddles,  I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. My Mom died in February at home with us.  The pain sometimes is so great, but I find comfort sitting in her room.  Every Monday, I re live the hours and yes, sometimes I don't believe that it really happened. 

    It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your Mom, that is something so special. I am thankful and blessed to have had that too.  Although she is not here now, I am so grateful that she was. 

    My thoughts are with you.

  • lbrought
    lbrought Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2008

    Twiddles, My heart goes out to you.  It is truly a difficult experience to lose a mother.  I lost my mother 3 years ago in somewhat the same manner as your mother.  I would love to tell you it gets easier, but that would not be the truth...let's just say you learn how to live again, but in a different way.  Just know that your mom is still with you and that in everything you do try and make her proud!

  • lmarieallen
    lmarieallen Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2008


    I am very sorry for your loss.  I too lost my mother to Breast Cancer.  Our stories are so similar.  In the summer of 2004 my mother seemed fine.  We were told that the cancer that was diagnosed on 2001 was gone.  They caught it early, she was treated with chemo and Tamoxifen and she was going to be OK.  By January 2005 she also developed a cough that was misdiagnosed.  She passed away on April 18th.  I broke my heart to lose her as she too was my best friend.  Just know that in time the hole that you have in your heart will finally begin to heal.  It takes time and no one can say how long.  In time you will heal.  My thoughts are with you and all the others that have lost their mother or any loved one to this disease.