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My mom died last week, so why do I feel this way?

Jess1215 Member Posts: 1
edited June 2014 in May Their Memory Live On

My mom passed away on Friday, April 10th after a very long and courageous battle with breast cancer. She was originally diagnosed in December 2001 the week after my fifteenth birthday. She was treated with chemo, didn't even need radiation, and was in remission by February of the following year. Then we got the unfourtunate news in January 2007 that her cancer had returned, this time as stage IV, and it had returned in the lining of her heart. The last two years have been so frustrating because there isn't a determined way to treat this. It seemed like everytime things seemed somewhat positive and we had a little bit of hope that the treatment was going to work, it stopped working.

My mother, being the rock that she was never let us get too down about the situation. We always faced every sitatution with a positive attitude and faith that things would work out well. Even when we recieved the news that she wasn't going to beat this, she wouldn't let us feel sorry for her. She wanted to spend her last days at home with her family and friends, so we were able to set up hospice care in our home. The day she came home from the hospital, at her request, we even had a party with close friends and family.

She was home for exactly two weeks before she passed, but a lot went on during that time. In the beginning she was able to help with funeral arrangements, which we found out later just how helpful that was. I would make her favorite foods and we would sit down and have long talks. We talked about everything that we had on our minds about the past, present, and future. We talked about all the things she was going to miss in my life (my graduation from college next year, getting married, having kids, etc), but she assured me she would be there (in spirit) for all of those things. She encouraged me so much during those talks to keep my faith in God and to not be angry because of what happened to her. My mom loved her family and children more than anything. Towards the end she wouldn't speak all day and it was almost as if she was saving all of her energy just to be able to say "I love you" to each of us as we told her goodnight. In fact, the words she spoke with her last breaths to my dad, brother, and I were "are you going to be okay?" She couldn't leave until she knew we were going to be okay. I don't think there are adequate words to express just how amazing my mother was.

I really thought that after she passed I would be absolutely devasted. A few hours after I was able to process the fact that she had died, I actually felt a huge sense of relief. Not only relief for her, but for my dad, my brother, and myself. Near the end of her life, I was ready for her to go. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is impossible to see someone who was so full of life not be able to walk, or eat, and bearly be able to speak. After the funeral I was able to speak with a lot of family and friends, and I actually found myself being the one to comfort them. They all seemed shocked that I was doing well, and many of them think that I'm trying to hide my feelings. I am extremely sad, and I think about my mom almost every minute of every day. I just choose to remember who she was during the first twenty years of my life, and not the way she suffered for the past two and it makes it easier. I'm know I'm going to miss my mother everyday for the rest of my life, but I'm finding it easier to go on with my life than I thought. I've read stories from other people who have posted on here especially those close to my age about how they can't stop crying and can't go on, and my heart breaks for them. I cry every now and then when something reminds me of her, or when I pass by a picture of her, but it isn't a constant depression. I am comforted by the fact that my dad, my brother, and I were all able to be with her when she passed away, and I don't know if this is what is helping me through this. I'm also grateful for the fact that we were able to discuss happy memories and get my mom's advice on things for my future. I feel like there was nothing left unsaid.

I know there is no right or wrong way to deal with grief, but I feel like something is wrong. I have continued on and I put a smile on my face. Those that don't know me, would have no idea what's going on in my mind and in my life. It's not that I'm doing this, and it is difficult for me, it just seems like a natural reaction for me. That's very much the way my mother was, so I think that's why I am this way. She taught me to be positive and try to find the good in every situation. However, I do take time for myself to be sad and grieve when I feel iI feel that I need it. I'm just really worried that I'm not really comprehending the situation, this is all going to hit me later on. I just lost my mother who was also my best friend, and I'm continuing my daily routine, and I feel a sense of guilt for that. Am I going to regret later that I and continued on normally? I don't know anyone who has ever experienced anything like this so I wanted to get the perspective of people who have been there. I was just wondering what experiences you all have had, and if you have any advice for me.


  • idaho
    idaho Member Posts: 53
    edited April 2009

    You will have days that the grief will come.  It is normal to feel a sense of relief, relief that she doesn't have to suffer any more, that you don't have to worry any more, and that you are healthy enough to go on with life.  I felt that the world should stop just for a minute when my mom died, but it doesn't.  It is good that you are coping so well.  Don't worry about it, everyone grieves in their own way.  Your mother sounds wonderful, she would be proud that you are carrying on in her footsteps by being the nurturer and giving the care to others.  You might want to look for a grief and loss websight, there will be more people there to compare notes with.  Hugs- Tami

  • cubsfan
    cubsfan Member Posts: 3
    edited April 2009

    Dear Jess,

    First of all let me say how very sorry I am for you.   I am sure your mom would be very proud of you!!!  I do not think anything is wrong with you at all!!!!   First of all we all respond to grief in different ways.  I think you had time to mourn your mom while she was still with you and this is a blessing.   My mom died when I was 33 of lung cancer and I responded pretty much the same as you, and I think I got my strength from my mom up above.   I cried too but it was not at holidays or birthdays or special occasions because I believe you mentally prepare for those situations.   I think you will mourn and cry for your mom when you least expect it and that is Ok too!!  I have three daughters in their 20's and my worst fear is leaving them so I admire the strength your mom had.   I hope when it is time for me to leave this world I have the strength that she had.   Please accept my condolences and remember all the great times you shared and let those memories hold you close.   You were blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with her.   She seems like a very special woman and you seem like a special daughter.  Please take care of your dad and brother.  May peace continue to be with you jess.

    My prayers will be with you and your family

    God Bless


  • maryannecb
    maryannecb Member Posts: 74
    edited April 2009

    What a beautiful post! I believe your Mom would be proud and ...happy thet you are ok. It sounds like she was not afraid to die and did her best to live right til the end.

    In time as you have other wonderful or sad things happen in your life you will miss her presence as your guide and friend... But for now you are content that she was a wondefrful Mom and her suffering on this earth is over.

    I lost my youger brother to cancer in my 20's. I too felt relief when he passed, it was hard to see my fun-loving brother get sicker and sicker. I still think of him often...everytime I try to make one his famous my children came...I still carry the good memories we had together and often think what he would say to me about various things were he still alive.

    There is no right way to what ever feels natural..

  • CAZ
    CAZ Member Posts: 94
    edited April 2009

    Dearest Jess,

    I am so sorry about your loss.  I was 23 when my Dad died of an infection secondary to chemo for skin cancer.  I left to go back to school the night before he passed not knowing it would be the last time I saw him.  I, too, was relieved that he was no longer in pain, but it was his fear that distressed me most.   Here was my rock terrified of leaving us behind.  Your Mom sounded prepared and peaceful with the way you were prepared to go on without her.  She would be proud.  I remember the first day I didn't think about my Dad months after he passed.  I initially felt guilty, but realize that is our coping mechanism.

    Just remember, she's always with you.  Remembering her is your biggest tribute.

    Take care,


  • jadai
    jadai Member Posts: 33
    edited April 2009


    My mom is now battling stage IV IBC and I am in tears reading your post.  It is so difficult watching her fight this battle.  Your feelings are all valid.  I lost my dad to lung cancer 9 years ago when I was 25 and I felt the same as you.  In 6 months he went from being full of life and feisty to not knowing who people were, thin, on get the idea.  I was relieved when the pain was over.  I was also very strong.  I was comforting people at his funeral.  For the most part I was fine.  But, I can tell you that at the strangest moments the sadness would overtake me and I would just start to cry out of the blue.  There are lots of people who understand.

  • celia088
    celia088 Member Posts: 975
    edited April 2009

    Jess, you are a very articulate woman, and i think that your amazing mother is the one who taught you not only how to love,  but how to let go of her at the end of her life.  There are different stages of grief and we don't go thru them in a linear way, one after the other, we experience a little bit of each of them every day.  I think what you are feeling is very normal.  After my mother died i had a sense of relief that she was no longer in pain and fear.  You said that "there was nothing left unsaid".  That is just an amazing blessing that your mother made happen, and reading that brought tears to my eyes.  Moments of grief will just come and go for you, but time will smooth out the sharp edges of your pain.  I am so sorry about the passing of your sweet mother.  My condolences to you and your family. Your mother will be in your heart forever.

    I have added your mother to the List of Angels in Commemorating Loved Ones, in the Family and Friends section of the list.


  • spar2
    spar2 Member Posts: 3,631
    edited April 2009

    Jess, you said it all.  It takes a lot of love to let go.  Celia I might add that you are an amazing woman. 

    Jess, may each day get easier and may you and your family have peace.  hugs. sherry

  • mindy54
    mindy54 Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2010

    You said EXACTLY what I'm feeling right now. I could have written every single thing you said.  I don't even know if you will see this since you wrote this last year but I want to let you know you have helped me. My mom passed away on July 15th. I am confused with feeling so "normal" most of the time.  When I found out there was nothing the doctors could do and they had given her 3 weeks at the most (she lived just over one) I thought that I would become a mess once she was gone.  I think that being with her every day of her life the last 2 weeks and being with her until the end really helped me.  I remember her and smile and have happy memories of our time together.  I also feel she is somehow helping me through this. Thank you saying how I am feeling and letting me know other people feel this way too. I hope you are doing well.


  • Rbaston0912
    Rbaston0912 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2010

    Guys hearing your stories really make me sad and I do not know how I will accept this situation if it will happen to me and I believe we will all face that situation. I just hope that when the time come, I would be strong enough to face the music.

  • MJLToday
    MJLToday Member Posts: 42
    edited October 2010

    I think the key is to remember the everyone is different, every relationship is different, and everybody has different ways to grieve.  It's OK if you feel relieved.  It's OK if you feel a different, sadder grief in the future.  And, it's OK if you don't.  You won't be disrespecting your loved one any at all. 

  • lago
    lago Member Posts: 11,653
    edited October 2010

    2 years ago we went throug this with my MIL. Granted she was very old and passed do to lung cancer. She was a cronic smoker.

    We all felt a sense of relief when she passed. No one wants to see someone suffer. She too loved being around people.

    I also watched the pain both my DH and BIL (his brother) went through. For months at the hospital every day. (BIL worked at the hospital so he stopped in several times a day. I too felt the sense of relief for them. The stress on my husband was huge. It did effect his health (now reveresed). 

    No need to feel guilty. Your mom didn't want you to worry. I'm sure she'd be so happy to know that you were continuing to lead your life.

  • lymy226
    lymy226 Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2011

    Reading your story made me feel very comforted.  I just lost my mom on February 3rd and everything you said about your mom in your post sounded just like my mom.  She was the rock, my best friend, and always said to see the good in everything.  I too feel like it is not hitting me like it should.  I can go days and days and not shed a tear.  I can watch my dad cry and not break down and stay strong, he even probably wonders why I am not, because I was the closest to my mother.  I'm not sure when it will hit me either or if it ever will.  I'm honestly terrified that it will hit me when I am graduating in May and she will not be there which I never expected.

    I think that in a way it is our mother's watching over us, knowing that we need to be able to stay strong for the people around us and to keep us going.  They meant the world to us and they knew that and want us to be ok.  I tend to cry only when I am alone I feel that my mother was the only person that could really comfort me before and now when I am alone I hope that she is there with me.

    I'm not sure what else to say other than I know exactly how you feel.  I am not ok and I wish I had gotten the time that you did with your mom when you knew that she was going soon.  My mom's passing was very unexpected and I wish that I had gotten that same closure,  I am glad you did.  

    I think that your mom like mine would want the best and that she is helping you through the greiving process slowly. 

  • marieibrahim
    marieibrahim Member Posts: 52
    edited April 2012

    i wish i could feel the same way too, i couldnt

    the first days after my mom passed away i tried to tell my self she is in peace now ,she had all kind of suffering those last 2 years , it helped a short while,now it has been 4 months and a week since she is gone and its getting worse, i keep think of her last months of suffering being not able to move ,to talk ,to eat ,to express herself,i dont know if she was here,in pain or what,i couldnt give her strong pain killers being affraid of losing her to respiratory inhibition,being with brain mets it was selfish and i couldnt let her go which tortures me more, i wish i could know what she felt , in what world she was lost ,i kept praying for god  to be with her where ver she is , i reminded him of all the sacrifices she has done for her family , she came always last in her priorities ,and begged him to be mercy. i stayed by her bed at home talking to her sometimes singing holding her hand and kissing her, i wish i could know if she heard me , i wish i could say goodbye.i got all those painful thoughts that may be she knew before that she had breast cancer ,but didnt say a word , she was at work abroad and she was diagnosed just when she came back. i m trapped in pain . for me life will never taste the same no real  joy ,no true  laughs . i wish i could have that peace ,its a blessing from god ,being so peaceful about it just mean you love her so much to let her go in peace.

  • ablydec
    ablydec Member Posts: 36
    edited February 2013

    My mother passed away from BC 28 years ago this week, when I was 20.  At first I was very focused on her illness and her struggle.  And it was so frightening, because I was young, and no one else loved me like mom.  But as the years have passed, and I raised my own children, and every time I taught them something that I knew I got from my mother, I felt that she was living through me.  Now when I got diagnosed (at 48, the same age she was) it's scary, but I feel that I can ask her to be what is called in Hebrew a "meilitz yosher" (intercessor with G-d to pray for me), and I know that she is pulling for me more than everyone else put together.  Our mothers can still love and teach, even from above.