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What I Am Feeling
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 7:22 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

I don't know if anyone has thoughts or words that can help: maybe it will help me just to express? Lost mom end of November: now I'm stuck in the dead of winter, metaphorically as well as literally. I thought she would find a way to reach out and be present for me, as my Dad did after he passed, but nothing. I wear a necklace with a pendant containing some of her ash: it's heavy and I wonder if I should take it off. It doesn't exactly give comfort, but I'm scared to take it off. Maybe she's angry about that? That's my biggest fear: that she is angry, can now see a lifetime of sins and secrets and mistakes, that she's disappointed in me after a lifetime of love and support. Am I crazy? I feel like I have lost grace.  We have always been so close: now I feel like she has left me. Abandoned me. Her final weeks of suffering were terrible. I guess we're lucky that those weeks weren't years. I'm surprised that I'm crying as I write. And none of this is to mention how work has become something of a joyless slog: not every day, but many days. I have no interesting in cooking or trying new recipes. I feel distant from my husband. I am a professor and writer but can't write and don't even really care right now. Teaching is good, a comfort where I can forget myself and focus on others. Everything else tastes like mud. I cuddle my dog: he helps (though he's annoyed when I cuddle him). Sorry for this post: not quite a rant. Seeking comfort and support somehow. With love to you all.


Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:15 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2007

Dear AmyJo, Your words speak of weight – around your neck with the necklace, in your thoughts as you slog through your days. I’m a little further along in my grieving than you, my mom died in June, so eight months for me. My mom also had a horrific, from my view, last few weeks of her life, including a hospital stay, a release on hospice to home with a broken spine and stroke that left her unable to stand or walk, and in my mind, not enough pain relief, perhaps due to the hospice people being careful not to “hasten death.” Even her last days of ratcheting breathing sometimes replay in my mind.


At two months, I finally went to my primary care doctor after having spells of dizziness upon standing, and terrible nightmares which would awaken me screaming. She prescribed a low dose of anti-depressant which I took faithfully, did a complete physical work-up, put me in touch with a nutritionist who talks with me every week, and also recommended counseling, which I found hopeless with my dad so I didn’t take her up on that. I also availed myself of my support system of friends who have lost a parent or parents. I cried at odd times – at work, at the supermarket, when cleaning out parts of my mom’s and previously my mom’s and dad’s room. 


If someone asked me how I was doing, I would say “fine,” but if they really asked, and pursued it, then I would share. The processing of the intensity of caring the last minutes, the last weeks, the last months of my mom’s life is still going on for me. I’m a professor too and I decided not to take a course last semester. For you, the students are nourishing, for me, they had the opposite effect. It was all I could do to go to my day job of teaching at the school. I was surrounded by people who didn’t know my mom or dad.


My previous workplace had known both of them well. I reached back to people who had known my mom. I wrote a letter to the one person who had sent a card to my mom during the last year of my mom’s life and received a nice letter back about how this nice person had gotten to know my mom and a little of their friendship relationship. This helped.


I started to remove things that felt too weighty. I was going to wear a ring of my mom’s but it felt too “heavy,” so I stopped wearing it. I started walking more with the dog, long walks that the dog enjoys but that didn’t have to end if it was the weekend. Just looking around and marveling at the trees, as my mom had done so much when she was passengering in the car with me, would help. The world is a wide place, and very beautiful, if one can rid oneself of the twirling, swirling anxious thoughts, and just focus on what is in front of oneself. 


I started reading and writing more poetry. I would write and then put it away. I accumulated over two hundred poems and now I’m going to publish them! I made small decisions, what to do with my mom’s writing, what to do with her and my dad’s room, how to focus more on my husband and family, and all those small decisions, while sometimes hard to follow, felt good, and I could feel my heart becoming lighter as more happiness could seep in, because the world is a forgiving place that allows for as much grieving as is needed, and allows for the heart knitting itself back into a whole piece, and allows for us to lift up our eyes one day and know that what our parents truly wanted for us was to live on and to be fully ourselves.


Dear AmyJo, I hope my small thoughts have given you some measure of comfort. I do hope you can take care and feel yourself, day by day, becoming more whole, more alive, and fulfilling what is your unique destiny on this earth.


Kindly, MPSunshine 


Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:08 AM
Joined: 1/8/2016
Posts: 365


I love what MP Sunshine wrote! This is by far such a confusing time and our emotions are all over the place. First of all be patient and don't expect things to happen in a specific order. There is no rule on how to grieve or for how long.

My mom passed in Jan 2018 and I live with that moment everyday. I was very close to her and wonder why I haven't felt her the way I did my dad when he passed. I've come to accept that maybe it's because she is at peace with my dad and dancing in heaven. I would love a visit, but if it's not in God's will.....It's not to say that they aren't looking out for you or maybe there has been a visit but not the way you think. I think our problem or at least mine is that I didn't really get closure. This disease doesn't allow you to have proper closure because it robbed them and us of the ability to communicate properly.

After my mom passed and the fog was lifting I found it helped to talk to others on this side of the board. One person specifically reached out & threw me a life line and her shoulder (Veterans Kid) Since then we have become great friends. We are now in a different group and only we know how this feels because we all walked in the same shoes.

Every day is a challenge as you navigate through your daily routine while feeling so lost. Some days will be easier then others, but the sadness in your heart is always there. As time passes it helps to do little things towards brightening up your life. I too have fur babies that give me unconditional love. My husband & children are my heart, but even they don't know this sadness the way I do.

Do something to remember your mom in a positive way. My mom loved flowers so it's a theme throughout my house. I bought new uniforms for work and all were flowered themed. I did plan on fixing my yard last summer, but other things happened and I couldn't do it. Do something that brings joy into your life. I'm sure your mom would approve.

And, if you need to talk more I'm sending you an invite. I and everyone else on this side knows what you're going through.


Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2019 9:40 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

MPSunshine, I am grateful for your words and your sensitivity, for the knowledge there are others who know exactly what I mean. My siblings and I are struggling with the horror of the last days, which you clearly understand: I'm sorry for what you, your mom, and your family went through too. I DO feel the heaviness, perhaps the same as you did with your ring? Yes, I need to remove the weighty things right now; writing letters back to people who knew Mom is a great idea. Writing creatively (being creative) seems beyond possible right now, but I understand that with time will come more possibilities, and I know the world will show itself as beautiful again. It does every day, actually: I'm just in a spot that can see the beauty but not yet feel it. Let me know when your poems come out. I am grateful again for your kind words and time and willingness to share.
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2019 9:45 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

Thank you, Wendy: in some ways we are so alike. I felt so close to Mom and that's why I've been frustrated she hasn't found me, especially on the darkest days, but you remind me of the importance of patience, and God's will, which I do seek to submit to, no matter how stubborn the heart. There is something fiercely wrong with how dementia and delirium don't allow for closure: no coherent goodbye is really possible. Bitter pill. When spring comes I will refill my gardens with her favorite flowers, that's for sure. I am so grateful that you've reached out. When you say "on this side," do you mean, "on this side" of life/the world? Thank you for all.
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 7:57 PM
Joined: 10/7/2017
Posts: 32

AmyJo5,  I too wear the necklace with the ashes.  Originally they were my dad's ashes from 6 years ago and just this past July I added my mom's ashes to his ashes so again they could be together here in the physical world. (just my "human/mortal" way)

I never, ever, ever, ever expected my parents to come back to visit.  My dad didn't (not that I know of) so why would my mom?  To my absolute surprise she did but in her own time (that was just a couple of weeks ago). 

It reminds me of my youth "looking for love" . . . when we're most actively looking to find love we find nothing and then when we quit . . . there he or she is.  Maybe in looking so hard you're missing the clues.  Is your mom in your dreams?  Do you hear little noises at night that remind you of her but you logic the the noises away by saying it's just the furnace or the wind?  Maybe not. . . that's what I did at first, "oh I've got to find that noise in the furnace that sounds just like mom's cane hitting the floor", funny thing is it only makes that noise after I've gone to bed. . . . 

Like you I too love what MPSunshine & Wendy have shared. . . great testimonies to handling the grief and surviving the pain.  Beautiful ways of making your mom's memory even more precious, whether you see her or not.  She loved you as you loved her and she's still guiding her beloved daughter.

I wish with all my heart I could help take your pain away, 



P.S. I also wear a paw necklace with the ashes of at least 8 furkids.  The only time either of these necklaces have been removed was during hospital procedures where I had to remove them.  ♥

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:04 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 176

Thank you for sharing, Blaize: for your kind words and stories and insights. You might just be right in the comparison "of looking for love" (and now I have that song in my head, and though I don't know you, I will always think of you when I hear that song). Maybe I'm looking in all the wrong places. My mom was an amazing basket maker and I'm surrounded by gorgeous baskets she made and gave me over the years. While I still don't "feel" her the way I'd like, maybe I'm looking in all the wrong places! Sending out love and peace to all reading.