Medical Questions > Relationships > Grief and Loss Forum

Lost my Mother 3 weeks ago. Anxiety, pain worse than I expected.

I lost my 82 year old Mother at the end of July this year and feel much worse than I imagined it would be. I'm a 56 year old man that set myself up for heartbreak, I guess. I became her best friend since her divorce from my father 20 years ago. I was the son that helped her the most regarding personal and practical matters- chatting every day on the phone about her VFW singles dance nights or fixing her furnace, taking her grocery shopping, etc. She started staying at my house more and more to recover from 2 hip surgeries, for example. As I was caring for her my social life started to suffer and didn't care. I was more than happy to give that up and more to help her. Last year she started feeling weaker, with what turned out to be congestive heart failure, so she moved into my house again. The stays would last a month or so, then in the hospital to rehap back the my house. The cycle ended in July when she went back to the hospital and suffered a dramatic setback- confusion, Copd symptoms, high and irregular heart rate. I visited once or twice a day til the Sunday morning when my brothers stood by her as she passed away. We went through the funeral planning, attendance and necessary immediate business in kind of a state of shock like everyone must feel. What's left now is a big space in the half of the house she stayed in, her belongings and her 18 and a half (!) year old Yorkie that I now care for. I'm single, uninterested in old buddies or old flames, no sisters, a detached relationship with my Dad & no longer able to continue doing what I loved best- being my Mom's caretaker. The depression, sadness, anxiety, racing thoughts and memories of a Mother and a companion are still very painful. I also feel guilty thinking I'm being selfish- I want her alive for myself, ignoring her poor condition at the end of her life. One tip for right now- try to stay up as late as you can to avoid insomnia and wake up later, instead of 4:00 AM every day- pretty sickening. The mornings are tough because you have energy (or anxiety) and have to face the day. The later it gets in the day the more relaxed and tired you seem to get. I'll pass on some tricks to feeling better later. I also appreciate reading ideas people with our feelings pass on to help each other get through it.
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First Helper dan1
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replied August 21st, 2011
i too was caregiver for my Mom. she passed 3 weeks ago and I have no life. I was with her everyday. I did little but visit her and work. I am soo lost and too wish this was just a nightmare.
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replied August 21st, 2011
3 weeks ago today- too depressed to visit the cemetary. For the first couple of days after she died I woke up and thought it was a nightmare. That hope lasted for about 2 seconds. After a few mornings you know the reality.
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replied August 30th, 2011
How do we get past such grief?
I truly feel the pain you are suffering. I too was a caregiver to my mother. She had a liver condition that made her very sick and weak. I lived at home with my mom and was her primary caregiver. When I wasnt't working I was taking her to doctors appointments. The last seven months my mom had two trips to the hospital and two four week stays in the nursing home. I spent every evening visiting her. I called her at least three to four times a day when I was working. She went into the hospital this last time on August 17th the day before my 39th birthday. I thought we would get her treated and bring her home again. Unfortunately, she got an infection in the nursing home that caused all of her major organs to fail and I lost her Sunday the 21st. I am now filled with the blackest hole in my life. I no longer feel purpose or joy for anything. I miss her so much and am struggling every second
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replied September 1st, 2011
Hi Echogirl-
I went through the same experience you wrote about. It's been exactly 1 month since my Mom died and still feel very empty and alone but the intensity of the grief is a little milder if that makes you feel a little better. I'm starting to deal with everyday life better instead of constantly crying but still fall apart when a thought or memory comes to mind. Hopefully good memories will start to make you feel glad of what you had instead of what you miss. That will still take time.
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replied September 1st, 2011
Your grief
Dan1-

My heart truly goes out to you. I have a 15 year old son and a father that help give me the motivation to keep going. Lately the only thing I really want to do is sleep. I am trying really hard to be strong and find joy in life for my dad and my son. It seems after the funeral everyone that was around for the first few days have gone about their lives and forgot about the pain we are facing. The phonecalls e mails and visits have stopped and that too is making me feel sad and empty. I will pray for you that God will give you peace and comfort.
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replied December 9th, 2011
Dan: Mother loss
how did you get over this? My mom just died and I will need to visit to do some prayers and get her head stone picked. Let me know how you are coping if you are still on this forum.
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replied December 13th, 2011
Wildrose

My Mom just passed away 3 weeks ago, I'm sorry for where you are right now. I found the first week really taxing, all the things we had to do and all the people to talk to, I just wanted to be alone and there was so much to do! How am I coping? I'm being honest with myself about how I feel in each moment. When people ask how I am, I either say I'm fine or I say it Sucks. The later feels best! I miss My Mom and I want her back, that is the most honest statement I can make and somehow I feel better when I just say that aloud to myself.

I cry when I need to, sleep when I need to, eat when I want to, and do as little or as much as I feel in any given moment. I think the most important thing is to not deny yourself your feelings, if you feel crap, that is OK. If you feel happy one moment, that is OK too, there is no right way to feel, no right thing to do.

At first I thought, how will I face Chritmas without her? I don't want it!!! Now we are decorating earlier than usual and I've just about finished my shopping, a record for me. I am finding that I need it more than ever before, this thing that brings the rest of together, I'm leaning into the season rather than away from it and I'm looking forward to boxing day at her house where we will all gather and share stories of her life and not be afraid to bring up the elephant in the room. I miss my mom and I want her back, but that is OK too.
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replied October 29th, 2011
A massive stroke took my mom away :(
I was my mother-in-law's caregiver until she moved away to Rhode Island to an assisted living facilty near my husband's other brother and sister. That was a year ago last July. I lost my own mom after she had a major stroke and inacted her Advanced Directive. She passed on July 25, 2011. I too am lost because my time was filled with caring for my mom-in-law and my mom and now nothing. I don't have any children or pets. I feel like I've lost both my moms. I am blessed to have 6 brothers and sisters but we are all going through the same grief with our mom's death. I am married to a wonderful man (21 years) but he hasn't experienced this and doesn't understand it. I have major depression, aniexty/panic disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. I've been suicidal but have made through that but the depression and anxiety are a nightmare. I am so lost and my best friend basically ditched me about 1 1/2 weeks ago so I feel I have no one in which to turn. I have people at my church but I feel if I call them I'm going to be bothering them. The pain is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. When I lost my dad 26 years ago, it took me over 20 years to get over his death but there were alot of complications in that parent/child relationship. I've started going to a grief support group and that seems like it's going to help but as so many say, it's going to take time. Right now I can't even look at a picture of her. I don't know if that's denial or what but this whole situation just sucks!! I want my mom back. I know she was 86 years old and wanted to go "home". I'm 46 and feel like a little girl who is lost in a great big world with no where to turn. Sorry for babbling on so long.
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replied September 1st, 2011
Thanks for the prayer... You seem to have the right attitude and strength to start overcoming your grief, especially for your son. The mornings are harder, right? At night you're tired, more relaxed and don't have to deal with activites, just sleep. I try to stay up and read or watch TV as late as I can to combat insomnia. Yes I figured as soon as people started getting back to their lives after a few weeks it would get lonely- it's to be expected.
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replied September 2nd, 2011
Dan1
The mornings are very hard. I have trouble finding the strength to get out of bed. I lay there almost paralyzed with anxiety. I don't think it helps that I have been off of work since August 17th. 5 days before she passed. I work in the medical fiels and am just so afraid to step foot back into a hospital. How are you feeling these days? I hope you are finding some peace and comfort.
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replied September 2nd, 2011
Laying around the house adds to the anxiety, but working with the public as I do can be very frustrating, especially if you get stuck with a rambling bore. You stop hearing their words after a while. It must be tough for you working in a hospital and having to hear those monitors I remember beeping all night when I slept on the couch in her ICU. Too bad you couldn't do some easier work for a little while then go back to the medical field when you feel better. I'm trying to get back to a normal life but it doesn't always work. On my day off yesterday I cleaned out the garage, cooked a chicken dinner and felt good. Then around 7 PM I sat on the couch and thought: So what- I cleaned out the garage- my Mom's still gone, then got very emotional. As soon as you try to speed up the grieving process and pretend you're OK you get hit with the sadness and desperation. Does this sound familiar or am I feeling sorry for myself?
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replied September 2nd, 2011
Dan1
No you are not just feeling sorry for yourself. I had a very good night last night. I rented a movie with my dad and son. I even felt hungry so I ate a sub. When I went to bed I slppt a while then woke in a sweat with the worst anxiety ever thinking the happiness is so short lived because I know I will never hear her voice or see her smile. I think it is all so new for us we are going to face these crazy ups and downs. I love amusement parks and rollercoaster rides but this is definitely one ride I wish I could get off of really soon. Do you believe in Heaven? You see after all the pain sadness and suffering this disease brought my mom she told me many times she was ready to go to her home in Heaven. When I feel sad I keep replaying those words in my head and when I look up to the sky I know she is resting safe in the arms of God where she is free from pain and sadness. We on the other hand are filled with grief. As we were in such similar situations being their caregivers I think there is a big sense of absence because now that they are gone how do we fill our time? I don't know about you but I am glad I found this site and can share my feelings with someone who understands exactly how I feel. I am still praying for you as I pray for my strength and comfort.
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replied September 3rd, 2011
I wasn't much of a believer in Heaven before, but I am now. Sometimes I feel her spirit when a breeze blows by or feel her presence when a butterfly flits in front of me. Your mood can change by the minute like you refered to as a rollercoaster. It would be nice to have some stability but we shouldn't try to reign in our emotions at this early stage- it all has to be released some time, so don't postpone your natural feelings. One of my customers said he didn't really get affected by his Mother's death until the 3rd month when it sunk in. I hope things don't get worse for us in 2 months, Echogirl. But I think we have a handle on our grief and are being rational even if it doesn't appear that way right now. Talk to you soon I hope.
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replied September 4th, 2011
I am so glad you believe in Heaven now. It truly does give a sense of peace beyond anything else for me. I wish there were stability but I don't think that will come for some time. Yesterday was a good day. I smiled and laughed then today is another tough one. Before they put my mom on a ventilator she was singing a Christian hymn called I'll Fly Away. When I went to church this morning that was the first song they sang. I broke down and sat and sobbed. I don't think there is an easy way to get through this other than let the emotions come as we feel them. I try not to suppress things but I do feel people look at me differently and act different a if they don't know what to say or do around us. I feel as if very fe understand. I too pray the next two months don't get worse. They are bad enough now. I am able tofunction and appear rational but inside I feel a big mess. I hope you have a good day today.
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replied September 5th, 2011
I did a lot of yard work today- it helps release anxiety and energy- but afterward still felt lonely and sad. I guess you have to go through the motions of keeping busy because the alternative is wallowing in your grief. How was your Labor Day so far?
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replied September 6th, 2011
Dan1
I am glad you kept yourself busy. I had a good day Saturday and the rest of the weekend I tried to stay busy which I did but felt as if I was just going through the motions. I sent you an inbox message but I'm not sure if it worked. I am continuing to pray for you as I do for myself that God will give us peace. Hope you have a good day.
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replied September 20th, 2011
I lost my Mom 7 weeks ago and feel as bad as I did a week after she died. There was a short period of time a few weeks ago when I started getting better- probably after the shock and before the current depressed, empty lonely period when the reality sinks in. She was also my best friend and I became her caregiver at my home. I gave up dating and social activities to be home with her. She seemed Ok for an 80 year old woman, but her heart and lungs suddenly gave out and I lost her while she was in ICU- no real warning she was terminal until she was admitted into the hospital to treat a virus. I feel like I'm going backwards with this grief. Is this going to be 1 step forward, 2 steps back for a long time?
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replied September 24th, 2011
I totally understand the feelings of loss expressed here. I lost my Mom 2 weeks ago. I'm so sorry for all of your losses.
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replied September 24th, 2011
SonniDay-
Thanks for responding to our posts. You have to be strong right now because it was a very rough period for me- a lot of anxiety, insomnia and loss of appetite. The depression started after about 3 weeks after the shock wore off. After a month I was very sad all the time because the reality sunk in and there was no joy anywhere. It's been 7 weeks and I somehow feel slightly more comfortable and able to concentrate on things better. We'll see were it goes but I believe it gets more bearable in time. I hope this brief outline helps you a little.
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