Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
Ever since the loss of my mom (12/242015) I have felt very much alone. It didn't start out that way. After mom died, as sad as I was, I had friends and family calling me each day to see if I was okay. It was particularly comforting for me to talk to my mom's sisters. I sort of thought that they would be motherly towards me. And they were for a little while, but they have their own kids and grandchildren. There is a degree of separation there.
A year and a half later I think they maybe a little tired of hearing about it. I actually had not talked to them that frequently. Both of my mom's sisters live far away. I wish that people would understand that everyone grieves in a different way. They each told me what it was like for them when their mom died. It is sort of hard for me to relate to them however. My set of circumstances were very different. I was my mom's caretaker (sole caretaker for four years. My mom had struggled with cancer for 12 years, but when there came a point where she needed assisted living, I just could not accept that. I had learned a lot about caregiving over the years. I knew how to take care of mom. I just did not have the availability to do it 24 hours a day. So... I quit my job. I had been with American Airlines for 27 years. I had enough time with the company to retire. Problem was that I was still way too young to collect my pension.
Love won out in the end. My mom wanted to die in her home. There were times when stays at the hospital were critical, but my mom hated the rehab centers that they would send her to afterwards. So did I. Mostly (rehab) was just her sitting around watching television. Also, they did not seem to show much empathy towards her or anyone there. I couldn't take that. not when I was healthy and mom had a comfortable home to live in.
I was her caretaker for four years. It was the greatest blessing of my life. I was able to love on my mom every day. My mom would joke to her sisters, "If I so much as cough, he comes running." I did not have a dad. Mom did it all on her own. She worked extremely hard and raised four of us without help. I can only imagine the anxiety that she must have experienced when money got tight. Truth is, it was always tight. But I never went hungry. Always had clothes and a home. I adored my mother for all of that. I so much wanted to give back. I'm not sure that we can ever give back to our moms all that they gave us. It's just not possible.
My mom began to look at me in a different way. I was the youngest of the family. There came a time when mom was at her sickest when she looked at me with so much love that it broke my heart. My two brothers and sister came by occasionally. They loved mom but being a caretaker isn't for everyone. I remember once when my sister was visiting. I had to put mom on a bed pan. My sister hid in moms bedroom until it was over. Afterwards my sister said, "I don't see how you can do that." I kind of snipped back at her, "I guess you don't."
My mom loved all of her children equally but I do believe that there came a time when I was the only one she trusted. One of my brothers once visited when mom was on Hospice care at our home. My mom asked my brother if he would help me move her to her hospital bed in the sunroom. Another brother would be visiting a few hours later. he suggested till we wait until then. I will never forget the look of hurt on my mom's face. After he left, I was able to get her to her hospital bed without his help.
While on Hospice, my mom would often need help through the night. I slept in a bed close to her hospital bed. We were only separated by a pair of open French doors. Once when my sister visited she decided that she wanted to sleep in that bed, close to mom. Full disclosure... that was my mom's bed. It was very comfortable. I guess that was what my sister was looking for. I was completely against it because she did not know how to tend to my mom's needs. My mom was against it as well. Mom slept with a Bi-Pap machine. She had COPD. It was very important that the facemask stay on snug throughout the night. The machine helped mom release Co2. If there the mask became unsecure, it would make a noise. It was so important to keep it on snuggly. Mom had developed a real issue with releasing Co2. Twice the levels became so high that she lost consciousness.
My sister had a temper tantrum and said that she would just go home if she could not sleep in that bed. That would have been fine by me but mom did not want to hurt her feelings. So mom relented.
I woke up in the night and went to check on mom. I noticed that the French doors had been closed. My sister was asleep in mom's bed wearing and eye mask and ear plugs. I couldn't believe it. I stayed with mom until morning.
Please believe me. I am not trying to pat myself on the back here. I just want people to understand that I was very much alone. It was just me and my mom.
I was her caretaker for four years. When my mom died on Christmas Eve, I tell you, she took the best part of me with her.
After my mom had passed my brothers and sister just wanted to know how quickly I could move out out so that they could sell mom's house. This had been a huge fear of my mom. She had talked to them about this before her death. She told them that I had given up my job to be with her. She wanted me to be able to stay here until I was ready to move, until I was working again and could afford to move. They told her, No. My mom was working with a social worker through Hospice. She was trying to help my mom change the wording of her will. Mom died before this could happen. My family gave me two months to get out.
All of this hurts greatly. I cannot have my mom back but I was hoping for some family. I was hoping that my brothers and sister would become closer. That we would be there for each other. That was my mom's wish, too. It did not happen.
So here I am a year and a half later. My best friends are my mom's two little dogs. They were my best friends during my four years with mom. Having those furry little girls under my feet was and remains a blessing from God. It's just me and two little dogs. That and a lot of memories of my wonderful mom.
When I realized that I would not have a family for support, I looked where I have always looked. I looked to God. I pray every single day. I pray repeatedly. What I have been hoping for and praying for is a sense of peace. Just to know that God hears me and that he loves me. I am not doing a very good job finding that peace.
I don't blame God. I am not angry with God. I simply do not understand is will or how he works in our lives. Since mom died my life has been one unfortunate incident after another. I was not able to go back to American Airlines. I had to cash in my 401-K to be able to stay at home with mom for four years. Right now I work at a grocery store stocking shelves. One of my mom's dogs became very sick and just came home from the animal hospital. She was there a week in ICU. Thank God she pulled through. Those little dogs are all that I have left. I feel guilty about posting this but it cost a fortune and my anxiety is now through the roof. Between missing my mom and worrying about money, I am just a wreck. I just keep praying. Does God hear me? Will he help me? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? People will say to me, "Go see a therapist." I can't even afford to go to a regular doctor now. I did go through grief counseling and I hear a lot of text book jargon. It was comforting to be around others who were also grieving the loss of a loved one. But the class didn't help very much. I miss my mom as much or more than ever.
I feel guilty now. My mom had always been my rock. I prayed to God but I realize now that it was my mom that I had always counted on to get me thru the bad times. She always did. But she is gone now. I am trying to put my focus squarely on God. I remember the line from Jesus, "I will not leave you orphans." I hope and pray that he will not. I am losing hope. Worse yet. I am losing faith.
Has anyone on this board experienced the hopelessness of feeling alone after your loved one died? When My aunts lost their mom but they had their husbands and children to lean on and focus on. I can't imagine what a blessing that would be. All I had was my mom, and she is gone now.
Where do YOU find strength? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Do we only see it when we die? Can it be found here on earth? Does God love me? Does he hear me? Does he love you? Is he helping you cope? Do you feel his spirit? Does he comfort you?
The last thing I want is to have issues with God. I have enough problems on my own. I realize that many people become angry with God after they lose their mom. I was never angry. I am just very sad. And I need his help. If anyone can help me find it, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Frances. I did read the articles. It means a lot that you would care enough to send them.
You are very welcome!
I’d like to stay in contact. I want to share some positive thoughts. I will be sending an email today.
please send at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
I’d love to@Avi
My email is Frances.email@example.com so that when it arrives you will know it’s me.
Do you speak Hindi? I think I can send it in Hindi or English.
I sent the links in both Hindi and English as I didn’t want to forget. My brain is on vacation sometimes. Also, I believe that the articles are available in Punjabi and Gujarati .
The email should have arrived already. Please feel free to contact me via the email for further private discussions.