Hi everyone,

I lost my Mom four weeks ago suddenly.  For nine months the doctors told her she just had diverticulitis but a little over four weeks ago she asked me to help her shop at Big Y.  She was having trouble breathing but neither of us was concerned since she had a MRI, ultrasound and X-ray.  No concerns but she was scheduled for a liver biopsy so I brought her to the ER.  She was FINE.  Three days later the doctors told me she had stage 4 terminal gastric cancer and the worst case scenario was that she would live another few days.  Well, I got the call five hours later that she died.  I'm still in shock and angry with the doctors - HOW could they miss cancer that spread to the liver and lymph nodes???  

My best friend, my Dad, died six years ago at age 67.  It was expected because he had Leukemia.  But my Mom?  I still don't believe it.  I've spent the last few weeks packing things up and bringing her things to my condo but now that I've finished and have nothing left to do I'm floundering.  All I can think if is her last hours and that I should have stayed with her.  My logical side says I didn't know but I feel horrible that I left her!   I can't get over the visual images in my head of my trying to feed her, seeing her try to move around when she couldn't... it's awful.   I even had to yell at the nurse to give her pain medication before I went home - assuming that I'd see her the next day based on what the doctors said.

I've gone through loss before with my Dad but I had Mom to support me.  Now I have no one.  My boyfriend and I are fighting constantly and my brother is distant.  Sorry to vent but I'm glad I found this site.

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Hi Kathy,

I am so sorry about your mom. I know how you feel. My mom passed away suddenly two months ago, and I am still trying to make sense of it. She had a lot of medical problems that seemed to be stabilized. She was on dialysis and had coronary artery disease, but she was doing well. The day she died, she walked out of the house and I didn't see her again until they were doing CPR on her in the emergency room. I didn't get to hug her or tell her I loved her before she died. I am unable to get the images of my mother walking out of the house and the images of her lying on the table in the emergency room out my head. I replay that day over and over in my mind. My father died when I was thirteen and I have no brothers or sisters. My mom was all that I had too. For you, you need to hold on to that logical side that says you didn't know what was going to happen to your mom. If there was any way that you could have known, you would have stayed. You made the best decision based on what you knew and what the doctors told you. As for the doctors, I understand your frustrations. Sometimes things can happen very quickly. I have a friend who is a nurse in a critical care unit. She says that she cannot count the times that a patient who was stable has died as soon as a family member has left; it just happens. You made sure your mom received her pain medication before you left and you made the right decision based on the facts. You did nothing wrong.

Hi Kathy,

   Let me first say Im sorry for the loss of your mom. I lost my mom 7 yrs ago to breast cancer. Reading your post here really touched me because of the similarity in my own loss. My mom had breast cancer that developed into bone cancer and it spread fast. She knew there was a lump and had a mamogram that did not show anything at the time. By the time they were doing a biopsy her hip was causing her so much pain she couldn't walk and hardly get into any car to go to the doctors. After her breast biopsy and it was cancer, they ran more test to find out it had already spread. It spread to her bones. During Chemo her hip broke so she was bed ridden and I took care of my mom until the end.

 

What touched me most about your post is when you mention that "you should of stayed with her".  The morning my mother passed I had spent the entire night with her taking care of her. By morning my older brother was there and as much as I did not want to leave her side. I needed to check on my own children and then I was going to return. As soon as I reached home the phone rang, it was my brother my mom had passed away. So I do understand how you feel I went through those emotions as well.

 

I went through the , I should of stayed , I should of been with her but I believe with all my faith that things happen for a reason in life. I believe that my mom waited for me to leave because I was not suppose to see her take her last breath. It was not meant to be with my memories looking back. My brother was there and he is a emotional rock if anyone was meant to be there because they were stronger emotionaly it would of been him.

 

Maybe it was that way for you with you and your mother, it was not meant to be that you were with her. Maybe she waited. My best friend was taking care of her father in the hospital. Her dad told her to go home get some rest he would see her the next morning, so she did. As soon as she got home the hospital called and said he had passed. She like me believes he waited until she was not there to see it.

My mom was my best friend. I miss her with all my heart. I remember saying that when she passed, my heart was broken.  Things we did together I gave up on. We spent our days shopping at flower nursery stores, thrift shops and we started to sew , she was teaching me.  I gave up on all of that. My flowers in my yard they all wilted away. I was only doing what had to be done and no energy for anything else. Until my husband suggested that I go to work. He said it would be good for me to get out of the house to be around other people and he was right. I'm a cashier and it really helpes fill the void of missing my mother. Its still hard, I still cry and I still miss my mom with all my heart but its slowly getting easier and remember, there is no time limit on grief.


This fall I planted bulbs in memory of my mom. It's also for a new beginning to getting back to myself and doing things that I still enjoy. My mom would not have wanted me to stop doing those things , she would not want me to cry and be sad. She would want me to keep living life to its fullest and raise my children with loving memories of her. We include my mom in the holidays. I put a ornament with my parents names on it on my tree each Christmas. Thanksgiving we give thanks and in our prayer we remember thsoe who are no longer with us with love in our hearts and memories.

 

I hope this helps you some. I just read your note and it really touched my heart because It is so similiar to what I went through and am just now coming out of with the loss of my mom..If you want to talk my email is lara5@hotmail.com

Thank you so much Laura and Marie!  It's nice to know that I'm not the only person who feels the way I do and my condolences to both of you on your losses.  I never thought that maybe Mom DID wait until I was gone to let go.   I remember her looking at me crying and saying she couldn't do it anymore but she did ask when my brother was coming (the next day) so I figured she would hold on until then.  The way she looked at me... it was like she didn't want me to suffer with her.  She had said she didn't know the diagnosis but the doctor told me that he let her know it was terminal and 2 to 6 months of palliative care was the only option.  I think maybe she opted not to put us (or herself) through it.   I just hope she didn't feel alone.

The funeral is this Saturday and I don't know how I'm going to get through it - seeing BOTH Mom and Dad's name on the gravestone.  I'm pretty emotional and know I'll be the one to break down.  At least I've written a eulogy that pays tribute to some of the funny things she did.  She loved to cross stitch (they were so complicated they would take over a year to do) so I'm bringing one to the memorial before the funeral along with a bunch of photos.  It's hard that I've had to do this myself but on the flip side my brother is more cool and composed and probably wouldn't have done much with the pictures.

 

Thank you again for listening.  My e-mail is kathydaffy@charter.net if either of you want to keep talking. 

Hi Kathy

I'm so sorry for your loss, I know sorry doesn't really bring her back but know I feel your pain. I lost my mother suddenly 3 months ago to a massive heart attack and she was my world. I went to take a nap and told her I loved her, when I woke up she was dead. So I really feel your pain on the thinking she'd be around to talk later. Sometimes life just doesn't work that way. 

If you ever want to talk, let me know. It does get a bit easier, but I still have my cry moments and my what if's. 

Natasha

Thank you Natasha!  I'm sorry for your loss as well.  It's hard when it's so sudden like that.  I know things will get easier but I never thought I'd lose both parents this soon.  That's what makes this difficult - I had Mom when Dad passed and now?  This group has been wonderful.  Not that I wish what's happened to all of us on anyone but knowing that there are others going through the same thing makes it a little easier.

 

Kathy

I agree, without this group I wouldn't have realized I am normal. With me, my mom was my dad, my bestfriend and my cheerleader. It's really hard, but it's one day at a time.

Kathy Draper said:

Thank you Natasha!  I'm sorry for your loss as well.  It's hard when it's so sudden like that.  I know things will get easier but I never thought I'd lose both parents this soon.  That's what makes this difficult - I had Mom when Dad passed and now?  This group has been wonderful.  Not that I wish what's happened to all of us on anyone but knowing that there are others going through the same thing makes it a little easier.

 

Kathy

hi Kathy,

 

Lost my mom on September 14th 2012.  It was sudden, and very unexpected. I can empathize with where you are at regarding the unexpectedness. I can understand the anger at the doctors too, as they thought my mom had diverticulitis, and it turned out to be COPD, lung collapse and right ventricle collapse - part of the COPD situation. They had good prognosis for her to go to a long termcare, where I would take care of her, but 4 days after I arrived in South Africa - she died in ICU - her lungs and heart were finished.

As for your boyfriend fighting - he may not understand YOUR pain - but ask for a break or sit and discuss how you are feeling with him perhaps - I don't know - it's tough when people don't understand or can't, my brother was there at the hospital with mom, but as soon as he returned home to Toronto, Canada, that's the last I heard of him - I also only have my husband here in the States - so I know what you feel regarding having no one and floundering - it's awful.

 

I have joined a grief share program at my church - it's great, and am seeing a therapist - as I have lots of flashbacks of the hospital.

 

Take good care - and again sorry for your pain - I am there with you in this.

 

Jen

Thank you Jennifer and I'm so sorry.  And thank you for advice on my boyfriend - he's been trying but doesn't understand.  I bought a few grief books and am going to see if he'll read the chapter about helping those who are grieving.  He lost his Mom when he was 14 so while he does sort of understand it's different when you're an adult and suddenly have all these things you have to do (planning memorial, caterers, cancelling credit cards, going through belongings, etc.).  Whoever set up this system of having to do all this stuff while you're in shock and crying all the time has some explaining to do!

The floundering and the flashbacks are definitely the worst.  I keep seeing Mom in her hospital gown trying to move around while gasping for breath and the sad look on her face when I was leaving after they gave her the pain medication.  OK, starting to cry.

Thank you all for your support!

Hi Kathy

 

    We all respond to grief in different ways, for me we had a situation where I could not put my mothers things away for 6yrs after her passing. For me that was worse because at a time that I should be moving forward I had to look back and go through all those feelings of her loss again. I'm thankful that I have her things that are special to me. I would of much rather done it after her passing though. For myself its part of the grief and healing process. For me it was much much harder to have to go through all the emotions during a time I should be moving forward. I felt cheated after my mom passed. I wanted time alone to go through her things and remember and I never had that.  But what is done is done and I did find comfort in going through her things finally and the memories that come with that and knowing I have those things now and will cherish them. Maybe it would help if next time you have a good memory of your mother to focus on that so it stays with you. I found as time goes by I remember more good memories. I also have strong faith that she is in no more pain or discomfort she is free of all illness and is with my dad and sister and other loved ones. Thinking about things that way has helped me.

 

Kathy, hi - may I asked was the diverticulitis the starter - because my husband had 31/2 feet of his intestine removed in 2001 and since then he had: Basil Cancer, Bell Palsy, and just had a triple by-pass.  I know he is very quiet about the diverticulitis and sometimes, I think he have issues with it that he prefer to ignore to keep from upsetting me.  Please, tell me if I need to be concern due to him having it in the past.  I do undertand your pain and how you were caught off-guard.  When my husband had his heart-attack - I was thrown  about with a big spin - he appeared totally healthy - however, now I am looking at his overall health issues and is getting a little more concerned - especially after reading your sentiments in regards to what you are coping with now.

You will get a lot of support from this site.  venting is healthy - it helps release the stress within us.  You may find some that you have more in common with and may tend to lean in that direction - however, I find the site a very good site.  Just let the person who is speaking with you - understand your belief system.   Some of us have strong Biblical background and will let you know and try not to be offensive. 

So, I hope you will find the comfort you are seeking from some of the members here at this site.

 

Diamond, diverticulitis was the first diagnosis Mom was given.  I'm so sorry your husband has gone through all he has!  I'm not a doctor so I don't know if it's an issue that should cause concern - it certainly didn't when Mom told me that's all her stomach pain was.  It sounds like your husband has been checked for almost everything but if you're worried get him to a doctor for an endoscopy.  That's how they found Mom's tumor. And yes, this site is wonderful!  I'm not religious but I respect all beliefs.

 

Laura,

I can't imagine how hard it must have been to go through your Mom's things six years after the fact.  I immediately packed up almost everything because it gave me something to do and I too wanted to make sure that I had things that were sentimental/special.  I became so paranoid that her wedding ring would be lost that I opened a safe deposit box!  I'm going to try to think positive thoughts about Mom (very good advice!) - it would definitely be better than thinking about the last few days that I can't get out of my head. I HOPE she is with my Dad somewhere out there.  And I agree that none of us would have wanted her to suffer and be in pain but it happened so fast!  There are questions I have that no one else can answer but her - I found a ring with a locket of hair and wish I knew what it meant!  My family is small so I'm taking care of everything but I wish she had held on for another few days, at least so she could see my brother (who she kept asking for).

Sorry to ramble!  You all have been a great help.  I appreciate every response - if I wasn't using dial-up (that's Mom for you, I'm at her condo) I'd try to write more.

Kathy



Diamond said:

Kathy, hi - may I asked was the diverticulitis the starter - because my husband had 31/2 feet of his intestine removed in 2001 and since then he had: Basil Cancer, Bell Palsy, and just had a triple by-pass.  I know he is very quiet about the diverticulitis and sometimes, I think he have issues with it that he prefer to ignore to keep from upsetting me.  Please, tell me if I need to be concern due to him having it in the past.  I do undertand your pain and how you were caught off-guard.  When my husband had his heart-attack - I was thrown  about with a big spin - he appeared totally healthy - however, now I am looking at his overall health issues and is getting a little more concerned - especially after reading your sentiments in regards to what you are coping with now.

You will get a lot of support from this site.  venting is healthy - it helps release the stress within us.  You may find some that you have more in common with and may tend to lean in that direction - however, I find the site a very good site.  Just let the person who is speaking with you - understand your belief system.   Some of us have strong Biblical background and will let you know and try not to be offensive. 

So, I hope you will find the comfort you are seeking from some of the members here at this site.

 

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