I Miss My Mom| My Experience with the Grieving Process

The day my life changed FOREVER…

The grieving process was something I didnt think about much until December, 31 2010-a day I will NEVER forget.  I was outside hanging with kids in the neighborhood when my uncle called. Why was he calling? What could he possibly want? We didn’t talk on the phone that often.  “Your mom wants you go come home now!” Huh? Why do I have to come home now when it’s only 6pm? It wasn’t even dark out. My mom made me so upset because of wanting me home so soon. Since I was very sheltered growing up,  getting out the house was exciting for me. The shocker was seeing my uncle in the car because he usually doesn’t go to treatments with her.

My shock quickly turned to fear…

I quickly became scared+frightened because I could see my mom didn’t feel good. I knew she had dialysis that day, but what I didn’t know had passed out in the parking lot after having her treatment. We didn’t make it into the house long before my something else happened and I frantically called 911.

My dad and I followed the ambulance to the hospital but my mom died from a seizure shortly after we arrived. I left without my mother that night. She was a sickly woman, but not to the point that we were expecting her passing so soon. Just the day before we were planning what virgin daiquiris we were going to make for the countdown.

My First Birthday with my mom

With Mother’s Day  just passing, my emotions are slightly go up and down. I know I am not the only one that feels this way during Mother’s Day, or on any day in general, when You’re really missing someone. I just want to share a few things that I have learned on my personal journey dealing with grieving.

 

Feeling upset and blaming yourself….

Anger and guilt are normal stages of grief. According to the “The Five Stages of Grief- An Examination of the Kubler-Ross Model” by Christina Gregory PhD, guilt is paired with the bargaining stage. Raise your hand if you’ve had your fair share of bargaining with God, or anyone!  I remember bargaining with God to bring my mother back. We would all go to church together as a family, I wouldn’t take for granted the time we’d have with one another, I would be on my very best behavior…you get the picture? I would do anything to bring her back.

Then the “What if’s” starting to flood my mind.  What if there was something I could’ve done differently? What if  I answered questions faster while at the hospital to help them get her treatment quicker? I hated myself for a long time for being mean and upset as she was on her way home, for being selfish because I just wanted to stay outside and hang out. I blamed myself for everything.

Overtime I have learned there are certain things that we can’t go back and change. Some things are simply out of our control no matter how many times we try to figure out ways to change the outcome. I have learned to take this experience for what it is, and learn from it. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones and don’t take them for granted. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t treat my mother badly and we had an awesome relationship. But that particular day, I wish I was more selfless about coming home.

This experience has also helped me realize quickly  life can be taken away. How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone (James 4:14).  Our lives are short, we should try to focus less on being angry and blaming and instead cherish every moment we have with one another.

Their Grief ≠Your Grief…

My parents then and now

When we returned home from the hospital, I remember my dad started to pack away some of my mother’s belongings. I was very confused and upset. All I wanted to see from him was emotion. I wanted him to cry with me. To tell me how he felt. I was hurt, thinking he didn’t love my mom as much because he didn’t cry.

Years later, I overheard him having a conversation with a friend. He was talking about when his wife, my mother, passed away. He told his friend that while he was in the shower, all he could do was cry. I remember him saying he had to be strong for me. His words left me relieved but sad at the same time. This changed my thoughts  from him showing no emotions. I was then sadden after my putting myself in his position and thinking about how he truly felt by losing someone he spend a great time of his life with. This made since as to why he began to pack some of her things away. Just because I wanted to hold on to everything doesn’t mean he had to also. Maybe just staring at her things in their room was just too much for him to handle at the time.

Being young and unable to comprehend my dads actions, I completely misjudged. My dad didn’t just lose my mom that night. He lost the love of his LIFE. They had been together since my mom was a sophomore in high school. They had been through so much together, and just like that she was gone. Im sure he couldn’t even organize all of his emotions that day. I had to realize that just because I was grieving a certain way, it doesn’t mean others will too. I may cry if I’m hurting or upset while other may write, go for a run, or have some other outlet.

Grieving is something that never goes away….

I still can recall that New Year’s Eve like it was yesterday and still get teary eyed. No matter how much time that passes since your loss, it can still hurt. Fast forward to 13 years later after my mom’s passing, I’m still not over losing her. One thing I want you to know, regardless of what stage you’re in, dealing with grievance is there is nothing that you are going to get over it’s nearly just something that you learn to cope+deal with better. Some days will be more manageable, some days wont. Please don’t feel like there is something wrong with you. It is normal+human to still have bouts of sadness for missing the person you love.

Memories are EVERYTHING and no one can take them away… 

When we left the hospital and got home, I grabbed a picture of my mom, held it, and cried. I was afraid that I would forget how she looks. There were times when I would call her cellphone just to hear her voice of at the end prompting callers to leave a message. It took some time but I’ve learned that even though you won’t remember every single memory about your late loved one, I can guarantee there will be some things that you will remember and will hold near and dear to your heart.

So never be afraid of letting go of the physical, material and  tangible things about your loved one because you have those memories that nobody can take away from you. I can still picture my mom’s smile, her smell, her laugh, the funny things she used to say to me. Hearing her voice on a tape just like music to my ears. Its like an old song I can recall that I haven’t heard in a while. The best part, however, is that I don’t need to necessarily hold on to a tape to remember her voice. I can still recall her voice in my head (I promise I’m not crazy) and remember how she sounds.

Out of site is NEVER out of mind…

Even though my mom is not with me physically here in the flesh, I do still talk to her at night or whenever I need a listening ear. I live my life as if she still here and I try my hardest to do things that will make her proud.  She still motivates me to keep pushing+doing better. I asked myself what would I do if my mom was here? What advice would she give me?  I cope with her absence by living is if I was in her presence. I still look to her as motivation to keep going when times get hard. She really set the bar for me on how what kind of mother I should be. She did everything for me and I strive to be just like she was.

Holidays are bitter sweet…

Please know that holidays are going to be tough at times, especially in the beginning. They are still tough for me some times and its  decade later.  I know some people try to do things to distract themselves. Other people are more proactive and have celebrations as if their love ones are there or will hold something in their honor. Just know that there’s nothing wrong with you because you or sad during the holidays and don’t feel bad for it.  I understand that other people have their loved ones there to enjoy the holidays with them. Sometimes

I’m guilty of feeling like a Debbie downer or negative Nancy because I don’t want to be all jumping for joy during these holidays.  Mother’s Day has come and gone and I wish my mother was here in person to share the day with me. I  see other people enjoying the presence of their mother and I don’t have that. I do have my own children now, that celebrate with me. She may not be with me as my mom but I do see little pieces of her in each of my children and for that I can celebrate!

 

How do you cope with losing a loved one? What advice can you give to people who are grieving?

 

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30 Comments

  1. robin rue
    May 16, 2017 / 7:31 am

    I just lost my mom in February, so I am still a hot mess about everything. I know it takes time, but I am no better today than I was the day she passed 🙁

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Im sorry for your loss Robin. I want to say, “I know how you feel” but I hated when people said that to me. Especially if they still had both of their parents living. We can’t really say we know how someone feels about anything. My prayers are with you and your family. I have my moments when Im a wreck and get nothing accomplished because I just want to try and turn back the hands of time and be with my mom again. I have only come to terms with things a few years back. I cant take anything back so instead, I just try to make her proud. I hope you find peace one day, it may time some time but please hang in there!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Oh my! I’m so sorry that you lost your Mom at such a young age. Mother’s Day must be such a difficult time for you.

  3. May 16, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    I don’t even want to think about such a moment… I feel so sad only reading this post. And even if you’ve found a good way to get on with it I can’t think about any good advice to give for such a grief.

  4. May 16, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I am so sorry for your lost. There are no words that can help some grieve just having friends nearby can be a comfort.

  5. May 16, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    I cherish my mom and everyday I pray for her well-being. I don’t know.., what I will do without her. I pray that, God gives you enough strength to cope with the loss.

  6. May 16, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss hun and you are right it does not get any easier but some days are better than others, She would be so proud of you I know and I came to realize that we all show emotion in different ways. I have lost a few important people in my life and it never gets any easier but I hope to make them proud just like you do x

  7. May 16, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I read this with tears. I haven’t lost my mom but my dad, who was a big presence in all our lives. He’s been gone 10 years but I can still hear his laugh.

  8. Ali Rost
    May 16, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank-you for sharing some of your family’s story with your readers. I too lost my mom at a very young age. I wish I remembered better what she looked like and the sound of her voice. I still miss her, especially over the holidays. x

  9. May 16, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, I cannot even image how you must feel. I commend you for sharing your story wish for the best during this time of grieving.

  10. May 16, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    I have lost my mother as well. Not too long ago. She was my best friend and we would talk everyday even if I have kids and a life of my own, she was still a huge part of it. I miss her everyday ever since and Mother’s Day celebrations are always going to be bittersweet.

  11. Elizabeth O.
    May 16, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    I miss my mom so much as well. Mother’s day is no different. I always make sure to remember her and honor her memory. She will always be in my heart and she’s the best mother in the world.

  12. May 17, 2017 / 4:09 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. When I’ve experienced loss it’s tough to begin with but over time I try and think of the positive memories and the good times so I don’t feel sad x

  13. May 17, 2017 / 4:40 am

    I avoid reading these kind of posts, because I have lost my mom too. I learned last night that the emotion I am avoiding so well these years is pain by bottling things up.

  14. Akamatra
    May 17, 2017 / 5:57 am

    I am so sorry for loosing your mom in such a way. What a great man your daddy is!, Everyone grieves in his own way there is no right or wrong…

  15. May 17, 2017 / 7:22 am

    I haven’t lost anyone in my immediate family, but, as I get older, I am thinking about it more. What would I do? How will I react? I am sorry for your loss.

  16. May 17, 2017 / 8:52 am

    I am so sorry for your loss! Looks like you have a long way since though! Hang in there and stay strong. Your mom is watching over you.

  17. Jeanine
    May 17, 2017 / 9:31 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my mom, when i was 16. Back in 2001, and believe me when I say it doesn’t get any easier. I wish it did but its still so hard.

  18. May 17, 2017 / 10:09 am

    This post is written so beautifully and from heart. Loosing anyone especially either parents is never easy. Sending lot of prayers and love

  19. Tereza
    May 17, 2017 / 11:38 am

    I’m so sorry – sending you all the love I can! It must be so so difficult and I sincerely hope I won’t be experiencing this anytime soon, fingers crossed and touch wood. xxx

  20. May 17, 2017 / 11:43 am

    I would say, it’s okay to grieve and miss your loved one. Don’t be embarrassed by it. Find a way to include them or celebrate their life as part of your holiday celebrations.

  21. Brittany
    May 17, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    I can’t even imagine the feelings you must experience when losing your mom. Thank you so much for being so open and vulnerable with us.

  22. May 17, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    I am so incredibly fortunate to still have my mom with me. Even though our relationship has changed over the years, I still don’t know what I would do without her.

  23. May 18, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    I’m so sorry for you loss it’s times like mother’s day, their birthdays and Christmas that can be the hardest to deal with. It stays with us forever although the pain doesn’t feel quite so bad with time.

  24. May 18, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful parent! Happy Mother’s Day and here’s to hoping it was about remembering the good times with your mom.

  25. lyd
    May 18, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    what a terrible loss, I am so sorry! I’m thankful that my mom is here. I love that you’re still able to remember the good times!

  26. May 18, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    My other half lost his mother. It has been over 10 years, but it feels like it wasn’t that long ago. I don’t know how he has stayed so strong. I don’t think I could have had the same level strength., but he said that he did for his son and I.

  27. May 19, 2017 / 6:32 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. All I can add to the conversation is that even though people say time heals it all don’t expect a certain time frame. That concept of time is different for all of us and we all grieve our own way in our own time. x

  28. chichi
    May 22, 2017 / 2:53 am

    i so relate to this as my grandma who was another mom to me passed away recently and i always feel i dint spend enough time with her.

  29. May 22, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss dear. I know it’s hard to come out of it but your mother will be proud of the efforts you are putting in to make your life better. I lost my grand mother whom i loved the most. I still talk to her in my mind like you do and also pray to her

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