I don't know how to feel...

Started by

I lost my mom a week ago, she had been sick since June but losing her was still a shock. You never prepare for end of life. I just don't know how I am suppose to feel, I miss my mom so much, but at the same time I am so glad she is not suffering any more. I have been trying to not be so sad because my belief is I will see her again and she will not be sick ever again. I went to a movie with friends last night and felt sooooo guilty. I go back to work tomorrow and am afraid I will fall apart there. I don't know how I am suppose to feel, is it ok to go to a movie? Should I not do anything but work and home for now? What if I don't grieve the way others think I should? I know my mom isn't hurting, or needing help to breathe, she also had a feeding tube and she begged for food and water, I am relieved she isn't enduring those things now. However, I do miss her so much. I will think of something to tell her and realize I can't and that is the hardest thing ever. A friend of mine told me I could be experiencing post traumatic stress disorder, I don't know a lot about this but I guess anything is possible. From June till October I have been in over load, adrenaline running hard and now I don't know what to do. Any comments are appreciated.


lillian41, people grieve in different ways. What you are doing sounds very healthy to me. When someone who has been ill fo a while dies, there is a mix of sadness and relief. And often there is guilt because of the feeling of relief. This is completely normal.

Losing a parent is very different than losing a child. I guess it is because in the natural order of things, parents die before their children. We expect it. No one can really have thoughts on how you should grieve. When people are caregivers, much of their grief happens before the loved one dies. Caregivers are there for the decline and the suffering, and feel the sadness and stress as their loved one passes away. From what you wrote, you grieved for over three months helping with your mother and being there for her. Chances are that you are feeling a bit numb at the moment. That is normal. Don't worry about it. Just remember your mother in your own way. You did what was most important in being there for her while she was still on this earth.
Thank you, I have been a caregiver to my parents for 10 plus years. Mom was in the nursing home the last 7 but I was still a caregiver, I was the one called if anything was wrong or she was sick. Plus caring for my dad along with mom. I will never stop missing her I guess I just didnt know jw I needed to feel and if it was normal.
I too believe as you, lillian41 that we WILL see our loved ones again in heaven..it is written in the Bible. That is our solice and what else could be greater?? She is now in NO pain, is not hungry or thirsty and if she was saved and a believer...is living in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. I had a dream about what heaven was like the other night and it was SO beautiful, SO peaceful and SO full of God's love...it was phenomenal!!! I didn't want to wake from that dream when my toy yorkie was giving me "wake up mommy kisses".

I know when my dad died, I went through a great depression for several years. At work, I would break down and cry. He dominated all of my thoughts every day. I was just getting to know him when he died. I went to the NH every day after work, a 40 mile trip to see him, take him out to the patio in his wheelchair for his cig and talk to him. His mind was fine until the day he died ...Lymphoma killed him. I still miss him and it's been 8 years. Everyone does grieve differently...do whatever you can to get your mind off of the sadness and try to remember the happy times with her. She is happy now! We WILL see and be with them again!!! Prayers heading your way.
treasure every experience you are feeling and having. this is an accepting time as with all our losses and changes require. A time or transission. embrass your memories. these feelings are as real as all our joys and pleasures in our lives. My heart goes out to you. I know when Mommas time comes I too will go thru an emptiness that was once her physical presence in my life. My heart will hold onto all that was her in all the other ways. her love and mine for her. take it one day at a time even one moment at a time. I have gone thru this with my twin, a husband and my daddy. and I still have times to go thru. missiing my loved ones. Be good to you as much as you can.
My mom, too suffered a while before she died. I was relieved she was no longer in pain, but I missed her terribly. Here is how I coped. I set aside a time each day (usually in the evening). I spent 30 minutes along, crying, wailing, and feeling sorry for myself. I didn't let anything interrupt that time. That way, I could go to work and get through the day, knowing I would be able to cry later. It worked really well for me, and as time went on, I found I didn't need 30 minutes anymore, just 20, then 10, then maybe only a couple of times a week. Feeling sad and relieved at the same time is normal. Give yourself a break.
I was caring for both my parents for 3 yrs when Dad died this past April.
He had dementia and it was a terrible disease and slow death. At first I cried hysterically and then at the funeral when I got to see him again, a strange calmness came over me. Like as if I could see clearly what had been going on the past 3 yrs with us. This is what I realized....everyone's life is their own journey. Actual birth and death usually require some assistance. That's where I came in...when he was too weak to continue I did it for him....I picked up his cross and carried it for him. Now his journey is done and my work is finished....he is in heaven and at peace and I can rest also. It was the hardest thing I've ever done... I gave him my all. I miss him so much, but am glad he isn't suffering anymore. I talk to him every day a little bit, remembering his voice, smile, touch and especially the look in his eyes when he'd look at me.
Pure love.
Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Some people submerge themselves into work, so CAN'T work at all. Some cry, some don't. Be yourself. Don't worry about "how" to grieve. Just do it the way you know in your heart. That is all we can do.
Check into grief counseling or support groups in your area. Others who have been down the same path are wonderful to share with and gain insight into how they handled their grief. THEIR grief! It is your grief, your loss, your feelings, your lost relationship with YOUR loved one! Don't give a second thought to what others think of you in this process. I have lost a husband, granny, and father. Each of those losses affected me differently. They were all "stage" grief processes, some longer, some shorter. My greatest consolation and peace came from the certainty that we would all be together some day without the pain and disease of this Fallen world!
Work thru your grief, leaning on Him, and you will "live" and thrive again!
Blessings to you!
I too believe we will see our loved ones again in Heaven... My Father passed away two years ago in July and I still miss him, very much. My Father was a quiet man who was strong and very gentle. He had been in declining health for years but then we found out he had bladder cancer. The tumor was removed he seemed to do fairly well then he started having leg pain. We discovered his cancer had spread to his prostate and his bones... After his diagnosis he lasted only 6 wks. I was his caregiver, and now I am my Mom's. I would really encourage you to do what you feel comforatable with. Everyone grieves dfferantly. I cry, I have NEVER seen my Mom cry. If you feel you need somone to talk with find a support group or grief share group... take care and God bless!
Dear Lillian, I just read your comment and for the first time I cried when I read it. I lost my Mom on September 13,2012, and I know exactly how you feel, I have'nt been able to grieve the way I thought I would, but your letter let me know that I am not the only one that feels the way I do. It is ok to go out, your Mom would not have wanted you to stop living, rather to live in spite of what you are going through. My faith (Baptist) has also allowed me to know that I will see my Mom again. Stand by your faith, believe that she is in a better place, and most of all she is at peace. I have been telling everyone that you should "Celebrate her Life, don't mourn her death". Enjoy your life, she gave it to you for a reason, you will never forget her, she will always be in your heart. If you need to talk somemore, write me back. I am praying for you.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support