I had all these hopes.

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I had all these hopes for my mom. Passed on at 94 in March of 2017. I have a couple of recent pictures of my mother and I can see in her eyes how hard it was for her physically. Fortunately, she really only suffered for a couple of months. 1 month in hospital and 1 month in nursing home and hospice declining rapidly. Yet, I still had hope that each day she would improve and get better. Then I'd visit her just about daily, and reality hit me in the face that, no, she was not getting better. I'd go home then get hopeful, next day, nope, she was not getting better. I so wanted her to get better that I was either going to buy a mobile home or rent a 2 bedroom apartment, move her furniture in, and we'd both live there and I could take care of her because I believed she would get better and return to her previous independent self. I really wanted that to happen. I wanted to improve the relationship and make amends for my mistakes. Really, really wanted that to happen. And believed it would until the next visiting day when reality hit. I guess I must live in a not so reality based world where I believe that we live forever. I find it hard to believe she has gone. And almost everyday I wonder, well maybe she is alive and they made a mistake in identifying the body, maybe they have the wrong body and she is still alive in the nursing home but they won't tell me! Can you believe I have been thinking that the last few days? Because I didn't see her die. I saw her the day before and was going to visit the day after she passed! And it was a graveside burial, no open casket, as I am the only family member. So I never saw the body. So I have these doubts. Is this all normal? How do I deal with all this? Thanks.

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First off, you are totally normal. Everything you are experiencing and thinking is normal. It's painful and it's grief. People always say there are stages to grief. Sometimes with sickness you experience some before grief but other times, it's sudden, it's painful and raw. It's something that doesn't go away but instead becomes part of you. She will never leave you because she is a part of you. She is every memory you have of her. Throughout the day, many times a day, you will remember her in various places. You will hear a song and think of her, watch a TV show and think of her, hear your house creak and think of her.

It's been over a year for me since my mom passed away from Cancer. Twice we heard the words remission and thought for sure she had beaten it. The first time we celebrated at home watching her favorite movie, White Christmas, as it was right around Christmas that we found out the surgery was a success and she couldn't eat having half her mouth removed but we could watch a movie while she drank her ensures and I ate popcorn. The second time we rejoiced with milkshake ensures (I had a real milkshake) and enjoyed her hair growing back and painted our finger and toe nails together. I watched the tumor grow on her neck and knew it was returning but was in denial. We thought and were told that chemo for life would fight it and buy her years. We were told she could live normally well her new normal, for years and that while it probably wouldn't be healed, it would be kept at bay and the pain would minimize. I remember us being worried about her re-losing her hair during chemo for life and being assured that was not the case. She passed away before chemo could occur.

I understand all too well the hope you feel. Even though I was with my mom, I still would heard a door close and assume mom was home from work. Or I still sit down to watch a Hallmark movie missing talking to my mom during the entire thing about what was going on. I would hear creaking in my house and expected it to be my mom up and coming over to sit with me. I was so haunted I moved out of the house and into a house she had designed aiming to retire here, which was 8 hours away to be nearer to my sister just because I couldn't sit in that house anymore without crying all the time.

Losing your mom is so hard I don't think you ever get over it and ever stop saying that you wish she was here. Instead you just learn to embrace the feeling, and expect it. You learn what the stabbing pain feels like and learn how to move past it. You start to smile knowing she would have, you start to notice the beautiful fall trees eventually knowing mom would have loved to go leaf peeping with you just to see them and get excited about the newly growing flowers just as she would have. You share these moments with others keeping her alive. I share these moments she would have loved to my niece and nephew so that they too will think of her when they see the first spring flowers grow or see the leaves changing color. I keep her alive that way.

My grandma talks to mom and apparently sees her. I am so jealous that she is able to still do this. I talk to mom too but unlike her, I do not get answers.

Take time for yourself. Be patient. Allow the tears to flow and the memories to happen. Don't fight the memories but be so thankful you have them and cherish them. I'll be thinking of you during this hard time. Losing a mom is so hard and there's no easy thing to hear. I know the words I most hated to hear was that she was no longer suffering anymore because in my eyes no one should have to suffer and everyone seems to before they die. Why should they have to suffer just so we can hear and tell ourselves the words, "They aren't suffering anymore" which suggests it was a good thing they died when it's really not. Be patient with others and yourself and if you ever need to talk just post here, I'll be here listening and thinking of you. I'm so sorry you are going through this.
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Dear Bloom,

Everything you are feeling and say is natural and normal and part of the grief journey. I know its not easy. I can appreciate everything you are expressing. 5 months later, I still have these thoughts as well. I found this article and I hope it will help you.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/03/we-dont-lose-our-mothers-reality-more-violent-that-that

I know there are no good answers. But please know we are all here to listen and support you the best we can. Thinking of you.
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You know that the old saying is true....time does heal all wounds.

No one ever feels comforted by that knowledge, however.

It took me months to finally accept that my Dad died. It's been 6 months now....and I stopped listening for those sounds at night...the ones that would wake me and alert me he needed help. My Mom never watched TV...but in these months since..she has it on every day. I think she is comforted by the noise.

Little by little you will come to terms with this.
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