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I've lost most of my family over a period of a few years, one after the other, including my parents, grandparents, my sister's only two children (which were very close to me) several aunts, uncles, my only two brothers, and even several friends.......my 52 year old brother just died a few months ago in the ICU and I was never even told by the hospital how he actually died. He had an alcohol problem, and all I do know is that he was conscious and aware in the ICU one minute, and then gone the next.
8 months prior to that, our mom passed away from cancer. I stayed home at her house with her so she could get hospice care, but at home rather than dying in a hospice unit, potentially surrounded by strangers (that's not to say that the hospice people are not complete angels, because they are) I couldn't have done it without their help and real compassion.
I did hold my mom's hand as she took her last breath that July early morning around 2 am, and feel like I did make it to the most important engagement of my life (to be there for my mom when she passed away, and not let her pass away alone) and I'm extremely thankful that I got to do that. However, life for me truly changes at that very moment, and has stayed the same ever since. I remember looking up at the sunny sky that morning after mom was taken out of the house, and even the sky looked different. The trees, the roads I've traveled for many years, all just looked different.
I've never felt so alone, and could never have imagined this is how life would be at the age of 47.
I still function like a normal person, but feel different inside, and it's kind of a numbing feeling, mixed with sadness and regret. Why am I writing all of this? Perhaps others have experienced similar situations, and hearing it from other people may help just knowing that, yes, you will feel different. You may always feel this way. You'll still be able to move on. But most importantly, I feel like I should tell my story in the hopes that someone out there that isn't making time for their loved ones will read my words, and understand that it could all change in an instant leaving you alone in this world, just wishing you had one last chance to tell your mom you love her, or take your dad out to that car show he used to enjoy going to in his younger years...............

I am very sorry for your losses.

You are a kind and remarkable woman.

Don’t ever doubt that your love wasn’t felt by your mom.

She knows that you were beside her and that you now hold her in your heart forever.

All of your dear loved ones are at peace now and want nothing more than for you to be at peace too.

It is natural to grieve for those who have left this earthly world.

It’s healing for us to reflect and remember our time with them. Cry when you are feeling sad and alone. That is healing too. We don’t get over things. We work through them.

Our love doesn’t end when a person dies. Love continues.

We continue living after a death of a loved one. Perhaps not quite the same as before but we do survive, just as our loved ones wish for us. They don’t want us to die along with them.

Some of us lose people starting in our youth. When it rains, it pours. The deep losses continue to happen.

I wish for peace during this difficult time in your life.

Do not hesitate to speak to a grief counselor or attend a grief support group, even if it has to be online for now.

You’re right about the hospice staff being angels.

The nurses, social worker, chaplain and office personnel at the ‘end of life’ hospice facility where my brother died were such a comfort to our entire family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Hi there, I can relate very much with how you are feeling. I come from a very small family, and lost my grandmother in 2005, then my twin brother in 2006 five months later, then my grandfather 4 years later, leaving me only my mom who is now in assisted living. She is only 76, and had a stroke in June of 2019, which left her with some mild CVA dementia, my whole world changed when that happened, I see the world much like you see it. My only living relative is now in an assisted living, prone to falls, short term memory issues, that cause her to forget her mom died 15 years ago. She doesn't even call me, I have to do it. Watching her decline has been so sad for me. What’s worse, is my husband and I just recently moved to New Mexico, and she is still in CA at her residence due to COVID. She had another fall last night, and I am 900 miles away. She's ok, thankfully. But, I too have changed and feel so alone, even though I have a very loving husband. So yes, you are not alone in this. I will pray we get through all of this with faith and love.
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Reply to Vickimatthews
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What a tremendous amount of loss you have had. I honestly cannot even begin to imagine it, and esp the loss of the younger family members one would/could normally expect might be there to help in the loss and grief over the elders. And the loss of a young still brother. I would like to suggest grief groups if you can find them in your area. Or a grief counselor. Esp. during Covid 19 times it is going to be terribly hard to get out there and form a community.
If you are a person of faith (I am not) there may be church or church groups. If you are a believer I might suggesting choosing a church. Volunteering helps people often enough and there are so many ways to do that now. My friend volunteers at a food distribution place to help those in need; she packs up the dog food in baggies, so nothing all that strenuous, but she has met like minded friends that way.
I am so sorry for all the grief in your life.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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So sorry. That is a lot of grief! Losing just one family member is hard. So many of them in a short time is devastating. Being with your mom is significant and profound in this, though. I was with my sister 10 years ago when she passed and that is the death that stays with me always. It feels that I live every day with her guiding me. My father took his own life the same year unexpectedly and that was horrible. I was not allowed in the nursing home when my brother died because of covid, as only 1 person could be there and I thought it should be his daughter, but I was able to see him a lot in the months before. You are correct that we must be there for those we love as much as we can. It's lonely without them, but we continue and allow the memories to comfort us.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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I'm so sorry for you. We all have those periods in our lives when we have terrible losses or difficult times and it's hard to imagine things will ever be happy again, but they will be.

I suggest you get the book "Healing After Loss," by Martha Hickman. You read only one page per day, so it isn't too much to absorb all at once. We had a friend whose wife was killed in an accident, and he found the book so helpful he bought a case of them for his church to give to families who lose someone. I've given it to multiple people over the years, including a stranger on a plane.

Take one day at a time, make concerted efforts to get out among the living, and you'll get through this period in your life.
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Reply to MJ1929
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huge hugs to you!!!!
and i'm very sorry for your losses.

your message made me have tears.

dear nevertoheal,

there must be a way to heal!
i'm sending lots of love to you.

you are/were wonderful to your family, dear nevertoheal. you were with them, until the end.

my father (he's 90), always says, keep alive the wonderful memories
inside you.

bundle
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Reply to bundleofjoy
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So sorry for your losses. It does change a person. I have no living relatives. So I know about loss.
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Reply to tevincolorado
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How can death NOT change you.
Each person in your life brings something to it. Good, Bad, Indifferent there is something that touches you in some way.
You take with you bits and pieces of each of these people.
You learn from the good, you learn from the bad.
Your relatives are all with you. Your hear your mom in the back of your head telling you "That's not how you make the stuffing" or You feel her looking over your shoulder when you look up the family recipe for that Easter dessert everyone wants you to bring.
You hear your dad telling you that the grass needs to be mowed.
Remember each of these people. Tell their stories. Keep them alive for the rest of the family, and for anyone that will listen.
When I was caring for my Husband I had very mixed emotions. (I always said I was ruled by 2 organs in my body my Head and my Heart)
I realized the tears I cried were not for him but for me. I was the one that was going to be left. To wish that he would not die was selfish of me, he would not have wanted to continue to "survive" as he was (I can not say he was living, she was a shell of what he used to be)
Grief is different for everyone. Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve. Or for how long. (I was a kid when my mom died, about 11 years old and 4 years later my dad died. It still hurts)
There is a line though Grief is on one side, depression on the other. If you need to talk to someone.
But what you are feeling is normal.
Be well
From a real good author Mitch Albom:
All endings are beginnings, we just don't know it at the time.
And
Love is how you stay alive even after you are gone.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Jeeso look after yourelf now !!! Take care 😁
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Reply to Sue53nhs
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Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry that you have had so much loss in your short time here on earth. Doesn't seem fair, does it? Unfortunately death is part of life, and I guess the bigger our circle of family and friends are, the more loss we will experience over time. Death does change the living. It could be for the better,(not taking life or people for granted) or it could be for the worse,(growing bitter and putting up walls to protect our broken hearts)but it indeed does change us. I hope and pray that with all your loss, that you have sought out some grief counseling, so you can move forward in the best and healthiest way possible. May God give you His peace and comfort.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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I'm so sorry for you loss upon loss. It is unimaginable. Thank you for your very important reminder to show love to our loved ones while they're still with us. May you receive healing of your spirit and gain peace in your heart.
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Reply to Geaton777
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