I am curious if I am experiencing normal reactions to my mom’s passing. I have set up a Hospice counselor after the holidays but did not see any past topics about this subject in the search function.
My mom passed in early November. I have had the typical “what if” feelings. Those I have expected.
I do find that I feel a little “frantic”, for lack of better explanation. I cannot seem to stay calm. If I try to relax, I end up creating something to do. I have a feeling that I am missing something, that something is going un-done.
Very short tempered and intolerant of any thing that makes me slow down.
This is not easy but can anyone share what they experienced after their loved one passed?
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...
this is a beautiful video, I found to be helpful. Hope it comforts you and you find some good advise from it.
theyve been gone almost 30 and 24 years so i havent accepted their deaths yet and it seems like i can call them anytime. same for my grandmother.
my son died 30 years ago in a couple weeks. It took about 20 years to accept his death.
my oldest daughter died 4 years ago in feb. FOUR years ! Surely not !
it may not sound like it but i think ive adjusted quite well.
everyone accepts the death of lived ones in various ways.
My thoughts are not meant to offend or upset anyone. I just speak from my heart. Please forgive me if you feel offended.
We all view death differently and no one can tell you how to grieve.
Sudden death to me is the most difficult to grasp, yet we come to terms with it because we must.
Maybe I’m a lot different than most, because I am a realist. I know we’re not here to stay. I have come to terms with
death knowing it’s inevitable, it’s an appointment we all must keep. It can be delayed but it can not be defeated, death will always win.
The borrowed time is outweighed by nothing on this Earth! That’s the blessing because the lifetime of memories shall remain until our last breath.
I've lost both parents, my dad was 1st and I was blessed to have laid my head on his chest as he took his last breath, I was 6 months pregnant and Father’s Day was a few days away. Mentally I was prepared, but that pain of never seeing his physical or hearing his voice took longer to conquer. To me that’s what we do in life “we conquer” we don’t allow anything to overtake us (even the death of loved ones) because we are yet alive and are worthy to be alive!
I am aware some are highly emotional, they feel and internalize more deeply, then there are those that may be more on a even keel and allow reality to guide the way, not emotionless but emotions don’t rule, reality does.
So yes, we’ll miss them, love who they are ( spirit) and who they were in the physical. The soul never dies and neither does the spirit and if we’re lucky we will get to experience their spirit in another being or family member… they may not look alike but, you will know that same spirit ( for example my grand daughter has my moms spirit and energy😊).
I can only relate it to my dad passing, yet I wonder and know how hard it will be in the future with my mom.
From what you have described it sounds normal reactions to me, for someone trying to cope with what's happened. Everyone's normal is different I should add.
For instance I was not frantic when my dad passed away. I'm the opposite didn't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, do anything, and be like this for a long time. It's only the motions we have to go through, to take care of a lost one, that make you do things you don't want to, not ready for, you just want it to all go away and get the person back.
I would definitely be snappy if someone kept asking me to eat when I didn't want to, start doing things that I wasn't ready to do. I think different personalities and the kind of support people have around them, determines how people cope with loss.
I think you're frantic now, but there'll be a time when you'll be more at rest, the frantic behavior sounds like a way of avoiding thinking about it, but there's nothing wrong with thinking about it, coming to terms with it, is the hardest thing to do.
As is always the case for everyone giving advice, it's easier to do that, than it is for the person living their situation.
My advice to you from my heart, is to slow down. think about what's happened, think of how you feel, think of the loss of your loved one, one day at a time.
I give this advice knowing very well I'll be a wreak when it happens to me and will have to try to do the same things I now giving advice about, but without the support of many close one's. I don't know how I'm going to do it.
I give you ((hugs)) and say, I wish you peace.
I encourage you to TRUST yourself; your feelings. Do not question them - or figure this out (or try to) intellectually. It isn't intellect. It is a heart and gut reaction to grief, loss. Yes, it felt like the Twilight Zone to me when my mom passed... as well as a few clients over these years.
Although, my sense and feeling is that there is a continuum of consciousness, just on a different plane (as a psychic told me, too). I talk to my clients who have passed. It feels right and naturally to me (although, this too is very personal).
I would encourage you to be as present with yourself as you can be.
Do not judge yourself / behavior.
(I did strange things...
* put a pot of uncooked green beans in the cabinet where my pots go . . . instead of cooking them. Luckily I found them before they turned completely moldy;
* I missed a turn while driving THREE TIMES.
All our feelings and reactions are so different.
I encourage you to talk to your mom. I so believe a part of her spirit will hear you. Do you know Teresa? She is quite famous and talks to the departed. While you may or may not believe in a person being able to do this, I believe a person's energy is in the universe; we are transformed energy. And, in all this is our grief.
Grief may be one of the hardest feelings / emotions to categorize in terms of 'nailing it down.' There is no nailing it down to what / when / how / why. We feel as we feel and that is to be respected. Just drive safely and don't put your food that needs refrigeration in with the pots and pans.
And, find a therapist or group to deal with your grief. In retrospect, I joined two grief groups: one for those losing a mother and another generalized grief group. In retrospect, I feel the groups were a distraction for me to process my grief - although it didn't feel like that at the time. I feel that quiet meditation would have been 'better' for me, however I did at the time what I felt was (needed) best for my healing.
Gena / Touch Matters
After my dad died, I first screamed, but that was because he committed suicide, then I cried for many months on my commute to work and back home, since I was alone in the truck with nothing but a few habitual turns to make and traffic lights to watch for. When my sister died I cried and cried and cried, talked to her, put some of her things, like the quilts she made, all around me, and now I'm crying again just thinking about it. For her I cried everywhere, whether people saw me or not. It still hits me, but not on a daily basis anymore. It was over 10 years ago that I lost her. I stay in touch with her husband, even though he is remarried and it helps both of us to talk about my sister, his former wife. When my brother died, I had been with him only on the phone towards the end because of covid. I had been allowed in at one facility and stayed with him for several hours every other day for 3 months, but the final facility had too many cases inside, so I face timed with him. I don't cry about him. Not sure why. I was with my mom when she died a year ago. She is still on my mind and in my heart every single day. I had been her caregiver. I did not feel the need for the Hospice therapy that was offered because I am okay with the grief. I think we just need to feel it. I wasn't exactly ready for her to go, but it was so slow that I got myself as prepared as I could. How? Can't really say, just seeing her decline day by day, told me what was to happen and that it was also going to happen to me, not only to her. That's where the hospice people helped, telling me what to expect and when.
I think in your case you have been working so hard you forgot about how to make yourself happy.
vegetables or taking a shower all in one piece. I felt I was functioning superficially, but would make odd mistakes like writing the wrong amount on checks when paying bills.
November is not that long ago. You sound 100% normal to me!
It gets better. You will get used to your new life with your mother's absence. It takes as long as it takes; for me it was several months before I could concentrate on a book or know I had written checks correctly. I still break tasks into much smaller pieces.
How Grief Rewires the Brain
It sounds to me what you're going through is normal. I also felt frantic after a major loss and stayed busy to distract myself from the deep sadness for quite awhile.
first do not feel guilty or weird about any feelings. It is all normal. The emotions have to take time to accept the reality.
try to find a hobby to go to , something positive to focus on and get your mind off the loss for a bit. Like reading or a craft.
eat and go for a walk or out to browse a store. Keep moving .
my best wishes in this journey
Also be sure to see your PCP, for physical updates. Grief affects the entire body, physically and emotionally. Your " symptoms" as you present them, may be attributes to your grief but may also be impacted by other life factors so one must address the symptoms from both the emotional ( grief counseling) and , physical ( see your PCP).
I was also my mom’s only advocate. It has been two months now and I am beginning to carve out a new normal. The feeling of forgetting something is getting better but I am replaying “this movie” almost every day. Did I do everything I could? Did I make the right decisions? Why didn’t I do this? Would I have had a different outcome had I acted sooner. So, I am not sure what is worse.
My anger is better but the self analyzing is terrible. I do start counseling Thursday. Hope that helps me come to terms with everything. Thank you for sharing. It is so helpful.
My mother passed away on November 20, 2014, one week before Thanksgiving, like she wanted to leave before the holidays started. Instead of anger, I felt some relief she was gone because she had bipolar mental illness that made her act nasty. She had also suffered several medical conditions. I was already seeing a psychotherapist for a year to help me. I did feel strange as though part of me went away with my late 95 year old mom. Body chills set in and 4 to 5 colds followed. I did return to work one year later and moved on with some fun.
Oh, do I remember those days. Yes, these are normal feelings. Grief therapy is a must. Hospice counseling is very good. I've used them twice. I was a nervous wreck and even started smoking to calm my nerves. However, my smoking career was short lived. Meditation and a nice warm soak in a tub is what calmed me down when I had those extremely nervous moments.
There are a couple of books I read that helped me put things into perspective. One book was: "Love Never Dies" by Dr. Jamie Turndorf, and the second book was written by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler titled: On Grief and Grieving. I bought these books after the death of my husband in 2016. You can find both on Amazon.
And a link to an older thread on 'strange sightings after a loved one passed':
The grieving has been hard. No one seems to 'get it' and think I should be perfectly fine by now. My therapist says I'm doing well as can be expected, but everyone handles it differently.
I had a rough night last night. My depression comes and goes. I am all ready for Christmas, so that's great, but I still feel not so 'happy' and I kind of want the holidays to be OVER and packed away. (This isn't unusual, I always get depressed at the holidays. DH is not feeling well and won't be better until he can have an injection for chronic pain in his neck. He's pretty grumpy. I stay away from him, but honestly, I feel very low and I'm struggling to get better.)
All this is normal. Knowing that does not help. It's a day at a time. I am sleeping too much, but that is always how I handle stress.
I think I need to get back to my service projects and immerse myself in doing good and not dwelling on how sad I feel at Christmas time.
Hugs to you--we are not alone.
Anyway, we all have to allow ourselves to process grief; the only way out of it is through it, all the stages, waffling back & forth through them, as we arrive at Acceptance one day. Not that we ever 'get over' the loss, either; just that we learn to accept it and absorb the loss into our lives and learn to move on in spite of it.
David Kessler is a writer who's written books on death & grief with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, of the 5 Stages of Grief notoriety. He's now written a book called "Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief" which may be of value to you.
Here's a link to the audible version on Amazon, but there's a regular book version available as well:
Read what the book is about and see if you think it may help you through your journey with grief.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has some great books out too, On Grief & Grieving, is one that she co-wrote with David Kessler, here:
After dad died, I felt a lot of anger........extremely short tempered with everyone who came into my path. I was thrust right into the Anger phase of grief immediately; I didn't want to hear that dad was 91 and had lived a good life, blah blah, nothing. I just didn't want him to be gone. When mom died, I just felt more relief than anything b/c she had advanced dementia and had been declining for SO LONG; I had prayed God would take her, so when He did, I was happy that she was out of pain and at peace. While I had more of a process to go through with dad in terms of grief, things were different with mom. But with dad, he kept showing me signs (pennies from Heaven) to help me realize he was fine. With mom, I haven't had a single sign from her, probably b/c I haven't been suffering the huge grief I was with dad, if that makes sense.
Wishing you the best of luck working out your grief in your own way, and on your own timetable, using whatever tools help you most.
My mom died in October of 2020. She had lived with me, independent of care, until her CHF became very advanced, about 18 months before she passed away. Like you, for a while after she dies, I had a very hard time "settling". I was constantly thinking I was forgetting something, I was constantly "on point" listening in case she fell. I think after an extended period of caring for an elderly LO, one who ends up depending on you for just about everything, when that LO dies, it's very hard to "turn off" that part of your brain that has become accustomed to caregiving. But I was slowly able to start to decompress, to tell myself that I wasn't forgetting something vital. It took a few months; looking back, it probably wasn't until the following mid-late spring that I felt acclimated to my new normal.
I'm glad to hear you're seeking out the counseling services Hospice provides; it will help you navigate through the grieving process. And hang in there; while time may not heal all wounds equally, I have found it does with grieving.
When you are ready, when you allow the room for sadness, you may be less busy/cranky. You simply want to do something. Contacting a hospice counselor was a good first step.
Consider getting a consult with a grief counselor. One thing good thing about the pandemic is that there are now so many telehealth options available. Perhaps you could get someone to talk with today.
Take care of yourself.