My mother passed away two months ago, she was 87 years old she had open heart surgery three years ago and since the surgery she wasn't feeling herself. The medications were very strong and kept her unwell most of the time. She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in November and she died in March.
She started with backache while in treatment for radiotherapy, treatment had to be suspended and the oncologist told us that her backache was due to the tumor growing and pressing towards the spine although there was no evidence (Cat scan or MRI) the doctor's priority was to relieve the pain. She was referred to palliative care and two weeks after that she died unexpectedly from heart failure. We were not prepare for her to die suddenly like that, I didn't make it to be with her when she passed, which makes me feel bad because I went home just two hours before she died. When I left that evening she was very sleepy, the doctor prescribed different opioids during two weeks but never got rid of the pain completely until the doctor gave her a morphine pump and it made her feel very sleepy. I consulted the doctor about it but he didn't think much of it. The night she died the night time carer had to call the emergency services because my mum couldn't breath, she died while the doctors were there, even the doctors thought it was only an effect of the medication when she suddenly dropped her head and died, they tried to reanimated without success. I really wish I knew about signs that tells you that someone is dying, sleepiness was one of them but the doctor told me that the medication makes patients very sleepy the first three days until the system gets used to the new medication, he could have never predicted that to happen, he was very shocked about it, if he would have known he would have prepared me. Now I miss my mum a lots, she was part of my routine, I called her every night and we were together almost every day. Although I did a lots for her I still feel guilty that I didn't do enough, and that is a very irrational thought because I was with her very often, took her out shopping, hairdressers, restaurants, events, doctor's and hospital appointments but in the last six months she was very bitter and didn't want to do much. My sisters lived far away from us and only one of them came to see her Christmas and Easter, but the other one lost interest completely because they didn't have a good relationship and I felt very alone with my mum's illnesses and negativity the last year of her life. I tried my best to make her happy without success.
Towards the end my sisters came to help and they were very good helping me with my mum's affairs, but I feel very alone now because I had a very strong bonding with my mum, not so much with my sisters and my dad died twenty years ago. I am happily married with two kids, but my mum has left I big void in my life.
I cannot share my grieving with my sisters because they have a different outlook in life, they think my mums passing relieved her from more pain and suffering.
I would like to hear your experiences with grief when your loved ones died and what helped you to get through it. Thank you for reading my long post.

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What helps? Time. Yes, that old cliche.

The catch? Way more time than you think it should. And way, way more time than those in your orbit think it should.

Grief is personal. Individualized. Everyone's sticking points are different.

Don't despair about taking a long time to find your new "normal." Put on a little bit of an act for others. (People don't know what to say -- as we all learn quite vividly.)

Don't beat yourself up. The road is long and bumpy. Keep coming back here for support. We understand.
Helpful Answer (1)

It takes a lot of time and while you do eventually accept it the pain of the loss of your mother is impossible to forget, it just becomes easier to cope with.
In my case, we (my brother and I) were aware my mom had a stroke a few weeks prior to her death; about 3 weeks later she had another and that led to her passing.
After the first stroke - she could not remember us consistently and began to shut down physically - she essentially stopped eating, slept all day. Minimal response to anyone. Began developing pressure ulcers on her heels even with an alternating pressure mattress.
On her last day, the NH staff let me stay in the room with her and sleep in the empty bed in her room. I fell asleep for an hour or two and was jolted awake by not hearing my mother breathe. She had been breathing quite frequently and shallow.
She passed away and the moment she did, I woke up and went to her.
I missed her last breath and felt very very guilty about this for a long time.
Then I read here on this site how many loved ones decide to leave this world alone and I truly think it is to spare us having the memory of their passing in our minds forever.
Now I feel the exact opposite- no guilt anymore.
I am forever grateful to have found this site months ago as I wrestled with my guilt for years about sleeping through her final hours. I was 10 ft away! But then thinking about my mother's personality and our relationship, (we were very very close) she probably planned it that way - in the end always looking out for me, her daughter, and not leaving me with that memory.
In other words, things happen and often we don't know the reason why. If you had as special relationship as my mom and I did, maybe she wanted to spare you witnessing her passing.
You never get over the loss of your mother, but you will honor her memory daily when you think of something she said about something, remember her laugh, etc. Plus if you know in your heart that you were a good daughter to her, that helps you cope.
Good luck! It took a good year before I fully accepted it. 
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Dear Star,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your cherished mum. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you went through a lot with your mum. You helped her so much.

My father passed away 8 months ago. I had decided to stop posting at this site. But this month I felt the need to come back because I am still so upset about what happened.

The same thing happened to me. I had seen my dad that day in the hospital. He was very weak, but I still had no idea he would pass. I left for work and two hours later the doctor called to tell me. It was the worst moment of my life. I feel horribly guilty for leaving him that day. And if you can believe it, I was short with him earlier in the day because he dropped his soda can.

I am very angry with my siblings. One lived out of town. And the other two just didn't care as much as I thought they should. Every decision was left to me. I feel the burden and responsibility keenly. I feel I did not act in my dad's best interest because of my anger and frustration. I needed to be more aggressive in his care. I think sometimes if maybe I had more support from my siblings or if I was smarter, my dad would still be alive.

Like you, a big part of my life was taking care of my dad. Since he passed I don't know what to do with myself. I have tried counselling, grief support, taking classes and reading. I try to watch motivational videos or read inspirational quotes. My siblings have given up on me. They told me, they are tired of my sadness. They feel I am stuck and won't move on. Its not true. I want to move on, but just not yet.

I guess there is no right way or wrong way, my friend. Please know we all have to do what is right for ourselves. Thinking of you. Take care.
Helpful Answer (0)

star, my Dad died when I was four so I became acquainted with the feelings surrounding a loved one dying very early in life. Then my favorite brother died when I was forty. He had been like a father to me when my dad died. Then, of course, various pets had died over the years. But nothing prepared me for my Mom's death. She and I were so close that even if she had lived to be 120 I still wouldn't have been prepared. As it was, she lived to be 92 which is a good, long life. Although we never really talked that much about her dying, sometimes she would look at me and I know she wanted to say "I'm dying dear..............." but she knew how hard I would take it so we just pretended that she was going to live on and on. My very last conversation with her she said, in fact, it was the very last thing she ever said to me, was "I'll love you always" I guess she couldn't end it on a better note than that.

Star, if you need to discuss things about your Mom's death, feel free to come on here and vent away. There are lots of kind, understanding people on here who have lost a loved one who will be happy to listen to and talk it out with you.
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I wished as well we were more open about death and talked about it when she was well, so we could have express our feelings about each other, because in life we never know we are all exposed to death, but she didn't share her feelings and worries about life very often, perhaps the way she was brought up when I wanted to go deeper in conversation she will get tired and change the subject.
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Thank you Gershun for your answer, everything you said was very helpful and supportive. Your history makes me understand things better, sometimes when I cannot share my grieving with other people makes me feel very alone.
I did a lots for my mum, she was my priority to make her happy, the reason being because I loved her plus I didn't know how much longer she was going to be with us, she was 87 years old, she could have lived until her nineties or things could go wrong like they did, so I wanted to make the most of my time with her.
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Star, my Mom died two years ago and I am still grieving her loss. One thing that does help though is knowing that I did everything I could do to help her during her life.....especially the last two years when her health started to decline.

Reading your post it sounds like you were a very big factor in your Mom's life. That should give you some comfort. If she was bitter towards the end I doubt that it was bitterness aimed at you. Probably just bitterness towards Father time and end of life issues. As for not being there when she died. You had no way of knowing that this was going to happen. I wasn't there when my Mom passed either, even though I practically lived at the hospital during her last week. Reading these threads, there are many stories of people just going down the hall to take a break etc. and that is when their loved one passed. Sometimes, I think God designs it that way.

I am sort of in the same boat as you as far as siblings and how they have dealt with Mom's death. They were never as close as I was and I never expect them to understand. Just be gentle with yourself. Grief takes time.
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