Life without my Mother Isn’t Living

Question: Dear Luise: I had the best mother in the world. She struggled to make me a doctor but unfortunately she died in front of my eyes. You cannot imagine how I feel: useless, helpless, brokenhearted. People around me think I am over this but truly I’m not. I’m still gravely sad and have really lost interest in life. I’m 34 and not married. I’m engaged and I love my fiancé. He is doing his best but he is in another city that is far away. What should I do? S.

Answer: Dear S.: I know exactly what you mean about people thinking you are past it because that’s how you look…and that’s also what they want to see.

Death is a part of life and that’s extremely difficult to accept. The only way I know of to get to the other side of grief is to go through it and not get stuck in it. I have been there many times. My mother was the first…when I was 27. The most recent was the death of my 52 year-old son.

The mind knows mothers aren’t going to live forever but the heart can’t go there. How can one go on without one’s “Mom?” By putting one foot ahead of the other, staying busy, contributing to others and feeling grateful for the love that was so generously given. We have to pull this off at the same time that we are brokenhearted and feel like we simply can’t live through the loss.

Honestly, that’s the only way. When we give up, we dishonor our loved ones and everything they wanted for us. Death is part of the natural order of things, whether we like it or not and getting that is part of growing up, a very hard part.

Your mother wanted you to have your hopes and dreams. She backed you 100%. Who could ask for more? Really? Your gift back to her is to value the life she gave you and to use it wisely.

If you have found your man, you are ahead of the game. That’s great. I would wait a while to relocate, though…one adjustment at a time. Blessings, Luise

2 Responses to Life without my Mother Isn’t Living

  1. D. December 14, 2008 at 2:52 am #

    Dr. Luise: I am a pediatrician and I know death comesto each one of us but knowing that, it’s still a very sad experience when someone near and dear leaves us. I have lost very recently, my mom. I have two sisters that
    were very much attached to her. They called her at least once a day to
    discuss life and routine life things and ask her advice. Everyone was very happy and peaceful, but all of a sudden, when stage 4 cancer of lung took
    her life, it brought about very, very deep sadness. I know we have to accept the positive in life but what do we do to overcome loss? Please help me. D.

  2. Luise December 14, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    Dear D. Some people are missed a great deal more when they die than others are. The ones who are mourned the most are the ones who contributed the most to others. Your mom was one of those people. We can know a great deal about the reality of death but when such a loss occurs, we are left without the support and comfort we depended on as children and enjoyed after becoming adults. The loss is astounding and it is devastating. Our emotions don’t know what our minds do about the natural order of things and the only way out of the devastating feelings we experience is to go through them. Time heals. It offers distance and new routines and the opportunity to appreciate without such terrible heartbreak. There is no other way to get through it that I know of except to put one foot in front of the other until you are past it. You can never be grateful for your loss but you can be grateful that you were loved. Not everyone is. Blessings, Luise

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