My Mom’s Death has Left Me Feeling Crazy

Question: Dear Luise: My mom just passed on May 23, 2007. I am 28 and she was my only friend. Cancer is such a horrible way to go. I got mad at God. Is that normal? For some reason I am mad at my boyfriend and he has not done anything wrong. My mom was only 60. My dad is a truck driver, so I just keep telling myself she is on the road with him. I can’t bring myself to go to the gravesite. Its like I just can’t believe she is really gone. I don’t know what to do or who to talk to. I am screaming inside and no one can hear me. I am so scared. She has always been here and now she’s not. I just want her to come home. I have never lost anyone close to me before, so these are all very new feelings I have and I do not like them at all. I will open her bedroom door just to smell her. When her hair started to fall out we just went ahead and shaved it. I kept her hair I have the sheets she died on, the nightgown she died in. Sometimes I feel like I have gone crazy. Thank you, Kearton

Answer: Dear Kearton: When you wrote to me, your mother had only been gone for two weeks. She had been with you for twenty-eight years. Every feeling and reaction is normal. And all you can do at first is just know that it’s not permanent. That’s the good news. The bad news is that life is going to continue to be very hard for some time to come. Being crazy with grief is sane.

Your mom was your best friend and in that capacity, she modeled what it is to have a best friend for you. Most of us lose our moms in the normal course of evens. My eldest son didn’t. He died at age fifty-two, back in 2000. If the child doesn’t mourn the loss of the parent, the parent mourns the loss of the child.

The truth is that you are probably not very open to any philosophical data right now. You are raw and inconsolable. Being mad is part of it. How could you not be? There are as many concepts of God as there are people, so it may be that you need someone to blame and if He’s it…that’s OK. You may be mad at your boyfriend because he’s alive and your mom isn’t. Don’t look for logic.

Everything’s OK. You don’t have to go to the graveside. And you can keep everything you feel you need to keep for as long as it brings you comfort. My daughter-in-law slept with the urn containing my son’s ashes for a year! But he died seven years ago and she moved on into a new and very supportive relationship two years ago. I met the guy and they’re great together.

No, you can’t go out and get a new mom but you can create friendships when the time is right. I have three very dear friends who lost their moms and who often use me as a mom-type friend. You just need to go through what you have to go through and be willing to know that love will come your way when you least expect it. Not now. Now is about survival. Now may be about grief counseling.

Not liking it is what we all have to face. Why would we like loss? I didn’t want my son to die in his fifties. I would gladly have taken his place in my seventies but we don’t get to vote. Trying to figure it out, make sense of it and arrive at acceptance is not what’s called for right now. Don’t put your energy there. It’s not anything that can be forced.

The truth is life isn’t always fair. Death and often disease, as well, have to be factored in. The fact that you reached the age you did without ever losing someone close to you has been a real blessing, hasn’t it? It’s just something we can’t count on continuing. Death will always catch up with us. All I can say is hang in there. Get help if you feel you need it and keep putting one foot ahead of the other until you notice healing taking place. It will, if you let it. Blessings, Luise

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