Question: Dear Luise: My mother passed away about a month and a half ago. I’m having a lot of trouble dealing with my grief. Some days I feel okay and at peace with her death, and other days I can barely drag myself out of bed. I’m 18 years old and my mom died while I was on a missionary trip in South Africa. I came home early of course when my dad phoned and told me what had happened. I’m just wondering if you have any advice on how I can start to move on? Her dying was always my worst nightmare. It was always something I knew would happen to me at a young age, and for the past 5 years, has seemed like even more of a reality. She suffered from a stroke in 2005 and she basically lost everything. I know that she wasn’t happy with her quality of life. She wasn’t independent, and she wasn’t able to do any of the things she always imagined her self doing. But I’m still having a lot of pain about the time I missed out on with her. I wish we could have had a few more years to grow our relationship and for her to understand how much I truly appreciated her. I loved her so deeply, and I’m just feeling a lot of pain and regret about all the time that was wasted when I had her in my life. I would really just appreciate any advice you can give me on how to deal with grief, or just the loss of a mother. Thank you for reading. M.
Answer: Dear M. We are never ready; we always want more time and we always have regrets. It’s part of being human. You just lost your mom. How you are feeling right now is how it is going to be for a while.
What I did when I lost my mom at age 27 was to start a journal. I wrote to her…about every feeling I had and after a while…I started to feel close to her when I was writing. Eventually, I started writing answers from her to me. This wasn’t an out-of-body, New Age thing…it was love expressed between two souls. It worked. I was making it all up, I knew that…and I also knew without any doubt that she was “participating.”
I don’t know if it will work for you, or not. It felt strange to me at first but I stuck with it and it got me through the loss and across the bridge between us. Now, 56 years later, I just think about her and there she is. Blessings, Luise