How Can I Accept the Death of my Mother?

Question: Dear Luise Volta: I Lost my mother on Dec 13th 2009. She was 59 years of age and would have been 60 on 27th Dec. She had to go through a by pass surgery but could not recover after the operation. She was absolutely fine before all this and even while going for the surgery consoled everyone that she would be fine and healthy once again. It is a devastating feeling for me…and my dad, especially. I am the only child of my parents and stay in US after marriage and my parents stayed in India. Now after my mothers death my father is left all alone. Me and my parents had been very close and now after my mothers death I am worried for my father. He is a very emotional persona and still not able to accept the fact. I am 28 years of age and feel as if some snatched my best friend from me the time I needed her the most. I am 7 months pregnant and my mother dearly wanted this grand child. I so much miss all her advice which she gave me while she was here and the feeling that I would never ever be able to see her again is making me mad every day. I am neither able to concentrate at work nor able to plan anything for the baby. My husband is supportive and understands me but he wants the same happiness back in the house. I am worried for my dad every minute and mourn for my mother every second. What should I do? Please help! S.

Answer: Dear S. My heart goes out to you. I lost my Mom when she was 63 and I, too, was pregnant at that time.

Our culture gives us very little to comfort us regarding death. Most religions and philosophies try but when the time comes…we’re still not ready. Our loved one is there one moment…and then in another, he/she is gone. There is a big hole left in our hearts and lives…and most of us have a really awful time of it.

When my eldest son died at age 52, it was an experience I can’t begin to put into words. And now my husband is 98 and I keep telling myself that he has had a long life and I’m ready to go on without him…but I’m not. I have to go through what we all have o go through; there’s no way around it.

The only thing that has ever helped me is to think of what the person who has died might have wanted. Then I set about creating that in his/her honor.

Can you do that? Can you see that your mother would never have wanted to take you away from your inner happiness…from your anticipation of the birth of your child or from the fulfillment you have fond in your marriage and career? Can you get that you would be pleasing her if you filled your heart with her love and let healing take place? It isn’t disrespectful to go on…it’s a gift from you to her.

Can you create a gratitude list and keep adding to it and reading it over to help you make this shift? My guess is that you can. And your dad will probably need to do the same thing when he is ready. Blessings, Luise

16 Responses to How Can I Accept the Death of my Mother?

  1. P. May 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Dear Luise Volta: I Lost my mother on Apr 15th 2011. She was 53 years of age. I am the only girl child of my parents.I am worried for my dad and mourn for my mother always.I am becoming mad.. What should I do? The date of my marriage will arrange in Dec.’11.But unfortunately my mom passed away..Now after my mothers death my father is left all I am with him..but after my marriage he will be alone..I don’t know what to do? me. P.

    • Luise May 13, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      The one thing we all have to face is death and the one thing none of us can understand is death. You just lost your mom, of course you are having a really hard time. Death seems so totally unfair and is often unexpected. We have to go through a lot before we get to acceptance. Just keep loving her and know that your dad has to face this in his own way. No one can get him through it. Your life lies ahead of you…your mother gave you that life and it is my belief that she is rejoicing that you are on the brink of your own life adventure. Blessings, Luise

  2. M. June 7, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I lost my mom april 09 and i’m still struggling with it could someone give me advice of how to deal with this? M.

    • Luise June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am #

      Some of us were closer to our mom’s than others. What is so hard is there is no replacement. All I have been able to do is feel grateful to mine for giving me this life and just kind of carry her with me. I actually write to her once in a while and then write an answer from her because she still seems close. Loss seems to come with life. No one stays and everyone faces that in their own way. Mine has been to create an ongoing relationship that feels supportive to me. Blessings, Luise

  3. B. July 26, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    hi Luise…I lost my mom last December to cancer.I am the only child.And still I just cat accept the fact.I have stopped believing in God and I hate him for what he has done to my mother.She was just 53 and was surviving cancer for the last 15 years of her life.She was a really good human being.Always wanted to see others happy.Then why God inflicted this pain on her.If good people are bound to this fate,then to hell with this whole world and specially God if he exists. B.

    • Luise August 7, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      I don’t know the answers but I know that anger can follow loss. I sure don’t know why some bums live to be 100 and some saints leave early. I know there is pain and suffering world wide…little babies born disabled for life that never get a chance to have a normal life like you and I did. Your mom gave you life. Why not make it the best you can in her honor instead of being eatten up by hate. My son died at age 52. I am 84. I know your pain but you can accept the unknown and the unfairness and go on to make life better for others just by being you. It’s a choice. Blessings, Luise

  4. C. August 11, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    Dear Luise, I lost my mother on 1 Aug 2011 after a very long period of suffering. I lived with my mom and always promised that I would do everything in my power for her – which I hopefully did. The pain that I can’t get over nos is the fact that I was not at her bedside when she passed away. I went to see mom in hospital early that morning and then had to rush off to work. The nurses were busy with mom when I arrived that morning and they told me her vital signs were not very good yet I never stayed at her bedside. How do I every forgive myself for leaving the hospital that morning? I am dying inside and really feel like I don’t have a purpose to live for anymore.

    Please help me understand these feelings.

    Fondest love

    • Luise August 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      Dear C.: We all have different belief systems. Mine encompssses the fact that in the after-life there is no “time.” I think that when a person passes the loved one can be right there beside her or any distance away…because the one who is passing…sinply goes where you are and experiences your love during transistion. It isn’t or wasn’t your geographical location when your mother passed it was your heart that kept you together. Blessings, Luise

  5. D. August 25, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I lost my mother in 2007 my father in 2008 and my husband just 7 monthes later in 2009 I am under a doctors care and on medication but I seem to be getting worse instead of better I am missing a lot of work and on my days off I can barely leave the house I feel so alone and lost My sister is there for me but she has her own life I am filled with sadness I cry every day and I am not only depressed but very anxious as well I have a deep faith but I cannot seem to draw upon it Can you suggest what I can do to help myself and get through this terrible time? D.

    • Luise August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      First of all, I am amazed that you have done so well. To be hit three times in three years with such losses is beyond my comprehension. It is important that you again find life worth living, otherwise you will get stuck in grief. Since you have written to me about it, I get you want to heal.

      I would like to suggest that you join my community of women who are dealing with difficult situations in their adult lives and who are supporting each other in healing. We are at: . I hope to see you there. Blessings, Luise

  6. M. September 25, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    I just lost my mother a little over two weeks ago. Although her health was deteriorating, her death came suddenly, and I did not get to say goodbye or tell her how much I loved her. To make matters worse, I found my mother’s body, and that last image of her haunts me.

    My mother and I lived together, and now the house seems so lonely without her here. I am filled with constant anxiety and dread as to how I will go on without her. I have very little family to rely on, and my mother was a source of companionship, wisdom, and unconditional love. This fear keeps me up at night, and I can’t stop crying. I just don’t know how to find the courage to face the rest of my life without her. This all seems like a horrible dream that I can’t wake up from. M.

    • Luise October 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      M. We have to accept death…first those we love and then our own. We don’t understand it and we don’t know how to adjust. I don’t know a single person who has a handle on it. When I lost my son when he was 52, I got an experience of trying to figure out…”why?” There just isan’t any “why.” You are so new to your tragedy…how you feel won’t stay the same because we are all ca[able of healing. I can tell you this…your mom knew you loved her and there just isn’t any way to say goodbye. She was so lucky to have you. Look at what you brought to her life.

  7. J. November 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    My mom spent this year fighting breast cancer and was a week from cancer surgery when she died. I had a preem ie baby this august and after finally bringing my baby mom came to stay over night to spend time with us. She fell down my stairs and ended up with a blood clot in her leg. Things just snowballed. I held herhand hand in
    one hand my new baby in the other at the hospital as she took her last breath. She was only 58. I have such guilt that she died because she stayed at my house to help with the baby. She had been do sickly all year from chemo and was finally going get past it all. I don’t know how to be without her. J.

    • Luise November 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

      J. – We all feel guilty when we loose someone we love…and twe all hink we should have done things differently. We’re human so we aren’t
      perfect and we want to be. You don’t know that your mom would have made a full recovery, no one does. And she could have fallen someplace else. She gave you life and you know that she wants you to have a happy one. Honor her by letting go of your guilt and let her love in. She isn’t far.

  8. G. November 20, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Hi,i just lost my mom on the 6th august 2011 and its strange coz it feels so unreal.She suffered from platelets disorder and no one saw it coming.The thing is I mis her so much and keep on wondering ‘why so soon?’currently i have my sister who’s living with her husband and I’m alone @ home without a kid or boyfriend.I wish to die myself too.please help,G.

    • Luise November 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      G. – We get left behind and we go on. We don’t want to and we think we can’t but one of the major lessons in life is that it ends, for all of us. Our job is to value our lives and those wondeful people who loved us and had to leave. That’s the way we honor them. And as we do that, it finally gets easier.

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