Question: Dear Luise: I have read all of your comments about death and like what you have to say, your compassionate and positive point of view, but I can’t seem to absorb it. I lost my mom recently and I am in daily agony. She was my best friend and my favorite person in the world. I thought we would have more time. I am obsessing about the letter of gratitude I meant to but never got to write to her (it became a eulogy; what is the point when she can’t hear it?), and all of the things I meant to do but hadn’t gotten to yet. I was busy with small children. I visited often but it feels not often enough, not at all. My heart is broken. I feel that I can’t live without her — facing decades without my mom feels like absolute torture. I know she would want me to feel joy, and gratitude for all we had, but I can’t get there. I feel any lists or letters are futile, as she is gone, and I just want to bring her joy in life — but she is gone from this life. I feel so sad for time wasted and time we will never have again. A.
Answer: Dear A.: You are right where you would expect to be on the road to recovery. None of us live perfect lives and we all have unbearable regrets when we have such a loss. Your mother was your oldest friend. She was your friend 9 months before you took your first breath. Anyone who sails through such a loss unharmed is in deep denial and even deeper trouble.
It’s normal not to want to stay in a world that doesn’t include your mom. It’s unthinkable. You have to feel that way and go through that to heal and you feel like you never will, I’m sure. You may not even care whether you do or not.
Every day of this pain is part of your journey out of the blackness. That’s all I can tell you. I am 83 years old and I have lost my parents, my siblings and my sons. You can trust me with this. Blessings, Luise