Question: Dear Luise: My mother was diagnosed with unoperatable colon cancer December 2011. June 2012. She passed away in my home. I took care of her along with a nurse & at the end hospice. She was 71. She was “everything” to me. I can’t even put into words how deeply, unconditionally how much I loved her. We talked daily & I would see her at least 5 times a week. She was my rock, my best friend, my beautiful mother!! I could not deal with her being gone. The past few months reality has kicked in & I cry so much!!! The loss becomes unbearable to me!! I have always, always been there for her & she lived with me the previous 2 years before her passing because her husband & my step dad passed 2 years prior. Every morning we would have coffee, laugh, go shopping, lunch, everything just about we did together! There is 7 of us kids & I have always been the strong one with everyone in my family. But no one in my family was really a part of her life. Maybe 5 times a year. No one will talk to me or about mom. I have tried & they get angry & don’t want to talk about her. I have NO support! I am married & my husband tells me to get over it & move on! I’m grieving ALONE! It’s getting worse mentally & emotionally!! I have tried talking to different councelors & just not feeling any better at all. I have tried researching support groups in central Florida & can not find any. I am really loosing it!!! I don’t know what to do?? I have lost 6 best friends since the age of 13 & have no good friends. I have one child. A daughter 29 who has been a drug addict for 9 years! Mom helped me cope with her! It’s only a matter of time before I loose her. I can’t bare all this PAIN!!!! K.
Answer: Dear K.: I wrote my mom when she passed on. (I was 28 years old at the time.) I think the hardest thing for many of us is we have no idea what to do with that level of loss. The more I focused on it the larger it became and the more I tried not to focus on it, I got the same result.
The writing thing was not a conscious plan. It started out with my “wailing on paper” because no one else wanted to hear it or understood. (Well, I didn’t, either.) I don’t know if it would help you or not…we’re all so different. I poured out my anger and my hopelessness and my helplessness at first. I really wasn’t writing “to” her…I was more protesting and giving up ever finding a way to go on. After a while, I realized I was addressing her and that was OK because no one saw my rantings. Little be little my writing, which started out as many comments each day, slowed down and I began to tell her what I was doing, not just how I felt. And eventually, she started answering me. No, it was not automatic writing, or voices in my head…there was no “woo-woo factor.” I just knew what she would say back to me and starting adding it to my daily “connecting.”
My mom died 58 years ago…and I still sometimes write to her…and yes, she still writes back. Why not? Love doesn’t die unless we say so. Blessings, Luise