How Do I Recover from my Mother’s Death

Question: Dear Luise: Recently I lost my mother. It was in August of this year. She died of lung cancer. I am really missing my mom like any thing! It was so sudden. It all happened in only one month. It was confirmed after she had a bad cough. Otherwise, she was normal. It is really so hard and horrible to accept death. I am feeling very lost and lonely. Sometimes I’m very restless and don’t feel like working. What to do? I feel so very sad. Please help me to learn how to recover from it. D.

Answer: Dear D.: When this happens, and we are separated from our mothers with such finality, each and every one of us is left alone with it. That’s the hardest part. You lost your mother just a few months ago. How you are feeling is the only way you could possibly feel so soon after her death. You need time. We all do.

Most of us aren’t brought up to accept that death happens to everyone and unless we precede her in death, we are all going to lose our mothers. We are not taught that death is natural, normal and inevitable. Death isn’t understood. How can it be? Like life…it’s a mystery.

We are meant to go on…to move through grief without getting stuck there, to find new friends and new interests and to focus on living. How do we do that? Usually with extreme difficulty. Loss is real and it is terrible. Some never recover and that’s a high price to pay for love. We are part of a parade in which there is a beginning, a middle and an end for each participant. We join it when we are born and we leave it when we die. No one, absolutely no one, stays. Fighting the master plan, anguishing over it takes energy that we don’t have and we will never win. That’s the way it is.

Why not move, when you can, into gratitude. Why not start a gratitude list and dedicate it to your mother. Keep going over it every night before you go to bed and keep adding to it. Your mother gave you life as her mother gave her life. Celebrate your lovely relationship in gratitude and joy. Healing will follow. Blessings, Luise

12 Responses to How Do I Recover from my Mother’s Death

  1. L. November 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Luise,
    I just lost my mother on Nov.18, 2011. She was sent into the hospital for high blood pressure and some tests. This led to the discovery of her needing heart bypass surgery. Her surgery was successful ( so we thought), but 5 hours later she went into cardiac arrest and died later that night. My father, siblings and myself are still in shock. The doctor even joked the night before her surgery that she may be eating turkey for Thanksgiving in the hospital. Well, something went terribly wrong and it has been a total shock for me and my family.
    I am 43 and have two small children. It is very difficult because me and my mother talked everyday and were best friends.
    I am so sad , but I also am mad. I feel so angry that my mother is gone and she was a very young 70.
    Please give me some advice on how to stop feeling this terrible pain and anger .
    Thank you,L.

    • Luise November 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      L. – There is no way to stop the pain and anger. They are normal and they are also terrible. It is of little use to know they will diminish…you are trying to find a way to survive this. Here is what I did when my mom died at age 63. I wrote to her. That may sound dumb but I couldn’t have a world without her in it…so I wrote. Sometimes I wrote large letters…in pure rage. Some pages were tear soaked. But I told her how I was and eventually writing to her became a comfort to me. Later on, when I was more at peace and still writing daily…I did what might be seen as something even dumber…I started writing back answers from her to me. No, I wasn’t hearing her voice or “getting messages” but I knew what she would say to me and so I wrote it. She diesd 58 years ago and sometimes I still write to her and she to me. Not often…but when things are exceptionally great or awful for me…I connect and “we” share it. That’s all I can suggest because it worked for me. Blessings, Luise

  2. M. July 12, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    My mom died June 12th 2012 at age of 68 from a massive heart attack. She was my best friend. I am 50 years old with 4 children and 4 grandchildren. My poor mom suffered so bad with heart problems, breast cancer and she was on dialysis the past 3 years of her life. I watched her suffer so bad. She was always sick from the kidney treatments. I miss her so bad. We talked everyday of my life. I wonder if I’m still in the shock stage I really though with all the sickness that I was prepared for her to leave but boy was I wrong. I don’t know what i i feel about life after death. I only dreamed of her the 1st night after she died. I think we all think our moms are going to be here forever. I look at her obituary and I think it’s so strange to read. It’s like it’s not real. I’m kinda afraid of the way I’m feeling. My dad is really having a hard time. How do you let go of someone that has been so part of your life for 50 years? My husband is so strong he said you just have to accept it as soon as possible. It happens to all of us. But how do you stop the missing part? So sad 🙁 M.

    • Luise Volta July 12, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      M – Your loss was so recent…my take is that you are where many of us are when a beloved ‘disappears.’ Your dad and your husband will process it in their way…you have to find yours. Some people have a belief system regarding what comes after. As a nurse, I saw many of them feel just like you do when it actually happened. The mystery is too big for most of us. My husband is 100 years old and I”m sure I’m not ;ready’ to have him leave.

      I don’t know if this will work for you but when I lost my own mom I started writing to her. I just couldn’t contain my grief, despair, hopelessness, anger…you name it. After a while my emotions seemed to start settling down and I began to tell her about my day and share with her like I always had. One, day I wrote an answer from her to me. No, I didn’t hear any voices or think it was automatic writing, I just knew what she would have said to me. That was when I was 27 years old and I am now 85. I still do it at times and it still brings me comfort. I don’t have any clear picture of ‘the other side’ but if we meet again, we’ll be current. Blessings, Luise

  3. M. July 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you so much, I will give it a try to write my feelings down. You lost your mom at a very young age. It must have been very hard. M.

    • Luise Volta July 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      M – I also lost my eldest son when he was 52 of a sleep apnea induced stroke and I was really glad I knew how to interact with him…I feel my mom taught me that. Blessings, Luise

  4. TH September 30, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    I lost my mom aug.30 2012. It was the hardest day of my life. My mom had lung cancer and fought it since 2005. I have the biggest emptiness in my life. What do I do? How do I overcome this. She was my best friend. TH

    • Luise Volta October 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      TH – It has only been two months and she left a huge hole in your life. All you can do that I know of is take one day at a time until you start to recover from the loss. There are many posts here under the category Death and Afterlife, if you go to my Home Page and scroll down the right side. I think you may find some comfort there. I hope so. Blessings, Luise

  5. S. January 17, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    I lost my MOM in April, 2011 and since then I am leaving a terrible life. I miss her all time. I was a single child, my father expired 5 years back, so its tough for me to get through. Though I am a working person, but my loneliness makes me more terrible and brings back those sad memories again and again. Can you help me control my emotions and live life in a normal way? S.

    • Luise Volta January 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      S. I just finished writing this to someone else a few minutes ago. I hope it will help you. “When I lost my mom, I starting writing down how I felt. Sometimes it was while I was crying and at other times it was all in capital letters because I was so mad that I had to try to find a way to go on without her. Eventually, it was more writing her nearly every day about what was going on with me. Eventually, I started writing answers back to me from her. No, it wasn’t anything magical or mystical…I just knew what she would say to me and it brought me a lot of comfort. I still so that sometimes, and she had been gone for 58 years. And I’ve always felt like she has “been there” though all of the major events of my life. Blessings, Luise”

  6. E July 13, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    I have 7 brothers and sister. My mom has Lupus. She recently gave one of her kidneys away to family member 2003 who was on a dialysis. My mom shortly had a heart attack and had triple bypass surgery 2006 . And taking medication for her heart. Got a call from my step brother that my mom passed away died 12pm last night of a aneurysm to the brain. I’m crying so much. It’s the hardest thing to face being 30 years old. My mom was age 59 years old. It just happened yester day. My brothers and sisters are Emotionally abusive to one another and Wont have a grave for my mom. Step dad and sister are in charge. Poor Communication with them step dad sister. E.

    • Luise Volta July 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      E. Did you mean to stop there? I looks like you may have lost part of your post. Please read what I just put on my Home Page for “L.” under “Lost My Mom.” I hope it helps. Blessings, Luise

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