Stephanie Baffone

Seven years ago, when my Mom passed away, I stood at her bedside with my Dad, brothers and twin sister, both heartbroken and relieved. The relief came from knowing she would no longer suffer the depravity of cancer. Her last breath released her from its vicious vice.

The heartbreak, well, that’s obvious I’m sure.

Regardless of how old we are when our parents die, (I was thirty-seven years old) I’m here to tell you it hurts. It can hurt- a whole lot…for a long time.

Sadly, our grief as adult children mourning the loss of our Moms and Dads is often disenfranchised.

It seems “natural” for our parents to die when they are elderly- true.  Somehow though, natural is considered (by many) as directly proportionate to how long an appropriate mourning period prolongs, or worse, if it’s appropriate at all.

My own father is 95 3/4 years old. Trust me when I tell you, I will mourn his loss for as long as I-that’s I-need to-and it won’t be the standard expected three days I assure you. He is my Dad, (sometimes I still call him Daddy-we’re Italian what can I tell ya) his presence in this world is the bedrock upon which my sense of safety rests (as was my Mom’s).

In my practice and in my work at hospice, I’ve seen many adult children struggle. They have friends and co-workers, etc who remark, “Oh your Mom/Dad lived a good long life. God bless ‘em.”

These same well-intentioned people go on to shrug their shoulders, pat you on the back and move on AND often expect you to do the same in a very short time.

Parental loss for adult children is disenfranchised grief at it’s finest.

Lois Akner, in her book “How to Survive the Loss of a Parent: A Guide for Adults” (William Morrow and Co.), speaks on this idea of disenfranchised grief for adult children whose parents die.

“If you lose a child or a husband, there’s an enormous amount of support. But if you lose a parent, you get two weeks to grieve and then you’re expected to be back to yourself.”

There are many factors that influence the grief and mourning process. One of the most important is the relationship the bereft shared with the deceased. If they were close, then the grieving period will be longer. I’ll be writing a post about each factor in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Dressing my Mom for the funeral director to take her was a gift. Along with my brother we dressed her and kissed her. It was our last tender act as her caregivers.

Notwithstanding the tender side of her death, her dying catapulted me to a place overgrown with unfamiliarity and shrouded by a pervasive dark fog of sheer uncertainty.

What scared me was the sudden realization that everything as I knew it had now changed. This is the theme of my memoir but a few months ago I came across a quote that articulated with precision how I felt that cold, February night. (I’d give credit if I knew to whom it went but I don’t).

There are times in a life

when we come to a trapeze moment….

It’s that moment in time

when what we’ve known

will no longer hold us-

and what awaits us

has not yet appeared.

Losing a loved one, at any age, most certainly can find us suspended in a “trapeze” moment.

Death leaves us with a loss of our former assumptive world. Often people go on spiritual quests, seeking for a way to make sense out of the world again-to restore a sense of safety & security that the death left shattered.

This takes time and in her book, The Five Ways We Grieve, author Susan Berger talks about the five different types of grievers. Indeed, some of us are seekers. (I am a pure seeker).

So, my dear friends who know the pain of losing parents, rest reassured your grief is legitimate. It might very well lead to a trapeze moment and if so, you’re in good company according to me and Susan Berger.

Have you lost a parent? I’d love to hear your experiences.

*To comment look for the “add a comment” in the box below the post with the other blog tags. Click on “add a comment” and share away. Comments are a great way to support each other on this topic.

If this was helpful please hit the “Tweet this” button at the top of the page of feel free to share it on Facebook. Just click on the share icon at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

Suggested Resources on this topic:

How to Survive  the Loss of a Parent: A Guide for Adults, by Lois Akner

GriefNet.org

HelloGrief.com


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Comments

  1. Lisahgolden says:

    I’ve been with my husband during his grieving process for his mother. His father died before I knew him. I have no idea what to expect when my own parents pass away. We’re not that close, but I’m not sure that’s any guarantee for how I will deal with their deaths. Thank you for this information. I’ve been very lucky so far, but some day, I will need to know these things and that each person is different in how they grieve and cope.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Lisa,
      How true it is that each person grieves differently. Sure there are some common themes but we all do it uniquely.

      For you, I am glad you haven’t bumped into this kind of loss yet. It stinks! I’m sure your husband appreciates your love and support.

      • Bess says:

        You’ll grieve for the rest of your life, like it or not. I lost my dad to a seizure when I was six, and I’m still grieving. He will have been dead eight years this March, since I am fourteen. You’re not crazy, you’re grieving. As for how long you should mourn…just do whatever your instincts tell you is right, as long as it’s not destructive. I recommend journaling, songwriting, and poetry. And the occasionally good long cry into your pillow, of course.

        • SBaffone says:

          I’m so sorry for your loss. You are right. It never goes away, only changes over time. The coping skills you suggested are right on! Poetry, journaling, and a good cry are all very useful tools to use when coping with loss. Thank you for sharing your own story!

    • Peter says:

      Lisahgolden: You say you are not close to your parents. I can tell you now that when either one of them pass you will carry this regret for the balance of your days. Whatever it was that forced you apart go back in there and keep trying. My Father just passed away last week and I can tell you our relationship was abrasive for a good number of years. I am so glad and relieved that I was able to find common ground with him almost 2 years before he died. We just buried him today.

      Ask yourself, if you were in my shoes and your parent(s) just died how would you feel about your relationship that you chose to ignore? You will now have to talk to a silent headstone.

  2. Lily says:

    I am currently going through this right now. My grandmother went from perfectly healthy in April, to not feeling well in May, to finding cancer in her liver in June, then 2 days later 10 tumors in her brain, then going through a round of radiation in July, then finding out last week not only did the radiation not work, but the cancer is now in her stomach, spleen, esophagus, lungs and lymph nodes. This has all been happening so fast I feel so unprepared. First it’s nothing, then it’s something, but not a real serious something, then it’s cancer, then it’s treatable cancer, then it doesn’t work, then she’s sitting there in front of you talking and all of a sudden starts speaking gibberish and slurring words. The tumors in her brain are pushing on the part of her brain that controls speech.

    My mom is barely holding it together. She works 60-70 hrs a week, has been running home every day at lunch to let the dogs out (she had to take on my grandma’s dog since she’s too weak to walk him) and is having to deal with losing her mom. And soon. It seems like every day that passes we’re losing 2 or 3 more that we thought we were going to have.

    Everytime I hear my mom’s ringtone on my phone, I’m afraid to move. It is going to be a hard couple of years for my mom.

    Thank you for the book shout-out. I might look into sending that to her when I think she’s ready to receive it.

    • SBaffone says:

      Oh, Lily…I am soooo sorry. There are no words that can provide enough comfort. Cancer is evil. Truly. It doesn’t discriminate. It steals away in the night people we adore. It’s rotten.

      I feel for you having to watch your Mom go through this. I remember when my grandmother died, I felt so helpless to take the pain away from my Mom.

      Hospice is the best, if you haven’t considered it. It is the only way we survived the last few days with my Mom. They knew how to prepare us…they are living angels.

      Lily, I’m sending you love, sister.
      xo

    • Ann says:

      My mother passed away almost 2 years ago, at age 82, and I am still grieving very hard. I cannot stop thinking about her. I keep seeing her face and want to hold her. I keep talking to her and wish she’s reply. I wish I could tell her again how much I love her and how proud I am that she is my mother. I have this feeling that I will never heal from this grief, as it does not get better over time, but gets worse … as I realize that I will never see my Mother again.

      • Ann says:

        … and the longer time goes on, the more I miss her, my Mother, who I adored.

        • Pat says:

          I lost both parents within 3 months this year. I was in Italy when my Mom went to sleep one night and never woke. I so miss her and our talks. She was my rock. I brought my Dad home with me and he died three months to the day this month. I can’t get my stuff together. I cry everyday and just feel like I should have done more. It does piss me off when people say they were 88 and 89 and lived good life’s. I miss them terribly each day. I have been drinking way too much and have to get myself together.

          • SBaffone says:

            Pat,
            What a tragedy. My good heavens, I can’t imagine your pain. You are probably experiencing what is commonly referred to as complicated grief– meaning your loss journey will probably be a little harder, longer, etc b/c of losing both parents so close together. I would really encourage you to check out some of the books on my links I love tab, perhaps something there can help you learn some more effective coping skills and let you know you are not alone. Also, you’d never (at least I hope not) try to fix a broken leg or weak heart on your own. Grief is no different. Call your local hospice and ask for the names of some good grief counselors. Get yourself some support. We all need others in our corners from time to time. I wish you all the best.

  3. Wyndi says:

    Thank you for this post. My father died in March at 61 after two months in hospice and years of ill health before that. He and I were very close. We talked alot about his death before he died and I was very lucky to be there with him and help him die the way he wanted to. But I miss him very much and have found very little support while I grieve. People just don’t know what to do. And you are so right – it is a life unknown for me at 40 years old to be without him. Some days I feel ok and others I just feel so blank. I really appreciate your writing. I need to hear from others who are actively going through this. Thank you.

  4. Krysta says:

    Well, my boyfriend just lost his mother, i have been right next to him for the past 2 weeks to show my support, care and love for him because he needed me, and now his mother has passed and he has completely detached from me. I know this is a rough time for him and im still here if he needs me but at the same time i need him and i feel as though he does not need me anymore, and that bothers me. i dont know what to do, how should i go about this? i know he must need space and time to think and thats fine with me but i also feel like i have lost him. i just want him to know i still love him and im still here, i wish i knew what i could say or do to help him through this tough time without forcing myself on him

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Krysta,
      This can be a really tough situation. It can be very common for loved ones to pull away from us after a significant loss. This usually passes over time. Be a steady support for him and just give it some time. Grief counseling can be helpful. You might consider suggesting some grief counseling. Check with local hospices to see what’s in your area.
      Hang in there, Krysta. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. jane says:

    I lost my mother in september. I am not coping with my loss and feel very depressed. I have already lost my dad and lost my job in june. I just feel lonely, lost and alone.

  6. Cindy says:

    My dad died Dec. 28 and I dont think Im doing good at all. More anger at my own family for not supporting me. 2 kids that have another parent and lives that are much more important than me and my grieving….talk about me being selfish. But I cant seem to quit thinking about it. Not sure whether my grieving is real or upset over my own kids reaction but sure cant quit crying!

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Cindy,
      The loss of a parent is really rough. This is such a raw time for you. I’d suggest being as gentle with yourself and your family as possible. Often anger is a great distraction for the pain of grief. Grief forces us to rearrange our lives as we know them. Give yourself some time and if necessary seek counseling. So much of what we experience when we are mourning and grieving we often dismiss as part and parcel of the experience. Getting a trained professional to support you through it can go a long way in healing.
      Take good care.

    • Pat says:

      I was so mad that two of my mom’s grand-kids had the nerve to travel far to attend her funeral but never took the time at Christmas to drive one block to visit her. They had to beg me to not go ballistic at the funeral. Selfish brats. I just stuck like glue to my Dad and stayed away from them.

  7. Shanna says:

    Hello – my Mom and best friend in the world died unexpectedly July 25th, 2010. She passed away peacefully in her sleep due to Hypertensive Cardiac Disease (not a condition she had been diagnosed with and took over three months to get the final conclusion on her death). After several attempts to get a hold of her, I had to break into her house to check on her, I found her in her bed. She had obviously passed away, but I shook and shook her to wake her up. She was cold to the touch. I was in shock and disbelief, my biggest fear had come true, my Mom had passed away. Its be almost six months and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t cry or yearn for the need to talk to her, to give her a hug and kiss, to tell her I love her. She was the greatest Mom. I have three children who were also very close to her, they ask about her all the time. I have been open and honest with them about what happened and that Mimi will not be coming back. However, I have this angry voice in my head that yells “I want her back” and I do, I want her back. How long will I feel this way. My middle child (age 4) has become very negative since this, saying such things as “I hate you, Mom” and “I know you don’t love me, you hate me” These are not things we say in our house and he’s saying it more and more every day. Do you think professional support would help? Should I pursue help for me separately from the kids or a combination, me individually and then a session with me and the kids. I am married; however, my husband and my Mom didn’t have the best relationship and he’s not much support. I just don’t know what to do, any advise you have, I would greatly appreciate.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Shanna,
      I’m so sorry for your loss. This is traumatic for sure.

      Yes, I would urge you to seek professional support from a counselor who specializes in grief and loss-both for you and your children. You might want to check out The Dougy Center. They are a great resource for children who have suffered a loss.
      My best to you, Shanna.

  8. Barbara says:

    I’m 50 and my Dad died this week and we had his funeral yesterday. He has been ill with a form of dementia and parkinsons for 17 years. The last 16 months of his life were spent in a nursing home. My mother, 2 brothers and I took turns visiting and taking care of him every day while he was in there. I actually feel like I have been grieving the entire time, and especially the last 16 months while in the home because I hated the thought of him being there. It broke my heart every time I walked out the door and had to leave him there. He died on Thursday and at his wake Friday, I was so filled with pride and love for him as so many people turned up to pay their last respects. More than we expected… it was overwhelming.
    We know he is in a better place, free from suffering and out of the wheelchair that he was bound to for the last couple of years, but my heart is so broken.
    I feel so odd like the world as I knew it is now gone. Everything in life now seems different. It’s such a strange feeling.
    We won’t know what to do with ourselves anymore. We were so used to going to the nursing home every day. One good thing, is that this has brought my family so much closer together. When we all stood together hugging each other in front of my fathers casket, I never felt a stronger bond than at that moment.

    This has been a very tough week, first I lost my beloved cat that I had for 15 years, and then 3 days later my Dad died. So my home life is different as is my life with my parents. I’ve been crying since last Sunday.

    I used to write down my feelings of sadness when I came home from the nursing home… it made me feel better. But I looked at them last night and it brought back such painful memories so I deleted everything. I want to remember all the wonderful years I had with my Dad. He was a great man. My mom and I went through some of his things last night because I wanted something of his that I could hold on to. I brought home his brush because it smells like him and for some reason that makes me feel better.

    PS I’m also childless (not by choice.. I too went through infertility issues) and am Italian/Irish.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

      I am soooo sorry about your Dad. When you say that the world as you knew it is gone, you are so right. There is a book that talks about what the author calls, “the loss of the assumptive world,” essentially as you say, the world as we knew it dies too.

      To lose your cat too is horrible. I am an animal lover myself and when we lost our dog Bella this past summer it was heart-wrenching. I know how hard all of this is in the face of being childless. It makes all our other losses come right up bubbling to the surface.

      I’ll be remembering your family in my prayers. You might want to check out some of my resources for loss. There are some great books that really helped me personally there too.
      Bless you, Barbara.

    • Angela says:

      So sorry to hear what your father went through and what you suffered. My father died when I was 40, he had had motor neurone disease. As I lived far away from him (different country) I didn’t see him much throughout his illness, I was on my way to visit him when I heard that he had died. I was so awfully sad not to see him one more time, so sad I couldn’t spend more time with him in the last few years and I will always be sad about that, sad I couldn’t be there to hold his hand and talk with him before he died. My Mother died when she was 72 and I was 49. I hadn’t seen her very much in the last 19 years of her life due to living in a different country. I was quite close to my mother but I didn’t understand how sad she was when I left to go to Germany when I was 30 years old, she was so upset. We were 6 children. Now I have children of my own and they both live far away, I understand the link between parents and children much more, I now understand how my mother felt when I left, I feel so sad that I didn’t know then and keep in closer touch with her. Now, somehow, I feel closer to my own parents than I ever did before I had kids of my own. I miss them more than ever, as time goes by. I will mourn them for the rest of my life.
      I too have felt very sad at the loss of an animal, first our dog a few years ago, one of our cats last year. They too are part of a family and are mourned, only people who have kept (and lost) animals will understand that. Each animal has a personality and each one is loved, just as human family members are loved.

      I know it will take time after your loss to feel happy again. I know you will always mourn your father, it is a normal process. As you say, you have to remember the wonderful years, when you find your self feeling very sad and low, try to think of a happy time you shared with your father, one that makes you smile to yourself.
      Take care xx

  9. Bec says:

    Hello Stephanie, I would really like some guidance here. My husband’s elderly father committed suicide last September and my husband is clearly grieving and showing signs of depressed mood, withdrawing from social activities, compulsively eating, guilt. It’s hard enough that he’s lost his Dad, but the way that he went is compounding the grief with many other emotions. I really don’t know how best to support him. I don’t think he would agree to see a professional grief counsellor, so I’m the proxy. Thank you.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Bec,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It’s very difficult to lose a parent but when the cause of death is suicide it compounds the grieving process. I would read up on loss by suicide to educate yourself. At times when your husband seems open, you can gently share with him some of your findings. Often people who are grieving months later have no idea that what they are experiencing is grief related and help is out there.

      I would use whatever influence you have to encourage him to seek professional support from someone who is –at the very least– a loss expert but has experience working with those left behind after a completed suicide.

      Finally, one of the best ways to get family members to seek help when they are resistant to go themselves is to ask them to go as a support to you. Tell him you are struggling yourself with managing the process yourself and he could be of help to you if he would go with you. Once he gets there, it might not be as scary as it seems.

      Bec, educate, educate, educate yourself. Healing can be contagious so get started.
      You’ll both be in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. jeff says:

    My father whom was my best friend died in 2004. I know that thwe pain will get easier in time, but a part of me left when he died, that I don’t think I will ever regain. I was relieved when he died, cancer had taken him hostage, and death was a blessing for him. But the child in me, really still mours him. I know deep down, his passing was for the best, but losing my father was a tremendous blow to me. Still I feel an emptiness inside. I gues their is no clear cut way to get over such a thing, and I do have moments where I am able to laugh at the memories, which is good, but the “STING” is very much still there. My mom told me not long ago that 7 years of sadness is too much for me, and I need to let it go. It’s easily said, but not easily done. Death is eniviteable. It is going to happen. But I think we sometimes put our fathers and mothers on pedistals, and look at them as if they are impervious to pain, and death, but they aren’t. Thats whats humbling about losing a parent. The mystique of their toughness seems to dissapate when cancer takes them. I dont think grieving take a month, or a year, I think it takes a lifetime. I also believe that when soomeone completely close to you dies, it leaves you insecure, because if they could be killed by disease or what have you, then the same can happen to us. I wish I had a year, where I could sit on a beach, and just remove this itching, burning pain, and sadness I have, but thats a luxury I can’t afford. I just try to remind myself, that I need to keep living. People who have experienced the death of a parent understand. Those who havent had to endure that loss are oblivious to the pain, sorrow, and loneliness. Just keep your head up everyone, talk to those that have experienced this. We can mend together;

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Jeff,
      I am so sorry about your Dad. I echo all of your sentiments. My Mom’s death left me feeling extremely insecure. Death became so real. My entire world view changed and restructuring a new one will take a lifetime.
      Thank you for your very thoughtful note, Jeff. My sympathies to you.

    • Sandra says:

      Jeff,
      I feel the same way. As I am writing this I am crying due to the loss of my dad. My father was 59 years old when he passed. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March 2012. The news hit us all like a tractor trailer going at 100 miles per hour. My dad was not a smoker. We kept on asking ourselves how, why, why him. Within three weeks of his diagnosis we rushed him to the hospital due to stroke like symptoms only to find out that the cancer had reached his brain. Not one tumor but seven with one being the size of a golf ball. He was rushed to another hospital where they were able to remove the large tumor successfully. He recuperated quite well after having a craniotomy. He began radiation and chemotherapy and things were beginning to look better. Then one day before heading to his radiation appointment he seized. Paramedics took him to the nearest hospital where he spent a week and they diagnosed him with leptomeningeal carcinoma. They told us there was nothing else they could do. My mother decided that hospice and transporting home would be the best thing. Once at home he survived a few hours and took his last breath. He fought a tough battle but at the end the cancer won. He passed three weeks ago and I continue to mourn. I know I have to be strong for my daughters, for my sister, for my mom, and for my grandmothers. But when can I grieve? I feel mad, sad, helpless, frustrated all at the same time and I hate it. I’m 31 years old and the pain is tremendous. I wonder if its ever going to go away. I miss my dad so much and I can’t even imagine as to what my mother is going through. It’s just not fair. No one should have to go through this. I watched as the cancer ate my dad at only 59 years of age. He was a great man, a faithful husband, a great father, and an outstanding grandfather.

  11. Jo says:

    My dad died in 1981, my brother died in 2009 of bone cancer he was 62, the same age as my dad when he died. My mom died the day after her 94th birthday and I buried her 6 days ago. I am in a state of shock and don’t know why. My mom had alzheimers and did not know me anymore so I should have been prepared but I was not. you see I really lost my mom twice. now I am just going through the motions and not really caring a whole lot about anything at the moment. Guess the fact that all this happened over the Christmas holidays doesn’t help but I feel I am in a state of suspended animation. Have other people felt like this?

    • SBaffone says:

      Yes, lots of people have felt like this–especially those who have lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s. It’s so early — it will get better. You might want to check out some great books that could help you in my “links I love” section. Hang in there. It will get better.

  12. lisa p says:

    I lost a lot of my family in 2010. I lost my father in February. In October lost my favorite uncle who went in for surgery & never recovered. In November I lost my mother in law to thyroid cancer. After I asked God to please spare my family. We find out my mother had cancer on January 7, 2011. She died on January 14th . My mother was not just my mom she was my best friend. Two years later I am still lost. I feel robbed & abandoned & sometimes hopeless. I miss my mother so much. I mail a Christmas card to heaven addressed to her kinda crazy isn’t. Or am I just crazy?

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Lisa,
      You are not crazy! Everything you are describing is normal. You are suffering from complicated grief–which essentially means your grief process will be more dimensional because of all the losses in such a short period of time. I would encourage you to check out some of the books I listed on “links I love” to help you through this tough time. I would also consider contacting a local hospice to help you find a good grief counselor.

      Be kind to yourself. You’ve been through so much.

  13. Joanne says:

    Great article. It totally hits home. Lost my mom two months ago. I NEVER understood the grief and pain that this causes. I just want to feel better. I struggle everyday.

  14. Bridget says:

    I’m 24 years old and my beloved Dad died unexpectedly 1 year ago (we believe he died on January 28th, 2011 but he was not found until late night on January 31st).

    My mom moved out of the family home in 2005 due to his long time tobacco smoking in the house and longtime drinking. She said she would move back home once my Dad got better.

    The goal was to get Dad healthy and better and happy so we could all be together again. Dad tried hard, but he could not completely kick it.

    I have one older sister and we have a love/hate relationship, mostly love. My sister and I had been fighting a great deal right before my Dad died and I decided to stay at my mom’s for the next weeks to cool everything down.

    Dad got into a fight with my sister and Dad ended up becoming very angry at everyone, mom, me and sister.

    I came home on the Friday day before he died and he told me to get out of the house and that he hated me … I told him I hated him too and that everything would be better once he’s dead.

    I know my Dad did not mean these things. My Dad was upset and he has always told me and my sister how much he loves us ever since we were born. I did not hate my dad I never have. It’s just a shame that this was the content of the last conversation I had with my Dad before I found him 4 days later in his bed decaying.

    My older sister had a much different last experience with my Dad the week before he died which she told me Dad and her hugged and told each other they loved each other very much. This made me feel better.

    My mom has been seeing a boyfriend since 2007. My mom did not have an autopsy on my dad done and his death certificate says “cardiac arrest” due to his health history and heart disease. My Dad left no will. My Dad served in the Navy for 6 years I believe so this made him eligible for free memorial service at Arlington Cemetery only option was cremation.

    Me and my sister wanted him to be buried in the cemetery with his brothers.

    Since my mom was still married to Dad she gets control of his retirement accounts. My sister and I are kept in the dark about the details of the finances. There is money, but I don’t think me or my sister will ever see it.

    My sister and I think it’s wrong she abandoned Dad and now she gets all of his luxuries and everything he worked so hard for in life. But its also wrong the way Dad treated his body and trashed it.

    Something happened to my Dad that night, or during the week before he died (that monday before he got into a car accident, it wasn’t too serious but his car was totaled). My Dad’s death to me is a mystery and I think about him everyday.

    Here is my problem: I feel that I don’t even exist to anyone. I feel no one gives a crap that my dad died. Im expected to move on. I can’t, its very painful. My Dad’s living brothers and sisters are not interested in any emotional support. I thought the memorial service was to honor the dead and support the family? I felt like everyone was so cold at my dads memorial service that did not even take place 3 months after he died. I had to wait that long. My mom didnt make any other arrangements to honor him, she did everything the quickest and easiest way.

    I do feel good in some aspects because I know the things my Dad believed in: being an honorable person, kind, respectful. I just finished my Master’s degree and I am proud and I am glad my Dad made me do the education and thankful for everything my parents gave me.

    I have a boyfriend and he’s been dating me through this entire ordeal… Sometimes I feel that he doesnt even know what to tell me. I can’t explain it, I know my boyfriend cares but… He just doesn’t get it. My Daddy is gone!!

    Also I think a lot about other people’s great lives and great families. I have no family other than my sister and mom and my mom now and I am lost without Dad. I am just jealous.

    I will say – it makes me feel better to know and understand I am not the only one feeling like this. It could be worse… but I hate when people say that.

    • SBaffone says:

      Bridget,
      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a heart-felt comment.

      All that you are experiencing is normal. It is hard for your boyfriend to understand, I’m sure. Help him know what you need by being specific.

      Comments like, “It could be worse,” aren’t helpful. Tell people it feels pretty bad as things stand and you’d appreciate the space to find your way.

      Best of luck to you. You might want to check out HelloGrief.com. It’s a great site with forums from others who have experienced loss.
      Be kind to yourself while you are healing.

  15. JLynn says:

    I am 33 yrs old and my Mom was only 17 yrs older than me, she was 50 when she was diagnosed with cancer last May. I watched her struggle but assumed that she was strong enough to beat it. I prepared my 2 small children as we watched her slowly wither away. She passed only 10 days ago, I watched her take her painful last breaths and just as you said, I felt relieved and heartbroken all at once. I am a zombie, I tried to go back to work and left in tears. My job is in social work, so I feel like I am letting so many people down but I cannot move past this so quickly. I mourn as a child, and most of all I mourn for her grandchildren who lost their grandmother at such a young age. My baby will never remember her and it breaks my heart. I wish I felt like I was allowed to collect myself before going back to work.

  16. isa says:

    I just lost my dad this January. I wasn’t really close with him though I know he tried to be the best father/parent to me. I have had a harder time with things other than my father not being around. I had terrible dreams that he returned from the dead, and we had been searching for him for a long time. I also had a dream where I was in his actual grave talking to him, asking him to give me a sign that he was ok. I almost freak out when I think of him buried and in the ground, cold and alone. I wonder why I do this or that because in the end I will be there too. I think this is weird, but now it is overwhelming me. I have never thought about death like this, and wondered if anyone else has had this reaction.

    • Dawn says:

      8 weeks ago my mum was taken with cancer, although it was a short illness and we seek thanks in that mum didn’t suffer, i can’t yet get by a day without the constant fear of breaking down, which i haven’t as yet, I returned to work after 2 weeks and am to the outside world functioning, but i am not….as my husband so rightly said in a heated discussion last night i have stopped living and am just exsisting…the words hit hard as i knew he was right. I have been to the doctors and they just offer me time off work which i don’t want, i know i would seap deeper….whats the answer, when do i get that part back that died with mum ..

    • Angela says:

      Hello Isa,
      So sorry you lost your father, I too have had thoughts like this, feeling so sad thinking of my parents lying cold and alone in the ground, it makes me cry to think of that. I guess perhaps a lot of people think of it but they don’t put it into words? You said you were not close to your father, but you probably were closer than you knew, you will feel closer to him as time goes by perhaps. I know I do with my parents. I miss them more as the years go by, I was too busy at first raising my own children, now I miss my parents more, I think that feeling never goes away, we don’t realise how close to our parents we are, how strong the link is, it is unbreakable.

      Death is normal, we will all be there one day, we have to come to terms with it, as we age I think we can come to terms with it.

      In between time we have to live our lives, try to enjoy it, we only get one life! Start to try and remember the happy times we had with those who have gone before us, each time we start to feel sad, just remember the person we grieve’s smile, their laugh, remember a happy occasion we shared with them – and smile!!! The people we grieve would have preferred that we did that, wouldn’t they?

  17. Tabitha says:

    I am 31 years old and my mother died unexpectedly on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:57pm, a few hours before my 31st birthday. My mom was in the hospital getting treatment for her kidneys and went into cardiac arrest. It has been so difficult getting on with life since her passing. Exactly one year before she died my maternal grandmother died, right before my birthday. To have that happen again is heartbreaking. I was extremely close to both of them. I am my mom’s youngest child. I was her baby. I have a lot of anger because I feel cheated. My mother will not see me get married or have children. I have a lot of anxiety and feel that my next birthday will take another loved one

  18. April says:

    I’m only 26. My mom died June 23, 2012 after almost 2 years suffering from ALS. It was time for her to go, she was suffering too much and couldn’t take it anymore. On Monday she made the declaration that she was tired of fighting and just wanted it to be over, I was off of work that day and came to spend the day there. Lots of close friends and family came. Mom hadn’t been able to speak for a year, but when I left I told her I loved her and kissed her head and said that I would see her in a few days, she used sign language to say that she loved me. The following Friday night she died in her sleep and I got that wake up call far too early on Saturday morning.
    We had a long time coming. At first it wasn’t so bad, but we all knew it would kill her. It hurt to watch her suffer and there was absolutely nothing the doctors could do for her. For a while acupuncture and vitamin B12 helped a lot, but eventually they did not. My sister moved her wedding date up a year from July 2012 to August 2011 so mom could attend. Mom almost died in December 2011 after surgery to put in a feeding tube, but she fought strong. She fought and we managed for a good long while. Mother’s day 2012 I knew the tides had turned. I am not upset so much that she died. She fought the hard fight until she just couldn’t do it anymore and I fully understand that.
    I am angry that she got this awful disease. Angry that there isn’t any treatment for it. Angry that they don’t even know what causes it. Angry that there are no answers to the big “why” questions. Why her? Why us? Why now?
    I feel that trapeez moment. I’m afraid of what will happen next. My parents’ 37th wedding anniversary was the Thursday before she died. I’m unsure how it will play out for dad and I don’t want to loose him too. I’m sad that my future kids won’t have a grandma. I can’t imagine family functions without mom around. We weren’t super close, probably because she wasn’t the advice-giving type, but just knowing she’s gone is sad and scary.
    I feel alone, because few of my peers have lost their parents yet.

    • Marty says:

      April,

      My prayers are with you. My brother and I just lost our mother and he is 26 years old like you were. It is important to get help from people who specialize in grief counseling and have a lot of experience in this area. Try to remember the good memories you have of your mother and speak of them. Also, surround yourself with POSITIVE older people who are around the age of your mother, this helps!!!!

      Best Wishes on your healing and grieving process~

  19. Melaine says:

    I lost my beautiful Mom two months ago to Alzheimer’s. I was her caregiver for the last year1/2 in my home where she died. It has been so devastatin, heartbreaking. I cry myself to sleep most nights I miss her so much it hurts. I told her everyday I loved her most days she didn’t even know who I was I think that is what hurts the most. She could no longer talk at the end I didn’t get to hear her say “I Love You Baby” thats what she would always say to me being the youngest of four. I’m so angry the way she was taken from me.I don’t know if I’ll ever get over her death. I just feel so lost.What should I do?

  20. Gabrielle says:

    My dad died suddenly a month ago, he had a heart attack and we hope died deacefully in his sleep. I am a mess; on the outside I appear to be coping well, going about work and caring for my two young kids. On the inside I feel destroyed. I am angry and scared and feel hopeless that it will change. Nothing seems to bring me comfort, I just want my Daddy back.

  21. Cara says:

    My mother became sick and passed away 1 week later-right before Halloween 2011. So it has been almost a year, and because of that and football season again (she was a huge fan), it has become harder. I am one of many in their late 20′s living back at home (have been since ’09), and since beginning of 2010 have worked with my Dad’s company. However from what I heard or read at the end of last year, is that a person should make no major changes in the first year following that kind of event. So with the same tasks as before at work, and the addition of a lot more to be done at home (dinners, extra cleaning, etc.), I have stayed busy enough these last 11 months.

    I am the oldest of three girls-the middle one 2 years behind and living elsewhere, the other is 6 years younger and just out of college (and back home). I had not tried planning much for the future this year, and in fact found it easier to concentrate on the present–and understanding why not changing much of anything matters. And over the summer that feeling of “getting out” started reappearing occasionally and still does. However, I feel like I need to stay in one spot until A) we either clean out/split up/organize most everything in our house (including Mom’s things) for eventually leaving it, or B) a new pet is adopted or Dad starts dating (and the latter has been mentioned, but not discussed), and C) the end of 2012 because of the shock last year and that the holidays weren’t hard yet.

    The reality came gradually for me and the hardest time came right after Easter this year, so it has made sense to take things easy–including avoiding more than 1 or 2 new commitments and such. (But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been asked to get involved. …Does being part of a service club for a retirement community sound like something good right now?) I’m not sure when I’ll feel like being plans for the future back on table–but if anyone has advice on what little I could be doing now, that would help a lot.

  22. Michele says:

    I lost my father Sept 26th and my gma Oct 13th, most days I can hardly stop crying, I try to be stay strong, some days I feel like I should be moving on, I know n ow my babies feel my husband passed away 3 years ago and if my 12g and 7b is coping with losing their daddy I should be stronger than I am, my father and I were very close, talked most everyday. I was lucky enough to talk to him 2days before he passed, I look back now and he was telling me his goodbye:( also with my gma I spoke to her 2 days before she passed, she told me my daddy was with her waiting for her. I’m just waiting for the day I wake up waiting for the pain to be bearable

  23. Andrew says:

    It has been a year now since my dad passed. He was in exceptional health and mentally sharp for his age at 83. He passed within a week after a stroke. It sounds very not grownup of me, but as a married guy with my own family, I still talked to my dad nearly every day – seeking advice or guidance on life. When I was dealing with the real tough stuff, he always told me, “no matter what happens son, I got your back”.

    Selfish of me, at my age, to still need my dad, but now there is no one that “has my back” anymore like my dad would. Unconditional love and support. I was blessed to have him as a dad.

    • Angela says:

      It is really sad when a parent dies. My father died in 1989 and my mother in 1998 and I find myself thinking of them more and more lately and it makes me cry. How I wish I could see them one more time and tell them I love them. Your dad sounded lovely saying he had got your back. I understand how much you must miss him.

      But life goes on, we are all passing through this life, one generation after the other. You must make the most of the life your mother and father gave to you, enjoy it whilst you can and make your kids happy if you have any. One day, hopefully, you and your father will meet again. In the meantime, enjoy the happy thoughts of him and your life.

  24. Cindy says:

    My husband’s mother was diagnosed with liver cancer in August and passed in November. His family has always been close. In fact, the four of them, his sister, his father, and my husband were together with her when the doctor informed her that she was terminal.

    I watched my husband deal with this great loss. I watched him celebrate her life with her, while she endured her last months of life. And I witnessed his grief and pain of loss as he wept and mourned when she ultimately succumbed to the cancer.

    My father-in-law grieved her loss also. His immediate reaction was “now I am alone”, “now what do I do?”. He also has an extreme fear of the dark. Something neither my husband nor his sister were aware of until the death of their mother. Thus they arranged for him to stay with family for the first couple weeks after her death.

    A little more than 3 weeks after her death, my father-in-law informed my husband that he intended to marry again. He explained the circumstances of how he “fell in love. He was with a group of 4 friends in a car. Two of the friends left the car for 30 min leaving him and a widowed lady friend (she is a good family friend, well loved by all of us) alone in the vehicle.

    She asked him,” how are you doing John?” He replied “horrible I don’t want to be alone. I want someone with me. I want someone to touch and to share my life with.” She answered crying, “I was hoping that you would want that, because I don’t want to be alone either.” They say, that is when they fell in love.

    The next day he gave her a ring and he called my husband and told him the news. Both my husband and his sister and the rest of us (close friends and family who love & respect the two) have tried to accept with smiles what has transpired. However, the shock wave has hit us all after the initial announcement that they are a couple.

    My husband and his sister feel pain when they see their father put his arm around his new love. Remember, they have love for her also. It is not her. Their pain is that their father could so quickly change from mourning to being “crazy in love and twitterpated”. They feel he is being insensitive to their grieving. They feel he is being selfish.

    My husband and his sister met with their father and his lady friend to explain their feelings. They wanted to explain that they desired to have a good relationship with the couple and that they were happy that the two were happy together. They knew that a wedding date was in the process of being selected. However, it being less than a month since their mother’s death, it hurts to see him put his arm around someone else. They told him that they need a little time to grieve. If he could hold back from the touchy freely public expressions it would be helpful. The lady friend expressed agreement and apologized. She did not intend to disrespect the feelings of my husband and his sister. She understood having lost her first husband in death. She knows they need time to grieve there mother.

    When my husband and sister left that meeting, their father put his arm around her again in their presence. My husband and his sister felt pain. They are in their 50′s, however they are children who have lost their mother. And their father is being insensitive to that fact of life.

    Friends of both my father-in-law and his lady are shocked and angry at their behavior. One said they act like “a dog in heat” when they are out in public.

    We realize that grieving and mourning is an individual matter and there should not be an imposed time frame of mourning on anyone. However, do you think that the friends and family of my dear mother-in-law are being insensitive to her husband. Or is it possible that his behavior is inappropriate and insensitive to the needs of others who have a close relationship with him?

    The conduct of my father-in-law has shocked those of us who love him (friends and family). Is our shock inappropriate?

    • ANGELA says:

      No, shock not inappropriate, he moved far too fast! Yes, it is good to live again, to be happy again, his wife’s death was also very sad for him, he suffered throughout her illness too and it is good to be able to live the rest of his happily. BUT: He should have waited a year, before blatantly parading his new love, before announcing to his family that he was in love and making plans. One year is normal, formal greiving time, for respect to the person who is gone, and the rest of the family, he should have respected that time frame.

  25. mitzi says:

    Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday and it was eight years ago that my father died. The fact that my mother was abusive to all of us including my dad and still says horrible things about him makes it harder also. There are so many things I wish I could talk to him about, just to able to see him for five minutes would be a dream come true. My heart just aches sometimes.

  26. Cindy says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful assistance.

  27. Mary Arnold says:

    I recently had the three year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I am just realized that I was no longer thinking of her every day. Don’t know if my siblings are grieving as deeply–probably in their own way. But they were all separate from her geographically. I lived nearby and took care of her every day for several years before she died. I also had the major responsibility of selling her house, which was very painful for me as it involved clearing my childhood home to its bare walls–another grief, another mourning. I think another whole wave of grief will start when I go into the storage space where I have put household things I couldn’t process after her death or before the sale.

    My dad died 20 years before my mom. My grief for him was different. I basically didn’t grieve for six months, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Interestingly, after mom died, dad came back to me frequently in dreams–he was real and solid and hugged me often.

  28. ANGELA says:

    For all of you grieving the loss of your parents, it is normal to grieve long after they are gone and that will never go away! My mother died in 1998 and sometimes I still cry when I think of her, I think of things I’d love to share with her. How I wish that I could tell her that I love her.
    But as somebody says, death comes to us all, we need to make the most of the lives we have, enjoy them0. When those feelings of sadness and grief come, just think of the person you are grieving for a little while, then think of happy times with them, smile, give yourself a shake and get on with your life!
    If you have children yourself, let them know how you feel, I doubt that your parents ever told you it would be like this. Your kids won’t know either, it is better to share time and love with your family whilst you can, as much as possible, it is no good having regrets when it is too late that you didn’t take the time for your parents!

  29. Lesley says:

    I lost my lovely Mum 4 weeks ago tonight (2.30am 2nd March).

    She lived against all odds to the age of 83, on several occasions the medics had told us she was dying.. It took 33 years before their predictions were right. Mum was a fighter, never one for self pity although she was an invalid since I was 14 when she had a massive heart attack followed by a stroke age 51. She forced herself to walk again and never complained about her lot, just accepted that was the hand fate had dealt her and carried on. She had emphysema , asthma, thrombosis and osteoporosis and 14 months ago I found her unconscious having suffered respitory failure on her home oxygen because she had developed pneumonia and could not exhale the co2 gas … She was on a c-pap machine and unconscious for 18 hours, we called our family from Ireland to gather at her hospital bedside, to everyones surprise she awakened and as discharge to my house to recuperate before beng allowed to go home 1 month later to my elderly father…I was glad we had saved her, but her las 14 months were hell on earth.. She developed anorexia, had a suspected colon cancer but because she was so frail she was unable to withstand a formal investigation…confusion set in, she began falling, talking nonsense and could no longer swallow her life saving medication. The week of her death she weighed 4 stone and could no longer do any basic functions for herself..We were told on the Thursday that she would not make the weekend, I am so grateful to the district nurse who arranged hospice at home and Marie curie to help us give her her final wish, to die in her own bed with loved ones around her ..I have been feeling so numb since her death, relieved her suffering was over , now I am starting to realise that this monumental event actually did happen for real and I miss her so much.

  30. Karen says:

    My mum died 6 yrs ago and of course I was devastated but now my dad has just died 2 both died from heart attacks so they were both just gone and I don’t know how I can deal with this I’m only 33 and both my parents r just gone

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Karen,
      I’m so sorry to hear you too, lost both of your parents. I too lost my Mom when I was in my thirties and now I’ve lost my Dad as well, just a year ago last week. You are so young to loose both of them. As I mentioned to some of the other commenters, there are some books and resources on my website you might find helpful. Also, local hospices can be a terrific resource for support groups, workshops, etc. I would highly recommend you give a local hospice a call to see if they have any services that might help you in your grief process. Be assured you’ll be in my prayers.

  31. Audrey says:

    Since August 2007, I’ve lost my mom to cancer, my sister to a blood-clot and my dad to a stroke. Today is mothers day and I don’t think I can deal with this. All I do is cry, all my grief is rolled into one.

    • Cynthia says:

      Audrey, my Mother died on Mother’s Day I do not care for that holiday.

      • Audrey says:

        It was difficult to get through. I had to leave the house, if I continued to sit here, I don’t think I would’ve made out of my depression. Father’s Day wasn’t quite as bad as I would’ve thought it was going to be… perhaps it’s because we haven’t yet had my dad’s memorial. It’s coming up in a few weeks. Long story – short, my stepmother refused to have ANY type of service, and while at the hospital, while my father was dying, she told me if I wanted my father’s cremains then I would do what she told me to do. My father wasn’t a rich man, a retired truck driver, so there wasn’t much that he owned except for a pocket watch for his son (my brother) and each grandson. (my mom left items for the girls) Anyway, one of the pocket watches had been handed down to him from his father-in-law, my mother’s father, when my parents were married in 1954. That one was suppose to go to either my sister’s husband or mine. We will never see that again. It’s a shame that someone you’ve trusted for over 22 years could be so vicious and hateful at the worst possible time of heartache. My father died at 6:15 am and at 9:02 my stepmother cleaned out his checking account. Two minutes after the bank opened??? Crazy! It was never about my dad’s things or money, it was about being with my father while he was in the hospital, having time with him. But she made it horrible. While sitting in my dad’s hospital room she talked on the phone about selling his things to raise money to move back to Florida. She talked about having already called the VA and
        SS offices, his retirement plan and his life insurance company, my father’s only communication was to squeeze my hand, due to his stroke. My hand was blue with bruises from his grasp on my hand. I hate this woman!!! Afterwards, I found out she didn’t give him his medicine, and she waited over 24 hours before calling an ambulance after his stroke. I am so glad I am not in her shoes when she faces God.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Audrey,
      Sounds like you have suffered such unthinkable loss. My heart breaks for you. I hate Mother’s Day myself. I lost my own Mom 10 years ago and my Dad a year ago last week. Their losses have left such a hole in my heart. Some of the resources on my website might be helpful. Thanks for stopping by my site. I hope the info was comforting and helpful.

  32. Andrea Love says:

    My dad died on may 3 and I’ve been really having trouble with it. I feel like I need to stop crying already because we buried him last friday. Sometimes I just cry for no reason. He was a hard person to live with as a child because he was in and out of prison but I loved him so so much because he was my daddy. I’m sure people around will soon tell me to get over it already but I’m really trying to move on. Others tell me I’m being too hard on myself.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Andrea,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my Dad a year ago last week. I felt like a Daddy’s little girl too. His loss had left such a hole in my heart.
      Don’t let anyone tell you you should “get over it,” in ANY period of time. You never ever get over a loss. The best is to hope to learn to integrate the loss into a new sense of your world. Take the time to really grief and mourn the loss of your Dad…however long that takes you. Over the course of your life you will continue to miss him but eventually it won’t hurt so much. I would suggest you check out some of the resources I’ve listed on my website for support. Also, your local hospices might offer support groups, which can be very helpful in the mourning process. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers, Andrea.

      • Audrey says:

        Andrea, truly, we never move on. It’s just the pain lessens ever so slightly as time moves on. One day you will get to the point of remembering a great memory without crying, don’t feel bad when that happens, it’s a good thing, you can smile just remembering how your dad laughed, or smelled, these things don’t fade. But you will survive, it’s not easy, don’t rush yourself and don’t let anyone else, even your best friend(s) tell you it’s time… they aren’t you and they don’t feel what you feel. Just breathe and live.

  33. Leslie Hart says:

    I lost my dad oct 2008 surprisingly finding him deceased while my mother was in rehab. I moved her in with me and cared for her for a year and a month slowly watching her decline and become bedridden. She passed nov 22, 2009 on my baby girls 21st bday. I know she’s now with dad and free of pain but I can’t seem to get past losing her. I think of her daily, cry daily, very seldom even leave my home anymore. Loved ones don’t like being around me because they say how I’ve changed since the loss of my mom and best friend. I don’t know what to do to be happy again. Honestly, if it weren’t for my precious grand kids, I’d probably be with her now. In desperate need of help. Thanks

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Leslie,
      I lost my own Dad a year ago last week. I understand the pain of losing both parents. It leaves a void that nothing can truly ever fill. Loss changes us for sure. Have you considered seeing a professional to help you? ADEC (Academy of Death Education) and also Psychology Today list therapists who specialize in helping those who are grieving. I would strongly encourage you to seek some support. Also, lots of local hospices offer support groups. I would encourage you to give a local hospice a call to find out what kind of resources they can offer you. Death leaves a sting…trust me I know. With the help of a professional and some support, you might find some relief. Leslie, you will be in my prayers and thoughts.

  34. Laura says:

    I lost my dad in sept. my mom had a massive stroke 3 days later. I was daddy’s little girl. I am married, have 3 kids of my own. Just when I think I have accepted all that has happened, I break down. Mom lives across the street with an aide. She is no longer the mom I had. I feel like my brothers and I became orphans in 3 days. I know I should be grateful to have the, for so long, but some days, I just feel so ….empty. Will I ever be the same?

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Laura,
      Good heavens, my heart really goes out to you. I can’t imagine your sense of loss. So much in such a short period of time. Personally, while it’s ok to be grateful for what you had, it’s also ok and healthy to really feel the sadness associated with how much you lost. Even though your Mom is still alive–after a massive stroke, it sounds like Mom as you knew her has died in a sense. On my site, I have some books and resources you might find helpful. At some point, hopefully it won’t hurt so much and you won’t feel so empty. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  35. Cynthia says:

    I lost my Mother on Mother’s Day of 2013. I hurt a lot I put my life on hold to care for her, my father and artistic brother. It was joy and at times I would become frustrated, but I enjoyed doing this. My parents had been married for thirty- eight years and have known each other since she was thirteen. My father told me the story of their first meeting, she was thirteen and hanging clothes on the laundry line and he just move to our hometown, he told me when he saw her he know she would be his wife. I am glad he choose her for his wife and God choose her to be my Mother. Birthday days will be hard she just turned 57 and anniversaries will be especial difficult, my parents would have made 39 years of marriage this September. I am glad I read your blog its comforting and I read my Bible, but I miss my Mother I feel as if a part of me died with her. All I every live for was pleasing my parents and know with my Mother who was also my best friend is gone I am in a state of confession.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      I really understand your struggle. I think when someone we love dies, a part of ourselves goes with them. I lost my Dad a year ago this month. With both of my parents gone now, the world as I knew it, will never be the same. Part of the tasks of the bereaved is to restructure our worlds in a way that integrates those we lost in the physical form. From my personal and professional experience, that can be a lifelong process. My thoughts are with you. Thanks for stopping by my website.

      • Audrey says:

        Cynthia, thank you for reaching out to me. Even though we don’t know each other, you’ve helped me just by knowing my pain, which is your pain too. I’m adding you to my prayers. Because you mentioned reading your Bible I hope you don’t mind if I share this with you, but this is how I believe…
        The Bible is the living bible because it’s still going on. Jesus is alive, He went before us to prepare a place for us. Absent from the body is present with the Lord. So, if my mom, dad and sister are not present in their bodies (and they are not) then it stands to reason they present with the Lord, and because He went before us that means they are before me! They are not in my past, I am in theirs!!! There will be many more conversations, hugs and tears of joy. That is what gets me through every day and what I hold on to with unwavering faith!!! I hope it helps you too.

  36. jon says:

    My dear mother and I were best friends – I remember when I was little going through the “hero” phase of my parents and that never seemed to wane with my mom. She was always there for her five kids and somehow and miraculously made each one of us seem special. As I became older, my mother continued to be a special part of my life – especially after my father passed away when I was 16. I was the youngest boy in a family of 5 and was always there for my mother when she needed me. Life is so fragile, one day you are healthy and full of energy and the next day can be something entirely different. My wonderful mother was diagnosed with asymptomatic heart failure but eventually the disease would make itself better known with her getting weaker and out of breath. 2012 was a year full of promise where we thought certain procedures would alleviate the symptoms and she would lead a long healthy life, but that was not to be. In October her meds were not working properly – meaning her heart was getting weaker. When we went to the hospital – I would never entertain the idea of her going into Hospice – I thought the doctors and nurses were all wrong and misunderstood my mother. We continually prayed for miracles as my mother was always strong in her faith and prayers. In January of 2013 I finally acknowledged to myself that mom was not going to get better and Mom knew that too – but the strange thing was Mom was okay with that and she always was smiling and had a sunny disposition. In fact, the weekend before she passed away, we had a “live” wake for her and all of her friends came in to visit her. They were all there to tell her how much they loved her and what she meant to them. That Tuesday morning she had breakfast and my family told me that it was important for me to tell mom that it was okay for her to go. This was my “trampeze” period – I was traumatized by this idea – to actually tell someone I love that it’s okay for them to go that I will be fine (I lied about that last one). After holding my mother and telling her that, her body became limp as if her spirit had left her. I think she was waiting for me to tell her that and now it was okay for her to go.
    She passed away in my arms at 3:30 am where I experienced a wondrous miracle. Since then, I am still so sad that my “best friend” has left, but comforted to know that she is in a better place with God. I still have times where for no reason I will start crying, but I just keep a good pair of sunglasses around for that. Losing a parent is so difficult, especially when it was a wonderful relationship, I miss my mother every day. Thanks for listening.

  37. Jen says:

    I lost my Dad last Friday. Just last Friday. Tomorrow morning at 730
    will be one week since he died. I am having moments where I’m okay but
    if I’m not busy and it gets quiet I start to feel his absence and I feel like a lost child. I am almost 40.

    I was expected back at work yesterday and fear of loosing my job is the only reason I am sitting here right now.

    My Brother was his best friend and he spent the last three weeks off taking care of him and he was fired.His employer said he’d given him enough time off.

    I am even more sad for my brother…loosing his best friend and his Dad. My brother is my fathers only Son.

    Dad had a stroke two years ago and I didn’t tell him how I felt before then and he was so different afterwards. I can’t help but feel that I missed an opportunity.

    This really stinks.

  38. Caligirl says:

    I lost my dad last month June 5th. It is so difficult for me and I know it’s been a month I somehow move on but still having a hard time coping. I haven’t spoken to him for two years when he retired he went back to Asia. None of my family member was able to speak to him. We didnt know that he’s been sick for a while(kidney and heart failure) and then one day I got a news that he died. I could not believe it because all I remember is he was so healthy and full of life. I went back home to see him in a coffin. There are times that I couldn’t sleep at night when I remember all the great times we had together. I still wanted to tell him so many things, how much I love him, but I guess it’s too late now.

    I want to be back in my normal routine but deep inside I still feel so sad that I dont want to do anything at all. I hope that things will get better for me and my family. Losing someone is so difficult.

  39. Angela says:

    So sorry to hear your story Jen. Your brother’s employer was very unkind to fire him, shame he couldn’t have negotiated a little more time off for him. How it was for you and your dad is normal, I bet most people don’t get to telling their parents how much they love them before they die. But as your parents probably didn’t tell their parents how much they loved them too and then regretted it when their parents died, as you do now, your parents knew that is how it is with our human race. Most of us have regrets after our parents have died, so realise that it is normal, please go and live your life, your father would understand and your father would have known that you loved him without words!

  40. Lisa says:

    I lost my mom June 10, 2013 to COPD. I come from a family with 4 sisters and one brother. There are 2 sisters that us three middle girls do not get along with and my oldest sister has caused so much chaos it’s ridiculous.
    I live 2 hours away from my sisters and my dad and am having a hard time. My husband “says” he’s there for me, however, he told me just last night I need to get over it and be happy. He was raised by his grandparents and has no sympathy for anyone and everything has always been all about him. I talk to my sisters on the phone and I have tried repeatedly to get them to come spend some time with me and they absolutely refuse. They always have some kind of excuse not to. One was my moms caregiver and I understand when my mom was living but now it’s another excuse. I am having to deal with this on my own and hide my grief around my husband. I’m not so sure if my marriage of 15 years will even survive this with no support from anyone at all. No sibling support or spousal support. My sisters have each other and my husband is just selfish and I’m suppose to just be happy go lucky and not grieve.

  41. ElizabethR says:

    Reading these posts, is helpful but heartbreaking. I am 29 and my father died at 63 three weeks ago, I am filing his shoes now, running his business until we cal sell it, taking care of my stepmother, the house, the dogs, making plans, running the service.. my life is on hold, and I am even sleeping in his room. Only when im busy am i not crying… This is the worst pain, and I thought I knew pain from my life experiences… this trumps most lows ive hit in the past. I do not see it “healing with time”, infact the last three weeks, althoguh im not as hysterical, the pain is worse the more it soaks in and is REAL, he is really gone, and i can never talk to him again, making paintings together, and laughing so hard like we did…
    My dad went from healthy to ICU, a ripped aorta. I flew how that day, I took care of him in the hospital, it was beautiful to connect with him in that tender way that had never been part of our relationship, spoon feeding him ice, no words were needed for us to communicate. I knew he was better when the joking started , and he wanted to get back to work. He was fine, stable, healing well, declared he would quite smoking. He came home the next week, and again I cared for him in a way I never had, and he let me, showing he needed me in a way he never had. Then, he died instantly in the middle of the night. We had always been close, but not a typical father/daughter, more like two artists, two friends, two equals. We fought, we disagreed, but the love was always stronger in the end. We learned from each other, I had started calling him to ask him where he was at age 25, 26, whatever year i was going through and having a hard time. He didn’t have answers for me just, a way to relate to the confusion of life, love and art. He always inspired me as an artist, to make my own life, ignore the “norms” and create.
    I am so very lost without him, I am still in shock, I wasn’t worried about him dying at all, he wasn’t “sick”, he didn’t suffer like so may in my family from cancer. I feel like I lost a part of me, I feel empty, directionless, just tragically sad. My stepmother just retired the day he landed in the hospital, she has no family, few friends, I am her only support. How can I leave here here alone? How long should I stay and take care of the house for her, and her? She is so heartbroken…

    thank you

    and thank you for having this place to share

  42. Cathie says:

    Stephanie, your story rang true to me. I lost my mother 2 weeks ago to cancer. (I am 30 years, she was 55 years) I was there by her side with my Dad and my sister when she passed in the hospital. As a training psychologist, I thought that I was ‘handling’ the situation well. 2 days later, I myself ended up in hospital with dehydration, and ‘shock’. It was like it finally hit me that she was gone. It is really hard watching her die from cancer. Towards the end, I was praying that God would take her quickly as I could tell that each breath for her was a trial. For days afterwards I just could sleep, because everytime I closed my eyes I would get images of the last few days. But this has now passed, and we had a very positive and heart warming wake. (She didn’t want a traditional funeral- which was good) So now I just focus on the good memories and fun times.
    I think that the standard ’3 days’ is not enough, and about 2-3 weeks is more closer to the mark.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Cathie,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. I really can understand the pain of watching a Mom suffer. I really is a traumatic life event that stays with us over our lifetime. Know that I will keep you in my heart and prayers. Be kind to yourself, remembering that grieving is a lifelong process that does get easier over time but the emptiness is something that stays with us and that’s normal and ok.

  43. Dawn says:

    I am feeling so lost. My mother in law passed February 15, 2013from breast cancer and my own mother passed away June 13, 2013. They were only 55 and 56. I am knly 35. This is devastating and I am not sure how to handle this. Any suggestions would be.greatly appreciated. If tgere is any wrong spelling or punctuation I am typing from my cell phone. Thank you

  44. Dawn says:

    Sorry, my mom had cervical cancer. Everyone thinks I should be over this devastation already. I could really use some words of encouragement. Thank you again. Dawn

    • Jeff says:

      I recently lost my mom and the days seem to get harder as time goes on at least for me . I know she is in a better place with god , her parents and her brother and friends and that right now helps me thru things . I’m learning my world is now different and a piece of me died with her and I know that . Please don’t put a time table in your grief . Let time take it’s course .
      Jeff

  45. Denise says:

    My Mom passed away on June 29, 2013. I miss her. Knowing I will never hear her voice again is heartbreaking. It is so difficult.

  46. Sarah says:

    My Mother is in fact actively dying right now, she suffered multiple small strokes and then a very large one last night. I cry, and that’s fine but, how do I get over the fact that it’s really my Mommy lying in that hospital bed? I feel like I’m dying? I’m the only child that is close with her, she’s told me I was the one she prayed for years after my sister had died. I was a premie, and she prayed so hard to have another little girl, and here I am praying that she’ll either wake up, or that God will take her. Any advice would be great!

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I know what that feels like. It’s a horrible feeling of helplessness and fear. How is it that the very person who got us here in the first place is leaving us? It seems impossible to wrap our heads around, because in some sense, it is. I would recommend checking out some of the books on my “links I love” tab, finding a support group on-line or in person, consider counseling with a grief specialist (call your local hospice for some names), be nice to yourself in the days and even years ahead. Educate yourself about the grief process because many times we think we “should be over it by now,” and it doesn’t work like that. It’s a process. Be gentle with yourself and know your Mom is loving you from where she is now too.

  47. Jeff says:

    I lost my mother 10 weeks ago
    After a long illness .she spent the last 6 years in and out of hospitals and rehab facilities . My family could no longer take care of here the last month and she was at a nursing home , this would be her last stop, she was doing well , eating looking good . It was like mom was back to a point . Then within 48 hrs all that changed she was unconscious ,not eating and on morphine . We all knew the end was near
    Over the years we sacrificed for our family . To help. One of the last talks I had with my mother was she could fight anymore and she wanted to die and thanked me for everything I did and she nor my father could ever repay me for what I did . I told her it was out if love I did it unconditionally. She passed days later . Even though you are preparing for this day . You are never prepared . I grieve more now than ever . Knowing my life and family will never be the same . I replay the talk with my mother several times a day out of no where .

    • SBaffone says:

      Jeff,
      What a beautiful experience you had with your Mom. Sounds like she had a great son. I too, helped care for my parents–did things I never thought I could do. I adored them and couldn’t imagine I could live in a world they weren’t in. Somehow you find your way. It’s normal to relive those conversations and over time they will warm your heart instead of well up tears. You are right, you can never prepare when the time comes for what it is like, can you? Be kind to yourself, educate yourself on the grief process so in the days ahead you don’t feel caught off guard by anything you might find yourself feeling, thinking, doing. My links I love tab has some good resources. I wish you healing.

  48. riaf says:

    My mom passed away Sept 4, 2013 when I was thousand miles away due to heart attack. She called me few days before I traveled and I have never thought it was our last conversation. It has been 2 weeks now but it is still very hard to believe that when I come home, I will never hear her voice telling me what would I like to eat or where do I want to sleep. Those days have gone just like that, she passed away after 5 hours admitted to the hospital. I have been through all stages of grief, from denial to acceptance.. But then when I’m alone, I couldn’t stop crying remembering her..It is still very weird for me to imagine a life without her advice, without her counsel, without her comfort. I am 39 years old and I think I am too old to mourn like this. But then I read your post and I realize that it’s just normal, and I thank you for that. I pray more these days to comfort myself.

    • SBaffone says:

      Thank you, Riaf, for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom and the other circumstances around her loss. What a tough time for you. I am very glad my post helped you realize that you are NEVER too old to mourn like anything, quite frankly. Our parents are how we got here in the first place. Be kind to yourself in the months and years ahead. Grief is a life long process that should get easier over time.

      • Marty says:

        Riaf,

        I think it is perfectly normal to feel extremely sad for the loss of a mother at ANY age. I just lost my own mother at the age of 32. I was looking forward to sharing many experiences with her, as I am sure you were as well. I am seriously considering individual grief counseling as well as group counseling. I try to talk about the good memories I have of my mother with my brother all the time to keep her memory alive.

        My best friend is in her thirties as well and just lost her mother last year. She actually keeps the memory of her mother and grandmother alive by talking to them daily and imagining the response they would give her. This helps in times when one needs loving advice.

        Best Wishes on your grieving process!

  49. Marty says:

    I just lost my mother at the age of 32. I thought, “I will be fine,” but 5 months later, I am really starting to feel the sadness. Now that we are changing the home she lived in, it really doesn’t feel like mom’s house anymore. I miss her so much, and I seriously think grief counseling is necessary at this point. I think my mind-body naturally was in denial to preserve my own sanity, so I have waited to really process the fact that she is gone for now.

    • SBaffone says:

      Marty,
      I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know what it’s like to lose a parent in your thirties and how hard it is when things change–especially the home we always knew to be “ours/their’s.” Grief counseling can be very beneficial–of course I say this as a specialist myself, :-). A good place to start for a referral would be your local hospices. I wish you well, peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  50. Celeste says:

    My mother died of CJD. The disease was terrifying. I never had a blessed relationship with my mother but regardless I did my best to stand beside her even though she hated me. Cjd is a form of mad cow disease. Named appropriately because if you have it you go crazy. My heart is broken. I tried to heal wounds as I stood beside her yet there were days she spewed hatred. I lost her three months ago and I don’t know how to mourn any of this the loss hurts. The hatred hurts. The dysfunctional family hurts. Watching anyone let alone your mother go crazy is traumatic. I wish I was done being sad but unfortunately I think it may hurt for a long time. I wish I could say that all this will be over in a few months but emotions have a mind of their own. Not right or wrong just are. However I so wish I was on the other side if this

    • SBaffone says:

      Celeste,
      My thoughts are with you. What a traumatic experience on some many levels. Time is the best healer but the memories will always be close to you. I know what it’s like to wish you were “on the other side of this.” I truly do. I wish you peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  51. Donna M. E. says:

    I am so sad and still crying often as I am experiencing a great void in my life. It was one month and a few days since my mom’s SUDDEN passing on October 29th, 2013. Just 10 days before, our family celebrated her 80th birthday with a big surprise party. She was so elated that day and she looked wonderful. No one ever expected that she would be gone so suddenly . There was no warning as far as we knew; she had a heart attack and her spirit was lifted away to Heaven. Everyone was so shocked at the news .

    Through this devastating time , so much support was given from family and friends I am thankful for their expressions of love and condolences . I am also grateful that my mom did not have longsuffering as my dad did with lung cancer. I can remember feeling a sense of
    reliefl when my dad passed because it meant that his suffering and pain had finally ended after 18 months. I can not compare that feeling to the lose of my mom which I feel much more intensely .

    I am not the only one feeling this sadness. My son ,’who was also so close to his grandmother, is experiencing sadness as well. I wonder when the sorrow will pass; How long will it last? . Whether a loved one departs suddenly or not , it’s always difficult . As it is nearing Christmas, this year without mom will be difficult. Mom always had a smile on her face and kind words to say which were uplifting. She lit up a room with her smile and laughter. Indeed, Christmas will be different this year; An important member of our family has passed changing our tradition forever. I like to think that she will be with us in spirit along with my dad looking down upon us and smiling.

    If mom were to speak to me now , she would say ,”Don’t worry, don’t be sad, everything is beautiful and I am happy and peaceful with the” Lord in Heaven ” and the angels singing.”
    Why then , am I so unhappy?

    I do realize that a certain amount of time will pass, and my sorrow will diminish. There will be a time when I can once again live each day and celebrate the holidays with cherished memories of my mom without a cascade of tears that follow . At this moment in time, however, it seems impossible to comprehend when that time will come to pass.

    • SBaffone says:

      Donna,
      I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. Sudden passings have their own host of challenges. You are right, over time, the pain won’t be so raw. Your Mom sounds like a wonderful woman who left quite a legacy. :-) Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, especially this holiday season. Take good care.

  52. Kathy says:

    I have a question. My husband has a rare form of cancer. He has been blessed to have remained strong and relatively healthy for the past 10 years (though most people who have this die within 3 years). However, it is beginning to progress more aggressively, and I am sure the inevitable is not many months away.

    I have 5 children–all in their 20′s except one sweet daughter still at home, age 16. I think because he has done so well for so very long, everyone is still expecting that to be the outcome. I would love that to be the case, but I can feel it that something has changed these past few weeks, and I think we will be on the downhill slope soon.

    I realize I am going to be going through a lot of changes, and grieving, etc. (Already have done a lot of grieving, actually). But what can I do to help my children? How can I help them through this time of his eventual passing, and his loss? Especially when I am feeling it myself. Last night we told them of the tumors progressing, the new scans he’ll be having, the possible new treatments, etc. It has been devastating to them. I think, because my husband and I have tried to be so positive through all this, and he’s already beaten the odds, they thought he’d never really die. Now they are facing the very honest and real likelihood that he may not be here much longer.

    It is so hard to see them suffer. How do I help them? How do I help myself without being a burden to them? I agree with others who have said how evil and terrible cancer is. I just wish we’d never had to deal with it.

    Thanks for just having a place to let me write my thoughts. And thank you for any insights you can give me.

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Kathy,
      I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I saw this dynamic often when I worked in hospice care. Many of our patients were able to fight cancer for years and when it finally got to the point where it just was not longer possible, children/family and even the patient often found it difficult to believe b/c the patient always bounced back. My suggestion would be to allow your kids the time they need to work through their feelings. If it gets to the point where the doctors say they’ve done all they can, please call hospice. They help people with these very issues. Contrary to popular believe, hospice is not for when you are “on your death bed,” but for those patients facing a terminal illness with a limited life expectancy. The social workers, chaplains, etc are very familiar with these types of experiences and can be incredibly helpful with all of you.
      You’re family is in my prayers. All the very best to you as you find your way through this awful and difficult time.

  53. Tabi says:

    I actually found this through a Google search on the
    norms’ for grieving a parent. My mother died about two years ago, and am currently 22 and will be graduating college soon. She didn’t die quickly. It was about 8 years of illness and then 6 months in HOSPICE.
    The comment about how in HOSPICE, people say ““Oh your Mom/Dad lived a good long life. God bless ‘em.” “, I actually punched a distant cousin who said that one too many times. The worst was “Well, at least she’s not in pain anymore.”
    Yeah, thanks.
    I’m thinking, with my upcoming graduation -something my mother always looked forward to (she knew she wouldn’t live that long and always told me so, but I always hoped anyways)- the mourning process has kinda kicked in again. And I think that this is bound to happen with most life events (Again, like the article mentioned) and over time it does, the person probably thinks they should be OK my now.
    At least, I know I thought it. I loved my mom, but being so sad so suddenly, over and over, is exhausting. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a time that is ‘long enough’. It seems like every time you think of something they missed and can’t see or experience with you, it starts all over again. We just get better at dealing with it.
    Hopefully I’m wrong though. Maybe in 10 or 20 years.

  54. Diana says:

    My elderly parents have lived on our farm with us for 13 yrs. They retired here. I am grateful for having them this close again. Mother passed away in Aug after several yrs of congestive heart failure. She was a young 83. I am caregiver for my father. I was mother’s caregiver, friend, helper, cook… we shared gardening, lunches, laughing with my grandchildren – her great grandchildren, swimming, watching the horses, family picnics on the farm, shopping, doctor appointments, trips to the hospital… and holding her hands as she passed away here on the farm. I love her, adore her, admire her, but above all, miss her more than anything else I can do in the world right now. I want to touch her hands again and tell her how much I care about her and appreciate what a fabulous mother she was to all 5 of us kids. She was a lovely gem, who encouraged all of us to read, swim, educate ourselves, be loving, kind and helpful to anyone and everyone, pray, sing, garden, call each other, not to judge… to help, work, pay attention to the arts, believe in God, and talk about growing up to our own kids. I miss her every single day and I cry at least once a day, sometimes for minutes, other times off and on for hours. I can’t believe mom isn’t here to help me through this because she was here for everything. She wasn’t bossy, but always so supportive. I want to be like her and probably I am a little. I just can’t get over that I cannot see her or talk to her or hear her play the piano, and I don’t know what’s next. What comes after the grief and all the uncontrollable sadness? I talk about her to my grandkids so they won’t forget what a wonderful person she was. I will never, ever forget how loving and kind she was… ever.

  55. Corina says:

    I’ve recently lost my grandfather. He raised me in his home from when I was born, until the day my boyfriend and I got pregnant. Even though I was young (18) and not married at the time, he was excited for me. I could never disappoint him and he only saw the joy of a new baby. He loved unconditionally, he NEVER hit, or yelled, or cussed. He never drank or smoked or was unfaithful to my grandmother. He adopted my grandmother’s kids from her first marriage and loved them like his own. In fact, they saw him as their real dad, more than their biological. I don’t have one single bad memory of my grandfather. He was a great man, and I was very fortunate to have had him in my life, especially as I was abused as a child by my biological father. My grandfather always played with my brother and I, taking us to the park to feed the ducks, fish, ride bikes, and roller skate. He was always so attentive. I’m now 24, and I feel like I lost my dad and my grandpa all at once. I have a lot of support from my husband, although I don’t think he really fully understands what I’m going through. He keeps telling me to let it go, I need to let him rest in peace. But I can’t. My grandpa passed 1/12/14 and I’ve literally cried everyday. He passed away in his sleep suddenly. He wasn’t sick. My mother told me he was perfectly normal the day before. He passed quietly, like the quiet man he was. I’m glad it wasn’t some long, painful sickness. But I’m still sad. I cry a lot, of both good memories and the sadness that he’s gone. I feel angry sometimes about it. I feel upset that he won’t be able to walk me down the aisle, or see my second child (who is 20 months) grown up. My daughter (6 years old) was just as devastated. It’s been difficult on the entire family. I am afraid to call my grandma or mother to talk about it, because I don’t want to upset them if they are ok. My husband says I’m not the same, that I’m not as patient as I use to be, and he thinks I get upset at him easily. He obviously doesn’t deserve this, he’s a good man too, and he’s been so supportive. He loved my grandfather, and my grandfather loved him too. I just feel lost, and like I lost him too soon (although he was 78). For the funeral I was there to help pick out the coffin, what he’d wear, the obituary information, his church, and I spoke at the mass. He was just as much as my dad as my grandpa and I lost them both. When will I stop feeling like this and be myself again?

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Corina,
      I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like such a lovely, lovely man. You are experiencing all VERY NORMAL reactions and as much as I know your husband is trying to help, the suggestion to “move on,” isn’t helpful. The task of a grieve is to learn how to integrate this loss into our lives and that is a lifelong process. Over time you will feel more sadness and as time passes you will learn to smile, laugh and live again. I would strongly suggest you take a look at the “links I love” tab on my website and pick up some of the books about grief and loss. It will be very helpful to read that what you are going through is NORMAL and can be helpful to your husband in having a better understanding of realistic expectations while you mourn such a significant and sudden loss. Grief comes in waves. It also might be helpful to find a support group. A local hospice is a good place to start. Education and support can be so key is finding our way after a loss. I wish you all the very best.

      • Corina says:

        I’m starting to understand how grief comes in waves. I guess I am in the first real “wave” of grief. Maybe, I am still in shock, because when I visit my grandmother I still look to his usual spots with some empty hope he’ll be sitting there. I was doing better, starting to laugh again, and then within the past two days I randomly cry. And not just a few tears, I burst out. I actually almost went a whole week without crying. I’m having trouble sleeping. I think about him more often.
        I guess, this is more of an epiphany. That I realize how these waves will come. I’m learning how to adjust, but I think I may be trying to keep myself as busy as possible so I won’t think of it. Thank you for writing this blog and ACTUALLY replying to us. It’s been a wonderful place to vent with all these other people trying to adapt to our loss. I can’t really talk about it with my family without depressing someone.

        • SBaffone says:

          Hi Corine,
          I am so sorry about your grandfather. Everything you are describing in totally NORMAL, although I always say, no less painful. Yes, we can find that we will go days at a time and then go back to places where the pain is more raw than it’s been. Over time, the expectation is, the intervals of rawness and no-so-rawmness :-) will get more broad. Sounds like you are right on track.
          I understand how helpful the internet can be. Our friends and family sometimes don’t really like to see us so upset, and in their concern offer things that aren’t really very helpful. The internet can be a great place of refuge, where we find people who truly “get it.” I’m so glad my site has brought you some comfort. I’d encourage you to check out my “links I love” page. There are some great books on there that might bring you comfort.
          Wishing you peace in the days ahead.

  56. James says:

    I’m 37, I wasn’t supposed to lose my mum at just 61. Leukemia came out of nowhere in November, & took her from us in Mid January. What do you do when the person you’ve known the longest is simply no more?
    Being self employed, I didn’t have a clue how long to take off work. I asked my wife “is it 2 days or 3″ as that’s what I was given when my gran passed away. The suggestion was take 2 maybe 3 weeks and see how I feel.
    We’ll, I’ve just done the working out, & 3 weeks took me up to the day of the funeral service. That was 2 weeks ago, and I’ve just returned to work this week.
    Is 5 weeks too much? In my opinion it’s not long enough. I don’t care if people think it’s unusual or strange. I’m strong when it comes to coping with extreme emotions, but I wobbled and was afraid for 1st time in my life I couldn’t keep myself from buckling.
    I may take more time off, I may not return to my job and start afresh down a new path. It’s life changing mum not being here, don’t listen to anyone else you must take however long you need. I didn’t just lose my mum, I lost her memories never shared with me & the talks we never got round to. The journey is last a long time I’m sure.

    • SBaffone says:

      Jason,
      I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I really understand. My own Mom was dx with cancer in November ’02 and died in February ’03, only a few months from her dx. It was earth shattering to loose her. It turned my own world upside down. Grief is a life long process. It never goes away, only changes. Take all the time YOU need. NO ONE else can determine how much time YOU need to mourn. I always like to suggest picking up a book on my “links I love” page. Education is so helpful in regard to what to expect when grieving. So many of my clients come saying, “I think I’m going crazy,” when all they are really experiencing is normal, albeit painful. Also, consider finding a support group or grief counselor. Hospices are a great place to start for local resources. It can make such a HUGE difference.
      You will be in my prayers. Be kind to yourself.

  57. LorraineL says:

    Hi
    My dad passed away just over a week ago suddenly. I’m Heart broken and feel I will never get over him and my life will never be the same again. We still have another week to his funeral. How do I cope? The pain is unbearable.
    I would love some help from others who have experienced the death of a parent as I feel that it’s only me. I have family but not one person has asked how I am. Maybe this is due to me sorting all the plans and sorting dad’s pensions and so on so mum doesn’t have the worry. Either way I feel no one realises how much I’m hurting right now.
    Help!! X
    Lorraine

  58. LorraineL says:

    Hi
    My dad passed away just over a week ago suddenly. I’m Heart broken and feel I will never get over him and my life will never be the same again. We still have another week to his funeral. How do I cope? The pain is unbearable.
    I would love some help from others who have experienced the death of a parent as I feel that it’s only me. I have family but not one person has asked how I am. Maybe this is due to me sorting all the plans and sorting dad’s pensions and so on so mum doesn’t have the worry. Either way I feel no one realises how much I’m hurting right now.
    Help.
    Lorraine

    • SBaffone says:

      Hi Lorraine,
      I am so sorry about the loss of your Dad. I know the feeling that your life will never be the same or you will never get over it. Yes, life is changed forever but over time, you will find a way of integrating the loss of your Dad as you relearn how to live a full life in his absence. You might want to check out a site called GriefShare.org They have lots of groups for all kinds of support. Many people find it comforting. Also, perhaps a support group could be of help once things settle after you Dad is laid to rest.
      I wish you all the very best. Over time, you will find your way. I know it’s hard to believe but most people do, and you will too.

  59. Melissa says:

    I am coming up on the 6th anniversary of my mother’s passing (my grandmother passed a few months before my mother) and the 2nd anniversary of my biological father’s passing. This time of year has become more difficult for me since it always brings up the depth of loss and how much I miss both of them. My parents were never together as a couple, so I don’t have memories of us together as a family. But, I had solid relationships with both of them when they passed.

    I still try to pick up the phone and call my mother to just talk about my day with her. And when I realize what I’m doing, I get that little pang of hurt in my chest. Her passing was sudden and unexpected. I was out of town when it happened and I carry some guilt because something told me to go home, but I ignored it and missed her last moments because of that decision.

    I lost my father to pancreatic cancer. I had only just met him about 10 years prior to his passing. During those 10 years we spent at least an hour every day talking, and even plenty of time hanging out with each other. I learned so much about him during this time and I came to depend on him very much for support and encouragement in my adult life. I have taken his death even harder than my mother’s. The only good thing about his death was that I was in the room holding his hand when he transitioned. I know he went somewhere wonderful, because I watched him go. However, I still have this huge emptiness where he once was.

    Nothing can replace either of my parents. But, the hardest part is that most of my friends still have their parents and don’t understand what this feels like. They seem to think that it’s like trading in a car or something. And, even worse is that most people think that just because I didn’t grow up with my father in my life, that I shouldn’t feel so strongly about his passing. The general opinion seems to be that I should just shrug my shoulders and move on. And, the thing that isn’t given consideration is that my relationship with my father was probably better, stronger, and more motivating than it ever could have been growing up with the same man. He was definitely a bear to live with, and I have none of that baggage to deal with. I just have the good parts.

    Anyway, my father used to tell me that you never get over the death of a parent. He lost his mother when he was a boy, and carried that emptiness with him to his grave. His point is that we learn to live with the missing parts and compensate by filling them with other good things, until it’s our time to move on.

    I think his mother was there to meet him when he transitioned.

    I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t remember either of my parents. Some days I fall into a period of grieving worse than other days. I don’t want to forget them, so I allow myself these little moments where I sit and cry and remember the time that we had together.

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