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  1. #1
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    Greeley, Colorado
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    Default Dealing with the grief of losing a parent.

    I lost my mother about 2 months ago (Aug. 23). The inital shock has worn off and I'm now just deeply sad. Mom was my very best friend and while she had been sick for a while, her death was still very unexpected. When you're growing up, you never expect to lose a parent by age 22.

    I have my dad as my partner in all of this but we live in different states. He's having an even harder time than I am because they had been together for 38 years. He quietly told me at the lovely memorial service we had that he didn't know how to live without her.

    I guess my question is how do I deal with the physical pain of this. I have the hardest time getting up in the morning and motivating myself. I try to tell myself to do it for mom, that she wouldn't want me to be like this but it's SO hard. I am talking to a psychologist and I'm on anti-depressants but it's still almost unbearable some days.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  2. #2
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I was 50 when I lost my Mom and was devastated also, I can't imagine losing her at 22. I wish I had magic words to make it all better, but I don't. Stick with the therapist. The pain will never go away, but it does become less sharp.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2007
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    I'm so sorry...its going to be a tough road for both you and your dad---support each other, and do stick with the therapist. Journaling may also be beneficial....

    many hugs,
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    I am so sorry. I lost my mom at 25, and I well remember the gut-wrenching sense of loss I felt. I was very close to her, and in fact moved back home to be with my parents when she was diagnosed with cancer so that I could help my dad care for her.

    I remember the pain that I felt, and how I thought that it would never go away. I had my daughter three years later, and still was dealing with it, because I so wanted my mother to be able to see her.

    The way that I dealt with the physical pain (which felt like a stone lodged in my chest) was to just hold it. I couldn't make it go away, so I just tried to warm it, and I went into therapy. I howled, I cried, and I just generally nursed my inner child for several years. I tried to be patient with myself, and my therapist helped. I expected to be better WAY too quickly, and when I wasn't, I got frustrated. But she helped me with that, because my healing trajectory was very slow. I eventually did heal, and when my dad died several years ago, I was much better able to deal with it.

    It's been 20 years now since my mom died, and I can still feel it, but I have incorporated it into who I am. I am someone who lost her parent way too early, but I survived. I am glad that I took care of her, and that I went through that experience, although I wish I still had her around. I miss her, but not in the same wrenching way I did back then.

    You will eventually be ok, too. Don't be afraid to stay in therapy, if just to have someone to howl at in anger for having this happen to you. I was so angry at times. I was so sad at times. I needed a space to just scream.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2010
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    SE VA
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    I'm so sorry. I lost my dad six months ago. He was 49, I am 24. It sucks. He was one of my best friends, and we were building a 20 stall barn together. It (the pain) has not gone away for me, but I can now think of him without bursting into tears. Also, I am a Christian, and so was my Dad, and so I have the comfort of knowing for certain that I will see him again in heaven. I hope you have that comfort as well. This was just posted last night by our Chorus director, who is my Dad's brother. We performed 20 songs a week before my Dad died, and I love the fact that he saw and heard us sing them and he enjoyed them. I hope you find peace and comfort in this really hard time. I know the feeling.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skiEDvaYwq0.



  6. #6
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    Mar. 3, 2010
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    Well, I lost my Dad about 18 months ago.

    He was this huge, vibrant presence and a witness to my life.

    I rarely burst into tears except this time of year. When I see something that I would like to share with him, I just do. I say "I hope you can see this sunset Dad!" in my head and then move on. I miss him and his sense of humor and his vibrance reverberating all about. I think I always will.

    I hope it helps to know you are not alone.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2001
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    California
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    Default

    I'm so sorry you lost your Mom, big hug to you. I just passed the 15 year anniversary of my mom's death. The only thing I can say is that yes it gets better, no the pain never really goes away. It's always there in your heart, the feeling of loss.

    I still to this day after 15 years can cry at the drop of a hat when something truly touches me that had to do with my mom. She too was my best friend in the world. A day doesn't go by that I don't miss her.

    Give yourself time to grieve. You've only had two months, that is nothing. You shouldn't feel like to have to be up or happy or over it. You need the time to heal emotionally and physically. It was a horrible blow to your system losing her. Let yourself feel it, go ahead and wallow in it. You are entitled, you lost your mom, the grief is there for a reason, don't try to fight it. This was an enormous loss for you and only time will help you feel better.

    There is nothing wrong with you, what you are feeling is normal and healthy. Go home and watch a sad movie and get a box of tissue and just let yourself sob like 4 year old. It truly is cathartic!! Do this every night for 2 weeks and you will start to feel better, my doctor told me to do this! It did help. My system needed the release of the tears and the sorrow. Don't hold back let it rip!!!
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!



  8. #8
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Take it one day at a time. If that is too much, take it one hour at a time or even one minute at a time. There's no magical amount of time you spend grieving before life goes back to some form of "normal". Just be kind to yourself.

    Also, watch out for your father. It is not unusual for one spouse to die within 6 months of another spouse when there has been a long term marriage. I hope that he is getting the support he needs to get through this difficult time, too.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
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    Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookes View Post
    The only thing I can say is that yes it gets better, no the pain never really goes away. It's always there in your heart, the feeling of loss.

    I still to this day after 15 years can cry at the drop of a hat when something truly touches me that had to do with my mom. She too was my best friend in the world. A day doesn't go by that I don't miss her.
    This.

    Even after 21 years.

    I was pregnant with my 2nd child.
    I didn't cry for at least a year afterward.

    The upside (!) is that my Dad is much closer to my children than they would have been if my Mom was still here.



  10. #10
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    Sep. 11, 2008
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    Snohomish, WA
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    I really 2nd this - there is no time limit on grief - it takes as long as it takes. Do what you feel comfortable doing.
    Both my parents are now gone and there isn't a day that I don't think about them. I know they are ok and now they are together. It does get better just allow yourself the time and space to heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    Take it one day at a time. If that is too much, take it one hour at a time or even one minute at a time. There's no magical amount of time you spend grieving before life goes back to some form of "normal". Just be kind to yourself.

    Also, watch out for your father. It is not unusual for one spouse to die within 6 months of another spouse when there has been a long term marriage. I hope that he is getting the support he needs to get through this difficult time, too.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2001
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    NC
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    Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of my father's death. All this week I kept remembering what we were doing five years ago, going into Hospice, when I decided to stay and not leave until the end, what I did after. Sucks, actually.
    I am so sorry that you are facing this loss at such a young age.
    Keep talking to friends, people in chat rooms, what ever to help you deal with your feelings and grieve your loss.
    When my father was dying I told him we, the family, were going to be happy and have good lives and not let our sorrow overcome us. So that's what we did. I think that gave me permission to look forward to things and enjoy things and not feel guilty.
    Try to find something to enjoy, maybe a horse? Hugs to you.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    Thanks for all the kind words guys.

    Luckily I stay very busy during the day between schooling horses and teaching lessons. It's at night when I would normally sit down and give her a call that I really feel that gut-wrenching pain. I've noticed that my friends who have not lost someone so important truly don't understand what I'm going through. They were right there when it first happened but are starting to drift away now that it's been a few months and I'm not "better".

    I'm really dreading the holidays coming up. I am an only child and dad I have made the decision to take a vacation instead of having Christmas at home. Neither of us can bare it without Mom
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  13. #13
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    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Default

    I agree with what everyone else has said.

    I actually lost my Mom when I was only 10 years old. She was 38. Which is the same age that I am right now.

    Though it's been almost 28 years... I still think of her often and wish I had known her for longer.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 11, 2008
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    If no one has been through a loss like this - no they don't get it - they don't know what to say - there is no magic fix. Find someone that you can talk to about it and deal with it that way. Friends mean well but no they don't understand.


    Quote Originally Posted by dani0303 View Post
    Thanks for all the kind words guys.

    Luckily I stay very busy during the day between schooling horses and teaching lessons. It's at night when I would normally sit down and give her a call that I really feel that gut-wrenching pain. I've noticed that my friends who have not lost someone so important truly don't understand what I'm going through. They were right there when it first happened but are starting to drift away now that it's been a few months and I'm not "better".

    I'm really dreading the holidays coming up. I am an only child and dad I have made the decision to take a vacation instead of having Christmas at home. Neither of us can bare it without Mom



  15. #15
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    I'm mid twenties and lost my biological mom in July to cancer. Honestly, I kind of thought I'd be... not "over it" really, but in a better place by now. I mean, I knew her (reunited) for a year and a half. She wasn't the woman who raised me, my Mom. I only spent a little time with her in person. All these reasons are there telling me i probably shouldn't STILL be so torn up about it- not as much as i am. But I know she was hugely significant in my life, if only as a theoretical being for the most of it. So it sucks. Good god, does it suck.

    My problem has been staying in touch with her daughter, who is only 8 and who adores me. I haven't done enough to keep in contact with her and the guilt of it eats me up, too. But the thought of what SHE must be facing... It's hard to even think about, combined with how I personally feel about the loss.


    I would say, I suppose, you just put one foot in front of the other, and just... get through it- each day, even the hard ones. You just, i donno, make it through a day, and then another. When I get lost in sad thoughts, i either try to think of something happy about her, but that usually makes me just as sad!! I know it's not healthy, but i've just tried not thinking about it because it's so overwhelming, how much it physically hurts. WHICH...(the not thinking about it) is probably why i'm still at the stage I'm at. Sigh. Sorry I don't have helpful advice for you, but as others have said, you're certainly not alone in grieving. Your grief, your particular loss and experience is your own, but there may be some comfort in knowing others are experiencing similar feelings, too.
    Can I just say,... 2010 SUCKS
    *sticking out tongue at the horrible, no good, very bad year*



  16. #16
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    Aug. 11, 2008
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    Dani -

    You must remember to take time for yourself. I was 22 when I lost my mother, and my dad had died when I was 9. My mother was my touchstone for so many years. I was fortunate that I wasn't living in the same state when my mom died, because I know my life would have stopped. I was fortunate to be living with friends who took great care of me and invited me for holidays so I wasn't alone. Being with my mom's family was hard because it wasn't "the same" without my mom, and since my dad's death, we'd always been with her family. I tried spending holidays with my dad's side once, and it was a disaster, because it came out how much they had never liked my mother.

    The first few holidays are difficult. I never thought I would get over the absolute terror of being alone for Christmas, and now I long for it. Not out of depression, but because I am so freaking busy with everyone worrying about me being alone that I have my pick of things to do - and believe me - I always choose to do the best thing and wait for the best offer.

    In my mid-30s, I realized that I had been in about a 10 year depression after my mother's death, so definitely stick with therapy if it helps. If I had known what was wrong with me, I would have.

    Don't be afraid to bring up your mother - your friends will follow your lead. I often say things like "oh Babs would have loved this" so that people feel comfortable discussing mothers when I am around.

    Now that I am in my late 40s, and my aunts and uncles are aging, I feel for my cousins, because I know how rough it is going to be for them as their parents begin to get old and frail.

    No one has the magic answer, we all make our way as best we can, and find what works for us. Be selfish when you need to be to make it through.

    A Christmas vacation sounds like a great idea - maybe find a way to take your mom's spirit with you. When I feel a little blue, I always wear a piece of my mother's jewelry.



  17. #17
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    Jul. 4, 2008
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    Dani I'm so sorry. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 15, and I'm 26 now. It will get easier over time, but it takes a long time. Almost 11 years later, the holidays are still really hard for me. I know you do not know me, but if you ever need to talk PM me and I'll give you my contact info. Sometime random strangers are good too.

    I was in denial when my mom died I went back to school that same afternoon and didn't think I needed to talk to someone. It took several years for it to really hit me. I still have nightmares about my mom, I also have really sad dreams, usually about my wedding day because I know she won't be there when I get married. Sorry getting off track. The worst part is people who are scared to talk to you because they don't know what to say.

    Talking to people helped me the most. I only went to group counseling speciffically for teenagers for a short time, but I had some really good friends who I could call when I just needed someone to talk to, like after a rough day, or when I had something really great to talk about but I just needed to tell someone.
    Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
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  18. #18
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    My mom was murdered when I was 12. Losing a parent is a life-altering shock.

    Depression, numbness, grief, apathy, regret, anger, and even rage are pretty normal. So is feeling as if you've been stabbed in the gut for months and bursting into tears at sudden reminders for even longer. It's hard. Really hard.

    Keep doing whatever works for you. Don't stop meds or therapy because most other people in your life move on in the next year or so and expect you to do the same. It'll take you as long as it takes you to come to grips and be able to remember your mom without unbearable pain. For me, it took over a decade but, then, she and I had a lot of baggage.

    Hugs to you and your dad.
    ---------------------------



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