Losing a Parent to Cancer.

Updated on March 25, 2013
C.L. asks from Johnson, NY
24 answers

My mom just died of lung cancer and I can't stop crying. She was my best friend. She was only 57 years old and had so much to live for. She loved my two little girls and I am so upset that she cannot be with them. I feel angry and depressed. My husband has been very supportive, but I feel bad that I am always crying to him. I feel like I have noone to talk to, since my mom was the person that I spoke to when I was sad or if I had a problem. Every time the phone rings I am hoping it is her. I was just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and how to deal with losing a mom and a best friend.

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K.B.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I am very sorry for your loss of your best-friend. I too lost my best-friend when I was 29. My mom was 59 and died right after New Years from Leukemia. She was sick for 7 years. My dad died about 6 years ago also. I was 5 months pregnant with my first child, a boy. It was the worst thing to happen to you, especially when your're pregnant. I had to keep it together, or I would have lost the baby too. Still 12 years later, I still think of her everyday and cry often. She's missing out on so much. I also have 2 girls, 4 and 9. She's not here to see everything they have done here and in school. I am jealous of anyone who gets to share their days with their mom. We were so close. I hope I have the same relationship with my girls. Please understand that you are not alone. Please be strong.

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J.M.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I read your question and though to myself - wow, this is 100% me.

I am 22 years old, an only child living with a single Mum. She passed away 3 weeks ago due to Lung Cancer which had predominantly spread to most of her body. She lasted 12 months from diagnosis and was given an expectancy till June this year.

I have a supportive boyfriend who I am constantly crying to - and I also start to feel bad because I feel as though he doesnt deserve the grief.

I understand when you say "I feel like I have no one to talk to, since my mum was the person that I spoke to when I was sad or when I had a problem". I can wholely relate to this.

The one thing I keep telling myself is - what would my mum do..?

Try and keep happy.. At least on the outside and it will eventually wear in.

J. xx

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O.S.

answers from New York on

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My mom passed away in May 2004 at the young age of 51 and my daughter was born exactly one year later. I can honestly say that is will get better. You will have your good days and you will have your bad days. The one thing that I take comfort in is knowing that my mother is no longer suffering and she is no longer in pain. Maybe you should try to see if there is a support group in your area or if you have siblings maybe finding comfort in them. I truly hope you find some comfort because I can say that it is one of the hardest things I had to deal with. Good luck and if you need to let it out you can always e mail me and we can chat.

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L.A.

answers from New York on

I can relate to how you feel. My mother died of cancer at the age of 47. My mother has been deceased for 7 1/2 years and I am still mourning. My oldest son who is now 9 yrs old, was only a year & 7 mos old. My other son is 5 so he didn't have the pleasure in getting to meet a wonderful woman. I was always their with my mom from day one. Through all these tests that they had her going through. I cry all the time knowing I can't hug her, hear her laughs,see her smile,play with her. That she can't see how big her youngest son is now. To ee the young man he has turned into. My mom was always the person I confided in about everything. I am trying to cope, but the only thing I am happy about that she is not suffering anymore.

About me: Proud mom of 2 boys: 9years old & 5 years old. Currently an at home mom.

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T.J.

answers from New York on

C.,
I am very sorry about the loss of your mom. I lost my mom when I was only 15. I found her dead on our kitchen floor. She was not sick, it was a complete surprise. I am now a mother of two fantastic boys and I know that my mother would have loved them to death! She was the type that would get right down there and play with them. You probably would never find her baking cookies but she would be out in the dirt with them. I think about her all the time. It has been 20 years since she is gone. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, that the pain will go away, but that would be lying. I can tell you that as time goes on, you will adjust. You will learn to accept the fact that she is gone. Treausre your children, see your mother in them and never let your children forget who their grandmother is. I tell my boys about their grandmother all the time even though they didn't know her. I am here if you need someone to listen to you. Take Care C..

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N.M.

answers from New York on

C.,
i lost my bestfriend my Mommy 3 yrs ago. She was on dialyisis
and she had a rough time. ny son was only 1 1/2 when she passed. But I will tell you it a devastating lose. No mater what your mother dies from. The only thing I can say is that the sting wi;; subside. You learn to live with it but I know I haven't been able to accept it. I'll tell you this maybe we can e mail each other and talk about it.
N.

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K.S.

answers from New York on

hey C., first i want to say sorry for your loss. i know exactly what your going through. i lost my mom 6 yrs. ago to an asthma attack. the worst part is, she was babysitting my son which was 2 yrs. old at the time, and he witnessed the whole thing. he is now 8 yrs. old, and still remembers her dying. i was pregnant at the time she died, she was soo excited, and we would go shopping for the baby and everything. i now have 2 little girls plus my son, you can imagine how angry i am, that they didn't get to meet their grandmother.
my mother was 50 yrs. old when she passed, she was my best friend. she was everything to my son aswell. it sometimes gets me soo down to see grandmothers with their grandchildren. its not that i'm selfish, it just hurts, because i wish it were my kids with their grandmother.
i know how you feel when the phone rings, you wish it were her, i've gone as far as calling my mothers old number, hoping she would answer.
nothing can really make the pain of loosing ur mom go away, other than time. and even then, you will always think of her. here i am 6 yrs. later, and i think of my mom every single day.
you know what i think of when i start getting really down and out, i think this is such a crazy world, atleast she is at peace and at rest and no more suffering. it will always hurt, but time does heal. sounds cliche, but it is sooo very true. good luck, and again, i'm so sorry. life is sooo unfair, it pisses me off. my condolences to you and your family.

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P.B.

answers from Cumberland on

My mom died on March 28, 2012 from Meyloma, (cancer of the blood) and I cant stop crying either. She was my best friend, we did everything together. She was 57 also and I am only 35 and I still needed my momma. I have three kids and I was sooo mad that it didnt seem like they got upset over losing her. It is hard. I pick the phone up every time that I need to talk and call her phone and then I have to realize she wont pick up. My husband tries to talk to me about it but he doesnt really know how I am feeling because his mom is still here. He has lost his dad but the relationship they had to the relationship me and my mom had was different. I am hurting sooo much and I just feel lost. I would like to have a penpal or a someone I can just email or whatever that knows what I am going through. my email is [email protected]____.com.

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D.

answers from New York on

some books to read:
many lives, many masters
talking to heaven, james van praagh

just know that b/c she isn't here physically, she is with you now more than ever

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L.L.

answers from Lancaster on

Dear C.,
My deepest synpathies to you, I have been there myself and the pain is terrible. My mother died of throat cancer when I was pregnant with my first child, she passed away three months before my daughter was born. Cancer is a very difficult disease to watch anyone go through, and a parent is extremely hard to lose. Its been almost 20 years for me and I still miss her greatly, miss having someone to talk to about being a mother. There are grief counseling groups that really are helpful to let the stress and emotions out on someone other than your husband, or seek out a psychologist for a more personal discussion. Make a scrap book of your mother for both children to have, so they will remember her as they get older. Everyone goes through the grieving process differently and it honestly took me a year of passing holidays, birthdays ect. before I stopped being outwardly emotional. Try and rely on a good friend when things get overwhelming, ask if for awhile at least you can call at ANY time when the feelings are too much to handle. Time will help, and you are doing the right thing in reaching out for some support already! Good luck and keep in touch and let us know what is working for you.

L.

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T.R.

answers from New York on

My prayers are with you, stay strong for your family.

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L.S.

answers from New York on

Hi C.. Im very sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my mother to cancer 15 years ago. She was only 29 and I was only 9 years old. Obviously the age differences are big from when you lost your mom. I am a mother now, I have a beautiful little boy but it is very hard for me to be without her. It will get easier but it will never go away. You will have good days and very bad days. I didn't get a chance to really know my mom or even get a chance to be close with her and I miss that. I still cry to this day probably worse now then when i was younger but the angry and depressed feelings that i had for a long time went away. I changed those feelings into wanting to be the best mother that I could be. I hope this helps in some way, most importantly I want to tell you that your not alone! Take Care!
L.

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I see this post is from a while ago. I've been reading tons and this one really hit a nerve so I wanted to respond. My mother has lung cancer that's metastisized to her brain and bones. She just accepted hospice and is in the final stages. I also have two small children who adore her and I was looking forward to their all being so close, as me and my mother have always been. She's who I've talked to about everything, from cooking to complaining to ideas to suggestions you name it. My very best friend. Now she's slipping through my hands and I can feel myself crashing hard. The idea of this happening I still reject. I hate it. I just want my mommy back.

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M.L.

answers from New York on

I didn't lose my mother but my dad, MY best friend, to cancer this past November. He was 86 years old. It was extremely hard for me as I was his only child and we were both wrapped around each others fingers. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in October and it was already in his spine...stage 4. He lasted a little over a month. It tore me up so badly. I was always the one caring for him and I brought him to every one of his radiation treatments and slowly watched him deteriorate. Not only did it affect me this way, but my 3 kids who loved their Poppy to death.

One thing I can honestly say is to get yourself into a bereavement group. Many hospitals have these available for free and some churches do also. I got into one and was so grateful for the support I received there. I also saw a councilor which helped me with my grieving.

You may also seek support from your church, if you attend one. If not, this might be a good time to look for one. Trust me, it helps.

If you ever need to chat, let me know.

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D.D.

answers from New York on

C., only time can heal what you are going through right now, and don't feel bad about crying on your husbands' shoulder-that's what it's there for:-) Grieve and grieve hard, she was a big part of your life and it's not easy losing not only your mom but your best friend as well... A support group might help, time with your daugthers sharing experiences and memories, and time for yourself to regroup. But don't rush the process. Take care and keep smiling.

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K.D.

answers from New York on

Hi C.: I am so, so sorry you have to go through this horrible experience, too. I lost my father to emphesema, brought on by smoking for years... it's been 11 years and it still feels like yesterday. It's hard to keep yourself "pulled together" in front of the kids, I know. I was closest to my father, and I went ballistic when he unexpectedly died. I lost my mind, and the kids remember me running around the house breaking things and screaming, screaming, screaming. Unless you have a babysitter, the kids are going to see you grieve in your own way, and greive you MUST do, so just DO IT, don't hold back, let it flow. They will survive, they won't be traumatized, so don't worry about that. My kids remember the experience of seeing me lose my mind over my father's passing, and they're none the worse for the wear, as they are now 20, 18, and 17. They were little when it happened. I still remember seeing my mother sitting on her bed one morning, I'd never seen her cry. When I asked her why she was crying, she told me her father, my Pa, had died. I remember crying with her on her bed, wailing with her, I still get weepy thinking of how sad it was. But, it was a part of life, it IS a part of life. Greiving, losing people we love, it's an inevitable part of life. To keep the experience from your kids, no matter how young, is cheating them, isn't being real. They will remember how deeply you love your mother, they will remember how deeply THEY love her, too. Play tapes if you have them for your 2 year old so she will not forget her, if you can. I wish I had my Dad on film. I have a cassette of my Dad playing his guitar and singing, I play for my two young ones, so they'll know his voice, at least. Life and death are all intertwined, this time in your life is part of your history and also your kids, live it as you need to, to get by. As days go by, it becomes more bearable. It never goes away, the hurt won't go away. You just can deal with it a little better as every day passes. I still cry just *thinking* of the words in my head, the morning I heard the news that changed my life. Word for word. I think of it, and I cry as if it was that very day: "K., there's just no easy way to tell you this. Your father passed away last night". I could just throw up thinking those words, remembering how I felt. How I ran around the house screaming, running into walls headfirst, I wanted to die to be with him, it was just horrible. I'm sure the kids were a little freaked out. But I didn't hide it from them, I didn't think I should. I was still there for them, a basket case or not. Be there for your's, too. But do the greiving you need to do, don't deprive yourself.

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J.D.

answers from New York on

C.,

I have not gone through this experience, so I cannot say that I know what you are feeling. I would like to tell you that I'm sorry for your loss, because I DO know how much my Mom means to me, and how lost I'd be without her.

I think it's great that your husband has been there for you, and I can see where you feel badly laying your grief out on him. Have you looked into a support group for grief? Or a grief counselor? If you belong to a church, have you approached your minister? Sometimes it is easier to work out all of the feelings we've got going on to an impartial party, because we don't worry about how they will judge us for feeling what we are feeling. You mention being angry about this. My Mom lost her mother to lung cancer also, and I remember how angry she was at her, for leaving when my Mom still needed her. She was so angry because she felt that since my Grandmother smoked, she did it to herself, and even knowing she should quit, she didn't. So my Mom was angry at her mother for being selfish, and terribly ashamed that she just couldn't get herself past the mad. It took her a really long time to be willing to admit that that was how she felt, and she just couldn't start to move past grieving until she really worked out all of it. So a grief counselor helped her a lot.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you make your way to a place where you can remember your best friend and smile.

Jess

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J.R.

answers from New York on

Hi C.. I too lost my mother to lung cancer. She was 59 and that was 13 years ago. I lost my father to lung cancer -- it will be four years in May. My mother was an incredible woman and my very best friend. I was 28 when she died and it was by far the very worst/most painful experience of my life. I was not yet married and the lost was monumental and it still is. I have 2 little girls as well- they are 5 and 21 months. For me now the most pain is that my little girls will never know my mother, they will never feel her touch or know her voice or have the relationship with her that my mother would have literally died for. Yes, I talk about her to them all the time and her pictures are in my house. There are times still- that I wish I could just pick up the phone and hear her voice or one of my girls will do/say something adorable and I yearn for my mother to see/hear it too.
IT does get more bearable. Take comfort in knowing that your memories will replace alot of that anger. The depression does go away and rembering her will not be as painful. I think your 2 little girls will provide you with the stength you need to get past this stage. I am sure you see some of your mother in them-- if not in how they look, maybe its their expressions at times, or their likes/dislikes or personality. No matter what, your mother is a very large and important part of you and she is also an incredibly special part of your little girls. Keep her memory alive-- by telling them stories about her, keeping pictures of her out in plain view and celebrate her life every chance you get. I Take comfort in the fact that your mother knew your little girls and they her-- even if it was too brief...

I think you would benefit greatly from a support group. I at first did not think that was the thing for me-- but I did get invovled right after my mother passed with one and it helped me get past the anger and the sense that I felt so cheated for not having her with me. It really does help to speak with people who not only undeerstand your lost but who have also experienced it-- all the things you are feeling are very normal and the anger and depression is all part of the grieving process.

C., try to do something very special for yourself-- I am sure your mother would want you to. Whatever makes you feel better-- whatever you find comforting ( aside of course going/talking with her).
Don't apologize for how you're feeling now either-- its all part of the healing process. You will never stop missing your mother, you will never forget her and your girls will know her more than you think possible and believe me they will love her more than you can imagine. Although she was so very young and had so much life to live-- she is at least painfree now and I do believe in a better place.

J.

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M.M.

answers from New York on

Hi C. my name is M. My mother died last Oct she was 51 of lung cancer at the time my daughter was not even a year old. I now have a 4 month old son and am going through a tough time. It's not easy to lose a parent especially one you were so clos to as I was with my mother. I miss her and cry still every day..... Your feelings are very normal.. It's a day to day emotion that will never go away. I miss my mother deeply... I'm angry because she is not here to share in my happiness. There are no words that can make you feel better just look into the eyes of your beautiful girls and no your mother is sooooooooo proud of you and your accomplishments. You need to keep her alive by sharing the best of memories with your daughters and keeping her spirit alive... Good luck if you want to ask me anything I'm here :) Try to remember the best of times keep strong...... cry when you need and laugh when you need too.....

Sincerely M. M.

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K.B.

answers from New York on

First, let me say that I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 2 1/2 years ago. He was only 63. I was always Daddy's little girl, even with three sisters. We don't know why he passed. He wasn't feeling well, laid down on the couch to take a nap, and never woke up. I still cry when I think of him and often want to pick up the phone and talk to him. I have four siblings and that helped, as did my husband and his family. But I think the one thing that has really gotten me through losing him are my boys. I tell them stories about my dad from when I was a kid, I see parts of him in all of my boys. We all know that Opa is gone, but that he really lives in all of us. It will take time, but it does get easier. When I bring my boys to the cemetery, they each dig a small hole and leave a quarter for Opa (he always gave them a couple of bucks each time he saw them). This is their way of remembering him. Talk to your girls. Let them tell you some of the wonderful things they remember about your mom, and you share some with them. It will be painful, but think of it as sharing memories, not mourning a loss. And I agree with the other ladies, a support group can really help.

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B.F.

answers from New York on

I totally understand what you are going through. My father in law was sick with cancer also and I was his caretaker. Since I work from home, I was the obvious choice to take care of him. I miss him so much also. He has been gone for 2 years now and sometimes I still cry because I miss him so much. He was such a wonderful man. I know it may not seem like it, but it will get better with time. Have you ever considered joining a bereavement support group? Was your mom under the care of a hospice program? They have can guide you in the direction of a good support group. Hope things get better for you.

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A.I.

answers from New York on

I,m so sorry for your loss. I lost my father to cancer on April 4 2001. I took care of him along with my mother. I stayed with him overnight in the hospital after working a 12 hr shift..i went to see him on my lunch break... and thats what my days consisted of for the last 2-3 weeks of his life. my relationship was VERY close with him.I watched him take his last breath and felt right then as if MY world had ended..here we are nearly 6 yrs later and there is not a day that goes by that i dont think of him or feel him with me...my point is ..its not the the END. Anger is very much a part of the grieving process. It is wonderful for you that you have your husband to talk to that is what he is there for. I have to agree with Jess. A support system is DEFINITELY what you need and you can get that from your friends/ church/family memebers or grievence groups...there is a light at the end of what may seem like a very dark tunnel. you are stronger than you know TRUST ME!! Message me if you need to talk..I'm a complete stranger i know but i can relate to how you feel.. God bless!

Alex

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J.D.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I totally understand what you're going through. My father died of lung cancer on 5/28/04. He was only 55. On 2/16/05, my mother died of colon cancer, she would have been 55 this April. Like you, my mother was my best friend also. I still cry when I think about her, which is often even after two years. There were times when I would pick up the phone to call my mother, and realize that she was no longer with me. The only thing that makes me feel a little better is knowing that she isn't in all the pain that she was in. I watched both of my parents suffer. The fact that I couldn't do anything to ease their pain tore me up inside as well as outside. You have to treasure all the wonderful memories that the two of you shared. If you have any siblings, it helps to remember the good old days. It's okay to cry. I still cry, but now I talk to her more than I cry. I have pictures all over my house, and when I want to ask her a question, I do. At first I thought I was losing my mind, but it's my way of healing. My husband is very supportive and understanding, but because his parents are still alive, I don't feel like he can ever understand my pain, so I usually cry to my sisters and brothers. We have a big healthy cry together and then I do what our mom would do. I cook a big dinner and we laugh, and remember all the good times that we shared with our parents. The pain will NEVER go away. It just gets a little easier to deal with as time goes by. Just be strong for those two beautiful little girls, and when you feel like crying, go ahead.

You and your family will be in my prayers.
Javonna

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K.M.

answers from New York on

Hi, C..

I can't fully understand but I can relate a little. My husband just lost his Dad. I've never lost anyone so close and I can't imagine the empty whole in your chest.

To help my husband I started researching about the Stages of Grief. If you can, buy a book that you can refer to so that you understand psychologically, physically and emotionally what it is you're going through. Don't feel bad about crying on your husband's shoulder. He wants that. There's absolutley nothing he can do but that so he's dying to. Trust me. I want to be there for my husband 24/7.

You are in my thoughts. My father-in-law was awesome and such a great Grandpa. We all saw him go. It was a really crazy experience and sudden. Keep talking about what you're feeling. Talk 'til your face turns blue. I'm not going to tell you that time heals all wounds because this ain't no regular loss. It will get easier with time but you will always be a different person and it will be a different world forever. Please, read up on the stages, it will help you be able to identify what's happening. THe way by husband explains it is there are "waves" of emotion. He says he often gets these brain farts where he will be in directly in the middle of something and forget what he was doing. It's a part of it. I learned that and told him and now he doesn't feel so "crazy" he understands he's grieving.

Use your husband. Maybe start a journal.

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