Seeeking Other Moms Who Have Lost Their Moms

Updated on April 10, 2009
N.P. asks from Aurora, CO
21 answers

I lost my mother, my life, my rock, my friend on April 18, 2000. My birthday happens to fall on the 6th of the same month. My dad died on April 2 when I was 11 so least to say I HATE the month of April and everything about it. I have no friends to talk about this and don't want anyone to feel sorry for me for it. I moved out when I was 15 b/c of a dysfunctional family life at home and am now 32. Just wondering how someone else gets trough this period b/c I crush and fall this time year. Guilt is such a big factor. I just want to shut everyone including family out. i want to hind in a dark place and deal with it for a week. I take Lexapro everyday for my genetically passed on depression. Oh yeah....this is the week I dediced to get drunk every night to escape all the pain, which will end on the 18th. So anyone with advice????????? Or want to share ur story? Just a small update...my husband and talked it out and figured getting drunk is not the answer..just something emotional "said" and I had a real bad hangover the next day.

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K.C.

answers from Provo on

You are not alone, but you are reliving the worst part of your pain. Your mom loves you, admires you, and loves to see you succeed with those little whispers she sends to your mind and your heart that tell you that you are precious, and amazing, and the pride of her life.

Getting drunk is probably not her favorite part of your month either. Instead of feeling the void, try and take a spiritual journey and feel the lightness of someone trying to reach your mind. Reach out your feelings to sense that your mom is yet there, loving you, encouraging you, and understands everything you would say to her in your heart.

Cry for the loss, of course, but remember that guardian angels are those who have the most interest in our success. Don't crumble, succeed - you have all heaven and an angel mother AND father helping you along. And they love you. Very much. She's not gone, just not seen. Take heart darling, mothers don't leave their babies, and I'm sure God doesn't make them. They just take a different form. You can do this. Say out loud, "Mom - I'm gonna lose it here - help me out!" and see if you don't feel a comfort come closing in. Softly, gently, but there all the same. Of course there.

Hang in there darling. You're made of tougher stuff than you know. Just ask your mom or your dad...

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S.G.

answers from Cheyenne on

This must be such a hard time for you! I lost my mother to cancer on the 4th of July in 2002. In some ways, I am glad I am not in the US on the 4th of july, just when everyone is celebrating. I always buy flowers for my mom on the anniversary of her death....yellow and purple. Yellow was her favorite color and purple because she loved this poem about wearing purple when she was older and since she wasn't going to get older, she decided to wear purple while she was sick. So I buy her flowers and put them on top of the piano that was hers and I inherited, and I have a picture of her up above it. I make sure my kids know who grandma is...they see the picture and I tell them it's mommy's mommy who went to live with the angels and that even though she didn't get to meet them, she would love them so much. It still hurts so much, but I try to be happy with the 25 years I had with her and I try to help my kids know who she was. As for getting through that day, if you need to cry, cry. If you need tp scream, scream. If you need to just forget it, then do that. Can your husband take the kids on that day so you can have some time to yourself to grieve? I really feel for you and I hope you find something that works for you and helps you deal with your pain.

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C.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

my anniversary times are September and October, the two months I lost my babies. Each year at that time I get sad, I feel a loss and my body has tissue memories that kick in reminding me of the loss and the pains of it.
Escaping feels better...for a while but eventually it is time to celebrate life. The life your mom had. The life I still have in my daughter that is alive and growing. Have you thought about doing grief therapy? It helped me a lot after my first miscarriage. I should have done it after the second one.
I don't know you but here is a great big hug through cyberspace (((((((((((((((((((((((N.)))))))))))))))))))))
what about building a collage of happy memories with your mom? a dedication to her--I was told to do this for my babies but I have never been able to so bit of a hypocrytical suggestion--however in my case they said think about the life they could have had, and release them to those "memories" it felt worse. For my grandma who I adored--well She always did dishes with palmolive, the green original one. It's the only dish soap I buy because the smell reminds me of her. I hate doing dishes so it is nice to have her smell when I am doing them.
There can be happy things along those lines you can celebrate the friendship you have had with her.
They pass on but never really leave us, even if you aren't religious, their memories linger and carry us through. It hurts like hell to open the heart to miss them but there is also a beauty that comes through after the grief when there are the memories.
here's to your memories.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

Oh N., I am so sorry. My mom's name was N. so I took right away to this post. I lost my dad in 91 and my mom in 94'. I was devestated. I felt lost and alone and totally know how you feel. YES As everyone else mentioned motherless daughters is a GREAT BOOK!
When I got married in 99' and had kids shortly thereafter I felt the extra weight of that loss. They were young when they died both at 55 and both close to their birthdays. My dad passed in December right before we were to spend the first Christmas in 8 years together. When cleaning his house out I found the airplane tickets! My mom died the week after Mothers Day.
I still get depressed on and off that they never got to meet their grandchildren. I had some people tell me that I needed to go to grief counselling! That I should be over it by now, even my own brother said he rarely thought of them anymore! To be honest there is no time line. When you lose your mother/father and you are a parent yourself, then that even causes that connection to seem so lost and you feel so alone. I see kids going to their grandparents houses, think all the time "what would mom or dad do" and I know that ache just never leaves you. I got angry for a while thinking how much my kids are missing not knowing them, how badly they wanted grandkids. I went through a messy divorce and needed them more then ever. I just continue to talk outloud to them though. As if they are guiding me I always just think of them as right with me.

Seeing that April sucked for you, it is TOTALLY acceptable for you to feel down. However think hard, would your parents want that for you or would they rather you celebrate their lives in that month? Really think about what advice your mom would be giving you right now. Meditate hard on what guidance she would give you right now and follow that path.
If you are close to where she was, drive by her old house, if there was a special place she went to, go visit it. Connect with the memories, because you cannot push them aside.
Maybe taking time to share special stories of them to your children, getting out old photos and really feeling the pain of the loss instead of hiding it. One thing I learned is the pain is there, there is no amount of red wine that will make it go away and you have to "FEEL TO HEAL"!!!

You will never get over the loss. Look at me, I am 44 and divorced, two young kids and my parents have been gone for along time now and I still ache and cry over missing them. I try to remember them though and purposely look at pictures and feel the hurt.. It does help, it is overwhelming but it is okay to be sad, but think of funny stories or something funny they once did.

Nobody can gauge how long it can take or why you feel the way you feel. You do need to feel it though and you most certainly are not alone. It sucks, but seeing you have those feelings is not even a bad thing for your children. They need to see you as human. I cannot tell you how many times I get choked up talking about my mom to my kids and how it is okay they know you miss them. My kids ask all sorts of questions about life and death now, moving on, and they are very aware of what loss can feel like. They also know all the funny stories, how my mom raised me, I talk all the time about the rules she had and all my good thoughts about both of my parents.

God Bless you N., it is almost mid month, you will get through this and your parents are there watching over you, wanting you to remember the good and you not to be so sad.
HUGS!

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C.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I wish I knew what to say or give advice to you. I lost my mom on May 27, 2008, the day after my birthday. It hasn't been a year yet and I am dreading my birthday. It has been the hardest year for me and my family. My mom was everything to me. My kids and I have lived there for the past 12 years. I am a single mother of 2 kids and my mom was always there for me. I don't get along with my sisters much anymore and it is sometimes still hard to live there with my dad. I had twin girls 12 years ago and 1 of my daughters only lived for 16 hours. I go to her grave and decorate it and spend some time there. I do that also with my mom's grave. It seems to calm me. I hope that someone can help you and give you advice because I will need the same advice next month when it will be a year after losing my mom to Leukemia.

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C.B.

answers from Denver on

N.,
There is so much good advice here for you, and lots of hugs! I just want to second the post that the book "motherless Daughters" was very helpful. I think there may also be support groups based on that book - you could google it and see.

Like Deb K said, the most painful part of losing my mother (in 1992 at age 55 - I was 23) is that she is not around to be a grandma to my two boys - I still can't believe how cruel that fate was, and I still feel really angry about it. But, I have also accepted that it is a fact. I have coped with it by keeping pictures of her holding other babies around, and I talk all the time to my boys about what kind of mom Nana Ruth was to me (and to keep her from being put on a pedestal, I am honest about her weaknesses - like she was never on time :).

For the first few years, we also made a point to always celebrate her birthday. My siblings and I would take my grandparents (her parents) out for dinner in her honor and we would share stories about Mom. I mentally mark her death date (March 19), but that's all - it was a lousy day and it is over and gone. I would rather spend my energy thinking about her in a more positive light.

Finally, I seek comfort in thinking that she is with my son Nicholas, whom I lost in my second trimester. Sometimes I tell myself that the only reason I experienced two such horrible losses is so that she could be with one of her grandchildren after all, and that Nicholas was never really meant for me, but for her.

i hope you will be able to find counseling or a support group (maybe you could even start a simple one yourself by posting here or on Meetup.com). As other posters said, you are stronger than you think, and no one believed that more than your Mom :)

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C.C.

answers from Denver on

Dear N., I understand how you feel. My mom passed away in 1997 and I still feel her absence. It ate me up every year and it was especially hard when my kids were born. My mom was an amazing grandma.

I learned something from a friend that changed my life and the way I viewed my mom's passing, painful as it was. I learned that in the Jewish tradition they purposely try to celebrate the life they shared with the person they lost.

It is incredibly wise. I met a woman who lost her husband 10 years earlier and all the other women around were asking how he died, etc etc. and grief washed over her face like a dark cloud. I remembered my friend's tradition and asked this woman, "What is your favorite memory about your husband?" Her face lit up as she explained that her husband worked for Gates Rubber Co. and for more than 25 years he was THE Santa at their big Christmas event. Christmas at Gates was a big deal where employees and their families would pack the Denver Coliseum and Santa would arrive to cheers and great fanfare as presents were stacked on table after table for every child in attendance. What she learned that day was that her husband was MY Santa because my dad worked for Gates as well. We share a bond because of that to this very day and every time I call her "Mrs. C" (Mrs. Claus), no one else understands but she is reminded that her husband made a difference in my life.

So after all that, here is my advice to you. Celebrate your mom's life in big ways and small. I used to get so sad especially about my boys not knowing their grandma. I decided that they would, because when I am reminded of her, I tell them something I enjoyed about her. We're getting ready to start our garden and it's been a great chance to tell my older son about how his grandma loved to work in the garden. I've been telling him about how she had a green thumb and grew pumpkins bigger than he was and zucchinis as big as his arm. I told him how we would always say that she "could put a stick in the ground and it would grow"

So, for the sake of your three beautiful children, I encourage you to share your mom and your dad with them. Celebrate their lives and tell your kids what your parents meant to you. Tell them things you loved about them and how they would have felt about your kids. Tell them stories and your favorite memories. Tell them things they used to say all the time or what they were really good at. Say the things you would tell them if you had the chance.

Grieving and missing them is okay and necessary. It's your choice to withdraw and hide for all of April but I have a feeling that they will begin to resent your drinking and the time lost with you and start to dread this time of year - not because you lost your mom and dad but because they are losing you. Writing this post is a great first step but please continue on . . .

may you find the peace you seek,

C.

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E.G.

answers from Denver on

N.,

I am so sorry for your loss. I have suffered a loss that has left me with the same feelings. Even though it was a long time ago and the pain eases a bit, it still lingers -- only it is February that I dread. I don't have any magical answers, but I do know that it helps to 'go through the motions' of doing normal things as that serves as a distraction of sorts and seems to make the days pass alittle more quickly. I know that we both remember our loved ones fondly and that there are times when we can even laugh at some humorous memory, but please try not to let April depress you -- your mom wants you to remember the happy times (that is part of her legacy) and your family needs you.

Best wishes,

E.

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K.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi N.,
I don't know how you feel but I will soon as my mother isn't expected to live more than a few weeks. I will miss her terribly although in some ways she's been gone for a while as she is suffering from Alzheimers.

A gentle suggestion: please consider therapy. Also, to get drunk every night to handle a problem, especially when you have small children, is a sign of a possible alcohol problem. I'm a recovered drunk - 8 years sober - I know of what I speak. Please check into therapy and into AA or some other program before your problems get worse. You can have a wonderful and happy life once you get past your very understandable pain.

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K.H.

answers from Fort Collins on

I lost my Mother in April as well, it has been 11 years as of this month, April is a hard month with her death, her birthday and then May for mothers day. I will never forget her she was my best friend, we did everything together, we talked on the phone for hours. I still cry all the time, but I also think of all the great times we had together, talking about her helps me get through the tough days. My husband is awesome about talking about her or going to the grave site or whatever. Also I am lucky to have a very close family and my sisters and I talk everyday. It was hard getting married without my mom, I put a picture of her up on the alter, she helped me get through that very important day. It was even harder having my first child, but to make it positive we named my daughter after my mother. I think it has helped my whole family by us naming her after my mom. I think the best way to deal with it is to talk to someone anyone and think of the good times you had or make positive of it. She is in a better place. God has a plan for all of us and unfortunately he took my Mother and a lot of other mothers early, however I know that they are not in pain anymore and they are in better place I have a very close relationship with my Aunt (my mom's sister) I call her once a week we talk on all the special occasions. I guess what is most important is to talk with someone and not shut people out. Open up talk about all your feelings get all the anger out.
Talk to God he will help you! Pray a lot, even if your not that religious it does help and god is there to listen.
Good luck with everything if you need to talk my email is [email protected]____.com

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L.B.

answers from Denver on

N. -

I lost my father two years ago and my mother is has stage 4 lung cancer.

After I came back from out of state for my fathers funeral I was in a dark place. I was not a good mom because I was in such mourning. I too used alcohol to dull the pain. My husband sat me down and we talked about all the good memories and good things. The next day I shared many of these memories with my children. We now use the opportunity to be happy that we had Daddy in our lives as long as we did. He was only in his early 50's and Mom is only 58 now as she nears the end. We are thankful for the times we have had. Some children never get to know their parents. Some children are treated so badly they never want to know their parents. We count our blessings and turn our thoughts around whenever they go dark. It really helped us get through it and is preparing us for what this year will bring with Mom. Please stay strong for your family who you do have with you. Remember all the good times and be the same kind of mother for your children. Kids feel that dark energy and it can be hurtful and damaging. They need you more than ever at the tender ages they are.

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J.G.

answers from Denver on

N.,
I empathize with your pain. I also lost my mother April 30, 2000. It was before my son was born and many wonderful things had happened in my life. She was the ROCK also. I grieve this month and week all the time. This year I decided instead of falling into depression, I went to a new counselor myself. I chose an older woman not even as a replacement or my mother but someone who may also understand the difficulties of getting through this milestone. I understand your desire to get drunk but that will numb the pain and increase the guilt. I was also thinking on the day of her death to go for a massage and meditate at a park. I want to find my mom in the beautiful things of this world. Hang in there!

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C.R.

answers from Provo on

I, too, lost my mother in April... the 23rd. Every year it's hard for me. I find myself dreading April and May (Mother's Day). I fight the urge to push people away and wallow. My sweet husband keeps telling me that it's okay to be sad but at the same time I shouldn't forget to be grateful for my life now. I need to focus on how great it is to be a mother for my children instead of the emptiness I feel at having no mother of my own. Like I said, it's hard, but I have found that a little bit of gratitude takes the edge off of the pain, emptiness and loneliness. And like you say, talking about it helps. I always talk to my children so they understand that mom's not sad because of them or something they did. It helps me feel better to simply share stories with them about their grandma and tell them how much she would have loved to have known them. Sometimes we even cry together. People have told me that the pain will go away with time. I think they're wrong. The pain will never go away, but with any luck I hope to find a way to be happy in spite of the pain and be a better person/mom because of it.

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C.W.

answers from Provo on

I understand. My Mom died in April, too. She was 74 years old, but that doesn't matter to me. She could have been 174 for all I care. We just miss her.
That said, i would urge you to get some kind of counseling to rid yourself of the guilt you feel. Guilt and blame do no one any good. You could be living free of those feelings.The best way to get rid of guilt is to talk it out with someone until you realize that you did your best and that harboring ill feelings against yourself will only hurt you. I hope this helps.

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M.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi N.,

I lost my Mom, who was also my rock, in January of 2000. I have always been told that it gets easier as time goes on and I want to tell people to shut up because they don't know what I am going through. I hate the day that mom died more than anything else and I dread the days that are important to me because I know that she would be here with me if possible.

One thing that helped me was reading a book called "Letters from Motherless daughters" because it reminded me that I was not alone. My dad always tells me to remember the good things about my Mom and to celebrate her life instead of mourning her death so I decided to try it this year. It helped! We went out to dinner on her death day and had a drink for her and I went to bed remember all the good things and knowing that she will always be with me in spirit.

I am not sure this helps but I hope it does. I totally understand what you are going through and hope that it gets better. Have a good weekend with your family and tell them all the wonderful stories about your Mom so they can get to know her too!

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C.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

there is a wonderful book by a woman named Hope Edelman titled "Motherless Daughters". I think she later published a book of correspondence she received from readers after she wrote it that might also be insightful. You could check Amazon.

My mom started to show signs of Alzheimer's days before I was to give birth to my first child (now sixteen plus years ago). She is now gone but I feel a strong connection with her anytime I talk to one of my siblings (or better yet, see one of them) and my children all remind me of her. I DO so understand. Have you thought of working with a therapist about this loss? It might be really helpful to get some objective insights. Every dollar I have ever spent on therapy has been well worth it.

Please know that whenever you can talk about your mom or dad, that it can be therapuetic even if it isn't with a therapist. If we remember those who have gone before us, they are never truly gone.

Sending you gentle hugs and love-post if you need ideas for finding a therapist if you are interested in that...it is still a possibility for folks even if they don't have health coverage nor lots of extra money to pay out of pocket.

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I am just wondering if maybe medication could help. I was totally against meds for years but a few months ago I gave in and feel a ton better. I used to feel the same way sometimes just wanted to lock myself in my room and be alone. I still have a few of those feelings but not as severe or often. I know you can take some for a month or during PMS, but not all the time. Good Luck! I hope you find peace.

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F.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Dear N.,
I know this was a difficult letter for you to write. However there is a book on the market called rewriting your script. This book gets to the soul of every person that reads it. You can purchase it at Barnes & Noble. Please read.

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

I bet their is a yahoo group or something like that for women who have lost their moms. That way you could have the emotional support and understanding of other women that know exactly how you feel and you could go to them for support and love, especially every April.

I am sorry for your pain,

Marci

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C.H.

answers from Denver on

I would gently suggest that professional therapy would likely be tons more effective than anything we might be able to offer. I will say a prayer for you right now.

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi,
I am so sorry to hear of your pain and your struggles. The best thing you can do is talk about it. Maybe your request of this board was the first step. Our church, St. John's Lutheran in Denver by Washington Park has a wonderful program called Stephen's ministry. This program is completely free. You will meet one on one with a woman who will listen and reflect back to you what you are saying. They don't really give advice, but many times all you need to do is to talk about your feelings and concerns. Please call ###-###-#### and request a meeting with one. You can use my name as a reference (D. Mann). They would probably be willing to meet with you somewhere close to you if that would make it easier. We also have a wonderful woman on staff, Wendy Leu, who is a professional counselor.
I lost my dad 10 years ago, although I know he is in heaven I still miss him terribly. I love my mom dearly and we are having some struggles now. Your letter helped me to remember we have such a short time to enjoy our parents and we can't let little things get in the way of a wonderful relationship. Spend some extra time with your kids and let them know you love them! God Bless you! D.

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