My Mama Is Gone.

My mom is my other half. My best friend, my everything. If there were such things as soulmates, she was mine. We had this deal that we'd die at the same time at 100 and 116 years old so we wouldn't have to feel the pain of losing one another. She was only 16 years older than I, and we were so close.

On December 7th, I Skyped with my mom as I did every day. She lived in Brussels with her mother, sister, and my baby sister who turned 5 December 31st. I am living stateside and had not seen her in almost 2 years...since my sister's 3rd birthday.

My mom was having some issues. I guess she was sick for a while, but due to being left out of the loop by my family members, I was not aware of my mom's ailment until it was too hard to keep hidden. My mom confessed to me a few months before December 7th, 2012 that she wasn't well. She wasn't eating at all, or drinking anything. My grandma asked me to talk to her...so I did. I begged my mom to eat again, for me-for my sister. She said she would try.

Everyday I skyped her, I saw her looking more and more frail and worn out. She didn't seem like the mother I knew.

The mother I knew...she was my mama. The most beautiful, loving, caring, generous person I know. Always worried about others before herself. Always looking to find truth and God. Wanting a better world for everyone.
But she had her flaws, too. Just as anyone else. She had a short temper. Perhaps because of her childhood, I don't know.

My mother lost her job, and I think she became depressed after that. As I kept seeing my mother wither away before me, I asked and demanded to know what was going on.
My mom finally told me she heard voices. I was in shock. My mom...hearing voices. I was angry to hear such words come out her mouth. For months I begged her to stop listening to those voices, told her it was in her head...to shut them out. She told me they said terrible hurtful things to her...that she needed to leave so the world would be saved, that my sister, grandma and I were not really us....that we were somewhere else, screaming, begging for her help.

It wasn't always like that during our Skype sessions. A few days before December 7th, she and I talked for hours, we laughed, she smiled her beautiful smile, I saw the mother I loved and cared so much and I thought things were getting better. I was so wrong.

On that December day, I woke up and got on Skype as always. I got on and called my mom. She answered and asked how I was doing. She was not there...she seemed so distant. I asked what was wrong and she said that even when she was talking to me, the voices would speak to her and scream. She said she couldn't take it anymore, that she felt as though something was taking over her body. That's where I lost it.
My mom was telling me she was being possessed?? At least that's how I perceived it. I got mad at her as I always did, trying to push some sense into her. I told her to stop all this, that it was tiring and I couldn't deal with it anymore. I was so stupid. I told her if she won't help herself, that I couldn't do anything more for her...I gave up. She asked me to get some time off work and go see her. I told her I wasn't going to see her until she got better. She looked straight into the camera and said that I didn't understand. When I was getting off, she told me have a good day...I sarcastically responded with "Yeah, you made it great." We sat there looking at one another through the computer screen for a bit. She then said: "I love you" I told her I loved her too...and hung up. After calming down a bit, I wrote my mom a message saying I loved her and I cared and I was sorry I got frustrated, as I always did. Right when I hit send, she got offline...she never saw my message. That was the last time I saw my mom.

I was at work when I found out. My boyfriend came during my lunch time and I sat in the car. He looked at his phone and his eyes got teary. I asked what was wrong...he showed me his phone. It was a message from my mom's younger sister. I instantly knew something was very wrong. I skimmed the message and stuck on one sentence.
"...her mother has left this world." i can't recall what my reaction was, it happened so fast. My boyfriend said it was the most horrific scream he'd ever heard. My family didn't have the courage to tell me.
I called them and asked how.

My mother had jumped off the roof of their building at midnight on December 8th. She lived on the fourth floor. I lost it. I could not believe it...but I knew she was really gone. I instantly felt guilty. I was so mean to her. Was it because of what I said to her? Did she give up on her life because I gave up on her? What if I had gone and seen her? What if I'd called her back instead of writing a message? All these things were eating me alive.
I flew out with my boyfriend the next couple days to go see my family. I saw my mother at her wake. She had fallen with her back facing the ground, holding her rosary in her hands. I held her rosary. I saw my mom, finally. She still looked beautiful as always. I was the one who picked out her dress. A beautiful white dress..she looked just like an angel. Like she thought she'd be if she left this world. Then we buried her...that was the hardest part. Seeing her being put down into the earth...her final resting place.

I'm back at work now, back home...living life as I was before it happened. I still can't look at her pictures or videos and feel guilty, but the pain is too hard to bear. I am not mad at her, surprisingly. She left me all alone in the world, yes. She left my sister with my her ex-husband...my stepdad who lives in Europe as well. But I'm not mad at her. I'm mad at the world for breaking her heart. I'm mad at myself for not being able to save her, I'm mad at my family for not telling me before it was already too late. I'm just mad, yes....but most of all, I am heartbroken. Crestfallen. I just want to see her again, hear her voice... wake up from this nightmare. I see her in my dreams, always sad. I keep wondering...Did she cry? Was she scared? Did she regret it the second she let herself fall back? Did it hurt? Did she suffer? Did she think and feel that she wasn't loved? That I didn't love her, of all people? I keep trying to find those answers. I read about schizophrenia, I read about suicides by jumping, I read about the body and what happens to it when it falls from heights...I want answers...nothing helps. I'd love to believe she's in a better place. That she's at peace and safe and looking at me, but I'm too much of a skeptic...I question too much, I over-analyze, I am too much of a realist, I guess.

To close this ever so long story that doesn't ever begin to say anything about my mom and losing her, I simply miss my mama terribly.

She was and still is my all. My heart, my friend, my mother. I owe her everything.
Will I ever feel whole again? Will this sadness and hole in my chest ever go away? Will I ever be able to let her know I love her?

Grief is a life sentence without clemency.


Can anyone out there relate? Help me cope? I need an outsider's perspective. 


lilgretii lilgretii
18-21, F
4 Responses Jan 22, 2013

Hello,

I just read your story and was moved by it. I too lost my mother to suicide on September 2, 2012. She jumped from an 18th story window just moments after I spoke to her on the phone. Like your mother, mine was disconnected from reality in those last hours. While she had struggled with depression on and off, she had suddenly started exhibiting signs of paranoia that didn't make sense to me. She had begun drinking vodka in an effort to "cure the paranoia". I was frustrated and angry at what I perceived to be "self-destruction" and I tried to reason with her. She had been very clear that she would never commit suicide and "do that to me" and I completely believed that. She was very protective of her health and I know she loved me and my kids more than anything else in the world. But a suicide shatters your life and cracks the foundation of everything you trust and believe. A person who is your rudder in life, who knows you better than anyone, has suddenly gone and left you. If you are like me, you feel betrayed, alone and empty. But what I want to encourage you to think (and what I repeat to myself every day) is that YOU are in no way responsible for your mother's death. She did not do what she did because you did or didn't do anything- I repeat this to myself everyday because I am going through the same experience. Mental illness is just that- an illness, just like a physical one, but obviously more complex because it involves the mind. But just like a heart attack, something has "broken" within the person, and neither they nor you could have done anything to stop it. When I remember how upset I was with my mother, I must remind myself that I was not upset with mom as "mom", I was arguing with the illness, with the invader that took over, not with the mother I knew and loved.

My mom died 32 weeks ago on Sunday. I will probably be counting weeks for some time now, but it is helpful to share with others, as this is a lonely road. I wish you all the best as you continue to heal from this tragedy.

I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain. I don't understand why she's leave my little sister and I. We were her world. I'm not mad at her...I am just so sad for her. For those last moments she was alive. Like it wasn't enough that she'd been suffering with her illness for months or over a year...she died alone. She must have felt unloved to do something like that. I wasn't always very patient with my mom, but I do believe that she knew my frustration was only a result of my love and care for her...I just wanted her to come back to me. The mama I loved to see smile and hear laugh. It was her birthday on the 12th of April. I've been doing okay. I still can't look at her pictures...it's too hard. But sometimes I made myself look at them. Because she IS my mom. She will ALWAYS be, and I feel guilty trying to protect myself from the pain and sadness by not looking at her.
I also try not to dwell. I dont know whether its the same with you, but when I dwell, I just think of everything. Absolutely everything. From whether she felt pain on her moment of death, to if she regretted it seconds after she let herself fall, to how she is no more...and the face I knew is just decomposing away slowly. That's my mom now. Thats all I have left of her...memories, pictures and horrible thoughts of her current state.
Although, something strange happened on her birthday. Im not a believer in the afterlife, as much as I'd want to, I'm too much of a realist. This might have just been a crazy coincidence, but on her birthday, I was getting ready for work and had my purse in the bathroom. I didn't hear anything from my purse the whole time in there until I started hearing a faint song...the song was "Immortelle" by Lara Fabian. Its a french song. My mom used to sing it all the time while we lived in Brussels. This is what the song translated to:

"
If I was lost in the sky
With only one wing left to fly on
My wing would be you

If I were carwling form a wreck
With only a dim light to guide me
That light would be you

If I were forsaken by the gods
And dropped into an island
You would be that island

If the only fragile step
On the path looked hopeless
I would go for that step

Immortal, immortal
I have got a feeling I will be the one
Who will survive through all this pain
I would die for you

Immortal, immortal
I have torn away a piece of the sky
That didn't seal out the enternal
I would die for you

If words leave traces
I will tatoo my skin
With the words we haven't said

Nothing will wipe you out
Still this nothing is all mine
That nothing is worth anything
I will guard against the pain
Even if that's all that remains
People will say with beautiful words
Still this nothing is all mine

What good would it do me
To find my destiny
If it doesn't lead to you?
Immortal, immortal
I have got a feeling I will be the one
Who will survive through all this pain
I would die for you
Immortal, immortal
I have torn away a piece of the sky
That didn't seal out the enternal
I would die for you
I would die for you...
Immortal, immortal
I have got a feeling I will be the one
Who will survive through all this pain
I would die for you
Immortal, immortal
I have torn away a piece of the sky
That didn't seal out the enternal
I would dïe for you."

Maybe the lyrics aren't as important as the fact that it was the song she used to sing always and that its title it Immortal.
I don't know. It broke my heart to hear it. My Ipod must have been left open on shuffle...I have over 3000 songs in there...what are the odds that one plays on her birthday?! I dont know. I just miss her. So much.

I know that even as time passes, it still feels like yesterday. The key it to find a way to cope with our sadness.

What a beautiful song and how incredible that it just started playing on her birthday. I too have experienced some moments like that and I do want to believe that they are giving us a hello from above. Though they are not with us anymore, their energy and spirit cannot die.

I hope you are doing ok- I completely understand about the dwelling- it is very hard not to do. I picture the scene and it is awful. Unfortunately, because jumping is a more public thing to do, there was an article in the paper with a picture, which was just awful. Not only did many of her friends learn about it this way, the article was disrespectful in so many ways. It not only described the event in great detail, it only spoke of her as emotionally disturbed and while this was true at the time, we know so well how much more our mothers were as people. My mother was the funniest, most loving, most creative woman and I am still in disbelief that she is not here. I feel like I am living in some sort of warp zone and eventually I will get out of it and everything will return to normal.

I find that the distractions of my kids and the routine of everyday life is helpful. I hope you have a good support network, especially as it sounds like you far away.

This is a sad and lonely boat to find myself in- it is helpful to connect with others who are in the same unfortunate position.

Wishing you all the best.

That is awful about the article. I don't think that someone's death should be public record, it is a private and emotional thing. I am so, so sorry. I could not imagine to have seen a picture of it. When it first happened, before I flew out to see her for her wake and funeral, all I did was look into deaths from jumping. The more I looked, the more painful it was. Such a lonely way to go. It breaks my heart for her, and your mother, too. I agree with you about people misunderstanding "metal illness" and taking it as what defined our mothers. My mom was also very loving and caring. She was just very sad and it turned into something she could not stand or get away from. The psychiatrist said "Major Depression" which, I guess from what I've read, can cause schizophrenia...she heard voices. i try to imagine that, how scary and terrible that must have been for her. I wish I would have known. I hope your mom was not in bad shape when you saw her. Thankfully, my mom was still "intact" you might say. Besides some blood on her coffin's pillow. i'm guessing it was some left over hemorrhaging...i can't believe I am even talking about the details like this. I'm sorry if I'm ranting too much. I find help only in these forums. It's not comforting, because I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but more or less gives me some type of closure and allows me to express my feelings and get feedback that others relate to.
I dream about her often. Sometimes it's good. She'd be sitting on the couch with me, eating almods (she loved nuts and chocolate!) others, I see her, and she looks distant, frail, and sometimes, I have her in my dreams, and I lose her all over again. It's so terrible. Can you look at pictures of your mom? I try to, but its so hard to see all that she was and is no more. I truly hope, that if there was a heaven or afterlife, my mom is there. Out of all people in this world, she deserves to be there. She had faith. I unfortunately, have lost whatever little bit of faith I had. This has not made me a better person, as most say it does. It has made me bitter towards life and everything. What about you?
Thank you so much for conversing with me-it helps tremendously.

Hi,

For some reason I just saw this post. How are you doing? I have found that this last month has been particularly difficult. When it first happened, I was in such shock and now it is as though some sort of protective layer that was helping me cope is gradually fading away, leaving me with the raw grief. I am now being flooded with all the wonderful memories and I am suddenly stunned to find that it has been over 9 months since I have seen or spoken to my mom. I am not sure how I have made it this far.
I completely understand about the dreams- almost every night is filled with some sort of version of the event. Sometimes I manage to prevent it, other times I witness it and only sometimes is it just a dream with her as herself in it. I guess it is my mind's way of trying to make sense of things but it is so troubling.
I have looked at pictures of my mom, surprisingly. I would have thought that I couldn't and sometimes I can't- but when I do it just looks so normal, like she will come walking out of the picture and into the room. I completely understand that you can't though- there are some things I don't think I will ever be able to do again because it would just be too painful.
How terrible that your mother was hearing voices- you are right, that does sound so scary. It is awful to imagine people we love so much in such distress- and it is hard to imagine what they must have been feeling to do what they did. I keep thinking that in my mother's case, it was a somewhat "impulsive" thing- that if only certain things had or hadn't happened, she would have been brought out of that state and never done it. I know it is not helpful to dwell on it, but I simply can't help it. Having said that, if you said the same thing to me, I would say that there was nothing that could have been done and nobody is to blame- and I would mean it. So I have to try to say the same thing to myself.
I also find this forum very helpful. I have been to a couple of support groups, but I find there are so many different situations (all of them tragic of course) but I have yet to meet anyone who has lost their mother or lost her in this specific way. It is a horrible thing to have in common, but as supportive and wonderful as my family and friends have been, there is simply no way they can actually relate to what I am going through. You sadly do relate, and I do find it so helpful to converse with you.
I hope you are doing ok and thank you for being so responsive.

1 More Response

I lost my mom on 02/15/2013 just recently. I live 7000 miles away from her. She did the same thing like your mom. Jump off from 8th floor. She was sick as well. Before she did it, I had voice telling me that she won't be with me long...she just spent Christmas with me 2 months ago. I feel so lost without her and questions myself if there is anything I can do to help her. No one know she had depression bec the med she took. I am a mom myself. I have to move on bec of them. Always remember she loves you very much. I felt she is around all the time. Tried to tell me what to do...remember the things we talked about. Just feel she still wrap her arms around you, hugging you....let's get better together. God bless you! XOXO

I would love nothing more than to have my mama's hugs again. I miss her terribly and it is all too tragic. Death is tragic. But suicide is even worse....for eveyone. The one who feels so alone that does it, and the people who feel so helpless and lost that survive it. I will always love my mom. I am never truly mad at her. I want to blame someone, but I dont know who. I just hope, somehow, somewhere, I will see her again. I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain never goes away. We just learn to live with it. Be strong for your babies. I dont have kids, but I hope, if one day I am lucky to have any, they can give my life the purpose its missing right now.

Sometimes, you just have to look at things that happen in life and say 'that was terrible and I don't know why it had to happen.' Acceptance is healing.

Your mother passed away recently- and from what I can remember about shortly after my mother's suicide, something that helped me a lot was writing to her. I wrote in a book to her often, and it really helped and I really felt as if I was talking to her. I don't doubt that in someway she heard me, or at least G0d did.

I agree with Lost in that it 100% gets better with time. But don't interpret that as you won't be affected by this, and that your view of life will not change. 8 years later, I am not in as much pain as I was right after-but it was still a big moment in my life that affects who I am today. That is not a bad thing, just a fact.

At the same time, do not dwell endlessly on the event, or try to feel her pain. It happened for a reason, and that is all.

I'm here for you if you ever want to message me! xoxp

It does get better with time. I lost my mother six months ago and my family and I have gotten into our own routine now, without her, but I haven't stopped thinking about her. I envy the relationship you had with your mother. I was never close with mine, we lived together but we never talked or spoke, we didn't really hate each other we were just indifferent. That's my biggest regret, that I didn't even try to accept her or get along with her. It sounds like your mother loved you very much. I'm sure even if you had a fight she knew that, she will always know that you love her, so don't fret and don't hold it against yourself.
Cherish your memories of your mother, honor the memory of the happy, kind and loving woman you do remember. That is all the advice I can give. Remember the woman who was YOUR mother, not what she was when she became sick. I hope you find happiness and peace, I know that I would like to, Just remember that she loves you, nothing else matters.

Thank you so much for your kind and caring words. I know she loved me and it wasn't out of selfishness that she left...it's just hard, and I know you understand that too.
I'm trying my best to get back into my routine. She's always on my mind.

Wow. Reading your story has moved me and also helped me, you have a way with words, thank you so much.

I lost my mum on April 1st. Although she had irrational, aggressive behavior when she was drinking, when she was sober she was the most caring, selfless person in the world. She did everything for everyone else. Like you, we were best friends. She often told me I was her world and we did everything together.

Because of her behavior when she was drinking, her relationship with my brother had fallen apart and they hadn't had a relationship for years. I stuck with her through it all and though she was an 'angry drunk' I didn't think much of it as a lot of people get like they when they're drinking, she never showed signs of depression or being unhappy, she was bubbly and happy all the time and everyone who knew her saw her this way.

I completely agree with how you feel in that it breaks my heart to know she was in so much mental pain to have to go through with something like that and I wasn't even aware. The last day I saw her she was her usual bubbly self, no signs of unhappiness whatsoever. I hugged and kissed her and told her I loved her like I usually do, nothing was different. It frustrates me so much that she didn't talk to me, and I have also searched and searched for answers, researching hanging and if they are in any pain etc. I was the one who found her and my boyfriend and father said they'll never forget my screaming (my boyfriend was with me and I got him to call my dad). It took about a week for me to get any sleep because of the images I had of her hanging in my head, but they have since faded and the nightmares have stopped.

During the funeral, seeing her embalmed, it didn't look like my mother, it was like saying goodbye to a stranger. The thing that hurts me the most is that she has destroyed all photos of herself so I can't even surround myself of photos that remind me of the good days. I have a couple that I've taken but she had my favorites. She didn't really like photos.

Reading about others stories definitely helps me put my feelings into perspective and I find being honest and up front about everything really gets it off my chest.

I've heard 'spirits' like to 'play' with electricity and completely believe that your mom would've chosen that song. I had lights turn on from the other side of the house and lights flicker also. But because the last image of her haunts me, I find it scary, not comforting.

I hope you're coping okay, I'm here for you