Grieving Inside Missing My Mother

I'm aching inside tonight for my mother. She died suddenly a little over 12 years ago at the age of 56. I was 27 and felt orphaned when I lost her. Every year around the time of her death is difficult in some way, and it always starts with the approach of my birthday a couple of months before the death anniversary, followed by Mother's Day and her birthday (which is usually the same week as Mother's Day), and then the death anniversary... all within 2 months.

This year totally whacked me upside my soul unexpectedly, and I'm not sure why. The day before the death anniversary date, I had a bad day at work after my boss at work chewed me out about something for no real reason. I went back to my desk and immediately the tears started, and I couldn't stop all afternoon long enough to even head down the hall to the restroom. I found myself thinking about the following day, and my mother, and I knew that this was really why I was in such a state. Finally, at the end of the day, I was able to calm myself enough to go tell my immediate supervisor that I may not come in the following day, and why. My voice started cracking as I told her, and eyes teared up again. She was very supportive, and told me to just head home right away and to not worry about work the next day. I took her advice and quickly headed out... made a b-line for the bathroom, and as I rounded the corner into the restroom, I heard an audible sob from my own mouth. I don't think that's ever happened to me before like that. I sat in the stall and sobbed quietly until I was able to compose myself enough to head out.

Today, earlier in the day, I had one of those moments when I thought of her, and felt as though she was with me, just at work, walking down the hall, and that wafted in and out of my consciousness throughout the afternoon. That aching feeling inside, in the center of my chest, started at some point, and still hangs on tonight, late. I don't even know what to do with it. I know that there will always be days like today... I remember my grandmother, my mother's mother, telling me after my mother died, while I was visiting her and we were talking about grief and my mother... that she (then in her late 80s) still had days when she just felt like she'd been slapped across the face with the shock that *her* mother was dead, and that had been over 30 years before. It gets easier and you learn to live with it, but it never really goes away.

Maybe it's partly due to the point I am at in life, nearing 40, still undecided about having a child, not with a partner who wants to or can have a child (but still a man whom I've been with and whom I care about for the past 5 years.) I think part of the reason I remain undecided is because the pain of imagining going through pregnancy, and giving birth, without my mother and without any female relatives (my grandmothers were the others and they've both passed away since) to be here with me in support, with advice and wisdom and hands-on help, seems just too much. Nobody else could ever serve that role in my life like my mother could have. She used to talk about how she wanted to be with me in the room when I gave birth to my child. I hurt inside when I think of it, and feel very alone... not to mention being at this point in life, needing to make some big decisions, and having no female family to turn to for advice, or to hear from about this, as I deal with it and work my way through figuring out my life right now. With all this on my mind lately, and having just talked about these issues with a friend by phone last night, I think it's triggered the "missing" today toward the extreme end. Aches.

If it wasn't for the book Motherless Daughters, I would maybe wonder if there's something wrong... but, it's nothing wrong. It's just life and the part of life that's about death and grief... it's something that changes you and affects you forever. You just accept it into your life and move on, and occasionally get smacked down with a whopping case of grief as though it just happened, on top of daily thoughts and "missing" sensations.

Tonight, it's an aching in my core that just won't go away, and I miss her presence in my life and in the world so much...

I know there are many other women out there who have or are dealing with this part of the grief over loss of your mothers. I've been browsing others' stories here tonight.
3silvermoons 3silvermoons
36-40, F
5 Responses Jul 21, 2010

I miss my Mumtoo she died in March, I am 38. I think you shoul try and have a baby with or without a partner you will not regret it I guarantee

Hikingman, thank you for taking the time to read my story and to post such a thoughtful and generous message. It touched me to read it. Thank you.<br />
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EmilyisHome, reading your post pulled my heart strings. Please know that I understand a lot of what you are going through. With me, my mother died suddenly. She died of heart arrhythmia-- suddenly and unexpectedly. She was living alone at the time and found later that night. The coroner said that basically, it took seconds-- that her heart would have sped up and then skipped a beat and never started again, and that it would have felt like fainting. One of the things that was so awful for me, and still is sometimes, is knowing that she was alone, and since she'd missed work that day, I think she must've not felt well leading up to it... and the phone lines were down, so she wouldn't have had a way to call (pre-cell phone days.) I don't know what's worse, to lose someone suddenly and unexpectedly and not have a chance to say goodbye or say whatever you want before they go... or to watch them suffer and in pain as they slowly die, but have that time with them. My grandmother said it's harder to watch them suffer. Though, I would have liked to be able to have a chance to see her, talk to her, knowing she was going to go. For that, I'm sure you're grateful. You'll always know that you had that opportunity to return to her what she gave you-- great love and care when she most needed it. The pain of loss, though, is unbearable sometimes... even though we go on somehow, it never really goes away. So, I understand that part. I can say, though, that after 12 years since my mother's death, it does get easier. It won't always be as hard as it is now and has been for the past year. Don't hold back the grief and crying and don't listen to people who say to move on. They just don't know, or they have a totally different experience of grief. You have to let your grief play its course... give yourself the time and space when you feel it coming on and let it out, be kind and gentle with yourself, allow yourself time alone when you need it, and time with supportive and good people when you need that. On the anniversary of my mother's death, I always do something for her, still. I always buy flowers and put them next to a picture of her, and light a candle for most or all of the day. I tell her I love her and miss her. I send her whatever thoughts I want her to know-- that I hope she's happy and peaceful, or whatever it is. Sometimes I write in my journal, and I usually try to be outside somewhere in nature for a bit (in a park under trees, or on the beach near the ocean)... that's just what feels right to me. Sometimes I buy some treat that she liked, and enjoy it myself (a nice dessert and coffee, or her favorite candy, or a nice brunch out.) The first year is really hard, so just plan something to do to honor her, but that feels manageable for you. I think the first year, my brother and I lit candles by the lake near my brother's house and had written notes to her, which we burned by the lake before lighting the candles. Just pick something that's not high pressure-- whatever comes to mind first and feels most right, and do it. If you end up needing to distract yourself part of the day with some activity, that's ok too. The firsts of everything are really hard... but it gets a bit easier over time. You'll always have really hard days, though, as my original post exemplifies... and that's ok and part of the whole thing, and is evidence of just how important she is in your life, still. Hope to hear from you again sometime. I'd like to hear how you end up spending that day. I'll be thinking of you... take care of yourself.

I am so sorry for your loss. People have told me to move on but I know there's no time limit on grief. My mom died eleven months ago. I dread the upcoming first death anniversary. Mom had cancer. I put my life on hold to live with my parents and to take care of her with my dad. It was so painful to watch her slowly die for almost two years. I was there when she died at home and it was so traumatic. I still can't believe she's gone. Mom always took care of me and so I did my best to take care of her. She was my best friend. We had so many good talks and laughs. She helped me in so many ways in my life and I feel completely lost without her. I will live again, but I don't think I will ever fully get over this. I wanted mom to be there when I get married and when I have children too. Those days should be happy but will be bitter sweet for me. Sometimes I can feel her presense too as if she was right there with me again. That's when I fall apart. I want to find life and happiness again but I feel stuck in that awful day that I lost mom.

Thank you for the comments-- Sharossody, thank you for commenting so soon after I posted this... was nice to get a comment. Charmerende, thanks for the note... I don't hear my mother's voice, but I I feel her around sometimes, in different ways-- used to smell her perfume at random times, sometimes feel her presence just as if she was standing next to me, sometimes have dreamed that she was hanging out with me, and other experiences.

My thoughts are with you...