Hi there, it's been a month since my Mom passed away. She had a stroke in May of 2007 and from there, though unknown at first, she had a variety of health issues as a result. Apparently the Dr's didn't notice them either. It was peaceful - pain free - everything some one would want. She had told me over the course of about 4 months that she was dying and I kept telling her she was going to get better (denial?). Though I wanted her to, I knew deep down that she wasn't going to get better. (She wasn't eating etc - had a feeding tube etc.) She told me 15 days before she died that she was dying again....then a Nun came in to her room while I was away visiting with the nurse at the Nursing home....when I came back, the Nun told me we need to be mindful and let her go and let her know its OK to go. I cried, but only after the Nun left. I cried hard the day she died and nothing since. I have been reading books about Grief - and sure I have been going through some of the things they talk about - but I have more anxiety, lack of sleep - mind wondering etc than sadness right now. I can openly talk about her dying etc. Does this last forever, will my anxiety decrease and will I start to sleep again better - will I have that Moment or those moments when something triggers it and the flood gates open? I believe I am still in denial right now....I feel pretty numb emotionally, I feel super stressed - can't relax. Will this change? I know I will grieve on my own time and they (who ever they are) tell me it will hit me when I least expect too. I feel like I am all alone in this....I don't feel my husband is interested in listening to me about things - or how I feel etc.....How will I move forward? I am still working....every day. Have a 4 year old who tells me she misss "sick Grandma" - she doesn't know her any other way....which makes me sad - but it doesn't open the flood gates. I know everyone is different....but how do I know when my anxiety will go away, how will I be able to to move forward and start to let go and let the tears just flow? I feel.....oh.....trapped in numbness....physically and emotionally. I am sure my husband feels it - we are not intimate....I feel very distant in our relationship....but he isn't the kind of person to take the time to let me talk about it.....(we don't have the best relationship in the world to begin with which is another story).....but I am numb.....just numb and I don't know how to feel, when I will feel it or if it will get better. Can some one offer any advice???? Does it get easier? How?
Hi - I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom 10 weeks ago. I wish I could answer your questions but I can't since I'm in the same boat. The one thing I've realized is that numbness is kind of a defense mechanism that helps us not get too overwhelmed by the reality of what happened. I don't think reality all the sudden hits people in one big moment, I think it's more that gradually that reality sets in. Each time it sets in further that's when we have those awful days. Then our brain gives us a break again with some numbness. At least I've noticed that's what happens to me.
It's so hard losing a mother. I knew it would be hard but I had hoped I would have been able to prepare for it. She wasn't 100 percent healthy but she was stable for years. Then all the sudden she died. I guess I should be happy she didn't suffer much but that doesn't comfort as much as it should. I keep feeling she was cheated.
I am going on a few weeks over 2 years since losing my mom and the not-so-short answer is it gets easier in the sense that you will feel its affect on you a bit less as time goes on. So maybe it gets better as in you will learn to deal with it and start living again, even though that seems impossible to you only a month after the fact. At 2 years after the fact I still have sharp moments of sheer denial that it's true - she's gone. It's something that has never - nor will it ever - leave me but it is getting a bit more tolerable.
Like you I was in a protective numb state - did more of my crying before her passing than after. In fact, to this day I'm still waiting for my other emotional shoe to drop because I haven't cried much at all. I'm on autopilot, doing what I need to do and forging ahead, I guess. I worry that I've not properly dealt with her passing by not crying or being totally textbook in my grief but I am dealing with it in my own way.
And yes, it does get "better" in that better turns into a "different that you can find yourself tolerating."
My condolences on the loss of your mom. I just lost my dad about a month ago so I empathize with the emotional numbness. I sometimes feel like it has taken me this long just to think about the fact that he has died. The emotional trauma has been excruciating, and I spent almost two weeks in a non-functional state. I also had only one day after he died where I cried really hard, the rest was just profound sadness and anxiety. At night I would wake up, remember he was gone, and lay there for hours. Then the next day I could barely move, it felt like I was in a vat of molasses.
Since I still had kids and a household to take care of, and frequent trips to my mom's more than an hour away, I finally went to see a grief counselor at Hospice. She has helped me to take better care of myself and let a lot of the little things go until life evens out--I was rushing around trying to do everything and take care of everyone and was completely exhausted.
What also helped me tremendously was preparing a slide show for a family celebration of his life, which we held last weekend. Instead of thinking constantly about his death, how he looked in the hospital and the fact that he was gone, each day I worked on the show and sorted through pictures, I was reminded of good times our family had with him and what an amazing life he had. With your 4-year-old this might be an avenue you could explore: look at pictures of your mom when she was younger and healthy, or when you were four years old, so that your daughter can gradually come to understand that yes, grandma's body wore out at the end, but once she was very different (and fun, or a good cook, or a great story reader, or whatever). And of course, over time that may also help you to think more about about the good times you had with her and what a gift she was.
One thing the grief counselor said was that grief is not a measured series of steps, it is a process, and no two people will go through that process in exactly the same way....anxiety, sleeplessness, sadness and a million other reactions may be unsettling, but are perfectly normal while we are grieving.