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Hello everyone


I'm a bit confused/unsure about how my experience of losing my mother is progressing. Here is a bit of background information.


My mummy was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of last year, and started treatment pretty quickly. She responded well to chemo, and the tumour shrunk. In December her speech went haywire and it was discovered that it had spread to her brain. With dexamethasone she was able to regain her speech perfectly and live normally for a while. On February 10th of this year, she had a seizure and was taken into hospital. Over the following seven weeks she had further seizures, and eventually she developed pneumonia and died, on the 29th of March, after being on the Liverpool Care Pathway for just under a week.


For the first two-and-a-half weeks after she went into hospital, I was at her side every day, talking to her and cuddling her and squeezing her hand (even though for most of that time she was asleep due to high doses of diazepam). Later, she improved significantly, and was able to sit up and smile at her visitors, even if she didn't properly regain the ability to speak. During this time her behaviour was erratic - sometimes she seemed to be quite 'with us', other times she was borderline comatose or otherwise just unresponsive.


It was quite a rollercoaster period for me and my two siblings. Having been told after three days, following another massive seizure, that we should 'prepare for the worst', it was difficult to know what to do as she improved slowly but surely. After the initial time I spend with her, I returned to work in Edinburgh (3 hours away), me and my siblings took turns to be with her. I was up every weekend for as long as possible. During that time I felt a weight of sadness, of heavy sorrow, all the time, and would spontaneously cry for her for what was happening to her and for myself - the realisation of what was coming.


Strangely, though, since she died, I've cried relatively few times. I feel a strange sense of detachment, or something. My mind knows what has happened, and I am aware of the terrible implications and the reality of her death, but for some reason it's not hitting home as a feeling, and I don't know why. I was more upset before she died than after. Perhaps it was the reality of seeing it happen before me over those weeks which made it seem real, whereas now she is simply absent as opposed to lying in a bed dying before me.


Five-and-a-half years ago when I was 18, my father died relatively suddenly after suffering several years with MS (I posted about it on here). I remember being much more immediately upset about that, and for a long time. But the weird thing is I was much, much closer to my mother than him. I loved and love her very dearly, and she was much more active in my life than he ever was. She was the most important person in my life. Even as I type these things, I'm not really feeling them. I don't understand it.


Can anyone with experience or understanding help, or give me some idea of what is happening? I know there is no 'right way' to grieve, and I take comfort in the knowledge that whatever I am feeling or not feeling does not detract one bit from my love for her or what she meant and means to me, but nevertheless I can't understand why I'm not more upset at this stage.


Any thoughts from those with experience would be appreciated

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Oh...I am SO SORRY that you have lost both your parents at such a very young age...my sincerest condolences to you.


You know...sometimes when we grieve, we cry our tears BEFORE they die. Is if possible you are "all cried out"? I have heard people say that before...that the mourned the death of a loved in "in advance". That they have already cried their tears.


That being said, the "feeling of detachment" that you descibe kind of tells me that perhaps you are "in denial" or that your mind simply cannot handle such a loss AT THIS TIME. It's a protective mechanism...and when you mind and body can handle it, I think those tears will come.


Please take good care of yourself, and again, I am so very sorry.



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>>Strangely, though, since she died, I've cried relatively few times. I feel a strange sense of detachment, or something.


The thing is when the person has a horrible time leading up to the end, you've had plenty of time to feel a lot of emotions and adjust to the loss. Many times when the end finally comes, you've gone through many of the stages of grief already, and arrive at the final stage, which is acceptance, accepting that the person is gone and you need to let go.


So when the end finally comes, many times it is merciful for both the person dying and the loved ones, because it has been an awful time leading up to the death.


I lost my mother after a grueling final illness period that went on for about a year, and by the time she finally died, i had a similar reaction to yours. You've already been dragged thru the underbrush of pain while the person was alive, so when they finally do die, you've worked thru most of the loss already.


So it has nothing to do with how much you loved her, but rather to do with the nature of grieving, and that you had a long long time to prepare and process her impending death, so that when it finally happened, you'd been thru a whole lot of the grieving process already.


So you are very normal and your feelings are normal based on the circumstances of your mother's demise. You've been through a long horrible spell, and need to just be kind to yourself and recognize that it is indeed OK to accept it and move on with your life, and don't feel guilty about that either.

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There is a thing called 'anticipatory grief'


My Mother was diagnosed with cancer in December of 08, and by February they said she was palliative and would not live.


When my father said the P word to me, things drastically changed. I began mourning her death even before she was dead. Everything for me was 'the last' and I felt like I had prepared myself for what was to come.


She passed away in December of 09 [4 months ago] and when she did finally pass away, I had no tears to shed. I had prepared myself for that day, and for her death that I felt like I was "OK"


The first month after her death was a blur [it was Christmas, alot going on with family and things of that nature...] that it almost didn't feel real, but I also questioned the fact that maybe I had grieved and prepared so well that it didn't hit me as hard? I questioned shock, and denial, but it just didn't feel real for the longest time...


What I am experiencing now is very much different.

A deep sadness has set in within me and it eats me up every day.

I never went through the typical grieving process, and I think the grieving process is different when we know someone is going to die, you prepare yourself a little for that...but thats all you do. Prepare yourself for the actual death..its life without that person that you cannot prepare yourself for.


Its only been a few weeks, what you're experiecning is normal. Its still so new and fresh, it may feel this way for quite some time. I am finally starting to feel different emotions within me in regards to my Mother's death.

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