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2014 has to be a better year


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My mother worked up until the day before she was diagnosed with end stage cancer last January. She was diagnosed on a Wednesday, I dropped everything --- my business, my kids (one newly adopted by 5 months, one adopted 2 years ago and my 13 year old bio), my husband, etc. to be 6 hours away and be her primary caregiver, sleeping on the floor/air mattress next to her 24 hours a day. When we started they said she would live a week - maybe two. She lived until October 22, 2013. Until the end she was funny, brave, had a great attitude, knew she would be healed by Christmas and honestly the most positive person anyone that encountered her had ever seen. She was her own best cheerleader as her doctor told her. I'm so thankful that I chose to be with her the last year of her life. To make the decision again, I would do the same thing. I'm adopted too - and I think of what my life would have been had she not rescued me as no one wanted me.


Now….I'm angry and tired and overwhelmed more than I was when I was juggling her health, the house up there, my mentally disabled brother, my sick dad, the business from afar, my kids from afar, money, etc. Really the only thing different is I'm still traveling back and forth and mom is not in the picture and I've upgraded to the couch for sleeping when I'm there rather than the floor.


I should be grateful that so many people called or text yesterday to wish me a happy new year. But most of the text/calls were, "I hope you're 2014 is better". I'm not sure why that made me angry but I feel like it was more pity than anything. They sounded condescending - "like man you're life sucks, I hope it's better this year." I know I sound like an ungrateful witch and I really do have good friends. I miss my mom so much. I want to call her and tell her that my husband brings up the fact that I've been gone so long all the time and all the problems with the kids are because I was gone or tell her my business is failing and I feel helpless to fix it. I just don't know how to go back to my life. I built that business for 20 years and am the only sales person. We dropped to less than half of what we did in 2012 last year. Now in order for me to get it back to where it was, I have to be in the right frame of mind….and I'm just not. It seems so surreal that she's gone. It seemed so fast because she was so active. Cancer sucks. And writing the rest of these thank you notes for flowers and such seem insurmountable. I can't seem to make myself finish them. They're all over my kitchen table.


And in the meantime, my house note is 3 months behind and the business was our primary income. I still need to buy a headstone for mom's grave and I'm broke. My brother got turned down for placement into an assisted living and I have to appeal that -- apparently autism and trying to commit suicide 8 times doesn't mean you need supervision. My dad wants to come live with me and he is really so feeble, I don't know how I could care for him. On a positive note, other than my 14 year old not doing his school work like he's supposed to, the kids are doing really well, considering. How do I pull myself out of this blue funk? How do I pull myself together? I'm tired of being sad and missing mother. I want to have one more conversation with her and tell her how much I miss her.

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She is not here anymore... but she is still with you.

When my mum passed a year ago, a neighbor in passing said "I heard about your mom..I am sorry for your loss. I know you were very close"


And I said "We still are".

I talk to her every day...still. I know she is with me.

She knows how you loved her and miss her. And she also knows it is time for you to pick up the pieces of your life and pull it together. Remember her strength... she.passed it on to you.

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear mother.


There are no words anyone can say which can convey to you any knowledge for what it is you're feeling--no one knows but you what you're feeling, so in that sense, it does seem hollow when people say innane things like "I hope 2014 is better". They may feel that if they touch anywhere close to where you are, emotionally, it will make you feel worse or remind your of your loss, so they "tap dance" around the perimter of your sorrow enough to let you know that they are thinking of you, but are puny in their abilities to say something that can connect with you and convey their helplessness at being able to uplift you. That isn't going to happen for some time.


No one who loves you would wish you one more moment of sorrow than you have to endure as you find your way through this horrific grief.


Is there any way you can avail yourself of grief counselling?


You are grieving, so don't expect so much out of yourself. There is a reason why you're in a funk: your rock has been pulled out from under you. It takes time to adjust and get used to something that traumatic happening to you, so dont' be so hard on yourself. You will pull yourself together by doing it in small steps, one day at a time. Do as much as you can; when it gets to be too much, honor that and speak kindly to yourself. Don't berate yourself for not being where you were a year ago.


Is your husband being supportive of you? Is hiring a part time person to help with your business an option? Are your children old enough to help out in any way?


Your dear mother is always going to be with you. She will come to you in your dreams and you will learn to treasure those dreams. She will come to you when you hear her clearly when something reminds you of her.


Please don't be so hard on yourself.

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Your thread brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss.

I had a few ideas that came to mind so I will offer them as well as a BIG, BIG hug from Connecticut.

1) Can a close friend or cousin/aunt/someone else take on the thank you cards for you? Things like that could maybe be taken off your plate to make room for some of the more serious things you have to deal with.

2) Is there someone that can make some calls to figure out what a next step can be for your dad? A nursing home? Would a nurse hired to your home work if you were to bring him to live with you?

3) Your brother...how old is he? Who looks after him now? Are there any agencies that could help make a placement for him?

4) Is it possible to sell your parents' home and use the income to care for your dad as well buy a gravestone for your mom?

5) Your husband...I'm sure he misses you. Can he be of any help to aid in getting things back on track sooner than if you have to deal with all of these things all on your own?

6) Your kids...they must miss and yearn for you as well. They are of your utmost important priority, I'm sure so make sure they know that and spend some quality time with them ...in the end it looks like all you would have wanted with your mom is more time, so don't deny them that as you take on all of these other things.

7) This is the 'big idea'...write yourself a letter as if it were from your mom. What would she say? What would she advise? What would she say about your dad and your brother and your kids and your business? It sounds like you know her very well, can probably imagine very well what she would say and could perhaps find comfort in her words as you channel them through yourself.

Again, I'm soooooooo sorry for your loss. I know that outsiders might sound very trite and pitying by wishing you a happy 2014...I can imagine its hard to look forward at this point and that's totally normal.

*hugs, hugs, hugs*

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Thank you so much for the responses. Who would have thought that a website filled with total strangers commenting would provide me with such comfort. I can't express to you all how much your comments and suggestions mean. Yesterday was such a hard day and I was a wreck. Plus, I went to the grocery store….already crying -- and started sneezing like a crazy person. By the time I left the store, my eyes were red, snot running down my face and I looked like I had been hit by a bus. I think it was just bad allergies - hopefully not the flu. But I know people in the store thought I was crazy. The check-out lady even came around and gave me a hug.


1. My dad is in an assisted living. Honestly, he's in a good place and I wish he would be happy there but he's not. He's lonely he says. I was trying to get my brother in the same assisted living but we just got turned down for financial assistance from Department of Aging and Disability. Daddy is wanting to move here but I just don't know that it's fair to bring him here with his health issues as I have no one to care for him at home. I have to work and have 3 kids that need attention. They are all pretty self sufficient but still need a mom.

2. My brother is 52 and is high functioning Autism with Aspergers, anxiety disorder and severe depression. A friend called Autism Speaks yesterday and said they may be able to help me get in touch with people who could help. He doesn't want to move here and I don't think he can live alone in Mother's house. It's dangerous. It's just so hard to go 6 hours away every other week and help him. I have someone coming in to help a couple hours a day but that's expensive and again, I haven't worked in a year so I'm broke. Maybe those people can help us.

3. My husband has been a champ the last year and has been really supportive of me doing what I need to do. Sure, he got really upset a bunch of times because we didn't' expect Mother to live a year and I was gone so long. But now that I'm home the last couple of weeks, the passive aggressive comments and accusations are cutting. I know he's just missing me and wants some stability in our lives. I get that. It still hurts.

5. I'm really worried about the business. No money to hire anyone so I have to pull myself up by my boot straps, put on big girl panties and get 'er done - so to speak. I just have no energy or desire. Saying I don't have to be where we were a year ago immediately lifted a weight off my shoulders. I don't think that occurred to me. I think I wanted instant gratification and my revenue back where it was.

4. I LOVE the idea of writing the letter from Mother. What would she say? God, I miss her. I think the thank you notes are not finished because it will make her death final in some weird way. I need to get them finished this weekend. And look for a headstone next. It's the business of death. I hate it. It sucks. But everyone has to do it.


Again, I can't thank you all enough. I feel empty these days and sad and angry but just knowing that there are people who care enough to take time and write such nice things makes it all better in some way. Thank you.

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this site is here for you to reach out and connect with others. Don't be discouraged if you don't get responses quickly... some days are more lively than others, but generally speaking, someone will respond; definitely others will read and will probably send good vibes your way.


Let your husband know how much you appreciate how he's stood in the gap for you during this time. Sometimes, a few words of appreciation and some genuine affection can be a salve on chafed feelings.


big hugs to you. One day at a time, one step at a time.

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