View Full Version : First Christmas without my Mother

December 18th, 2011, 01:40
Hello I am going through so much turmoil, facing Christmas next weekend without my mother. I was the one who raced so many times to her side as she slowly declined over a year and a halfs time. She left this world on March 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM.
I am forever changed. She was the glue of my dysfunctional family. I had made my peace with her, and our last years were that we were a comfort for one another, in regard to my father's horrific verbal abuse and cruelties as far back as I can remember existing. She hated him, but felt she was too far in (financially), to try to start again. She just didn't have it in her.

Well, I kept my word and was at her side the last 3 days of her life, when she was transferred to a hospice facility. I knelt by her side, she was non-verbal at this point, no extraordinary measures; as in feeding tube, or liquids, she just wanted to be out of pain, and I took care of that with hospice; getting a sub-Q button (direct feed of pain meds pressed into the skin).......so that she would not have a seconds more of pain. She was a skeleton when those last 3 days melted away what was left of her physical being.

She was frightened, and frustrated, I softly sang into her ear, told her happy memory stories, and encouraged her to go to the light she would see, it was safe and welcoming. Each night, before I left, I whispered into her ear, Mom, I have to go now, sleep, sleep deep, and let go. I love you.

How can I begin to describe the anguish I feel, and how broken I am with her passing? Are there really words? I have journaled, gone to grief therapy, and am going tomorrow to the last session of my 2nd go-round with my grief support group. I have dozens of poems, yes I am a writer. I would send them to another friend who also is a poet, and she said I was doing my best work. How ironic.

Part of the anguish - was the last gift I gave my mother - was to help her be out of pain completely, soothe her, be present with her - kneeling at her bedside.... and helping her transition. I helped her cross over. I never ever thought my last act of compassion would be to ease her into leaving this world. No one else was there really for the last two days, she was at a nursing home.

I am left with a wildy verbally abusive father who at first went nuts, and took all my moms clothes the day after she died and gave them away. I wanted to pick something from them as a keepsake. He was progressively getting worse, because I had lost my great love my mom, he tried to control me, and accused me of things I never did, villified me, and on from there.
When I was younger he used to beat me. He is too old for that.

I had to disengage all contact with my father because all he ever wanted to do was to verbally berate me with his dripping sarcasm, and vicious verbal attacks.

My whole family is in denail. We never had a memorial service. My father has her ashes and I don't even know the funeral home where she was creamated. Stunning.

Her favorite color was purple, so this christmas I bought a 3 foot purple christmas tree and decorated it with white and purple ornaments, plus a strand of purple light with white wire. It is beautiful, like my mothers spirit.
She made life bearable when all seemed lost so many times as an adult.
As Christmas approaches, I have only purchased gifts for my daughter - and my best friend. I am done. No cards. I can't even put up a wreath. I am just freaked out, upset, feel abandoned and lost, and ache for one more word with my mom. I have purchased a lot of purple clothes, and wear a purple ring in her honor. I escaped by shopping. I hurt so badly, and with my brother who is too busy chasing money to bother, and my sister who is a bit off, and won't take medication for her depression - my father is what my therapist calls toxic, and that he is.

Thank God for my grief support group, where I can go and cry and it is OK. I have had bouts of grief in stores and just let myself cry because I could not help it. Lots of understanding people out there. Unfortunately not in my family of origin. I feel inconsoleable, and just having a very bad time with the holidays. to heck with the holidays. I welcome any thoughts, feedback, support. I just don't want to feel so alone anymore.

December 19th, 2011, 09:17
Shalom in Yeshua AlphaSweetWoman, thank you so much for telling us so much about your mum. May Gold bless her. Firstly you are never alone!! I assume that you have a belief in God and the next life by the comments you make.

We are taught that when we 'fall into sleep' we awake in Sheol. All that remains here on earth are the decaying remains of our bodies, or the ashes after we have been cremated. Your mums spirit and soul are not here so it doesn't really matter what your dad has done with her ashes.

While she is in Sheol she can hear you, so talk to her. We are encouraged to do this. She will know exactly how you are feeling and how much you love her. She loves you and wants you to find peace. She will be praying for you to find life easier, and when its your time to go home guess who will be there to greet you!!

When you face these moments of sadness, say a little prayer for her and talk to her as if she is in the same room as you. Try not to think of anything unpleasant from the past, only the happy memories you had with your mum. You and your daughter are the important ones here, not your brother, sister, or you dad. Leave the painful past behind and make a new life for you and your daughter.

May God bless you

December 21st, 2011, 01:16
Hi Tom,

I am very tuned into my feelings, what I see as patronizing, I easily recognize.

I am sure you have had losses of loved ones close to you. I would assume people have said some pretty hurtful things to you in an attempt to comfort. It is usually those who have not 'been there, done that'. I am surprised at a few things you said.

The tone of it felt a bit pompous and superior to me.

Look, the truth is I feel alone. That is my authentic feeling. Valid.

Whom are you to tell me how I am to feel about the dynamics of not having a memorial # 1., and how I "should" feel about my father hoarding the ashes.
It is a symbol of what she was here on earth. It means something to me, therefore, again - valid. NO TWO PEOPLE EVER GRIEVE THE SAME. We cannot assume nor attempt to impose our personal spiritual path on another.

I am a Native American, Buddhist, very liberal Christian. I am solid in my deep connection to God, and the Divine, Very spiritual NOT dogmatic at all.

It has been less than a year, and I am grieving deeply - of course I know she can hear me, I am 53 years old, I was at her side helping her transition, I did it with her mother - and one other person.

Perhaps your family was dysfunctional. I do not know. My father put the "dys" in "functional." I tried to put the "fun" in dysfunctional. One must go through to get "to." - Which means processing all the anger, hurt, abuse and sadness out of my body, and with a bereavement support group, which I have just had my second go-round with. It was great. We could just sit and cry, One woman there her husband in his 30's dropped dead of a heart attack when she was 6 months pregnant with the twins, who are now 6 months old.
she has more courage in her baby finger than whole armies. Now we are friends. We plod along, and do the best we can,

I know you meant well. And I like what you said, about talking to my mom, which I do daily, as I pray daily and meditate, work on my Martial Arts forms, Tia Chi, Chi gong, Kung Fu, the rest of the names I cannot remember.

Life is tough, we chew harder then go the the metaphorical "dentist" for repair to our broken spirits and hearts.

If I told you Tom, my heart is broken; the kindest thing you could say would be "I am so sorry, it must be very painful, losing someone close to you is so wrenching - be sure to take very good care of yourself, and not ask a lot of yourself in your season of grief."

Empathy is a learned skill, and true depth of listening comes with application of wisdom, a true gift from God, to life experience,

Kind Regards,

December 23rd, 2011, 06:23
Shalom in Yeshua AlphaSweetWoman, thank you for your comments. It has never been my intention to be pompous or superior to anyone. My intention is always simply to reach out with love to those trying to deal with the loss of loved ones. If my comments have hurt you that the opposite of what I was trying to do, for which I apologise.

May God bless you

December 23rd, 2011, 08:15

I am sorry for your loss, you sound in pain and with much anguish. Losing a parent leaves us with many emotions, as you are aware, not just sadness. Grief, bereavement, rebuilding of lives for those of us left behind takes time, for some not so long for but for others it can be a life time, we are all different. During this time I have come to appreciate that not everyone knows how to help, what best to say, that will suit what we want to hear but for the most part, are well intended. I know how sensitive, how vulnerable a time it is in the wake of loss, I have found therefore it requires intuition and sensitivity in dealing with others who seek to comfort us, especially when we ask for help, as many others are carrying their own deep pain and yet reach out to support others in their time of need.

I hope that you find peace within yourself soon and reconcile your inner turmoilís. Life is so short, I try to take the good bits but also understand and sometimes appreciate other peopleís ways of helping, especially when they come from a place of good.

Thinking of you. ((hugs))

December 23rd, 2011, 09:42
Hello annrachel,

Thank you for your very understanding compassionate reply. That is what I needed to read, just empathy. I have no comment on any other response except the one from you; it was kind, gentle and I can see you've been there, done that and didn't want the T-shirt, who does?

Yes I am raw, very raw. I had a melt down on Thursday night, and cried and screamed. (I am in a house, so I can do that and not have anyone hear.)
I didn't even realize, but I strained my voice and can't really talk - I am a professionally trained vocalist, and a vocal coach; but in that moment of releasing the sobs, and just screaming...I am slowly moving into the space, that is reality, she is not coming back. The acceptance part renews the pain.
The only way "to" is "through". I made a commitment to myself that I intended to fully allow myself to go through the grief experience openly, be in a bereavement support group, and seek support and love from those who I feel safe with. Those who have not been through a significant loss just do not understand. They don't. I steer clear of the inappropriate comments, and things folks say, doing their best - but really are lost on the best things to say, yes they are well intended - but nonetheless - I have had to take deep breaths and walk away from certian comments.

Thank you so much for your very kind and truly understanding words of comfort,


December 23rd, 2011, 22:46
AlphaSweetWoman, I just read your story and I am so saddened by your loss. I wish I could give you some more words of comfort.

It truly is unfortunate that you are having to deal with an unsympathetic father. I pray God gives you - and all of us - the strength we will need to shoulder our burdens.

All I can offer you - and the rest of us in mourning - is my prayers.

God bless you.

December 24th, 2011, 00:39
Hi Frank,

Thank you for your kind reply, we are all in the same place. I literally cannot speak from screaming and sobbing late Wednesday, when I got triggered from watching a movie - filled with losses.

I pray there is a reason that this happened. So I can just ride out the holidays, and not talk to anyone, just rest and be by myself.

Even words, and notes make a difference. Greatly appreciated.

I have to keep remembering to turn it over to God, every bit; the pain, hurt, loss, anguish, lonliness, feeling abandoned.

I didn't send Christmas cards this year. Couldn't. Didn't have the heart to.
Someone on this site said something that is perfect for me. With her loss and the holidays, her and a friend decided to just say "have a christmas" - to each other and I guess anyone else. Works for me.

I want my life back the way it was so badly, but it never will be. Losses change you forever to the core. I wasn't ready for the intnesity of it.