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Old 12-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #21
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Depending on the town/community you live in, going to the cemetery everyday may not be out of the ordinary. I was born in Portugal and my family and I visited my mother there this summer. My dad passed away 7 years ago and my mother will wear black the rest of her life (color of mourning) as do many women in her town. She goes to church almost every morning and probably to the cemetery which is right next to the church every time. The town is small and still has people she went to school with (she is 71), I've known some of these people all my life.

With that said, she is very happy with her life, she has friends, activities and volunteer organizations she is involved with, and she walks for hours with her friend almost every day, stopping at a restaurants for lunch and stopping to talk with people along the way.

Our lifestyle here in the states is very different from the small towns in Portugal, Spain, France, etc., and what we may see has a problem to be concerned about may just be a way of life there.

I would say if your wife is fine in her everyday life (more or less like she was before) than missing her mother, being sad (periodically) and even going to the cemetery everyday is probably not a matter of concern.

I wish the best to you and your wife. Losing a mother must be very hard (I know it will be hard for me).
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:06 PM   #22
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A little background...I lost my mom to undetected breast cancer 8 years ago. I was her final caretaker for 11 days, trained just in time by Hospice. I was born on her 31st birthday, the youngest, and she was both parents to me since I was 14.
For the first 6 or so months after her passing, I wept openly at my desk without any control over it. I had to cancel some briefings because I had no idea when the grief wave would hit me. It was a very tough time. I believe the word for this was unresolved grief, i.e. I did not absorb her death well. This was a preventable tragedy.
Fast forward to 5 years ago...my husband passed suddenly from an undetected dissecting aortic aneurism (cardiac artery failure). I went through a similar experience, only this time I was in so much shock, I rarely wept. Then I couldn't turn it off. This was an unpreventable tragedy.
There is not a day that I do not yearn for both my mom and LH. But I must carry on and live my new life. I am who I am because of them, both strong lovers of life and very loving spirits. I carry them in my heart.

My point in describing my reaction to the loss of two of my most special people is this...everyone's reaction is different. Every person has to own their own grief.

I am very pleased to hear your wife is in therapy. She will resolve the loss at some point.

Hold her when she weeps. Listen well, even if grief outpourings are repeated.

As my grief counselor of 11 months always told me...every tear is a BandAid on the heart.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #23
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My mother died in 1990. Even after all these years I avoided reading this thread until today. I'm a big boy, I can handle it now.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #24
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Thank you all for your opinions and advice.
I´ve come to the conclusions through hindsight that she is too sensitive. The funny thing is, she is a certified psychologist civil servant, even though her work deals with the disabled and the elderly. By the way, shouldn´t that have made her stronger?
Another thing- her therapyst is a psychoanalist, who like most, doesn´t say much...
And last but not least-I may have misled you on the seriousness of the situation: She suddenly starts to cry but stops in a matter of minutes, remains moody for an hour and then she is her usual cheerful person again. And this happens eevery 2 or 3 days....
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:07 AM   #25
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The funny thing is, she is a certified psychologist civil servant, even though her work deals with the disabled and the elderly. By the way, shouldn´t that have made her stronger?
In my opinion, not necessarily...because it was her momma that passed away.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #26
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In my opinion, not necessarily...because it was her momma that passed away.
You may be right.... But I always thought that doctors in ER and terminally ill wards got hardened due to their experiencies and reacted in a more insensitive way to the demise of their loved ones. At least outwardly....
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #27
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I don't equate being stronger with being hardened or insensitive. She is becoming stronger with each loss that she bears. She is being stronger than you think...she is doing fine with her grief. It will just takes time. Bouts of crying is normal, anyway it was for me. It's taken me about 3 years to "get through it". Memories can drift through the mind all the time and misty eyed moments come and go.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:20 PM   #28
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I think there are some things you aren't supposed to "get over". My parents both died at a young age. I used to drive an hour to work each way. They were always first and foremost on my mind. The effort and patience they put into raising me and my sister was incredible. I think it is natures' way of preparing you to prepare your own children for the inevitable. It is good for families and each individual to at least consider what will come someday. I don't think we as a society are open enough with our kids and siblings. Since I have had several health emergencies this year which could have gone the other way, I sat down a couple weeks ago and typed out a document for my wife and children covering the tasks that needed to be taken care of after my passing. At least they won't have to think too much when the time comes. My dad tried to do the same but my mom wouldn't consider it. When the time came I had to get my mom through it. I was okay with doing it but it would have been so much easier if we all could have had the knowledge necessary beforehand.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:48 PM   #29
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It is good for families and each individual to at least consider what will come someday. I don't think we as a society are open enough with our kids and siblings. Since I have had several health emergencies this year which could have gone the other way, I sat down a couple weeks ago and typed out a document for my wife and children covering the tasks that needed to be taken care of after my passing. At least they won't have to think too much when the time comes. My dad tried to do the same but my mom wouldn't consider it. When the time came I had to get my mom through it. I was okay with doing it but it would have been so much easier if we all could have had the knowledge necessary beforehand.
Never understood the reluctance on some people's parts to discuss death. It will get you whether you (and family) are prepared or not. So my attitude has always been one of dealing with it forthright.

Still, I think there are many more folks who approach the discussion of death like you say your mother did.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:31 PM   #30
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I really have nothing to add to the above advise, but my mother died over 5 years ago and I still miss her every day. I'll probably miss her until the day I die.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:46 PM   #31
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Glo, I truly believe that no one loves you unconditionally except your Momma and your dog. No wonder one misses them forever.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #32
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That is a tough issue to deal with. Even though one may see it coming that doesn't make it hurt any less.

One of the reasons that DW and I decided to "pull the plug" on the rat race and move to WV was that my mother died in January 1999 and her mother died six months later. At the time I was working on a MS in Information Systems, intending to work for one of the "Beltway Bandits" (federal contractors) after retiring from the police department. They pay very, very well.

But we had no bills, the house was paid for, DW's job was making her physically sick, we both hated the incessant traffic in that area, and I thought "What am we working for?" Six months after we moved to WV friends and relatives said that they had never seen us looking so relaxed so we knew we'd made the right choice.

The passing on of our mothers in so short a time made us both more aware of the importance of spending time with family and of how little importance gobs of money is, once the basics are taken care of.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #33
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Wow, this thread was started on the day my Mom went in the hospital. I feel the need to write down what happened.

I had been calling her 3x times a day because she had hurt her knee. On 12/5 she didn't sound good, she said her knee hurt but she was too tired to go to the doctor that day and she would go the next day.

I called her again 3 hours later to see how she sounded after a nap. She sounded just as bad so I told her I was booking a flight out that night. She didn't protest, which scared me. I told her I'd call her right back after I got my flight info.

I called, but the phone was busy. I kept trying but it was still busy. I finally realized she was too tired to be talking to someone that long so I called the next door neighbor who had the key to the house.

My little Mom had fainted and was trying to crawl to the phone. The neighbor called 911. I called right before the ambulance arrived. I then called my niece who got a hold of my brother and they started the 3 hour drive.

My Mom's hemoglobin was 5.6 so they began giving her 4 pints of blood and a pint of plasma. My brother and niece picked me up at the airport at 11am on the 6th.

I stayed with my Mom day and night, my niece left then came back and stayed with us at the hospital (thank God she was there).

Things were going well, Mom had a great morning on Thursday and we hoped she was coming home on Friday the 11th. A family friend stopped by, a minister stopped by then a cousin stopped by all for brief stays. Mom was up beat and chatty. Then she had a massive heart attack.

The DNR didn't mean ****. They told me if I wanted them to save my Mom I had to tell them at that point in time. It was awful. I looked at Mom and said, "Can they please jump start your heart?". Mom misunderstood what I said and nodded yes.

My niece and I were sent out in the hall. We got my brother and an aunt on the phone. I was telling my brother I knew she didn't want to be saved. Just then a nurse came out to the hall and said, "I think you should hear what your Mom is saying".

We went into her room and Mom was saying, "Just let me go". I am so proud and thankful for her. She wanted to live independently or not at all, but I didn't have the strength to tell them not to resuscitate. She was able to say goodbye to my brother and aunt by phone and my niece and I were by her side. She went on her terms and in the way she wanted to go.

I don't know when I will quit crying. I too wake up feeling like I have a hangover. Plus, my niece found Christmas gifts from Mom to all of us. I can't bring myself to open them.

Both my parents and I had a really close bond. My Mom and I grew really, really close after my Dad died six years ago. I spent 95% of my vacation time with my parents. They were so fun, everyone loved them both. I never got tired of spending time with them.

Once we put her house on the market I will lose my home base which means proximity to family and close family friends. So I guess what I am realizing is that losing parents isn't just about the loss of the parent but the total package involves a lot of change.

Like your wife, OP, my Mom was the main focus of my life. But, I thought about it and realized, my parents had their time on earth and they set a good example of how to live a happy and fun life. I will recover and I will enjoy life again. In the mean time I am really sad, there is a big black hole in my life.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at work in 3 weeks. I don't really want to go, but I think it will be good to get back into the schedule. Maybe it will help my appettite and sleep pattern.

Thanks for reading this, it felt good to write it down.

-helen
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:59 AM   #34
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Oh Helen!! I am so sorry. My condolences. Maybe you are right about work - - it might help and I hope it does.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #35
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Oh Helen!! I am so sorry. My condolences. Maybe you are right about work - - it might help and I hope it does.
Thanks, WR2. I don't think it will make things worse.

My partner is with her Mother who isn't doing well. Her Father had a major heart attack on my Mom's birthday and she lost him last February. It sounds to me like her Mother is giving up and doesn't find life fun without her husband. I think my partner's Christmas was sadder than mine as her Mom had the flu on top of it being the first year without her Dad.

Having pets is really helpful. My two dogs have been a great source of comfort since I've returned. It is kind of weird to have my Mom's spaniel here with me in Oregon, but I'm really glad I have her.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but life really sucks right now.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:15 PM   #36
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helen, you are far from being Debbie Downer. BTW who the F*** was/is that woman? Sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #37
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What a shock for you, Helen. How lucky you were to have a mother who gave permission to let her go, really. She sounds like she was such a great mom, and you were surely blessed. I am so sorry for your loss, Helen.
And you aren't Debbie Downer. You've gone thru a really trying time recently, and we all understand. Bless your heart! Cry and scream all you want until this passes. We get it.



Vicente: Debbie Downer is just a made-up name people use to express the emotions you feel from a person who is always negative and whining. She's Debbie Downer as if Debbie was a real person. Just one of those Americanisms we use.
There is no Debbie Downer in real life and she's made up. Do you get it and am I expressing it right?
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:32 PM   #38
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Thanks, Orchidflower. I've been thinking about you and your Mom.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:38 PM   #39
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What a shock for you, Helen. How lucky you were to have a mother who gave permission to let her go, really. She sounds like she was such a great mom, and you were surely blessed. I am so sorry for your loss, Helen.
And you aren't Debbie Downer. You've gone thru a really trying time recently, and we all understand. Bless your heart! Cry and scream all you want until this passes. We get it.



Vicente: Debbie Downer is just a made-up name people use to express the emotions you feel from a person who is always negative and whining. She's Debbie Downer as if Debbie was a real person. Just one of those Americanisms we use.
There is no Debbie Downer in real life and she's made up. Do you get it and am I expressing it right?
I get it. I had an idea that was what it meant. But is it an expression frequently used nowadys?. In my almost 40 years of reading American English novels never have I come across it.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:52 PM   #40
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my MIL in April at 95 in a relatively sudden decline during which she wanted no extra investigation or treatment. She had always been healthy and independent and when she got sick she was ready to go. She did it her way like your mom.
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