So… I have a fear, I have a fear as the end of the year approaches that next year My Mum whom I love very very much will die. It comes into my head whenever I am not doing anything, whenever I am not keeping busy, I can keep it out when I am doing things, I can talk to other people about the loss of their loved ones and completely detatch myself because “that will never happen to me” but as soon as its quiet and I have nothing to do its back. Tonight its back with a vengence so I have had to talk about it. I know its meant to be inevitable but not in my world it isnt.
The loss of a parent you’re close too can be devastating, even moreso if you’re in the role of caregiver, and taking care of them is more or less your primary role. It’s hard to see what purpose to life here is after they’re gone.
I’m glad you recognize is as a fear, and you also sort of know how you’re going to react.
Would it help you to start making lists of things you want to do with her still? Fun things that you need to share with her?
What part scares you most? Is it regrets? The loss of purpose? The loss of the personality and presence?
Your post reminded me of two things. An old lady who had a stroke, and after she recovered, and was doing much better, pointed out to her daughter the clothes she wanted to wear and what kind of religious rites and where she wanted. That helped them a lot because I know they felt she had taken charge of even those aspects and also sort of took away a tiny piece of the stress of those decisions. The second one is a movie, with the same theme, an old lady whose daily joy was collecting all the elaborate articles needed for her ceremonies, and by choosing them herself, she infused some funny/ happy memories that endured the sadness of using them.
Would something like that help you begin to process it and be a little less terrified of it?
Also, I always say, love should be our strength, not our weakness. Your great love for your mom is amazing. Your grief and loss will be there, and it’ll hurt like crazy. But also, your life afterwards is also a testament to that love - she would want you to keep on being amazing and loving, caring, happy and peaceful. She would not want to carry those things with her.
Maybe you can also start a bit of a diary, with all her funniest moments, and best sayings.
I lost my mom a few years back, and to this day there are a few moments between her and I that make me cry with sheer laughter, and no-one else can really understand how funny and great that was.
It sucks, and it hurts, but it does get better. Make the best of the time you have left, maybe talk to her about it? Would that be okay without upsetting her or you too much? You never know, maybe she will have some great words of comfort and wisdom for you?
And as always, we’re here for you!
I’m so sorry you’re having these thoughts, it’s doesn’t feel good to think about one of our parents passing away. My mother is getting close to 80 and I catch myself thinking about the same thing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to even handle when we loose her and I’ve always said I hope I go first.
This is a really hard thing to deal with for anyone, but when your mind is giving you intrusive thoughts, its so much worse. Have you learned any meditations or mindful activities? I find those work pretty good when I’m having intrusive thoughts.
I want to give you a great big hug right now. Much love
Hey Sita Thanks for the reply, I dont generally go into too much detail about my feelings but ill do my best.
All of the above except regret, I have none with my Mum we are close and have a good relationship, I think we can always find things to feel bad about but I know she loves me and I love her.
I think the biggest problem and it only really occured to me today writing someting else is that I had a plan in place, I made a decision years ago to not be here after mum went because I had nothing else but now I have the conflict of this and how I would be letting people down and that is a really big deal for me to let people down,
Mum and I can talk about anything but I wouldnt burden her with this because she would feel guilty and that isnt fair, im waffling now, i didnt want to waffle. She does try to talk about her funeral etc but I refuse to discuss it, I just say Jason (my brother) will sort it. Those films sound really good and I would enjoy them but i know I would not merge the two things together, my brain will not allow that to happen.
Thank you Rosie, I wasnt sure about posting, i think im glad I did. Im sorry you have the same feelings, its just so beyond anything imaginable. I too would love to go first. I dont really do any mindful activities, I tend to just try to do housework or come online to try to something other than think, i guess its not that different. I also bug people with my problems these days lol. Thank you for listening. xxx hugs right back x
When you’re doing house work, you can do a mindful activity at the same time. While you are sweeping for example, listen to the sounds, feel the broom handle in your hand, it’s textures, temperature etc. Listen to the sound around you and be in that exact moment. If your mind wonders, gently tell yourself that you’re sweeping and re-ground yourself. This gives you a skill of self soothing where you can use it anywhere to calm yourself. After awhile, you’ll start doing it without even realizing.
That’s the basics, so if you want more details about I can hook you up
I know for me, I never wished to go before my mother, because I think that’s one of the worst things I could have ever wished for the person who shaped my life. But I also have my faith, and honouring our ancestors is a huge cornerstone of that, so it would be doubly heartbreaking to have to put those additional requirements on a parent’s head and heart after we’re gone.
Have you spoken to a therapist about this? It sounds like it would help you to have a safe space to work through this? Of course we are here too, to help you through it as best as we can, with love and patience. Maybe you can try to have conversation with your mom about her wishes. I know that there is actually a HUGE amount of comfort and peace we can find in knowing their wishes and fulfilling it. It feels like honouring them, listening to them when they’re not here, and it does help make it a bit easier. You’d also be sharing some of the weight of these responsibilities with your brother, who would also be grieving.
And your mom would want you to stick around after she’s gone. I think parents want their kids to have a life separate and apart from their identity of “the child”. I’m glad that there is some conflict in the decision you had made. I think it’s positive because it shows that you are beginning to recognize the roles you have other than just a daughter.
We love you here, and you’re a tremendously important person here in this little family. I hope you know that.
We love you.
Thank you I’m grateful for any help offered. You are so kind, xx
Sorry had to sleep, I will have a good think about everything you have said, thank you for your kind words and big heart. You make such a difference.
You don’t bug anyone by sharing your fears and/or struggles these days. It’s yet another way to know you better, which is a blessing to us here, nothing else. You know how it feels to be there for someone you love when they need it. It is exactly the same whenever one of us is struggling in this online fam’. We want them to reach out and feel safe, not to isolate themselves and struggle alone. We may not be able of taking those fears away, but we can surely support you while you are learning to approach them in a safe way.
It is perfectly normal and understandable to fear the loss of your mom, especially while you share such a strong connection and have defined your identity around the daily care you provide to her. This relationship is a big part of your life and the perspective of losing that, of losing her, is naturally worrying. For different reasons than yours, since I have lost family members, I’ve been also pretty scared of knowing that I will lose other people one day or another. I don’t talk to my parents anymore, but I’m freaking scared of receiving a phone call one day telling me the bad news. No matter how our relationships are with them, when we see our parents getting older, we’re also reminded that they are not eternal, which really strikes a deep chord. And we can say everything we want, we’re never fully prepared for a loss, even if we anticipate it a lot.
On a different note, and to respond to what you have shared about the wish that you would have disappeared before your mom, I can tell that losing a child is one of the most devastating pain that someone can feel. Because it’s not how things should be. It goes against some kind of natural order that we have learned to internalize very early in life. The cries of my mom that I have heard when she saw the body of her son, my brother, after he passed away, was the sound of a pain that I wish to no one. It goes beyond words.
All of this to say, that now and even after she would be gone, your mom would only want you to live fully and embrace what this life has to give you. She is very blessed right now to have you by her side and to take care of her so very well. You are an amazing daughter to her, and such a pillar of strength and kindness in your family.
There is an idea from @Sita that I would like to echo a little bit:
Make the best of the time you have left, maybe talk to her about it? Would that be okay without upsetting her or you too much? You never know, maybe she will have some great words of comfort and wisdom for you?
I don’t know what are your mom’s capacities at the moment, but it could be reassuring/nice for the both of you to have some kind of creative project together. Something that would allow you both to maybe talk together in ways you haven’t before, or to simply deepen the connections you already have.
When my grandma starting to really struggle physically, she also ended up pretty isolated at home. Her only visits were my siblings, my parents and me, but since I was living really far away I wanted to encourage her to keep this little spark of life she had in her heart despite the distance. Since she had traveled quite a lot during her life, I’ve asked her to write down her memories of it in a journal. Which she did… but it ended up being a lot more than I thought, and a lot more creative too. She couldn’t knit anymore, so she found herself a passion for scrapbooking stuff and made this big book full of stickers and printed images and notes about her life/memories in it. It’s messy, full of personal jokes and also more personal thoughts, since she ended up using it as a personal journal, lol. I miss her dearly, but whenever I need to connect with her again, I just have to open this book and I can hear her reading what’s written in it. It’s like holding a piece of who she was, which is one of the real treasures I have at my home.
Just sharing this in case it could encourage you or give you some ideas. There’s something special in sharing a project together, talking about it, updating each other, seeing it progressing. But also to have the possibility to keep it with you when you are missing this special person the most.
I love you very much, Lisa. You are so special to me and such a beautiful example of genuine love. You being here, being you, inspire me so much in becoming a better person every single day. You know we will be alongside you during the hardest times. Losses are the most heartbreaking experiences in life as they force us to learn to live differently and compose with voids that cannot be filled anymore. But there is still a lot of life and time to embrace. And you will not be alone my friend. Rest assured that we are here, and we will still be here. You are such an important part of this online family. We support each other. We love each other. That’s what we do, what we’re all about, and that applies to you too Lisa.
Thank you My Friend xxx
You are a unique presence and a blessing to your mom. The love you give her on a daily basis is beautiful and such an incredible manifestation of your loving heart.
I’ve tried this little drawing for you this morning as a reminder of your own magic, of how much of an impact you have on the life of people who have the chance to know you, of how beautiful your words of encouragement are, and of how much you are loved.
We will keep standing by your side, no matter what the future holds.
Micro that is so beautiful, in fact I love it so much with your permission next year if I may, can I use it as a tattoo? Xx
Oh my gosh, Lisa, I didn’t see your response earlier.
Of course, that is not even something you need to ask me a permission for! It is your body and your decisions. I’m just completely moved to see that you would even consider using this little drawing as a reference for that.
You’re really one of a kind when it comes to bringing life in the heart of people.
It’s not little, it’s amazing and beautiful.
You wait till its on my arm. Xx
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