Lost my dear Mother and am just heart broken

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by Chris C, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    I thought my mom had gall stones, we was so active and not eating. I stayed for days on the hospital telling here everything would be fine. Then the day of the surgery the doctor said you have cancer and its won't get better. Without she looked at me and said Christopher, I am 83 and had a wonderful live take me home. I stayed with here day and night so never showed fear and we laugh, held hands and spoke of nothing but the good times
    Two weeks later she died. That was March 12, shortly afterwards the state lock locked down so no funeral.
    At a time like this, no friends, or family to check in on and hug. I know my pain is no worst than everyone else.
    Mostly at night time It hits me. I use to have her over every Saturday for BBP and move, We spoke on the phone 3 or 4 times a week. The worst part is reaching for he phone to check on her and I realize she is gone.
    People ask me how I am doing and I say fine...what they don't know is I cry so hard almost every Night so hard I can barely breath. I am a recovered alcoholic of over 20 years. The meetings were very helpful for me to quit and have support. I am new here and I guess I am just hoping to connect with other people that understand my pain. I am not looking for pity but just want to be around others that understand it. Thank you.
  2. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Chris C,

    So sorry for the loss of your mother. I hate what cancer does to people, both Nadine, my wife and my dad died of cancer. It had to be extremely hard to see your mom slowly succumbing to cancer.

    Your mom sounded so wonderful and wise. She even thought of you in her last moments. A very special moment was her private talks with you. Your time with her was special. Sharing like you did was something you will have for the rest of your life.

    I realize it is a time for you that you will never forget. I hope you were able to talk with her and tell her everything you wanted, and even your precious tears you shed for her made her happy.

    Chris, losing your mother is one of the hardest things any person will ever face. She brought you into this world. She cared for you as you grew. She wiped those tears from your eyes, she bandaged them cuts. She told you stories, and protected you like a guardian would. She was your special angel in life.

    Your pain to you is personal, intense and one that takes time to overcome. She was important to you and so very much a part of your life, and her memory will live inside you forever.

    Chirs, I smoked for years and stopped in 1983 after my youngest son asked me to stop. I was drinking as well in the service when I was away from those I loved in the service. Hell, in Vietnam, smokes were 15 cents a pack, beer was 5 cents a can during happy hour - a lot of happy GI’s for sure during those times. I am not sure why we smoke or drink, but I finally also had my last drink in 1985 and have left both of them vices behind. My dad died of lung cancer in 1990.

    When my own wife had her final day it was so special to me, her two sons, her sister, her niece and there were others present. I held her hand for the final time, we shared so much. All those letters to each other while I was in Vietnam or South Korea, her giving two sons to me in life.

    When she took her final breath, her hand was still in mine. I felt her grip give way. At that point I hated life for sure. I called out to Nadine. Linda, her sister and I hugged and cried. I don’t remember how long it was we stood there.

    The doctor and nurses came into the room, he said how sorry he was and hugged me, as did all the nurses. The hospice house had an odd silence, the door to the room was open, and I am sure everyone heard me. I hugged my sons and we cried. When we walked out of the hospice house that night, I used my cane to steady myself, my two sons walked behind me. We walked to the car, and drove to our hotel. We did not speak to each other that night.

    I hope you will continue to reach out. It takes time to recover from loss. Those emotions we all have after the loss of a loved one come from a lifetime of memories. So take each day slowly.

    May you find some peace of mind soon.


    To the one we lost

  3. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your kind words. I am so dyslexic that often when I read my own words it looks like I am still drinking that is not the case but sure looks like it.

    I also lost my dad from cancer ( he was only 60 ) from smoking back in 1994. I dealt with that pain by consuming vodka each day ( I don’t suggest that as a good plan for dealing with pain ) however after learning the hard way, I learned better tools like reaching out when I need help.

    I have been with my wife for 38 years. I cannot imagine the pain you must have and are going through. My heart gos out to you. You are in my prayers.

    Thanks for reaching out to me.

  4. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member


    Thank you as well for the kind words. Nadine and I were married for 42 years. On the 19th of this month it will have been 5 years.

    My love for her was so strong her loss cut deep into my soul. Today I truly miss her but I have beaten back the sorrow, I won that battle for my soul.

    You take care and know it takes time to overcome grief. While each of us are so different, the length for recovery varies for us all. Peace be with you. Please make sure you never let despair come into your life, as it leads to depression. I was treated for it for 5 months after my dads passing. So be careful and aware of your how you feel inside.

    Peace be with you.

  5. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    Hi David,

    I was suppose to have surgery for diverticulitis right when I found out my mom had a short time left , so I cancel the surgery to be with her and now because of the lock down of hospitals I am on hold. So I am hitting the treadmill every night trying to stay healthy for both mind and body.

    I own a business that I run M-F then teach scuba on weekends which has been a love and passion of mine my whole life. I teach a lot of the police Dept. and fire Dept. search and recuse ,but I spend more time with high school kids these days trying to keep them involved with a healthy sport. This is how I fill my summers for the last 25 years. ( over 3,000 students so far ) not by myself, I have a whole team of great people.

    I also have been a volunteer probation officer for over 20 years because I knew the Judges first hand from running amok in my youth. I had a probation officer that got through to me when I was a kid and really made a difference. So I have tried to do the same for others.

    I joke around all the time saying that my mind is a dangerous neighborhood to be alone in. Maybe there is some truth there .

    I tell you all of this about me because “you” like my probation officer have made an impact and wanted to thank you.

    I also want to thank you for your service in Vietnam. I was to young to have to go but many of my slightly older friends did go and some did not make it back ( including my wife's uncle Zac.he was a pilot ) We have been to Washington DC to the wall and it was one of the most moving places I have ever been. My wife and I did not just look up his name and leave. We looked at all of them.I know each and everyone had their own story. I have nothing but respect for you and the others.

    The reason I write you today is I know it is the 19th. 5 years today, and while this may be a sad day, I am thinking about the 42 years you got to spend with the love of your life. Not many people can say that. In my sadness of loss I never want to forget the great joys.

    Hope today goes well for you. You are in my prayers and thoughts.

  6. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Chris ,

    First, when Nadine suffered from diverticulitis I did not understand how painful it can become when not dealt with. My hope for you is that you will get the needed treatment to recover from this.

    Chris you are an amazing person for all you have accomplished and still do in your life. Your life is nothing less than stellar. I would have admired meeting someone like you. I too had my quirks in life. I never believe college was in my cards so school never really meant a lot to me. Each year I would possibly set a record for most faked missed school days for playing hookey. Ferris Beuller had nothing on me.

    Odd thing is I actually always tested high enough to graduate with my class. Thanks to the GI bill it would help me attain two degrees, one a 4 yr BS in Liberal Arts another 2 yr Applied Science. I also knew I was destined for the service - it was our heritage.

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes today does signify the 5th anniversary of Nadine’s passing. It is one I will carry a heavy heart today. She was my sister’s college roommate. I never knew how scheming she was, but Marcia, my older sister, had all the girls in her sorority write me in Vietnam. She was going to Farmington State Teachers College in Maine at the time.

    Over the years Marcia has always been the one person who I could totally confide in, and so it is today. As amazing a person she is, she and two other teachers were featured in an article for having taught children for over 150 years. I would be invited to BBQs, where her children were celebrating the summer, and I was the ridiculous entertainment. Great times indeed.

    When I was on my 2nd tour in Vietnam Marcia has gone to the statehouse in Augusta, Maine and asked for the state flag of Maine for me. She was given it, I received it and put in on my hutch ceiling. She even went to far as to have me accepted into her sorority, Phi Mu Sigma as an honorary member.

    So when all those girls one day wrote me in Vietnam, I was beside myself. A kid in a candy store, as mail call could be so depressing. Nadine was among those girls and her first letter was the start of what would become a wonderful journey in both of our lives.

    When you see poverty, real poverty up close and personal in the streets of Vietnam back during my two tours you understand better why you are there and what you are fighting for. To me I was rich compared to them. Nadine left me with two sons. Neither drink, smoke, do drugs and I have never heard either swear. I would say it was how they were raised and became adults.

    My 2nd tour in Vietnam was the most personal. I lost two friends, both on the Vietnam wall. One I graduated with and a club brother in high school, the other a coworker. Back then, 1968-1971 our times were turbulent and not one you could really share back stateside - too much-misdirected hate. So you had to keep your life experiences inside. So after Vietnam you really couldn't share your life with parts of the country.

    The most memorable thing on one return back to Maine. I arrived in Portland, Maine International Airport. I needed a ride home to Auburn. A taxi came up to me, I was in full uniform with all my awards displayed. I opened the door he asked where I was headed. He gave me a free ride, over 40 minutes away and then thanked me. I never forgot his kindness and have tried to bring it forward in my lifetime.

    Chris, your life has had a journey any man would be proud to have had. You are what I would call a shining example for kids, teenagers and adults of all ages. I have seen so many people in my life, in all the states I lived in from my 12 plus years in the military and my assignments overseas. You see so many cultures, so many people who make a beautiful life out of so little. You see their plights. You understand their losses. You learn their cultures and in short you as a person slowly grow into another, one who has been enlightened more to life and all it means.

    Thanks again. Peace be with you.


    I would like to share this video with you, it is actually very personal to my family

    Chris C likes this.
  7. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Chris,

    I lost my father on March 17 following a brief illness. I understand what you are going through. My most difficult times seem to be at night also. I wanted to reach out to you and if you are inclined to chat, I’m available.

    Wishing you peace,

  8. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    Hi TJ,

    Thanks for reaching out.

    I am so sorry to hear about losing your dad. I lost mine from cancer when he was 60. We were so very close and I didn't handle it very well. It took me a very long time to even get close to feeling normal and finding joy again. That was 25 years ago.

    My mom was 83 but very active ( she was white water rafting a couple of years ago with her girlfriend ) She starting out with a cough a few months ago which turned out to be lung cancer ( melanoma ) she was not a smoker but it came from skin cancer.

    They thought with immunotherapy she could still have years so I was hopeful. Then she just went downhill so fast I got her right back to the doctors where after test we were told its not the cancer but gall stones. So once again you have hope. The day of the surgery the doctors said after looking over everything the cancer had spread and did not know how much time she had left.

    She lived at an active senior living center so I got her home and she died 2 weeks later March 12th. I was with her from the moment I woke up till midnight everyday. I was so busy just trying to do the right thing I never really cried much. But it seems as the days go by it has been getting harder and harder on me. I reach for the phone to check on her before i realize she is gone. It hits me in such waves fo grief…

    Anyways I started this out telling you about my dad because being sad and having waves of grief are normal but I went way pass that and tried to escape dealing with the pain by drinking every-night just to get some sleep because i could not turn my brain off. Well…I can tell you that didn’t really turn out all that well for me. On the up side I did quit drinking and got better and I am not afraid of going down that road again however I also realized I don’t have to go down any road alone if I just reach out…..so here I am.

    So how are you doing? Can you tell me about your father?

  9. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Chris,

    As for me, I just take it day by day...some days hour by hour or minute by minute. But, I’m ok. I pray a lot and my faith doesn’t waiver.

    My dad, wow! I could write a book! I am very close to my dad - you will notice I use the present tense because I still am . My dad and I always shared a strong relationship. He was the one man I could always count on. In my eyes he could take on anything and he was the one person that wasn’t ever going to die .

    Rewind to January 12, 2020...I received a call saying my dad was in the ER in serious but stable condition. What? This man had been the picture of health all his life...what in the world was going on? Once I arrived at the hospital, I saw my dad and the doctors. One doctor consulted with me outside my dads room and told me he came in with AFib w/ RVR, heart attack, pneumonia, septic and kidneys were trying to shut down. The doctor said your father is a very sick man and I give him a 50/50 chance of making it through this. So he had five critical issues which any one would have been hard on a young man of 70 years.

    So, we went to ICU for two weeks. He ended up being placed in a medically induced coma to let his body rest. Afterwards, we went to the floor for about 10 days. He was sent to a Rehab unit but his underlying conditions proved to be too much for that setting. So, a week later we were back in the ER and subsequently hospitalized for about four days. I talked to dad and we decided he would go home on Home Health. We did that for about two weeks. The, out of nowhere he suffered a lower GI bleed. So, off to the hospital we went. This was a different hospital and a horrible experience. We eventually came home on the 9th of March. He just never really thrived after that. He became really bad on March 16, on the 17th he passed.

    I know he was tired, exhausted. I also know I miss him more than anything else I have ever experienced or lost.

    My dad was my rock.

    You asked about my dad and in my eyes he was just about perfect. I’m not sure if I answered your question but if I missed the point - I have no secrets and I certainly don’t mind to share.

    Hopefully you will respond. Thanks for reaching out !!!

  10. Chris C

    Chris C Member


    You make me think so much about my dad just hearing a little of your story. My dad was all the things you describe. He was my best friend and my business partner. We worked together 5 or 6 days a week and on our off day I was either at his house or mine. We had the same humor and would laugh and laugh together. But also he was my mentor.

    I am very dyslexic and barely made it out of high school but a very type A personality so worked like crazy and started out in Ca. with my first business, I stumbled and had some wins and losses but I could call my dad and always knew the right thing to say. He always pointed me in the right direction, he would tell me don’t worry about the money…do a great job, be the best at whatever you do and be honest and the money will follow.

    Which are not such easy words to hear when you are broke living with 5 guys in a one bedroom apartment. It was a great time in my life.

    I ended up moving back to Mi and working on many more projects and always going to him. He always had the answers.

    I was just finding my stride and then cancer. I spent the next 3 months with him hoping and wishing this was all just a mistake or it could be fixed, but he died.

    The pain was more than I thought I could take. My mom and other family members wanted me to get counseling but I never did. The sadness was so great and so personal that I didn’t want to say it out loud.

    I would go to my brother or sisters house and they all had a picture of dad on the refrigerator. I could not. I could not see a picture of him for years and years. It was just too hard.

    As I mentioned to you before I did not handle myself very well with the loss. I didn’t do anything right and I am making a real effort to work through the pain of losing my mom a heather way. She was so hurt watching me go through this with my dad it would break her heart to know I was again going through that. I am trying to eat right, on the treadmill for an hour every night ( usually late that’s why these emails are so late at night ) I go outside to cool off look up to the stars, breathe, listen to the wind chimes and tell mom I am ok. I miss her so very much

    I never in my life saw or spoke to my mom without it ending with…I love you mom and a kiss.

    I am still saying it.

    I also wanted to say that I completely understand the minute to minute hour to hour. I thought I would never get to a day to day let alone a week to week but I did. It was so profound when I went the first day that passed, without the heavy load I had been carrying around that I remember stopping dead in my tracks and thinking was that really 24 hours?

    When I read your words about your dad I hurt with you and just wanted to let you know it does get better, and I know everyone says that but they are right…it does and it will, we just have to hang in there.

    Also we are lucky to have computers and be able to talk….I mean its kind of weird that after losing a loved, no funeral.No friends to see and just get a hug. We have been in lock down in Mi. since she passed.

    On the upside my dogs Buddy & Holly are enjoying the long walks because I can’t sit still that long.

    P.S. I think your Dad is a great guy.

  11. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Chris,

    How are you today?

  12. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    Hi TJ,

    Doing pretty good, how about you?
  13. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Chris,

    I'm glad you are doing well. It is a good day when that happens.

    It has been a rather difficult day today. I usually know in the mornings if the day will be good, bad or okay...its just the feeling that seems to set my mood for the entire day. I have missed my daddy a lot today. I heard a song playing when I went to grab lunch and the tears just started streaming. Not even sure why that particular song because it doesn't really fit the father/daughter relationship. BTW, the name of the song is Remember You Young by Thomas Rhett. It just sent me back to my youth thinking of my dad as a younger, vibrant man that could take on the world.

    Daddy told me for several years he was "just tired" and was going to retire. Can you believe he held a factory job and worked the week before he became ill on Sunday? I fought so hard for him. I mean, it seemed as if I stood eye-to-eye with the devil himself. I'm pretty sure I fought him for the entire two weeks he was in ICU. My family, his siblings, talked about how strong I was and how my faith was something that they had not seen in a long time. I felt like a scared little girl making her way through the darkness.

    I'm sorry to bog you down with my sadness, I just needed someone to talk to. Everybody around me seems to be on the "it's time to move on" wagon. I, on the other hand, feel stuck in that wagon in the muddy ruts that were created when my daddy died.

    I hope your day has been a good one. I also hope that this wretched weather here will let up. We started with bad weather on Easter Sunday, it followed this past Sunday and overnight. I'm exhausted and could use some sunshine.

    So, you asked about my dad...tell me about your sweet momma. I know this is probably a difficult request but it is what kind of introduced you and me.

  14. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    Hi TJ,

    I am sorry it is a rough day. Sometimes when I first wake up for a split second I think it was just a bad dream then it comes rushing back. I do not believe any of us can just move on. It will take some time and new memories to help us with that part.

    My mom and I were so different yet got along so well. She was afraid of heights ( never would get on an airplane ) where I would jump out of them. If she could have waved a wand I would have been working at one of the auto plants because she thought I needed good insurance and a study job. I was self employed and she worried about my next meal. It is funny because when I was a kid I thought when I grow up I will make money and can buy my mom anything she wanted ( just childish day dreaming ) but as i got older realized there was nothing I could buy her that could bring more joy this just spending time together, which I did often.

    My mom was 5’1 tall and I am 6’2 and she loved saying to her friends when I would come pick her up….theres my baby boy! I could always make her laugh right to the end.

    I would always say mom…how do you think I got all the brains and looks in the family? It just doesn’t seem fair to the other kids. She would just roll her eyes like she didn’t hear me. She was a woman of great faith and morals. She spend much of her time helping others. A year ago she moved into a señor active living place with about 125 people all with their own apartments but so many things to do. She got around better than many and made friends right away and loved it there.

    So when she found out she had cancer I was driving her home from the doctors knowing her time was limited I pulled into her parking lot and got out of the car she looked at the building and say. Well Chris….I really thought God brought me here to help people. Even at that moment she was thinking of others.

    So back to the weather…I am with you! I really would like to see some sunshine. It is still cold and even snowed yesterday.

  15. Pern

    Pern New Member

    Hi Chris. I lost my mom November 26th last year. She was almost 84. We were as close as a mother and daughter can be. I just signed up to this sight two minutes ago. I needed to hear other peoples thoughts on their loss so I wouldn't feel all alone in my sorrow. I was very lucky to have 6 weeks with my mom before she died from ARDS. She didn't suffer at all. She had dementia. We were lucky in that as well because she only had the loss of her short term memory and still remembered us and her entire life. I struggle with the regret that my brother and I were not with her when she died. We were a few minutes too late. Though I spent almost every day with her before that. My dad crashed and went into a nursing home at the same time. My daughter broke up with her fiancee of 7 years and my husband was dying from alcoholism. Its been 5 months and until about a week ago I cried every night. Really hard at the beginning. My father is in a safe place. My daughter is seeing someone else and is much happier. My husband almost died more than once in the hospital and has since been in inpatient and out patient recovery and is doing great in spite of the cirrhosis he will always have. I just noticed I'm finally not crying all the time. That I can think about my life with her in a joyous manner. I feel guilty though she would not want that. I still burst out in tears if anything pertaining to her comes up but its better. Unfortunately I do have to stop myself sometimes from becoming morose and just try to replace that feeling with a happy memory. She knows how I loved her more than anything and I know I was the love of her life. It will get better with time. And there is no shame in crying about it.
    TJones likes this.
  16. Chris C

    Chris C Member

    I would have responded earlier but I am in the hospital, I am a pretty heathy person but had diverticulitis last November, they decided to do surgery early in January but as we got closer I found out about my moms cancer so I canceled it to be with her. She passed March 12th and now with virus surgery was canceled. It got bad enough that I am back in and the CT scan showed something they didn’t like, so new test today maybe out tomorrow. I am so sorry to hear about all that you have been going through. And glad your reached out. I also am very new here and find comfort in seeing others stories and trying to find a heathy way to get through pain that feels so unhealthy! I have not been able to see any friends since my mom passed and now have been here a few days and looks like surgery this week. Pardon my spelling because I am using my phone instead of my laptop. I am glad you are here... we don’t have to go through this alone. I have already met some very nice people. Stay well
  17. Pern

    Pern New Member

    Chris C, Its very thoughtful of you to respond even though you are going through something so scary. I won't bother you too much, just wanted to let you know that all of your grieving is healthy and normal even if you bawl all day for months. Like I said now that things are almost back to normal and running so much more smoothly I feel guilty I'm not crying all the time. And I'm sorry that you didn't get to have a normal funeral. I was lucky in a way that my moms death happened before the virus hit. My husbands alcoholism was so bad for years and I was going through what amounted to emotional and verbal abuse all that time. So I was crying hard for a lot of reasons. I think everyone's journey is different. When you are home and safe keep in contact with people who knew her. Tell stories. Laugh. Cry. I know I had to at some point ( and this came naturally for some reason )to stop thinking about her all the time. I had to stop myself. A little at a time. I can handle the memories better now. So I feel more in control and I know she would be proud of me. Ill think of her every day for the rest of my life. Ill kiss her portrait which hangs in my room now every day. Im sure tears will come a lot but I want to remember the happy times too. She was literally the best mom anyone could have had. ( to me. ) I have a daughter and son I am very very close to and that helps tremendously. So get well, stay safe, think and talk about your mom in a positive way. It helps. Ttys. Sorry for the long letter. I'm new to this. Also I read grieving articles about losing your mom and that helped as well. I was having weird sensations like because she was no longer in the world that I was in the wrong world. Because she was such a daily part of my life for almost 6 decades I felt really strange. But that is disappearing. Good luck. Keep in touch.
  18. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member


    So sad to hear of your mother's loss. When my father passed from lung cancer, I then took care of mom for two years. At that point she became too sick and had to be moved to a special hospice. It was long and she passed from stomach cancer. At that point in my life I was married with two sons, going to college and trying to face their loss.

    Unfortunately, I was overcome with panic attacks. It a helpless feeling not being able to cry, not being able to control your feelings anymore. I thought I forgot how to breathe, and tried practicing to no avail. I was then taken to my doctor, Dr. Decoster. He brought in a psychiatrist also. I can't honestly tell you how scary it is to not know what is going to happen to yourself anymore.

    They asked me questions, I answered and I was given antidepressants. I was on them for 5 months. But until they took hold and started working my life was a mystery to me. I don't remember those days too well anymore, I just know my life was saved by that intervention. By the time I was able to stop the medication I had lost about 100 pounds. Food was no longer anything I wished to eat anymore. I could only eat blended food for the longest time. I don't know for sure, it could have also been all my past catching up with, my times in Vietnam, all the other deaths, I just know we are so easily incapacitated by what we experience in life if we don't seek help. Sometimes it takes others to help us when we can't.

    So I will ask you to also to talk with professional, like a counselor, a psychiatrist and even a priest. Talking and being with family also helps. Reaching out to friends also will help. Trying talking with us strangers as well. Anything you wish to share is ok, it can be short, long, or whatever. I just know, when we faced my wife's cancer battle of 10 years, without family, professionals I might not be here today. When my wife passed, my two sons and I were in a bad place. Loss is never easy, but with help it can be so much easier to tolerate and overcome.

    Take care of yourself, and never give in to despair.


    I hope you don't mind this melody