How do you cope after your Mom dies? There are no easy answers. My Mom died at 73. She died on Valentine’s day of 2019. It was a shock. She was surrounded by family. When she got sick, she had a myriad of health problems. We all thought she was going to beat it and get out of the hospital and return home. She was strong-willed and tough. She could do a Man’s job. Growing up, I watched her lay carpet, hang sheetrock, move furniture, lay bricks, etc. She just could not overcome it this time. She died at a hospice center.
Sometimes my thoughts are cruel to me. They tell me, “you could have done something more” ” you should have kept her in the hospital instead of transferring her into hospice” You should have done this or that, etc. In the days leading up to her death, she mostly slept. We would take turns holding her hand and talking to her. The hospice staff told us she could hear everything we were saying to her. It is in almost a year at the time of this writing that she has been dead.
Sometimes it’s still hard to believe she has gone. Even though her house has been sold and most of her belongings have gone, I still think she is going to call me. I still think she is going to come back. We have just got through the holidays. Some say the first year is the hardest? I am not sure. She was the one who brought me into selling insurance. She specialized in life insurance and medicare supplements just like me. I don’t talk about her death much but other people do. I thought she would have lived another 10 years. We had our differences from time to time but who doesn’t with their parents.
I still have pictures and text messages. I wish I would have saved some of her voicemails so I could hear her voice. Even writing this article is difficult. She wanted to be cremated. We spread her ashes around different parts of Europe. The memories I have of her are great. You tend to forget all the bad stuff that happened. You just wish that there were more. The year she died was brutal. My beloved German shepherd Duke died on 1-24-19. My best friend Ron died on 2-13-19. My Mom died on 2-14-19 and my other dog Brownie died on 6-28-19. My fiancee’s dog Baxter on 7-4-19. Like I said that year was brutal. I am just glad it is behind us. I don’t wish a year like that on anybody.
Ways to cope
Practice self-care -this is the easiest way to help yourself.
- Meditate or use mindfulness
- Get out of the house into nature for a walk.
- Read or listen to a book.
- Engage in an activity
- Rent a movie or get out of the house and go to a local cinema
- Get a massage
- Go fishing or boating
- If it is Winter, consider getting a lightbox
- Look at pictures or videos of your lost loved one
- Cook a favorite meal
These are just a few ways to get through part of your grief journey.
Seek professional help
Call the suicide hotline if needed at 1-800-273-8255
Talk to a counselor
Practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that teaches you to challenge your thoughts
Contact your local hospice center about grief therapy
Be familiar with the grief stages
Denial- that your Mom or loved one has died
Anger-why did she have to die or die so soon?
Bargaining-if she comes back, I won’t do anything bad again
Acceptance coming to the realization that she is not coming back
Depression- a clinical condition or disease with many symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, sleeping too much, inability to make good decisions, not motivated, little interest or pleasure in doing thongs, Feeling down, depressed or hopeless, poor appetite, thoughts of harming yourself. These are just a few symptoms. If you have these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, please get help.
Anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder-this is a condition near and dear to my heart. The symptoms are lightheadedness, irritability, constant worry, trouble concentrating, panic attacks, headache, repeatedly going over thoughts, insomnia, trembling, unwanted thoughts, nausea or heart palpitations. These are just a few symptoms. If you have these seek help.