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Losing My Mother


My mother in her 20'sMy mother died just over 5 years ago from cancer and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I thought it was about time I wrote about how losing her has changed the way I see the world, has changed me and what it’s been like trying to get my head around it all.

It’s true what they say, you can never really understand what it’s like until it happens to you. I once described losing my mother as like the sky suddenly falling down. My mother carried me for 9 months, gave birth to me, was the first sight I ever set my eyes upon, fed me when I was hungry, got no sleep for months when I woke her up crying at night, changed my nappies, watched me smile when I recognised her face, start to crawl, take my first steps, say my first word. She was always there for me, every memory I’ve ever had growing up has her in it. When I was upset she was there to cheer me up. When I needed advice it was her I sought out. And when I stepped out of line it was her who put me back in step. She was a strong, loving mother who I always knew was on my side, would do anything for me and my brother and gave us the perfect upbringing that made us the men we are today. I’d known her as my mother and as I became an adult I knew her as the woman Jean Conners with a devilish sense of humour and a certain innocence about her. She was the most wonderful person I’ve ever known. She had always been a huge part of my life and now that she’s gone I realise that I’d always assumed she would be.

You never expect the sky to fall down, the sky is always there and always will be. And that’s exactly how I felt about my mother.

When my father phoned me early one morning to tell me my mother was dying the first words I said to him were “you’re joking”. Obviously he wouldn’t, but my instinct was that it couldn’t be happening. Him phoning me again later (I can’t remember if I’d left to drive home or was just about to leave) to tell me she had died just didn’t seem real – I was numb. I arrived home before my brother (who’d been staying with me that weekend and was driving himself to my dad’s) and stepped into the hall. My dad came over to me and something I didn’t expect then happened. All my life my dad had been the one to comfort me in times of sadness but this time he was the one holding onto me and I was the one comforting him. It’s times like that you realise when you’ve grown up and become an adult. We were both inconsolable and if you ever find yourself imagining what a situation like that is like, imagine it a million times worse. And then when my brother turned up, well think a British billion times worse (that’s a million million). Even then, I still just couldn’t believe it.

In the months after her death I just couldn’t grasp that she was gone. I’d walk past an arts and craft shop and my first thought would be to take her there the next time she was down. I’d see something on TV that I knew she’d be interested in and I’d go to pick up the phone and call her before reality hit me. It was as though my brain just wouldn’t accept that she was gone forever.

Whenever I’d visit my father’s house I’d come down in the morning before anyone else was up and watch TV in the lounge like I always did. I’d be sitting there waiting for her to come in and sit next to me like she always did (we were early risers). I cried far more while she was suffering with cancer than after she died but on mornings like that I could never hold back the tears, sat there sobbing on my own waiting for someone that was supposed to always be there who I started to realise never would be again.

After some time – I couldn’t tell you how much – my brain dealt with things in a different way. I seemed to accept that she was gone and didn’t find myself about to call her any more. Instead she kept turning up in my dreams. Sometimes the dreams would be set in my childhood and it was only when I woke up that I’d feel sad, knowing I’d seen her again, or feel happy because it felt like I’d spent some more fleeting moments with her. More upsetting were the dreams where I knew she was dead in the real world, and in the dream she did too and I was just talking to her telling her how I missed her. Waking up would just take me away from her. If I were a spiritual person I’d feel comforted that maybe she was reaching out to me from beyond the grave, but unfortunately I know better and it’s my mind coming to terms with her death showing me what it thinks I want to see – or something like that. Odder were the ones where in the dream I saw her and was really upset knowing that when I woke up she’d be gone. I’d wake up with tears on my pillow but had left the sadness in the dream and didn’t feel upset at all.

The dreams started to fade away (although they do come back from time to time) and I found that my mind seemed to understand that she was gone. It was as though in the preceding years (and it took that long) my brain had been drip-feeding me little bits at a time rather than trying to get my head around the concept that my mother was gone all at once. It’s a good job I didn’t take it all in at once – because it’s such an utterly terrible thing to have to get used to and live with. I feel so bad for friends who lose parents because I know that it actually never gets any easier with time – you have to carry the pain and burden for the rest of your life. The only thing that changes is that you learn to live with it in your own way.

As I said at the start, not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I still get upset from time to time but my mother was exactly the same decades after the death of her mother. She never hid the tears from us and as a result we were brought up knowing that it was perfectly normal to miss someone you loved and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

She wrote me a letter when she knew she wouldn’t make it and in it she told me she’s always admired my positive outlook on life and to make the most of life as it’s so precious. Every day that goes by that’s exactly what I try to do.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

323 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Dear John,

    I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I’m a first time mom of a 6 mth baby boy, I’m 31 and going on my 12th year of marriage. I have not lost my mother nor father, but i am hurting with my husband who lost his mother in August 31, 07.

    It is so hard to watch him greif by himself, I do not know what to do. I feel useless not knowing how to help my husband deal with his loss when he does not open up. I do not want to start a conversation over something so painful that I do not understand. I sometimes cry holding my baby and thinking how bad she wanted us to have a baby and just to think that four months later she passed away.

    My husband was the only child without children so it is hard on him knowing that she never got a chance to see his child. His only comfort is knowing that she saw me pregnant and she knew what his name was going to be.

    Reading everyones comment has made me realize that my husband needs me more than ever. He is going through the grieving process by himself. He does not communicate with his brothers or sisters because they too deside not to talk about their loss. So you can imagine how sad my first mother’s day was. I did not know how to react this weekend, should i argue my sad mother’s day or should I grieve with him?

    I need some advice on what to do? I feel his agony and that troubles me because i am his wife and I should be their to comfort him and show my support, but how can I do that when I haven’t been in his shoes?

    Please help me!



  2. Hi Maria, that’s a really tough situation. On the one hand he’s going through the grieving process and some people retreat into themselves to do that (personally I found the support of my wife really helped me through – she knew my mother and felt her loss too) and it takes a long time (it took me years). But on the other hand you have to get on with your life and a new family is what he should be concentrating on.

    When my mother’s mother died I was one year old and while she was obviously devastated she had to raise me and I think in many ways having the focus of a family helped her through it.

    I guess your husband needs a mixture of support (all you can do is tell him you’re there for him if he needs you) and a [metaphorical] slap in the face to start living in the present. It sounds harsh but the reality is that I’m sure his mother would have wanted him to live his life and concentrate on his own family. The thing with losing a parent is it doesn’t just affect the child, it affects them and all who are close to them. I hope that helps.


  3. Hello there, I lost my mother about 8 months ago, 6 and a half months after i gave birth to my daughter. I completely feel the same as you described. You go through live losing people, grandparents, relatives, friends, but i dont think it really hits you until you loose you parents, especially one that ment so much to you. I turned 25 before my mother passed away to brain cancer, she was 59. She first got breast cancer in 2005, before that she was just mom, you know how you go through those “teenage” years… and after she originally got breast cancer and beat it, we became friends, best friends, i saw her as a person other than my mom. she was cool, someone anyone could get along with and trust. everyone loved her and i finally understood why. i regret that i only had a few years of really knowing my mother this way. After we found out that her cancer had spread to her brain and other parts of her body, i went into this zone, like i had taken over as the caregiver to my father and my handicaped brother. i wanted to take care of her home just the way she did. i had wasnt allowing my self to greive. it all finally hit after christmas and new years when there wasnt anything left. no family visits, no holidays to keep me busy. and i let myself go. i became so angry and short with everything and everyone in my life. I have finally made it to that point where i realize that she isnt coming back. Im just completely lost though! You grow up thinking that your parents are going to live for ever, or at least til your old and grey, and after reading your story and everyone elses comments, it makes me realize that no matter how old you are when you loose your parents, we all feel the same, our MOMMY or DADDY is gone. now what? every goal or dream i had, my mom was supposed to be there. My mother was there with me when i had my daughter and every second of that moment plays out in my mind like it was yesturday, and now i cant imagine having another child because she wont be there to experience it with me. everytime i see a flower i picture her on her hands and knees planting her own flowers. i dont have my buddy to sneak away on sundays and tell my dad we’re going grocery shopping, even though we’re really out shopping and going to lunch.
    loosing your parents does make you grow up and look at how short life is. will i spend the rest of my life waiting to die the way she did? I think about that everyday. it makes me so scared, and anxious to think about death. She was so full of life, energy, and love. she loved everything around her. after she beat the breast cancer she told me how she fought so hard cause she wanted to see her grandchildren more than anything. at least god gave her that. it just makes me so mad to think that she got cheated out of watching her grow. and it makes me sad to wonder if my daughter will ever really know how much my mother loved her, and was so proud of her.
    its getting better, but does the hole in your heart ever get filled? im sorry for rambling on. thank you for listening, and for your time.


  4. Carla Langwell,
    Your letter touched my soul. I had the same wonderful relationship with my Mother. I lost her just over a year ago, May 2, our wedding anniversary. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They reminded me of so many of the moments I was fortunate to have shared with my Mom. It always makes me feel better to know that none of us are alone in our pain or fond memories.

    The only way I have found to fill the hole in my heart is to live every day as it was my last, appreciate those I love and never take anything for granted. Life is so fleeting, the moments we share with those we love so precious, that I never want to waste them on anything but savoring all the joy and happiness. I know that your Mom is in your heart and therefore she is with you everyday. Talk to her and continue to share your hopes, dreams, disappointments and other life experiences. She is listening from heaven above. He spirit is alive and continues to watch over you and yours.

    I have learned that you also find ways to cope with the loss. You never like it, but you do have to come to an acceptance of the proufound loss in order to move beyond it and live life to it’s fullest. That is what your Mom would want for all of you.

    Take Care,


  5. Carla, I was mid-way through a reply when Michelle’s comment came in – and it captured exactly what I wanted to say far better than what I was writing. So ditto to what Michelle said! 🙂


  6. Carla

    Think about the things you do everyday, and see in yourself the habits that your mom had, you might just realize that you are doing the same thing’s that she once did and take comfort in that. Also see in your daughter as she grows up you might just she in her some of your Mother’s personality. I see those thing’s in me and my grand-daughter and it makes me smile. Also your daughter will gradually mend that hole. I look to my grand-daughter to mend mine, also my husband. I too wanted to do so much for my Mother before she died, but what i do now is do for my husband and grand-child the things i wasn’t able to for her any longer. It will get better over time. But i still break down on holiday’s. But you know, it’s ok! I go through it and then i just concentrate on my family again. I lived my whole life with my mother even after i got married. After my parent’s divorce, all we had was each other, and she was my soul mate. I am so glad that you were able to experience being each others best friends. That is about the best thing anyone can experience in their life.
    I wish you and your family well, and i hope this helps a little.






  8. Hi Dennis,

    Numbness initially is perfectly natural. I remember when I was at school a good friend was run over and killed and one of the teachers came into the cafeteria at lunchtime to break the news. A lot of people just burst into tears there and then but I didn’t – I didn’t do anything and wondered if there was something wrong with me. I now know that I just didn’t take it in at all initially but over time it hit me – people deal with death differently and we all react and cope in our own ways. I don’t think there is a right and a wrong way, just our own way.

    That aside, I’m really sorry for your loss.


  9. Maryl,
    Just a note to say hi and ask how things are going. We haven’t heard from you in quite awhile and I have been praying and thinking about you. Please write and let us know how you are when you have the time.


  10. Everyone,
    I have pasted an e-mail onto the website that my daughter Nicole sent me this morning. This is an incredibly sad story, yet the faith and love of the Lord that this Mother has been blessed with is so touching it needs to be shared. Please pray for this family and this amazing woman of God. As I read this story and cried, I was reminded of the grace that God has shown my family. Me and my husband have all of our children and our little grand-daughter. I relish every moment we share as we never know what lies ahead. My Mom always told me “Michelle, there is always someone who has it worse, so thank God for your blessings!” How right she was.

    Fwd: urgent prayer request for Anleu family
    From: Nicole McKenzie
    Add contact
    Sent:Tue 5/20/08 10:34 PM
    To: Michelle Pederson


    I got this from my friend/neighbor Jane. Please pray for this family. They really need it!


    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Jane Hendrickson
    Date: Tue, May 20, 2008 at 9:22 PM
    Subject: urgent prayer request for Anleu family
    To: Jane Hendrickson


    Our next door neighbors, Jose and Luz Anleu have two boys, David (age 10) and Efrain “Daniel” (age 7). Last Sunday when they were at church (both parents are pastors) the boys were playing with push pins (the kind you use on a bulletin board) in pop cans and little Daniel accidentally swallowed a push pin. They took him to HCMC to remove it and he had a reaction to the drugs. He was unconscious from Sunday night until last night when he passed away. My heart is filled with sadness for this incredibly special family. Please keep them in your prayers for strength, peace and understanding during this very, very difficult time for them. Also, give your own sweeties an extra snuggle tonight. Below is a letter from Daniel’s mother, Luz.



    From: Stacey Eichenberger
    Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:45 PM

    Janie and Steve,

    This is a letter that Luz wrote in Spanish and was translated for us . Our hearts are so heavy but the hope and joy of eternal life will sustain us. I am so thankful for the faith of the family and the many, many friends of the Anleus.

    “Our Son has Climbed the Heavenly Stairs”

    Today is a different morning. It is 6:27 am. Everything seems the same, the sun is up, but for me it is the most difficult day of my life. I have learned that in spite of the difficulty in situations we cannot forget that there is a sovereign God who deserves thanks for all that He gives us. And today I give thanks to my Lord for having given me the marvelous and incomparable opportunity and privilege of being the mother of the most special boy in the world (I have another who is just as special)–thanks, Lord, because although my heart is breaking with the precious memories of my son, you give me the peace and the joy in my spirit to know that he is with you!!! At midnight, our youngest, Efrain Anleu left for the presence of the Lord. God, in His infinite mercy, allowed us to overflow with prayer and intercession until his final breath that he would return to life and knowing that He answers our prayers because by those prayers the Lord opened a portal at the beginning of the stairs that lead to the pearly gates of heaven and there He permitted our little one to choose whether he would return to us or climb the stairs to go into the presence of the Lord. All around the world God raised up intercessors who cried out day and night for two days proclaiming life over our son and God permitted them to see him standing on those stairs, he tried to climb, but our prayers made him return, he wanted to climb, but our cries made him descend. Suddenly a portal opened and Efrain looked first down and then at the pearly gates and said: “PLEASE TELL MOMMY NOT TO BE ANGRY AT ME BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO COME BACK.” And just like that he climbed and entered the gates to heavenly glory as a “more than conqueror” where we encounter our eternal destiny.

    It is not easy for me to tell this story, but it is precisely this story that sustains me to be able to live this day today. We don’t know about tomorrow, but we know that the mercy, favor, and grace of the Lord is at our disposable every day. I want to give thanks to the Lord for giving me those arms that filled my life, those kisses that I treasure in my soul, for having permitted me the honor of having for seven years the most loving and special boy that I have ever known. I also want to give thank to all of those who stood in the gap with us for the life of Efrain. I have a marvelous husband who God permitted to be used to revive our boy two days ago after his heart was paralyzed for an hour. God honored the faith of this man of God and granted that our son would come back to show us that science is limited, but God’s power has no borders. God sent him back to us to allow us the opportunity to fight until his last breath in order that we might not be left with the feeling that our son was ripped from our arms without the option of warfare, and after his miraculous resurrection, He gave him the opportunity to stay and return. My son chose the better part! I don’t doubt that he is brilliant, he always showed us the brilliance of what God did.

    Thanks to God for allowing me to continue my labor as a mother to David, a young man with a heart for the Lord! The firstborn, the evangelist, and teacher of the Word who has a call to preach to the nations what one day he preached to his brother: to present to him Jesus as the only way to heaven. Three years ago, he led his brother to receive Jesus into his heart! What a treasure God gave me in my sons and my husband. Now I would like and–more than that–need to ask for your prayers for us. We need your prayers. I don’t know how I will go on the next hour knowing that now I will not have the hugs of my little one. But what I do know is that this fiery trial will bring us to see the glory of God over our lives!

    Thanks to all those who invested the life of our little Efrain, his very special teachers who left their mark on his little heart! His school that has backed us absolutely in all this pain, Ms. Hall, thanks, thanks to all the family that has been with us, thanks especially to our beloved church Monte Sinai (Mount Sinai) that has overflowed with love to us. Without you all we simply could not. because you all are the inspiration to go on. . . . We love you. Thanks to my parents–incomparable! who with us are filled with the immense pain of living this life without Efrain. Thanks to the doctors who did everything humanly possible to help and treated our son with such delicacy and respect. Thanks to all of those who prayed, those who cried with us, thanks especially to our spiritual parents Bishop Randy Hamon and his wife Kathy Hamos who backed us minute by minute in this which was so hard, the churches that prayed intensely for us, our family that stood in the gap for Efrain, and finally to each and every one that has been there. Thanks Jo for having given your friendship to our son, Thanks Abner, Bryan, Enmanuel, Jonathan (your photo is still next to his bed because he wanted to put it there). Thanks to ALL, please don’t be offended if I didn’t put your names here but my mind is very tired but in my heart you all have been very important and I thank you for everything.

    Receive blessings and PLEASE PRAY FOR US.

    Luz Elena Anleu


  11. Thanks for the comments. While I’m glad that your belief in God gives you comfort, please do bear in mind that not everybody who reads this (myself included) shares those beliefs. I always steer clear of religion on this site as it’s a sure-fired way to provoke an angry, polarised debate and that’s something I’m keen to avoid.

    I don’t mean to be negative, I just want to stay on-topic. 🙂


  12. John,
    Point taken. Also thanks for e-mailing Maryl. I hope she is doing o.k.


  13. I don’t want to come across as close-minded because that’s not the case – I don’t want you to feel suppressed with what you say. I realise reading it back that my comment could easily be construed that way and that was not my intention. So apologies if I offended anyone.

    I can report that I have heard from Maryl and she’s still having a tough time but is hanging in there! 🙂


  14. John,
    I understand and respect your position. I am so thankful that you have your website and appreciate your feedback and your views. I sometimes forget that I have my perspective and my intent is not to push a view, only to help those in the same pain that I have experienced. No offense taken. You rock John and I appreciate your feedback. I am so glad that you have heard from Maryl and happy to know that she is hanging in there. I hope she writes to us soon!


  15. I lost my mom on mothers day it will be two weeks on Sunday. We could not have been any closer. Moving home about three years ago to help out when she got cancer- I could not be more happy to have had that extra time with her. Over the past year she was healthy has a horse- nothing wrong with her. We did everything together-our nails-lunch we shopped every Sat… She was my best friend in the world and the only person I trusted. I can’t describe how alone I feel- even when you have so many people around you – no one can make you feel better. Not words or hugs or I’m sorry’s- it all feels so unreal. I still can’t look at pictures and cannot bear to hear the sound of her voice as I miss her so much. I’m 29- no kids of my own – I feel like living the rest of my life feels almost impossible.


  16. The things people have written are sad yet beautiful.
    I think we are all amazing people to deal with the things life has dealt us. Its the hardest thing in the world losing your mother. I sometimes wonder how i did it, how im still some what functioning.
    Some days are unbearable, it can be sunny and clear outside while everything inside to me is grey and hollow.
    its so hard.
    so hard……….
    I dont know how we do it. I really dont. I almost want to hug every person i meet who has dealt with loss, because they are the bravest and strongest people i know.
    To go through death like this, is to understand more of ourself and that of life. Ive begun to see so much since i lost my mom.
    For those who have been through loss. you are amazing, You Are Amazing.
    I hope your days are filled with love and more sunshine
    To mom, I LOVE YOU so so much


  17. Tina,

    I only read your post after i cried and left mine.
    Im so sorry you lost your mom. There isnt much one can say during these times. But remember, even during the darkest time, ” There is ALWAYS hope “.

    The sun still rise and sets despite how many clouds are in the sky.

    I lost my mom a year ago. The family was just her, me and my 2 brothers. However, when i lost her, it was as if i was the only one who existed in my world. Ive never felt so alone before despite having 2 close brothers. This is something we deal with personally and mostly go through alone.
    Life will still give you its beautiful days, and those are cherrished with a more beauty.
    Cry and shed tears for your mom.
    Tell her how much you love her.


  18. Andrew,
    Your comments were touching. You are so right that our experiences of death bring us closer to understanding ourselves and life. Losing my mother has been the most difficult process of my life. Thanks for sharing your comments. Stay strong and hopeful Andrew.


  19. Thanks Andrew, I still am having a hard time accepting that she gone… it’s been two weeks now and each day passes with much loss- we we’re so very close to each other. It is so strange that the one person you look to for almost everything in your life is gone. I know she knew how very much I loved her in life and how much she knows how much I love her even though she is gone from my own life. I have talked to her a bit- but I just wish I could hear her voice … Thank you for your words and thanks for sharing your own story – as it makes me feel like I am not completely alone in this feeling.



  20. I lost my Mom on 5/10/08. She was 84 years old and had not felt well for the past 5 yrs. The last month she could not walk and my four siblings and I were with her all the time. I feel fortunate that I got to spend so much time with her. Her funeral was a real celebration. I spoke about her at the funeral and so did my brother. He created a web page for her. She was my best friend and I love her so much. It is not easy to lose your best friend who has been there for you for 56 years. I told her how much I loved her so many times she probably got tired of hearing it. Towards the end, I only wish I had thanked her for everything she did for me and my family.


  21. I’m 19 and my mother was like my other half. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May of last year (2007). When I found out, I felt like my world was going to come to an end. Little did I know the worse was yet to come. She spent months in and out of the hospital after we found out she was sick. After a long summer, she was doing better and we were very hopeful she would make a strong recovery. Around mid november, she became very weak and had to be hospitalised again. I had spent countless days and nights at the hospital hoping to give her some of my strength. I hoped that if I showed how much I love her there would be some kind of miracle. The last night I spent with her was like the other previous ones. I watched her fall asleep. I woke up to her calling my name and helped her with anything she needed. I held her hand and told her I would be by her side no matter what and that I loved her more than anybody in this world. There was a big snow storm on the day of her death. She was not able to speak and we all feared what was coming. After what seemed like the longest day of my life, I hand let go of her hand and watch my mother close her eyes for the last time. She died on December 16 2007. Only a few weeks after, my little sister and I lost my father to an act of suicide. We were not close like I was with my mom but I feel a sense of abandonment from him. I know in time I will understand why he did what he did but for now, I don’t speak much about it. Dealing with two losses at practically the same time is just too much to process. I feel very alone all of the time even though I have wonderful people around me who constanlty show their love and support. I was very touched to read the other stories and although it saddens me to tell mine, I feel like someone might actually understand. After about 6 months, everything still feels so fresh and I long to see my Maman’s pretty face and hear her laugh. She was the person I turned to for everything and she made helped me make sense of just about anything. Now that she’s dead, I feel more lost than ever and there is nobody to help me find my way. I guess I will have to do that on my own which is scary because she was the one to guide me throughout my short 19 years. I find it more difficult to speak about my father’s death..there is so much to say yet I can’t find the words…
    Daddy, I hope you are happy wherever you are.
    Maman, I miss you and wish soooooo bad I could just talk to you, even just once. I love, love, love you.


  22. At 42 I just lost my Mom last month. I can’t tell you the similarities of things you have shared with some of the thoughts I have had in the grim 3 weeks since she passed away. We would speak every night at 10:00 pm. I find my self saving up things to tell her during our nightly call…but now my phone is silent, and I am just left with all these thoughts that I can’t share…

    I feel like life has become so strange. Less rich, less joyful because she is no longer there to share the funny little things that happen each day and make life fun…

    It is nice to find similar feelings shared here. Thanks.


  23. I have been surfing the web, like many looking for simular experiences. My poor mother died on 5/4/08, only 46 years old and as everyone asks was she sick? My answer is yes, depression to me is as bad of a sickness as cancer. I wish however I could just be mad at God or someone else for killing her, but unfortunatly she took her own life. Then I always here was it expected? If I expected her to kill herself I would have never left her side. I always feared it, but I always thought she was so strong. I don’t sleep at night, I fear everything, like a child scared in the dark. And all these questions I have that will never be answered. As a nurse I think I can help everyone and I couldnt even help my own mother. I too pick up the phone to call her and tell her funny things the kids do or when I just need someone to talk to and then it hits me. I think this pain will always be here and only 27 years old I have a lot of time to feel this pain. My mom and I were very close and talked almost every other day, I am still in such denial. anyways just wanted someone to listen as most people have no clue what its like to loose a mother:( below is the poem I wrote for her funeral.
    To my mother, and my best friend 6/4/60-5/4/2008
    There is so much more I want To tell you,
    so many Things to say,
    One last talk or hug from you Is all I want today.

    I wish I could have helped you Take away all your pain, I am so sorry you were Hurting so bad, the thought Makes me insane.

    I can’t believe this is really Happening, it has all came to an end. Today I have to say goodbye to My mother and my best friend.
    I pray this day and always, that You have been set free, As much as I will miss you In my heart you’ll always be. Love, your daughter Christina


  24. Alexandra

    As i have said before you do not have to go through this alone. Go to those people close to you that you can talk to. If you have people that are showing you support around you who constantly show you their love and support, then lean on them. Find that one person who will just hold you and give you some comfort and let you go through the that moment of pain. They are the key to surviving the pain! And you are not alone, all of us at John’s web are here if you need someone to talk to. Also your Mom may be gone physically but not in your heart. So you can talk to her anytime you want and she will listen. Her answer’s will appear in someway in your everyday life . Keep your eyes open for them.



  25. John and everyone,

    Thank you for sharing your stories. My mother died suddenly in November 2004. We were incredibly close. Similar to John’s analogy, I had my own to describe my relationship with my mom. I always felt that she was my tether to this world and that if she was gone I had no idea what would happen to me – would I cease to exist. Well, here I am existing still! The problem is that with losing my mom, I have lost my faith to a large degree. I was always innately faithful and my mother had a strong faith. Now, I find it a challenge to connect with my faith at all. I wish that it was as easy as being “mad” at God but it isn’t that cliche. I haven’t yet figured it out but hope to get back to that place of faith. It is awful to lose your parents (I have lost my mom, my dad, and a beloved step-father) but an enduring loss of faith is also a void.


  26. Your story is beautiful. I too lost my mother (my best friend) two months ago. I feel like the sky has fallen on me. She was my life. My everything..Thank you for your story.


  27. I lost my mom on April 22, 2008. The pain from losing her is unbearable. She was dx with cancer on Feb 8, 2008. She went thru radiation tx, chemo and spent 12 days in hospital, she ended up having to have surgery on hip from bone cancer. She did everything she could do to stay here with us. But it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know how to live this life without her. She meant everything to me. She was my safety net. She was the one person who totally loved me for me. She was always there to talk to about anything. She was simply the best mom. 10 months earlier, from the time that she died we lost my gma. My mom’s mom. These two women were my anchor in this crazy world. The pain from losing them both is to much to bear. I simply miss her so much. I feel as if I have this large hole where my heart was. I think about her all the time, I often reach for the phone to call her then realize that I can’t. I believe in God and can honestly say that my faith is getting me thru this. I know that my mom and gma are no longer in pain and that they r now together. That helps me to think like that…..the selfish part of me wants to have them here with me…but I will see them again……..thank you


  28. I am like most, and was searching for something to help me deal with the death of my mother. That is so hard to type and read too, I have not done that yet. I lost my mom March 16, 2008 suddenly to a heart attack. She had just turned 60 in December and I just turned 35 in April. On March 3, 2008, my boss and her husband went missing and still have yet to be found, my mom and I talked everyday, several times a day about this. The day my mom passed away, my husband, children and I were traveling to Disney World for a week’s vacation. As I was driving I decided to call my mom and see what she was up to and she was going about a normal day. After we hung up, 45 minutes later, my dad called back in panic to tell me to turn around that something was wrong with mom and the paramedics were there. I decided to fly home and let my kids and husband go to Disney and figured I would go care for my mom and be able to join them later. My world shattered when I called my dad back to tell him of my plan and see how my mom was doing… my dad told me to take my time, that my mom had passed and not to worry she would be traveling with me and keeping me safe. I lost my mind at that moment and screamed and hit and cried and there was just silence on the other end of the phone, my dad just allowed me to break down. I remember looking back at my children and the tears streaming down their faces and I felt so heart broken for them and crawled back there with them and just hugged them up! I can’t get these memories out of my mind, I play it back like a tape recorder over and over. I am having such a hard time dealing with it and would guess I am still in disbelief. She was my everything, I didn’t make decisions without her. Like alot of you said, she was my bestfriend, she was there when my children were born, she helped me find and buy my house. She was the rock of our family. I just can’t comprehend that she could be fine and healthy one moment and in a split second, she is gone no warning. Thank you all for writing on this site. I have felt so alone and like no one understands for relates. Of course, my brother and dad do and they are wonderful, but I try and be strong when I am around them. I don’t know how to grasp this loss and am scared when the reality of it really hits me.


  29. Jen

    Don’t be so strong around them, let it out when your with them. They are the people that know your pain and can help you through it as you help them. Let yourself go through the emotions and it will get better with time. My husband just let’s me go through my pain when i break down and just hug’s me tightly. After i go through it i bring myself back to reality and say Mom made you strong, so get up and get on with life, until the next time. But each time it get’s easier.



  30. I’m 20 and my father passed when I was 15 which to my surprise wasn’t that hard to get over( I was a daddy’s girl). Now my mother died last year of Lung Cancer and I just can’t seem to find my way out of this darkness, it’s taking it’s toll on my life like I never would have thought. I wanted to thank you because your story is almost the same as mine, it made me feel not so alone.


  31. Jen,
    Share your pain with your father and brother. Like Simone said it will help you get through, and in the long run help you all. You may not believe it now, but we do find ways to deal with the terrible loss. And it does get more bearable in time. I try to focus on all of the wonderful memories I shared with my mom…our mothers’ may leave us physically, but they are always in our hearts and close to us. Talk to her often and know she is listening..this has helped me survive this unimaginable grief. Take care of yourself Jen.


  32. Thank you for your comments. This site is very nice to have people to talk to and relate with. I haven’t felt my mom in my heart and I haven’t gotten to the point where I talk to her. I think I am still so unwilling to accept she is really, really gone. My mom fixed everything for my brother and I. Any problem we were having in some way she would fix it and this is the biggest problem and hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and she isn’t here to fix it. I depended on her so much for so many things that I can’t imagine that she is gone now and forever. We spoke everyday and visited alot, we lived about 4 hours away from each other. She knew me inside and out, it even frusturated me at times that she knew me so well! :>) I could tell her everything and anything and did!!! She spoiled us and made us feel we deserved the best of everything, but taught us responsibility at the same time, so we could succeed on our own. We were connected and too much at times, I couldn’t make any decisions without her. There has been so much death in our life this year between friends losing their parents and distant relatives and I am having such a hard time with my mom’s, I am envious of those that got to say their goodbye’s and all those things that you would want to say knowing they were going to be leaving this earth. I told my mom I loved her because I did every day and every time I spoke with her. If I knew, I would have loved to hug her up and tell her what an amazing lady she really was and what a huge impact she was in my life and that I looked up to her and how I cherished her. She worried about dying young because her parents did, but I didn’t believe her, she seemed immortal to me. I wanted the chance to take of her one day for all the years she took care of me, I am 35 and she still took care of me! :>) It is even stranger to me that I don’t have a mom on earth anymore, it is just unbearable at times and so lonely. My mom’s childhood friend told me about a beautiful song to listen to, to help me with my mom… It is called “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson. If you haven’t heard it, you can go to “You Tube” and search his name and the song. It is beautiful, I listen to it often and cry missing my mom and I know she is living joyously now, but I so badly want her back! Thank you all! I am glad I found this site!


  33. I too lost mother 11 years ago with cancer and sometimes it just hurts so much when you see other people that would have been here age all enjoying life as she should be not that I wish it on them and my friends that have got a mother to go to I still even now look at a item and think I might get that for mum if only I could. No body can replace her in any way she was the best my father found somebody else within a few weeks I was so hurt and even hated him him for a bit, but life goes on and I can not be un kind but it feels very hard to be nice to them even after a this time. My mum is on a pedestal and nobody can take her place.


  34. I greatly enjoyed reading your article about your mom; thank you very much for writing it and sharing it with us. It felt very personal, and it reinforced my belief that all people, regardles of race, religion or nationality, feel the same joys and sufferings essentially the same way. The reason I sought articles about this topic (and fortunately found yours) is I will probably lose my dear mom in a few months or even weeks, as we’ve just been told by her doctor today that her cancer has spread all over her abdominal tissues and bones. Like you, I think I won’t be able to handle her potential passing as my mom and I hava had so many fond memories together. But I am tryng to prepare myself for the inevitable. Please wish my mon and me luck. I wish you success and happiness in all your endeavors; please take comfort in the fact that you and your mom will meet again in heaven someday. How old were you when your mom died, if I may ask?


  35. Hi Vince. It’s a horrible situation you’re in and my heart goes out to you remembering how I felt in the same situation. I too wondered if I could cope with losing her but in the end I was surprised how I got through it – I guess we all find strength in adversity. I don’t think it’s the sort of thing you can prepare for as you really can’t imagine how you’ll feel – your best bet is to take each day at a time and make the most of it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    I was 27 when my mother died, 6 years ago this month.


  36. Vince, I will say a prayer for your mom- I’ve been through it… Life was not meant to be an easy road. I lost my mom almost two months ago and I am 29. We were the best of friends and did everything together. Not a day goes bye that that I don’t long for her and miss her. Remember to say how much you love your mom and thank her – mom’s really do give you something that can’t be reproduced by anyone else – they give you unconditional love and the strength to move forward each day.
    God be with you and your family.


  37. I lost my Mother on June 23rd 2008 she was only 51 years old. It was very unexpected she died of congestive heart failure. There are 3 of us girls but me and the middle sister lost our father 18 years ago and still have not really dealt with that. Mom was Mom, Dad and Bestfriend to us 3 girls. She was extraordinary all of us could tell her anything I mean anything and she never judged just advised. I miss her with all my heart. It hurts to even breathe anymore, I never thought I could feel pain like this. Everyday seems to get harder, I am so lost without my Mom.


  38. Cheryl

    I relate to how you feel, I lost my mom suddenly March 16, 2008 and she was such a huge part of my life. I could tell her everything as well (she wasn’t always happy with what I told her, though!:>) ) I wish I could give comforting words to you, but everyday still gets harder for me as well and everything hurts with such a great pain. I would like to have a second chance and have her back, I still haven’t accepted her death and when the pain gets too bad, I stuff it. I am so afraid of losing control. I appreciate you sharing your story Cheryl, I felt I could relate with someone. Thank you.


  39. Hii dont think I will ever get over this as I AM GOING TO BLAME MYSELF for my mums death till I die which I wish was soon. I took my mum who is 84 on holiday with me this year as I do every year usually Spain but thought she would like Egypt and wish I had never set eyes on this hotel. It was meant to be 5 star but everyone we spoke to on the first week was violently sick. My husband and I took the bug and had it for a few days but recovered ok my poor mum took it and I gave her the pills the pharmacist had said were for the bug but my mum being only 6 stone couldnt fight it . Why did i not get the doctor I WISH i COULD ANSWER this question. I AM beating myself up here because she was my world and she completely trusted me and I HAVE FAILEDher. I WILL never get the chance to tell her I am sorry we had only a few days left of the holiday and I thought she would be ok I will never forget when I found her lying over the bath and all the egyptian doctor could say was SHE WAS VERY OLD. I would still have her here if I wouldnt have went to on that awful holiday…my mum died on 24th June 08 it was the hardest flight home leaving her over in Egypt alone.. I miss her with all my heart and she will never know this


  40. Hi Brenda,

    As I said in my article, getting your head around the death of your mother is a huge thing and – for me at least – can take many years to learn to do. Feelings of guilt and blaming yourself are common and indeed it’s easier for your mind to lock onto the concept that it’s all your fault – making that consume all your conscious thoughts – than it is to come to terms with your loss immediately.

    Looking back I can see the various coping strategies my mind used on me to gradually let me deal with my mother’s death rather than all at once and it’ll be the same for you I’m sure, although in different ways. Whereas you’re full of guilt and anger at yourself my mind just wouldn’t accept that she was gone and it was as though she was still alive. It deflects you from dealing directly with the loss but lets you gradually think about it at the back of your mind. Over time though, as you can see above, it did sink in and I realised I had no choice but to accept it.

    I’ve played the “what if” game many times over the years, especially with the death of friends in accidents (more than I’d care to mention). With hindsight it’s easy to be critical of your part in events, but at the time you don’t have the knowledge of how things will turn out and even if you had done things differently that’s not to say the result would have been different.

    Don’t bottle up your feelings though, make sure you talk them through with someone you trust. It’s not the sort of thing you want to tackle on your own if you can and it’ll take a long time, believe me.


  41. to Cheryl and Jen,

    When i read your comment it reminded me of where i was last year, i had the same feelings you had. I wondered when the pain would go away, and why it would only get worse with time! I couldnt stand it, i thought i was loosing control and i was. I just had to let go and be a wreck for quite a while………reset.

    on days when it was so bad, the words in my journal, the tears spilling on the pages, were the only sense of relief. i couldnt believe i could be in such pain and live through. i was angry at life for being so cruel… my journal, my counselor, my friends, my music and most of all, being with myself got me through this. I got to know myself really well. Its an amazing thing i got from this experience. one door has been closed but another has been opened

    Its just a year and six months since she passed. It was the hardest thing ive ever had to go through, however, please know this, that over time, as the days come and go , it does get a little better. Its still hard, tears still stream down my face, but the periods between the grief are more happier and last a little longer
    Just remember how beautiful and amazing you are. you doing your best and your honouring life
    If you ever need someone to talk to, with all my heart, dont hesitate to send an email.
    I found it easier to talk to someone who understood what its like to loose a mother….
    life will change and happiness will come through a different door now


  42. Andrew,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I would love to send you an email. I feel like if I could talk with someone that really related it would help. I feel so alone. I don’t even feel like I can communicate with my family or friends. I am having such a hard time accepting this to be the truth. My mom fixed everything and I just can’t imagine her not fixing this. You didn’t leave your email, my email address is jenayfr16 [at] yahoo [dot] com. Please email me anytime and thank you again!


  43. I lost my Mother on July 28,08. at 6:35 AM. I got up at 5:30 to go to work and she was in the living room and said she had heartburn,she wasn’t acting like she was in that much pain,I asked her if she wanted me to get her anything and she said a pillow, I,didn’t bother her, because she acted like she wanted to go to sleep.At about 6:30 she turned to me and told me she didn’t feel good, and then she was gone. I called 911 and had to put her on the floor and do CPR, she never came back. EMS got there and worked on her and took her to the hospital,but it was too late. I’m having a hard time living with myself because I keep wondering if I would have asked her more questions and called 911 sooner if she would be with me today, I just can’t get that out of my mind,I never thought I would have to do CPR on my own Mother.


  44. Hi John,
    First let me say how sorry I am for you. Your story is very well written. Unfortunately I am able to know just how you feel. My mother passed away July 21, 2008. She was not only my mother she was my best friend. We used to talk 5 to 10 times a day. She was a wonderful person, loved and blessed by all who knew her. Many people came to me saying that Kaiser Hospital screwed up. They said I should get her records and sue. My mother never sued anyone. So I prayed and God answered as He always does with me, in a poem.

    “My Lord Spoke to Me”

    Don’t act the victim, as though there was a crime,
    My Charlotte was ready she knew it was time.

    I gave her to you for 82 years,
    Through her I calmed your fears.

    She showed you My wisdom, She showed you My Love,
    She continues to do so from Heaven above.

    She’ll always be with you because love never dies,
    So stop your crying and open your eyes.

    Rejoice in her victory she’ll never again feel pain,
    Don’t feel your loss, feel her gain.

    PS. She’s cooking pasta for My Son.

    Idon’t think I will ever stop missing her. How could I? But I do know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and I asked Him into my heart so I know I have the free gift of salvation. Therefore I will be with my mother one day. I just have to wait. It’s God’s timing. And though I’d love to be with her, I couldn’t bear the though of leaving my daughter and grandson just yet. They need me the way I needed my mother. If you ever want to talk just let me know and we’ll figure out how to get each other emails without notifying the whole world.
    God Bless you with peace and much comfort,


  45. Hi

    I’m 23 and I lost my mother two months ago. It’s a tragic feeling and I can understand you.
    My mother was 50 and died because of lung cancer. I stayed with her in hosoital for two months and then one morning her heart stopped beating. I can not really believe that she’s gone and I would never see her face and hear her voice. I really missed her. I’m still waiting for her to open the door and cheer us up again.


  46. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss here. I am 37 years old and have 3 kids, ages 16,13 & almost 2. I lost my father to a heart attack 12 years ago. I lost my mom to cancer almost one month ago. I live about 6 hours away from where my mother lived. My mother suffered from severe rhematoid arthritis since I can remember. It was so severe her hands & feet were knotted, twisted, and deformed. Her pain medication methotroxate is most likely the cause of her cancer & death. She was only 67 years old. She was required to submit monthly blood test to continue on this medication. The blood test checked her liver function. She never told me or my brother or sister that these tests had shown anything abnormal. On July 4th my sister called me and told me that my mother was sick and she wanted me to talk her into going to the hospital. My mom lived in my sister’s basement ever since she could no longer care for herself totally. I talked to her and we finally got her to agreee to go to the hospital. She was very sick to her stomach and couldn’t eat at all. The Dr at the emergency room diagnosed her with pancreatis (an inflammation of the pancreas). They admitted her and stared her on meds. She was relased a few days later. She seemed to be recovering ok at my sister’s home. Her appetite wasn’t back to normal but it was increasing. She started sleeping constantly though and was unable to go anywhere with my sister except to Church one Sunday to see my 16 year old get baptised. I was unable to attend since my 16 year old was spending the summer with her dad who lives not far from my mother and like I said that is 6 hours away. I remember talking to my mom afterwards and her telling me my daughter looked just like an angel. She was so proud of her. My mom and my daughter were very close since my mom had kept her for me while I worked from the time she was 6 weeks old till she started school. Actually like many of you we were all very close. I would call my mom at least 2 times a day just to hear her voice. My brother would call her everday on his way home from work, and of course she lived with my sister and they did everything together. Everything seemed to be going ok until my sister called me on July July 20th and said she was very worried about mom. She said she had almost quit eating again and was having some stomach pain & back pain. We got my mom to agree to go back to the hospital on that Monday morning. By the time my sister got her to the hospital the trip had worn her out and my sister had to get help to get her inside. As soon as she got her inside she noticed her yellow skin coloring. The Dr’s started running all kinds of blood test, ultrasound, mri and various other test. As the results came in we started getting more worried. By Wednesday morning she was declining very fast and the Dr suggested we do a scope test she he came try to remove they blockage that he suspected was causing her jaundice. I was still at home 6 hours away working. The Dr got on the phone with me to discuss how serious this test could be. He told me that my mom was very weak and he didn’t know if she would make it through the test. That was really the first time we knew how serious her condition was. The Dr then gave the phone to my mom. Through the tears I told her I needed her to make it through that test so I could get up there and be with her. She promised me she would. I told her that I loved her and hung up the phone to call my husband. I was so upset. He agreed that we would travel up there after work that day. The test took about an hour and I paced the floor the whole time crying my eyes out. My sister called me to tell me that my mom made it through the test and was in recovery. We headed up there early that morning. When we got to the hospital and I walked over to her bed her eyes were closed but as soon as she heard me she opened them. Her stomach was very swollen, her skin was very yellow, and she wanted to do was sleep. She wasn’t able to eat at all but she was taking sips of juice, ice water, and ginger ale. My brother and my sister were both there with her. My sister was exhausted from staying all night with her the night before so I told her to go home and get some sleep I would take care of her. My husband played with our 22 month old while I tryed to care for my mom. When it was almost time for visiting hours to end I was torn on what to do. I had never been away from my baby overnight. I expressed my feelings to my husband about being a mommy he looked at me and told me but you are also a daughter and I knew at that moment I needed to stay all night with my mom at the hospital so he left to find a hotel room for him & our son. It was a long night with her waking constantly trying so hard to get comfortable. I would help her turnover every 30 minutes or so. If only I had known that was her last night I would have done so many things differently. I would have talked to her more instead of trying to get some sleep. Sometime during the night I noticed her breathing was becoming more labored, but I didn’t want to face it. The next morning came and she was getting weaker by the moment. Her cancer Dr pulled us out into the hall to let us know that the scope did show a spot on her lung, and lympth nodes. Her blood tests also indicated cancer. She was to weak to undergo a biopsy on her liver to confirm this. We stood by her side all day offering her drinks, ice chips, whatever we could get down her. Believe it or not when we would speak to her even through all the morphine she would open her eyes and answer us. At about 3 that day the nurse came in to change her oxygen intake and put a mask on her instead of the tubes in her nose. We stood by herside to help hold the mask in place. She opened her eyes as wide as she could and looked me directlty in my eyes, she then turned to my sister and did the same. After that her eyes started glazing over as she looked straight into the sky. We knew she was going. I started crying and through my tears told her it was ok. To go ahead aand go be with my dad. She died within minutes. All I could do was cry and hold her hand and rub her head and hair. It was the most painful moment in my life. I do believe in God and do believe she is in heaven right now watching over me. I don’t know how I would make it throught this without my belief in God. My mom was such a big part of my life, my sister’s life, my brothers life, and my childrens life. It feels like the world is a merry go round and I have been knocked off and can’t get back on. My husband has been a great help fr me but its hard for him to understand how deeply I’m hurting. His mother is still alive and they don’t even hardley speak to each other. A big comforting factor for me right now is that we brought my mom’s dog home with us. She loved this little dog so much. It helps me to know I am doing something for her by taking care of him. He sleeps in my daughters room with her right beside her in her bed. I know I will never get over this loss but I also know I have to go on. I have to be the best mother I can be for my kids. That is what she would have wanted.

    I am truly sorry for each and everyone on this page. I know the pain you are experiencing and I know the loneliness you feel in your heart. I pray that God gives you the strength to carry on and to cary your loved ones with you in your heart.


  47. I lost my mom on Thursday 14th August 2008. She suffered a ruptured brain aneursym on the Monday the week before while cleaning the carpet! She thought she had pulled a neck muscle and went to the doctors with a severe headache, neck stiffness and vomiting. They gave her a neck brace and some medication for the pain. Then on Friday of the same week she collapsed from a seizure and was vomiting again so was rushed to the hospital where they did an MRI scan and they picked up an aneursym so she was sent to ICU. We had to wait all weekend for her blood pressure to stabilise so they could do an angiograph and find out what the best course of action was to be. They decided surgery to clip it but 2 days later my mom had a stroke and slipped into a coma. She was declared brain dead on the Wedensday and the following day the life support was turned off. I went to visit her every day in the ICU, I told her how much I loved her but didn’t want to worry her before the surgery by telling her I would never forget her etc. She was my best friend, my son is 6 months old, she loved him so much. I’m just so grateful she got to kiss him before she went into surgery. I don’t know how to get past this pain, I can’t accept that the doctors thought she had a neck injury – my mom was so strong the neurosurgen couldn’t believe she was doing so well. He thought she was going to make it, it was such a shock when she died. I only had 10 days and then she died. Every time I think of my mom I want to be sick, I can’t see me getting past this pain. I miss her so much! How can I look at my son when all I think about is what she will be missing?


  48. Lucille,
    I have 3 children and I know the pain you feel when you look at them and wish she could see them. I do however belive my mom is with us at all times now and watches over my children. Before my mom died I was teaching my 22 month old to say mammaw, we still pratice saying that everyday and I know she will hear him when he finnaly does say it.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.


  49. Lucille and Vanita,

    Thank you for sharing your stories. You said it exactly how I feel Vanita, a loneliness in my heart. It has been 5 months since I have lost my mom and I am still so lost and filled with so much pain and disbelief. Thank you all for sharing your stories on here, it is helped so much.


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