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Helping Myself Heal After My Mom Died

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It was the worst phone call of my life. My mother had been hospitalized after a stroke, and there seemed little chance she would recover from it. I went into autopilot mode, ever the practical daughter, making all the necessary phone calls, arranging for someone to pick my kids up after school, letting my close friends know. I didn’t shed a single tear while I had these logistics to tend to.


Then I rushed to the hospital to be with my mom. She looked so frail and small, tucked up in her hospital bed. My mom had always seemed larger than life to me. She had a big personality and was always the life and soul of the party.

My mother was such a capable person that she made everything, especially being a mom, look so easy. Surely this little old woman hooked up to all these machines couldn’t be her. But it was, and for the first time, the fact that she might die sank in. A massive sob and shudder ran through my body, and I was tempted to break down right then and there.

What stopped me was the sight of my father, holding my mother’s hand, stroking her hair, and whispering sweet nothings into her ear. “She’s coming,” he urged, “hold on, my darling, she’s coming.” He looked up and saw me, and relief was written all over his face. He, too, looked so fragile and old to me.

As he clasped my hand, he told me that it was time to say goodbye to my mother. “She’s been waiting for you,” he said. Together, we stood next to my mom as her heart slowed until it finally stopped. I held my father as he wept for the woman he had loved for more than 50 years.

The next few days were consumed by arranging the funeral, and they were a blur. However, being able to work through made it easier. After that, when all the visitors left, I was on my own for the first time since my mother had died.

It was then that I fell apart, as the realization that I would never see her, hear her, touch her, or speak to her ever again hit home. How would I get through life without my mother? Her passing had left a massive void in my life, and nothing would fill it.

They say time is a healer, and they’re not wrong. With every day that passes, I feel a little less empty. It’s not that I don’t think about my mother; I think about her all the time. I see her eyes looking back at me in my daughter, and I hear her laugh when my little boy chuckles at a joke.

I cherish the things we bought or made together, and I often sit and drink coffee at my kitchen table and recall all the wonderful conversations we had there. I still speak to her when I’m trying to decide something. What would you do, Mom, I ask myself. And, somehow, the answer always comes to me.

I’ve tried to wish my grief away, and I’ve tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. It was only when I embraced it that I learned to let go and allow my life to carry on. My mother wouldn’t have wanted my life to stall after her passing. In fact, she would have disapproved strongly, to say the least. I’ve healed by absorbing every emotion her loss has brought me, allowing those feelings to course through my body and mind so that I could process them and move forward.

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