Can We Talk About Grief? Losing My Mom

They say grief comes in waves, and it's absolutely true. Grief can be overwhelming, all consuming and exhausting. It has been 6 months since my Mom passed, and I'm still adjusting. We've gone through winter, spring and summer and as we move into fall it feels like she passed so long ago, but at the same time it feels like it happened a few days ago. I guess I'm shocked that six months have passed and I'm still standing and figuring this all out. Grief has surprised me in many ways. I thought I would share my journey so far. Grief is not something we tend to talk about, and everyone goes through it in their own way. When you lose someone, in those first weeks, it seems like everyone wants to help but as the months go by, it seems like they've all moved on and you're hesitant to bring up your emotions.
Those first few weeks, I went through sheer panic. This wasn't "I'm sad" it was panic, absolute panic over the fact that I would never see my Mom again. I would have to switch my mind as fast as possible because I didn't think I could deal with that emotion. It would wash over me, and it felt crippling. I felt like I couldn't breath. I tried so hard to push the panic away. That emotion itself scared me. I knew I couldn't stay in that state of mind, or it would take over. The trauma of the hospital is something I'm still not over. Six months later, and it still haunts me. Over the course of a few days, my Mother completely changed. Her pallor changed, her body changed and I will never forget how her hands felt when I held them. The machines were terrifying but her body shutting down was also physical and I could see those changes without doctors saying anything. I never thought I could stay in the room when they shut the machines off, but I did. I'm proud that I did.

In the first couple of weeks, I felt like my Mom had to occupy my mind every single minute of the day. If I was doing something and remembered that I wasn't thinking of her, I felt guilty that she wasn't on my mind. If I had a decent day, I felt guilty. I've been coming to terms with this and I've gotten much better, but that guilt was not something that I expected. When you're going through such a difficult time, the days still come and go and I was left with alot of guilt. My Mom would have wanted me to take care of my family and myself but I felt like I was moving on too quickly. If she was watching me from Heaven, would she know how much I hurt or would she think I just got over her death so quickly. It doesn't make sense but that's where the guilt came from. I didn't want my Mom to think I moved on so fast, I wanted her to know I missed her incredibly.

Holidays, birthdays and the days leading up to them were the worst for me. I would start to get anxiety about how I will feel on those days and ultimately I felt worst on the days before. This has been six months of "firsts" without her and it's hard. Even when a little thing comes up, and I know my Mom would be the one person who would understand me, it hits me that's she's gone. I packed up some of her clothes, and I stood strong but I crumbled after. It bothered me for days. 

At this six month mark, I have to reassure myself that this is still very new. I'm still adjusting and I need to go through this process. There is no timeline, and self care is very important. It's important to communicate because it feels like everyone is doing okay, but they're probably still hurting- like me. Don't assume how others are doing, because you really don't know.

I've come to the conclusion that this really is about adjusting, not moving past it. In time I will find peace, but i'm not there yet. It's coming, but not yet. I will always miss her, I will always wish she were here. You expect to lose a parent when you're older and ready, but you won't be ready. Your world shifts and feels so delicate, you feel like it can shatter at any time. I've had weeks where I thought I was doing really well, and then another wave will come. I need to let them come, and I will allow myself to go through this process. If it's been months since someone passed, and you're going through a wave of grief- talk about it. You're not alone. If the person you're talking to doesn't seem to understand, they probably haven't lost such a significant person in their life. It's okay, they don't have to understand but someone who has gone through this will understand.


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey so far - grief is so personal, it's different for everyone. I can assure you that it does get easier. Sending hugs your way.

  2. 6 months is both a short time and a long time and I would imagine that things will be very raw for at least the first 12 months. I think you are coping admirably - I can't imagine being without my Mam. I love the honesty of this post and it has reminded me to always ask how people are doing after the loss of a loved one, not just in the immediate weeks after but for a long time after too xx


  3. Six months is nothing, Jennifer. I can't begin to imagine the pain of watching your mother shut down in hospital, that was incredibly brave and loving of you. And survivor guilt is a thing that many people experience, it's not something you should beat yourself up over. Everyone heals at their own pace. I still have bad days now, over 20 years later, but I can say that it will get easier in time. Take all the time you need, and remind those of your friends that while their lives might have moved on, yours hasn't done so in the same way. They need to be aware of that so they can offer a shoulder to cry on, if nothing else. Thank you for sharing this, it's very courageous of you xx

    Lisa |

  4. Hi Jennifer! This post is truly heart breaking. I am not able to read beyond two paragraphs. I am really sorry but it makes me very emotional. I am unable to handle it. Even my mum has gone through some surgeries and her health goes down off and on, which scares me. I can totally feel your pain and sadness. This is the sad truth of life. I am really sorry for your loss.

    Via |

  5. You and I can relate

  6. I know it's hard, I've been through it with my dad 5 and a half years ago. I remember how my mom had a panic attack on his 2 year death anniversary and had to go to the ER. Even though she remarried and I love my stepdad, of course I miss my dad! In fact, I had a dream about him last night finding out that he never passed away...only to wake up remembering that he was cremated. I can so relate about feeling guilty when your mom wasn't on your mind. For months after my dad's death, I would regret deeply about all the times I treated him badly or not wanting to spend time with him (especially because he was a bit overprotective). You will get through this. Time heals all wounds. Of course you will miss your mom and think of her everyday (like I still think of my dad and it's almost been 6 years), but it will slowly become more and more bearable. You got this!

    Hannah the Mad Dog

  7. Also, your mom wouldn't want you to feel bad or guilty if you weren't thinking of her. Life goes on. She knows how much you love her. After my dad passed, I busied myself getting into the graphic design program at my school and use him as a source of strength to get through it, and got accepted when we received our results which happened to be on his birthday.