The Loss of a Loved One

Red Rose

A red rose withers

Her smile lights up her wrinkled brow

How long will she last?

Rose

Source

Grief when Losing a Loved One

Every day is a new beginning, yet sometimes it is also an ending. How does one prepare for the inevitable? When one you adore that has lived a long full life but is nearing the end, should not I feel joy for that long life? After all 88 years is certainly a good, long life; it is filled with wonderful memories. I believe there is a better place for her on the other side of that door; yet, for her to be to be there with the Lord will leave a big hole in me.

Loving Care

I have cared for my mother in my home for the past seven years. My husband also adores my mother. She is a strong woman. She has survived her left leg being amputated due to a surgeon’s error. She learned to walk again with a prosthesis. Last summer she broke her right hip, which meant the stump leg had to become her strong leg and she is walking again. She has survived many heart problems, and she still goes and to play bridge with her friends. She never complains, and yet, I’ve watched her struggle. Mentally, she has remained sharp and can still correct my writing!

My Mother at (91 yrs. old) at her Great Granddaughter's Wedding

My Picture 5/25/2015
My Picture 5/25/2015

Love of a Mother

My mother is known as a sweet woman and is loved by her community of friends and the family. She is the one that I can tell anything to and she does not judge me. I have been so blessed having a mother like her.

Plans

The cardiologist says she badly needs a mitral valve replacement but would not survive the surgery. Of course, I knew she would not survive forever. The medicine she is taking now has relieved most of the symptoms except for the fatigue. As a nurse, I know exactly how serious this condition is as she has developed pulmonary hypertension, a complication of the mitral valve problem. I don't know how much time she has left, but with that diagnosis I know it will be shorter than I would choose.

Many people are facing this same problem. One thing that does make it less difficult is the fact that I know exactly what her wishes are as to a funeral and to all the things she owns. There will be no sibling bickering or problems, which is a big relief. My husband and I have also paid for and made arrangements for our funerals when we leave this world. We want to make things as easy on our children as possibl.


Advice From a Friend

I have a friend whose mother has Alzheimer’s disease. He spends a lot of time with her at the nursing home, yet he says while her body is alive, she is gone. He says to talk with my mother as often as possible. He wishes fervently that he could talk to his mother. He would trade places with me, but I am still sad for him.

Nothing Left Unsaid

So, how do you prepare yourself for that inevitable loss? I try to focus on the present day. My mother is up and drinking her morning coffee while reading the paper. When she sleeps much later than usual, I peek in the door to make sure she is still with us. I guess there is no easy way. At least I know what is ahead, and I can make sure to leave nothing unsaid. I can laugh, talk, talk about old funny times and truly enjoy her each day. I will have positive memories, and that is worth a lot. I treat my mother well, and I don't have regrets about what I should be doing am not. I think that is important.

I'm not sure why I wrote this hub as I am not sure it will help anyone, but I felt the need to express my grief I guess. So many of my friends lost their parents very young, and certainly younger than my mother So, I know I am blessed and should quit feeling sorry for myself. This just is not one of my best days.

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 43 comments

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Oh my!! Pamela MY PRAYERS are send to you from the bottom of my heart. Behind Pam, today, I read a young daughter who is not ready to face the truth. Sometimes I wish I was there to help you in any kind of way. The elderly close the cycle, and little by little they become helpless like the children they bore. This is so sad. Had to hold tears after reading you... and could sense your grief between the lines. Just hold her, kiss her and talk to her ears. The moment of true comes to any of us. I cannot charge you for the Kleenex tissues I used. Was worth it anyway. I'm out of words Pam! God bless you and your beloved mom!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Pam it makes me sad to read your hub. There's not much I can really say except cherish all the time you have left with your mom. Sending you hugs.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Good Morning Pam,

I know why you wrote this, it is something that sometimes we don't want to think about until it is too late..My mom just got over lung cancer, and I was so scared and not prepared to loose her. Thankfully I have her still. This was such a beautiful hub and you are a wonderful daughter. You both are so blessed to have each other.

Love and hugs,

Sunnie


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Lord, Thank you so much for your touching words. Your prayers are most welcome and I think that what you said about the elderly is so true. I will do as you suggest and thank you again for caring and expressing your thoughts to me.

Susan, I don't think there is much to say and yes, I will cherish the time we have left. Thank you so much for your comments and hugs.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Sunnie, I am happy that you did not lose your mother to that horrible disease. You are right, I never wanted to think about this but it seems now I must. We are blessed because our relationship has been so good. Thank you for the loving comments and hugs.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Pamela, a beautiful and yes, helpful hub. I lost my dad when I was 25 and my mom when I was 28 while they were both in their early 50s. It would have been preferable to have been able to expect it instead of unexpectedly. I envy your long relationship with your mom and applaud that you are taking the time to spend as much time as you can with her while you can. I'm sure she appreciates it more than you know.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh, Pam.....I want to hug you and tell you how I feel for you in this sad time. I was with my Mom her final days and it will remain with me forever, as she will be missed forever.

The love you have for your Mom just shines through your writing like a star, Pam....and you have described her kindness, her strength and love of family and friends.....I feel as if I know her, Pam.

You have the right to feel these emotions....do not deny yourself.

Please know I understand and believe you will have the same strength your Mom has shown.....when you need her most, her memory will always hold you up.......


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

TTombs, I am sorry to hear you lost both of your parents so young and I am sure that had to be very difficult..Than you for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

fpherj, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your words help and I do know I have inherited my mother's strength. She has taught me well. I know I will miss her forever and I'm hoping the new medication will keep her alive for a little while longer. I appreciate your comments.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I feel your pain, please believe me, i do. My Mother was in a coma for 41 days before she passed away. She was developing decubitus ulcers all over her body. It was a blessing when she went to heaven. The only advice i have, Hug her so thight and know when she passes you will see her again. Thank you for sharing..Chreers


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Ruby, You expressed the one thing that makes this whole thing tolerable, the knowledegable that I will see her again. Thank you so much for your comments.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Pam, it is a very touching read. I understand your emotions and feelings at this time. no words of comfort are enough in times like these and saying the right words, (this is one time that words sound hollow), somehow do not come right.

I feel deeply for you but I'm glad to see your mother has a very strong spirit. Make the best of these days while your mom is here to spend as much time with her and you will be happy. I know you're doing just that.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

rajan jolly, I am doing just that. Today she is doing fairly well so I am taking her to lunch. Thank you so much for your comments.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Dear Pamela,

As you know, I lost my mother 2 1/2 years ago and it was sudden. After surgery for a perforated bowel, things just went south and after 8 days in ICU, I held her hand as she quietly slipped away less than 24 hours later in a hospice room. She was 84 and it all seemed a blur at the time. It was so unexpected!

My mother was also living with us at the time and prior to that in her own home in our same subdivision. She was my best friend and we saw each other daily.

I can honestly tell you that there is really no way to prepare yourself emotionally for the loss that you will be feeling. Intellectually...that is another matter. Having faith in the next life helps immensely...but the hole in your heart will take some time to heal.

Reading this has tears running down my face. I just talked to a high school friend of mine yesterday who is at the end stage with her mother. They have her at home where she wants to be. Her kidneys are barely functioning and the doctors expect that it will be a matter of days. We used to have many slumber parties at her parent's home when we were teenagers.

Just live each day with your mother enjoying the many precious moments you still have with her. Know that many others have tred the path you are now following and that we truly empathize.

May God bless you, your husband, your mother and all those who care about her.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

What a beautiful hub post. I am sending prayers and hugs your way. Time is precious and letting others know how we feel every day is important. Your efforts are beautiful and will be rewarded.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Peggy, I remember when you lost your mother. I feel exactly like you felt about your mother. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I know there is really no way to prepare and I am grateful that we have this time together and it is not a sudden event. I appreciate your words and blessings more than words can say.

Dianna, Time is precious and I am so thankful for your friendship, your prayers and hugs. I don't always share how I feel online, but felt I need to this time and all of the kind words have helped. Thank you.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Pamela, I lost my dad when I was 37 and my mum when I was 39. The sad thing was that with my dad it was unexpected and I wasn't with him at the end, and the same with my mum. We went to see them most days, but they had to be in an elder house as my mum couldn't walk because of a stroke. The comfort that I hope to give you is that you are there, you can share things with her and see her every day, that's a wonderful thing to have, and unlike me you will never ever have to say 'I wish I had done this, or I wish I had done that' just like I still do, my thoughts are with you, nell


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

NeIll Rose, I am sorry to hear you lost both parents so young. My father died about 10 years ago but he had been very ill and it was not a surprise. I am grateful for the time that I have with her right now. I am trying to do the things that are most important because I don't want to live with those regrets you spoke about. Thank you so much for your comments.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Prayers for you Pamela. This is a wonderful tribute to your mum, and I'm sure you'll cherish the wonderful moments. Thanks for the write.

Voted up and across.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

midget, I know that I will and everyone has has such a kind response to the hub that it really touches my heart. I appreciate your comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Pamela, this is a beautiful hub written from the heart. There are few things in life to match a relationship like that you have with your mother. You are each other's best friend. I had that BFF relationship with my mother who passed away at 98 years young with every brain cell still intact. And I have the same relationship with my daughter - we are each other's BFF - Best Friend Forever.

Make the most of every moment you have with your Mom. When she passes, she will never be completely gone because you will always have those wonderful memories of the good times you shared that will help heal the pain of losing her. I know. Trust me.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

drbj, Thank you so much for your comforting words. The fact that you had this experience and your mother lived such a long full life is wonderful. I do treasure this time I have with her and no matter how long it lasts, I try to make sure to spend time with her talking and doing things each day. I appreciate your words so much.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Pam ~ oh my! I sing the same refrain. Enjoy every moment together. You have given your heart and soul. Now, she may be in decline; but your words tell the story of an incredibly courageous and strong human being who has weathered the storms. Know you are a caring and loving daughter who has done everything possible to keep her comfortable as the end nears. Some times, simply 'being there' is all you can do and that is enough. Blessings, Debby


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Debby, At this time simply being there is the only thing I can do and this time is precious. Thank you so much for your comments.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

A wonderful heart felt hub. I am sorry that you have to go through this experience but being there for your mother is what it is all about. My dad died June 2011 without any notice.....I often think about the last time I talked to him.....and I wish I would have known what was coming....so the conversation would have been more meaningful...versus the talk being about taking the kids to a musuem....it is amazing how often I think about that phone call......so I am very glad that you are getting the opportunity to share these moments....enjoy them...voted up and beautiful.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Pam I am so sorry about your Mom. She knows you love her and it sounds like you have been a very good daughter and taken good care of her. Some daughters wouldn't do that. Prayers are with you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Cogerson, I have come to realize the what you are saying is so important. I don't know how long my mother will live, but I am able to enjoy her company and say the things that mean the most. I am sorry you lost your father so unexpectedly. Thank you for your comment.

Joyce, We do have a good relationship and I appreciate your comments so much.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This hub is as beautiful as it is moving. Your mom is lucky to have such a wonderful, caring daughter. I haven't crossed this bridge yet, but I can only imagine how hard it is.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Tammy, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. It is difficult and we just take it a day at a time right now.


nylarej profile image

nylarej 4 years ago from Ph

I love my mother so much and I can't imagine if something will happen to her. Honestly, I am not ready for inevitable loss yet which the fact we will all end up there. Reading your hub reminds me of cherishing mom everyday. Thanks for sharing Pam!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

nylarej, Maybe it is good to read a reminder of just how special our mothers are and how much we love them. Thank you for your comments.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I don't think anyone can really prepare for the loss of a loved one like our Mothers. My Mother died very suddenly 30 years ago, and I still miss her.

My best to you, I voted this UP, and shared.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Mary, I know you are right. I am fortunate she has lived to such a ripe old age and I know I will forever miss her when she is gone. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your kind words.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Pamela99,

Sharing is one of the main reason for writing this hub---as we all at one time or another are/have gone through this with a close relative.

I am going through this with my 88 year old aunt---my mother's sister who has survived eye cancer and can see out of one eye only. She now has liver cancer and has lived longer than anyone the doctors have heard of today.

So, your hub has given us all a moment of reaching out and sharing what is in our hearts.

Bless you and your mother---do not let stress of what is happening shade your heart and mind---you will always have the ones you love in your heart to recall and feel close at anytime.

Thank you Dear Pamela.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi Purvis


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Pamela,

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you take one day at a time with your mother. As loving daughters, we know that is the only way to live, yet as nurses who fully understand what may lay ahead it can be difficult to stay present in the moment.

I think that this article can indeed be helpful to others who are in similar situations as it shows that even though we focus on the positives and try making the most of the time we do have together with loved ones, it is still difficult to watch a loved one, no matter how good and long a life they've had, lose independence and vitality.

We sense we are not totally prepared for the loss, even as we feel its inevitable approach and know we will face the inevitable with love, grace and faith.

It is good to have the support of others and to be able to openly express our feelings of anticipatory grief and loss.

Sending You a Hub Bouquet of Hugs & Love,

Gail


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago

Pamela what a beautiful and touching hub. Although this must be so sad it is wonderful that you have only love and good memories. I am also facing the loss of my father who is turning 80 next month but is suffering from lymphocytic leukaemia as well as heart problems, has had a stroke and was in hospital twice this month with pneumonia. I am daddy’s girl and losing him breaks my heart, so I empathise with you 100%. Sadly, loss is part of life and I wish you strength and courage to overcome this most difficult time. All my love and blessings to you and your family.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Bobbi, Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your strength and hope. I appreciate your words very much as I know they are true. Your hub friend also, Pam

Gail, Your words mean so much to me. Faith keeps me moving through each day with some semblance of sanity. I love the bouquet. That is so sweet. I appreciate you so much. Hugs.

Trinity, I am sorry you are also going through this difficult time and we all do lose our loved ones at some point. I also wish you the strength and courage to get through this time. Love and blessings to you and your family also.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 4 years ago from Northern California

I think that these are beautiful, natural thoughts that many others in your similar position would find comforting. I wish you and your mother the very best. I have thought about this with my parents, but then at the same time it helps me feel grateful that my family and friends are healthy at this time.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

glassvisage, My first thought for you is to enjoy your parents now while they are healthy. Laugh and have fun as much as possible. I appreciate your comments.


Laurel Brunvoll profile image

Laurel Brunvoll 4 years ago

Pamela99, thank you for sharing your grief. I honestly believe that it does help others walking the same road. I, too, had such a beautiful relationship with my mom. What a thing to be thankful for! I was only 21 years old when she became stricken with ovarian cancer, and she fought valiantly against it for 5 years. I miss her as much today, as I did, that day in September 1994. Every single day each of us is alive is a precious gift from God, and to be together with loved ones through this journey of life, even during illness, is very special. May you savor each of the moments you have with each other!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Laural, I agree wholeheartedly that each day is a precious gift from God. I do savor each day she it with me and I very much appreciate your comments.


Shar-0n17 profile image

Shar-0n17 2 years ago from Perth

It is hard when you lose someone you love. Although the only thing you can do is to keep their memories alive. And most of those are just little things, that pop up when you least expect them.

These will give you laughs and yes tears, but they are a part of the memories of the person you have lost. So yes cherish them. What I find is really terrible is the young children that die before their time or before they have even had a chance to live and explore this world. Lovely hub, thanks for sharing


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Shar-On17, I think you summed up the feeling a person experiences after the loss of a loved one very well. I agree about the children. children are not supposed to die before their parents in my humble opinion. Thanks so much for sharing.

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