you think you’re doing ok and then the dam breaks…..

Discussion Board Forums Grief Management you think you’re doing ok and then the dam breaks…..

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    I wish I could say that I’ve never been there… oh, but I have. 7 months today since my Mom “left” us at age 61. So unsuspected and a mere 41 days after diagnosis. (Hello Mom…). I have snapped at pets, certainly my husband, and friends that either never call to check on me or those who do. When you are there, and you have had enough, it just flows right from you. I agree it is good, because keeping anything in is destructive. My Mom kept it in and she’s not here anymore to let it out. Lesson learned.

    The times I have let it all go have helped to heal part of me. Crying at 2am after a terrible dream, I though I had my shit together recently when that happened. Now I know that my body and mind will take the break and release the emotions no matter where I am. It’s nature.

    I will share this with you, and I do hope it helps in some small way. At first it is every minute, then every few, then every hour, then every day, each week, each month, and so on. Like waves in the oceans, it recedes slowly and I hear that it gets easier. I am not convinced, but I am hopeful.

    A ton of denial hit me yesterday, followed by a whoosh of “My Mom should be here now”, and next “My Mom could be here now”. I realized that she suffered, and I grasped so quickly that she is not and it is (unbelievable that I can admit this now) better that she did not spend more time here over these last 7 months. What a smack of reality that grown-up thought is.

    Still, I miss here now, and always will. Part of my brains puts her some place happy, laughing and carrying on. It’s sunny and she is doing what she did best, helping others. I am starting to remember that she was happy once, before all this and I also quickly realize that from the day that she was diagnosed she was not herself. And so it goes…

    What I suppose I am trying to say, is that ultimately my Mother is where she was going. I just have to catch up with the reality of that statement, a few thousand more times.

    We are all driving in your car right now with you.
    You know and can likely feel that you are not alone.


    Hi Pam, I hear you on the “dignity” and “cold hard reality”- which is a question of safety. Between the morphine, fentenal and the skin and bones legs my dad is walking on, I cringe when he gets up to walk into the bathroom. I keep offering to help, but his pride wont let him.
    Do you get the station K-love? I know it is nationally sindicated, and it is a spiritual but not over the top. It might keep you company. Take care and drive safely.


    Pam…this you can be assured of, we are with you all the way.
    Hugs coming your way.


    Hi Pam…. Just like to echo Carol. Be safe and my prayers to you and family as well.
    Jeff G.


    Hi Pam, you’re always in my prayers. This must be so hard to see your Mom like this. Let me know if her itching intensifies. Charlie has had an awful time with that. Be careful on the road and take care!

    Praying for better tomorrows,


    You guys are the best!

    I can’t tell you how much you comfort me.

    I just got off the phone from my Dad and he was giving me an update. Mom is becoming more and more confused. Since her ammonia level is normal it’s not that. She is also starting to itch and we have jumped on that with a vengence. Hospice brought several things as well as prescriptions. The itching has ceased for now but I know we are moving to the beginning of the end. Her bilirubin level was up so I’m sure that’s what causing the itch.

    Mom is also becoming less tractable because of the confusion and is now a pretty constant fall risk. She will insist that she is perfectly capable of getting up and going to the bathroom by herself but in reality her body won’t cooperate. Now we are walking the thin line between her dignity and sense of self and of cold hard reality.

    Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be making the trip to Greensboro this weekend.

    You guys will never know how much you help me……..



    Hi Everyone,

    I too go from soft gentle tears of sadness to times of gut wrenching sobs. I also feel that the uncontrollable crying comes from frustration. I do feel somewhat better when I get it all out.

    I agree with all of you that the person we were before is gone & we will never be the same. I feel like a part of me went with him when Jim passed on. Our lives have changed forever. I am beginning to think that the sadness & grief will never truely go away. It will always be there. I think we just have to learn to live with it and go on. The questions is trying to figure out how to do that. I have good days & bad days, but it is always there in the back of my mind.

    Everyone try to have the best day that you possibly can under the circumstances. I am thinking of all of you & the grief that we share.

    Love & Hugs,


    My Grandchildren have told their Mom (my Daughter) that they want their “old” Grandma back – the happy one, who took such pleasure in life, and I do feel like this disease has stolen our joy from us. After 5 months, I have recovered a bit, and I can occasionally see beauty in the world again, and have moments of fleeting pleasure, but I have changed forever, I fear. I understand what all of you are saying – between us we have shed enough tears to fill an ocean!

    Joyce C.


    Well I have cried every day for the past 5 months sometimes a big cry that gives me a headache and sometimes many small ones.Sometimes private other times in shops or over the phone and I hate feeling that way.Sometimes I go for a walk with tears running.I just keep going but I really wish I was my usual self but I think that self is gone



    There are different kinds of crying and they all help us in some way. Sometimes I would just have a slow, steady cry and sometimes it would be uncontrollable sobbing. For me I felt the slow cry came from all the sadness and the uncontrollable cry from my body and brain’s response to the stress and lack of control I felt over the whole situation. After the uncontrolled sobbing I felt more relaxed, it was something that had to come out, it came from a jumbled buildup of emotions, frustrations, forgotten bills, etc., it is your body’s way of saying you are not able to handle all of this right at this minute, and that is ok.



    yes, I have so many “moments” that set me off. I, too, don’t know when they will strike. It will come out of the blue, I will hear my dads voice in my head, think of his smile, see his work boots by the basement door, look out into his garden that is waiting to be dug up for spring, Ill see a grandfather walking with a child, and the tears will come. I live al block away from my parents, and for the last six months, unless I am going to their house, I wont drive passed their house. I will drive 3 blocks out of my way to get home, so I don’t have to pass their house b/c I know soon my dad wont be there, and my mom will be alone. That is a thought that I cant even try to reconcile right now. I haven’t had a full blown meltdown like you Pam, but I have had a steady stream of tears for many, many months. I think I feel like if I lose it, I will never recover. I have two kind of clueless brothers and a mother who is really not coping well with the thought of losing her husband of 45 years, so I have to keep it together. Pam, Darla, and Patsy, I hear and feel your pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    peace be with you


    Pam – I agree with the others – this is normal…..I never know what is going to “set me off” since my Daddy passed in January. It can be a song, a food I cook or even eat, the other night a commercial reminded me of him and I lost it. I eat fruit and all I can think about is my Daddy and his love for fresh fruit, then I think, will it always be like this. I do want the happy memories, but not gut wrenching crying jags that I have……….
    Just know that we are here for you,cry and cry again for your mom. My hugs and prayers go out to you during this time.

    Smiles through tears,



    This also will sound odd, but I think it is “normal” that we have these breakdowns, if that makes any sense. It is also probably a healthy reaction as it does seem to relieve the stress of everything that we are going through. I have had this happen so many times. Sometimes the smallest of things will set it off and I do usually feel better afterwards.

    I have been told that the more we love and the more we care, the harder it is, which is actually a testament to that love. As you said, it is just one more part of this awful journey that none of us wants to be on.

    I think we would all agree with you that we too hate this monster of a cancer that has affected so many, patients & caregivers alike.

    I too think that you will be OK for now. Stay strong & know that we are all here for you. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers along with everyone else that is dealing with this horrible disease.

    Love & Hugs,


    I had so many days and nights like that.


    Pam, how does one say, with a straight face and concern, “I am so glad you had a melt down”? It was probably a long time coming and well deserved. Just think, with a pink face, you saved on make-up! I have a feeling you are going to be OK now. I enjoy your way of writing, kind of like an Erma Bombeck. Hope you are feeling much better now for the tough road ahead. It almost sounds like your mom was in the right place last night! See, she is still taking care of you!

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