Posted by: Kathy | July 19, 2011

Acceptance Is Hard to Achieve

My mom has been dead for over 2 years. My mind knows this, but my heart just can’t seem to accept this fact, and I’m have a great deal of difficulty letting go. I lived the last 2+ years without my mom, and it’s been very painful. The thought of my mom not being in my future is something I don’t want to think about. It’s something I’m having a hard time dealing with and accepting. Part of me still cannot believe that my mom is actually gone.

I know that my mom would not want me to be in pain like this, to still be at this point so long after her death. I know my dad doesn’t like seeing me in pain and would do anything to help me. But this is something I have to do myself. I need to accept in my heart that my mom is gone. I need to accept that my mom will physically not be in my future, but only as a loving memory.

Although I write these words. Although I know this is something I must do, it seems like a near impossibility at times. My mom made such an impact on my life and on the lives of others. I never realized how deep this impact was until she was gone. There were so many things I didn’t realize. Maybe that’s part of my problem. I didn’t get to say all that I wanted to, needed to, before my mom died. I didn’t get to tell my mom certain things face to face. But she knew all of what I wanted to tell her. She didn’t need to hear the words. So why can’t I let go? Maybe because I needed to say these words. I just don’t know. I don’t understand death, or grieving, or healing from the loss of a parent. I only understand what I’m going through.

The dream I had a little over a week ago was screaming out to me “Mom is dead.” Mom is dead. I cannot type these words without crying, and maybe that’s why I was crying so hard in my dream and woke up gasping for breath. I know that I need to fully accept that my mom is really gone and won’t be spending the future with me or the rest of my family. I look at my kids and it pains me to think of what they are missing without my mom in their lives. But I can do my best to keep my promise to my mom and keep her memory alive for her grandchildren.

I wrote a very similar post to this one less than a month ago, so I guess this is something that’s really on my mind and in my heart. My dad, my friends, and even my pastor believe that I deserve to be at peace when it comes to my mom’s death. So how do I let go? How do I get my heart to completely accept that my mom is really gone? I don’t have any solid answers to these questions. I just keep trying to move forward, and I guess I need to see life as it really is and not what I want it to be.



  1. Hi Joyce:

    Accepting my mom’s death has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in life. My mind knows she is gone, but my heart still aches for her at times. I look at my kids, especially, and see how much she is missing and has missed. To me, my mom was their one true grandmother, and their loss is so much greater than mine. You know how much she cherished them. I made a promise to my mom to keep her memory alive for them, and it is a promise I will forever keep. I miss my mom, but I know she’s gone, and have come to truly accept that fact.

    Your comment reminds me of a favorite quote: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Thomas Campbell

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. ~ Kathy

  2. Kathy

    Would it help you to accept that death is part of life? Some of us lose loved ones sooner and some later, but someone you really loved will always be with you in your heart. They never leave you and you never leave them. You are providing a much needed outlet for people. That must give you so much satisfaction. Love, Joyce

  3. Thanks Ilana. There is no standard anything when it comes to grieving the loss of a parent. Everyone has different reasons for grieving and they grieve for as long as they need to. But it’s important to grieve. I didn’t grieve for myself, for my loss, until almost a year after my mom died because I was making sure everyone else was ok. But I wasn’t ok and I wasn’t doing anything about it.

    I was with my mom the night before she died. I left at 8:30 the next morning. About 2 hours later my dad called and told me my mom was taking her last breaths. I raced over there, but she was gone by the time I got their house. In a way I did get to say goodbye because I called while driving there and my dad put the phone to my mom’s ear. I told her how much I loved her and that I was on my way over, but if it was just too painful that it was ok for her to let go before I got there.

    I talk to my mom all the time. Tell your mom how you feel, what you wanted to say to her and didn’t get to say. I believe my mom can hear me. Tell your mom what you need to.

    Take care, Kathy

  4. Kathy,
    I can totally relate to what you’re going through because I am going through the same. In fact, your thoughts and feelings are what I feel. I almost could have written this blog word for word. I journal every day and what you said is exactly what I have been writing in my journal. My mother died from Ovarian Cancer one year and two months ago and I am having a hard time getting over her death. Everyone tells me to just get over it, but for some reason I can’t move on. Like you, I had no closure. There were so many things that I wanted to say to my mom and I took for granted that she would always be there. Her death was so quick (5 months from the day she was diagnosed) that I had no time to tell her the simple things. I didn’t even get to say goodbye because the day she died, by the time we reached the hospital, she was already gone. Thank you for saying what I have been trying to get everyone to understand; that I need more time to grieve. Let me know when your book comes out because I want to be the first to buy it!!!


  5. Kathy, I feel totally like you do…..I can’t make sense of anything and feel only sorrow in my heart, I did not get to tell my mom anything before she died as she died so suddenly, one minute at my house for dinner and next morning had a stroke. She suffered in the hospital for one week and I couldn’t tell her anything. I am so lost now, I might as well be a ghost, no one sees me suffering no one understands. I find solace in your blog. keep writing. regards and hugs wendy

    • Hi Wendy: it’s nice to hear from you. You say no one understands, but I do, and so do probably many of the people who visit my blog site. You’re not alone in the way you feel or what you are going through. I also understand what it’s like to feel lost. I felt that way for a while after my mom first died. I still feel lost at times. But what I feel the most is guilt because I had almost a year to tell my mom certain things, but didn’t. She was so determined to beat pancreatic cancer that I felt like I couldn’t talk to her about what I wanted to because it would be like going against that determination, if that makes sense. Then we got to the point where we knew she was dying, in her final weeks, but by then I couldn’t talk to her because she was just too sick. I missed that fine line of time.That’s where my guilt comes from.

      I’ve decided to reply to my comments as I get them now because there are some I’ve missed. I feel bad about that. People take time to leave me a comment, so it’s important to me to take the time to respond. Please remember, always remember, you’re not alone in the way that you feel. I’m here for you and I will keep writing. 🙂 Take care, Kathy

  6. Hi Angie:

    Thank you for your comment. You said a lot that was helpful. I’m sorry about the loss of your father, although I’m glad you were able to spend time with him caring for him and it sounds like connecting with him in a way you hadn’t before. Because I work from home, I was able to spend the last few weeks of my mom’s life working at my parents’ house and just being with her. It is devastating to watch cancer take the life of a parent or loved one, the way it just seems to strip life away and cause so much pain in so many ways. I will look into the book you recommended. I am willing to try anything that may help me get through this unending grief and emotional pain. I feel I’ve grown in many ways, although I can’t show this growth because I’m still grieving so deeply.

    You mentioned that part of healing comes from finding meaning in the loss, and this concept really struck me. So far, I haven’t been able to do this, and it is probably a major contributor to my ongoing grief. I don’t understand why my mom is gone, why she died when she did. It doesn’t make sense to me, as she was the healthiest person I knew and really took care of herself. The only thing I can think of at the moment is helping others get through their grief and loss by providing support and understanding with this blog. My mom spent her life helping others, and maybe I am meant follow in her path, although in a different way. I am also writing a book on my mom, from diagnosis until now. I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but it will be my story of how I dealt with my mom having inoperable and a very deadly form of cancer and then losing her. It is my hope that it will help others, if I can get it published in some way. If I can’t get it published professionally, maybe I will just share it on a website my husband has created for me. What I do and have done for many years is write, and I am hoping this book will be meaningful and helpful to others. It will also be my tribute to my mom.

    Thank you for your kind words, as they have brightened my day,


  7. (((Kathy)))
    I can so relate to your words. I lost my Dad a year & 1/2 ago after he fought a 22 month battle with grade 4 brain cancer. There are times when it feels so unreal & times when the pain is excruciating. I am a Registered Nurse & was so fortunate to be able to take care of my Dad in his final days at home. I shared amazing times with him & my Mom & it was only because I had recently gone through a divorce that I was able to go home & spend quality time. I think the healing comes partly by finding some kind of meaning in the loss. All I experienced with my Dad reinforced in me my calling of being in my profession & his spirit is with me when I take care of my patients. I also have been able to accept the loss of my marriage because it allowed me to be free to be there for my parents, as they were there for me. I also have a special book that has helped me immensely that I want to share with you, it is called Grieving Mindfully by Sameet M. Kumar, Ph.D. He says in this book that the depth of our grief is equivalent to the depth of our ability to love. I think it is so true & because of this I know that you have an amazing capacity to love & it might take more time for you to get to a place where you feel more peace than pain. This book was & is my friend in a journey of loss. I have turned to it many times.
    I send you love & light on your path to finding meaning in what feels sometimes like unbearable pain. And know that you are not alone.
    Much love,

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