Posted by: Kathy | April 16, 2012

The Changes That Death Brings

A lot has changed since my mom died. I’ve changed since my mom died. My dad is not the same person he was before he lost his wife of 43 years. I believe my kids are different because of the loss of their grandmother’s love and positive influence in their lives. Some changes aren’t bad, but the changes that the death of a loved one may bring can either strengthen you or break you. My mom was the glue that held our family together, and without that glue I felt like I was flying solo without a parachute.

I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer on November 16, 2008. Today, she has been gone for 3 years and 5 months. The 16th of each month used to bring me to a halt. I’d pay close attention to dates, thinking that on this day “X” number of months ago my mom was still with us. Then I’d be taken back to that time, the last days of her life, the last night of her life, the day my mom died. It was a pattern I lived for almost a year. It was a pattern that kept me locked in the past. But then one day I realized that the 16th of a month had passed and I hadn’t given it a second thought. I had started the very slow process of healing.

Last week was particularly challenging. On Saturday, emotionally drained and fighting a migraine, my heart and mind merged and a whisper escaped from my lips, “Oh, Mom, I really need you. Why were you taken from us?” Even after 3 years, there are still times when I need my mom. There are still times when I wish I could pick up the phone and hear her voice. But that’s not possible, and during the past 3 years I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve learned more about the realities of life and the true character of people. I’ve learned to trust my instincts. I make mistakes, but I keep moving forward, even when I don’t want to.

When someone special and important in life dies, it feels like life has stopped. When my mom died, I felt lost and empty, angry and confused, hurt and very sad. These feelings defined me and affected the way I’ve led my life. These feelings still pop up and that’s okay, but I don’t let them define me anymore.

There are still times when I can’t believe my mom is gone, when I feel like I just spoke with her. Her memory and love live on strongly within my heart. But then there are days when I miss my mom deeply and long to spend time with her again. The process of grieving and accepting my mom’s death has been a long and slow one. Sometimes I feel like it has taken decades to get where I am now, and I still have a ways to go. The death of my mom has led to a lot of changes in my life, both good and bad.



  1. Thank you Wendy. Hugs back to you. I do cherish the time with my dad and I am grateful he can spend time with his grandkids. ~Kathy

  2. Kathy, again, I so relate to your words almost exactly how I feel. I just realized today is the 18th, that is the day on which my mom passed away, it was Sept. 18th., 2010. The loss of both my parents has definitely changed me like you said good and bad…….cherish your time with your dad. I’m sending you a big virtual hug. Wendy

  3. As the anniversary of my mom’s death approaches, it is reassuring to read the experiences of someone a little further away from a similar tragedy, and tell myself ‘It’s okay. I’ll always miss her, but life goes on… look at how other’s are coping, learning, growing!’ So thank you.

    • Life does go on, but they are always in your heart. ~Kathy

  4. Thanks for your comment. It’s kind of like walking a tight rope – your foot can slip off to one side or another. Plus you know you need to move forward to get to the other end, but sometimes you get stuck and really want to turn back. ~ Kathy

  5. I cannot tell you enough how much your post describes the EXACT situation I am in right now and the emotions I feel each day…..dealing with my mom gone is a constant struggle for me. It’s a moving on yet holding back kind of scenario. Thank you so much for sharing.

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