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Coping with Loss/loss of mother and counseling

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Question
My mother recently passed away in Feb. I was very close to her even though she had gone to live with my sister in Ga for one yr. I visited her frequently and she lived here close to me for most of her life. She was 93 when she passed away from CHF/COPD under hospice. I was with her at the end of her life.IT hurt my soul to see her die. My four other siblings were there as well. It was very stressful because we do not get along.There was tension and strife,even hospice mentioned it.
Now we are not talking to each other. We are fighting over her money. She would be appalled . No kind words have been spoken or support offered to me. I am married,no children . I have a few friends but don't want to burden them. I mentioned to my doctor about seeing a therapist. DO you recommend a therapist over a support group? I feel alone without my family. I have tried to reach out but no response only hate. I read many books on grief and they have helped. I wonder if my family will ever be able to reconcile what has happened. My mother was the matriarch of our family. My life revolved around her for many years. I do want my family but I don't want any blaming or judging. What do you recommend.

Answer
Dear Marilyn:

This sure did hit home for me.  I'm very sorry for the loss of your mother and please give yourself time to grieve.  There is no set 'time' to grieve and your mother is one, if not the very one, person who will ever be closest to you.   It was the worst time in my entire life  and the thing that made it so horrible, other than losing my mother, was that my sister-in-laws were so rude and obnoxious.  They talked constantly about 'what they wanted'.  All I cared about was that I was trying to struggle through the greatest loss of my life.  I mentioned that because I know how terrible it is for you watching the life leave your mother and the fact that you don't have a family bonding.

Losing the most important person in your life is a tragedy and a pain that is so deep that you wonder if you can ever feel peace again.  This would have been eased somewhat if your siblings could have put away their differences long enough to show you that they were there for your support.  I know your mother, like my mother, would be very saddened to see her children being so insensitive to each others' needs.

When my grandmother passed away, my uncle's were all fighting each other for material things.  My mom said, "when I die, I don't want anyone fighting over my belongings."   I think she felt sure that that would not happen because she made it clear what she wanted to go to whom.  Everything she said she wanted me to have my sister-in-law took for herself.   I prayed for God to help me not become bitter.  I know she feels like she showered me with the ultimate 'hurt' but I only felt sorry for her.  I told my brother, her husband, I have something none of you will ever have; I have a clear conscience and can go to my maker knowing I never cheated a sibling and that I honored my mothers' last wishes.  Believe me, I can sit right here and feel the hurt you're experiencing, Marilyn.

You asked if I thought a therapist would be better for you then a support group.  If I had been offered a choice, which I was not, I would have chosen a support group first.  These are other people who have been through, experienced, cried, felt that pain in the pit of their stomach, felt the emptiness  and sat by a grave, helpless and longing to see someone 'just one more time'.  You will probably find that some in the group are or have struggled with uncaring siblings also.  I have heard nothing but good things about support groups and they are very supportive of you.  If you try the support group and feel that it's not helping you, then you might want to try a therapist.  The bottom line is, Marilyn, that you make that choice.  Which ever you choose, it will be your first step to healing.

You said you reached out and the response was only hate.  I know that feeling and it is so sad that siblings can be so cruel.  I read a saying on Facebook once that said, "Worrying is like a Rocking Chair - it passes the time but it doesn't get you anywhere."  I immediately thought back at how many times (and how much time I wasted) trying to reach out to my siblings.  I did not 'heal' and feel like a human again, Marilyn, until I started reaching out to people that I knew cared for me.    I whole-heartedly wish you the best and I hope you can begin to heal and go on with your life.  It would be my prayer that your family would realize what a wonderful, caring sister they have and that you will find peace in your life.  Feel free to write me anytime.  

Coping with Loss

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Joanne Flint

Expertise

Dealing with the death of close family members and loss of a friend. Dealing with betrayal; how to accept it, deal with it and move on.

Experience

I lost my parents, who died less than eight months apart and a newborn son three months following the death of my mother. A year following this, my brother died suddenly and a 19 year old cousin was crushed to death in a car accident on his birthday. Now I am facing the impending death of a very good friend. I have also dealt with the death of a husband. I have found that talking with people with similiar experiences has helped me and I have been told that it has also helped them greatly.

Education/Credentials
A licensed nurse for twenty four years with several years working on a Psych ward as well as being the Executive Director and Director of Nursing Services for a Group Home for mentally ill and mentally retarded.

Awards and Honors
Awarded top clinical and top academic grade at my nursing graduation. Also was a member of the English Honors' Class while attending a local college.

Past/Present Clients
I don't share information about people with whom I talk, unless given permission. I am not a doctor, but I have given insight and hope to people just like myself.

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