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26 Apr 2004

mom passed away
hi, my mom passed away on 3 jan 04, unexpectly from Pulmonary Embolism, i was with her when she died and how she said she didnt want to die, i saw the pain she went through and how her eyes rolled to oppisite sides, when doc came i assisted in cpr,i am re-living that day over and over on top of missing her so much i can breath, i cry for everything lately (happy or sad), i get bad anxiety from time to time, i dont like doing anything eg socilizing, seeing my dad suffer is even more hurtful, my 2 sisters have become very angry but luckly they were not there when my mom passed. i feel she was cheated of her life, she was only 49, my dad and her were going to greece on her 50th, i cant help but think maybe if we took her to the doctor sooner she would have survived...i miss her so much, i cry evertime i think about it so i try put it to the back of my mind and not think about it at all. can you suggest how i could get over this
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear gigi,
I'm sure we're all very sad to hear of your great loss. And what you are describing is pretty-well normal grief --- a very natural and normal but very painful reaction, which feels like it never ends, though it does. It seems worse when the person is younger and the death is unexpected, but is always awful, when the person was loved.
It is typical that we not only feel lost and painfull sad, but that if we were present, for a time we keep revisiting the scene. A Pulmonary Embolus ( a sudden large blood clot blocking the circulation to the lungs ) can arise for various causes, but is often unpredictable and hence difficult or impossible to predict. It is usual that we feel guilty, and full of "If-Onlies", even when there is actually nothing we could have done to prevent it, we feel their should have been, and blame ourselves nonetheless.
Crying, anxiety, discomfort in breathing, concern about our own health or that of other loved ones, mixed emotions including anger and grief, all are normal. Grief Counselling could help, if you choose to work with any counsellor. Time DOES heal, as people keep telling you, but it seems impossible to beleieve this before it actually does happen. A book I have often found helps people, which is not a typical "
self-help" book, but a very honest and useful acount of grief, is A Grief Observed, by CS Lewis, a thin paperback, by an author who kept notes for himself, of his own grief when his much-loved wife died unexpectedly, how badly he experienced it and hwo he found his way out of it.
As Q says, it is important to work towards remembering your mom with happiness and greatfulness for her life, as she would have wanted you to do, rather than with sadness and bitterness. That is one's destination in working through the hard labour of grief. Thanks to Q for her valuable and beautifully expressed comments, and to our other compassionate and excellent readers.

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