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My Mother Just Died from Ovarian Cancer!
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My Mother Just Died from Ovarian Cancer!

My mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in December of 2009 and she lost her battle on May 2, 2010.  It was so fast and I am having such a hard time dealing with this.  I want to blame everyone from my mother who didn't go to the Gynecologist for two years, even though we all knew something was wrong to the Doctors who kept giving her chemo treatments even though she was so weak.  I am talking to a therapist and reading books but I don't know if it's enough.  My mother was only 67.  What hurts the most is that my mother and father knew in January that she only had a 25% chance of fighting the OV, but yet never shared this with me and my brother.  We were told "She'll have the chemo and then the surgery and everything will be fine" and I believed that.  I'm 40 years old and I believed what they were telling me.  I guess that is why this is such a shock to me!  My father keeps giving me her jewelry as he says "It's what she wanted".  I had no closure with my mother because I wasn't at the hospital when she passed.  I saw her on the morning of her death and all of her vitals were normal and then she went downhill and I was at home when I heard that she passed.  My mother and I had argued alot and if I knew that she had limited time, I would have tried to mend our relationship, but I ran out of time and it's too late.  I'm trying to be strong for my Dad and brother, but it is difficult at times.  My Dad says that he's grieving too because this was his life partner and doesn't take my feelings into account.  Does he not care that I am grieving too?  This was my mother.  I also have an 8 year old son who doesn't understand that his grandmother is gone.  I tell him that he is in Heaven, but I don't think he clearly understands.  I found age appropriate books to read to him, but he doesn't seem to understand.  I need some advice because this is tearing me apart!

Thanks!

Ilana
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I am so sorry for your loss.  Ovarian cancer normally has no symptoms until it's too late, and even seeing her OB-GYN may not have detected it.  There are no tests for it, and the symptoms are so vague that most women dismiss them. I understand why your parents did tell you, they didn't want to worry you, but I also understand why it was so very important that you know.  So, don't blame your mom, I know women who have died from ovarian cancer who saw their OB-GYN yearly.  Your parents were trying to protect you and your brother from this, right or wrong, they did what they felt was best for both of you.  I had the same kind of relationship with my mother and she and my father both died in a car accident when I was 25.  I had trouble dealing with not having closure and taking their deaths so hard when we weren't close at all.  I saw a therapist who told me something that made me feel so much better.  She said "you were never anybody's little girl, you are not mourning the loss of your mother, but the loss of what might have been."  She said "so long as your mother was alive there was always this hope that one day the two of you would be close, and when she died, so did this hope.  She pointed out to me that things would not have changed had my mother lived, and she was right.  I wrote a letter to my mom, and it made me feel so much better.  I have to trust that she knew I did love her, she did her best as a parent and I reacted to her actions towards me.  Obviously your mom spoke about her jewelry to your dad, and he is carrying out her wishes.  I know the anger you feel, I had it too, but I directed mine at God, not right, but that's what I did.  I'm sure your fathers sees your grieving, but he has lost his love, his friend, his life partner.  Everyone deals with a loss like this differently, some pull everyone in around them, while others want to be alone.  He may still be in shock.  You're doing all you can with your son.  Maybe tell him that grandma was very sick and now she is in heaven with God, and is watching down on him every second, and free of pain.  Let him know that if he speaks to her, she hears him, and how much she loved him.  Your mom knows you loved her, no matter what happens in life as parents we always love our children and as children we always love our parents, it's a given.  Hold on to your good memories of her, and write to her, it truly helps.  Be there for your dad, he needs you now more than ever.  Talk to him about all this as well, let him know how you are feeling.  It's nobody's fault, it just hurts like hell and feels so unfair.  Don't pretend with anyone that you are okay, you must mourn, you can all lean on each other.
Take care...
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Words can not explain how Sorry I am for your loss. I can only imagine the pain and loss You would be going through at the moment. Your Mother would love you no matter what, but I can understand how it would feel to not have been given the chance.
Do not let what has happened cause a drift between You and Your family, you're all going through the same grief and loss and will all have differant ways of dealing with it. Your mother wouldn't have wanted to see any of You arguing and she would have hated to have seen it happening.
Sometimes when people are grieving they're not able to notice that someone else is, people have differant coping mechanisms. No one deserves to go through this but You need to be strong. You will get through this
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1118884_tn?1338596450
My son died on March 6.  So I can guess what you are feeling.  As mammo and princess have given you great advice, I can only add that you have to grieve in your own way, as your dad is in his.  I see this each day in our family.  Everyone experiencing my son's death in different way.

My huge challenge, and yours too, is to forgive.  It can be done.  Has to be done.  But grief has no time table or limits.  Do see a therapist to talk your feelings out.

We have spoken of not being close in this life: well it really doesn't matter.  You know there was a connection between you and your mother that no once else had.  Like mammo, my children and I could not be described as close.  Definitely not a conferring family.

I didn't  know one son was married until I met her at a class reunion football game which she went to for my son's father.  I have been pretty much left alone for 20 or more years and am now retired and doing fine.  I accept the sudden flurry of attention.  It is waning and soon things will back where they were.  

Flights of fantasy will only cause pain.  My son who died was to pick me up on the Friday after he died for our annual tax man trip.  That was the only time we got together.  He had started calling to wish me a Happy Birthday in the last year or so and I am happy we spoke several times during the two weeks before he died to agree on best time to get to tax appointment.    My heart goes out to you.  Day at a time.  Focus on your needs now.  Try not to let others distract you from moving through your own process.
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hi IIana,

I just lost my 81 year old father on the 13th of May. I feel your pain.

You are a parent as I am. If your son says or does something that makes you angry do you love him any less? Of course you do not. As he gets older and stops stepping on your toes, he will step on your heart. You'll still love him and you'll know in your heart that he loves you.

Your son may not understand to any great extent that his grandmother has passed and gone to a better place. He is young and will heal quickly. His world is filled with so many other things at eight.

Parents are the only ppl in the world that love us unconditionally. You must know by the love you have in your heart for your son that your mother loved you in the same way. My guess is she didn't tell you because she didn't want to worry you. I know that sounds strange but parents protect their children, even when they are 40 years old. And she may have been told exactly what she told you and your brother, "Everything will be alright after you have...."

Your father lost his life partner. He has all he can do to deal with his loss and grief. My guess is that right now he just can't help you with yours. Accept the things of your mother's that he is giving you. It's part of his healing process and it should comfort you to have some of her things. Your dad may be unable to "take your feelings into account."  We all grieve differently. Please give him time and space if he needs it. You have a son and your own home, maybe a significant other. Your father has no one. He is left alone in the home that he shared with his wife, your mother. He is left alone with the memories of her. She is everywhere to him in that home but no where to be found. Please try to understand what your dad is going through. He's not trying to be unkind to you or disregard your feelings.

Don't think for a minute that you had anything to apologize to your mother for. I doubt she passed being angry at you. She passed knowing how much she loved you and you loved her. When we are faced with death we understand what is important....and angry words are forgotten. I promise you this.

Be comforted by the fact that mother's love unconditionally, it's our nature. I beleive you can still "talk" to your mother now. My husband "talks" to his parents often and they have been gone from this earth for almost 20 years. It makes him feel comforted and as if they are still loving and guiding him.....and maybe they are.  

Please allow yourself time to heal and grieve...and for others that loved your mom to do so too. Be patient with those that are grieving for her also. Now is the time for you to lean on those that are hurting too. You don't have to be strong.  Time will heal and your loss will get easier, at least that's what they keep tell me.

Bless you,
~Tuck
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