One year ago today, I became a motherless child.

On a Tuesday morning last year, while on a coffee break, I went to the outgoing phone bank in my office (I was working in a call center and so could neither receive incoming lines use a cell phone), I called my father to check on my mother, who had been in the hospital with pneumonia contracted while under taking chemotherapy. My father told me he was glad I had called and that I should come home, but didn’t want to say why. I asked him if Mother had died and, after I repeated the question a few times, he said yes.

Okay, there’s the bare facts. I wrote about the aftermath here, if anyone gives a damn. Right now I just need to vent.

It’s been a hard year. It’s been frequently hard for me to keep my mind off my loss, not least because my job is a less than a five-minute drive from the cemetery where Mother is buried. I’m torn between thinking that I should go by there once a week at least to tend the grave, and thinking that doing so is neurotic, and not caring whether it’s neurotic or not. (I only go by once a month or so.)

Her grave is both a source of comfort and frustration for me. Comfort, because in a way I am glad Mother died when she did; she had been in torment for years – literally the entire life of her youngest grandchild, then aged eight–so her death in that sense was a blessing; it was the end of her suffering. But though the grave is the physical symbol of that bit of mercy, it is also vexing to stand there, because her coffin was placed within a steel vault–I presume to retard decay. I had found some comfort in the thought that Mother’s body would decay, because then it would become part of the Earth again, and thence part of flowers and worms and birds and cats and the rest of the food chain. That’s the only sort of immortality I believe in.

It’s hard to say where I am with the rest of the Rhymers at this point. Of my four full sisters, I have grown closer to my baby sister, which is no surprise; she’s always been my favorite person, and our shared grief has strengthed our connection. But one of my older sisters and I have grown more and more estranged as time has passed. We argued quite a bit during Mother’s final illness, and since her death she has grown as frustrated with what she sees as my apostasy as I have with what I see as her racism and narrowmindedness. We’ve gone from being each other’s best friend to barely talking, and this past weekend’s events (which I’ll write about another time) may have been the proverbial camel-crippling straw.

But there’s good stuff too. I had just begun dating one girl in particular when Mom died, and what I thought was going to be a typically Skald superficial and doomed relationship grew into much more, as my then-gf showed that, despite her bitchy persona, she loved me. We got married a few weeks ago. That’s both a happy and a sad thing. I wish Mother had met her.

Anyway, I just needed to vent. Thank you for your attention.

That first year is absolutely the hardest. Been there, done that. It does get easier with time, so try to take some solace in that.

One thing to think about with regard to your estrangement from your sister; given the nature of your disagreement with her, it was likely to come to that regardless of your mother’s passing or not. I doubt you would tolerate racism and narrow-mindedness under any circumstance, so if you try not to tie the two events together, it may make it easier to come to grips with.

And Congratulations and Best Wishes on your marriage!

That crackling sound you hear is dozens of Doper hearts breaking. It should fade within a couple of hours. No telling how long the lurker hearts will take, though.

Good luck to you, Skald.

I’m sorry about the pain of losing your mother. Most people find the anniversary is always somewhat painful though it gets much more manageable as time goes by. My father’s death anniversary passed recently, the 38th, and I noticed as always but didn’t miss anything on its account.

It’s been 36 years and my heart still cracks a little when I read about someone else. You have my sympathy and my empathy. It’s the special times when they’re missed the most.

I lost my Mom Feb 19th of this year.

My family has fractured. :frowning:

Keep slugging.

Not a parent, but I lost a dearly beloved sister 4 years ago. The first year was surreal. I don’t know if it gets better or if you learn to cope better or if the pain becomes more manageable. My best to you and your wife. I think your mother would have liked her.

Sadly, death does not bring all family members together. I am still strained with my only surviving sister–we are civil. Maybe aim for that in future.

{{{{Skald & wife}}}}

I’ll echo everyone else – the first year is the hardest. It gets easier, but to this day, I still have moments when I think, “I can’t wait to tell Mom about this – she’ll get such a kick out of it.”


Losing a sibling is a whole different kind of awful. When my mom died (Dad having died prior), I realized “family” was now just us – the sibs. And then one of us died.


I’ll be thinking about you and your family as you approach the holidays. That’s a tough one. Do what works for you – stick to tradition, or throw tradition out the window.

I’m sorry, Skald. It is very hard the first year. I lost my mom eleven years ago last June. Just as she was on her way out, I found the love of my life, but it hadn’t progressed to that stage yet, and my mom never got to meet her - although I must have mentioned that I was becoming friends with an American girl, by mail. So she never knew that I fell in love, emigrated, got married, established a career and became a homeowner, none of which I’d managed to do during her lifetime.

As a result of her passing, the family fell apart. Now, for all intents and purposes, there isn’t one anymore. All the things I’ve said on this board about my family are true. While I don’t miss the awful things that used to happen, I miss having a family. I thought it might bring us together, but it’s done the complete opposite. Regardless of our situation, we carry on. The alternative isn’t too attractive.

I wish you the best, and I wish for you the strength to carry on.

I’m really sorry, Skald. My mother died on March 16th of this year, aged 57. It makes me feel physically sick to remember her nightmarish final days. I hope you find some peace.

I also hope that, after a year has passed, I’ll feel a little bit better than I do; the last seven months have been thoroughly rotten.

I know how it goes. My mom died suddenly just over two years ago. Just before I was supposed to get married. Soon after that my wife got pregnate. I only wish my daughter could have meet her.

It does get better, I would say it took me right around a year to really get a start on getting over it.

I agree with the others that the first year is the hardest. For some reason it makes it feel like yesterday.

It will be twenty three years on November 4th since my brother passed. I only had fifteen years with him so although the anniversary day is always remembered the memories were from so long ago that many have faded.

His death tore apart my parents marriage which was really the only family I had.

It was a sad time but we can only learn and grow stronger from it.

There were many times through my life when I would sit and wish he could have met my children and them him. If he had gotten his life together I think he would have made a great uncle but I had to stop letting myself dwell on that.

We lose people and we learn to go on. They are never forgetten.

I hope you find strenghth and lean on your new bride. She may have not met your mother but she has a piece of her in her heart because she has you.

As everyone has said, the first year after losing a parent (or parents) is very hard. I know it was for me after mine died and sometimes I’ll see or do something and think “Oh, it would be so cool to show Mum and Da this!”

Hugs to you and congrats on your marriage.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom in 94, and it completely DEVASTATED me. So much so that my girlfriend at the time (my oldest son’s mother) couldn’t deal with my depression and threw me out of the house, with all of my belongings, on our son’s first birthday (!). I met Cristi (Persephone here) shortly after this.

Cristi took me in like a stray cat or something. She nursed me back to health. She got me to go into therapy, and I eventually learned to deal with it. She was the love of my life, with the exception of my high school sweetheart (who committed suicide in 91 - I didn’t find out until 95). I’ve often said that I was NEVER EVER getting married. I married Cristi.

Sometime shortly after the birth of our daughter Diana (Cristi called her “Dianasaur”) the love affair was over for her. With no explanation to me, she just didn’t want to be held, touched, kissed, NOTHING - with no reason given. She told me that if SHE wanted any affection - she would come to me. Otherwise, keep your hands to yourself. That’s the way it stayed for years afterward, until she died.

For some time before she died, we were co-habitating together for the sake of the kids. She was seeing someone else (some of YOU know who that someone is). I stayed on for the kids though, but also - knowing that she was on various anti-depressants, AND also her seizure medication for epilepsy - I had to assume that her change of heart towards me (and many other things that USED to be important to her) was due to this pharmaceutical cocktail (further complicated when she started drinking on a nightly basis), and I was riding on the hopes that SOMEDAY she’ll come back to her old self, and would want to try and put things right between us.

Sadly that day never came.

I lost my Mom in 94, my Dad in 99, a dear friend and fellow musician on Christmas Eve of 03, and finally Cristi in 04.

They say that you never truly get over it. It just becomes a little easier to deal with in time. I’m still waiting for that time to happen.

To those of you who knew her well - our last month together, before she died, was the closest the two of us had gotten along in YEARS. She actually came up to me and gave me a hug about two or three days before she died - and that REALLY struck me as strange! She hadn’t put her arms around me in literally YEARS.

The night that she died, I came home at around 9:00 PM to get a couple of guitars for work. She met me at the door and said “Be quiet. The kids are in bed, but still awake. If they hear you, they’ll go nuts and never get to sleep”. She then sat back down at the computer. As I started out the door, she looked up, smiled, waved, and said “Goodnight”. I smiled, and said “Goodnight” back. After I exited the front door, I stood on our porch for at least a minute just savoring that moment, because it struck me as being very strange. Normally, she would NEVER bother saying goodnight to me. She’d just keep pecking at the computer and not say a word as I left. I stood on that porch and thought to myself “Did THAT just really happen?”

I returned home at about 3:00 AM and the first thing that I saw was both John and Diana sleeping on the couch. The next thing that I saw was Cristi dead in the bathtub…

The kids are all doing OK. Cristi’s Mom seems to be holding up well. I’m back and forth. Good days and bad. I don’t like being left alone very much. Unfortunately that happens all too often as old friends and aquaintences hardly ever call or come around anymore. I stopped going out and playing music for a long time because I couldn’t handle the fact that everyone was looking at me in pity. So, after being away from the scene for a few years, I went out to try and jam with an old friends band, and I was bombarded by people coming up and saying to me “Oh you’re out now?” They mean’t out of jail. The whole town has spread the rumor that I shot Cristi (yes SHOT!) and that I’ve been in jail this whole time. So now I can’t even face old friends anymore. Some of them are quite hostile.

It supposedly gets easier with time. I’m still waiting.

Sorry for venting all over YOUR vent!

I lost my mother 2.5 years ago and it still sucks. It’s not nearly as bad as when she first died, but losing somebody so close is a lot different than your cousin or great uncle dying. It changed my life, made me stronger physically and emotionally, but also made me less committed to relationships. I don’t feel a need to form close bonds, I feel I’m better off just being able to take care of myself and make myself happy. I know I can do that.

((Hugs)) all around. I’ve been thinking about my mother a lot lately, too. She died when I was 11, and I’m 26 now. At this point I’m not really even sure I miss her, or if I just feel left out for not having a mother around at all… :frowning:

Skald, I am so sorry. It’s a big thing to go through. It may never get easy, but it should get easier. Losing a parent is like a big awful club that you wouldn’t ever want to join…but once you do, you realize you share an understanding with people who have also gone through it.

Monday was the two-year anniversary of my mom passing.

It does get easier, but it still hurts, and it’s remarkable to me how the calendar can get to you. Her birthday, my birthday, the death anniversary–I get a little wonky as each approaches.

Tim, it meant a lot to see you post.