8 Lessons I Learned After Losing My Mother

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My mother was just 48 when I lost her. I was 24. In a way we knew that it was coming. She had stage four lung cancer and it was only a matter of time until I would have to face the heart breaking reality of losing her at a young age. I realized she would not be there to ever see me or my sister get married nor would she ever get the opportunity to be a grandmother. She wouldn’t be around to celebrate 30 years of marriage with my father and she wouldn’t be there to help me through the troubles most 24 year olds have along the way. I think of her every single day, she is the first thought on my mind the minute I wake up and she is the last thought before I lay my head down to go to sleep.

Through the heart break, change, and devastation I have learned some key points that will help me along with several others on the healing journey.

1. Nothing lasts forever.

Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you hurt, you heal. After darkness always comes light and you get reminded of this each and every morning. Bad times make good times better. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good or the bad, So we all might as well smile while we are still here.

2. Love is stronger than death.

My relationship with my mom continues on each and every day and will for the rest of my life. I see pieces of her in myself every time I look in the mirror. She lives on through me. When I hear mine and my moms song “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Grand Funk Railroad I feel as if we are together. Physical planes cannot separate love and i know this to be true.

3. It will forever be a part of who I am.

I’ve met many people after losing my mom. It’s almost as if I want to introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Jenna, I’m only 25 years old, I’m a motherless daughter and I lost my mom to lung cancer.” The question “So tell me about your parents?” is like nails on a chalk board. Those who truly know me and knew my mom know pretty much every heart breaking detail of the pain I’ve endured after losing her, but for those who I’ve recently met or have yet to meet have no idea. Losing my mom has reshaped who I am, how i see the world, and has changed my life forever.

4. Memories are gold. (Seriously. Cherish them.)

Oh the memories, they flood through my mind all the time. The good memories are more so from before she was diagnosed with cancer. But I will literally NEVER forget the last few days of her life. We shared laughs, cries, and all different types of emotions but the memory I will be forever grateful for occurred just minutes before she died. I knew something was wrong, she was rushed to the Medical ICU where her heart rate was sky high and her blood pressure was dangerously low. My heart was beating out of my chest, I grabbed her hand looked her right in the eyes and my last words to her were “I love you so much”. She looked at me, squeezed my hand and she didn’t have to say a word, I knew how much she loved me. In that moment i realized that I have received more love from her in my 24 years with her than most receive in a life time.

Click here to purchase my NEW book Life Still Goes On

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5. Some things will just always be out my control.

Watching someone you love suffer is one of the worst experiences you can imagine. All you can do is stick by their side, hold their hand, and try to make them smile through the pain. It’s a huge sense of helplessness and you want to take on the pain for them but some things will forever be out of your control. I fought endlessly to try to save my moms life and I just couldn’t, there was nothing more I could do but let her know how loved she was.

6. Music heals.

I personally love music, I love songs with deep meanings. One song that makes me smile when I am feeling down is “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me that my mom will be right next to me for the rest of my life, not physically but I know her spirit will continue to follow me.

“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” – Elton John

7. Life is for the living, So live it.

After a tremendous loss I’ve heard of many people losing themselves or getting caught up in the bad rather than the good. I often find myself doing certain things and I think how unfair it is that my mom isn’t here to enjoy the little pleasure that life brings. I also look at it as more a reason to go out and live. I do the things she loved to do, I do the things I love to do, more so now than ever. Life is just too damn short.

8. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

After my mom passed away I felt a strong urge to share her story with anyone who would listen. I even went as far as writing and publishing a book. I figured if I could make it though the worst time of my life than i could help others do the same. I’ve had random messages online from people telling me how inspiring my mothers story is, I’ve had strangers come up to me and tell me I’ve helped them through a loss and this is the most rewarding of it all. Through my book I hope to continue to inspire many more.

Click here to purchase my NEW book Life Still Goes On

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Purchase my book “Life Goes On..?” here

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“The true story of a mother’s undying love through her battle with cancer, treasures left behind after she is gone, and the realization that even through the darkest of days, life still goes on..”

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15 comments

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  1. Michele

    I have learned these lessons all too well. 16 years ago tomorrow it was my 30th birthday and I lost my mom. My life has never been the same. I’m times I feel that time just stood still for me while everybody else continued living. I feel like part of me died when she died and I don’t know how to get that part back or even if it’s possible.

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    • Nicole

      I understand completly how you feel!! I feel the same way! Your not alone girl. That is one thing I have learned. We are not alone in this, for so many other ladies have been through and dealt with the same loss. Hugs to you….

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    • sherry

      I feel the same way Michelle. I go to a grieving counselor to help. Some times I have panic attacks because I can’t see or talk to her. Tough to lose mom. 😢

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  2. Joanna

    Thank you. Tears streaming down my face as I read this. My Mom passed away from cancer last year after a short but very brace fight.

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  3. squirreling dervish

    I lost my mom on 13 June 2016 at 442AM to stage 4 lung cancer. She was diagnosed 35 days prior. She was unable to fight it due to her COPD. I was turned 51 the day after her funeral. I do not think it is easy when you are young, or when you are older, like me. It’s just really, really hard. You go and pick up the phone and set it down because the one you want to call, you cannot call.

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  4. Shawna

    I lost my mom 11/5/16 to stage 4 lung cancer. She put up such a brave fight, but went so quickly. I will never again be who I was before I lost her, nor before she got sick. Not a day has passed that I haven’t thought of something urgent to tell her. Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. It is comforting to know that I am not alone.

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  5. Nicole

    My mom had stage 2 lung cancer in one lung and stage 1 in the other. She had surgery on both Lungs overcome that like a champion, at age 64. Then the doctor said let’s do chemotherapy just in case. She was supose to take 4 treatments. But after the first two, which put her in the hospital for a week each. He changed it to immunotherapy. Started getting weaker and weaker. Did another scan and her liver and her adrenal glands was stage 4 cancer. I believe with all my heart chemo/immunotherapy, is what took my mama for me. She dies just 8months after diagnosed. I am 34. You are an inspiration. My mom’s death literally took my life too. I was so depressed and could not imagine living without her. There are still days I stay in my pj’s and cry all day.

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  6. Tina Newman

    Hi My Name is Tina.. My mom died May 13 in front of me and my three sisters and brother in law,, My mom passed at 75 and has been fighting so many diff illnesses since she was 36.. I thank god he didnt take her at a young age but no matter what age the pain is killing me… My mom was my best friend and I am so loss without her.. Im so sorry You loss your mom at a young age..

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  7. Judith Asay Diehl

    I am 75…..my mom died 45 years ago when I was 30. she had emphasema and a heart condition and got pneumonia. I knew she was going to die the night she did die. I don’t know how but I just sensed it….. I got so upset thinking about it and this was just a stupid thought I didn’t go because I didn’t want her to see me crying over this silly thought. I never went. She died that night. I didn’t know about gut insticts back then but I do now. I have lived with grief and guilt ever since …..

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  8. Heather

    My mom died June 5, 2017 at the age of 68. I’m struggling. I feel like I am on a rollercoaster; My emotions are all over the place. The grief is so overwhelming. I never thought of life without my mom. I cried reading your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Zmej

    My mom passed 8/24/2017 a short 6 months after her diagnosis. We used to talk every day and her loss is just heartbreaking. I know I can go on, but it is just so hard. We have been so incredibly close all my life and she adored me-only daughter. I realize how much love and unconditional love is missing from my life now. That calming, loving voice. Life is much more quiet.

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  10. Cindy

    Tears are rolling down my face. I too was 24 when my mom died of lung cancer and she was 48. That was 19 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her like crazy. The hole that kind of heart break leaves behind is enormous.

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  11. Jennifer

    I lost my mom April 7, 1987, it has been 30 years ago. She was 42 and I was 17! I truly know how it feels to lose a part of your heart and soul! She went to sleep and didn’t wake the next morning! My heart still aches , missing her!

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