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My mom passed...please read

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
I'm posting this not just to help myself, but in case anybody else is in need of help. If you have thoughts of suicide, talk to somebody. PM me if you need to. I can let you know what it does to those that are left behind. Here is our story.

I just got back from attending to everything and am with my wife and children. I am 31 years old and my mother was one of my best friends. I have to start off by letting you know that there is no history at all with mental illness/depression with my mom. Doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs, never been on meds. Just totally normal in every sense of the word. About 18 months ago my mother started to go through menopause. I had always just thought women go through a phase in life where their hormones are out of whack and after time it passes. She talked of hot flashes, not being able to sleep etc. Well, about three months ago she started with a bad case of anxiety. After anxiety came depression. One day she came down for work and had taken a bottle of sleeping pills. She spent some time in a hospital, but was sent home after about a week. My dad took her to see a few different therapists and a psychiatrist. They all had different opinions and she was put on different medications. Nothing seemed to really work. My dad has been retired for about 7-8 months now so he was there to help every which way he could. He never left her alone so she wouldn't harm herself. After some time passed my mom started to feel better and told him that in order for her to get better, he needed to trust her again. Back on December 6th he left for an hour to have lunch with a friend. He came back and found her in the passenger seat of her car holding a bible with the car running in the garage. He found her in time, she came to, but fought with him just to let her go. So, back to the hospital she went. After about another two weeks, she was home. This time she was determined to get help. She promised my dad and other people that she wouldn't do it again.

Not to get side tracked, but I'll fill in where I was during this. I live three hours away. My wife was due with our daughter on December 31. The last thing my mom wanted to do was worry me with this. My dad filled me in and told me about the first attempt with the pills, but didn't tell me about the second attempt until after my daughter was born. He told me on January 1st about the second attempt, but I couldn't let my mom know that he told me. The past three months my mom and I spoke. Not nearly as much as we used to, but we spoke. I would try to call her, she wouldn't call back. When I did talk to her, she was just very blah. I have been through anxiety and realized that it was just something that passed. I think that all of these changes in her body with menopause just magnified everything though which was something I didn't have to deal with.

Ok, back on track. I spoke to my mom on Dec. 24th when my daughter was born and she sounded great. This was three weeks after her second attempt. She really sounded a lot more like the woman I knew. On January 12th we had a really good conversation. She told me that she realized this was going to take time and that she will be down to see her new grand daughter as soon as she felt better. I thought, wow, she finally gets it. It's just a phase and it will pass. I felt great after the conversation. It seemed like she had really turned a corner and was on her way. I spoke to her one more time on January 18 or what ever day the Eagles played the Cardinals for the NFC championship. She was hanging with the family watching football which she hadn't done much of.

I'll just touch on that for a second. My mom has always been a family/people person. Very social and outgoing. She was the mom that my friends and sister's friends thought of as a friend and somebody that they could talk to. In the past three months she lost all interest in everything. She used to watch my niece three days a week and didn't want to be bothered with her.

Ok, last Friday my dad called me. We talked at about 2:30. He was on his way home from snowboarding. He called me to tell me how great my mom was doing. They went to my aunt's work the day before to interview for a new part time job. My dad took her out that night to buy a ton of new clothes to get ready in case she took the job. He said she was excited to be able to work with her sister. I was surprised he was snowboarding and left her alone. He said that mom was supposed to go with my sister to a friend's house to watch her daughter. Besides that, she told him that they couldn't keep living how they were and he needed to trust her so she feel good again. I tried to call my mom after we talked, but it went straight to voicemail, which wasn't strange these days.

At about 6 pm my dad called to tell me that he came home and found her dead. She did it again in the garage with the car, this time she wasn't inside of it. My mom left a message with my sister at 8 am that she wasn't going to be able to make it becasue of a bad stomach. The bad stomach wasn't that out of the ordinary either.

This is just such a shock because there has been no history of mental illness. She never was on meds, never had to see a therapist. She was as normal as anybody. There were no problems in her life. In fact, everything was how she wanted it. One thing about the menopause though is that her estrogen levels were all screwed up. I guess sort of a chemical imbalance. Everybody who I spoke to was very surprised. My aunt and uncle were with her on Thursday and said she was like the Helen they knew. My dad who has been there through everything said she was really on her way to getting better. My friend who still lives in NJ called my mom on Thursday. He had no idea that she was sick or the suicide attempts, but just decided to call her that night. He said she sounded normal. She told him about the new job etc. When she was feeling down before she coulnd't even hide it. I wasn't there and could tell it in her voice. When I talked to her last week, she sounded good.

It's so hard to explain without knowing her, but the eulogy I will post at the end sums it up. She was the most selfless person I knew. Always did for others. Never asked anything in return. She was all about her family. Me and my sister, our kids, nieces and nephews. Even my sister's friends kids. She was very honest, told you how it was. I went through a bout of anxiety last year and my mom took time off work to come down and help me out for a week.

It may sound strange, but I feel like my mom has been gone for a while. I had a conversation with her two weeks ago and she sounded good. The best she's sounded in three months. Before that, she was just very blah. Wouldn't laugh, didn't have much to say. I really think all of the hormonal changes with menopause took over and left her incapable of being able to deal with things that she'd usually be able to deal with.

My friends and friends of the family who haven't been around the past three months and didn't know what was going on just don't believe it. She is the last person you would think would do this.

I walked around her house the other day. There are so many pictures of all the children in her life. Every drawer has photo albums of kids, family, good times. Just all great memories. If that wasn't enough to keep her from doing this, if the thought of not being able to see my daughter Gabrielle or my niece grow up, not being able to lay her eyes on her new grand daughter (my new born) wasn't enough, leaving all that she loved and cared about behind wasn't enough, all I can tell you is that it wasn't my mom any more and she didn't do this. Something that none of us here will ever be able to explain and understand took over and it was time for the suffering to stop.

I will not be angry at her about this. I have enough memories to last a life time and I'll take that with me to my grave. And like Brian says in the eulogy, one day we'll talk again and I'll get the answers and will be able to understand. Until then, what are you going to do?


I really just wanted to share this for my own sanity, but also to help anybody else. I wouldn't want anybody else to feel how my family and our friends feel now. This is just the worst. I have a 5 year old daughter who my mom adored. My daughter loved her to death. I had to tell Gabrielle that Nanny went to heaven. We used to visit all the time and have so many memories.

If you or anybody you know ever has the thought, pm me. I will let you know what the after math is like. We had a great send off. The church was packed, huge luncheon. It made me feel really good because that lets me know that she must have done something right because that many people cared to come out. But in the end, I just want her back.

I'll just sum this up by posting the eulogy that my aunt's husband gave at the end of the mass:


I'm Brian. I'm Helen's brother in law. Helen was my sister.
I want to start by saying: It was her laugh. We were trying to describe Helen's sense of humor, and someone said, "It's not her sense of humor; it's her laugh". And I thought, exactly: Helen had this unique laugh, really memorable, the kind of laugh you could pick out over the noise of a crowd, the kind of laugh that makes you laugh.

If you spent any time at all around Helen, you probably heard it, because she laughed a lot.

Remember that: Helen laughed a lot. She had joy and happiness in her life. And since people generally don't laugh out loud when they're alone, that means she felt that happiness with you, because of you, the people in this room. We shared so many good times with her. Remember that. Take that with you.

At a time like this, we struggle to find the right words. We don't know what to say to people who are hurting, or how to respond to heartfelt sentiments expressed inadequately. We try to sum up a life, and a feeling, and a connection. It's a task that would be difficult in the best of circumstances, and is impossible now, because the words don't seem to exist. We want to say how special she was, how important, how loved, how loving. Our culture pushes us to look for superlatives, for grandiosity, for exaggeration. But I realized, we do have the right words, and they are simple, direct, and meaningful. Those words are:

Daughter
Sister
Wife
Mother
Aunt
Grandmother
Friend


Helen was the truest example of each of these words, and of what they stand for. At a time when it's hip to be cynical, Helen was neither. She was generous and kind. She came to you with an open hand, and an open heart, without deceit, without agenda. She was plainspoken and honest. She would do anything you asked of her, without asking in return. These are the things we try to teach our children. These are the things we hope others will see in us. They may seem old-fashioned, but Helen, and the people she touched, showed that they could be powerful, and enduring. And some of you are here not because you knew Helen personally or well, but are here in support of someone who did. Let me assure you: that person is a better person for having known Helen.

Some might say that the map of Helen's life was a bit plain, not very big, with few significant landmarks. But I think the measure of her life was how many other people have Helen on the maps of their lives as a landmark, a reference point to help them find their way, and then find their way home. And though she is gone, she will still guide you when you feel lost.

I know that for some of you, grief was a stranger until now. For others, grief is an occasional visitor. But when grief comes, it is always a winter day. The light is grey. The night is long. And it's cold, so cold that it seems you will never be warm again. But you will. Because great grief only comes from great love, and love will prevail. The days will be brighter, and longer, although the night will never go away completely. And when spring comes, you will go out and tend to the garden that Helen started. The crops she planted will continue to grow and bear fruit, and will help sustain you for the rest of your life.

There are probably as many beliefs in this room as there are people, and we all have a different idea about what happens to you when you leave behind the weight of this mortal world. If you will indulge me, I'd like to share some of my beliefs with you.

I believe that when Helen crossed to the other side of the river, her dogs, Cody and Max, ran to meet her. My mother was there to embrace her, and ask about my daughter. Mike's father was there, and Sharon's mom, and Nanny Katheder, and Nanny Daly, and Helen is telling them the most embarrassing stories about us.

I believe that you will see her, in the occasional small mystery or miracle, and that you will talk to her in your dreams.

And I believe, truly believe, that one day, you will hold each other again, and you will hear her laugh
post #2 of 91
You and your family are in my prayers.
post #3 of 91
Gabby-

Sorry to hear of your loss. As someone who has attempted suicide I cannot imagine the grief you must be going through.

Please let the forum know if we can do anything.
post #4 of 91
My thoughts and heart are with you and your family.
post #5 of 91
words escape, but as a tried and true momma's boy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetBlast View Post
Gabby- Sorry to hear of your loss. As someone who has attempted suicide I cannot imagine the grief you must be going through. Please let the forum know if we can do anything.
Uhhh, what?
post #7 of 91
Sorry to hear of the death of your mother. Please take care.
post #8 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
Uhhh, what?

I was thinkin' wut u were typin'
post #9 of 91
I'm very sorry to hear this. My condolences to you and your family. My mother has been suffering from depression since my brother and I have been teenagers.
post #10 of 91
Such incredibly sad news to hear; my sincerest condolences to you and your family.
post #11 of 91
My condolences to you and your family. Take care.
post #12 of 91
My condolences as well. I am pleased to read that you "have enough memories to last a lifetime"; that is all any of us really leave behind, and clearly your recollections of your mother will sustain you as you move forward. I've just (in the last ten minutes) admonished a friend to greet and cherish each and every day with gladness. We don't know when death will separate us from our loved ones. Never, ever, let a chance to say "I love you" pass without verbalizing. And live each day as if it were your last.
post #13 of 91
I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. My best friend's older brother committed suicide about 10-years ago leaving behind an ex-wife and 3 young children. That had to be one of the worst experiences of my life. You sit there in the funeral, seeing everyone crying and hearing everyone say all the good stuff and you wish that the deceased had just known how much everyone loved them and that if they had just kept going, everything was going to get better. Anytime things get me down and the thought of ending it all even crosses my mind, I just think about what it did to my friend's family. I'm sure its no comfort, but use this as a way to remember to take care of your own family and to always be there for them. God Bless.
post #14 of 91
condolences to you and yours, Gabby.
post #15 of 91
This is so hard. She must be suffering a lot to do this. I hope you find solace in your family.
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