Mom died 3 days ago from alcoholism

Old 10-30-2013, 05:22 PM
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Mom died 3 days ago from alcoholism

Hi all, I posted about this in another area of this site a couple of days ago. I'm pretty new here. That was my first post.

My mom had always been a drinker, but the last 3-4 years have gotten a lot more severe. When she visited us (we live in another state pretty far away) we always noticed how much she was drinking. I talked with her about it and she said "I know", but didn't do anything about it. In retrospect I feel I should have pushed her to go to treatment more than I did.

We planned to have her come here to help me after the birth of my second child. She never mentioned that she was ill during my pregnancy, and showed up after I gave birth via c-section in terrible shape. She went to urgent care and went into the hospital almost immediately. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 cirrhosis (so she told me, I'm questioning if she made it sound milder than it was) and alcoholic hepatitis. She was in the hospital for a few weeks and then came back to our house where I took care of her and my newborn and 4 year old with special needs. I was upset with her for doing this to herself, and I was upset that she didn't tell me that she was sick and just showed up that way.

Our visit wasn't a great one. She was ill, I was upset with her, though I tried not to take it out on her. We did argue at one point, and whenever I tried to convince her to seek treatment, telling her that her life was at risk and that I loved her and didn't want to lose her, she would give me a million reasons why not. I offered to have her do inpatient or even outpatient here in my town while she was with me.

She ended up going home and almost immediately started drinking again. Her friends came into her house and found her drunk, with liquor bottles around. She admitted to me she'd gone right back to drinking, but then claimed she'd stopped after that. She looked into a couple of rehab facilities but never actually entered them. She told me she had to wait until she felt better physically before she went. I told her if she was breathing and conscious she had to be there, because if she didn't she would keep drinking which would make her physical problems worse.

I had a feeling on Sunday and I had the police do a welfare check on her and they found her. On Friday night I'd called her and it was only because her neighbor had come by to check on her that the phone was answered. I cried and told her I loved her and that she needed help and needed to get out of that house. I asked her to please not take herself away from me.

My mom was my rock. Outside of my two boys and my husband she was my world. We used to talk on the phone every day. We couldn't have loved each other any more. She was always in my corner. I was her only child, I have no relationship with my father. My mom was a wonderful, spirited woman with a giant heart. I've spent the past three days sobbing hysterically, saying I want my mommy back. It's inconceivable to me that she's gone. Right now I've gone sort of numb to protect myself. I just want to sleep to blot it out, blot the pain away.

When I notified one of her friends last night she told me that my mom had told her she had severe cirrhosis. That's not what she had told me. I'm now wondering if she'd kept the extent of her illness secret from me. If she had told me I would have gotten the chance to spend our last visit in a much different way, and I feel cheated out of that. I didn't want her to die alone. If she was that ill I would have asked her to stay here. I didn't want her to feel so alone. I loved her as much as anyone in the world could love anyone else. She was my mommy, forever.

I feel guilty, for not helping her more, for letting her be alone like that. For being upset with her when she shows up surprising me with being sick after I'd had a c-section and expecting help of my own. I feel angry that she went right home after she got out of the hospital and was supposed told that if she stopped drinking right then, she could live a fairly normal life and would recover, but she immediately burned though the rest of her liver.

Only she could have changed it, right? It made sense that I was upset with her for what she was doing, right? How do I find any kin of peace? How do I accept that she's gone? How do I cope with the grief of losing this relationship?
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:13 PM
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Aww, sweetie, I'm so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your mom was downplaying the severity of her illness to you. This is not uncommon. Not only am I a loved one (and codependent) of several people who are alcholics and/or addicts, I'm a recovering addict. I NEVER told my family how bad I was until I found recovery, and even then it took a while and only because my dad pushed me for details.

You were dealing with a new baby, post-partum issues, another child with special needs and your mom. You're human, you did the BEST you could do at the time.

You couldn't have pushed your mom into rehab if she didn't want to go. You talked all the time, and I know - without a doubt in my mind - she knew how much you loved her.

Hold on to that, is my suggestion. I wasn't with my mom when she died, either, though totally different circumstances. I still have some guilt about it and I've worked hard, over the years, to forgive myself.

Much love, hugs and prayers to you,

Amy
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:15 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how you must be feeling right now.

There are no words to make it better but PLEASE keep coming back here for any kind of support that you need, don't hold it in and please don't blame yourself. You were a great daughter and you did all you could but you cant help someone that doesn't want to be helped.

My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time and you will all be in my prayers tonight.

God Bless xxx
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:31 PM
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I am so very sorry for you loss ((hug)).

Only she could have changed it, right?

Yes, only she could have changed it.

It made sense that I was upset with her for what she was doing, right?

Yes, it makes sense that you were upset with her.

How do I accept that she's gone? How do I cope with the grief of losing this relationship?

The answers to these questions will come in time, but they will come. Grief is something we all experience in our own time and at our own pace. Remember the good times and rely on your good memories to get you through. As for the guilt? Let it go, you knew as much as she wanted you to know, I know that isn't much, if any, comfort, but it is wasted emotion and very misplaced.

I wish you well and hope peace of mind for you. I lost my father to advanced liver cancer in August so I do know the pain you are suffering from. I have moments of anger at him for dying, followed by moments of extreme sadness and then the realization that is at peace and pain free, he suffers no longer.

Your husband and your boys are there for you and you are there for them. Tell your boys about your wonderful mommy (they don't need to know about the end) and build their memories of what a wonderful mommy they have.

I am sorry for the reason you are here, but welcome to the SR family. We are here for you and again my condolences on your loss.

Last edited by ladybug77; 10-30-2013 at 06:31 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:33 PM
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Capersnlox,

I am so sorry. I can hear how much you love your mom. I know , as Amy said , that she knew beyond a doubt, that you loved her.

You did all anyone could do. We cannot force them. Unfortunately, some do die, from this disease. We try, we encourage them, and beg, but it is up to them. No one can force anyone to stop. so please, do not blame yourself. I remember being angry at my mom too, at how much she was destroying her life, with drinking. I avoided being around her at one point, as it was impossible to get her to stop, by begging and pleading. She was very sick, just like your momma was.

Your beloved momma is now free from the horrible disease. She rests , knowing you love her, and that you always cared. I believe she is with you, and will always be a voice in your heart, to guide you.

Take care of yourself, your mom would want that. she would want you to remember her as she used to be. and she would not want you to blame yourself in any way. She would want your happiness and that of her grandbabies.

I am just so sorry. It isn't an easy thing, but just hold her in your heart, and let the good memories give you strength.

my prayers are with you, and your family. May your momma rest sweetly, and remember to listen for her-she will be with you.

Praying for you,
chicory
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:50 AM
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I can't stop crying. It feels like a big part of me is gone. It's unimaginable. I'm sleeping with one of my son's lovey blankets. Can you fathom that? I'm a grown woman, crying out for my mommy. My husband is going back to work today and I don't know how to be without him. I'm terrified of holding this by myself. I'm terrified of being alone. We hired a nanny to come for the day today and tomorrow. I need her more than I need her for my boys. I don't know how to exist moment to moment with the pain. It feels like a sword splitting me in two, a rock smashing through my brain. I feel like a little girl again, a baby crying for mom to come and help. I know I'm a grown woman, it doesn't feel that way. I don't want my husband to leave and for me to be alone here. I need my mommy back.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
I feel guilty, for not helping her more, for letting her be alone like that. For being upset with her when she shows up surprising me with being sick after I'd had a c-section and expecting help of my own.
You couldn't cure her. None of us can cure our loved ones. It doesn't matter how much you think you should or could have helped her. You couldn't cure her.

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
I feel angry that she went right home after she got out of the hospital and was supposed told that if she stopped drinking right then, she could live a fairly normal life and would recover, but she immediately burned though the rest of her liver.
You have every right to feel anger, it is justified and righteous.

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
Only she could have changed it, right?
Yes. Only she could have changed it, and she had many chances.

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
It made sense that I was upset with her for what she was doing, right?
Yes, who wouldn't be upset with her for what she did?

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
How do I find any kin of peace?
By accepting that
You didn't cause her alcoholism,
You can't control it,
You can't cure it.

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
How do I accept that she's gone?
How old is your baby? You may be post partem as well. Please see your doctor.

Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
How do I cope with the grief of losing this relationship?
By forgiving her and forgiving yourself of any supposed neglect. Please focus on those you have who need you as much as you needed her. Your family.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
I can't stop crying. It feels like a big part of me is gone. It's unimaginable. I'm sleeping with one of my son's lovey blankets. Can you fathom that? I'm a grown woman, crying out for my mommy. My husband is going back to work today and I don't know how to be without him. I'm terrified of holding this by myself. I'm terrified of being alone. We hired a nanny to come for the day today and tomorrow. I need her more than I need her for my boys. I don't know how to exist moment to moment with the pain. It feels like a sword splitting me in two, a rock smashing through my brain. I feel like a little girl again, a baby crying for mom to come and help. I know I'm a grown woman, it doesn't feel that way. I don't want my husband to leave and for me to be alone here. I need my mommy back.
Again, if post partem is in play you need to see your doctor. This can be as much as a year from birth. But in any case, the best path to walk is forgiving yourself. You sound like you are really beating yourself up for falling short and not taking care of you Mom. She really didn't want any help but you can't see that right now. She has been doing this a long time, and had her patterns so ingrained she wouldn't accept help. You know that. But you keep telling yourself you didn't do enough.

My goodness, you have two children a C section and a special needs child. You have your hands full. Please be kinder to yourself and seek some help from a pastor, doctor or counselor immediately. Don't push off help. You are overwhelmed. We are here for you as you explore your admission into our corner of the world. Please start reading our stickies above and learn about the effects of having an alcoholic parent, even into our adulthood.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:04 PM
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Alcoholism is a brutal disease that makes people selfish, irrational, and just plain crazy. There's no doubt in my mind that your mother loved you deep down. Unfortunately, she loved alcohol more. You didn't cause any of this. You didn't set the wheels in motion for her decline and eventual death-- SHE DID. My God, you had enough on your plate and then she showed up expecting you to take care of her as well. That was selfish on her part, though I know you won't see it that way for a very long time. You couldn't have changed a single thing about her. She was controlled by her alcoholism, and as we say here, "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take prisoners." And you are still a prisoner of the disease even though she is gone. Please, please, please see your doctor about what you are feeling. You don't have to do this alone. You have a doctor and resources available to help you with your grief and anxiety. And of course you have us here at SR. Be kind to yourself and love those little boys with all you have. You're going to be ok. (((Hugs)))
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:10 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I have a reproductive psychiatrist and I am 5 months post partum. I was depressed and anxious during the pregnancy and I took anti-depressants then and continue to take them now. Thank you for telling me not to blame myself. It's good to hear that. I know she made her own choices. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting in many years just now. I think I'm just looking for some way I could have made things different, even if that means blaming myself. I know I didn't cause it, couldn't control it, and couldn't have cured it. I just can't imagine how these terrible things can happen. She was an alcoholic, but she was a wonderful person.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:11 PM
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Please don't be so hard on yourself. The postpartum makes is hard not to, but there is nothing you could have done. We all wish there was something we could have done too, then it wouldn't be their fault. But it is their fault, not ours.

It's good to know you are taking care of yourself by seeing a doctor and attending a meeting.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:19 PM
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Just because someone is an alcoholic, does not mean he or she is not a wonderful, loved person. Alcoholism is a disease.
No doubt, your mother was changed by the alcohol. but you remember her as she was without the poison making her someone she would not want you to remember her as.

you cannot change what happened, but you can forgive, yourself and her, because she was sick. and you could not heal her. but you did love her, and she knew that.

take care of yourself, as she would want you to. You have beautiful children who need you, and will be a great comfort to you. good you are getting doctors care, you have been through a lot.

thoughts and prayers for you tonight. You will make it through this, as hard and sad as it is, I am sure you are a good person, as she raised you to be.

hugs
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:01 PM
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I feel so much empathy for you and cried reading your post. Surround yourself with the love of your sons and husband. Your mom knew you loved her. She was stuck in a prison that she couldn't free herself of; most if not all of us on here have been there. Know that this is a great place for support without judgement. I wish you peace.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:18 AM
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Capers, I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:29 AM
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I feel like her shame was what kept her from getting help. Before she died I kept trying to tell her not to feel ashamed, that it's an illness that so many people suffer from, but she wouldn't listen. I've been talking to her today.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:58 AM
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Capers....it's all so new and raw and shocking for you right now and I'm so sorry for the gut wrenching sadness you are feeling.

I lost my Mother to alcohol also.

May you find a way to some kind of peace about all of this.

Hugs.xx
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:14 AM
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I do feel guilty. Even if I couldn't get her into treatment I should have insisted on a home care nurse. I shouldn't have let her go home to die alone. When she was here visiting me we argued and she cried and said "what if this is the last time we see each other? you're breaking my heart" and I said "this will be the last time we see each other if you make it the last time we see each other". But now I feel terribly guilty for making her feel unloved like that. I feel guilty for every time we fought. I feel guilty that I didn't drag her to detox and push her in. I feel like I hurt her and she felt abandoned by me at the end.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:23 AM
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I should have tried to get her to stop drinking earlier. I don't think she would have listened, though. She was a very stubborn woman. She was deep in denial up to the end. She denied to me that she had been diagnosed with cirrhosis. She knew she was sick, but she refused to admit cirrhosis to me when she had told me when she was here that she had it. I didn't intervene enough. I wasn't proactive. I didn't tell her she should have stopped drinking when I knew she should have.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:37 AM
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Darling, there is nothing you could really do. She was an adult, she made choices...and she did not tell you the extent of what she knew, so you had limited information.

I hear your pain. I refused to see my Mother the time before she finally died (I didn't realise how bad things had gotten either), so she didn't bother telling me when the end was near.

My family's biggest fear was I would consume myself with guilt over something I couldn't change after she died. Please don't you do that either.xx can you talk to your husband or someone close and get this out.....I'm sure they will tell you the same thing.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by capersnlox View Post
I do feel guilty. Even if I couldn't get her into treatment I should have insisted on a home care nurse. I shouldn't have let her go home to die alone. When she was here visiting me we argued and she cried and said "what if this is the last time we see each other? you're breaking my heart" and I said "this will be the last time we see each other if you make it the last time we see each other". But now I feel terribly guilty for making her feel unloved like that. I feel guilty for every time we fought. I feel guilty that I didn't drag her to detox and push her in. I feel like I hurt her and she felt abandoned by me at the end.
As you read through here and start your healing, you will see that this is a typical ploy. Arguing and feeling guilty for standing up for yourself is just another "normal" part of what we go through. The truth is you had your hands full, she should have never put this stress on you. You couldn't pull of a miracle and force her to be well. But it wasn't your job to save her. It was her job and she knew it. You will have countless examples of what a "bad" daughter you were as time goes on, but they are lies we learned to live in the confusing world of alcoholism. You were not in charge of her. There is nothing you did wrong.
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