How to Cope After Losing Your Mom

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Throughout your life, a mom can be the most comforting thing that you reach for. This is true on the moment you are born, and the need for a mom when things are bad never really goes away. Not even when you become one Losing your mom is, unfortunately, a part of life. But it's a really horrible once-in-a-lifetime part that you never forget. This is true whether she dies when you're young or old, by violence or peacefully in her sleep. Moms are a huge part of life. Their death leaves a permanent hole. You can't really heal, but you can do your best to leave a healthy scar where she was. Here are some tips:

Losing anyone hurts. Grief is not a straight line. Grief is proportionate to your ability to cope with stress as well as the portion of your life that this person was a part of, both in importance and amount of time. Having grief leave is a lot like waves crashing on shore with a receding tide. The waves keep coming in, hitting you with new floods of emotion. Over time, however, those waves crash a little further from you each time. Sometimes a large, rogue wave will come in and make it feel like it just happened, but as more and more time passes, that becomes more rare. When grief is done, you might not feel devastated anymore, but you will always feel a little sad.

Another thing to remember as you move on is the kind of life your mom would want for you. If you're angry, and it's preventing you from living a fulfilling life, this would likely make your mom sad. It's important to remember everything your mom wanted for you. A happy, fulfilling life is one thing that most parents want for their kids. If you spend your life being sad about her instead of going after your dreams, this not only punishes you, but it doesn't honor her hopes and dreams for her. When you are sad, try and think of the dreams she had for you (if you disagreed on the details on how to do this, focus on the generalities you agreed on. She wanted you safe, with loved ones, successful, etc.) Then do your best to honor her.

Letting Go
Parenting is, in a lot of ways, a one-sided relationship. Parents give, and kids take. Teens in particular can be mean to their parents, and it's actually part of growing up. If you are feeling guilt for how you treated her, remember that this is normal, that she signed up for it, and that she loved and forgave you. Honor her by becoming as forgiving as she was, instead of letting yourself be crushed by guilt.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Cope After Losing Your Mom," in, January 25, 2016, (accessed August 16, 2022).