Monday, May 6, 2013

My Heart Is Breaking

Saturday morning my mother was found dead. She had a bad respiratory-type cold or flu, went to bed, and never woke up.

I am devastated, my heart is breaking, and I am convulsed with grief.

I never talked much about my Mom here because she read my blog, too. Believe me, she was a core person in my life, a life-line, and I loved her so very, very much.

I am sharing because I need prayers, my family needs prayers, and because (excuse my candidness here) every stupid freaking doomsday thing I've ever heard about Fatima and any other guilt-inducing Catholic teaching I know about death is going through my head and causing me massive anxiety.

No, she wasn't a practicing Catholic anymore. Yes, she considered herself Catholic. Yes, she believed in God and Christ. She also believed in angels and in her guardian angel, specifically.

I feel like a part of me has died.

I have seen my son crying copious tears and yelling, "God, bring her back!" I have also heard him say that "God will bring her back to life, right?" I don't know how to handle this.

The funeral is Wednesday. Crappy, small obituary will be in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tomorrow. There's a long obit getting published somewhere, but I don't know where. Of course, me being the writer in the family, I wrote both of them. That sucked - how do you do an entire person's life justice? You can't.

This is going to be a long week. Right now I am at my son's school, which is exactly where I wanted to be today - surrounded by loving, caring people who know all the right (non-cliche) things to say. But more getting-ready-for-funeral stuff later today.

I am so, so tired. My eyes are stinging from crying, my head is exploding with pain from crying, and I'm really hungry but feel like I want to puke at the same time.

I didn't get to say goodbye to her. I can't stand it. I have regrets about how little I was in contact with her during the last month - you know, life - you get too busy with your own stuff, and Mom who is always there for you, she'll be there for you still when you get around to calling her, right?

Wrong. Say "I love you" NOW.


  1. All I can say is that I am praying for you and your family. So sorry for your loss.

  2. continued prayers char!!

  3. I just lifted up your mom and you and your family. I' m so very sorry for your loss. Kerri

  4. I'm sorry too -- offering prayers for your mom and for your family to be comforted.

  5. She'll be remembered at Mass
    Memory eternal!

  6. Char - Don't beat yourself up, your Mom KNEW you love her, and she still knows it. And remember the ocean of His mercy, think Faustina, not Fatima.
    As for the past month, I bet your Mom was happy to see how involved you have become in Alan's school and how he is flourishing there. She got to see you growing in motherhood in a phase of it that is much more suited to your personality. The obit - can never tell the world just who she was, especially to those who loved her the most. How do you tell the world? By mourning her with every fiber of your being; by talking about how she loved you, foibles on both sides and all; by being the woman she raised and loves. And Alan is right - this sucks and you want her back. I'm praying for you all.
    Maureen in CT

  7. Grief is a long process, I imagine you haven't even started down that road yet, since you must be in total shock still. First you have to learn to breath again, and your heart will have such a physical ache that you may think you must be dying. I haven't lost my mom yet, but I have lost my teenage son. Grieving is not just emotional, but truly physical. You just have to keep moving, one minute at a time at first, then, an hour, then one day at a time. It took me a long time to figure out how to live again, but it can be done. Eventually, the good memories you have with your mom will bring more smiles than tears. In the meantime, my prayers are with you. My heart cries for you. May God and the love of those who love you sustain you.

  8. Thank you for sharing your feelings here on your blog and accept my sincere condolences for your loss. You and your mother and your family will be in our prayers.

  9. This is the most difficult of times. We are praying for you. I am so so sorry about the loss of your dear mom. No more words. Just know I am thinking about and praying for you all. Will plan to be there Wednesday.

  10. grief is a terrible, weighty thing. Praying for you.

    John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."

  11. Reading this has me crying. So sorry for your loss Charlotte, so sorry. Just wish I could give you a hug. I will be praying for you all during the hard days to come.

    Considering the angels, pour out you heart to your angel and send your angel to your mom's. She WILL know, she knows.

  12. Dear Char,
    Prayers for you all. Don't think Fatima, besides, Blessed Mother never said souls fall into hell like snowflakes, that's from St. Teresa of Avila speaking of those leaving the Church to be Lutherans.

    I hope this helps, Our Lord told St. Bridget of Sweden that He takes souls when they are best prepared to meet Him. My Priest went to the funeral of a Deacon's daughter and told me what the Deacon said. He stated that quote from St. Bridget and said of his daughter that this was true. She was with an abusive man, was into drugs and left the Church. She got pregnant, got clean, left the guy and was coming back to Church. Then the guy pushed her down the stairs killing her and the baby. The Deacon took comfort that she was turning her life around.

    Remember what Our Lord said to St. Faustina and St. Margaret Mary, that He appears to the soul at the last moment of life, giving them the chance to choose Him one last time. Your Mom was taken on a first Saturday, try to see it as Blessed Mom taking her Home. Trust in His mercy rather than fearing the justice. God loved your Mom into being and took her when she was best prepared to meet Him. Prayers for you as you grieve.

  13. I'm so sorry. Many prayers!

  14. So sorry to hear about your dear mother. I don't know about the Fatima thing, but I do know about Jesus' divine mercy. For one, there are Catholics all over the world praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for souls who will die that day. Everything about Jesus and God is unfathomable, including his mercy. God is not constrained by time as we are, pray for her now as you did when she was alive. God bless you and your family. ZBarZona

  15. Oh, Charlotte, I'm so, so sorry to hear this. Will be lifting you, your mom, and your family up in prayer.

    To the excellent recommendations to think of Faustina here instead of Fatima, I would also recommend Blessed Julian of Norwich:

    I know you've been around (and influenced by) people who think that talking about God as Love and hoping that all will be well in the end is some kind of Vatican II wishy-washy invention, but it's not. Julian was writing in the 1300s, and her mystical visions were all about exactly that. I'm asking her intercession for you and for your family in this time of loss and grief.

    God bless you and all you love at this difficult time, and may He swiftly grant your mother eternal rest in His presence.

  16. I am so, so sorry. I lost my mother almost 2 years ago. And I am definitely praying for you - but I bet your mom is praying for you too now.

  17. My heart goes out to you and your family. Been through sudden death of a parent, storming heaven with prayers.

  18. Char - you were so encouraging when my mom died 2 years ago. You said, "Do what you need to do and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. I will pray for you." I will be praying for you, and your family while you try to remember how to breathe. When my mom died, all I wanted was someone to sit with and not talk and listen to me. I only wish I could be there for you to do the same right now. Instead, I will pray that someone will do that for you. Much love and prayers.

  19. Jabberwocky5/6/13, 3:50 PM


    I'm so very sorry to hear this. My father died unexpectedly, under tragic circumstances, outside the sacraments.

    In the end, I decided a God that would send that man to hell, after everything he went through in his life, is not a God I choose to believe in.

    I talked (and vented!) to my Dad a lot after he died; for some reason that helped me quite a bit.

    Prayers being sent your way. There is no way out of grief but to live it, one day--sometimes one minute--at a time.

  20. Char, I am so sorry.

    As an old hand at grief (parents, all my aunts and uncles, husband, five babies through miscarriage and sundry others dear to me) may I offer these observations?

    Grief is a journey. There is no set path and no set timetable, and the only way to the end is to go through it. It is different for everyone and every time. Do not allow anyone to suggest that there is something "wrong" with you because you are grieving in Char's way instead of their way. It is also cyclic. After awhile you will think you are traveling smoothly, and then something will blindside you and suddenly you are right back at Square 1 again--or very close to it. This will happen over and over again, It is completely normal. Significant anniversaries are particularly difficult--even years later. Slowly, you approach equilibrium. A new "normal" will develop, but it will be different. Let the difference be a tribute to your mother.

    With my prayers.

  21. I'm so sorry. Sending you thoughts and prayers for comfort and peace at this time of great sorrow.

    ~ Catlady

  22. Sending you hugs and prayers. So much I want to say but others in the above comments have said it better. Offering up my Mass on Sunday for your mom.
    Angela M.

  23. So very very sorry. Nothing ever prepares us for the loss of a parent as they are so unique and irreplaceable. And yet, the way life goes, for most of us, it is inevitable. Please try not to be hard on yourself about anything you wish you had done.

    Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family in this difficult time. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully those who are near you will provide support and comfort. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. You have more friends than you know. God bless.

  24. I am so sorry! My prayers for you, your mom and your entire family.

  25. I wish I had some good words of wisdom that would comfort you yet the only thing I can do right now is tell you that I am so sorry for your loss and you can count on me for many prayers. May God hold you close to His heart during your grief.

  26. I wish I could offer you coffee, cake, a shoulder, a playdate for Alan, anything. Sending you prayers.

  27. So, so sorry, Charlotte!! I can't even comprehend the pain of losing a parent and my prayers are with you.

  28. So sorry about your Mom's sudden death. My prayers are with you and your family.

  29. Jabberwocky5/12/13, 4:06 PM

    I know that today has to be especially tough. I got the call about my own father's sudden death the night before Father's Day, and it was brutal.

    Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and sending prayers your way.