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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My Mother passed away in September after an 18 month battle

Customer Question

My Mother passed away in September after an 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was only 65 years old. When she was diagnosed, her biggest regret was that she would not be around to watch my 8 year old daughter grow up. She cried a lot about how she would miss so much. In fact, my daughter is the reason she fought so hard. Of course I am working to move through this grief, and I am almost able to accept that she is in a better place. However, I can't get her words out f my head regarding her absence in my daughter's life. The holidays were so tough, and even day to day things make it difficult because I realize that she is in fact missing a lot. I attempt to comfort myself by saying that she IS here, but the reality is, my daughter isn't spending time with her, and that means my Mom was right....she is missing her life. It just kills me, and I am struggling with how to move beyond it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

I am sorry for the loss of your mother. Losing someone so close to you often brings up intense feelings of emptiness, of all the things they are missing because they are gone. And your mother's own mourning over the loss before she died most likely highlighted this for you, making your recovery more difficult.

Although your mom could not be here like you both wanted her to be, you can make her part of your daughter's life, It will not be the same as her being there, but it can give your daughter memories of her grandmother that she will carry with her the rest of her life. And it will bring the two of you closer as well.

Family memories are often more than just the time spent together. They are often about stories told from one generation to the next. Because of this, people grow up with a rounded sense of who they are, even if loved ones they hear about are no longer there to be part of their lives. In that way, you can make your mother present to your daughter. By including stories about her, making a point to share items, photos and other cherished things with your daughter and bringing your childhood stories up throughout your daughter's childhood can make a huge difference to your mother's memory and influence on your daughter.

Talk to your daughter about what your mother used to do with you as a child. Bring up all the good memories you had of your relationship with your mom and include them as your daughter reaches each stage of her life. For example, when your daughter starts to date, bring up how your mother approached your first date and your impressions of it. Also, make favorite recipes with your daughter that your mom passed on to you. Use it as a time to talk about your mom. Take your daughter places that were important to you and your mother. And consider doing something special on your mother's birthday and/or date of her passing such as plant a tree or donate a book to the library that she loved. These things will keep the memory of your mother alive and help you both heal.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I really appreciate it. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

My best to you and your daughter,

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I appreciated your suggestions on how to keep my Mother "alive" in my daughter's life. I guess this is all a part of my grieving process to feel such deep remorse for the things she is missing in my daughter's world. I do pray that she sees her from Heaven, and that if I keep her alive in memory, she can still enjoy what she sees from above. Thanks again

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Yes, it is part of the grieving process to feel as you do, but I also believe that your mother's concern about what she was missing also plays into it. Her pain became yours as well (very normal). And working through that will take time. But thinking about your mom seeing your daughter (and you!) from Heaven as well as realizing that she will have an effect on your daughter's life through you can really help you heal. Plus this will help your daughter learn how grief and mourning is dealt with in life. You and your mom can teach your daughter so much through how you talk to her and relate to her about your loss.

Take care,

Kate

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
3899 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.