TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m consumed with sadness over the death of my mother

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I am a female office worker in my 40s and I recently lost my mother. Every day I end up thinking about being with my mother again.

When she was alive, the two of us lived together. My mother had been in and out of the hospital repeatedly since she was young, but each time she was able to fight back and I cared for her throughout.

Just before she died, her condition took a turn for the worse and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She was conscious at the time, but by the next morning her condition had deteriorated and she died. It happened when I was returning home to make arrangements for her hospitalization. We didn’t get a chance to talk properly.

I should have taken her to the hospital a little earlier. I could have spent more time with her. I’m consumed with regret.

People around me say that her soul won’t rest if I keep crying. I know that in my head, but I can’t get over the pain.

I am distracted by work during the day, but I feel lonely and anxious at night. I know I have to do my best not to make my mother worry about me, but I don’t know how to get back on my feet.

I, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

It must have been hard. You must have had a hard time. I understand that. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

You can’t do anything else. When you have no choice but to cry, you should cry to your heart’s content. You don’t have to hold back. Cry, cry and let it all out. Crying is the best solution.

Put pictures of your mother smiling around your home. Speak to the pictures like you would’ve spoken to your mother — about your company, what you saw on the way to work and the goings-on in your neighborhood.

Report anything and everything to your mother. If you say your thoughts and ideas aloud, it will keep you distracted. If you’re silent, you’ll get depressed, so you should talk to the pictures as if it were a completely normal thing to do.

It’s OK if you end up pondering things aloud. Even though your mother passed away, she still lives on in your heart. Your mother will be pleased that you are talking to her. Trust that she is always thinking of you, caring about your health and hoping for your happiness.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Jan. 30, 2019, issue)Speech

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