Grieving for my mom; looking for a DBT perspective; she was young
August 17, 2008 6:07 AM   Subscribe

I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area (live in upper far east side, work in lower far east side) and am looking for grief resources for any of the following: people with a DBT background who are grieving, people in their 20s who are grieving, people whose parents died young, "radical Catholics" or "glass-half-full agnostics" who are grieving, Italian-Americans who are grieving a fellow Italian, people who are grieving a loved one that died of a liver ailment. I am kind of an introvert, so while getting a feel for what groups are out there is good, I could also use websites, books, etc. re: same. Thanks.

Further notes that may help you help me (and honestly maybe some of this is just talking about it, which they say helps):

My mom died a month ago today of autoimmune hepatitis. She was 52. She died at home, though she had been in and out of nursing homes and hospitals a lot. Though apparently she died from the liver failure itself, she had a lot of infections, as well as complications from the steroids she was taking to try and preserve her liver. She had a great deal of osteoporosis and neuralgia for the last year or so, and she'd had diabetes. So she was a far cry from the person I was used to interacting with even only a couple of years ago.

She had varying degrees of ammonia in her blood because her liver wasn't disposing of all the toxins, so one thing I am trying to sort out is whether she meant some things she said in the past year or so, or if that was the ammonia talking. That said, I know we both loved each other very much, and I think we both said what we needed to to each other with a clear head before she died.

She died in the house I am currently living in with my dad, where I've lived for 20 years except when I was off to college. I had put off moving out because of what was going on, and now I think I should move on and do that, but in a way that isn't too disruptive for my father. He and I both have plenty of relatives in the Cleveland area looking out for us. We'll see each other often, both alone and with our other family.

Though I took DBT group therapy when I was about 20, I do not fit the diagnostic criteria for BPD, and I feel worlds away from the person I was when I was 20. I have previously had depression, but I do not feel that my grief has moved beyond "normal" grief into anything else. In fact, when I went through a sort of denial period, I was worried that when I was eventually slammed with the reality of my mom's death, that it would be too big and I would need to move quickly and effectively to avoid crisis, but reality hit, I am not in crisis and now feel that as long as I am proactive and conscious of my grieving process, make time to cry and go through memories, that will not be a concern.

Her birthday is coming up in mid-September and I want to be ready, if that makes sense.
posted by RobotHeart to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: I'm really sorry for your loss. 52 is way too early to lose your mom.

Is it possible for you to see a therapist for a while? All those emotions kicked loose would destabilize the strongest of souls. And a therapist is going to be able to guide you through a healthy grieving process far more effectively than a book will. It's going to take some time, and a certain amount of obsession and rumination is part of that. Having someone who knows the lay of the land would probably help you a lot.
posted by felix betachat at 6:45 AM on August 17, 2008

Best answer: I'm sorry about your loss. My dad died of liver failure, and during his last year or so he spent a fair amount of time with his ammonia levels out of whack. Sometimes he didn't even know where he was. So if your mom said things that were out of character, I would suspect the ammonia.
posted by PatoPata at 7:48 AM on August 17, 2008

Best answer: The universities in your area (Case Western Reserve, John Carroll, etc.) might have Thomas Moore centers (for relatively hip young Catholics) that run grief support groups....priests/nuns at these centers tend to be a bit on the liberal spectrum as well, so might have ideas for individual counseling.
posted by availablelight at 10:55 AM on August 17, 2008

Response by poster: They're all the best answer. And yeah, Mom was with Hospice of the Western Reserve. Thanks.
posted by RobotHeart at 3:44 AM on August 21, 2008

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