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i lost my mother in an accident

Nearly three years ago, I was involved in a serious car accident. My mother sat in the front seat as I drove. I have no recollection of what happened, but I do recall waking up with the car smashed into a tree. I was fortunate in that all I received was a broken elbow and some scrapes, but my poor mother was in far worse shape. They brought her to the hospital, and it was over a month before I saw her again. She was in ICU and on a breathing machine when I finally got to visit her. She seemed to improve over the next month, and then one day I got a call that her aunt (who was in charge of all her medical decisions) was removing her from the machine. I was present when she died, yet I’ve always felt like it was my fault that she died. My older brother even blamed me for the incident, which made me feel much worse. At her funeral, her entire family refused to speak to me or even look at me. It’s been excruciatingly difficult not having her here with me. She was one of my closest friends. To avoid being harmed any longer, I’ve cut myself off from everyone. I’m so scarred that I can’t drive a car and have severe panic attacks when I’m in one. I’ve even self-harmed in an attempt to relieve the pain I’m experiencing. Death’s finality can seem unfathomable, especially when it occurs to a parent, whose presence in your life may have never wavered. You completed your education and became adulthood, but you still required (and expected) your parents for many years to come. Even if their death was foreseen, the loss of their support, advice, and affection can leave a huge void and anguish that seems difficult to fill. Perhaps you and your parent were estranged or had a tumultuous relationship, causing you to experience a roller coaster of conflicting feelings. However, the rest of the world may expect you to bounce back swiftly from your loss — after the required three days of bereavement leave, possibly supplemented with a few extra days of personal time — and get back to work.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to grieving the loss of a parent, but these ideas can help you get started as you come to terms with your loss.

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