hi STS, I came across your post now as here I am, at almost 3am in the morning crying my heart out again coz like you, I lost my beautiful Mom last year due to breast cancer. I am so sorry about your Mom, I can only imagine the pain and struggle you must be going through now given that your are very young. I was 35 when I lost Mom last year and all the while, when I was younger, I have anticipated for my loved ones' passing to come at some point. But yea, nothing can really ready you for it and when I thought I am mature and tough enough to face it, I feel like drowning with grief and sad emotions most of the time. Harder during this month because this period was the time when she was already in and out of the hospital.
I am sure your Mom is very proud of you on how you are holding up and continuing your life now. What I feel helps me is by reading and joining grief forums coz it somehow helps me feel I am not alone and I am not the only one who has to go through this. Someone who has not lost a parent will never understand the pain we feel and I find that it is hard to explain my emotions to them because I know that they do not and will not understand it unless it happens to them. Given that, I prefer being in forums like this because it is easier to relate.
Do not stop yourself if you feel like crying, cry it out, it will give you an instant relief, don't hold off on shedding tears.
While it is easier said than done, force yourself to be motivated especially with your studies. Not everyday is a bad day and for days that you feel normal, do something productive and fun, losing our Mom does not mean that our happiness stops when they left us. I am sure, our Moms would hate seeing us sad all the time, they would want us to carry on with our lives, accomplish things and enjoy the journey.
Lastly, I am not sure if you are a spiritual person but if you are, i find prayer calms me and helps with being hopeful that there will be better days ahead.
I read somewhere that sadness from grief comes in waves, expect that in periods of special occasions throughout the year, the longing for our Moms to be around then would be there. We just need to ride it everytime and trust that the pain we feel now will be lesser as years go by.
I wish us well, I hope to hear from you again. Stay strong and positive, we need to make our Mommas proud.