Anxiety during and after grief

Hi everyone,

My mum was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning on 2017 and I hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt pent up, I held in my sadness and fears to her face as I needed to be the strong one. My sister and dad wasn’t. My mums mum who were in her late 80s was in bits and I had to hold them both together and be positive about the whole thing.
Inside I was so scared and I didn’t have a clue what to do. We were told it was early and by surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy she should be OK but this was just a dream.
During the first year I took my mum to parks to walk and talk. She’d cry, she’d talk in fear and I remained positive but in my heart my fears and dreads were very much there. In Dec 2018 I found myself getting tingling, cold and uncomfortable all down my right side. I was only 35 I believed I was having a stroke. I went to the hospital had all checks where they said I’m completely fine. I had weird symptoms off and on through out the years such as the above and short of breath, twitching and many other unpleasant ones.
In January 2018 we were told it was terminal and I cried and cried at her bedside in Chrisies. This broke my heart. My mum was my best friend. Around October 2018 mum started getting very sick, vomiting alot, pains and I’d often take her to appointments to help her.
One day In November I was sat in a meeting at work, I had 13 missed calls from my dad telling me she’d been taken into hospital as she was very poorly. I camped at the hospital for 2 days so I could be with her. She was kept in for longer but I had to go as she was moved to another ward. Mum suffered with Fiscula which is where feaces comes out through her vagina causing agony each time she went. This was brought on through her cancer and the treatments. She was promised a stoma bag and that was cancelled on numerous occasions by the hospital. She’d cry whilst on the toilet. Whilst she was still in hospital she was alert and with it. In her final week at hospital they told us they could not do anymore for her. These words was everything I was dreading. I told them I want to bring her home. They advised me to put a driver on my mum. They said it will stop her suffering and she’d be more peaceful. I accepted but I didn’t no I would loose my mum sooner. Her wish was to die at home. I decorated a room downstairs, mcmillian provided a secure bed. We got home and got mum in bed as it’d been a long few weeks. She slept for another week or two. She couldn’t open her eyes, I fed her build up drinks through a straw but after a while she stopped drinking. I changed her bed, did personal care, dressed her and stayed at the house for nearly 2 weeks doing waking nights, some nights I’d nod off beside her.
The one night I went home, I got a call off my dad saying she had died. My heart is broken at this point. I jumped in my car and cradled her on the bed, crying and crying. I organised the GP and Undertakers. When the undertakers came I seen things no one should ever see. They took my mum out in a bag and I wish I hadn’t seen this.
After she died I organised the funeral, painted her nails at the Chapel of rest and did everything to give her a lovely send off. I then had to focus with caring for my gran but sadly she died during covid.
I organised her funeral too.
I never got help for my grief. I started CBT but lost my job in Feb so couldn’t afford to keep up sessions.
I still suffer with anxiety symptoms the most recent is a tight knot in the stomach it’s so uncomfortable and can last for 2 to 3 weeks. I loose my appetite and just feel sad. The GP said it maybe worth trying some new anxiety medication they had, I did try for 4 days which made me feel worse if anything then I came off. I believe in self help, I know I can do it naturally but think talking therapy would help me. I have always been a working professional and never suffered with anxiety before this so I know I can get myself back with alittle helping hand.
I’m not against medication but I don’t like taking it. My anxiety is around health. If I see someone who is ill in the street, it makes me feel scared and brings on my anxiety. For example I had a tight knot in Dec 2020 lasted a few weeks then went. I was fine for months then I found out our builder may have cancer. I was trying to not let it get to me but subconsciously I believe it did and I’ve had the tight knot again which is currently starting to fade.
The second lockdown did not help.
After both deaths I have struggled to grieve or even to find time. I feel stuck.
With having a young child and a hubby I found myself busy most of the time. I don’t believe I got round to the grieving process. I felt in someways grief started for me when I found out mum was terminal. But I buried my head in the sand and it still hasn’t come out.

I’m sorry if my storey is all over the place, just not easy. I want the anxiety to fade as its started to affect me such as fear on going back to work and getting physical symptoms. Has anyone else been through anything like this? How did you help yourself and get back on track?

Thank you for your support.

1 Like

Hello @Dan37. What you describe sounds like a mixture of intense grief, shock, and complete overwhelm. Your mind is still full of the horror of it all. Also your purpose has been taken away. Have you thought of having counselling, either by Sue Ryder, or Cruse or even your local hospice. It is hard to think clearly at this stage so do take one day at a time which is the only thing we can do right now. The anxiety is quite natural at this stage so nurture yourself as best you can.
Love and light.x

Hi Jean2

Its a relief to know its normal. Yes I’d definitely be interested in councilling to help me move on from this. Do you no how I apply for it through sue rider?

I just want to help myself. I want to feel like a good mum and wife again to my two. Each time I suffer these experiences it distances me from them and I’m not my happy self.

Thank you for your positive support. It truly means alot xxx

1 Like

Hi @Dan37. I’m not sure if there is a waiting list but see if this link works.

All the best to you . You may need to click on the name Sue Ryder in top left corner.
Love and light.x