I lost my Mum in May. I don’t know what I feel - on the surface, I’m coping but I think it may be a charade. In some ways, I lost her a year earlier after she first went into hospital. Her character had changed - she had become incredibly self centred, abusive and refused to accept the reality of the care she needed. I think she had dementia but the hospital, social services and the GP practice all refused to assess her. The covid restrictions also did a lot of damage as she was stuck in hospital for months without visitors and she couldn’t use her mobile and it was difficult to get through on the ward phone so I had limited contact with her.
I feel guilt that i couldn’t get her the help she needed. I could see she was at risk from infections because she was incontinent and she became verbally aggressive whenever anyone attempted to clean her/her soiled clothes or where she was sitting. She eventually died from gangrene. On several occasions I fought to keep her in hospital/to have her discharged into nursing care because I knew she wouldn’t cope at home - she thought I was trying to get rid of her. I also feel guilt that my relationship with her had completely broken down -,I spent the last 48 hours with her in hospital but she wasn’t awake so I don’t even know she knew I was there. Also, the day she went into hospital for the last time, my dad rang and I didn’t speak to her because I’d had an operation myself the previous day/just got out of hospital and I was tired/in pain - that was my last chance to speak to her although I didn’t know - she wasn’t put on end of life care till the next day and I hadn’t seen that coming. Finally, I feel guilty that, when a doctor phoned to say she was being put on end of life, I should have fought harder for her.
On the surface I’m coping/getting on with life but I do feel anxious and irritable. I feel confused and lost. I feel like the stress of the year prior to my mum’s death has somehow interfered with my ability to process how I feel/left. me numb. I’m frustrated that my relationship with my mum became such a mess and it will never be put right. I’m angry with social services, and the other organisations who couldn’t help and with a government who allowed hospitals to let elderly people fester thinking they were abandoned and unloved for months on end due to covid restrictions months after all the other rules had gone. In the absence of a diagnosis about my mum’s mental state, I’m angry at her for not agreeing to basic care which could have kept her alive.
My dad is elderly, has cancer and heart failure and I know he won’t be around forever. I find it overwhelming to think I’m going to have to deal with another loss at some point.
My previous experience of grief was losing grandparents - it was sad but seemed relatively easy to understand. My emotions around my mum feel numbed and confused.