Coping with everything now my mum has passed

My mum died 5 days ago on her birthday. She was 69 years old. She had lung cancer for the second time. The first time was a total shock for me but I was there with her through everything. When she was given the all clear I was so happy and proud that she battled through that horrible illness. That was nearly 3 years ago. Then 6 months ago she contacted me and told me that there was a shadow on her left lung again and after several trips to the doctors/hospital it was confirmed that the cancer had come back. My mum was then told that she wouldn’t be having chemotherapy, instead she would be having immunotherapy and hopefully her body would take to it so it could fight the cancer away and fight it if it ever came back again. This didn’t work and my mum started having really bad anxiety attacks which caused her to have trouble breathing. She was then permanently on oxygen in the house and her mobility deteriorated. The doctors then thought that a series of radiotherapy treatments may help but that only seemed to speed up the process. On mums last radiotherapy session she collapsed in the front doorway and was taken to hospital as a precaution. We were under the impression she was going to be released the day after, which was her birthday. I went to buy her a card and wrote it out and went to the hospital to see her. When I arrived the Oncology specialist took me to the family room and told me that my mums left lung was filling up with fluid and there was no more treatment that could help and it was a matter of hours rather than days before she will pass. I was in total shock!. I informed all the family and everyone arrived. I was so heartbroken and couldn’t believe what was happening. We were all there when she passed, holding her hands. I am now really struggling to cope. I am normally a very strong person but this is killing me. I have a really amazing family who are there for me but every time I close my eyes I see my mum in pain dying. It’s hard. Can someone please give me some advice on how to deal with this

1 Like

I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my Mum just over a month ago and I’m still in a state of shock. It was unexpected. My advice is just take it hour by hour. I felt like I was hanging on by my nails the first week. It’s a major shock to the system. Rest when you can.

1 Like

Wow, your post really struck a chord with me. Brought me to tears reading it.
I didn’t lose my mum to cancer but to heart disease. The result was the same however. The brutality of death I had never appreciated until now and it appears there is no nice way to go. I had to suffer and watch my mum die in front of me and I was helpless to stop it. Seeing her struggle for breath is what will haunt me forever. I literally found out she was in trouble an hour before she went and I was in sheer panic but trying to stay calm for her sake. It was awful. Up until then I thought she’d be around for another 10 years!
The shock was indescribable and I knew before the medic had finished 40 minutes of CPR that it was all too late.
I have enormous guilt now and at 9 weeks on, I’m still struggling to believe what’s happened.
Hour by hour, day by day is all you can do to cope right now. Keep talking to people, don’t shut down. Take up offers of support, even if it’s a walk out in the fresh air with a good friend who really listens. Don’t be afraid to unload your innermost feelings to those you trust. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much. These are all the things I did. Less than a week for you so I can imagine the shock is immense.


Can’t edit posts and what I should have said at the beginning was how sorry I am to hear of your loss!

1 Like

Thank you all. I am opening up as best as I can.It is the image of my mum passing that I am struggling to deal with. Every time i close my eyes, every time I think of her the same image of pain and suffering appears in my head. I just hope that this image goes away in time. I believe it will. Then I can focus on my family and work etc but at the moment all I think about is my mum. Thanks for the support everyone it means alot.

Hi dean,

Let me echo everything that Shaun and daffy have said. This really is the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through and there is no right or wrong way of doing so.
My mum went into hospital for a routine operation on her carotid artery as tests the previous week had shown it to be 95 percent blocked. Having just had a mini stroke she was a very high risk of a major stroke so the op was recommended. We sat on the preop room and the surgeon came to see us. He explained that the surgery was about 30 minutes long but that mum would have to lay very still for about 90 minutes all told. A few stitches and you will be home with your daughter having a nice cup of tea tomorrow afternoon.
I went home and 4 hours later he called me to tell me he didnt know why but my mum had suffered a severe bleed on the brain. I never saw my mom alive again and we turned off the life support the following day.
This was 4 months ago and I still see mum laying awake having her surgery or them doing the postmortem to try and find out why she died. Although these images are getting less frequent they still come. My counsellor has been telling me to push them away and replaced them with a happy memory of mum but it’s still too raw for me to be able to do that yet.
I think you’re right and time will improve things but take all the help you can get, speak to people, come onto this site and look after yourself.
Cheryl x

Thank you Cheryl. I will definitely use this forum as the support we receive from people like yourself helps to deal with things a little easier. Always here if you need a chat too.

Thank you. The people on here are great and a few of us are regularly chatting.

I guess it will help me in the long run but at the moment everything is still really raw. Thanks for your support.

We support each other because we can and want to.
Just remember, what ever emotions you are going through however extreme they may feel, they are totally normal. I would give anything to have my mum back and even now think I’m going a bit crazy. You are so badly affected because of love and that makes you a very good person. Your kids are lucky to have a dad like you.
Stick around a while, we can do this together.

1 Like

Thanks Shaun.

So am I,love. x x x x x