Difficult death

My Mum died 21 Jan 2019. She was 89 but had been in good health until she went to hospital for renal problems. She took sepsis and died suddenly. I am having great difficulty coping with the memories of her last hours - she was trying to talk to me but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. It is haunting me. None of my family were there at the time so they can’t relate. Will this awful feeling ever leave me?

Dear Jig,
In the last two years I have lost my dad (age 95), my mum (age 86) and a dear old friend (in her 90s). In the last weeks of their lives there were moments when it was very hard to see how their bodies slowly got weaker and how they were sometimes distressed or in pain or scared. I understand that your memories are haunting you, especially because your mum died so suddenly and you were the only one there. Don’t be too hard on yourself, wondering if you could have done more. You were there for her, and sepsis is a very serious condition that affects the body and the mind. The most important thing is that you were there when she needed you the most. She must have been really thankful that you were there, and even though you could not understand what she was trying to say, she knew you were there until the end and must have known how much you loved her.
What has helped me has been to consciously make an effort replace the memories of the most difficult moments with other, happier, memories. At first, the bad memories came back quite often, but as time has passed, I still sometimes re-live those moments in my mind, but I no longer feel the raw pain and the feeling of helplessness and I can quickly turn my mind to precious memories of good times we have had together. I hope that as time goes on, your haunting memories of those last moments will fade and that you will be able to think of her the way you knew her before she got ill. Best wishes,

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Thanks Jo - it’s been a difficult day but I’m so glad to have your words of comfort and support. I was very close to Mum ( youngest child etc!) and I feel so lonely without my routine of visiting her. My family are close and I know I’ll get through this and remember the wonderful life Mum & I had together. Thank you