Feel lost after losing both parents

I lost my mum in June, after a 3 year battle with cancer, we cared for her at home. I’m really struggling to come to terms with her not being here. She was my best friend. I feel so sorry for her, I can’t get that out of my head, her having to suffer. We lost my dad 1.5 years earlier to dementia, we trusted the hospital to care for him which didn’t happen, I don’t even think I processed the loss, I went straight back into worrying about mum, watching her sat there grieving for her husband of 50 years, whilst fighting stage 4 cancer. She was so stylish and such a lovely person, watching cancer rip through her body in the end has completely destroyed me. I can’t seem to make sense of it all. My stomach turns when I remember they are not here anymore. They were both 74 when they died, but they were young in their outlook on life, they both looked amazing, just can’t believe it happened. My biggest fear was that one day I would lose them, I just didn’t think for one moment this would happen. And everything has been so traumatic, failings from the hospital for my dad, navigating cancer through the pandemic, I’m so angry. They didn’t deserve it, most people don’t, but I can’t help but feel we were given a double serving of total heartbreak. I keep trying to ‘live my life’ for them but I just want to curl up in a ball and hide away from the world.


Oh Lottie that is a lot. Sending love. Hoping you can walk towards things that fill your soul. It’s all we can do but is so hard this journey of grief.


Hi Lottie, I am so very sorry for you losses and I can feel the pain in your words. Losing our parents is horrendous, especially losing them both within a short space of time.

I understand some of how you’re feeling, our stories seem quite similar. I lost my dad in Jan 21 to covid, aged 74 and was unable to visit him during his 5 weeks in hospital until the very end. I lost my mum on 27th March this year to cancer, less than 4 weeks after diagnosis and cared for her at home, she was 77.

I totally agree with what you’re saying, the complete feeling of disbelief that they are both actually gone, especially at a relatively young age. My parents were also both very young at heart and both looked extremely youthful for their age. It is just so heartbreaking to realise that they are not with us any more.

I had also been worried about the day when I would lose them, but didn’t think it would happen so soon. My mum had suffered with ill health for a long time, but that doesn’t help either as she had always pulled through previously, so I thought that would happen again this time.

You’re right, it seems so very unfair. I have found this site to be so helpful, connecting with others who have also suffered terrible losses. It seems that the only people that truly understand what you’re going through are the ones that have also experienced similar grief. I’m sorry I haven’t got any great advice to make things easier for you, but I wanted to reach out to tell you that you are not alone and that I am thinking of you. Sending you love :heart:

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Thank you. It is a lot. Went out today, but everywhere I go, there are reminders of the good times we had. Hopefully one day I will be able to smile when I think of the good times we shared. At the moment it just reminds me of what I’ve lost and the life they are missing out on. Bless them :heart:

Thank you for taking time to message, appreciate it. Take care.

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Thank you for your message. It’s so hard isn’t it? I literally try and get on with my day but everywhere I go I’m reminded of them. We were all so close. I do have 2 sisters to speak with but wanted to reach out. I think I’m finding it particularly hard as it’s a bank holiday weekend, a weekend when we would have a lunch, all get together. I spent so much time with them both, I sometimes wish we weren’t so close, I want it to hurt less. People say to me ‘you were so lucky to have such a close family’…‘you were so lucky to have such loving parents’…’you should be thankful to have had them in your life for so long’…’at least they are together’. It just makes me mad, like my feelings are invalid. They both suffered from horrible illness, the most lovely people, I don’t feel lucky having to watch their lives be cut short, and having to watch them take their last breath. It’s been a really hard few years.
I guess one day our thoughts of them will be less frequent, one day I can go to sleep without tears rolling down my face. I feel guilty when I don’t think about them and smile for a moment.

I’m sorry you have suffered too, in very similar circumstances. Life is very cruel. I hope you find some moments of joy. I guess they really would want us to be happy and live a good life, one day at a time.

Thank you for taking the time to message, it does help to hear that you are not alone, as selfish as that sounds, I wouldn’t wish what we’ve been through on anybody, yet this site is showing me that illness and loss is so so common. What a cruel world it can be.

Take care, thanks again :heart:


@Lottie1 I feel the pain you have so eloquently expressed, losing both parents is a lot to deal with but especially so close together and with additional pain surrounding the care provided to your dad. My dad passed away fifteen years ago suddenly which was very traumatic but I always had mum who was a soldier and brought me and my sister up as a single mum. I lost her at age 76 in April and I feel she was too young to go. She had a lung disease that we thought had gone away years ago. Turns out it never really went away, the process of aging made it harder for her poor lungs to deal with. I tried everything to fight for her, getting second and third medical opinions as I felt the NHS weren’t doing enough. I think that kept her with us for longer, she was a fighter and wanted to be here, as I’m sure your mum did. The trauma of seeing my mum and best friend’s health deteriorate in front of me and to know there isn’t anything you can do is absolute agony. (Plus medical professionals just left us to it).
That in itself is PTSD inducing and I think I’ve got that, which compounds the grief. I’m just living a half life. I can’t be fully happy and carefree which is what I would love to be.
I can’t say a great deal that will help but you did everything you could for your parents and you have to treasure the time you had together and not be hard on yourself. We are left behind but we have to try and live some kind of life. I went to see a medium who was excellent, really accurate and mum came through to speak to me. I’m still desperately lost without her but the fact that she may still be here in spirit, watching over me does help. Perhaps you may consider this when you are ready.
It’s such early days for you so just be kind to yourself. :heart:


You know the thing I really wish I had said to my mum who passed 3 months ago? (as I sit here at the computer looking at her empty armchair)

“Mum, when you’re gone, how will I carry on?”

What would she have replied?

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@youareunbelievable I feel certain your Mum would have replied that she wouldn’t want you to be sad for too long and that you must carry on living a good life. I know that’s what my Mum would have said… to be strong and try to live your life fully. All we can do is try to live life because we who grieve know how precious and fragile it is. Best wishes xx

Thank you for your words. Sorry to hear your story. Mum very much the same, fought it as well as she could, she never wanted to know anything about her disease, she literally just let the consultants give her any treatment they suggested to prolong her life. She just didn’t want to leave us all. She often said she wasn’t frightened of dying she just wanted more time with us. We desperately tried to get her to her 75th birthday, but it wasn’t to be. I have to say she was so dignified at the end, we knew she was in pain, but she kept very still and quiet, she didn’t want us to suffer watching her in pain. Such a strong lady. I guess we have to channel the strength of our mums to carry on, I just miss her so much.
Take care x

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It’s so tough. We never felt we could speak too much about ‘the end’ with mum, she was never ready to face it, which I totally respect, but I did wish for one of those romantic endings that you see in the movies; a motivational speech, a letter to tell me how to make her proud. I completely understand where you are coming from. But my mum was in survival mode, thinking about the present, not about the future that she wouldn’t be part of. I know she would want me to miss her, but I also know she would want me to get out there and live my life to the max. It’s just not that easy. I had 3 years of knowing that the disease was going to take her from me, and I tried to tell myself I’d be ok, I’ll do amazing things, I’ll live my life for me, do all the things I’ve wanted to but have put on hold…it’s not so easy to put it into practice. Hopefully, one day.
Take care x