Feelings of grief only starting to hit me now

Hello, I really don’t know where to start. I lost my mum suddenly in November. She hadn’t been in good health for many years with various conditions but, after a few weeks of being really poorly, took a cardiac arrest at home in her bed while she was resting. My poor dad who’s 82 had to do CPR on Mum with the help of an 999 call handler until the paramedics arrived and tried to resuscitate her, before rushing her to hospital. It was too late, she had sustained a massive brain injury and passed away the following day.

The way in which Mum died was utterly devastating. It was truly awful and I felt like I was on a different planet while sitting at her bedside - it didn’t feel real, yet it very obviously was. I felt like I was an onlooker, rather than going through it all. My brain was trying, and failing, to process it all. While my dad went out for a bit of fresh air with my husband, I promised Mum that I’d take care of Dad for her, so that she could pass away without worry or fear of how he was going to manage. I was sure that she could hear me. But it broke my heart to watch her have multiple seizures because of the brain injury she’d sustained, as the drs struggled to get them under control. I still cannot get her face as she lay dying in that hospital bed out of my mind. It haunts me. And I am a trained nurse. The only blessing was that both my children were not there to see their granny suffer, it would have broken their hearts.

I wasn’t at Mum’s bedside as she slipped away, it was just her and Dad.I feel so guilty about that too, but my husband said that was the way Mum would have wanted it and she probably held on until we left. We had both been awake for almost 30 hours and had to go to a local hotel and get some sleep. We had sat with her all through the night after she was admitted to hospital and with the kindness of the doctor on duty, a priest was called to give Mum the Last Rites, which she would have wanted. I’ll always be so grateful to that doctor asking me about this as my head was all over the place that night. But it doesn’t seem enough. Mum never wanted to die in hospital, but she did and there’s a part of me that feels I’ve let her down.

I took care of most of the funeral arrangements to help my dad - my brother lives very far away and only managed to stay for a couple of days before heading home to his family, so his involvement was minimal. He was moving house later that week and had to concentrate on that. Everything was a blur really, but I made sure that Mum’s wishes were carried out and we had a lovely funeral service for her a few weeks later. I stayed with Dad for a month afterwards to look after him before coming home and he spent Christmas with us.

It’s only now, a few months later, that everything is starting to hit me. I’ve been exhausted, not sleeping very well at all. I guess it’s just how grief affects you. I haven’t been able to really cry properly either and I worry that my mum will see this. She had over the years said that no one cared about her but that wasn’t true and I think it was just her poor health making her feel vulnerable and low. I have cried, but probably not enough and I don’t know when I will. And it’s not that I don’t care - I honestly do, I loved my mum very much. I phoned her every day, as I lived a couple of hours travel away. But I feel very guilty right now. Guilty about the way that she died. Guilty that I wasn’t there to help her as she needed CPR, guilty that Dad had to endure doing such an awful thing at his age, it should have been me there instead as I’m a nurse. Dad is a very private man, not one for showing his feelings, giving hugs etc… and he’s spoken very little about it but he must be deeply affected by this. My brother, like my dad, isn’t one for showing his emotions either and he’s barely spoken to me about Mum since we lost her. He’s just gone back to his family life. I feel very alone in that respect. Mum had no siblings and Dad’s family who attended the funeral aren’t close, so there’s no one to really talk about Mum. My son, who is 26 was very close to his gran as he spent the first 3 years of his life living nearby before we relocated due to my husbands work. We often talk about Mum together, which is a comfort at least. My daughter is a bit younger, grew up living further away from her gran so their bond was different, but she was still sad to lose her.

I feel a bit lost right now but I’m trying to take things a day at a time. Yesterday morning, I felt really low - but after finding this site, I feel less so today, knowing that there are other people who might understand how it feels to lose their mum. It doesn’t matter how old you are - I’m in my fifties - it still hits you so hard. And I’ve still got a very long road to travel.

Thanks for reading, it’s just been good to write this down and get these feelings out.

BlueBelle

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Hi @Bluebelle,

Thank you for sharing how you are feeling here and I hope that you find the community a good source of support. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mum. I’m glad that you’ve found writing things down to be helpful and that knowing the community is here has helped you to feel less low. As you say, sadly many people here will understand what it feels like to lose their mum.

I just want to reassure you that you are not alone. The feelings you describe are very common in the early stages of grieving. I wanted to share some of our resources with you that you might find helpful in living with your grief.

Take care - keep reaching out,

Seaneen

Thanks so much for your kind words Seaneen. I really appreciate it.

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Hi @Bluebelle,

I just wanted to tell you that I understand what you are going through. I too lost my mum in October to a sudden cardiac arrest. She was 85 and suffered from heart failure, but it was still such a shock. I found mum and it was too late to do cpr…and to be honest I don’t think it would have saved her.
It’s now 20 weeks later and I still replay the scene in my head and the days before when she wasn’t feeling well. The what ifs are crippling, I think it’s all part of the grieving process. In hindsight everything is clearer to us so don’t be too hard on yourself.

This forum has helped so much, I only found it a few months back, not at the beginning. I’m finding grief so isolating and here others in the same position know exactly what you are going through.
Always here if you need to chat.
Sending love and strength.xx

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Dear Bluebelle and Kate

My heart goes out to both of you. I lost my mum in June and did really well caring for her.

But like you both said i am also struggling now seven months down the line. I have images of the end part and feel very alone.

I don’t really have any answers but just wanted you to know that as others say there’s no right or wrong way. We will have better days and not such good days. But hopefully one day we will remember our loved ones and the laughs and silly things we did together with a big warm smile.

Sending love Kate x

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Hi @Kate111

Thanks so much for your kindness in taking the time to reply to my post. Knowing that someone else just understands how this feels helps me so much, as I have often felt very alone in my grief.

I’m truly sorry that you’ve also lost your own dear mum to a cardiac arrest. Nothing ever prepares you for this. Like your mum, my own mum had been living with a heart condition. Mum had Atrial Fibrillation, diagnosed 3 years ago. It was always at the back of my mind that one day this condition could kill Mum, but even when it did, it still shocked us all as a family.

Am so glad that I’ve found a kind, supportive space to open up about how I’m really feeling.

Take care @Kate111, I’ll be happy to chat too if you’re ever needing an ear. :hugs: xx

Hi @Kate15

Thanks for your kind words. I’m so sorry that you’ve also lost your mum and are struggling. It’s so hard. You just feel so lost.

I will try to remember the good times, the happy times, even on the difficult days. Like you said, there is no right way or wrong way with grief. For me, it’s just trying to take it a day at a time. Some days will be easier than others. Today has been better for me than yesterday was, thanks to the kindness of people like yourself on here offering words of support. I am so grateful.

Hope we can all help each other through this awful time :hugs:
Please take care xx

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My heart goes out to you all, the pain is unreal. I lost my mam 6th feb 2023 heartbroken , but shes not in pain anymore but at peace. Im not sleeping don’t want to eat ,my dad is living with us now because he can’t cope on his own. The funeral is this Friday 10am i pray the strength will come from somewhere xxx

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Thankyou for your kind words x

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Thinking of you on your final goodbye to your dear Mam to you and your family. Hoping that the day goes as you would like it to x

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Hi Kate,
Thanks for your message. You are further along on this awful journey, I am so sorry for your loss.
Some days are better than others, but I stll find it hard to believe that mum’s gone. Mum lived to a good age, had her health problems, but I never really believed she would go so suddenly.
Take care and hope you will find comfort and support here. Kate xx

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@ALI15 so sorry for your loss. Sending you love and strength for your mum’s funeral.
Kate xx

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Hi Bluebelle,
Thanks for the reply. I never believed mum would go so suddenly, I just thought she would decline gradually. The shock was unbelievable. I too am full of guilt for not realising she was as ill she was. She’d had her ups and downs before, nothing could have prepared me for the devastation of finding her and not being able to tell her all I would have wanted to.
I miss her so much, her presence in my life.
Hope you will find some comfort here.
Kate xx

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Thank you for the support it means alot to me xx

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Hi @ALI15 I’m so sorry that you’ve lost your mam. I totally understand the kind of pain that you’ll be feeling. It hurts so much.

It’s good that your dad is staying with you just now so you can look after him. That will be a huge support.

Hoping that you mam’s funeral on Friday helps you to say your goodbye and be a tribute to her. When I look back at my own mum’s funeral, I realise we did everything that we could to fulfil her wishes. I know that if she were here, I’m sure she’d tell me that. I hope that it’s the same for you and your family.

Take care and am glad that you came on here to share your loss. I hope we can all help support each other xx

Thankyou for getting in touch and your lovely words it does help when i read the lovely support i have had on here.

We got to go to see the vicar later to say about my beautiful mam and her wishes we could to make her proud and she be watching us xxx

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Hi @ALI15. I just wanted you to let you know that you were in my thoughts yesterday, on the day of your mam’s funeral service.
Hope that you and your family were able to get some comfort from saying your goodbyes. Having been through this myself recently, I appreciate how difficult yesterday must have been for all of you.
You take care :heart: xx

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Thankyou so much for thinking of myself and family of my mams funeral yesterday. Yes we done her proud and i did have comfort from it . Im so glad i found the strength and i no she was watching it big hugs to you i am so glad i came on here love Alison xx

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You are never alone, I unfortunately lost my mum after she suffered from a massive stroke and never regained consciousness on the 3rd March 2020. Myself, my sister and dad were close by when she passed away in hospital for 4 days. She never suffered before so it came as a complete shock to us all.
I am really really really missing her now as I have not been that great myself for quite a while and had a ACJ Operation done on my left shoulder at the SWLEOC ORTHOPEDIC centre at Epsom general hospital on the 25th January 2023 and finally discharged on the 31st January 2023. I am still taking 5 different painkillers which some of them are morphine based. I have started physiotherapy and saw the consultant last week and got told that I have no cartlidge left in the joint so I am still in extreme pain and just wish you were still here with us as you were so good to us all. I will be laying some flowers on nan’s grace where you are interned as your wishes. May God bless you and I will always be thinking of you always. :frowning::frowning::frowning:

Im so sorry to hear this ,and all you have been going through is heartbreaking :broken_heart:. I have got my mother’s ashes on Friday for burial. I’ve got my elderly dad living with me who my world but im struggling to have a hr to myself to greif . I hope every day you feel a little bit stronger take care xxx