I lost my mum

I lost my mum in January this year, she’d been struggling for years due to ill health and in the last 3 years in particular she was in and out of hospital quite a bit and had a few near misses, my mum was a lovely woman and a fighter, she understood her ill health but loved life and the thought of death scared her so much. She was only 66 and left 4 adult children and a husband who was just totally reliant on her, while she was in hospital he stayed with her 24/7, we always knew when she would pass away it was going to be incredibly hard for my dad.

It was a dreadful time the week she was in hospital, there was little hope that she would recover and so it proved when she passed eventually a few days after doctors told us she wouldn’t recover. It’s now 4 months and I miss her so much, just any reminder such as a tv advert she liked sets me off in floods of tears, I have 3 siblings and we all live quite close together so see each a lot.

What is making life unbearable is the behaviour of my dad, he met my mum when they were teenagers and were together 50 years and they never spent a night apart in that time, he’s a very old fashioned man and was totally reliant on my mum, he worked long hours and provided for his family but he never did anything like deal with finances or anything like that, he simply went to work and my mum dealt with everything else, after my mums death my eldest sister dealt with most of the paperwork as my dad was in no fit state to know what to do. Almost 4 months on and his grief seems to be getting worse by the day, initially he lived with my sister for the first 8 weeks after my mum died as he couldn’t face going to his home but then got it into his head that he wasn’t wanted there and stormed out in a huff to go to his own home, my sister had been nothing but understanding and helpful to him and never gave him the impression he wasn’t wanted despite his increasing dark moods, he is so hard to be around, the sadness we could cope with from him but his anger is awful, he would storm out of the room at any little thing like one of my sisters children laughing at something would trigger his fury, he’d tell us that he can’t believe we are laughing at things. Everybody is constantly on egg shells around him as we are scared of him erupting into fury.

He is scornful of the fact that us 4 kids are grieving for our mum saying it is nothing to what he is going through and says he lost his parents and got over it in a few weeks but he was never as close to his parents as we were to my mum, he has never once asked any of us how we are feeling and quite frankly he doesn’t care anyway. He has started to remove all traces of the 4 of us from his home removing all our childhood pictures from everywhere in the house.

Following my mums death I saw him every day or about the first 10 weeks, we all did as we wanted him to know he wasn’t alone, we have managed to get him all the professional help available to him, he is under the care of doctors who visit him weekly and have tried a number of medications which he mostly refuses to take and also has weekly visits to a bereavement counsellor, we know it is early days still but nothing is helping and his anger is getting worse. He has said some awful things to all 4 of us saying we don’t care, my sister went away for a few days last weekend and he shouted at her and called her a disgrace for doing that,every time we see him he says he wants to kill himself and he can’t and doesn’t want to live without my mum. He has always been hot tempered and by nature has a very negative personality anyway, every time my mum had a turn he would always be convinced it was the end.

A few years before she died my mum bought a little dog that they both absolutely adored and she made my dad promise shortly before she died that he would take good care of him, my dad loved the dog who is just the most gentle adorable little thing ever but now he explodes in rage at him if he wants to play with a ball, when I visit and seeing the little dog now when he gets shouted at my heart just breaks…my dad says the dog is the only reason he is still here and on several occasions as brought him to all of our houses begging us to take him so he can go and kill himself, it’s so upsetting hearing him talk as he is, he says us 4 siblings all have our partners and he has nobody, he won’t hear of it when we try to tell him he has 4 kids and none of us are planning on going anywhere.

He has shouted at and upset everybody around him to the point that he only has us 4 kids left who will talk to him, he has upset us all on several occasions and said some truly awful and untrue things to us but we keep going back for more especially my sister who has to go daily as she is the one who has his medication, doctors will not give him his medication, my sister has to take it daily to him. A few weeks ago he called my sister to say goodbye and to come and get the dog from the house because he was off to kill himself, my sister rushed over to his house and called the police and 10minutes later he came back, the police spoke to him and left. His doctor has asked him to go into hospital but he refuses point blank. I think there will come a time when he is taken in by force but I don’t know what he has to do for that to happen.

Last night I visited and heard shouting as I approached the house, he was in a fully blown row with my sister who had just taken his medication around, he was fratntically ripping at strips of paracetamol threatening to take them in front of her so she “can see what she is doing to him”…apparently he had visited her earlier in the day, left after 5 minutes for no apparent reason and then shouted at her for not calling him or visiting in the 8 hours that passed, I had it in the ear from him for not coming earlier that day but I tried to explain that I have recently had an operation and can’t drive so had to wait for my partner to get home from work at 6pm before I could get there. It didn’t matter, he told us to get out and threw something at us as we left.

Part of me says his behaviour is all down to his grief so I try and forgive but he is so extreme, his anger is so dreadful, part of me feels like washing my hands of him but he is my dad at the end of the day, I’m starting to feel quite resentful of the fact that since my mum has died I have spent more time worrying about him than actually grieving for my mum who I totally adored, I saw her every day when she was alive and miss her dreadfully.

Sorry for the lengthy post but I thought it may help me to get a few things off my chest, any advice would be gratefully received.

Hi,

I’m so sorry to hear you lost your Mum in January. Losing a loved one is extremely hard and painful and I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds as if you have so much else to deal with on top of grief. I’m sure that you must feel overwhelmed at the moment.

I lost my Mum nearly 5 years ago. I too adored her & spoke to her everyday. I was completely devastated when she died.

I do understand what you say about worrying more about your Dad then grieving for your Mum. My Dad went through a period of wanting to die also. I’d get phone calls in the middle of the night sating he wasn’t going to make it & he wished he didn’t wake up in the morning. He certainly was not as extreme as your Dad though.

Could you visit his GP and tell him what’s going on? The GP might make a house call to talk to your Dad. He sounds as if he needs some professional support & isn’t going to seek it himself.

You say you’re starting to feel resentful of him which is understandable. That resentmeant is only going to grow as time goes on.

It’s perfectly normal to see the parent that’s left frequently, everyday for 10 weeks for you. I spoke to my Dad everyday on the phone for a year. That’s not something that you can keep up long term as you have your own life. Your Dad is feeling, quite understandably, angry & sorry for himself. You can’t take those feelings away from him as much as you might like to.

I know it’s hard but you must focus on yourself and allow yourself to grieve properly, without feeling guilty. You are improtant & you matter. You need to be able to experience all the emotions that losing your Mum will make you feel. If you don’t grieve now there is a risk that it will all come flooding back in the future. There have been posts about ‘delayed’ grief on the forum sometimes 5 years plus on.

Please keep talking to us & take care. Trudy x

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Trudy, thank you. We have spoken to his GP and have arranged Cruse counselling which does seem to give him a very short boost. He is however doing the exact opposite to what the counselling is suggesting to him. It has been another absolutely awful weekend from him with his anger issues taking everything out on us.

Hi, I’ve just read your post and wondering how you and your dad are getting on now? As you posted this a while ago, I hope it’s gotten better for you xx

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