I Never Said Goodbye

As an American living in England, I would visit my Mom in the states twice a year. I was just there in April and left on May 5th never thinking that would be the final time I saw her. I realized she had health problems, but thought they were in control with various medications. To make a long story short, my sister called July 15th and said my Mom was in the hospital after she couldn’t breathe. I made a ‘distress flight’ on July 19th only to find my sister’s boyfriend waiting at the airport to say your Mom died an hour ago. Was in complete shock, agony and despair. Joy she had: Joy she gave.

I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mom and that you didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. It sounds as though it was such a huge shock and it is understandable that you feel such a lot of pain. It’s important to be kind to yourself and give yourself time to grieve. Do you have family or friends around you that you can talk to?

I’m glad that you’ve found this site, as writing things down here can be another good way to get them off your chest. While you wait for more replies to your post, you might also find it helpful to read and reply to some of the other recent posts in the Losing a Parent section of the site.


Thank you, Priscilla. It was an unbearable shock, but I’m coping better now. Writing things down does ease the pain which I have been doing. I’'ll check out Losing a Parent also. Many thanks for your reply.

I never got to say goodbye to my father - nor did my mother or siblings. My mother went for a walk and browse round the shops, however she would normally do this on an afternoon- but on the morning of the day he passed he appeared to be at his best (mornings were usually the worst time,for him due to him being fatigued/heart problem it took him longer to get ready.), so he suggested she go then rather than later on. She returned home to find him in his armchair- looking as if he was asleep

The shock to us all was painful and unbearable and because it was classed as a sudden death - paramedics and police were in attendance, I was the last to arrive at my parents home, as I work in a hospital and that day in question, although I checked my personal mobile I was conscious of management being present and not taking my phone upon the ward

My feelings - in the days, weeks and months, were of deep grief and pain - then to my shock, anger - I was angry that I had spent many a time with my father when he was ill at hospital and at home, when I could of been there for his passing - but in the end no one was there.

I guess nearly 5 years on I have just, reconciled with this - but only with the support of others and in particular a hospice nurse and also a good friend whom both shared with me that it is often to the sadness of loved ones that , even with them at their bedside for them vigils to walk out the room for a short time, and their loved ones pass away at this time. Please allow yourself the time and space to go through all of these emotions- I know your pain. Take care x

Hi Chris and thank you for your reply. I’m so sorry to hear about your father, and the shock of coming home that horrible day to find that he had passed.

Your entire family never had the chance to say goodbye.

I, also, went all through those emotions- disbelief, anger, shock - and since it happened so recently, still feel raw. And remembering the ‘little’ things’ can set one off right out of the blue.

Every time I visited, my Mom and I would have a 3 day trip at the ocean, and now, without her, I never want to see a beach again.

Take care, and thank you for sharing your grief.

No problem- I found it so difficult to grieve as I had to, along with my siblings support our mother as best as we could. As you said it is all very raw - be kind to yourself and come here online at any time for support. I hope you have others nearby to support also.

1 Like

My dad passed away peacefully in his chair just like your dad. I never got to say goodbye, however it was so peaceful and sudden that he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye either. He spoke to my mum one minute, the next he looked like he fell asleep. My dad had a sudden cardiac arrest. so…I treat it as we will meet again; it isn’t goodbye.

Thanks Chris. I certainly will come here again. Your support and others has been very gratifying.

Hi all,

I lost both parents suddenly with none of us saying goodbye. My dad had a massive heart attack in bed dying instantly whilst my mum had gone to get him a cup of tea. My mum had a massive brain hemorrhage whilst in hospital for an outpatient procedure.
There were no goodbyes and this is something which is very hard to live with. However, recently I’ve been thinking how hard it must be to say a final goodbye to a loved one. I couldn’t even sit with mum when she had a blood test, let alone say goodbye to her forever.
I think we always yearn for what we havent had and it’s not always best to say goodbye. My daughter said to me, I wish I had given nanny a big hug and said goodbye on the morning of her hospital appointment instead of rushing out the door to school. I said to her that if she gave mum a big hug or acted differently to usual, mum may have thought something was wrong and we would be blaming the brain hemorrhage on it.
As much as we are completely devastated by mums death, I do feel things happen for a reason. I’m not sure what that reason is yet, but I hope there is one.

1 Like

I felt that same way too. When I visited in April there were so many things I took for granted - not spending enough time with my Mom never realizing this would be the final goodbye.
She had her birthday April 2, and I arrived two days later to have a belated celebration.
That’s simply horrible for you to have lost both parents and my heart goes out to you. xox

1 Like

Hi, I have never said “Goodbye” to any of my family. All have died suddenly. My father had a heart attack while watching TV, Mum didn’t even know he had gone. He was 49. My mum went into hospital for a minor thing and never came out. I blame hospital but that’s another story. I lived a long way from her and needed to get a ferry and couldn’t get one until the following morning, too late, for me to get to her in time. My Nan and Grandad both suddenly. However my husband I nursed through horrific pain and knew what the outcome was to be but NEVER did we say goodbye. We was not going to be parted and even now I feel him with me. I had no intention of ever saying goodbye Perhaps afterwards when they have gone but for us we lived in hope to the very end.
Those we love are still around us and I have said sorry to Mum for not getting to her in time as she was alone when she died as my brother also lived a long way from her so neither of us got to her in time.

Hi pattidot,

Your parents story almost mirrors mine. My dad had a massive heart attack aged 53 when my mum had gone to bring him a cup of tea. My mum suffered a massive brain hemorrhage 3 months ago whilst attending hospital for a routine procedure.
No goodbyes for us. I don’t know, maybe it’s better that way.
Love to you x

Hey Suze54. Thats a bad hand u were dealt. And I totally get where ur coming from. With my mums passing, i was in the country, had been by her bedside for almost 5 weeks, and had left her for only an hour. She was with other family members and my dad, but i wasnt there when she passed. It kills me, i think of the things i would have said or done, the song i was going to aing her wgen she was passing, and all the other things i could have done. But in the end, I have realised that there would never be enough time to say what I wanted or to do what I said…in other words, whatever u would have done, u would have wished u had done something else. Just like me and apparently my dad, who told me this the other day.

Hi Theresa, thanks for your message.

What really angers me is my Mom needed a pacemaker back in March 2019, but since she was anemic, the surgeon held off on it.

When she was no longer anemic, they just gave her medications, and while there, I took her to many doctor’s appointments. A fat lot of good that did.

I’m so sorry about your Mum also that you weren’t with her when she passed. It’s an ache that may lessen, but at least memories are with us forever. She was not only my Mother, but my best friend as I’m sure yours was.

1 Like
Back to top