I should have stayed

My lovely mum died 6 weeks ago. She had bad back pain for months but X-ray showed clear. She then got a chest infection and she collapsed. In the hospital they pumped her full of antibiotics. Drained her lung and were trying to find the strain of bacteria to treat her properly. She went into hospital on a Monday on Saturday the diagnosed metastasised lung cancer and her chest infection was making her seriously ill. They said a week to a few weeks left. My mum had a history of mental illness tied up with an extreme fear of cancer. When they told her on the Saturday morning she had terminal cancer. I’ll never forget the fear in her eyes. We hugged her. Tried to soothe her as best we could. We were all in shock. She never cried just lay eyes wide with fright. She couldn’t speak on the mask and she was so breathless and weak. We stayed with her from 11am to around 9pm. I asked her if she wanted me to stay and I would lay on her bed with her by her side. But she said no. So we went home. She must have been so frightened during the night. Her first night of knowing she had cancer and was about to die. I should never have left her that first night. She died two days later with us by her side holding her hand playing her music. I just can’t get out of my mind how scared at night she must have been and we left.

Hi Jooles. I can imagine your pain. My wife died 11 months ago and I was not there when she went. I kick myself often for not being there when needed. I came home from a visit to the care home and got a phone call to say she had gone.
We must stop ourselves from feeling guilt. By the sound of it you did all you could.
Apart from the fact that there’s nothing we can do about it, I like to think I am forgiven. I know I am. And so are you.
It will be difficult for you to come to terms with this and you should allow time to pass so you can gain some perspective. I am not minimising your pain. I know!
I have found as time passes that a little bit of peace, just a bit, pops up now and then. It’s a beginning.
Yes, you are all in shock. It’s what happens when we meet a life trauma such as this. Have you looked for any counselling? Maybe it’s too soon, but if you can you need to talk to someone you trust. Unloading on here is what it’s about.
I am sure your mum is at peace because there is no fear where she is.
Take care and try and be kind to yourself. I doubt there is anyone here who has not had some feelings of guilt over something.

Omg, my mum was very like urs. There is a lot that of ur life that reminds me of mine. My mum had a fall and ended up parapledgic. Shes was active up until then. They said the shock of the fall brought on the lung cancer, cause she didnt smoke…she, prob like ur mum, was medically smart, so she kept saying, if i have cancer in my lung, I dont want to know. So we didnt tell her. But i think she knew. We asked dad and dad said no, dont tell her. It was so difficult watching somone so intelligent and trying my best to lie to them,in my own way…
Look, i jist think that whatever we try to do, we will always think we should have did this or that. I think we re just too hard on ourselves.

Theresa my mum had a fall and broke her femur two years ago we think the shock of the fall started the cancer too. She never really recovered properly from it. I think when someone dies suddenly. There are always regrets and what ifs. I think we just all try and do our best at the time. Trying to think straight in such horrific circumstances is hard.

Thank you Jonathan for your kind words… I think I feel guilty because seeing her fear ripped me apart. I had to keep leaving the room as I felt so faint and nauseous from the shock and seeing her so frightened made me just want to rip my heart out.

I didn’t want to tell mum either about the cancer. But dad thought we should. She had kept asking what was wrong with her and if she was going to die. So the consultant and nurse thought we should. She only knew for two days then died

I think we analyze every little thing we said or did and my doctor told me its because we are trying to see the, ‘what could have been’. He said not to be so hard on myself, so maybe u could try the same.xx