I turn 40 in August - My Mum has gone..

Hi all,

Having read through some posts here it seems like a really nice space to offload a little… I can imagine we’re all experiencing the same feelings one way or another, due to the subject of our sadness…

My mother passed away almost 4 weeks ago. Mum had become increasingly unwell over the years and last year expressed the want to die. She suffered with anxiety and depression but hid this so much from us as she was such a stoic woman, and remained strong and resilient through her life, and ours.

She tried as hard as she could for a year but became weaker, having not eaten anything other than tea and biscuits since Xmas 2023. We decided it was time to call in some assistance and St Christopher’s helped with some medication as Mum could no longer eat, and then could no longer swallow. My brother, sister and I took care of Mum for a month before she passed, and I was sat by her side when she took her last breath. I’m struggling with flashbacks and replaying the last 48 hours through my mind on a daily basis, I’m comparing certain noises and visuals with Mums death. I attended a gong bath last night in the hope it would relax me, but the sighing reminded me of Mums last breaths, the final shavasana pose of laying down, palms facing up, legs and knees in a frog leg like stance… was how Mum was laying when she passed… having never been that relaxed before in her life!

We played music around Mums bed the day before she passed, hoping she could still hear us and each song now conjures the vision of Mum lying there, mouth open, eyes closed, unable to eat or drink, but blissed out from the morphine pumping through a syringe driver… each song I have listened too since, and cried my heart out to.

Due to seeing the visions all over again makes it feel like she died yesterday. Mum also had an unattended committal where she was cremated alone without any family there - we didnt have a CLUE how to handle that day… our beautiful Mum was 2 hours away being cremated, and we didnt have a funeral to organise… a gift from Mum, knowing it would have been so stressful, she took all of that away… but not having that usual closure of a funeral and a ceremony like we normally would.

Has anyone else had this experience? Mums ashes will be returned home to us on Tuesday which in itself, is something so new… all other family members were buried with a big funeral procession!

I really dont know what Im trying to say to be honest, Im just tapping out a stream of consciousness - I honestly dont think Id mind if no one replied - haha!

1 Like

Hi @ColdWaterMermaid I’m sorry that you find yourself here. I can hear from your post what a loving relationship you had with your mum. I think we are always unprepared to lose someone we love, and your grief is will be as unique as you are.
I am only 4 months in after losing my husband so I’m not sure how much i can offer you. I only have my experience of trying to take each day at a time, not always very successfully. I have noticed i often have horrendous weeks followed by feeling a bit calmer.
As with regards to the funeral, i felt worse afterwards which i wasn’t expecting. I Didn’t expect to feel better but maybe a relief that it was over, i didn’t though. Whether it is a funeral or direct cremation it’s a significant moment and is bound to leave you emotional.
Take care and remember, it’s very early days.

1 Like

It’s going to feel so raw, bless you. It sounds like you had a really loving relationship with your mum, cherish that. Take each step at a time and just know they what you are feeling isa normal part of grieving. Post on here, we are all going through similar experiences and we understand and sympathise.
Take care of yourself x

1 Like

Thank you both. Xx

Hi ColdWaterMermaid,
Just reaching out to you as I also was by my mums side when she passed and it was difficult to watch and the feeling of helplessness was terrible.
It was a privilege to be with her and even though I have flashbacks I am so glad I was there so she knew she wasn’t alone.
It is very tough getting through the flashbacks and they reduce me to a dobbing mess. I have to quickly distract myself otherwise they get worse. Night times are worse so I get up once I have the first sign of a flashback.
I expect we will have them for ever and it’s a matter of just controlling how they affect us.
You have written such lovely things about your mum and how you treated her in the end was inspirational. You did everything you could have for her.
She would be so proud of you.
Just take small steps each day and you will get stronger eventually.
Keep posting as this site is a lifesaver
Deborah x


Thank you so much for your message Deborah. It’s so difficult to avoid leaning into the images isn’t it! It’s so clear and raw even 4 weeks later. I was the only one out of my siblings who saw Mum take her last breath so it’s almost a bonding experience between me and Mum, even though she was on her way to freedom.

I agree, distraction is the action. Mornings and evenings are tough! That first waking and that last though before sleep…

We got Mums ashes back yesterday… it’s all so new as a family member has never been cremated before. It’s such a strange feeling knowing I have some of her on my bedside table.

And I will! This online community is so supportive, more so than I ever expected.


Hi ColdWaterMermaid,
I too have my mums ashes still after 15 mths. In the beginning I didnt know what to do. Should I bury them or keep them ? Someone on here suggested I keep them until I am ready as once buried that’s it and they were right. I am so glad I still have them and my goodness it has helped me. I feel mum is still with me and I have set up an area in the bedroom where she use to stay when with us. I have a special place to go to every day as her grave would be 40 miles away. I am going to bury them at some pointa s that was her wish and i do feel guilty for not not doing it sooner. I am doing it for myself as I cant bear to do it right noe. Mum would understand.
Yes the night time used to be worse for me . I used to write on here in the middle of teh night and pour my heart out. Fall off to sleep then check my messages.
You have to get through each morning and an afternoon then evening as best you can especially for the first few months. I still find days hard and when the worst days come long I just have to get through them and cry all day if that what it takes.
I chat to mums photos. I talk to her ashes. I put fresh flowers there for her and talk about the flowers and tell her what my plans for teh day are. Some people may think I am bonkers but for me its my way f dealing with it. There are no right or wrong ways and we are all different so do whatever you want to do.
Its teh most upsetting thing I have ever gone through and have had all teh emotions that go with it. I have stopped thinking that it will end because I will feel like this for the rest of my life. And to be honest that’s the way I want to feel. I am learning to live alongside grief and thats a big or massive change because before i couldn’t even think like that I just wanted her back end of and was tunnel vision in that nothing else would help.
I am nowhere near ready to start getting on with my life yet. I tend to stay at home a lot as i cant bear bumping into people and hearing the stupid comments they say. I dont watch tv channels with adverts so it saves me watching anything about funeral plans and insurance etc. it all helps. My list goes on and on.
The flashbacks i have are terribly raw. In fact only yesterday I had to go into hosp for an operation and the surgical day ward was on teh first floor where mums ward was before I managed to bring her home at teh end. Well on reaching the top of the stairs i nearly had an anxiety attack and then again when they wheeled me to theatre i had to pass teh doors that had glass windows and i looked through and saw her room and the door was open. I saw someone else in her bed. I started crying and teh ported told me not to worry bec the operation will be over soon. I didnt have the heart to tell him my story. On the way back I closed my eyes before passing her ward again. The thing is nothing could have prepared me for that yesterday so this is what we are up against now. The unexpected will hit us when we don’t expect it.
Maybe it was a sign from mum to say she was with me as we both had cancer 5 years ago and went to numerous hosp appointments together and this was the first time I had gone into any hospital without her.
I am so glad you have found this site. For me it is so precious. I have met wonderful friends on here who show me nothing but love and support.
Do you work and plan to go back to work?
I am retired now so don’t have to think about that thank goodness.
Any time you want to reply feel free ok
Love Deborah x

Its so lovely to hear that still having Mums ashes bring you comfort - it does me too, I have a little pot that I’ve taken home with me and Mums Pure Cremation Urn remains at my sisters house for now. I think you are also right, its best to wait until you are ready - for me my birthday is almost getting in the way, I really didnt want to turn 40 without my Mum in my life, but I knew it wouldnt be that way… we are currently experiencing some sibling friction - nothing that wont be solved in time, but its so sad that this has happened - as I feel like a final resting place for Mum doesnt really exist as my sister and I live in the UK and my brother in Sweden - so I think in time, we will share Mums ashes and each do what we feel is right :slight_smile: Mum had no preference, she declined an internment to her parents grave, as she said it was FAR too expensive and a waste of money, haha. Mum is such a fuss free, no drama lady - I intend on speaking about her as if she is still here because thats how it feels… it feels wrong to speak of her in a past tense.

I love that you chat to your Mums photos and have your flower ritual - I have almost stopped talking to Mum outloud, apart from when I am alone and I speak to her photo on my bedside table. I kiss her face every night and every morning and share a cup of tea with her - “Fancy a cuppa Mum? Im going to have one.” Its something we’ve done almost every day since Mum passed away - made her a tea in her favourite cup. Its these little rituals that keep our memories alive.

I’m so sorry you had this recent experience in hospital - the panic and anxiety and catch you SO off guard. I suppose the easiest way to handle it is to recognise whats happening and just… .let it happen!

Funnily enough Deborah, I was about to post about going back to work. I’ve been off since March. March was spent caring for mum, she passed on the 31st, April was spent taking care of her affairs and seeing my brother and neice off home to sweden, and now its MY time… so I’ve requested another 5 weeks off, but I’m aiming to go back to work within that time frame… I think a month is enough to get me back into an even keel with routine… my emotions will just have to come along for the ride!

It will be 11 months on the 5th May that my dad passed away. We lived together and I was his carer. I still go into his bedroom every morning before I go downstairs and when I come upstairs to bed. I go and sit on his bed and chat to him and my mum, who passed away in 1995. I also have a small memorial plot in our back garden with some of their ashes in and I talk to them there too. It helps me. I just tell them about my dad and how all the family are doing.
It’s hard still. Some days more so than others. This site has been brilliant as we are all experiencing the same emotions and losses.
I also had a hospital appointment a couple of weeks ago, the first time I’d been back to the hospital where dad passed away. It was so painful.
Be kind to yourselves. Don’t rush in to anything, wait until you are ready. It’s difficult when family have differences of opinion, especially at a time like this. Remember you all want to do what you feel is right. Lots of love to you both xx