I'm struggling to cope 5 years after the loss of my son

I am finding it really difficult to come to terms with my loss, that this is it!
5 years after losing my 22 year old son to cancer I feel empty and have no purpose.
His diagnoses was 9 days before he died.
We had those final days at the hospice to be together and say how much we loved another and I will always treasure those moments. He never once said how life is unfair or how robbed of his future he was …that is what is killing me the most, he worried more about me, his dad and his brother and sister. He was so strong and brave and that is how I have tried to continue over the last 5 years, now I’m struggling and my health is suffering. I have been to my gp and sort counselling but the waiting lists are so long. I just need to talk to someone…now!

So sorry Julie Ann, we lost our 27 year old son this Frebruary so it is exactly five months. He too suffered with cancer and was gone in just three months. The last four weeks was spent in the hospice. Daniel never complained even though he suffered so terribly. It all seems so unfair and it is hard for life to continue. Someone said to us you never get over it you just get through it but it is so hard. We think of him every second of every day and from what you have said five years down the road this agony continues. Thinking of you and sending love. I do hope the doctors can help you with your health and offer some counselling. Wynne

Hi Wynne . I’m so sorry for your loss too.
Our boys were so brave through the pain and the knowing.

Craig told a counsellor at the hospital that he wishes he had the chance to be a father, he didn’t tell me or his dad, the counsellor told us, I wish she didn’t because it tears me apart.

I actually broke down in front of my work colleagues today. I haven’t done that for a few years and I felt like a failure because my happy front had fallen apart. Its difficult for my friends because they have absolutely no idea what to say to me and I feel for them!
5 months is such a short time. I’m so sorry I can’t tell you it gets easier, I still fall asleep thinking about Craig and wake up with him on my mind. I feeling of helplessness that I couldn’t protect him breaks my heart.

Life is different and not what we planned and I’m not sure I will ever accept that.

During the first few months of losing Craig I wrote down my emotions in poems. It helped me get the tension out, for a while. Love to you and your family xxx

Hello Julie Ann & Wynne

Like both of you my son was 34 when he died of a brain tumour. There is not a day goes by

that I don’t think of him and want him back. I talk every day to him and if people could hear me they would probably think that I have “lost the plot”. I often think it would be easier to be with him, rather than coping with this pain. I even said that to him whilst holding his photo and very strangely the photo seemed to twist out of my grasp. I try to keep going to keep a brave face on but it is so hard. My sister in law lost her son who was 30 in a football accident some 2 years ago and she said the same. I had (thanks to the skill of the surgeon) 4 and a half years with him. It returned in August 2016 and he died in December 2016. This feeling cannot be described or felt by anyone unless that have lost their children.

with love Helen

Hi Helen, our losses are not comparable to any other.
I lost my mum in 2000 and I never thought i would ever feel pain like that again, I lost my dad in 2009 and it was a feeling as though I had lost my past…as though those shared memories of me growing up had gone.

But losing my son feels as though our shared future has been lost.
No-one could possible understand that unless it has happened to them.

Our family have also lost a daughter in law in the last 3 years, She passed.away during child birth and my youngest son has lost 2 close friends in recent months, one in the tram crash in Croydon and then another in a road traffic accident just before Christmas

We have suffered so much loss of so many young people, it is makes me question everything…whats the point!!

Like you I kept a brave face on…but you can’t keep doing that…I have finally realised I need help, 5 years after losing Craig.

Thank you for contacting me xxx

Hello everyone, it is so difficult and the feeling cannot be described. It is almost 2 years since we lost our daughter to cancer. On this site we can at least share our feelings and know others understand. It’s difficult to look forward to anything, family occasions, holidays social events as my daughter is always missing. I even dread some occasions and just let everything occur and get through it as best as possible. I feel broken and can’t be mended, just have to survive in this existence. There’s a huge hole in our lives. She fought so hard not to leave her little girl who misses her so much. I feel her pain and worry so much for her. I don’t understand so many aspects of it all. I try to think of her wonderful achievements which have been recognised and celebrated but then that becomes hard and upsetting because of what she could have achieved, the future of which she has been robbed. I , like everyone of you, think of them night and day, in everything I do, everywhere I go.
I had some talking therapy which helped a little but I’m not sure if anymore would help.
Thinking of all of you.

Im so sorry for your loss too.

How old is your granddaughter?

Although my son was only 22 and the last thing on his mind was having a child, I wish he had!

I feel the same about social events I used to love having the family here, but I very rarely invite them over now, it’s too painful.

Our little family traditions we had for Christmas have all changed, we have had to find different ways to get through these days to help us cope and to still make it special for my other children.

I’m so glad I found this site!
For the first time, in a long time I don’t feel so alone.

Thinking of you xx

Sam was different he loved having people around him, and socialising and I too was like that now I find I can only cope with so many at a time. He was part of the “Sunday Club”, it was the local pub where they would all go after football on a Sunday and have a few pints and the landlady (who came to the funeral) used to let them order in pizza or curry, they have put up in the pub a brass plaque " In Loving Memory of our Friend Sam Bater 17.10.82 -9.12.2016 Always in our Hearts - till the next pint - The Sunday Club." What a lovely thing to do as all his mates are the same age as him. They all thought so much of him. It does help for a while but the pain just won’t go away. I doubt it ever will. I now have identical twin granddaughters 6 weeks old sisters to my grandson who will be 3 on the 24th August. As much as I would like to be in the urn I have with Sam’s ashes in them I know that I would only be adding to everyone’s pain about Sam if I did anything like ending my life, I know it would end my pain but make everyone else’s worse…my husband who has been my rock, my elder son and daughter in law, my mum who although she hasn’t said in exact terms I think feels guilty as to why she is still here at 83 and Sam isn’t. And I know Sam would be mad as hell if he thought I wouldn’t fight…after all he fought so well for so long and so bravely to enjoy life after his operation going back to snowboarding, finishing carpentry courses and getting his licence back…and travelling off again…so I have absolutely no choice but to get on as best as I can.

Sorry for the rant…I think I’m trying to kick myself up the backside

with love Helen

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Hello JulieAnn,
She is 6 now. Our first Grandchild. The day she was born was like no other. She is such a joy. She is our legacy and our life revolves around making sure she is surrounded by everything she needs in the way of support. We don’t want to let her down or break her confidence as she is so young and her understanding is limited. We realise there is a long way to go and many hurdles to get over. It shouldn’t be like this for her or us. We have a different relationship with her, not the usual Grandparent one. It breaks my heart when I think about when she had to be told. I think about other children who may have gone through this. Horrendous. I understand your thoughts, that your son missed out on becoming a father. There are many ways to look at these things. She has received therapy at her school and is currently doing very well and has friends. But nothing replaces a Mummy (or Daddy) as we know, nothing replaces our daughters or sons. We also help out looking after our Grandson (my daughter’s first nephew whom she didn’t get to meet) who was born a couple of months after she passed away. It gives us some purpose, a reason to survive.
Family occasions have continued pretty much as before, painful as they may be, it’s where memories are.
Thoughts to all. X

Helen, I identify with your post in so many ways, especially the last line. Although it is so difficult and painful, we manage somehow to get through. We should be proud of ourselves but we’re not. We don’t allow ourselves to be, we continue to exist, survive each day. I know my daughter wants us to be happy so we have to keep going. We are taking our Grandaughter on holiday next week. It will be good to see her enjoy herself and a change from the usual routine.