It doesn't seem together any easier

It’s almost 2 years since my wonderful son Andrew died and it doesn’t seem to hurt any less.

I am not one for wallowing in self pity, nor do I have a woe is me attitude, but trying to deal with his death, has really knocked me down, and somehow, I seem unable to bounce back to anything like normality.
Yes, like most of us here, I get through the days and, to the outside world, I am coping, but inside, there is a huge piece missing and know I can never retrieve that valuable and vital piece.

Andrew was only 36 and had so much life ahead that he had plans, dreams and hopes for. Some might say “be thankful you had him in your world for so long” and I genuinely am grateful for so much but …!!

As a Mum, I failed to keep my son safe, as a nurse I should have been able to make things better and I couldn’t and I failed there too. I trusted the hospital to look after Andrew when I was not allowed to visit and they failed him and the guilt now rests so heavily on my shoulders. The hospital are not willing to take full responsibility for their lack of care … but I was not allowed to be there. Why… if only… what if…?

So often we hear that the first year is the worst and yes, that is an almost unbearable time. However, the second year really is no better. Perhaps that is becomes there is an awareness that others are moving on with their lives and yet, the resilience we need is somehow elusive.

Sometimes, I think being a single parent makes the loss worse because, the memories that a couple, as parents, can share and help sustain them through the difficult days, as a single parent there is no one to share those memories with. I can only go by my own experience, but it seems that support groups (which I have a lot of respect for) seem to miss this and there feels to be a lack of understanding for those of us who don’t have someone who shared any memories. Perhaps we could address this and add to services already available.

Oh! it hurts so, so much. The emotions are still so fragile and I feel an anger that compares to nothing I have felt previously. A friend sent me some words which seem to say it all " Anger is sadness that had nowhere to go for a long time".

I appreciate that if you have read any of this, you too will be trying to deal with your loss and resultant emotions and I am sorry that you need to be on this site, but I am thankful people bother to take the time.


Hello @Beth123,

I’m so sorry for the loss of your son Andrew - that is devastating. Thank you for reaching out here and sharing your experiences - I think a lot of our members who have sadly lost a child will identify with what you’ve written here.

You are right that there’s not enough support for single parents who have lost a child. I’m not sure if you’re already in touch with them, but I’ve found this page on The Compassionate Friends website which might be helpful: The Compassionate Friends | Lone parents

Hopefully someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to let you know that you have been heard.

Take good care :blue_heart:

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Thank you so much for your very sensitive and understanding reply.
I will have a look at Compassionate Friends… thank you.


Hi Beth. Im so sorry for your loss. I lost my partner in April under very difficult circumstances due to alcoholism resultant of historical trauma and abuse issues. I am a mental health nurse and carry guilt for not being able to save her… ive also felt anger regarding failings of services. Whilst our circumstances are very different we share the emotions of guilt and anger. The only way I have tried to move forward is by letting go of those emotions as they have ultimately impacted negatively on my well being both physically and mentally. We are at the end if the day just people who try our best in absolutely horrible circumstances. Given that all you can do is forgive yourself as you did all you could in the situation. Take care xx

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Hi Beth I lost my son on the 11th July this year he was only 37 he had primary progressive multiple sclerosis he had been bed bound since August 2020. I just am not coping very well I miss him so much and cry myself to sleep most nights. I came on here so that I would be able to chat to someone who can understand how I feel I don’t think I will ever get over this I have spoken to his pallative care nurse today as I feel that I need some professional help. I cannot stop thinking about things and wishing I had done more to help him he could have been completely cured if he could have had stem cell treatment but the his neurologist never even suggested it and as his decline was very quick he was diagnosed in December 2019 and was in a wheelchair by June 2020 that would have raised red flags if it was me I wish he would have let me go in with him on this appointment but he wanted to go in with his partner if I had gone in I would have asked more questions and then by the time him and his partner looked into it he was too far gone and no one even Drs abroad said he was too ill and it would kill him and as he was bed bound he could not get on a plane.
I know he has gone but the pain is so bad I dont know what to do with myself I try to keep busy every day but nights are the worst. If you are still suffering after 2 years what hope have I got. Take care sorry for going on but I need to get some things out there maybe it will help me deal with my grief

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my loss has really knocked me down too. i’m also unable to bounce back like i have with a previous loss, im thinking about starting anti depressants because they do give you that boost to find happiness again, i just don’t feel like i can do it all by myself.

i also had a lot of times where i felt like i failed, didn’t care for him as good as i should have etc. but yesterday i had a dream and all that i remember was a piece of paper and written on it was “ you took great care of me, THANK YOU!” i’m hoping it was him.

i know your son is not thinking about your faults and just appreciating everything you did for him and loving you from heaven.

Thank you Kim

I know, each loss is unique, but the result for each is this heavy linger grief.

I find it easier to offer support and suggestions to others, I think that comes from working in a caring role, but seem unable to relate the suggestions to my situation. Yes, guilt and regret are such strong human emotions. We try to do the best we can, but it just doesn’t get any easier. Thank you again. I hope you can find joy and peace in the little things that bless your life.

Please, never feel you are “going on”.
Sometimes, just sometimes the opportunity to express our deep feelings can bring some relief, perhaps only temporary, but relief nonetheless.

Although those who lose a child, of whatever age, suffer a similar loss, we can never fully understand how someone else is feeling and words don’t seem to really convey our deep feelings and thoughts. Despite that, it is worth expressing your feelings because there will be something that resonates with someone else. It might be the circumstances, the age of the child or some other aspect that someone will have some understanding of.
Sometimes, the length of time that loss affects people is different. Different is never wrong, just different.

A wise friend of mine, recently suggested writing things down. This can perhaps be in the form of a journal.Maybe buy a book especially for this, a recollection of the things that go through your mind. Maybe set some time aside each day to write a little. Sometimes you may feel you can write more, other times it may be less. It’s about “externalising” your thoughts rather than constantly internalising them. Internalising thoughts can be quite destructive over time and, although you cannot change your loss, you have to take care of yourself. You might want to start from the time your son was first diagnosed and write the things you remember. Over time, our memories of some aspects lessen and they can be harder to recall. You might want to focus on the time he was first diagnosed, or his short journey from then onwards. There will be painful days and many tears, but as you write his and your journey, you will feel you have a memory for him. You might never want to read it or you might choose to read it at a later date, but the memories will be there for you as and when you choose. There is no right or wrong, it’s your account of your memories.
I decided to write mine as though it was a letter to my son. I asked if he remembered various things that had happened, apologised for anything he might have felt I had got wrong and ensured that my love was clearly obvious. There came a time that I felt I had hit a block and I still can’t get past that, maybe I never will?

2 years might seem a long time to still have days of extreme sadness but when a child dies, I think a piece of us does too, we lose something precious that we will never have again. But I can honestly say there is some benefit in letting your thoughts out and if you struggle to express them to another person, then please try writing them instead. You will never know if you don’t try.

Please write again if you want to. Every life is precious, we can never relive any second of it, but we can try and make the best of what we have. x

I am sorry.

Trying to do things on your own, is not always helpful but sometimes we just don’t know where to turn for the support we feel we need. Often ,we feel that well meaning friends are too busy or don’t understand and they probably don’t, unless they have had a similar experience.
For some antidepressants help them with coping, perhaps for a short time and if you have found benefit from this in the past then do speak with your GP. No tablet can replace your loss, but they might help you get through the difficult time.
If the little note you found in your dream helps you, there is nothing wrong with that. I think most of us feel at times that we could / should have done things better, given a bit more, showed more kindness and understanding and although we cannot change or reclaim what we have lost, we can, in time, move forward and strive to do a little better, and in some small way perhaps make a difference in someone’s life.
Take care of yourself.

Hi Beth
Thanks for messaging me back its goid to hear how you cope and the ideas that you have to try and help me cope with my grief. I have a lot of problems with my sons partner which do not help my situation. In November last year he moved out of their home and into a bungalow with 24 hour carers before that once he had become bedbound I was not allowed to see him very much but I thought it was always his decision but when he moved into his bungalow I found out it was not always his choice it was his partner as she did not want me around their house and he told me lots of things that went off which I never knew about. He moved into his bungalow so that his partner and his daughter could have a better life as she dud not have to look after him 24 7. That was his sacrifice and when he moved I saw him everyday before he died and we had chance to really get to know each other and and the time him and his partner were not getting on so he did not see her or his daughter very much. He used to be always moaning and calling her blind but deep down I know he still loved her very much and missed her and his daughter. Me and his partner never really got on when they first met she came to live with us as she came from Wolverhampton. Things were great at first she was like my daughter. After about 2 years she changed and kept saying that I favoured my other son more than Luke which was not true but when he became ill she was always there listening to everthing I said and we did not always agree about things. It was great when I was able to spend time with him on my own and without her listening to what we were talking about. When he became quite poorly about May this year I phoned her as everyone thought he was leaving us so she started seeing him more but he rallied around and came back but his speech was starting to get worse and it was understand him. Eventually he became really weak and about a week before he died he started having lots of medication from the district nurses and then they put him on a syringe driver for me that was the beginning of the end he was still eating and drinking but was becoming more and more agitated then the Sunday 9th July they decided to stop all his food and drink without consulting me or his wife I knew then this was the end it was horrendous to see they just kept him drugged up all the time I told them they were killing him but they said no. He only lasted till Tuesday 11th July at 8.20 I was with him when he passed. The night before his partner had a massive argument with me in front of him and actually came to hit me one of the carers had to take her out of the room I could not forgive her for that and she said she hoped I dropped dead and she wished it wss me dying not him. Of course after this she took over the funeral arrangements even though he did not want a service or anything so of course she would not let me see him in the funeral home but luckily my other sons friends mum works there and she persuaded her to let us see him which was good. We have not spoken since the night before he died even at the cremation service I did not speak to her I have forgiven her so many times for the horrible things she has said and done to me even though I know she is suffering like me I cannot forgive her again and she won’t let us see my granddaughter out of spite. So there are lots of other things going on in my life at the moment as well as coping with my son’s death.
Anyway sorry for the essay but I think I will get a book and start writing all these feelings down and maybe it will help like you say.
Bye for now

Hello again Kim 2

I am pleased you chose to write.
The reality is that, no one will ever understand what you have been through, but that does not mean you should not tell others about your experiences. Bringing things into the open and making others aware of the devastation you are feeling, can be helpful. So often we hear that time heals, what time really does is helps us to start to accept what we cannot change and only when we can start to accept, can we begin to move on to the next chapter in our lives. Some people decide that the death of a loved one is the end rather than the start of a new, but very different chapter in their life. Only we can make that choice and it often needs help and support from others. Life, in all it’s forms, is so very precious and every second we are blessed with, can ever be reclaimed, we use it or lose it.
There will be days when you feel that you can do more than others, be kind to yourself, there is only one of you.

Your son’s partner will move on with her life and will become more a part of your past than at present. In time she may even turn to you for supporting understanding. We all fear the future and it’s uncertainty, perhaps you can be the stability she will desperately need.

Your son didn’t choose an early end to his life, you didn’t choose to have less years with him in your life, but you can choose what comes next. I don’t know whether you have any strong beliefs. Sometimes death can strengthen these or make us question more. If like me, you have a faith, it can make a difference.
I know I will never make sense of all that has happened, I will always question why , what if and if only? Sometimes, I find consolation in believing that God has taken Andrew home where he will never again know suffering, upset, worries or anxieties, he will never have to face old age alone, he will never be lonely and will always know peace, joy and love in his home in Heaven.

Hopefully, you have now at least got a special book and can start writing your story. It will be a best seller because it will be uniquely yours and your son’s.

Write on her again if it helps in some small way, it is worth it. In time, you will rely less on this site and more on your own resilience.
Be kind to yourself an, d no matter how you are feeling, smile at the next person who crosses your path.

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