It's all too much to handle....

I have been living in the UK for over ten years and my parents have always lived in Far East. In mid Feb, my mum suddenly collapsed at home and was taken to the brain hemorrhage intensive care unit at the local hospital. I booked my flight immediately and flew home the next day. Mum didn’t look well and she was in coma for ten days. Seeing mum unconscious every day and supporting emotional dad at the same time was unspeakably hard. In the end, mum’s brain and heart died last week. It’s quite normal in my home country but I had to arrange her funeral immediately her death had been confirmed. Her funeral and cremation were all done within two days. I then had to contact banks, pension providers etc. quickly. Dad fell apart so I did as much as I could by myself in two weeks. I still have things to sort out so I must go home again in the near future.
Basically I haven’t had anytime to properly grieve the loss of mum. The amount of paperwork we have to complete back home is absolutely ridiculous and I’m emotionally, physically exhausted. I have had a lot of unfortunate events in my personal life and the last three years have been particularly tough. Being an only child adds more pressure & stress as well and I feel like I would never be able to have a peaceful life or happiness…
I know all I can do is complete one thing at a time but I’m struggling to deal with everything with no emotional support nearby.

Hi Adaline,
I lost my mum a couple of months ago in a similar way. I felt I wanted to reply to you as my sister lives across Europe and I know it’s hard.
My sister always tells me that she doesn’t know how she would cope with the day to day stuff that I’ve been doing for our mum for the last 5 years but I don’t know how I would cope being so far away. I’m trying to say that both circumstances are awful in their own way but they can also have their own upsides and maybe trying to think about that may help?
My sister has said sometimes she feels so distant and that she’s gone home and her life has carried on around her but she feels different. In contrast I’m here, able to do practical things that need to be done and give me focus but in the same way I sometimes feel like I can’t escape. I can’t do anything in my life without thinking of mum. I suppose I’m suggesting you try to take advantage of some of the space the distance gives you. It’s hard when the grief is all consuming I know but in moments of lightness maybe the thought of being able to be away from it all will help.

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Hi Sand29,

Thank you for your reply and support.
I can definitely relate to how your sister’s feeling about the distance. Whenever I go home, I feel like an outsider although I spent the first 18 years of my life there. It’s a very strange feeling. My childhood wasn’t great so when I initially came over to the UK, I had a deep sense of freedom. However, my parents had always dropped comments about how I would look after them in the future (as I’m an only child) and I got eventually hit by depression about six years ago. They have asked me tons of questions since I was young and I didn’t even know how I wanted to live my own life then. Fast forward, my dad understands that my base will always be the UK and there’s only hardship if I return to my home country now (in terms of securing a stable job, pensions etc.) as age discrimination is not uncommon in my home country.

When the place landed at the airpirt, I felt relieved to be back in the UK, in my quiet home, away from everything so I believe a long distance is now giving me a space to breathe for the first time in two weeks.
There is little support when it comes to emotional wellbeing back home but I have managed to find two local groups for my dad to join. I’m calling dad everyday to check how he’s doing. He’s 70 this year and still works full time but I know it’s a huge adjustment for him to make, after relying on my mum for 45 years.

I must stop thinking so far ahead and worry about admin tasks, huge amount of stuff in my parents’ to sort etc… it’s very hard to focus on the positives at the moment and living alone doesn’t help but I will try and appreciate the breathing space that distance offers. :slight_smile:

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Just take your time. There’s very little that is time critical. Do it at whatever pace suits you especially while you’re in the UK. When you go back home you may not have the chance to catch your breath so take your time now. Good luck with it xxx