It's been 5 weeks since sudden death & am getting flashbacks

Mum passed on Sun 14th April sometime 4:30-9am in the care home. She had alzheimers but still very active, and starting to feel it have more effect (ie frustration using bank card, more generally confused etc).

She had gotten up for the toilet and likely collapsed then. Cardiac arrest and supposedly very quick, which is supposed to help me.
She was fine 2 days before having coffee with me in my garden, then watching tv with my brother in her room Saturday chatting. Had been generally more tired lately, we thought from heat, alzheimers etc.

Paramedic said to come down and see her within 1-2 hours, then called back 30min later to say better I don’t, as mum did ‘not look like herself’. They said see her at the morgue or funeral home, it would be better. So we wait, due to post mortem , we never got to.

So I keep getting flashbacks of something I can’t know, why did they say come and see her in the first place if she was not ok to see? I keep thinking she was hurt, bleeding, and I keep imagining the body bag being taken from her room.

I never got to see her, as after post mortem it had been too long by the time she got to the funeral home that my siblings and I knew she would look so different.

How can I keep seeing things i did not see.

I am crying every day and I can’t seem to stop.

My husband and son are seeming to move on, I am struggling.

Trying meditation, baths, sleep stories, melatonin but all this doesn’t help and friends seem to have gone quiet. Most have not lost a parent, I have none now.

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I’m so sorry for the loss of you mum, @Sophie8. It sounds like her death was a shock to you.

Many of our members have experienced these kind of flashbacks, particularly in the early days of grief. You are not alone. Hopefully someone will be along to share their thoughts.

Do you think it may be helpful to have a space to talk about how you are feeling? If you’re interested in counselling, we offer free sessions at Sue Ryder. You can also make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to counselling or other support services in your area.

Mind also have some self-care tips for coping with flashbacks that might be helpful, too.

Take good care and keep reaching out,

Im so sorry for your loss. My mum died suddendly and i saw her collapsed, it was an image that stays with me. I dont feel there is a right or wrong way with regards to seeing them but i also was adviaed not to see her at the funeral home. I try to remember how she was when alive and how she looked when she was smiling and happy. When my mum had died it was only her body left, it wasnt her and i wish i hadnt seen her like that

Thank you, I am sorry how he passed and yes that would stay with you. I try to think that I should not have seen her but I guess it raises more questions about those final moments. I do know I saw her in my garden 2 days prior and we had a nice coffee, she enjoyed the Spring weather, and weirdly she was open to talking about planning a funeral, which until then she had only asked me to call a funeral home to find out about plans. But then would clam up. yet that day she was talking about things with us with more ease.
Makes me think maybe she knew something.
Around 4 weeks before, she had asked if hubby and I Were OK, and I replied yes, we were ok but I knew I meant future and so did she, but we danced around it, she said she was worried about my siblings lives, and I said they would be ok, they would be fine. I wish I had said more, I denied it, as we are prone to do and neither of us wanted to acknowledge it I guess.
Thank you for your thoughts, I know logically it was right not to see her nearly 2 weeks after, but my mind does go back to her being alone and falling, probably hitting something, and whatever happened in the time after that.

thank you, I don’t think i am eligible for counselling yet and need to wait another few weeks yet but it would help when I can

Sophie its so hard as we dont know what happened and never will. Thats one of the things i find the hardest to accept. As much as i hated seeing mum collapsed i think it did help me realise it was sudden and she didn’t suffer. Both myself and my husband are paramedics so we have witnessed a lot of death so i think that helped with the understanding. As i say we will never know what happened so i have to believe my narrative as it makes it easier to accept that it was sudden and she didnt suffer. Its odd that your mum spoke about death only 1 month before so maybe she did know, but if that is the case she obviously didnt want to make a fuss and would have probably have been glad to pass quickly. Who knows, we can only summise, and its what brings you the most comfort that is important

thank you for saying that it helps a little, as all I know is it was cardiac arrest and coroner said it was quick but i wondered if that’s just what they say. I comfort myself that it could have happened crossing the street or when she went to tesco often, or if I had been with her, so scary and she would not have wanted that. She was a very proud lady and was already struggling with the alzheimers getting worse.
It seems to me that 2 weeks prior also she seemed different, less spark when I met her for coffee. Then 2 days prior, as I say, she was more flat, chatty but less present, and suddenly open to discuss funeral info which prev had been wanting us to handle it all. I know last few years her body was giving her lots of pain, as was the alzheimers, so this is for sure what she would have wanted. It doesn’t make it easier for me right now but maybe in time it will.
Certainly makes me concerned about so many heart issues in my family and a big punch in the gut way to be forced to look at that.

Sending you hugs

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