Losing a lot all at once

Hi all, new here. My dad has been battling cancer for about 8 months and its getting near the end. On top of that, my mom will be selling the house i grew up in (its much to big for her now, especially soon to be on her own), and in the fall out of this all i will be moving away from a city I’ve lived in for the last 5 years to be closer to her. That’s a lot of goodbyes all at once. I’m in my mid 20s, i am just getting my head around being an “adult” and I don’t feel like i’ll ever really be okay again. This all happened so fast. How do i make it through all of this?

Hi, I’m so sorry to hear that your Dad has been battling cancer for the last 8 months. That’s difficult enough to cope with as well as moving homes. There’s so much change happening for you right now I can understand you feeling you’ll never be ok again. You will, it just takes time.Too many changes at the same time can be overwhelming for you. Are you able to talk to your Mum about how you’re feeling, are you close to her? It’s really important that you feel you have support and someone to talk to about your feelings/emotions. There are loads of really supportive caring people on the forum so please keep posting and sharing how you’re doing. Looking after yourself is also really important, eating well and getting enough sleep will help, I know that can be difficult when you feel the world has been turned upside down. Take care for now x

Hello, I am so very sorry for what you are all going through at the moment, especially knowing it is going to get worse in the week’s to come. Perhaps your mum is trying to sort out her life before your dad dies while she has the chance to discuss things with him. She may not want to wait until he passes away and then have to make decisions on her own. I would wait and see what happens, because at the moment everything is centred around your dad and things are not as straightforward as you may think, because there are a lot of arrangements to be made after a loved one dies and it can go on for months, especially if probate is involved.

You are both facing a lot of grief at the moment, so if I were you, I would take it one day at a time and help your mum through whatever she has facing her, it won’t be easy but when the worst thing does happen then you and your mum can sit down together and discuss what needs to be done. When my husband of 47 years died three years ago there was no way on this earth I could have arranged the funeral, sorted out all the wills, probates, insurances and bank accounts and thought about moving house at the same time, it would have been totally impossible.

Her mind may be whirring away making plans for her future alone but things can change, yes, she may still want to move home, but perhaps not as quickly as she thought she would.

I am sorry for what you are going through now and what you have facing you both but just wait and see what happens. I was 25 when my dad died suddenly 50 years ago and my mum said the same as your mum, that the house was too big for her, we had all left home and living our own lives, but in the end she decided to stay where she was in the house where they had raised a family. She lived there until her 80’s , twenty five years after our dad died then got a small bungalow. She still missed her old home as she said that her bungalow never seemed like home.

Take care, we are all here for you so just be there for your mum and dad and things will soft themselves out. At the moment things seem to be happening too fast all at once, but in reality things do not happen so fast, as there are many things to sort out after someone dies.




Another one saying it will take time after your Dad passes away. I am so sorry, 8 months is an eternity when you love someone and don’t like to see them ill. My Mum passed away 18 months ago and it took a year to sort out everything so nothing is going to happen too fast.

You will be alright, we sold my childhood home after Mum and I had to find somewhere new. I have, and I am very happy with my new house but it will be a long time before I really feel it is ‘Home’.

As mentioned by tlang, take care of yourself and do little things to spoil yourself. You are important and need to keep healthy in the months ahead of you not just for your Mum but for yourself. You will get lots of support on this forum, I certainly have, especially from Sheila who has commented here.


Thank you Mel, that is a lovely thing to say and I appreciate it.

Sheila xx

Thank you all so much for your comments-- when this all started I didn’t want to reach out both because I hoped if I ignored it, it would go away, and also because it felt wrong to ask others who are grieving for support, when I didn’t know how to offer any myself. I know both of those things aren’t true now.

My mum and dad had been planning to move for awhile, as all of us kids are out of the house, but thank you for confirming that it isn’t really all at once at all, it’s a process. I always kind of thought they’d hold onto the house and I could have it one day but even if dad never got sick, I don’t think they were going to do that. I will miss the garden the most because my dad loved looking after his plants.

I haven’t actually been physically around, due to living far away, for most of this journey. I am going to visit, for potentially the last time, in a few days. I am terrified, again, I guess because I am still kind of in denial that this is all happening.

My mum is trying to be really strong for me and my siblings (I am the oldest), and she has always been the type to just put her head down and get on with it. I am trying to be strong too so she doesn’t always have to, but I really just feel like a scared little kid.

I can’t thank you all enough for your support-- it feels really comforting knowing someone took the time to help me feel less alone, and also knowing that there are strong people out there that faced loss head on, and came out the other side one way or another.


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Dear T41297, you are so very welcome, we are always here for you whenever you need to talk, don’t think because you have commented on this forum and been given some support that that is it, we are here for as long as you need us, weeks, months even years down the line. We all need support and that is what this website is all about, helping you get through some of the most heartbreaking times of your life.

Please take care.
Sheila xx

Seconding that. Why not take some of your Dad’s favourite plants from the garden when you have sold the house. As long as you put a rough idea of what you are taking in the forms that have to be filled in you will be fine to do so. I have a garden full of Mums and my favourites from the previous garden. They make a good memory to look at though discovered this morning one cutting has not survived the winter.

Hello Mel, I read your comments about taking plants with you when you move home and it reminded me that when I was 16 years old in 1959, a lady I worked with gave me a lilac tree cutting and a Forsythia bush cutting, I planted them in our garden where I lived with our mum, dad and my sister. Eight years later 1967 I got married to Peter and we dug them up and took them to our new home. Seven years after that 1973 we moved house and dug them up again and brought them to where I am now still living and 44 years later they flower every single year and bring back so many memories of wonderful times. I can remember as if it was yesterday the job we had getting them out of the ground to put them in dustbins before putting them in the removal van, we had to trim them right down. There was no-way I was leaving them behind.

Plants are a lasting memory to look at I feel. I have a camellia coming into flower of my Mums which I am looking forward to in the next few weeks. That was a job digging up as is nearly as tall as me! I watch my plants budding and coming into flower and when they do think to myself, I have got through another few weeks relatively unscathed.

From thinking, that is another day I have got through I now think in weeks so that has got to be an improvement.

T42197 take each day as it comes and enjoy every minute with your Dad.

Hi all,

I just wanted to update you after all of your kind messages. I’m home now with my family. My dad is very very poorly and this is excruciatingly hard though i am findimg strength i didn’t know i had when i am around him (though i had trouble sleeping and was lucky that the family cat decided to keep me company). My mother is an absolute rock and her strength astounds me as a fulltime carer. I’m struggling with wanting dad’s suffering to be over as soon as possible while also knowing that means not having him anymore, but the best parts of who he was are gone already. The grief already feels too big to hold but i take heart knowing that I’m not alone in it. Thank you all again for kind words during this awful time.

Dear T42197, I am so very sorry, this will be one of the hardest things you all will go through as a family. There is nothing anyone can say to make it better. I know what you mean about wanting your dad’s suffering to be over as I thought the exact thing when my young sister died of cancer many years ago. What she went through and how she suffered should never happen to anyone. I prayed night after night for her suffering to be over until it was, then I realised I would never see her again but there was no-way I would want her back to go through what she had been through.

It will be terribly hard on you all, so you just have to comfort each other as best you can and I know you will be there for your mum. So many of us on this site have been through and are still going through what you and your family have to face and I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

Please take care and we are all thinking about you and your family and are always here when you need to talk.