Losing my Second Parent

I lost my Dad in April 2018 just 11 months after he was diagnosed with cancer, it literally broke my heart watching this big strong man who has been my rock, the most amazing Dad and Grandpa to my two boys deteriorate daily in front of my eyes. I knew I would never be the same person again. I was struggling to come to terms with his death when my Mum was diagnosed with cancer less than a year later, her prognosis was good, so as with Dad I took her to all her appointments and threw myself into helping her get through it, however, in December she started going downhill rapidly, I hoped like hell that it was just a blip but knew in my heart it was not good, on February 4th following a visit to her oncologist, it was confirmed her cancer was progressive and she had weeks to live, she is in the same hospice where my Dad died and I literally feel broken, I am angry, bitter but mostly sad and wondering how I will cope, I know I have to for my boys somehow find the strength but I’m just not sure how.

Hi helen
I’m so sorry to see that you are losing your mum. Even worse that it is so close to losing your dad.
I lost my mum very suddenly in June to a massive brain hemorrhage and am still reeling from the shock.
My dad passed from a sudden heart attack 21 years ago when he was 53.
Being without both parents is truly awful.
The only thing I can say is, you have an opportunity, something I didnt have with either of my parents, to make the most of the last final weeks with your mum. Your already being a fantastic support to her and can now create some last memories with her showing her love. This way you will avoid the guilt and regrets that I have because I didnt know either of them were dying so we just lived life normally including arguing and bickering in their last days.
You are doing a brilliant job and you will find the strength for your boys. I have had to for my 12 year old daughter who was joined at the hip with my mum.
Keep posting on this site when you need to talk as well. The support on here is truly amazing
Cheryl x

Cheryl thank you for your kind words, I am sorry to hear you have lost both parents and so young.
I understand why you say that I can say goodbye and make memories, lots of people say the same, but in both cases of Dad and now Mum, you actually lose your parents long before they die and they become unrecognisable and you have this lasting memory of how frail and tragic they look and you’re completely helpless and desperate. I am in a difficult place right now, thank you xx

Welcome to our forum, Helen.
I am so sorry that you are going through such a bad time, it is heartbreaking for you. Please know that you have joined the kindest and most compassionate group of people possible.
Always you will find that someone will answer you or acknowledge your messages,
Be kind to yourself,


You’re right Helen.
I have no memories of mine losing their minds to becoming frail and helpless and for that I’m grateful.
It’s just so hard when they are strong,fully functioning and funny and they just get taken away.
Sorry you are in a bad place. X

Hi Helen, I understand completely what you are going through. I lost my dad to cancer 15 years ago (but it feels like yesterday) and my mum died from flu/cancer just under 6 weeks ago. I look at the last pictures of her at Christmas and she looks so poorly and yes at the moment that is the image that sticks with me but when I look at pictures of her in 2018 when she was healthier I’m comforted by the fact that as she was so poorly it was kinder for her to pass. It doesn’t make it any easier as the pain of her not being here is raw but I know she would not have wanted to prolong life if she couldn’t enjoy it. Even though you know her time is short it doesn’t make the passing any easier, just try to stay strong and positive when you are with her. Thinking of you x

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Helen I’m so sorry for your loss of your dad and now facing the loss of your mum. I get what you say when you see them deteriorate and are so fragile. It does leave lasting haunting memories. I try and shut those memories out and try and remember them vibrant and full of life. My counsellor says do not let their last days/months to define them. They are/were so much more than that. That helps me a lot when the memories of my mum in that hospital bed dying of cancer threaten to break me completely.

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My mum lost her mind, having had 3 operations in 10 days, there is one thing for sure, she stopped grieving for my dad. There was a man in the Nursing Home who resembled my dad, my mum thought that this man was my dad, she used to sit holding his hand, it was heartbreaking to see. She used to tell me that dad was very late home from work and she was very distressed, I told her a lie, many a time, I used to pretend that I had forgotten to tell her that dad had rung up to tell us that he was working late. The last words she said to me, were,
when you go into town please buy some nice cheese and teacakes and we will have a sandwich. Bless her, she was a bit of a tyrant when she was upset, but having said that, she lived for her family and was an excellent mum. It was such a shame that she became very bitter after Dad died, she was only 72 and dad was 74. Far too young.

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Thank you Mary, I hope it gives me some strength x

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That sounds like good advice thank you and sorry for your loss too x

It does help knowing that people understand me. Sorry for your loss of both your Mum and your Dad x