Loss of both Parents

Hello. I am 55 years old and lost my dad in Feb 2020 just before lock down. My Mum was very dependent on him and they had been together for almost 60 years. I lived a few hundred yards away so I was her sole visitor/carer during the first lock down , visiting her 3 or 4 times a day cooking her meals, cleaning the house, helping her get up/go to bed, etc. The only day I couldn’t get her lunch was just after the lock down lifted and I had to MOT my car. This is the very day she fell and broke her hip while trying to make herself a cup of tea.

She was admitted to hospital where she remained for 8 months and nobody could visit her due to the Covid restrictions. We could Facetime her but this wasn’t the same as face to face visiting and just distressed her. She came home with a care package and I resumed my daily visits between carers, every day for a month until she was found on the floor at 7am by the carer suffering from sepsis and pneumonia.

Following another long stay in hospital she needed 24 hour care and had to be placed in a care home as I couldn’t manage this due to work and having my own family obligations. During this stay I think she gave up on life and ended up not eating for weeks before falling into a coma and passing away last July.

I don’t think I had fully grieved for my Father as Mum was so demanding and feeling that only she was allowed to grieve whilst I had to look after her rather than grieve myself. Following her death myself and my brother have been busy with probate and selling her house. This is now done and I thought I was coping okay with things until a few days ago.

My partner lost her mother in September so we were both grieving the loss of our mothers and trying to support each other at the same time. During this time I found it hard to sleep so took to staying up watching netflix and tv until 2 - 3 am 7 days a week. Got through Christmas okay and went to London on New Years Bank Holiday for a short break where I picked up food poisoning or some virus/bug thing. This forced us to extend our stay and I suddenly began to feel guilt over allowing Mum to be put in a home, which I think was a contributing factor to her giving up.

We came home on Saturday after a stressful bus journey as trains were on strike, and I woke up on Sunday with such a feeling of dread and very high levels of anxiety mixed up with my guilt and sadness over Mum. I have spent today brooding, worrying and ruminating over all this and have started to feel totally worthless and hopeless, haven’t eaten as the thought of food makes me feel sick. My stress levels are off the scale and I just feel I am going to explode or just collapse into fits of tears.

I want to know if this is delayed grief, did I hold in my grief when dad died and not grieve as I should have for both mum and dad. All I can think of is how am I going to get through tomorrow feeling like this. I just want to block out this feeling, maybe a couple of glasses of wine - or bottles, will get me through tonight but then there is tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that…

My thoughts are racing around, guilt, sadness, anxiety, despair, hoplesness about the future, is this normal? I suffer from depression/anxiety which hasn’t helped but this is becoming unbearable and I just don’t know what to do.


Hello @Karlos, thank you for reaching out - I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but you are wondering if what you are feeling is normal. You might find our Grief Guide useful to explore - it may help you to understand some of what you are going through right now.

You might be considering bereavement counselling. We offer Online Bereavement Counselling, which a free service where you can talk to a professional counsellor via video chat.

If things are becoming too much to cope with, please do think about making an appointment with your GP to talk through what kind of support they can offer you.

Take good care,

Hello Karlos, my mum died February last year and my dad died in 2016. My mum fell and broke her hip two weeks before my dad died, and I feel I didn’t grieve for my dad back then and focused on supporting my mum. Maybe I wanted to avoid grieving for my dad at the time. We do what we think is best at the time to help our ageing parents, any regrets or guilt come later.

I also understand your feelings of anxiety and sadness, and struggling to get to sleep. I found the holidays hard going and am trying just to take things a day at a time.

The support Seaneen links to above is worth checking out…take care.

Thanks Mike. Sorry for your loss sounds so similar to me. Yes my time was spent looking after mum and then the stress of her being in hospital and care during the pandemic totally pushed grief for dad to to the side.

Just been to see my GP who has suggested grief counselling which is my next step.

Hope any grief counselling you do is helpful for you Karlos

this is a terrible time in life but one you must go through.

I lost my parents. it is the worst chapter in life. expecting life to roll along is not understanding these times. these are horrible terrible times. one day, years from now, the pain will be far less. until then you have no choice but to endure. I am very sorry. :heartpulse:

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