Loss of my mum

My 79 yr old mum was diagnosed with breast cancer 21.2.22 a day before my beautiful granddaughter was born and I was told it was in both breasts and lymph but no where else. However it quickly spread to her lungs and over the next few weeks she deteriorated but wanted to stay at home with my dad. I went off sick 30.3.22 to care for her 24/7 and sadly she fell asleep 14.4.22.
I have 2 brothers one lives away and the other rarely saw my mum and I have always been so close to her it was me who did everything including preparing for the funeral etc.
I am still off work and have been off for 8 weeks now but I just feel so sad and lonely even though I am surrounded by my lovely family….my dad is simply lost but doesn’t really communicate with me and even though I am doing all the usual day to day things like arranging my daughters wedding in July and helping my daughter get through her GCSE’s……I just feel like curling up into a ball and not doing anything at all……I still think she’s just gone on holiday and is coming back how silly is that…
I have studied grief and as a nurse know that all this is normal but I just feel so incredibly sad and tearful all the time…I know I need to go back to work but am I being selfish for needing more time?
Thank you for being there x


@Carnation I lost my mum in January 2021 and, aside from a few " OK" days, I’m struggling. I am practicing meditation to try to sit with my anxiety at peace but often this does not help. I take extra valium to get out of the house and I am at a loss how to be a good support to my dad. He’s very private and got into a routine immediately following the loss. I think this might be where I went wrong? Too much time to ruminate perhaps. This is a feeling of ongoing sadness with the added fear that life might not improve. I try very hard to make mum proud but I’m not sure what she would make of my efforts at the moment? I suppose I am having difficulty adjusting to life without mum’s physical presence. I hope time will assist with this. Take care x

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Dear Carnation

I’m very sorry to hear you lost your Mum and so quickly. You have a lot going on in your life at the moment and it’s so early in the grief process. First things first, can you get some help to sort out weddings etc? Because my initial thought is that you need help.

Despite being a nurse and knowing about grief it still doesn’t prepare you for your loss as a daughter or the overwhelming pain you are feeling. I’m pleased you had the courage to come on here and put your thoughts down, and that someone suffering similarly has replied. This support is vital in our recovery.

If you can, tell the people around you that you need help, your brother’s, relatives and anyone else who would help you. Losing your Mum is one of the most difficult things you’ve had to face in your life, so don’t feel guilty about needing time to get over this, we are all different and you’ve spent your working life giving out so much as part of your job, now let someone help you, and take the time you need.

Keep in touch on here. Wishing you all the help and strength you need.


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you must experience grief.

there is no other way.

you sound like you are fighting it. you need all the time you need.


@berit you are correct in what you say. After 6 months of fighting against my grief of losing my mum I simply had yo give in. It is uncomfortable, it makes me very anxious, I often have to cancel arrangements at the last minute because of the panic attacks, but ultimately it’s a journey we all have to go through. I am not saying that meditation makes this any easier, but staying present with difficult and upsetting thoughts is something I have to learn to accept. It is horrible but occasionally I find a chink of light making me think mum’s watching over me. X

Dear Lady Suisei

You are doing so well and your attitude is clearly exactly right for you as you navigate your grief.

‘Just be in the moment’ is such a valuable mantra in all areas of life and death and I’m glad you are finding comfort in meditation.

My thoughts are with you,


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@Miche24 thank you for your kind words. I have been overwhelmed by feelings of grief but now I am starting to feel more peaceful and I am learning to sit with uncomfortable thoughts. I know mum would definitely be happy with the fact that I’ve tried to change - even if that is by transitioning into an ageing hippy! X

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Carnation - we have so much to share here and my heart went out to you immediately! We have common ground in terms of timing and the Dad issue and I do hope you get to read this…
First of all, you did the right thing by looking after your Mother - that time was very precious in your relationship with her and the fact that you are a nurse is brilliant. My mother had her stroke 14.04.22 and died 24.04.22 so our timings are similar and we both have lost our Mothers and like you, I am with my Dad.
I have some issues about work as I am also off and have little inclination to go back - our common experiences have changed our lives so much, haven’t they? I would recommend you to do what is right for you ( if you can financially manage it) and do not feel any pressure to go back if you are not ready.
At times, I am analysing stuff, crying and have had awful problems sleeping but I am thinking of you and wishing you better days with improvement in your mental health.
Finally, Dad (like yours) doesn’t talk that much but I am sure like in your situation is feeling, it’s just some of us are able to express feelings better than others…
Wishing you well xx

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Hi Sandanista
Thank you so much to you and everyone for responding.
Yes we have lots in common with regards to timings and now being left with our Dads x
My dad has always been deeper than the ocean and if I am honest a difficult man to live with…he has become very critical of everyone in the last few years and bitter towards everything and anyone so loosing my mum just seems to have made him worse.
He is angry with the world and is grieving I understand that but he’s just so nasty and down right rude to me and yet I am the one who goes there everyday checks in on him twice a day makes food for him….and if I go there with my daughter and I ask him anything at all he will answer to my daughter and not even look in my direction!

I am grieving also and on days like today trying to support my older daughter with a new born, get my youngest through her GCSE’s organising a wedding which is going to be so emotional without my mum - I just feel like going to bed and not getting back up !

Work is in my mind as I am head of service so feel I need to get back but can’t face it and on top of it all I haven’t been in position that long so can feel my confidence going the longer I am off

Sorry for the rant just feel lost and hopeless right now xxx

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Dear Carnation

You are getting such warm responses from others in a similar situation, I hope it is helping. Some days are totally impossible but then the next day can be better, it is very much up and down for you right now., and others help us to realise we are slowly adjusting.

It strikes me that you are a very capable person, and sometimes this hampers our recovery because we think we should be coping better. The truth is that we face trauma differently so don’t blame yourself for what you see as your failings, it’s unfair to you.

I’m sorry your Dad is not easy to deal with; he is clearly not coping either. Is there a friend or someone nearer his age who could help out and keep an eye on him? He may not want you to see his suffering, but of course you do.
Keep writing.


Michelle x

Hello again,

I am sorry about your Dad’s behaviour towards you - do you think he realises he’s doing it or could he be so lost in his own loss he is unaware that he’s actually being so out of order? I would advise you to state how you feel and that you’re unhappy about his treatment of you, clearly and calmly. You could also say how you expect to be treated and how it would be improve the situation.
My Dad has few real friends and as a couple, my parents were always together in a co-dependent relationship which may be similar to yours thus, being bereft a life partner which can render the person as a lonely soul maybe unable to reach out for others. For example, one of my Dad’s neighbours (another widower) called today but my Dad won’t call him back which frustrates me.
When is your daughter’s wedding?
Thinking of you xx

Thanks all - I really do appreciate the support and if I am totally honest I think my dad is totally and utterly lost but won’t or can’t open up to not only me but anyone. They had no friends as a couple and no friends independently …my mum was devoted to us as a family and we were her life so it’s even harder for my dad now he’s alone.
However I do wonder if my dad is the reason that they had few friends!

Anyway one day at a time and if I can help anyone on here in anyway just post


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Just seek out some advice and make sure you are going out and getting fresh air, eating healthy food, not too much alcohol etc. I am thinking of you…

I lost my mother last month and it’s all very hard - I am with my father right now and have told work I cannot manage for the time being. What frightens me the most is the extent of how much life changes when bereavement occurs. Not only is sorrow so present but we have to adjust to so many life changes.

Of course you are having problems without your mother’s physical presence, it’s absolutely normal, the mother is like the most important role to most of us. This morning I woke up in tears and I’m so scared to how life will pan out. I am also really worried that people will think of me as weak (people at work) but part of me just thinks “who cares what others think?”

I am really thinking of you and send you warm wishes… let me know how you are xx

@Sandranista hello there.
At the moment I’m finding it too overwhelming to leave the safety of the house. Not having mum here as a physical presence is frightening me a lot. The weather seems to be improving, so over the next few days I will try to get some fresh air. I don’t drink alcohol, so at least that’s something I don’t need to worrying about.
My mood is very low at the moment. I’m missing mum, I am afraid of what the future might bring and I’m also trying to support my dad as best I can. I didn’t realise grief would be so hard - is this niave of me to say?
Sending you best wishes and I hope today is slightly better for you x