Loss of my mum


I lost my mum in June. It was fairly sudden. She became ill with acute kidney injury mid-April. Treatment initially went well and after five weeks they started talking about mum going home and we were even taking receipt of aids such as walking frames and bed rails and talking about care support. Then suddenly she became ill again. Doctors took five days to respond. We were desperately saying that this was how she was when we first took her to a&e. But we waited five long days, constantly chasing action and updates, and they did all they could at that stage but it stopped working/was too late. They didn’t get to the bottom of the cause of the kidney failure until post mortem. It was caused by sepsis which was in turn caused by an abscess. She was in hospital 10 weeks.

It was very traumatic watching her die. I tried to keep working through, as mum was unconscious. But there was a lot of pressure. They did give me a week compassionate leave and a couple of days when they first said she was now actively dying. The week’s compassionate leave is just enough time really to let people know and organise the funeral. I didn’t really start grieving until after the funeral, which was five weeks after her death. I did see my mum at the funeral place. I wasn’t going to but my dad wanted to and then he wouldn’t go in so I went in ahead to tell him it was ok. It was three and then four weeks after she died so her skin was discoloured, her eyes looked weird and the smell stood out. I could smell that smell in the church at her funeral. No one else noticed it.

I found going back to work difficult. My job is very busy and actually I work for a charity which supports people with a terminal illness. They were just glad I was back work. But supporting my dad and juggling a busy workload was too much. I ended up having three weeks of sick. I was saying I was a struggling but I felt very unseen and unheard. Across the board.

As soon as my phased return was over the workload crept up fast. I was ok initially, glad to be busy, but in recent weeks I’ve been struggling again. Having some flash back to when my mum was dying, and the feeling of helplessness. And work is so busy and I’ve been all over the place meeting people and supporting events - Warwick, Norwich, London. I was also when my mum was ill. But they still said things like I was wanting flexibility and giving nothing back. That haunts me as I am a hard worker and even sat by my dying mum, taking some annual leave just to be with her, if I got a text asking for something to go on the website or be corrected on social, I logged on and did it. I’ve always done above and beyond and it made me feel really unappreciated.

I did see a mental health nurse for a while. I may need to go back or see a grief counsellor. I am dreading Christmas. I wanted to do something different but dad doesn’t want to. I don’t want him to be alone so I’ll end up just being with him.

Hello @HelenC81,

I can see that you’re new to the community - I’m so sorry for the loss of your mum that brings you here. It sounds like you are feeling traumatised by your mum’s death, and that you didn’t get the space and time you need to begin to grieve. I really hope that you find the community to be a support to you right now.

You mention dreading Christmas so I wanted to share our Coping with grief at Christmas support page with you. I also wanted to share some more of our resources which may be helpful right now:

Lots of our members will identify with how traumatised you are feeling. But if it becomes overwhelming, it might be worth exploring grief counselling, as you say, or having a chat with your GP.

Hopefully someone else will be along to share their thoughts but I just wanted you know that you have been heard and you are not alone.

Take care,

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Hello… I can relate to much of your story. It’s a long and difficult road ahead. I lost my mum suddenly in June too. She was carer for my dad and now I have that role as well as trying to keep on top of my job. I stayed with mum as they switched off life support. I left the room briefly to get myself together and she passed in that moment. I can’t forgive myself for leaving her.
I’m finding Sue Ryder text support invaluable for validating all those mixed emotions I’m feeling so sign up if you can. You are not alone so please reach out as and when. As for work give it some time and reassess. After 15 years in my stressful job mums passing has made me realise the job isn’t worth my well-being so I’m leaving at Xmas. I need to find happiness again. Hugs to you

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Hi Helen,

So sorry for you loss and the pain you are in.
I have been through the exact experience as you and like you I am really suffering.
I lost my mum last Saturday after spending 4 weeks by her side and watching her cry in agony. I took my mum into hospital with horrendous pains in her tummy which turned out to be an infected gallbladder, this then led to a cyst then sepsis. I am racked with guilt, grief and so many other emotions I can’t describe.
If you ever want to chat I am here. Your words totally resonated with my experience…I too was with my mum when she passed.
Tomorrow is my first day back after taking a week unpaid leave… like you said it’s just enough time to sort out the funeral!
I am also thinking of speaking to a bereavement councillor as I can’t get out of this very big dark hole…
Take care Helen and honestly please just reach out if you want to chat as I feel we could help each other x

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