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.