Lost mum to cancer

8 months ago, my mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer. A month later I started a new and very intense job. Being 300 miles away with 2 kids didn’t lend itself to regular visits but we kept in touch by phone and video. My sister being primary carer back home with support from friends.

In December she took a turn for the worse, being hospitalised. I managed to head up for a few days but had to cut it short as my partner took ill back home.

Following that, mum started to recover and came out of hospital. Chemo was over and a review was due in February.

That’s when things started to slide.

My partner had major reconstructive foot surgery early Jan leaving me as a one man army for her and the kids, youngest is two.

A few weeks ago I got a call to say that they reckoned the cancer had become more aggressive and it may be weeks.

I got support from friends and family down here and headed north.

30 minutes before I arrived, I got the call to say she had passed. I had spoke. To her on the phone part way through the 5 hour drive. But I was distraught. Don’t think I’ve gotten over that.

The last few weeks have been manic with time off work to sort the estate, funeral and everything else, then with a family roadtrip for a few days to say our goodbyes.

I thought I was handling this. I’m not. I feel empty. Hollow. I feel I should have done more even though I couldn’t.

I feel like a bad son, and I can never undo that.

I feel exhausted.

And I miss my mum. She was a best friend. I don’t quite know how to cope with this.

I am reaching out to a bereavement support service locally but I’m struggling with maintaining day to day. Going back to work, I thought would help and allow me to focus on other things. Instead it’s crippling me. I really don’t know how people deal with this.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions or advice welcome.

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Hello @KW24,

I’m part of the Online Community team and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing how you are feeling. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum - it sounds like you have an awful lot going on at home while you navigate your grief. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

It’s good to hear that you’ve reached out to a local bereavement support service. I’m sure someone on the community here will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful in the meantime with some of the day-to-day difficulties you mention:

  • Our Grief Guide self-help platform which has information, resources and advice to help you through your grief

  • Our Grief Coach text service, which sends you personalised text support via SMS

  • Our Bereavement Information pages which can walk you through what you are going through.

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,

Sorry for your loss, I lost my mum in August 23. It’s still not easy, lived with mum 50 odd years.

Am so sorry for your loss my mum dues of cancer 2022, she had cancer treatment and we were told she was all clear…but the dr got the scan wrong, he missed that it had spread to her spine, we didnt know and after many troubles with the hospital we finally found out. She died in a way that shouldnt have happened, and i have to try and firgive myself too. Its so so hard, but its not your fault, it never was.
I have finally begun to find some comfort, which you will too, with councelling etc florence nughtingale house offer free talking therapies so does sue ryder, but i have this wonderful book which i have found so helpful, “Healing after the loss of your mother” by Elaine Mallon, it explains everything and has been a great cimfort to me. Good luck my friend, know it will get better and your not alone.

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