Lost my dad and don’t know how to help mum

Lost my dad suddenly 6 weeks ago after finding out he was riddled with cancer. Still struggling with getting my head around what has happened while trying to help mum navigate through this horrible time. Although both my brother and i have tried to fill the gap for her, neither of us are on the doorstep so spend each day worrying about how she is coping and feeling guilty that we can’t be there more, Both of us work full time but worried that mum is falling apart. Haven’t even started to deal with my own grief so worried this is going to catch up soon too. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and don’t know what more to do. Help !


Hi I recently lost my dad too and I’m currently feeling the same way with my mum. I feel guilty for leaving her because I don’t want her to be lonely but also need my own space to grief too.
Would be helpful to hear other people’s stories and ideas on this

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I lost my dad 7 weeks ago and both my sibling and I live in different towns to my mum. Both my sibling and I will call my mum and text her regularly. My mum has a good community of people around her which I feel is helping but I do also think she does feel lonely at times which is to be expected. Having friends or getting out even for just a coffee has helped my mum, and my sister and I will try to visit on a weekend. The first couple of weeks were tough as I didn’t really have much time to grieve as I was planning my dad’s funeral as it was too hard for my mum. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve without feeling guilty about worrying about your mum. I also am trying to be open and honest with you expressing to my mum how I’m feeling and also asking her how she really is. As sad and hard as it is it has in some ways brought us closer together.


Hi moony so sorry for your loss i was too in the same boat my step dad died 02/02/21
My mum broke into a million pieces inwas there supporting her as much as i could but me mam turned to drink she spent 21 years withnmy step dad then he was gone
My mum drunk to numb the pain even said she didnt want to be hear no more i lost her on the 19th august this year im on pieces my heart is broken things are not the same ive lost my best friend you can only donwhat you can


Hi, I lost my Dad last month too, also to cancer. I’m so sorry for your loss. My sisters and I are rotating visits to her so she’s not alone for more than a day on average. Neighbours and others in the local village said they will pop by to give her some company - does your mum have neighbours she’s close to who can visit her or take her out for coffee?
You are doing your best when you work full time and aren’t local. You definitely need that balance between time supporting her through this awful time with your own time to grieve. I love my mum’s company but I need that solitude too as I don’t like to cry in front of her.

Moony70, could you take time off work? Annual, unpaid, compassionate or sick leave? Spending a week by your mum’s side might really help her.

Also, can your work be done remotely, at her house? Just knowing that you’re in the house, even if you can’t be disturbed, could be comforting for your mum.

I just want to jump on this thread, to share my experience and see if anyone has any insights.

My dad died suddenly in the middle of November. He was fit, active, a pillar of the community, gregarious… so many people are now lost without him. We thought that he’d live another 20+ years, like his dad before him.

He was the strong one, of my parents. My mum relied on him for many things. My mum has had a lot of trauma in her life. My siblings and I were worried how my dad’s death would affect her. In fact, so too was the consultant who looked after my dad in critical care - he could see how traumatised my mum was, and was worried that she wasn’t sleeping and eating.

My dad was front and centre of my mum’s life. Her world has suddenly shrunk massively. She and I are really close. Both of my parents are my best friends, and each morning what gets me out of bed is knowing that I can hug my mum. So, being with her and looking out for her is a pleasure and not a burden. But I’m aware that I’m only 1 person. I’m staying with mum at the moment, and my brother comes over every day. My sister keeps in touch, but less actively.

But, my mum didn’t really make friends in our area. Her closest friends are back where she comes from (about a 3-hour drive away).

My best friend is wonderful, and she happily sits and chats with my mum, and my mum likes her lots, too.

But I suppose I’m just worried - I’m gregarious, like my dad, and I worry that my mum might not have enough people around her. But at the same time I know that many people are happy with just 1 or 2 close people. I don’t want to push mum into socialising if she doesn’t want to, but when people (my best friend, and my sister’s mother-in-law) make the first move, and chat with my mum, I can see that it makes her happier, and she gets a spring in her step.

So, I guess I’m just wondering whether there’s something else I can do for her that I haven’t already considered. I’ve told her that she’s welcome to join any and all of my social activities, and I’ve said the same to my brother, who is also shy and has just 2 friends - 1 really great one, but who has a family and so is quite busy, and 1 from school who is a bit of a user, in my opinion.

So sorry for your loss your doing eveything to support your mum have younthought about getting her a councillor

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Thank you Charyll,

She has a phobia/anxiety about dealing with healthcare professionals, and I think that extends to counselling. I have mentioned the great support I’ve had from the bereavement nurses at the hospital, but I think that she only wants to talk to people she’s already comfortable with - family and friends.

Its just si sad shes lost her soul mate youve lost your dad i really feel your pain
My step died 2021 my mam had been woth him 21 years got married dec 2020 he died 5 weeks later
My mam give up on life started drinking i lost her 19th august this year im over whelmed woth grief

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Oh no, that’s so sad, and so tragic. Make sure you’re looking after yourself. They would want you to be be happy, healthy and well.