Lost my mother a few days ago, traumatic 4 years.

My mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2019. I found the news so hard as we were so close that my chest was painful and my heart would have irregular beats. I couldn’t eat or sleep. The only way to make it stop was by convincing myself she was going to survive despite a terminal diagnosis.

She had surgery that same month and recovered very well, the best they ever saw anyone recover. She had whole brain radiation therapy starting January 2020, and by the end of that month it was clear something was wrong. Steroids made her start to swell and she was behaving oddly and doing strange things. Within weeks she was unable to walk, had no short term memory and couldn’t look after herself. Hospital didn’t really have any answers but told us she could be dead within two weeks. I don’t even remember how I survived the news because my life seemed like a blur and I wasn’t in a good way. To all the doctors shock and disbelief, one day she got up and although she found it hard to walk because she had laid down so long, her motor skills and cognitive ability had improved and was better than I had seen her in years. It was a miracle - my mum was back and better than before!

2021 was a good-ish year health wish, stable scans for her tumour although she did have another brief episode of cognitive decline again but recovered within weeks and could still walk. I saw everything as a miracle at this point and didn’t think anything could keep her down. She was positive and happy.

2022 she was more slow and poorly, particularly from October onwards. She wasn’t the same but I couldn’t face it so ignored it to a large degree. Her memory by Christmas was poor and she wanted to rest a lot. Her scan results did not come in from months prior, they always took a while.

2023 in January she completely stopped taking care of herself and the house. She lost bladder control and lived in a mess. She never ever let herself or her home get that way. I still ignored the fact it could be anything bad and helped her clean and encouraged her to bathe.
By February she lost bowel control too and couldn’t stop being sick. She was taken to hospital on the 9th and was mobile (although less than she had been) and there it was confirmed she had significant tumour progression with another tumour. They told us she would have surgery as the tumour was in an easy place to operate but had to be in two weeks because every day mattered. I was desperately upset but again so very happy and grateful surgery was an option and that my mum could be helped.
Within those two weeks she became immobile again and was unable to think properly. It was a shock to see her go down hill so fast. Surgery still didn’t happen and no one could tell us when it would be, no one seemed to know anything it all.

By the time we reached my birthday on 23rd February she had a consultant appointment where we was informed that mum couldn’t have surgery because she was immobile and mentally couldn’t properly consent. I was shattered to pieces. I was so angry with them for leaving it so long to the point that she became that way then to use it as a reason she couldn’t get any help.

She got worse and worse and was a different person both physically and mentally, almost unrecognisable. The tumour sometimes made her tell her she hated me - I knew that was not true but hearing those words in your mothers voice is particularly painful. She would scream and scream because her tumour made her do random things and it was beyond heartbreaking to see her go through that daily. She ballooned up further with medication and seems trapped in a body and mind that didn’t work. I would visit her in floods of tears at the care home where they placed her for around the clock care. She had a few better days and just kept surviving despite her poor state. I was so traumatised that I didn’t see her as much as I should because it was so painful. The guilt would then eat me alive.

I was her on 10th October this month and she wouldn’t wake up. No responding to my voice or opening her eyes, nothing. The home thought she had an infection and would be ok. She was still the same later that night so an ambulance was called. My elder sister and I saw her in the ambulance but the medic said she doesn’t think my mum was critical and after antibiotics would improve. We almost didn’t go to the hospital knowing she would be ok as it was 11pm by that point and we had children at home. We decided to go anyway just to see mum settle in… by the time we arrived the doctor there said he does not think it is an infection and was likely significant tumour growth or a brain bleed as by that point her pupils remained dilated and she was not responding to pain. She was there but she was gone. Her breathing was heavy and noisy. They said they would scan her but prepare for the worst. We cried and went home to wait.
Within 2 hours we were called at around 1am and given the news - mum had a significant and unsurvivable brain bleed. She would never wake up and would be kept comfortable until she passed.

I didn’t really take it in, how could i? I spent so long convincing myself this point would never come.
We visited her on 11th in the morning and sat with her for hours. Her breathing was still heavy and her body began to turn a funny colour. She had red dots appearing on her arms and neck and it was beyond heartbreaking to see. She was just laid there, looking so very bad. I still didn’t say goodbye. I thought I would have more time to see her again and that she might just wake up. I planned on seeing her the next morning but as I got ready to go, I got the call… mum died. I could not believe it. I still don’t believe it. It’s been less than a week but I still can’t believe she will never talk to me again and I’ll never see her eyes look into mine. I’m relieved she doesn’t have to suffer anymore but miss her so desperately it hurts and now I have to face what I’ve ignored for 4 years.

How can I begin to accept this? Mum was my best friend, my rock. She was so amazing and suffered so terribly I can’t even start to acknowledge the trauma of seeing her go through what she did. I am lost and broken


Samantha your story has brought me to tears. So so sad and what you went through is truly heartbreaking I’m so sorry your dear mum had to suffer so much. :cry:


you have been through a long and terrible time.

I am very sorry. my mother is gone and after eight years, I am normal. but miss her terribly.
your mother wants the best for you. regardless, you will grieve a long time. this is life, I am afraid. the very best to you. :heart:


Thank you for your replies and I’m so sorry for your own losses :broken_heart: every day just gets worse and more painful :broken_heart:

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I’m so sorry for your lose but can relate to your journey so much. My mum battled for 6 years with various health conditions, which took their toll a few weeks ago, when she passed away in hospital. Right up to her last breath she hadn’t accepted the position she was in, so neither did we, although obvious how sick she was. I look back and wish I done more sooner but to be honest we made the most of what we had, without dwelling on the negatives, those were happy memories for me. I have comfort knowing how unhappy she was with life towards the end, so she is at peace now, but feel so selfish that I miss her for everything she did for me. She was my everything, and helped me in more ways than I can explain, so every little thing triggers me knowing I won’t ever see her again. I find my self talking about her as if she was still here, but it is soothing knowing how much she impacted my life. I bought a dear mum journal, I write in most nights, my little escape to tell her all the things I would’ve if she were here. She may not be here in person but her spirit lives on in us. There’s no easy fix to move on without someone so important in your life, but try not to dwel on what ifs and things you can’t change but all the memories and positives they brought to your life x

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I’m sorry about your husband :disappointed: watching someone terminally ill fade away is… well there are no words are there really?
Not really any support I need. My siblings are more of keep it together and cry privately where I am scream and cry and talk about it a lot. So I just keep in it as much as I can as they change the subject anyway once anyone starts to cry for more than 2 minutes. I am wanting counselling as I don’t feel like I can handle it but haven’t had the energy to try find out how so I will look through some cancer charities once the funeral is done, thank you for mentioning that :pray:

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I’m so sorry for you and feels almost like I could have written your reply as it’s so much in tune with how I feel too. It’s heartbreaking to know others have to go through this too :broken_heart:
I have a journal of letters to mum I started but not sure it feels like it’s helping. Maybe I just need to change the things I say because it’s mostly just my despair at everything and how I’m desperately wishing it’s not real. X

Hi Samantha, I am so sorry for the devastating loss of your Mum. My beautiful Mum passed a month ago tomorrow. Wasn’t cancer but she had several chronic illnesses and fought so bravely. I can’t put into words how proud I am of Mum’s fight and resilience. She was in and out of hospital this year, and through August/September she had 5 admissions. It was very upsetting and traumatic for all of us. You must be so proud of your Mum too, the courage and strength she showed.

These early days are horrible, the physical and mental pain are almost unbearable. As the days went on I started to think more about being like my Mum, strong and resilient. Like you, my Mum was my best friend and she always will be. She isn’t in pain anymore but that’s little consolation just now.

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I’m also so sorry for the loss of your mum :broken_heart: the back and forth with all the worry of f the hospital admissions must have been the worst :cry:
A month on seems like so very long, are you finding time going so slow also? It’s been 8 days and feels like so much longer.

Like your mum, mine also had so much strength and resilience and I want to take that forward into my own life too… but just feel too weak right now like I don’t have her strength. I hope in time it’s what helps to keep me going. X

Thank you. I’d way prefer the stress than this. We were told Mum could come home, day and a bit later and everything changed.

I felt after Mum’s service I wanted to try to be strong for Mum. It’s awful and I miss her so much. I’m proud of my Mum, and that’s giving me strength. You’ll find the strength, it’s just really difficult and everything aches.

In a way time is moving fast but it feels like a long time ago it all happened. I’m exhausted, have naps during the day and broken sleep at night. How are you sleeping? Small things are exhausting, like need to rest after washing the dishes, or hoovering, stuff like that. Are you the same?x

It’s been 6 and a half weeks now and since the funeral on 15th November it’s 100x worse. I thought it was bad before but the shock of it must have protected me some, this is so unbearable and consuming. 3 days ago we also got her ashes back and looking at them and thinking about her dead and turned into that is making me physically sick and disturbed. I’m my chest hurts all the time, this isn’t life this is just suffering. I just want my mum back. Being on this level of physical and emotional pain is just suffering and not living


Hi, so sorry for your loss and I can personally relate to it having cared for my mother with dementia for 4 years who past on the 5th of January dying in my arms, we were alone in the house as she expressed the wish to die at home with me beside her, and with help I was able to grant her that, but it cost me my health, and I have still not processed the moment of her passing, it is too painful.

My twin brother died from a brain tumor after a number of strokes on the 4th/September 2021, he was 61, my mother in law followed on the 6th January 2022 from dementia, my family has been through the F******g meat grinder, I have seen enough death to last a life time, have hypertension, ptsd and depression, bad knees, a bad left foot that got damaged by a toe cap that put me in hospital with cellulitis, am under a mental health nurse and will probably be on antidepressants in january and have disturbed vision in my left eye so might not be able to drive next month, I am so fed up with feeling glum, and 5 weeks ago I was in a very dark place, apart for that im fine so how are you?(sorry,stupid question I know) and if you were not greaving for your mother, you would not be a caring person and you would not be on this site, grief is the price we pay for love, and both forms of death, cancer and dementia, are equally gastly, my mother lost her inhibitions near the end and started telling the carers who assisted me just what she thought of them, and it was quite rude and made me feel embarrassed, she took a pot at one paramedic and on another occasion reduced a social worker to tears, she could be quite a Diana Trent but she was lately bed bound so didn’t have a stick(just as well!!)

Sorry you feel the need for this site, but you are in a good place, we all support each other and are a friendly lot.

You must know think of moving on, your children, must know be your priority, you have lost your matriarch, but in turn, you are know that matriarch, and must take up were your mother left off, and walk in her footsteps and uphold her values that you cherish, and remember her in her prime, find a lovely photograth of your mother from happier times.
I have created a wall memorial to my past family, the gentleman ion the left is my late father who passed in 2008, on the right with horns growing out of his head is my twin brother while the casket holds my mothers ashes.

Blessings to you and all who love you, may God give you the courage, fortitude and wisdom to sustain you and your family in the days ahead.


I am so sorry for your losses Tim, you certainly have been through a lot and those are lovely photos of your loved ones. I’ve a similar space with photos set out and they do provide a moments peace for the heart because they are very precious. I hope January so far for you is going ok under all the circumstances?

I’ve had some periods where I’ve distracted myself so much and not really thought too much about mums death but the past week it’s haunting me with nightmares and flashbacks to her final days. Generally I’m very anxious and full of dread. No idea if this is normal or maybe I’m suffering with the trauma of the experience? I keep going to make doctors appointments but then can’t go through with it because the thought of talking about it in detail in person makes me want to run away. Tried again today and the soonest I could make an appointment for is 25th January, which is my mother’s birthday and first without her so I couldn’t do it. Seems to be getting worse and never felt like this before. Just sucks. So glad everyone here understands and is supportive.

I lost my dad on 1st August to lung cancer. It’s been the worst time of my life, just absolutely horrific. He was 65 I’m 37 I feel like I’ve been robbed of so many years with him. He also had an awful death although he was at home with my mum where he wanted to be. He died of a haemorrhage in his lung due to the tumour and to think that that my dad died in such a terrible way still horrifies me and I’ll never be able to come to terms with it. I completely understand about your mums ashes. I googled the cremation process one night when I couldn’t sleep and I was physically sick. I’ve since had a ring made with my dad’s ashes and it’s brought me much comfort. I have weekly counselling at our local hospice and they are great. They make me feel like I am not going insane and that my feelings are valid. I’ve only just returned to work this past 2 weeks I had nearly 5 months off work. It’s a very long road. I had a very bad trigger this morning on my way to work when I heard a song on the radio and it has lead me here. I feel like I’m back at square one. I’ve sobbed for the majority of the day and not eaten. I just miss him so much. Life isn’t fair. Also the thought that my 2 children will one day feel this kind of agony destroys me. I try to block it out but it gets so overwhelming. My daddy taught me everything in life except how to life without him, I’d do anything for one last hour with him just to tell him how much of a great dad he was and how much I loved him and to thank him. It’s shattered my world into a million pieces xx

Even though this poem is utterly heartbreaking I find myself going back to it sometimes and I hope one day I’ll be able to read it without crying xx

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Dear Samantha, you poor thing, I know what you are going through, it sounds like you are feeling guilt, loss, anxierty,fear, despair, depression, and I suspect you were her principle carer and you may well be suffering a form of ptsd like me, and I am presently under a mental health nurse, your mum passing in your hands takes a lot of beating.

All these are symptoms of grief and it sounds like you need bereavement counselling and as it is more then 2 months since your mums death you should qualify for it.
Sue Ryder have there own experts who can help you with this, and it is important for your health and welfare that you work through this, you need to log into the sueryder site and select the grief counselling porthole, but this must be done with profeshernal help, that is what you need.

Take Boroko, you want the all vitamin B version, I take it first thing in the morning with fruit juice after I have done a set ion on my rowing machine (exercise is good for grief, it releases feel good endorthines) but please do not go mad if you are not use to this, mindful medetation may be better.
I also use a SAD light that is driven from my laptop(nothing sad about it) it gives me a bit of light therapy on these dark mornings and that lifts my spirits.

But get yourself down for bereavement counselling, I think that is what you need the most, the things I have suggested will help, but it will not cure you without professional support and Sue Ryder can give you that.

I get the impression you live alone like me, and that can make it particularly hard if there is no one grieving with you, I just wanted to crawl back into my sleeping bag and pass away in the early days and i would have done had I not been found.

Blessings to you, keep in contact and PM me if you wish to, let me know how you get on.


Becky my dear, the feelings you are describing, for extreme grief are normal, I am so sorry your dad had such a painful death, that will have been so horrendous to witness and I know what trauma that can cause, and was your equivalent of my mum passing in my arms.
You, like me, will be suffering a form of ptsd, it is important that you seek professional help for this, and Sue Ryder have experts who can help you.

If I were your doctor I would refer you for bereavement counselling, and my advice to Samantha also applies to you, its a lovely poem by the way and brings tears to my eyes to, and the day it doesn’t is the day we can say we have moved on.

Your dad walks in spirit with you every day, I do not know what your beliefs are, but I think you will be surprised at what a medium will be able to tell you about your dad.

I was to early, I went to a medium within a month of my mums passing, the name coming through very strongly was Frank, my late dad who passed in 2008!!.

You are stronger then you think, you must concentrate your love on your children, they, are your future, you must keep your head, and see that they are warm and fed

Keep your head
And see your children warm and fed
To bring them up like your dad did you
And teach them to walk in your footsteps to

And show them how to get along
And teach them what is write from wrong
And guide them as a friend and mother
And make them proud of you like no other

And your dad will look on with pride
As he walks unseen beside your side
Guiding your thoughts in the way to go
Onward and upward towards the light
Guiding you on through hell gates might.#

Not quite poet lowliest, but I hope I have raised your spirits, I dabble in poetry so for an engineer that is a bit unusual,

I am sure your dad knew you loved him, it is the most painful experience to lose a parent, even more so if the end was dramatic as it was for us both, and you do not see that in the movies, it would never get passed the sensers.

I was not there when my dad passed, he passed alone in hospitle in the early hours, my mum was at home and I was in Liverpool working as a taxi driver, and while I did not love my dad, and relations were strained, I did respect him, and I was determined NOT to let down my mother and that she would not be alone, I looked after her round the clock at home for months, it broke my health, they very nearly had to carry me out.
No, life isn’t fair, and you are young to lose your dad(I was 48)

You must seek proper help, Sue Ryder can get you bereavement counselling, but you must refer yourself, it is important that you do, there are your children to consider as well, you need to be on top of your situation in order to be a good mother.

Blessings to you, your children, and all who love you.


Oh Becky I’m so sorry, I hear a lot of my own feelings and experiences in your story and that poem made me cry :cry: as beautiful as it is. Similar age also to me and my my mum (35 and 60) I hope you’ve been ok returning to work and it’s offering some distraction.

I did get a ring made with the ashes and it is easier to look at than her ashes and offers a little comfort. People say it gets easier and I hope it’s true as so far it’s becoming worse. X

Thank you for your suggestions and I will certainly try the vitamins (I try with some but forget with greif brain and lack of will) but I need to do something constantly to feel better again. I also suffer with SAD so the lamp is also a great suggestion. Little things all add up.

I don’t live alone but I do feel alone, I’m the only one going through what I am and even out of my siblings I’m the one who seems to be taking it the hardest and feeling worse as each month passes.

Today has been gut wrenching again struggling though and busting into tears. I will book with the counselling you mentioned and very grateful you told me how to do it as I’ve not been very sure all this time where to go or where to look for help. I just want this pain to stop but I don’t know how that’s possible when I’ll never stop loving my mum and being so sorry for how she suffered. I’m even in tears feeling everyone else’s pain reading what everyone else is suffering through along side me. Never thought that it was possible to feel so much pain and still live. X

I can’t see it ever getting easier for me. The pain is no less than the day he died I think I’m just more used to this feeling now. He’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of at night. I often dream of him and it’s very distressing when I wake up but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to see him and he always looks so well. My children don’t even question me being upset now which is terrible there used to seeing me cry which must be awful for them :cry: When for spoke to people who have lost parents they all have said it’s just finding your own way of dealing with it. My dad was so beautiful, funny and caring there was nobody like him. When you loose someone who has been with you all of your life it’s very difficult trying to figure out your new life without them it changes everything doesn’t it xx