Lost my mum a week ago

Hello all
Im here because I live abroad in a fairly isolated place, and am looking for a support group for the coming months of coping with the loss.
My mum and I were very close, I would say we were possibly enmeshed. To help overcome this I always sought work far away, to try and cut the chord a bit. I’d still call every day, and spent all my holidays with her. Since 2007 she’s been taking warfarin for blood thinning to prevent clot formation as she had a metal heart valve to keep her alive after a heart attack. We were told it’d probably last only 7 years, but here we are 16 years later and she’s only just gone now. During that time she took warfarin and struggled with bruising and maintaining a perfect INR level. She developed Alzheimers in the last few years and was making mistakes with regards to her tablets. She also fell in 2020 and decided to stay in her chair from that point on. That decision was the beginning of the end as she never got out of it again. She would sleep in the chair (it was a recliner admittedly), and live in it. Carers would come in and clean her and help her on to a commode.
She was a proud woman, and a former nurse herself. I cleaned her when I was there, and my sister did from time to time, but the degradation of it all was so heartbreaking for her. The carers who tended to my mum were fantastic for keeping her distracted and lighthearted. They really were angels.
I went to my mum for Christmas, only a few weeks ago, knowing like every other time it could be the last time but feeling that she’d still be there for my next scheduled visit at the end of February, like she always had been in the past. We had a nice day, she was warm and well fed, loved her presents and smiled plenty. I left and got on my flight feeling torn as always, but hearing her voice on the phone when I got back reminded me we were back into our usual routine of waiting for the next holiday to spend together.
10 days ago the carers told me she had a haematoma on her leg. She frequently formed them but they would disperse so there was no unusual signs there. The following day it was bigger and the carers called my sister and told her mum was blue in the face. They agreed she needed to go into hospital. In the UK at the moment we have service strikes including nurses in hospitals, and ambulance drivers. Fortunately, on this particular day the ambulances were working, but because of our crumbling health service mum couldn’t be given a bed. She was kept in the back of an ambulance for 13 hours and became hypothermic but I have been told the ambulance paramedics kept the engine on to keep the heat on. She was eventually taken into the hospitals emergency department and was on their resuscitation ward for the night, receiving oxygen and blood transfusions.
At 3:30 in the morning the nurse called me to say she was dying and if we could we needed to get there asap. I couldn’t, I’m in a different country. I sat and called my sister in the UK but of course she wasn’t awake, it. was 3:30 and her phone is turned off at night. Half an hour later a doctor called to say she had passed. It was 6 in the morning for me and I still couldn’t notify any family. Another 2 hours went by until I could get hold of family and flew back the following day on the next flight. So that’s what happened.
Here I am, a week later. An inquest has been opened into my mums death. I shudder to think of my mum alone in an ambulance, with the paramedics thinking ‘an old lady with no family here pressing for her well being and with a DNR form on record, how much do we try for her?’ I don’t want to feel that way, I hate it. She was 83 and had lived longer than we expected I keep reminding myself of that. But my sister is all out for getting people fired.
I’ve been over now and done the immediate cleaning out of her house, and made arrangements for the cremation, the funeral is coming at the end of January.
How am I feeling? Numb is the main word that springs to my mind, anxious about our family problems which will just implode now the glue that made us all be nice to each other isn’t here any more, I feel like I don’t know myself without this reason to organise my holidays around her needs Ive suddenly got more free time, I feel old, I feel like I let her down as she died without family present, I feel guilty because I told her I can’t give up more than my holidays just to keep her company as I need to work to survive, and, I feel like I’m betraying her just by going on with my life whilst she is in a morgue, cold and dead.
Horrible times. Tell me it gets better?


Hello Brunny

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 it’s been a very traumatic experience for all of your family. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful.

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, Rhi

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