I’m a nurse and took my mum to hospital as she was poorly for a long time and had a chest xray. Immediately I knew it was cancer of the lung but hid it off her as she spent all her life worrying about cancer and her health. We got home, mum, dad and I and I rang hospital and spoke to a doctor colleague/friend who reviewed r xray and said how very ill she was and needed admitting there and then. I went in to her room with dad and my older brother and had to tell her there and then how bad it was. We took her in and two days of tests concluded what I already knew in my heart, she was dying. I stayed with her with my dad all day and my older middle brother stayed all night with her. We took her home and I moved in with my husband, 5 Yr old, 7 Yr old and 11month old children, sleeping on camp beds in one room whilst I stopped work along with my brother and gave her full nursing care 24/7, we needed no outside care input, mum wanted this, it was heavy but we didn’t care as it was what mum wanted. But she never got out of her hospital bed once we got her home, she never wanted to talk about IT, dying, any of it, never wanted to reminece or reflect on our life lives together. My dad, mum, my family and my middle brother were unbelievably close. My elder brother however treated my mum and dad very badly all his life, no time for them, etc, yet when she was dying he would come and visit maybe once or twice and week and try and take over… But he hardly knew her like we did and it stung thinking of hurt he had caused her in past. Mum died with us all around her but last 30mins she choked to death and it was horrific. I had to tie a bandage around her chin and head as he mouth was wide open when she died and I wanted it closed for her dignity. I did this as I didn’t want my older brother to have to as it was awful. I then washed her and dressed her with my middle brother and I did her hair and makeup as she would like it, after we had last night d her out she looked beautiful. She was in the dress she wore to my wedding. My dad sat alone with her all night that night. In the morning only I noticed she was bruising to face and leaking slightly from her mouth so I covered this up from my dad. They were married 62 years. Under taker came for mum but it was horrific as he dropped her to floor and her head flopped back like a sack of potatoes. We all saw this and I felt for my dad more. Dad wanted to see mum 2 days later as it was their wedding anniversary but undertaker took me aside when I arrived to touch up her make up to tell me mum had decomposed faster than he had expected and her face was black and she had leaked all over her jacker from her mouth. I and my middle brother were gutted. I stopped him from going in to see her as undertaker suggested as I know as a mum, that our mum wouldn’t want us to see her like that and we have that lovely memory from night we laid her out when she died and she looked perfect and we should only remember that. We had to tell my dad and that was horrific. In week before my mum’s funeral we had texts from my oldest brother, he’s 18 years my senior… He basically was saying I killed her and maybe my care of her catheter killed her! He said that I’d go to hell and would never see my mum again! My dad and brother went mad at him, he then said they wanted her dead as at end when she was choking we were saying mum don’t fight h it’s OK to go with them now… This was wishing her dead he said! Things he was saying were unfounded and evil… I have been transparent in all I did for my mum with doctors, nurses and all said I and my middle brother and dad gave her best care she could have wished for and it was ending she wanted at home with her family. He sent these texts upsetting my dad of 78yrs right up until the night before her funeral. Mum died and I threw myself in to arranging everything, funeral, dad’s benefits and pension, you name it. Now it’s been 4.5months since she’s gone and it’s hitting me hard. My daughter had her first birthday 2 weeks after mum died and we had a tea party for her with just my kids and dad, brother, hubby, it was for her but it was such a sad day, my kids were my mums world, she doted on them. Now I don’t have a 2 minute episode in the day not thinking of her, crying, wishing I was with her. I’d never do anything stupid as my kids are my World, like we were my mums world… She was best mum. She was my best friend. All my life we were always together. First person I turned to good or bad, she was my World. Just don’t know if I’m ever going to get over loosing her and now I dread loosing my dad too. Feel so low and depressed. Don’t think the evil comments from my elder brother have helped, my family say to forget him as its guilt for his treatment of my mum, but I dwell on things, possibly because I’m low.
I’m am incredibly sorry to hear that you’ve been through such a difficult and distressing time. It sounds as though you and your mum were very close and that you did everything you could to support her and keep her comfortable through her illness.
Your comments about your brother reminded me of another conversation here that you may find helpful to have a read through, all about family conflict following bereavement: https://support.sueryder.org/community/coping-bereavement/family-conflict-while-trying-grieve
If you feel that some additional support would be helpful at this time we have on online bereavement counselling service that you’d be more than welcome to register for. There’s more information to the right of this page.
Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself and taking things at your own pace. We’re here if you need to talk.
Hello Becca. My mum was my best friend too. Your post touched me as I feel the sorrow and pain you are in. There’s nobody like your mum nothing can replace that specialness of the relationship you have had with her. My mum died a year and a half ago and I am no closer to accepting it in fact I know I will never get over it and just plod through life trying to cope because that’s what she would want me to do. What you had will never truly be gone for all she taught you and all those memories are locked in your heart. She’s part of you and you are part of her. I expect you are like her in many ways as I am my mum. We are left to carry and fly the flag for our mums. She’s always with you even though you can’t see her I’m sure you hear her voice saying things she told you and remember funny happy times. It’s so hard as grief feels relentless like a pain that never goes away. But you will cope you will go on and even laugh sometimes again because you do it for her and because of her. I talk to my mum (past caring who thinks what!) it comforts me a lot. Take care of yourself treat yourself to nice things. X
Ps. I forgot to say I also have one of those brothers. Mine never came when mum was dying he left me to cope with that and just my husband there. I have no children. I will never forgive him for that and he was stilted and awkward at the funeral and I doubt I will see him again. Yes I totally get where you’re coming from on this. It’s unbelievable to me