Lost my mum & best friend

Hi, new to forums but thought it might help me to talk to others who are possibly feeling similar emotions.
A month ago, I lost the most important person in my world. I have just turned 40, so I know I’m not a child but my mum really was everything to me. She was mum, dad, best friend, my rock. I saw her everyday as we lived very close.

I just can’t beleive she’s gone. She had been going back and forth to the doctors for a couple of years with problems with bloating and various symptoms but was never properly investigated. They put everything down to her age and the fact she was retired and not as active etc - basically she was fobbed off constantly (she was 68).

Mum had been unwell for a few days and ended up in a&e, after gp gave her laxatives (she had a severely distended abdomen at this point) to cut a long story short - they did CT scan and diagnosed her with a complete bowel obstruction (colon cancer). Mum passed away 2 days later from what I believe was a bowel perforation. She was in a lot of pain and I hate to say wasn’t cared for that well in the hospital ( I pretty much camped out at the hospital so I could do as much as I could myself, I refused to leave her). She didn’t show it but I know she was frightened.

I was desperately trying to get her to a hospice as I did not want her to die in there - in the end she just went too quick. Just before she passed away a nurse had come to tell me they had found a bed for the next morning. Sadly she never made it. I was gutted.

Mum and me were very similar in a lot of ways and could clash at times and get on each other’s nerves - now for some reason all I can think about is all the things I didn’t do for her, the times I was busy and didn’t seem to have time to do everything she wanted (she had been quite lonely since retiring). Of course there were way more good, happy, loving times in our relationship but I only seem able to focus on the negative and feel so so guilty. Because of how quickly it all happened, there were things that didn’t get said that I wished I had etc. I told her how much I loved her but it just doesn’t seem enough. I just feel horrible and would give anything to just have 10 minutes with her (I know that sounds like a cliche).

I have to go back to work soon and as I work across sites in a hospital - I will have to go back to the hospital where I spent the worst days of my life - I am just dreading it.

Million dollar question but when will it start to feel easier?

I am keeping a lot inside and I don’t think family and others know how much Im struggling because I don’t want to burden them. For a lot of people, once the funeral was out of the way it’s like you are expected to just get on wit it.

Sorry for the long post

Hello Evie,

I’m so sorry to hear about your mum and the awful time you’ve been through.
I know some people think it’s easier after the funeral but I haven’t found that, I’m finding it harder now than before.

Like you I think wish I’d done more for my mum and think of all the “should haves” but I’m sure you did all you could do , as I tried to do for my mum. Take comfort in the fact that you were there when she needed you and she knew that.

Mum’s are always there for you and when they’ve gone they leave such a huge gap in your life, even now I think " I’ll give her a ring and see how she is "

Take care and I hope you find somebody to talk things over with, J x

Hi Evie,

I’m sorry to hear that you lost your Mum so recently and that you’re having such a difficult time at the moment. I do know how if feels to lose so you’re not alone.

I lost my Mum 5 years ago when I was 42. She too was my best friend who I would talk to everyday about anything & everything. I was devastated when she died. She’d had cancer for years & went into a hospice for what we thought was respite care but she died a week later. I just assumed she would always leave the hospice & go home with my Dad.

I really struggled bcause the person I would talk to about any problems I was having wasn’t there anymore. I felt lonely & scared. I had bereavement counselling which really helped me through the first year of her death. It was my safe place where I could do or say anything. In 2 sessions I sobbed for the whole 45 minutes.

It’s really really important to not hold your thoughts, feelings & emotions inside, don’t bottle them up. They need to come out for you to start to be able to grieve and eventually move forwards.I know it can feel difficult to see that you will ever be able to move forwards.

It takes time but you do begin to accept what has happened. I still have bad days but they are far fewer. The first year is of course very difficult but gradually I began to be able to talk about my Mum without crying & remember all the happy times.

Be kind to yourself & don’t pressure yourself to do things you might not be ready for.

Take care & keep talking to us. Trudy x

Hi Evie,
Sorry to read your post but can really relate to it. I’m 39 and lost Mum in December and felt the same as in I’m 39 surely I should be able to deal with it but that’s the perception that our culture expects us at nearly 40 to deal with everything but you can’t when it’s your Mum. I too had 2 years prior filled with hospital trips and stays and Mum was 71 when she died. I just feel robbed and think that’s way too young. I have coped better than I thought I would and it’ll be 6 months on June 12th and her birthday on 13th so another double whammy coming up. For the first month I just focused on the funeral but was also in a state of shock even though it was expected. I’d say after the funeral I found it very difficult for a month emotionally then months 3-4 I was very angry and very bitter-not at Mum by at the injustice of it all. Friends have gradually dropped away (prob only a handful have stayed true). I’m pleased Mum went quickly at the end as she wouldn’t have wanted to have been in a care home or gradually loosing control of herself and was walking and talking until 10 days before but that’s hard to get my head around. She’d bedn in & out of hospital due to kidney failure and she’d been given two years and was getting worse but ten days was a shock as I’m sure you must have experienced too by the sound of things. I don’t regret 39 years with the best mum ever and I wouldn’t change that but she seemed so young still and I’m so gutted for what she will miss out on and that really upsets me. I have found it difficult to think that I’m just not going to see, hear or touch her again. And trying to imagine the rest of my life without her in it is so hard. It’s hard to hear friends talk about their mums too but I just go with it. It annoys me when I see people complaining about their mums. I’d say month 5 I’ve calmed From so much anger but I think I’ll always have it. I had a week off work recently and it’s the first week where I felt lost as I would usually have been rushing about checking on her or spending time with her and suddenly I had a week to myself and it was hard. I really missed calling her and always will but the first three months were the worst. I promise you it does get a little easier in terms of coping but it doesn’t hurt any less. My situation is a little different as I knew we were coming to the timeline end and I was in such a state during those two years that I suppose I’d done a lot of grieving whereas for others if it’s a complete surprise then they have to deal with that shock and the illness and death. I think it’s worse knowing what’s coming as it makes the time so sad but you can make memories however they’re tinged with sadness but afterwards I think it’s made it more copable as I was aware. I am exhausted after the past 2.5yrs but I’ve decided that my mum didn’t slave away to make sure I had a good life for me to now throw it back at her (so to speak im sure you know what I mean) so I must continue and try and live my life the best way to make her proud otherwise all she did wouldn’t be for anything and I know she struggled for me at times. So that’s my way of trying to move forwards, I talk to her all the time though! I had a big montage of photos of her and I made and it’s in the lounge so she’s with me everyday and I talk away to that picture!!! I always think what would Mum say and then say to myself what she would say!

Please also try and think that you were there for her to the end and it’s a very sad privilege but one if never swap. Mum had terminal twitching at the end which was horrible to witness and I won’t ever get those images out of my head but she was with me and although she’d had a mini stroke 36 hrs before she died she mustered all her strength and about 6 hrs before she died at 4am (when I was on the deck chair next to her) she tried to say I love you. I then knew she knew I’d been there the whole time. What an amazing mum. So as sad as it is being there is the most amazing thing you can do ever.

Sorry for the long ramble but it just hit me as similar with the age and situation. I started the other post called ‘Mum is dying’ in the end of life page which has over 500 posts now so do take a look and feel free to join us-seems to be a lovely little group all at different stages but what’s amazing is everyone has kept in touch since December. Thinking of you x

Thankyou for your replies. I just don’t feel like Ive ‘accepted’ it yet. I am distracting myself all the time with things that need doing but inside I feel this rage. I have a sister and we have become closer recently but she has young children and just seems to be dealing with things better - she has a reason to go on - for her children. I feel like I don’t have a reason or even want to go on. I have thought that Id rather just go be with Mum, but It Would hurt my sister and I know It would be horrible to do that to her. Doesn’t stop me despairing though.

I am not particularly religious or even thought about afterlife that much before. However I need to believe in something, like maybe there is somewhere we ‘go’ - otherwise it all just seems so bloody pointless.

Lucy, thank you too - I had not seen your post when I replied. I am sorry to hear about your Mum too.

I do have a lot of anger and have found myself feeling jealous when I see mums out with their daughters - I even go to supermarket late at night when it’s quiet so I don’t see them - Mum and I always did our shopping together etc.

I do get what you said about honouring her though - she worked hard all her life to give us the best and I understand that out of respect for her and all she did - I do owe it to her to do my best. It’s just hard right now -
Take care x

Yes it all sounds familiar and exactly me 4-5 months ago. The anger especially. I actually ran myself into the ground as I just kept busy constantly - bit like a jack in a box! If I say on the sofa for more than 5 minutes and had time to think I would have gone mad I think. It will be hard to think anything only one month on but you’ve just got to go with it as that’s all you can do right now. It effects everyone differently and things will catch you out at times. I found the first three weeks back at work awful. Hated it beyond belief and felt what’s the point, felt so far behind with it too but even now I feel a bit what’s the point to be honest. I’m an only child but my dad is still here but parents were divorced and believe me we’ve had some serious run ins the past few months. One really badly. I also hate now being the one who knows what it’s like to lose your mum out of most of my friends. Not that I wish this on them at all but why my mum. Then I think about my friend who lost her mum at 23 and try to put my 39 years into perspective. It’s so hard it really is especially when you’ve been so close. I feel like I’ve had my arm ripped off or a piece of my heart torn away. But I hope you can in a few months start to see all the fab things that made your mum your mum and I hope this raw pain will ease a little. Do use these forums, I couldn’t have got through the past 6 months without it. Especially when I think some friends are bored of the Mum conversation. I just love talking about her as don’t want her memory to fade. Everyone’s situation is different and unique but I then think of the strength my mum must have had as she had me at 32 but lost her Mum 3 months before I was born, so if she can get through that I must carry on. Hope you feel similar in time but as said in another message let it all out and don’t bottle it up. I can’t belidve that I can just burst into tears at anytime now. That’ll never change but I’m learning to adjust but it’s all slow and you are only 4 weeks on so don’t expect miracles just yet it’s so raw for you. Do what you need to to get through and try not to compare yourself to your sister, you are you. I’m single with no children and god if I can get through this on my own (dads not the emotional type!) then I can get through anything and I owe that to my mum and I often now say (only in the last 5 weeks!) what a strong woman my mum
Made! Keep going x

Hi Evie

I am so sorry to read about your Mum. What really stood out for me in your first post was you saying that you stayed with your Mum for her last few days, virtually camped out at the hospital and was next to her. Your Mum may have been frightened but she had you with her and that must have made a big difference. I think you are wonderful to provide that support and bet she did too.

It is very hard to watch someone you love so much go through that much pain and worry. My Mum passed away nearly two years ago and ended up so helpless she was having everything done for her. It was a complete reversal of when I was a baby and she cared for me. I never thought I would be able to do it and am not sure I could again as it was so debilitating.

There is little I can say that others have not already but please take lots of care of yourself. You need to do this, eating, drinking lots of water and generally being good to yourself.

I send you warmest wishes

Hi Evie I just came across your post and I recently lost my mother on May 25th after a very short illness. I feel exactly the same way you do and feel it would be good to talk to someone else who understands how I feel. I am 32. Maybe we could have a chat? My email is [edited by admin]

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