Missing Jack

On the 23rd March I lost my eldest son Jack. He was 19 and autistic and his death was very unexpected and I miss him so much. I was his full time carer and with the loss of benefits I am severly strained financially. I have to care for my mum aged 83 and my younger son who is 14 and is struggling with grief and depression. I am a single parent and permaneantly exhausted and frequently in tears. My son does not want to talk about his brother, go on walks where we went with Jack and now the DWP are demanding money for overpayment of Carers’ Allowance. I am trying to sell my late son’s stuff but the market for books on steam trains is limited. Recently I had to put all of Jack’s railway magazines in the recycling bin, it broke my heart to do this as he so loved his magazines. Jack was a walking encyclopedia on trains despite not being to able to read or write. I have a house full of memories which I would love to redecorate but have no money to do so and now the dog is ill and is suffering from seizures. This is particularly cruel as my son died as a result of a seizure and we have only just been told that their will be no post mortem. I have to care for my elderly mum and try and sort out my son and deal with the dog, do the shopping etc. I have a women’s health problem which causes me pain and have recently damaged my shoulder which also causes me pain so I am doing well at the moment. If it wasn’t for the fact that my son and my mum need me I would go and join Jack because at least then I could be with him again instead of living this half life full of pain and grief. I have no-one to talk to and no-one really understands what it feels like to lose a child, especially so unexpectedly. I cannot forget having to try and resuciatate him and then being told he was dead. My ex husband didn’t turn up to the funeral and he had caused my son a lot of pain as a result of this but still tries to establish a relationship with him and blames me for stopping him from succeeding. I had two sessions of phone counselling but the silly woman told me she couldn’t help me as it was too soon and then proceeded to tell me off as I hadn’t prepared somthing to talk about with her, she hadn’t told me to do so and I didn’t like being treated like a child so I binned her. We live in an area where we fall between the cracks for help as authorities/charities in Plymouth are not interested as they think we are too far away and the same applies to Torquay, both places are about 45 minutes drive from here, hardly the other sid eof the planet!

Hi @Galadriel, I am so sorry to read about your son. It sounds as though things are very tough at the moment and you are feeling overwhelmed.

I’m glad that you’ve been able to share how you are feeling here, and I hope that you find the community a good source of support. Everyone here has experienced the loss of a loved one and will understand some of what you are going through. There is a recent thread here which you may find particularly relevant and I would encourage you to join in there.

There are some useful resources on our website, including this article which I thought you might find insightful, even if it simply reassures you that how you are feeling is normal.

You mention counselling and it can be difficult to find the right service, especially if face-to-face counselling is not available in your area. Sue Ryder offers a free bereavement counselling service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this here.

Keep reaching out and please know that we’re here for you.

Take care,

Online Community team

Hi Galadriel, I am very sad reading your post, so many horrible things all at the same time. The DWP should not be asking for repayment in one go, I think they will negotiate the repayments and if you are looking after your mother are you getting benefits for her? Your son may need counselling, if he does Cruse have specialise trained counsellors for children, it may be worth trying and for you try a different organisation, Sue Ryder have their own as well as Cruse. As for your ailments get the GP to sort out what is the best way forward, long term but don’t suffer in silence.
Grieving takes it toll on both your physical and mental strength and you are very vulnerable in every way possible, so please take extra care. Some of the things that are going on in your life at present are down to grieving and the normal world doesn’t take it into account. Give yourself some slack and try to be proud of small steps you are taking.
Try the steam railways shop to sell the books, just a last thought. Sending big hugs and love. S xx