Missing my daughter so badly

I’ve posted on here a few weeks ago. My 20 year old daughter died totally unexpectedly whilst on a university field trip in September and I’m really struggling to cope. She is our only child and we were incredibly close. She should have been back home from uni for Christmas now - she just loved Christmas and our little traditions.We were such a happy little family.
I cannot cope with life without her- I think about her all day and all night. I miss her so desperately- it’s like a physical pain. I spend most of my time in tears, don’t sleep and have developed tinnitus. Life just feels so pointless.
Is it possible to survive the loss of your child if you don’t have other children to make you feel like you have a future?
My daughter was the most beautiful, kind, intelligent and thoughtful young woman who deserved such a happy future- I feel so heart broken for her that she has lost her future and of course we have lost ours also.
How is it possible to survive this agony!?


I know that physical pain so well. It’s an ache deep within us. It’s the yearning for our child and the knowing we cant do anything to make it right again.
I cannot imagine your pain as your child was your only one.
If you can look back on the joy that she brought you that will be a comfort. I woke up at 3.30 this morning. Tears in my eyes and the pain and reality of losing Lisa was back again.
My husband had to get up at 5 so I sat in bed looking at photos on my old phone. Photos of Lisa and Jamie with their new born child. She looked so serene and beautiful. Happy times to cherish. I miss her more each day and I don’t think time heals the loss of a child. We get up and do normal things but inside we carry this great sadness. It does get easier to bear and I don’t cry so much, sometimes I go for days without tears now. I am also busy helping my son in law sort things out with the solicitor as Lisa didnt have a will and they weren’t married so in Scottish law Brooke inherited everything. We are in the process of making a claim on the estate for him as he cant go back to work full time as Brooke is only 3 and he has lost half their income. At least it gives us something to focus on.
My heart goes out to you though. We none of us wanted to be in this club but we are and we have to learn to live a different life.
Kate xx

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I don’t think it’s possible to describe the pain of losing a child,so when it’s your only child I can’t begin to imagine the pain that you are feeling.
I lost my son two years ago and I miss him as much today as I did then, the pain is still there but it’s a pain you learn to live with you have no option…the tears still come but not as frequent as at the beginning and you do get stronger…I still talk about my son often, I will not let people forget him and that is the comfort of this forum,we all understand …
I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter but remember she still lives on in your heart and no one can take that away…
Take care of yourself…Marina xxx


Dear Kate and Marina- thank you for your response - I know you have both suffered terrible losses too. I know you understand what I mean when I say the pain is physical and my heart is totally destroyed. I’m just struggling to accept that Caitlin is really gone- it seems impossible to accept that it can be true. I have no idea how to find a way out of this nightmare.Everything reminds me of her and what we have lost and breaks my heart afresh each day. I know with Christmas looming it’s even harder to cope with things but I feel worse each day not better. Did either of you have any counselling as I am thinking of trying it - but I do not feel able to tell them what happened at the moment as I just cannot re-live the dreadful day that we found out - I just cannot go there in my mind it’s just too much. I’m only just getting through each day and could not cope with more. Thank you both, Colette

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Hi…only we can try and cope.I wish I could help and have answers I’m nearly two years on and still struggle.I find keeping busy and exercise are best to help but it’s hard more so around this time of year…sending love

Thaank you - I cannot even imagine how you have survived 2 years of loss-it seems unimaginable to me at the moment. You are clearly a strong person - I hope I can find some strength in the weeks and months to come xxx

My love I totally understand your torment. I think if you can get counselling soon enough then that’s the way to go.
There is an on line counselor here on this site. Maybe try this first. I am so sad for you. My heart aches for the pain you are in. It does hurt so much but life had a way of pulling us forwards.
Stay strong. Cry when you need to. We are all here.
Kate xx


Thank you -it is so hard for all of us - our losses are so huge - I think I will look at the counselling - thank you again xxx

Hello Caitlin_s_mum,

I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. It sounds as though things are very tough at the moment and I can understand when you say that your heart is destroyed.

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.

As has been mentioned, Sue Ryder offers online bereavement counselling. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. If that’s something you decide you’re interested in you can find out more and register here: www.sueryder.org/counselling

If you feel like you’re not ready to talk yet, but you do feel that you’re in need of a little more support, then a good place to ask about support options can be your GP.

Take care,
Online Community team

I can understand how you find it so hard to relive those first terrible moments. I too struggled but when I finally let it all out to a dear friend, I felt it was a release. Being told that nothing more could be done for Lisa was bad enough but watching her talking to the doctor and telling him she was a registered donor and then saying ’ it is what it is, just get on with it’s ’ was in some way a comfort. She was incredibly courageous. She spoke to us all individually, played with her little girls curls, kissed her beloved partner then said she was ready. The drip to gently send her to sleep was started and after she was fully asleep the ECMO machine was turned off. She gave a few gasping breaths and her lovely face turned blue and then the last big breath. I remember saying ‘shes gone’ and getting up and going out into the anti room and reaching for a chair which I missed and was lying on the floor. I could hear an animal like noise but wasnt aware it was me. I had just collapsed with the enormity of it all. Instead of getting me up two of the nurses lay with me and held me until I was back and able to get on the chair. I remember panting and someone saying try to take deep breaths.
Then, I just got up and went to the sink, washed my face and went out to sit with little Brooke. It was the worst experience a mother can go through. It still hurts to write this down.
Anyway, the nurses looked after all of us and got lunch for Brooke and a good hour later we were allowed back in to see Lisa. She looked normal and like she was asleep. I lifted her up and rested her head on my shoulder , kissed her hair and hugged her, laid her back down and kissed her eyelids and her beautiful mouth and said my goodbyes to my lovely girl.
Yes, reliving those last moments is so hard but it will help you to heal I am sure, if you can bring yourself to tell someone who will be there to hold you and care for you.
With love, Kate xx

Kate it is so brave of you to write your experiences down - it’s unimaginable to have to go through what you have gone through. Your daughter was incredibly brave - you must be so proud of her.
I wasn’t with Caitlin when she passed, she was 4500 miles away and I wish I could have been there for her- she died totally unexpectedly in her sleep and we still don’t have any answers as to why- she was fit, healthy and strong.
Its impossible to imagine the strength you have needed to go on but I know having your lovely granddaughter must make you want to go on for her sake.Every day is a fresh struggle I know. Take care Colette
Thank you Colette

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Collette, we were so lucky to have time with Lisa. The virus she got on holiday basically destroyed her already fragile lungs. As she was on ECMO which oxygenates the blood outside her body, she was able to talk very quietly, not much air on there ti force a sound, but we had her for 6 weeks of the 9 she was in hospital. The first 3 she was in an induced coma. Sadly she got an infection in her blood and she wouldn’t have lived more than a couple of days more. She was brave enough to spare us all that.
Some girl!
Being the other side of the world must have been horrendous for you. No wonder it feels unreal.
With love. Kate xx

Thank you Kate- I appreciate your kindness. Your daughter sounds amazing -such an inspiration for your little granddaughter xxx

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Dear Caitlin’s Mum,
This is Henry’s Mum.
I can’t cope if I focus on never seeing Henry again. I just cry and the pain as you know is agony. I’ve taken to thinking that it’s just today I’m not seeing or hearing from him. That way I cope better. I also have to stop myself playing the “What if” game with myself as I can never win :cry::weary:

It’s coming up to eight weeks now and when it’s bad it’s like it’s day one but other days I’m managing. I wonder if this is how it will be for me always? I feel so much for you losing your only child and not knowing why. We are all here for you, willing you some relief from your suffering. :heart:

Purple. Its early days my love. I know those what if feelings.
Mine are, what if she had failed the fit to fly test then she wouldn’t have been able to go on holiday, what if, as Jamie wanted, he had taken her to the Freeman in Newcastle where she had been being monitored for a possible listing for transplant, what if what if what if!
It doesn’t help us to go round and round in this way as I have learned over the past 20 weeks since Lisa died, the friends on this site have taught me that.
We have to accept in order to heal I think.
Thinking of you all and Collette, hoping you are cooing today.
Kate xxx

Thank you Henry’s mum - I know what you mean-it has hit us harder again this last couple of weeks as I’ve been pretending to myself she is just away at University but she would have been home now for Christmas so I cannot pretend anymore. All her friends are home now and it feels so heartbreaking that she isn’t home.
I cannot think of any future without her - she was my absolute world - without her everything just seems so pointless .
I’m sure you will be feeling the same - I know it’s relatively early days but I agree I suspect I will always feel this way - how can I ever feel any different?
I hope you have more better days xxx

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Collette. It must be awful seeing your girls friends home from Uni. Life seems so cruel. Why why why? Why us you will be asking yourselves. We too asked why does it happen to lovely young people and their families who have never hurt a soul.
Losing an only child is just horrendous but you know? I had 2 babies and I feel just as lost having only one left. It’s so hard to live without Lisa too and equally hard watching her older sister suffer so. She has lost a part of her too.
I don’t know how long it will take you or any of us to be 'normal ’ again as there is no normal for us as everything has changed. I guess we just have to learn a different way of living as we have to be here for those who love us!
With love. Kate xx

Thank you. It’s so helpful knowing people understand. My Mum is 85 and is looking after my Dad at home - he has dementia and Parkinson’s and now she’s lost a grandson. She’s physically frail yet manages to keep going. She’s keeping me going too. I take heart from your kind words- thank you.

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Thanks Kate - I know we are all suffering the worst pain a human could ever suffer and yes I’ve asked why her and why us a million times- but there is no answer to that question is there? I tell myself that God needed her for some special task as she was so gifted in so many ways but always so kind and thoughtful.
I know life will never be the same again - what life will be like I cannot imagine other than the emptiness I now feel. I know only time will tell and I agree I have to try for those who love and care about us xxx

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We are all new to this. When we brought up our children we expected them to be around till we are very old.
It’s the order of things that so wrong. We will love them and miss them till our last breath but in the time in between we need to live again too as its hurting people who love us to watch us in pain. I can see it in dear friends and relatives eyes, they love us but cant actually feel the pain we feel as it’s so horrendous to lose a child and unless you have experienced this there is no way anyone can comprehend the pain.
We must be picked out to be the strong ones who can live through this. I don’t know, it’s all horrible and we just have to sort out some kind of living. Hugs to all. Kate xx