My Dad died at the end of May from cancer. He was in a hospice receiving excellent end of life care. My partner and I arrived for our visiting shift first thing and as we arrived the nurse said she had just rang my Mum so I knew things were imminent, my Dad died just 15 minutes later before my Mum and sister arrived. We were holding his hand and I just keep hoping I said the right things, if he could hear me.
All I can think of now are those moments, the sad decline of the weeks before, really finding it hard to not just think about him dying and thinking instead about all the good times. It feels like even though I knew he was dying it came as a massive shock and all I can think about now is that final breath.
Is it normal to think like this from anyone who has been present when someone dies?
That final moment, even though you knew it was going to happen, and you’ve played it out in your mind over and over again, is an absolutely indescribable moment. Its like an outer body experience and i think it changes you in some ways. I’ve seen two people die now, but seeing my own Mum was truly heartbreaking and i am still shook by it. I keep having these images pop up in my mind from when it happened. Replaying bits without even wanting to. And its horrendous.
I’m sure every word you said brought comfort to your Dad; and even if it didnt make much sense, he would know it came from a warm, loving place.
I think it is completely normal to think like this. My beautiful mum died 11 weeks ago today. When she died I couldn’t stop thinking about the last 3 or 4 days of her life, and worrying myself about whether she knew she was about to die, and if she was scared and if she knew we were there. When that happened it was like I felt a rush of anxiety and terror and utter, desperate sadness and fear for her. I don’t know if it will help you but 11 weeks later, I am thinking about this less an less (it’s still there but not as raw as before). I am just trying to focus on trying to come to terms with her no longer being here. I make sure that I look at pictures of her beautiful face, and let myself think about things we have done together and how much we used to laugh. My family and I speak about her everyday, trying to keep her in the present. More and more of those good memories come to my mind rather than than the unbearable ones. If my mind drifts to those terrible images and heart breaking thoughts, I let myself have a moment and then let them drift away. I think that if I fully try and supress those thoughts they will keep coming back. I don’t know. My heart is still broken, and I am still longing for her and so lost without her, but the horrible thoughts have got better.
Yes, it’s totally normal CGBlue. You’re right, the death is so much more shocking than anything prepares you for.
I have the most painful images in my head from my Mum’s death and just before. It’s a massive, shocking experience to process. I think the brain just tries to understand what’s happened by replaying the memories, often in a way that feels invasive.
Try and give yourself time. I’m at one year now and the pain is still very raw but there is more warmth and more feelings of her as she was at happier times now. It is hard to keep track of but I think it has changed very slowly.
I’m sorry about the passing of your Mum 11 weeks ago; i know the hurt you must be feeling. Mine is absolutely raw at the moment and struggling to adapt and adjust.
I too am trying to focus on the good bits, but my mind is in a mess and i feel like i’ve forgotten lots of things and memories, and this panics me. I dont want to forget a single thing about her, or a single time we had together. When i can face it, which i’m struggling to right now as its still so fresh and painful, i want to collect everything together (photos, memories etc) and talk to people who knew her and get them to share their stories with me too. I dont know if its normal to feel like i am desperate not to forget a single thing and to want to gather together as much as i can, but this is how i am feeling.
Today i bought a nice journal and i plan to write in it - almost like a diary, but as if my Mum is going to read it. I think, i hope, i will find comfort in doing this.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Yes I’ve been writing a lot. I think it’s a great idea. I’m sort of writing to my mum, letting her know what I am thinking and feeling. It has helped me a bit to sort through the overwhelming emotions and sadness. I talk to her a lot too. When I am driving to and from work. Actually, I agree, I think it’s quite comforting to hear people talk about mum. I love to hear them say her name, and hear about how loved she was. It is normal and it is important to keep her there. She is always and will always be there.
I was with my mum when she took her final breath ( my brother was there also ) , holding her hand , telling her I was with her and how much I loved her . Although it was traumatic I’m glad I was with my mum at the end , I would have been more traumatised if I hadn’t . It’s normal to keep replaying it in your mind . My mum passed 10 weeks ago and I don’t think about it quite so often , I try to think about how mum was before she had the stroke . It’s tough and each day is a battle but I fight on for mum.
Love Angie xx
Hi my mum passed in may and I sat with her whilst she was on end of life care . I still go over her final few weeks in my head thinking was she scared? In pain? Upset etc it’s awful . I want to think about the good times with mum but can’t seem to do that at the moment
I am happy to realise that i am not the only one who talks to their Mum whilst driving alone in the car or when at home alone getting ready or cleaning up. I did this today and i kind of imagine/hear her responses in my head. Like i know her so well i can imagine what she would say. I keep it light hearted, and sort of jokey, as this is how we were together when she was here. She had a great sense of humour and that was something we shared in common.
I am at the point of trying to make arrangements for the next bit (the F word) which i dont like saying. I know i need to, but every part of me wants to put the brakes on, as i dont feel ready. Its so difficult because at a time when you are grieving and still reeling, you are expected to make all of these arrangements about something that you havent really accepted yet.
I want to keep talking to her, writing to her, and talking about her with people who knew her. I want to know as much as i possibly can,
I know Nikki44. That’s exactly what I have been doing. But it is becoming less and less. Instead of trying to blot out those awful thoughts I’ve let them pass through my mind. and then just let them go. It’s sort of like I’ve made myself confront the ideas that are the most painful and upsetting and then they lose their power. I keep looking at beautiful pictures of my mum, and her happiest and most lovely and full of life, and although I cry I also smile. It’s so cliché I know, but then doesn’t everything seem like a cliché or film at the moment.
The other thing i do is look at the picture of her on my phone as soon as I wake up, and say good morning lovely mum. My husband has also started saying morning gorgeous to her. Sometimes we end up crying. This morning my husband said he still couldn’t believe it was real. Then we talked about it for a while, and it made me feel better.
I know the “next bit” seems so daunting, and I felt exactly like you, plus really angry about it. I just felt so mad that we had to do it at all. I didn’t feel like it was closure - that’s what everyone kept saying to me - I mean as if some archaic ritual could give me closure. I am never going to get closure. This is never going to get better. She is never coming back. It felt like I was having to put on a show for everyone else, which I resented. How could a celebrant who didn’t even know my mum, saying a few words fully express my amazing, wonderful, brilliant, beautiful mum. But I realise now this was more about how angry I was at mum dying. As it was, the ceremony was beautiful and how most beloved and special people were present (covid meant we were only allowed 24), and that was exactly what she wanted. And it didn’t give me closure, and it was hard, but my dad needed it, and my brothers family who live in Sweden and hadn’t been able to see my mum for a year and a half because of covid needed it. So I guess in a longwinded way what I am trying to say is, it will be ok, it’s just another hoop to jump through, and you will still talk and remember, and write to her, and cry for her, and smile when you think about her. She’s your mum and always will be.
Sorry for rabbiting on. Feel free to bend my ear whenever you want.
Hi angie, nicmar, evans2021, nikki 44, what a journey we are all on, I too was with my dear mum till she took her last breath and it does worry me too thinking did she know what was happening? Was she scared? I hope she knew I was there , I so wish till I die I could have healed her, no one prepares you for the pain of losing a loved one, I think I’m doing ok then the wave hits me, I was listening to ED SHEERAN’s new single and it is so raw, I would give anything to speak to my mum again, I feel comfort knowing people on here can relate to your pain & can help each other along this long road of heartache, our mums were just so special to us all and I thought this day wouldn’t arrive for a long time yet and it hurts, I hope each one of you are doing ok, thank you for writing yours thoughts on here, hopefully we can be here for each of us, take care
Hi Lynn yes I’ve been listening to that song it broke my heart .it’s so hard to stop looking back at those last moments and and all of the what iffs etc . The waves are so random aren’t they? They come at any time it’s awful . I feel sad all of the time and everything is overshadowed my mum passing away . I can’t see an end to this feeling
Yes , what a difficult journey it is . I’m the same , think I am starting to feel a little better then it’s back again washing over me like a giant wave . All we can do is take it hour by hour , look after yourself.
Love Angie xx
I’ve found it particularly difficult today. It would have been my mum and dads 52nd wedding anniversary. I’m finding it all a little unreal again. It feels like I’m in a bad dream. I just feel like I can’t look forward today and what is the point of anything. I feel so sad and worried about my dad. I can’t stop thinking about my mum. I miss her so much. I know that it comes in waves, but it feels like nothing is ever going to be good again. I feel like I want to cry and cry and go to bed and sleep for a long time.
Hi nicmar, I too find myself thinking about my mum every day, still finding it hard to accept she’s no longer here, I had to go to the funeral directors today to finalise the payment for everything and while I sat waiting for the lady to get the paperwork the smell of the place just took it all back to when mum was there in the chapel of rest, for a moment I wished she was still there so I could go see her again & say another goodbye it’s so hard isn’t it waking up every day & realizing its real, I wish I could feel her presence like others have said they have felt their loved ones, I keep hoping every day, we can only take this journey a day at a time, I never want to stop thinking about her, and if I never get over losing her, I will live my life that way till I meet her again, I hope your doing ok, let’s keep messaging when we can to help each other the best we can through this , take care