Mum died

Hello. My mum died from cancer on 2nd February, 2017. I was her carer for a number of years, and I cannot believe she is not here anymore… I am having counselling, which helps a bit, but there are times when I feel really down, as though my life has collapsed and there is nothing left. On top of this, I am under pressure to move out of her house asap for financial reasons and buy a flat somewhere, but my brain is not functioning well enough to make the decision because of the grief. How on earth do I do it all?

Hello Robert. I’m sorry to read of your loss and distress. I can’t truly relate to your loss as mine is different, the loss of my Husband. I can however relate to the empty void and the feeling that you have lost everything. Its so hard and draining on your emotional reserves but you have had the fortitude to seek counselling and talk about things which really, is quite brave of you. The worse thing you can do is struggle along and keep emotions locked within as that stores up problems for the future - as I can attest to. It must be so difficult when you are forced out of the family home, sadly it happens all too often. Is there no period of grace they could give you until you feel emotionally stronger at least to think about the sitution? You need the security and safety of familiar surroundings so I can understand how frightening this may feel. I hope all goes well for you, as well as possible. Take care.

Hi Robert, I don’t know if I can offer anything that will make you feel better but maybe? Everyones story is different but we’re all sharing the same difficulties with loss. I’m new on here.

I lost my mum a couple of months ago, also to cancer. She wasn’t ill, she was fighting gallantly for 8 months, taking chemo and ops in her stride - so well in fact that we assumed the best and didn’t let ourselves think of the worst. It took just two weeks for things to deteriorate from her feeling a bit ill to trying to make her as comfortable as possible. it was horrible.

I didn’t live with my mum or look after her like yourself but I did live next door. my every day, my every decision in life included my mum, it feels absurd to be getting on with things when shes not here. I lost my dad at 14 and have no siblings, so the house has been left to me. I believe living in the house would probably bring comfort - for a time. But living next door to an empty house where my mum is no longer doing her housework or reading a book her cooking her famous lasagne is heart-breaking. so much so that almost immediately after the funeral i told my husband we had to move. we’ve bought a house and are moving really soon. Daily I wonder if I’m doing the right thing or if I’m somehow dishonoring my mum’s memory by letting go of my childhood home. I know you are having a financial problem so it might be a different issue but this is what gets me through - my mum would want my story to continue and she would not want my sadness to rule my life. I’m making the move to make a fresh start. so my point is… maybe making the move, even for financial reasons, would be a good thing for you? Take what you can from the house to bring you comfort but donate or throw out the rest no matter how hard. Your memories are in your head, not in things. Staying in the house would be a comfort for a while but eventually the reality that you have to move on would hit home. It’s just an opinion and obviously I’ve still to jump the hurdle of actually leaving but I just feel my mum would want me to go and make the best of it. You looked after your mum for a long time so you deserve a life of your own now and being a mum I think she would want that for you.

Sorry if anything doesn’t relate or is a bit off but hope you find something in there that can help.


Hi, has anyone any words of wisdom for me, please? My mum died in February aged 92. Apart from university years ago, I had lived with her all my life and been her primary carer since I retired almost six years ago. All my life I dreaded my mum dying and in the later years I would often be overwhelmed to the point of near-panic by anxiety about her. A few months before she died I was put on anti-depressants by my GP to help with the anxiety and the demands of being a carer, which were taking their toll. Now, since mum died, I feel almost nothing. I am neither happy nor sad. I write a blog every day to record memories but I have difficulty remembering the essence or the spirit of her. It’s as if only the outer surface of my brain is functioning and there’s nothing deeper in there. It’s upsetting me that I can be so indifferent to my mum when I know I loved her so much. Has anybody else experiences this indifference?
Thank you.

Hi Marigold,

I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mum in August. Im an only child and my Dad died when I was young so we were very close. We lived just the two of us for 14 years and when I got married I moved into the house next door, I couldn’t bare living any further away. My husband works away half the year and we used to joke about how that just suited us fine. I used to imagine/dread not having her around and how devastating it would be to lose her.

You’re not alone with your feelings of indifference. The reality of losing someone is actually very different from how we think it will be. You imagine overwhelming feelings of sadness and bottomless devastation, crying non stop and not being able to function. In reality you just keep going. You get up in the morning and you have a shower, do a wash, go to the shops. You feel numbness, you have the odd bout of crying but in reality you think ‘Im not feeling the whole weight of this yet, why am i not feeling it.’

I think this is your body’s way of coping with what happened, perhaps it shields us from total devastation, like a survival instinct. The main thing is to know you are not alone. You obviously loved her immensely, its a good idea to keep a blog of your memories, but don’t be too upset if the memories don’t stir any emotion yet. That will come and hopefully eventually you’ll be able to think of them and smile, maybe even laugh. Time is a great healer. It doesn’t take the pain away but it makes it easier to live with.

Try to keep going and live the best life you can in her absence.



Hi MsMac, It is so good of you to reply to my message so quickly. Your story of your relationship with your mum sounds a bit like mine. I’m really sorry you’ve lost her, but it’s helped me to know you seem to be experiencing some of the same sort of feelings. I think what you say is probably right - that I’m not feeling the whole weight of this yet. I’d nearly be relieved if it hit me. Again, as you say, the reality of losing someone you love can be very different from what you expected.

Thanks again for your thoughtfulness - chalk it up as a good deed done today!

No, thank you for sharing your post! Its good to realise other people are feeling the same way and it was cathartic to write down my own thoughts on how I’ve been coping. I’m really glad if they helped in any way. If we all have to be in pain we may aswell try and help each other. Feel free to post any time your having a bad day. I have my share but I’ve taken a leaf from your book and decided to write down some memories of my mum. Something to share with my kids one day perhaps. Maybe just a way of remembering all the good times and how lucky i was to have her as my mum.

Take care and best wishes xxx

Sorry to hear of your loss - I completely understand.
I lost my Mum on 5th November - she was due for an operation one week later to repair her aneurysm, but it ruptured - she did have a operation date before this but it got postponed… She was 83 but seemed more like 70…
I have lived with her for 9 years but been with her nearly every day through my whole life.
I have had an extreme phobia of her dying and was put on anti depressants last year when she got cancer - pancreatic cancer which she was lucky enough to have the massive operation for and got through it…
Now it has happened - I initially was falling apart, but the last few weeks I have this numbness. I wonder if we have all spent so long expecting the death, and worrying - maybe when it happens it takes away some of the feelings as we have already grieved before it happened?


Another one who lived with their Mum until she passed away. This was nearly 18 months ago and I had all the roller coaster feelings others have had. Although we know we will lose parents eventually it doesn’t make it any easier to bear. I honestly did not want to continue living after losing Mum and had melt downs on buses, in the street, when out with friends. Luckily people were very kind to me and just were there when I needed them.

I also was faced with leaving the family home where I had lived all my life. I threw myself on the mercy of estate agents and explained what I wanted and needed. People are very rude about EAs but my experience was different and I received all the help I required. I decided to leave the area I had been living in (to many peoples horror) and brought a small house. This was four months ago and was the best thing I could have done. I still have very difficult days when I hardly want to get out of bed but on the whole things are much better for me.

Robert, I took many months choosing where I wanted to live. Don’t let others pressurise you into something you don’t like or want. If needs be rent for a few months until you find what you are looking for. We have all lost our Mums here and our Mums would want us to be happy or as near as we can manage to be.


Dear Sam, many thanks for replying to my post. I was so sorry to read that your mum had had her original operation postponed. This must have left you with all those awful recurring "if only"s.

I know it is horrible but I was very heartened to read that you describe yourself as having an extreme phobia about your mum dying. This is exactly how I lived my whole life up until she died, although I never thought of attaching the word “phobia” to it. There were times when I was completely overwhelmed by anxiety. This is why I am so disconcerted to feel the numbness now. Although when I think about it I can hardly go on anti-depressants and then start complaining that I’m worried about not feeling depressed. But it is very confusing all the same.

It is so good to know that other people seem to be experiencing the same thing so thank you again for getting in touch.


Hi Marigold,

Yes I thought the same regarding anti-depressants. Is it them making you numb/indifferent or part of the grieving process…
I do still think that with people like us, we have had a lot of anticipatory grief all of our lives which is why when it happens we are a bit calmer than what we expected?
I had a couple of days over the weekend where the numbness lifted a bit - it’s not nice, and I’m back to feeling numb again… I think it is just too much to take on in one go.

Yes it is good to know that other people are experiencing the same thing.
Thank you also for your reply, Sam x

Hi everyone…
I just wondered how you are all doing? Especially with Christmas on the way…
Samantha x

Hi Marigold

I lost my dad 2weeks ago and he had many health issues over the last 10 years which were always sorted out but amongst all this I too had a fear of him dying. I used to sit going through funeral songs and how I would manage to register his death when the time came. I think it is our mind’s way of trying to prepare for the inevitable. I know it’s called anticipatory grief but nothing in this world can prepare you for that moment when they are no longer here.

Big hugs
Lyn xx

Hi Samantha

I only lost my dad 2 weeks ago so my brain is not yet even able to register what day it is let alone Christmas. I haven’t been out the house other than to attend the funeral as I just can’t face people at the moment and everything being so normal outside my own world which is too scary for words.

How are you coping? x

Hi Mel,

Thank you for your reply - and to all the others on here who have kindly given me their comments and advice.

I was feeling really stressed at having to buy somewhere so quickly following my loss, but now I shall be lodging with somebody next year while I look for a place to buy. At the moment, I am still in my Mum’s house, getting ready to move everything out next month.

I am not doing Christmas very well this year. Mum and I spent every Christmas together, and now she is gone. Nothing is the same. The house is so silent and empty, yet everywhere else people are happily preparing for Christmas.


Hi Robert

Hopefully lodging with someone will bring you some company too until you are able to find the right home for you. Moving out your family home will be heartbreaking enough and my heart goes out to you with having to go through that as well as coping with the loss of your lovely mum so try not to think about Christmas or what others are doing. I can’t face anything at the moment let alone happy Christmas people. It feels like we are in our own world and all sense of normality has gone. I can’t go to the shops without sobbing my heart out. It’s only 2 weeks since dad passed so I am still raw with emotion.

It’s so comforting to know I am not the only one going through this and my heart goes out to all of us suffering this loss x

Hi Lyn
I am so sorry to hear about your dad but it’s good to know other people are experiencing the same emotions. I feel we have many especially sad days ahead of us, with Christmas and New Year and then I have the first anniversary of mum’s death in February. I am so glad the weather is bleak and miserable - I couldn’t bear it if it was sunny.

I can’t think of anything to say to you that isn’t feeble and useless so I’ll simply finish with some big hugs for you too.

Robert, in case it’s any consolation to you I’m not happily preparing for Christmas. This is my first Christmas without mum so I’m trying to ignore it as best I can. I think New Year is even worse. I plan on ignoring it too.

I cannot imagine what having to leave your mum’s house must be like. My mum lived with me and the house bears her imprint so I hate leaving it even for a short period.

The only thing I can think of to say to you is “misery loves company” and the Sue Ryder Community can provide plenty.


Hi Lyn,

Sorry to hear about your Dad.
Yes when everything is normal - especially Christmas - it makes you feel as though you are in a bubble doesn’t it…
I agree with what you said to Marigold regarding anticipatory grief.
I just keep on feeling numb?can’t believe it, with occasional bouts of grief breaking through.
Have you got support?
Sam x

Hi marigold
I feel much the same my mam died on the 18/12/2017 , I feel numb … I cared and lived with my mam the last6 months , mam wanted to be at home so we cared for her here till the night she died, but I am a very emotional person but I have not shed a tear. The guilt of not crying or feeling anything is killing me… it’s like I am living in a bubble and know it’s going to burst real soon. We cannot have the funeral till 5/1/2018 so still in limbo … my head just feels full of crap and I feel like I am going crazy ?x

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