My beautiful mum is dying and I can't get to her

My mum has End Stage Liver Disease and most recently had a severe Hepatic Encephalopathy episode amongst all the other symptoms that go in hand with it. She is extremely tired and weak after battling the disease for 12 years, and is saying her goodbyes.

She lives 7000miles from me and because of Covid-19 I can’t get to her. The borders are all shut and there are no flights out, even if I could get into the country.

I feel like I have failed her because I can’t be with her. I can’t care for her. And when the borders open in July, it may be too late. I would be subject to a 2 week supervised quarantine, delaying our reunion even further.

I have children and can’t stop crying, so the situation is dire - they’re stuck in with a weeping mum. My husband is a good listener but this is all on his shoulders and I’m not sure how much he can take. I am not coping.

You couldn’t get a more beautiful, kind, thoughtful and generous woman than my mum. She is absolutely adored by so many people. She is a woman of great faith too. But she has suffered so much and the worst is on its way. She is so kind and says she loves me, and I know she doesn’t resent the fact that I am not there…but I’ve let her down, even if I didn’t mean to. Even speaking with her on the phone is not guaranteed due to her failing health.

I don’t think I’ll make it home in time and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s so cruel. How can this be? She is my best friend. I should be there.

And the words I’ve written do not describe the situation well enough at all. It’s desperate. I am desperate.

Dear Dolly,
You have not failed your mum! You love her dearly and she knows that and will understand that circumstances beyond your control are stopping you from physically being with her. If you could, you would be on the first available flight, but you can’t. You write that your mum is a woman of great faith. That must give her a lot of support, even at this difficult time when she is saying her goodbyes. You have not let her down. Is there someone with her who can help you with the phone calls? Even if she would be too weak to talk, she would still be able to hear what you say to her. When my dad’s sister in America was in the last weeks of her life, I was able to talk with her on the phone. Her son helped her, because she was on oxygen and very weak but we were able to say our goodbyes. She too was a woman of great faith and had total peace. I also lost my dad and my mum, they lived in Holland, and I had to say goodbye to my mum knowing I would probably not be there in time. That was very hard, so I understand a little bit how hard this must be for you. It is good that you have come to this site. I hope that it will help you to read the posts from others who have lost their mum. I wished I could give you a big hug and cry with you. Do not despair, you will find a way through this. Post as often as you want. There will always be someone here for you.

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Hey Dolly
I’m so sorry to hear about your mum , she sounds absolutely incredible!
I completely understand your situation and I want to share with you something of my own to hopefully maybe help in some way.
My beloved grandad passed away this morning, one of the reasons I came on here actually, but I found comfort in possibly being able to help you.
My grandma who was my grandads soul mate passed back just befoe the lockdown happened in march, which was a huge shock for the family and deverstated us.
My grandad had a aggressive brain tumor which he outlived by at least 5 years more then he should have!
Because of my grandma’s passing, and his tumor, he had to have 24/7 care. So he was in a nursing home during the last couple months . He unforchantly there contracted Covid 19 and passed away early this morning.
Of course we were not able to be there, and it was horrific and does make you feel so guilty
However we were able to talk with him on a video call, despite the fact he couldn’t communicate back, we all felt comfort in being able to ‘be there’ without being there .

Unfortunately this global situation has made things a million times harder.

Are you able to do video calls, in some way via hospital staff or where ever she is right now , so you can see her at least and even if you can’t hear her, a video may help and if she can hear your voice she knows your there.

It’s so hard and what we have gone through in the last 24 hours as a family was deverstating , but I’m sure your mum would understand, and she wouldn’t want you to feel guilty for this and you shouldn’t be, this isn’t your fault and given half the chance you would jump over everything to get to be with her and she will know that.

I really do send my love to yourself and your lovely family, and I hope you all find comfort somewhere in this , your mum sounds absolutely amazing and I’m sure she’s so proud of you.
If you do need anything (I’m unsure how this site works) but your welcome to message me here if your able too.
But for now hopefully you can video chat where you can and try to make your mum laugh about something, believe me that’s the most beautiful thing in the world even if it’s over a camera screen , stay as positive as you can sending my love x


Thank you both for your messages which have brought me some comfort.

I am very sorry for your loss Traveltheworld3, very sorry. I think it is a beautiful blessing to have grandchildren, especially ones who love their grandparents so dearly. You grandparents were blessed to have you.

I was able to speak to my mom yesterday and she told me that she was ready to go - not in a morbid way, but in a resigned and peaceful way.

There is a repatriation flight next week - on my daughter and husband’s joint birthday. I do not have the correct passport so would need to get emergency travel documents in place should I go ahead with the flight. The flight is subject to a strict 2 week supervised quarantine on the other side, and there is no prospect of booking a return flight before the possible reopening on borders in July. My children are young, and I can’t leave them indefinitely. I am feeling so torn, and torn up. It’s all such a mess. Even if I did get the flight, I’m not sure I’d make it to my mom before the quarantine was over.

I am so helpless. I need a miracle. :pray:

What do you feel will give you the best comfort?
If you believe that going to be there will be for the best then do it.
Don’t regret the decision you make what ever it is, this is a horrible time and a horrible situation to go through and it is a hard hard decision.
Sometimes though you need to do what is most best for yourself, it’s a huge thing to go through, and if it will ease you some ways by going there then I would say do it.

Im glad you were able to speak with your mum, and Its nice for you and for her that she’s come to peace with it, hopefully that will help ease you more as this goes on.

I’m certain she loves you for what you are doing already, and she would only want your best interest at heart.

I send all my love, and please feel free to keep updated I’m thinking of you and your family at the time xx

Dear Dolly,
Being a mum myself I know what it feels like to be torn between the needs of your mum and of your husband and children. My situation was easier because our son is a teenager and I knew that he and my husband would be able to manage for a few weeks without me which indeed they did. You are in a dilemma and whatever decision you make will mean a choice between the two. Traveltheword has already made a lot of helpful point. I hope you don’t mind me adding a few more that may help you to come to a decision. Do you have a good support network where you are and would your husband get the support he needs? How young are your children, and does your husband have a job that would allow him to look after the children? How would you feel if you went over there but would not be able to see your mum or -should she pass away, attend the funeral, because of the quarantine? What support would there be for you over at your mum’s? Is it possible to get advice from your mum’s doctor? When I had to make decisions about when to go/not to go to Holland for my parents, both their GP and staff a the hospital were very helpful when I phoned them directly and explained my situation.
I understand you feeling helpless. And miracles do sometimes happen.
I will be thinking of you today and hope that you and your husband will come to a decision that will give you peace.

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Dear dolly
So sorry to read about your situation and your mums illness. I know that its been while since you posted but I hope that you have found a way to contact her either by phone or by video ie zoom, there are so many ways nowadays that you can be there even when you cant be there physically. If your children are over eight they have an understanding of why mummy is sad. Children can be very understanding in their own way. It is really great that you have an understanding husband tell him that you are worried about putting all this on his shoulders and that you are worried about how much he can take give him time to say how he feels even if he feels it is difficult the fact that he wants to be there for you is amazing let him know how much you appreciate it and it will make things easier for him. Also guys like to be the man and look after their woman. Obviously no one can take it too much and if you are really really bad then you should talk to your GP or and a councillor on here. This will give you some extra support and give your family a little space from your grief and worry if you feel that it is adversely affecting them too much and isn’t helping you to feel better. Your husband may want to help you but feels helpless. Talk to him about how he feels, then you both will feel better. Hope you feel better soon and find a solution that helps make things a little easier for you all., Take care

Dear Travel the world
My heart goes out to you in your situation. I am thinking of you. You also gave Dolly some great advice while hurting so much yourself. You are an amazing and thoughtful person and I am sure your grandparents would be very proud of you. Know that at least they are both together however hard it is and will be for you. It sounds like your grandfather was an amazing guy and a fighter. You will always have the memories of what they taught you over your life and that strength that he had is in your genes and may it carry you through this truly difficult time. Take care thinking of you.

Thank you for your reply Meebee, and everyone else who replied.

Sadly, my Mom passed away a month after my original post. I didn’t get to see her, and borders are still shut. My sister in law also passed away unexpectedly (age 47) 3 weeks after my Mom did. Covid 19 was not the cause of either death, but the pandemic has changed the circumstances leading up to and after both deaths - leaving us unable to mourn, and close any chapters.

I miss my Mom terribly, but with the help of my husband, children, friends and with God’s grace, I am able to say thank you for her life and appreciate all the love she was able to leave behind. I know I am very blessed. My brother’s children never had the opportunity to say goodbye, nor did my sister’s children when she lost her husband 13 years ago.

It truly is tragic, all of it. But I’m holding onto Hope. And I pray that anyone reading this, who is living through the pain of watching somebody they love suffer with a terminal diagnosis, is comforted somehow. The road is long, but it is possible. And we can cherish their beauty. Love binds us together, always and forever.

Dear Dolly
I really feel for you. You have had so many losses so close together. It is understandably very difficult for you. I hope you managed to get to talk to her before she passed and I also hope that you were able to get involved in funeral arrangements or even to see the funeral remotely. Maybe you can get in contact with some of your mums friends by letter or email and talk over your memories of your mum. Perhaps you can hold a memorial service when this disease is over. It has truely made everything much more difficult and in some ways easier.
I really glad that you have really good support as you definitely need it but new message has such strength understanding and growth. You truely are an amazing woman and I am sure that your mother would be proud. Obviously things are still very raw for you but your description that the road is long is so true because grief is a long path and comes in waves each day is different. Some are almost normal and some you cant stop crying and others you feel numb or lost or angry. One day though you will do something and think oh that is so my mum and you will know that a piece of her lives on through you and of course also through your kids. You may even look at them one day and think that s just like my mum. And you will cherish that. The words you end with “The road is long, but it is possible. And we can cherish their beauty. Love binds us together, always and forever.” is so beautiful and poignant

Your mum sounds lovely - perhaps you could try FaceTime or play her favourite songs to her. I didn’t get to be with my mum when she died and she was so kind and sat with so many others when they were dying. You just want everything to be perfect for them but sometimes it just can’t be. She would carry your love with her all the time so please find comfort in this xxx

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