My 90 year old mum passed away 2 weeks ago in hospital and we had her funeral on Tuesday. Her health has been in severe decline over recent years but her fighting spirit always saw her pull through. In the end her death was unexpected and due to pneumonia and sepsis. Attributing factors were atrial fibrillation, vascular dementia and diabetes. She passed away in my arms. Her care was not of the standard it should have been, which added to mine and my brother’s already considerable distress. I thought I would be prepared but I wasn’t. The grief I am feeling is almost unbearable, my heart literally hurts. I now truly understand the meaning of heartbroken. My dad passed away five years ago, and I feel so very alone, even though I’m not. I know time heals, but I don’t think I will ever truly get over losing my mum. To make things harder, I work as a funeral arranger and I was back at work the day after the funeral, dealing with other people’s loss. All I want to do is deal with mine. My children and I are going to place our flowers in the sea where I spent my childhood weekends and I am going to have some of mum’s ashes put into a ring so that she is always with me. Her ashes will be scattered according to her wishes at a local nature area. I’m trying so hard to be positive but I just miss her so very much and want the hurt to stop.
I am sorry you have lost your Mum. No-one is ever prepared. Although she was ‘a good age’ it doesn’t make the loss any easier to bear. I was surprised you hear your job was that of a funeral arranger. That must be one of the hardest jobs to do. It must be so emotionally stressful. I was in a terrible state when I had to organise my husband’s funeral in October and the staff were absolutely wonderful. Losing your Mum is so hard because Mum’s are our best friends. The ones we turn to in a crisis, the ones who accept and love us unconditionally. I went back to work immediately hoping that keeping busy would help, but I can see now it was just a distraction. My Mum died 14 years ago but since Geoff died in October I have twice gone to the phone in the kitchen to phone her ( the phone hasn’t been there for 20 years). Suddenly when I got there I realised. At first I thought I was going mad, but when something bad happens the first person you want to talk to is your Mum. Two weeks after Geoff died I saw a psychic and without any prompting he told me he sensed my Mum was around me. It was such a comfort.
You may decide to take some time off to give yourself the space to heal emotionally before going back into such a stressful job, but only you know what is best for you.
Grieving is very painful and exhausting. Now is the time to take care of yourself -thinking of you and sending you a big hug.
I was saddened to read of the loss of your Mum who sounds to have been a real fighter. You certainly have what must be a particularly stressful job at the moment. I second what Scorpio says: When my Mum died the kindness received from the funeral arranger (also a lady) was wonderful and made a big difference.
Yes, I understand that feeling of being alone as well. My Dad died over 20 years ago and my Mum 19 months ago. I got over the loss of Dad although it took time because of Mum’s strength of spirit. The loss of Mum is still very raw, there are still so many things I want to tell her and ask her advice about. There are always the what ifs, should or could I have done more to help her when she was ill. You have your brother however and that is lovely, I am assuming that you get on well together. Someone to talk to who really knew your parents and can share memories with. The silly things that happened when you were growing up that no one else would understand.
I love your idea of taking some of your Mum’s flowers to your childhood weekend place. That will be very special. Also having a piece of jewellery with some of your Mum’s ashes. I didn’t even think of that until it was too late and my Mum’s ashes were already interred. I console myself that I carry both my Mum and Dad in me as they made me.
I still miss my Mum dreadfully 19 months on but the pain has changed from a physical one to a numbness. I am not sure sometimes if that is better but at least I am not crying tsunamis everyday when travelling to and from work or when out with friends. You may find when you have placed the flowers in the sea and scattered your Mum’s ashes things will feel better. How great to be able in the future to walk in a nature reserved where your Mum, a place she enjoyed too. That will be very special and somewhere to return to again and again.
Take care of yourself.
Thank you so much for your response Yvonne and I am so sorry for your loss too. I am, with my Drs help, taking a couple of weeks out from work to process my thoughts and start to grieve for my mum. I can’t do that all the time I am shutting down my feelings to help others. I have taken on board what people are saying about being kind to myself. At the moment I am on a rollercoaster of emotions and as you say, grieving is exhausting. Sending you much love and hugs.
Thank you Mel. My brother and I had actually been estranged for five years since our dad’s death, after once being very close. We were together though for mum’s last few days, and we worked together on her funeral and will scatter her ashes together. Some healing has taken place hopefully. Speaking through things with people such as you is so comforting, thank you so much. At the moment I am so sad, I’m in a daze, but I know this will ease. I also know however, that life will never be the same.