My mum is dying I cannot cope

I never thought had the need to join or post on such a forum before but the physical and mental pain I’m experiencing has led me here.

My mum has terminal cancer and I don’t know how to cope. I’m in physical pain with sheer sadness and feel like I’m losing my whole world and what will my world be like when my whole world has gone. Theres millions and millions of people who are feeling the same as me each and every day but you believe you are the only one.

How do you cope with knowing the inevitable is coming, counting the miles to her house and wondering how many miles there are left for you to travel until you can never make that journey again?

My mum is in bed crying begging that her ‘mum comes for her’ and all I want to say is ‘please take me with you when you go mum, please’.

People keep saying I will find the strength and maybe I will but I feel like I’m losing the fight already. People will understand the guilt of not being able to spend ALL day EVERY day with them and the sheer panic of losing every minute you have left. Being angry at having a job, going shopping just real life because it stops you being there. People saying to make the most of the time you have and make memories but with covid this has stolen all the opportunities to do this.

I know there are people in the same pain as me or have survived this pain and got through it one way or another I just don’t know where to start or if I can. I don’t think I’m here for wise words or expect anyone to have the right words but I’ve found myself here because i know you will understand the pain i feel. Of course I’m here for you too.

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Hi Fruitloop72,

I really feel for you because I lost my mum suddenly 19 months ago and I have often wondered if things would be different had I known she was going to die and I had been offered the chance to say goodbye.

19 months of sheer trauma and disbelief at losing my funny, energetic mum, and i am grateful that she did go suddenly. A massive brain hemorrhage whilst she talked to her anaesthetist in the recovery room after an hour long operation. The surgery was nothing to do with the bleed, just sheer coincidence the PM said.

I was waiting for the phone call to tell me she was ready to be collected. We were going on holiday a few weeks later. Instead I get a call that mum is in a coma.

If I had known I was going to lose my mum days or weeks beforehand it would have been awful and I really couldnt have dealt with it.

All I can say is, treasure every moment you have left and know that when she does pass, you will get through. It doesnt feel like you will. The number of times I have hoped to not wake up in the morning to be free of the pain I feel

But eventually little chinks of light do come through and I am starting to enjoy things again. You will cope. The human body is so resilient. Tell your mum everything you need to tell her now so you have no regrets.

Keep posting on this forum as it really does help.


Hi cheryl

Thank you SO SO much for replying I’ve been up all night checking to see if anyone replied, anyone understood, anyone who cared because it’s my mum not theirs. Today is the first day I’ve put make up on and now it’s all down my face BUT in a relief and thankful way that someone I dont even know has held out their hand. How wonderfully humane. Thank you.

I’m also very very sorry for the sheer shock and trauma of losing your mum so suddenly. Hiw dreadful to expect one call and yet receive a very different one. Some years ago during a heart investigation mum suffered a major heart attack and was blue lighted to resus. We got the call not to pick her up but to get to the other hospital asap. We sat in the relatives room for what seemed like hours awaiting the news I thought they were putting off telling us. The nurse came in and said "your mum said you cant have her jewellery just yet! ". Now I’m faced with this unknown and not sleeping because I’m checking my phone every five minutes or going through each day thinking is this the day? Or will tomorrow be the day? I almost wish she would go very quickly because to see her in distress and wanting to go the pain is unbearable.

As you so kindly say you get through it I have to believe I will as you bravely have. I have children I have to. But I dont want to either. I’m hating every road, every roundabout, every street sign with a passion because a short car ride I’ve done for decades and taken for granted has now become another loss and has taken on a completely different form yet I’m still having to travel that dark road.

When friends have lost parents or loved ones I’m absolutely sincerely sympathetic and sad for them but until now I could never imagine the pain they felt. Never.

I cant tell you how much your reply means. I have acquaintances but no real friends. My daughters are there for me BUT they are losing their nan too and I have to remember that. Work colleagues make me so angry. My work friend has a sister with cancer and shes offered help and a shoulder to cry on and I feel like I’m waving my arms In the background frantically saying ‘hey MY MUM MATTERS TOO’ No one ever asks. But my mum bloody does matter. To me she does.

I’ve had a night of willing myself to get up, get the housework done, leave my bedroom fir once but I stand up put my slippers on and crumble again.

I’m sending you a big hug to remind you that YOUR MUM MATTERED. And to thank you from the bottom of my heart that you DID see me frantically waving my arms when no one else has.

Here for you also x

I’m sorry both you and your Mum find yourselves in this sad situation. It seems to me, no matter what age you are - you just want your Mum.
I lost my Mum suddenly from a heart attack and pneumonia over a year ago. My advice is to just take it all one step at a time. You will cope.
After losing my Mum many people on this forum offered wonderful comfort and support. I would have been lost without the friends i made here. There is a comfort in people who understood.

Rest when you can. Take care.

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Thank you so much daffy with each comment I feel like I have to flap my arms less frantically. Thank you so much. And I’m sure you are still hurting very much so I’m returning the hug right back x

Gill x

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Sending a hug to you too.

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Thank you so much x

Hi fruitloop

I’m glad to have helped. People like Daffy and a few others have been a godsend to me. Friends I have had for 30 years have been little support to me.

I lost my dad to a sudden heart attack 22 years ago as well but losing my mum has been the worst thing ever.

I have a 13 year old daughter and have had to get through for her. I was lucky to have had a wonderful mum till I was 48 and I musnt forget that.

My daughter now deserves to have me until she reaches middle age.

Talk whenever you want. We will be here to listen x

Thank you so so much x

Dear Fruitloop72

I know exactly what you mean and what you are going through and you expressed it so well. I am so sorry for what you and your Mum are going through.

My Mum became ill in August last year with an aortic ulcer. Through having tests as a result of that, she was diagnosed with MDS/Leukaemia and we were told about this in October. There was no treatment for her due to her age and how advanced it was. We battled on and I reduced my working hours so I could spend every afternoon with her and we had some very special quality time together. Like you, I felt pain like I’ve never known, waiting for the inevitable but also refusing to believe that the inevitable would happen: I made my Mum really healthy food and looked after her and was convinced if I tried hard enough, I could keep her well and here with me. I dreaded every day going to see her - simply because I dreaded the fact that she would be unwell or worse than she was the day before. I lived with knowing what was coming and really, that was a waste of time and I wish I’d just made more of the fact that she was still here and we were still able to spend time together.

My Mum went downhill very quickly on 7th December which was a shock because she had been well and happy the day before. She passed away on 8th December. I truly believe she didn’t want to put me through her suffering a long and protracted illness and that she allowed herself to go. It was very peaceful and I was with her holding her hand and it couldn’t have been any more peaceful than it was, for which I am truly grateful. I am also truly grateful that she wasn’t in hospital.

I don’t know what I’m trying to tell you as I’m in no position to tell anyone anything - this is all new to me and the pain and the loss of my Mum is unbearable and I miss her more than I ever thought possible. What I think I would say to myself if I could go back in time is to not worry as much about what is coming but to make the most of now - the fact that your Mum is still here, you can still visit her and spend time with her. Don’t do your grieving now while she’s here. You are so lucky that she is still here with you, make the most of that time.

I found the strength for my Mum - I kept positive and strong when I was with her and I fell apart when I went home. You do find the strength somehow when you love someone so much.


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Dear NGL nicky, thank you so so much for your words I know you too truly know how I’m feeling. I’m sobbing and sobbing every day. Hoovering yesterday I had a complete meltdown over mums funeral costs and it being a nice one. I truly believe what you say that i have to focus on the fact shes still here and I can still see her. Every single time I visit I’m looking for new symptoms, more bloating, worsening chest pain, lack of breath, are her legs more swollen etc etc etc and I’m not seeing HER. MY MUM. All I’m seeing is the pain and the shell that that is my funny beautiful mum.

Everyone around me is telling me I’m making myself ill. I physically feel like my heart is breaking, not even breaking but being hit with a sledge hammer. But I know that you know full well what I mean.

I’m so sorry you lost your mum but believe me your words have helped a lot.

Thank you
Gill x

Oh Gill I know exactly what you are going through. I watched my Mum like a hawk during those last few weeks, every little thing sent me into a panic and she did tell me at one point to stop worrying about things which haven’t happened and I wish I’d done that a lot sooner. I know EXACTLY what you mean and how you are feeling and what you are going through. It is a pain like no other that no-one can prepare you for. With the “benefit” of hindsight, I would tell myself to take one day at a time and enjoy each minute with my Mum - and I would say that to you too, although I can’t believe I’m actually giving anyone any advice as I am a complete mess.

Although it doesn’t alter your situation at all, take what comfort you can from the fact that there are other people who understand and who get what you mean. Friends and family aren’t always the best support and people can be insensitive without meaning to. I’m sure you realise now that you can get a lot of support from people here. I have found it a source of comfort (if that’s the right word) just to read other people’s experiences and know that I’m not the only one feeling the way I do. Somehow it helps but I’m not sure why. Keep strong Gill xx

Ahhh you are so lovely. I’m sure you are still a mess but to me you are a huge comfort. Like you I have never had to make this journey before. Yes I’ve lost friends and grandparents and I thought I knew what grief was but I had absolutely NO idea about grief until now. I didn’t think it possible to be in this much pain and distress.

I have vivid memories of sitting on mum and dads bed when I was about 8. I was crying and mum asked me “what on earth are you crying for” I said “I’m crying because I don’t ever want anything to happen to you or dad” and I’ll never forget her reply which was “you will be a lot older and have your own family by then so it won’t feel as bad”. She was completely wrong it’s worse than I even imagined even then.

Its reassuring to know that through your grief you are helping me to go through mine it’s so wonderfully touching. Thank you so so much.

Gill x

Hi Fruitloop 72,

My beautiful mum passed away on the 3rd of November…
She died of Parkinsons disease and dementia with lewy bodies.
She had been ill for 3 years - But in the last few months the disease progressed rapidly.
She has been my best friend all my life.
You see I constantly had all these thoughts thinking will this be the ‘last time’
I know it’s so hard but please just take it a bit at a time.
When her time came I felt a peace I hadn’t felt for so long for both of us.
I looked after her in her final days preparing her to make her final journey in this life.
I miss her terribly - My heart aches for her every single day.
Life will never be the same. It’s a very differnt place now…
But I have to take comfort in knowing she’s at peace now.
I have experienced death before.
My beautiful baby son was stillborn in 1994.
My lovely died died in 2011.
Grief is different for everyone. Everyones copes differently.
But grief hurts,
Take Care x


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Dear Jinxie. Thank you for your thoughts and words. Knowing my mum as I do I know she will be glad of the peace and she has never been scared of death. But now faced with it she is terrified she will be in pain and distressed. I just hope when she deteriorates further she will be helped and like you make sure shes ready to let go of my hand and maybe I too will feel relieved that she is where she wants to be.

Thank you so much x

Take care of yourself Gill - aren’t we lucky to have such wonderful Mums who have made such an impact on us - try looking at it that way. My cousin lost her Mum in 2019 and she keeps telling me how lucky we were to be so loved. It does help a little to think that way. Try and be calm around your Mum, it will help her. She will be distressed if she sees how upset you are. I know it’s difficult. Sending love and a hug xxxx

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Wise words. Thank you so much. I’m now on meds to help with the anxiety etc so hopefully I can be more rational. Thank you all so much for your support xxx

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