I lost my Mum at the end of March 2017 and it was totally unexpected. She had a fall in January and by the end of March she was better and we as a family were waiting for some hospital equipment to be delivered to her home to help her get back on her feet. Then on Mothers Day we had a call from the hospital to say she was confused and could we go in! We were told that she had contracted pneumonia and had approximately 24 hours to live! Our world fell apart! She was moved to a single room and my Dad, Brother, Sister and myself stayed during the day and I stayed with her at night so that she didn’t spend a minute alone. She fought for four days and nights only letting go when I said ‘Mum, let go, go and see your Mum and Dad’ her rasping for breathe stopped and as I kissed her forehead she passed. Because of the Easter break and the way she passed, it then took me two months from start to finish to organise her cremation/interment, my family was too distraught to help with any of this. After we had laid her to rest, I then had to find my Dad somewhere else to live. They lived in a warden controlled disability flat and as she was the one with the disability he had to move out. All of this whilst working full time looking after a member of staff with PTSD due to her partner dying. Two weeks ago my nightmares started along with panic attacks, I started reliving the whole four days in the hospital with Mum. What she said and did in the run up to her death and had I not given her permission to let go would she have lived for longer. I thought I was having a heart attack and I couldn’t breathe. I rang my GP surgery and I got a call back from a GP that said something that has opened the flood gates of tears! He said ‘Jo, you need to make time for you, you only lose your Mum once’ He signed me off work for two weeks to try and start to regroup, but all I’ve done is sob my heart out. I lost my partner in 2013 in a road accident and I felt grief then but nothing like I feel now. I have an appointment with my GP in 9 hours time and I know I’m not ready to go back to work yet. I think I’m in denial that Mum has gone, I still have photos of her with the staff in the hospital and voice messages on my answer machine at home. Every time I think of her, I try and believe that she’s still in hospital. In the time that she’s passed it was her Birthday and what should have been my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. I’ve had to sort out a lot during the last 5 months but I feel guilty for taking time out now for me when my Dad is still struggling. I feel totally lost, will this pass, will it suddenly hit me that Mum’s gone? Any responses would be really appreciated.
I am so sorry to read of what has happened. You have had a roller coaster the last few months to say the least.
By the time you read this you will have had your Doctor’s appointment. I hope he or she has written you off for a while longer as you sound as if you need more time. Your GP is right, you must take time for yourself. Set aside some time everyday, even ten minutes for you. Cup of tea, sit in garden, anything just to relax. If you can spare longer all to the good.
I cannot offer any practical advice really apart from lots of sympathy. Just hoping your appointment went well. Keep coming back to this forum, there are great people here who can help. The moderators are always happy to receive emails and give advice too.
It was similar with my Mum. She broke her hip, had a replacement operation and was back on her feet and then, wham, pneumonia She died on February 15th. She pretty well recovered from the pneumonia, too. She was a strong woman but it weakened her and her heart couldn’t keep up in the end. She was 87 but we thought she had a few more years left in her! So sad
She went into acute confusion/delirium. Her state of mind fluctuated between comatose and feverishly alert, often hallucinating . It was hard to communicate and that time haunts me, too, wishing I’d been able to understand her better. It was mostly just me who was with her when she was dying.
It’s only recently, after six months, that I think my mind is starting to understand that she’s dead and I’ll never see her again.
I’m still crying nearly every day, missing her.
I hope you get more time off work, too. You deserve months off work, really. You are carrying an enormous weight on your shoulders. I don’t think our culture has much time for the bereaved and, until it happens to us, it’s often hard for people to understand how shattering and life-changing it is when a loved one dies. Losing our Mums can be especially hard. I know my life will never be the same again.
Thank you for your kind words.
It’s been a while since I logged back in, my GP signed me off for 3 weeks and I have since been signed off for another month.
I have been told I have Complicated Grief Disorder which sometimes shows itself 6 months after a bereavement if you have other stressors in life to deal with.
So moving Dad, stress at work and building up to the 4 year anniversary of my partners death this week has all contributed to my diagnosis.
Now I know that I’m not going mad and that my denial of my Mums passing has been brought about by other stressful life factors I can try and tackle it.
Feeling like this isn’t pleasant, I feel like I’m living in another world from everyone else and as a normally ‘strong for everyone else’ kind of person it’s hard to give myself the self love I need but it has to be done. It helps to talk to someone and not shut yourself away which is what I have been doing.
For the people out there that are still struggling 6 months or more after losing a loved one, look up this disorder, read about the symptoms because you may be going through this yourself without knowing.
Reading about this may shed light on why you are experiencing feelings that you can’t get to grips with.
Thanks for getting in touch and I’m sorry I haven’t replied sooner, I haven’t logged in for a while.
I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mum, it’s so difficult to get to grips with isn’t it?
I’m presuming you have lost other family members in the past like I have and you think you know what grief feels like but it’s not until you lose your Mum that you really understand what pain is and it feels so physical!
The woman who gave birth to you is suddenly missing from your life, it’s like your feet are wiped out from under you.
I’ve been diagnosed with Complicated Grief Disorder, something you might want to look up and read about. Sometimes 6 months or more after a loss if you have other stressors in your life this condition can show itself.
I’ve been signed off for another month, until mid October. I have a difficult day on Friday as it’ll be the 4th anniversary of my partners death in a road accident.
But now I know I’m not going mad and I’m not supposed to be better, as daily I tell myself I’m weak for still feeling like this after six months I can work on myself.
Self love is a powerful thing, so Saturday morning I plan to put my headphones on, listen to some uplifting music and go for a five mile walk, rain or shine. Exercise makes me feel better, so from Monday I’m starting Zumba. Maybe some exercise would help how you’re feeling?
My eating has suffered too and I’m normally a really healthy person, so again from Monday I’ve devised a healthy eating plan that I intend to start. Are you eating ok?
I’ve been concentrating on everyone around me, are they ok, how are they feeling and so over protective of my Dad that I know I’m too much sometimes.
Make time for you and keep talking, it really doesn’t help not to as I’ve found out.
Please let me know how you get on or if any of this helps you.