Since my Mum was last in her room in December her medical loan equipment has remained there. It was hugely distressing to see it without her using it but over the weeks since it’s been a constant “comfort” (of sorts). It’s being picked up today. Probably for another family to use that will in all honesty be in my position given time. You’d think that sad fact alone would add some perspective, and that I’m not the only one that will have been in this position - but it doesn’t.
At least on the day of the funeral service I was too much in shock to think straight but Mum’s equipment going back, leaving an empty room is just soul-destroying. It’s the last line of defence in somehow kidding myself this is all temporary, the last thing Mum had use of will be gone.
I’m wondering if I’m over reacting, I’m dreading receiving the text to say they are on their way to collect the things though.
Love to all.
Tina, how sad but you are right that someone else needs the equipment and it will be cleaned carefully before given out. The room will seem to be empty but it won’t be, it will be full of happy memories, so open the windows and let the sunshine in and celebrate your mums life.
It’s nearly time to start spring cleaning and your mum most likely would tell you to give it a good cleaning and remember her doing things like that when you were younger.
Don’t beat yourself up over things, as they say go with the flow and relax, your mum would want you to be happy. Look after yourself and take care. S xxx
Hi Tina, I’ve been thinking of you but been in a space of vast emptiness instead of crying all the time so I haven’t posted recently (might have, can’t remember). I had the opposite feeling about mams stuff (especially the walker she dragged around everywhere with her). These things annoyed me because of what they represented - that she needed them because she was so unwell and I wanted her to get better. But I can totally understand if her room was full of stuff and is now gone. It’s like when I would hold mam’s clothes and wear them for bed so I could have her as close as possible to me. It broke my heart but I had to do it because I had nothing else. Her things are now in a drawer under my bed so she is still there and if I need to I can get them out. Sit in the room and think of her . It will be so painful but I had to live in the pain in order to move through it. I feel completely lost, like I can’t connect to my life apart from doing chores around the house. Her birthday was an empty day. I was upset and then just nothing. It could be shock. There will be a heavy sadness attached to her room and you could use that space to feel closest to her, talk to her. You could create an ‘altar’ like I have with my buddha shrine, even though I still need to get her ashes from dad. I’ll post a pic later on today. Add your lights and make it special so that the room holds all your closest memories of her and you can give prayers and love. She will still be there. I’m sure of it. That’s why I wish I’d lived with my mam because a part of her will still be at home. I feel her when I’m looking at her teapots in the hallway.
The equipment helped her when she needed it and now she is at peace she doesn’t need it any longer. Other things will be more precious to ‘represent’ her - clothes, diaries, lists, paperwork, her teacup, lovely things she collected… Whatever she used in daily life before she was ill will become more precious now. It has for me. And by selecting those precious things you build a picture of your mam. Take photos. Create a tribute site for her. I used muchloved.com. It’s free and you can post pics, create a life timeline, add thoughts and memories, add your pictures, light virtual candles and give cards and presents. I know it’s not real life but it was very comforting to me. I added the services from the church and crem with lyrics of songs and tributes from people. It was heartbreaking to look at her pics from when she was young and I wish I had known her as a person instead of just as mam. If you want a hand just post and I’ll get back to you.
Sorry I didn’t see your post earlier. I’ve been getting up late and I’m still not dressed. I find sitting in this emptiness so exhausting but I can’t get motivated to do anything and it’s such a relief when night time comes. I hope you get this before they turn up for the equipment but even if they’ve been post and I’ll get back to you. Try to remember who mam was before she needed the stuff. That is what is precious. It might sound like I’m ok but I’m really not.
Love you xxx
I was wondering how you had been over the last day or so. Sometimes I can’t keep track on what I have seen on the site especially when I’m using my smaller smartphone as there’s very little screen space.
Mum hated the hospital equipment beyond words and I do get what you mean about disliking the equipment because of what it represented. But the company came for everything yesterday and hauled the stuff in his van. It’s an empty room now so I put some fresh pink carnations and roses in a vase on the window sill and Ill probably make it a thing to put in fresh flowers in each week. You’ve got some nice ideas for honouring your Mam, I like the idea of the lights etc. Thanks for the tip about the muchloved site
I actually had an assessment for the counselling service this morning, She said she’d have to ring me back to say if it can go ahead as my mental state has a bearing on things, so I’ll see what happens. Everything feels a bit like a void Also it’s the feeling of “waiting” that weighs heavy, but you don’t really know what you are waiting for. No-one needs me, and I’m sure if the dog could open the door for a wee by itself it probably wouldn’t even ask me to do it! Also a bit vulnerable today after having that recurring dream about people getting into my home and I can’t get them out. I’m sure I’m going doolally.
Speak again x
Thank you Christine for pointing me to look at the https://www.muchloved.com/ website. I had heard of it never visited and it is such a fantastic site. Will now be recommending. Take care Sxxx
Glad you posted back. Fresh flowers are a lovely gift for your mam. And now that the equipment is gone just sit with yourself for a bit to work out how you are feeling about it all. I’ve moved from hysterical non stop crying everyday throughout the day to a massive nothing where I know mam has gone and I will never see her again but that leaves a hole bigger than myself and don’t know what to do with that time. I’ve prepared the rail for my memory tags with ivy and lights. But I find everything such an effort and it takes forever to get anything done. It’s like time has another dimension to it.
It’s great news about your assessment for counselling. It will help direct you through your grief. You’ve done the hard bit so you can put that on hold now until you hear from them. You aren’t going doolally at all. You are grief stricken, in shock, feel abandoned and don’t know who you are now without her. At least that’s who I am now. And your pooch might let himself out for a wee but I’m sure he’d be looking for you soon enough. Animals are very tuned into us, although Porscha ran off and left me to cry on my own every time I started and couldn’t stop.
It is like waiting and you don’t know why or how long it will last. You’ll learn to adjust and fill in the time you have now. You were her everything. You gave her who you are in looking after her and now you no longer have that role. Think about what you always wanted to do in the future. Make a list of things you like. I loved doing jigsaw puzzles and puzzle books but can’t even look at them because they were mams and I’ve hidden them away in the loft. To do them without her, to see her writing, the bits she did and couldn’t do, just breaks my heart thinking about it never mind seeing it. So it could take some time for that to happen. It was like the roses for her birthday. I eventually looked on Amazon (they have a good range) but cannot decide and cannot even guarantee I would be able to look after it and I couldn’t let it die as well as mam so I haven’t ordered it yet. Anything you do, any tiny step towards something, recognise it and give yourself a gold star just for trying.
The recurring dream will be because there is a space and you don’t want it filled with anyone else (such as a new house guest). You want to keep your mams space as her own. People often keep their loved one’s bedroom as a shrine to them with all their things in place from the day it happened. It’s natural to want to make a time capsule of the person you love.
Keep posting and, as people keep saying, be kind to yourself. I recognise this now because I’m not pushing myself to get back to work or be productive in any way which would be hard usually because I’m very driven and always being creative in some way. That has all stopped and I don’t even care now.
Keep posting Tina. I’m always here.
Yes, it’s a wonderful idea for people to post pics and thoughts and light candles for loved ones and everyone can add to it. It was my mam’s funeral policy company that set it up for us, but it is free. Limited space for pics but you can add more space with a payment through paypal. The lower the setting for images the more space you have. And you must check copyright for music and video posts. We used it to provide access to the services with family and friends who couldn’t attend the services.
There are more free sights but this is the one we used. Thank you for letting other people know about it. It helped me and I hope it will give some comfort to others.
Take care xxx
I’ve just posted a new section CREATING A SHRINE FOR MY MAM with pics and ideas on how people can create a space in which to sit with their loved ones at home. Mine is buddhas and flowers and light but you can use whatever is precious to you and your loved one. Photographs would be good too. Just wanted to share as it might help people.
Just wanted to let you know I posted pics of my shrine in CREATING A SHRINE FOR MY MAM. Mine is buddhas and flowers and light but you can use whatever is precious to you - her urn, photos, clothes, a childhood toy, reading glasses etc. Might be nice to build around your fresh flowers in mams room. It doesn’t have to be big. You could have a cushion or chair to sit on nearby. The idea is to create a space in which you sit and just be with her. Nothing more, unless you want to pray or chat. Tell her how you are feeling and because you know what she would say in response it’s like she’s there with you.
I hope my buddhas are of comfort to her and that she isn’t on her own wherever she is. I wanted to create a garden because that is how we spent our time together, amongst the roses and fruits.
Thinking of you and wishing you love x
I’ve just seen your Shrine on another thread and I’m just in awe of the “ambience” you have created. It’s brilliant. You’ve obviously a keen eye for detail as an artist. I was also thinking you sound much more settled in yourself as well. x
I saw your other reply. It is quite confusing when there’s a cross over between sections. But thank you again. Interior design is another passion of mine. I redecorated during the first lockdown but mam never got to see it. So although I’m happy with what I’ve created for her (a Buddha garden), I’m sad that she didn’t see it until she died (I just used the D word). I am more settled because I’m not crying throughout the day. But it’s so hard actually doing anything. It’s like filling in time, in segments. It’s a relief to get to evening when I can sit watching tv with the shrine on. I can be with mam comfortably. It’s a natural state of being with her.
If you wanted to start a shrine of your own you could collect 3 things to put with your flowers and set up a seating area to get comfortable.
Getting into bed made me realise how awful it is to wake up and remember that mam isn’t here. It’s not with a shock now but more a dull ache and I lie there in the silence dreading another day. I was doing ok when I was sitting watching tv. It’s starting to fill up my head life normal life does, only there’s so much missing. I was looking at recent photos of mam up north on hols and realised how tired she looks. I hadn’t noticed before. Like it was an effort to be there. I feel so sad that I didn’t know she felt like that. I didn’t realise I was looking at the last pics of her. I miss my mam so much.
The photo thing resonates with me a lot.
We were on a trip at end of November (which I had no way of knowing that it would be our last trip and the start of the end) and I took a photo of her wrapped up like a mummy in so many layers as she was saying she was cold all the time and when I looked at the photo I remember showing her it and she hated it so much that she demanded I delete it. Normally I would have laughed and said no but this time I did delete it as it made her look so frail and old
I am just grateful that I got a great last selfie of us later that day that is now one of my favourites of us both to made the hideous photo less distressing x
Hope today is another better day for you,
Thank you Sheila, your words have put a different slant on things altogether. Yes, my Mum hated those things for the very same reason. Thank you very much for your perspective and advice. Kind wishes to you.