Really struggling death of both parents

First post here, been a member for a few months but couldn’t find it in me to post until now as writing it down makes it real.
My dad was diagnosed lung cancer April 2015. He fought hard but it spread to his brain by the following year may 2nd we was told. He managed to cope until October 3rd he had a fall and then that was it down hill. I cared for him at home for 3 weeks he then passed away in my arms… my hero my best friend had gone. My mum said I’d be OK she was with me and we would get through it together. 10 weeks later 4th January she died unexpectedly. My life has turned upside down. We only just had her body released from the coroner so the funeral is now this Thursday.
I’m struggling… I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. People tell me it gets easier to concentrate on my 4 children and distract myself with work but it’s not helping. I’m feeling lower every day. I’m on medication. That helps with the anxiety attacks and nightmares. I’m heart broken. I know they are together now but I’m still not finding any comfort and I don’t know what to do anymore. I work in mental health and I know how to look after myself mentally but it’s not working. Nothing is. I miss them so much. Life seems so cruel.

Hello Clare, and welcome to our Online Community. From what you say in this post, and your other kind message today to another member, you have been through a terribly stressful time, losing both your father and then your mother so soon afterwards.
I expect it must feel as if you are never going to be able to function properly again. You are still managing to work and look after your four children, but really you need time to accept the death of both your parents. You were obviously very close to them, and did all you could to support them.
I think it is going to take some time for you to be able to make sense of what has happened, and to start rebuilding your life.
I will be thinking of you on Thursday as you steel yourself to get through your dear mother’s funeral. Please don’t keep all your emotions and feelings to yourself Clare - and I hope that you will receive messages from others on this site, which will support you, and help you to feel not quite so alone. With kind regards, Jackie

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Hello Clare

Would like to second Jackie’s message. You have been very brave it sounds to me and have had a horrible time. I was with both my parents when they passed away and although an awful experience it helps as there is the opportunity to say good bye properly.

You are being so brave starting a new job but with that and looking after a family please don’t forget to make time for yourself. Even ten minutes a day just doing something you like, bar of chocolate, bubble bath, even sitting doing just nothing.

You are not alone, there are lots of lovely kind people on this forum who can give advice.


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Thank you both for your messages. Reading my post over and then your replies seems so real. You are right… I haven’t accepted that they have gone… I suppose I’m scared… I don’t want it to be real.

Thank you for reading my post and your support x

I know how you feel Im so sorry for your losses, I lost my Dad last July after a quick diagnosis of cancer of the stomach that had sadly spread he died within 3 weeks,I wasn’t so close to my Dad as my mum Brought us up as they divorced but I still kept contact with him,but I hurt when he passed, I sadly lost my mum whom I was very close to in March this year only 6 weeks ago she had dementia and was in residential care she was on medication and,was stable and still knew us I took her to stay with myself and my son some weekends and the odd trips and outings I loved her very much but never realised how much till she sadly passed unexpectedly of a heart attack my hearts broken I cry most days and feel guilty of not doing enough for her don’t think I’ll ever be the same person again it’s such a terrible loss but children have to,keep us going as they wouldn’t want us to be like this they are hopefully in a better place and in no more painx

Hello, sorry to hear you have had such a great loss in your life. I too have lost both my parents in last few years and it’s not easy especially if you was close. Honestly I am only now in the process of finding some support and my advice would be get some help sooner rather than later as I have just let it eat away at me. Take care Martin

Hi. Martin, I know it’s like you go back to feeling like a child and feel lost I have to believe that they’re in a better place and happy now with their. family who have passed I was more closer to my mum as she was a single parent bur still kept contact with my Dad, just think they wouldn’t want us sad and it helps a bit to carry on.

Hi, yep exactly how I feel. Like abandoned in some way. My family has gone distant too. I helped care for my mum before she passed away but with my dad it was unexpected and I feel angry too as he effectively stopped taking his medication and knew what would happen. He never got over the death of my brother and mum going he gave up and past away on anniversary of my brothers death and Mother’s Day. So much I could write but such little space

Yes you go through lots of emotions, anger, guilt same with my family my mum was the centre of us all, your Dad wouldn’t have thought about how his passing would have affected you,he must have been lost in his own emotions just remember they’re always in our hearts and still watching over us take care.

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Hello. I have also lost both my parents in the last three years, first my dad from a chronical illness and then my mum which was diagnosed with cancer last June and passed away in January. My mum was the pilar of my family, a very strong woman that had never been ill, she seemed indestructible to me and now she is gone. I’m only 30 and I feel like I’m never going to be complete again. The hole I feel in my heart will never be filled again and I don’t know how to get better. I have asked my gp to refer me to a psycologist but she said she couldn’t do that… I don’t know what to do.

Hello, so sorry to hear you are struggling so hard with both your parents passing away. Honestly I’m still trying to come to terms with mine but feel even when I have tried talking to people unless someone been in same situation they never going to understand. Time I suppose does help but for me I’m kind of numb still to it all more so after my dad went last and having to clear house and everything reality hits home of who is there for you and sadly for me I got left to deal with everything so kind left me bit annoyed with family. You making the first steps and talking about it which is good

That’s it no-one will fully understand until it happens to them it’s a shame you are dealing with everything yourself that will be harder for you but your parents will be proud of you and help you through this hard time.

It’s a heartache you’ll have for ever losing my mum hit me very hard also but somehow you’ll get the strength to carry on as that’s how they would want us to be they’ll be happy when wee get over our grief and they will watch over us and always be in our heartsx

Hi Maria,

I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost both parents, and that the GP said she couldn’t refer you. Did she say why not? GPs can normally refer you to counselling or support services in your local area - perhaps it would be worth trying to see a different GP?

If either of your parents had any care from a hospice, the hospice will normally be able to offer you bereavement support.

Cruse Bereavement offer one-to-one support with a trained volunteer, support groups and a helpline (0808 808 1677​ or Find your local branch of Cruse here:

Hi Priscilla

She didn’t say why exactly she couldn’t refer me. Only said that the NHS didn’t really provide that type of service… She mentioned Cruse and I contacted them but they have a 16 weeks waiting list, at least in Bristol where I live.

I have contacted a counsellor myself and will start the sessions on Thursday so hopefully that will help.

Many thanks for your support


It is good to hear that you have found a counsellor. Yes, Cruse and any NHS services are sadly often quite over subscribed, so finding a private counsellor yourself can be a quicker route.

All the best for your sessions - let us know how they go.

Some people find it tough at the beginning, as you start to confront all the difficult emotions that you may have been avoiding, but this is more beneficial in the long run than bottling things up. We’ve had some previous conversations on this site about counselling, if you’d find it helpful to read other people’s experiences before you go: