Regrets

  • 14 Feb 2021

My mum died 2nd October 2020 from secondary breast cancer to her bones, lungs and apparently other areas that we weren’t told about. After the first few months of feeling not a lot, suddenly the loss hit me around Xmas time and is now with me everyday. I am an only child in a very small family unit. But apart from missing her physical presence, every minute of every day, I have so many regrets that take up most of my thoughts.

Why didn’t we discuss and admit that she was dying. Our whole way of dealing with her illness was to pretend that she would get better, at least for a couple of years. Even though mum had suffered breast cancer in one breast, treatments, then diagnosis of breast cancer in the second breast, mastectomy, further treatments which made her very unwell and the diagnosis of secondary’s, we still carried on not talking about what was really happening. Mum would say she was feeling unwell and then we would carry on as if she would get better sometime soon. COVID was a blessing for us, mum couldn’t go out because that was the rules and no one could visit, and so no one, family or friends could see how ill she really was and we kept on pretending… when the end finally came it was a horrendous shock to my mum. She was hospitalized, went down hill in two weeks and then asked me ‘Am I dying?’ She was not prepared and deeply shocked.

Other regrets I have are that we didn’t use the time we had during lockdown and other times we spent together to discuss things that mattered. We had a checkered history as mother & daughter for most of my early years, until I had children of my own and I began to understand certain things about my mum and our early relationship. Things that have colored all of my life, but things that although I could forgive, it would have been better if we had spoken about and now it’s too late. So much wasted time if only we had talked and said the words ‘I love you’ ,I understand you’ ’ I forgive you’ instead we used our time together talking about superficial things and when she would get better.

So now it’s too late, there’s no point writing her letters, talking to her now, unfortunately I don’t believe she is around somewhere, but I’m tortured by things we should have said and done, all the time wasted and the fact that I can’t go back and make things right. I’m tortured by the idea that because we pretended things weren’t as bad as they were she was very alone with her illness and didn’t share her thought and fears with anyone and that she never truly knew how much I loved her despite everything.*

Hi Tinalouise, I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your Mum, I can understand where you are coming from as I was also an only child, and had an up and down sort of relationship with my Mum, she died suddenly and I wasn’t prepared for how I felt, we never really talked about anything important and in hindsight I think she was happy with that, I think your Mum must have known she was dying, but her way of coping was to pretend it wasn’t happening, until she was forced to accept the inevitable, you cannot change what happened you have to learn to accept it, she knew you loved her, things will get better, you will always miss her but you will be able to move on eventually, just take a day at a time, sending love and hugs Jude x

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