Replaying everything

Evening, sorry for the long post felt like I needed to get it out

Does anyone else feel like they keep replaying everything in their mind of when their loved one became poorly and thinking of what could have been done differently my councellors advised that this is something alot of people go through and is a form bargaining thoughts

I found the GPs did not listen to earlier symptoms and refer earlier and the hospital repeatedly sent Mum home without the doctors communicating how serious things were becoming, symptoms to look out for or arranging community nurses coming in, delaying procedures as she was improving to then be told that they couldn’t do anything at all and the cancer was terminal 4 days before we sadly lost her despite being told that they were planning chemotherapy treatment days prior once the biopsy was recieved confirmed their suspicions from the scans.

Everthing happened so quickly and I cant believe mum and dad are gone after losing Dad in early 2022 I feel so traumatised and heartbroken, The pallative care and volunteers were excellent and took such good care of mum x I am trying to focus or positive things and all our lovely family memories and have a very supportive partner


Hello violet6
I’m sorry your being visited by the awful ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’ of grief I know I was and still do with my dads death in 2019, and my recent loss of someone incredibly special close and important in my life.
I hate it and don’t have any words of wisdom I’m afraid but I hope it helps you to know it’s very common in grief and you are not alone in experiencing it
Take care

It’s very common. I do it all the time, or rather my brain does, as if to torture me. :pensive: I’m not sure I believe it’s always bargaining thoughts, because for most of us I think it would be better to know that no wrongs had been done and that the medical staff didn’t mess up.

Have you talked to the doctors or written a complaint? That might be a way to get answers to some of the what ifs, if tou have the energy to do it, even if you’re likely to get standardised answers (like I did to my complaint).

I’ve lost both parents too and it’s the most horrendous feeling. Much love and hugs. :heart:


Hi my mum and dad died 2 years ago I looked after them for a couple of years dad got taken into hospital so mum came and lived with me mum had cancer and dementia I had her for nine weeks and one day I noticed a bed sore really bad one nurse came out and done what they had todo but 2 weeks later she was dead I think it was sepsis that set in I replay that morning she died over and over in my head and I blame myself for a long time. That it was my fault I done something wrong if I looked after her better would she still be here. It does get easier over time but the pain doesn’t go away

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I’m so sorry you are replaying their pain and your pain at witnessing theirs from diagnosis to passing.
I too was constantly haunted by this - Dad died 6 weeks after a sudden diagnosis of late stage lung cancer which had spread. He was also subject to medics ( I won’t go on and on) who I’m sure had more of an inkling that scans were needed but who “ fobbed him off” for so many months.

Firstly, I know the pain of the replaying- it is acute- for the first months every time this happened it made my stomach turn over quite apart from the mental pain.
People , kind people who had been through the same replaying experience told me that it gets better with time.I then would desperately ask “ when, how long will it take for it not to be this bad?”
One friend told me she had had to function for the hours her children were with her - protecting them helped her to compartmentalise because she had no choice.
All I can say to you from what I have read and experienced so far is that if I am forced to be out in public and have to concentrate, this at least gives me some respite from it.Which is just what Dad would want.
Just as you do not choose to suffer from replaying, I didn’t and don’t. But the acuteness of the memory, fowl tho it is, in some way keeps them near to us, the way it feels so acute and intense might have subconsciously have kept and keep him with me more vividly. I wouldn’t know if this is a valid thing to say, I’m no psychologist and if I am right, it makes no sense because it hurts you so much to do it.
And it is or feels downright involuntary.

For me, once I reached a stage where I wasn’t going to cry at anything with no control or warning when in public, I found being somewhere out of the house where I needed to concentrate in some way- even if it was a wonderful cousin making me laugh due to his wonderful sense of humour, I found this gave me a few hours respite.
It helps now to know Dad would be saying
“What the heck are you doing suffering like this? Yes, I suffered but in relative terms it wasn’t as long as some. Now stop it!” ( Dad was a sincere plain speaking man)
At first I , just like you I was justifiably incensed at the medics involved.Initially I planned to get Dad’s medical records, collate everything, even photos on his phone he had sent to his GP last March of clear signs justifying a scan that didn’t happen until he had weeks to live.
I knew I wouldn’t have the strength to do it right away and still haven’t.I would like to one day but being honest I don’t know if it would ever be something I could do without engendering more pain to me. But it might help other people and for that reason I wish I could.

Having said that and I so hope this helps you- I know now that if Dad had learned months and months earlier, given his age and the aggressiveness of the type of lung cancer he had, and given Dad’s personality, he would simply have suffered the mental anguish at knowing he had to leave life for the whole time from diagnosis to passing. The experience for my dear Dad would have been just as mentally agonising, but would have lasted longer. And that would have been unbearable, even more unbearable for him.

If, knowing your mum’s personality, she would have lived life for each day with positivity then I can understand so much why an inexcusable delay in diagnosis will hurt you so much.

All I would say is that if you follow this up with getting access to her medical records and making a complaint, please do not do this until you are in a much much better place emotionally.

I think you mentioned that you feel alone even though you have a partner.
When my mum’s brother died 22 years ago, she reached a stage of resentment towards my Dad because unbeknown to us back then, my Dad was in the spectrum, wasn’t one for speaking of emotions, save for rare instances. He had never been close to his Mum or brother so had no reference point to understand mum’s pain levels.
I don’t know anything about your relationship but if your isolation feelings are in any way due to you not being able to talk with him about it as much as you need, then tell him and beg him to address it.I’m not in a relationship at the moment. But my dearest friends have listened to me pouring out the same raw grief emotions repeatedly and regularly for ages and without complaint or impatience. I got sick of the sound of me.

You should be able to do the same with your partner if I have been blessed with this support from friends.

I think you said that your partner has since been bereaved as well.

He may, as some people do, not want to discuss it at all. Or you may both be able to help each other. Each person’s relationship with someone they loved who has died differs and so does the emotions and levels of those emotions.
So in this sense, even if in the most wonderful relationship with the best person you could meet, we are alone in the sense that it’s our grief for our lives one and we are all alone there.

I really hope that this is why you feel alone. If it is more like what happened when mum’s brother died, tell him what you desperately need him to do.

The only other thing I can think of right now that I hope will ( but know may well not) help, is that I know your Mum would not want you to be suffering like this and for so long. It helps me sometimes to try to do and be and behave as Dad would have wanted. He would fervently not have wanted me to suffer this way.
Sometimes I tell myself I must honour what I know his wishes would be were he here to tell me. We know in an instant what they would want for us.

The only other thing that I’ve heard helps so much, but stupidly haven’t yet done, is to do some type of physical exercise.

I wish you strength and comfort.


Yes I do it all the time. Apparently normal, one of grief stages. Its slowly killing me…

Same here. For a while, I didn’t. But lately it’s all I think about, how in the hospital I was the only one fighting for my dad. I had to fight the doctors and some people in my own family. I’m still very confused and traumatised by the whole experience.

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I wish I could say something more definite and comforting, but all I can offer is that if I do out of my house to be with a dear friend or relative or a few trusted people, at some stage we talk of their families , funny things, we talk of plans to go to a spa day or something so we know we will do something positive and healthy. Being with these people helps so much during the hours I’m with them. Somehow the replaying of suffering is forced to stop for a while when with them- until at some low point when on a bad day alone a day or so later the replay starts again.
I’m so sorry you are experiencing replay. It feels like indulgent self torture and makes me think I am useless weak and pathetic. You almost think that you have to do it, as penance or to show deep empathy and respect for someone you loved who has gone. Would they want us to be reliving memories of their suffering? No. Yet sometimes it just happens and feels as if you can’t stop the thoughts.
I can be careful at home not to listen to certain music Dad loved, not to look at photos. Sometimes I ask “ Dad” or my thoughts to stay at a distance from me as respite I need. I ask this either when I’m feeling better thro distraction from the replay or because I have other painful things going on and know I cannot deal with it all at once. Then I let Dad/ the thoughts back in because it feels as if he’s waiting to come in and be with me. This must sound so crazy. But you don’t stop loving someone and stop thinking of them as real just because they have died. You still love then and in that way they still are real- in our hearts and minds.
We just have to try to distract ourselves and join “ the living” - those who aren’t grieving and seem have been thro the same thing and help you with their survival stories of wisdom.
I hope you both have a much better day tomorrow x

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Dear Burgled,
I hadn’t realised you had had to fight medics to do what you felt was best for your Dad. And that there had been some difference of opinion with some of your family.
When family react in such a different way at a time you’re suffering fro watching someone else’s suffering, it’s like another form of attack on your coping mechanisms. Especially if what they want is something you would never have believed could so far from your well meant response to your loved one’s needs. It can be shocking. I experienced this with my sisters both before and after Dad died- even the way in which his letter of wishes attached to his will, stating mum was quite rightly to have all available money for her use only while she is still here in a wonderful but expensive care home. It shocked and hurt me and hurt me as if it hurt Dad, that they weren’t going to adhere to his wishes.He had only just died. He adored one sister- she was the apple of his eye. But she her husband and the other sister were firm that they would not comply. One took of in his 15k car- that was an asset to be sold to go into a trust- it would pay for 3 months care home fees. His jewellery was all taken and distributed even tho his letter said that wasn’t to be done until after mum’s death. Luckily dad’s solicitor had detailed instructions of how dad wanted the discretion combined with the letter of wishes, to be interpreted. So I had the stress lifted of protecting money dad wanted to be used for mum to keep her in the lovely care home. The solicitor quietly but firmly told them what dad wanted and they did not argue with him or take offence as they had with me.
In my long winded way I’m explaining that this kind of hurt right when you need to be United in your actions to help while he was dying and respect his wishes to protect mum afterwards, adds so much upset and trauma.These events and more have left me shaken. I’ve lost Dad and gradually my sisters for whom so much respect has been eroded over the years
I have the essence of my wonderful mum who still looks after, tries to feed and tidy up for the carers in her care home.She still loves to cheer people up by making them laugh. But I miss who she was before the Alzheimer’s. I have wonderful friends and cousins but it doesn’t remove the hurt for me and mum and dad because of events these last few years when they needed them so much and didn’t get the amount of help they needed. So yes @ Burgled, I understand how medics’ failures anf family quite apart from grief, leave you with extra and some unnecessary loss anger and pain. I try to concentrate on the people who do care for me and who give me an honest opinion about family’s behaviour, saying I am not wrong or misjudging the situation. I really hope you surround yourself as much as possible with the people you trust who have your outlook and views of what is and isn’t ok. They will help you.

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Thank you so much for your thoughtful and considered reply, @sfcs

You are most welcome x

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I do replay memories in my mind, but I know mum is in a better place now. Which makes me sound religious, but I hate today’s world in every aspect. Work keeps me going, but I can’t believe I was born into this world no more. I can only identify with the music I grew up with these days. I struggle to come to terms how cruel this world is now. It’s not easy finding that ray of sunshine anymore.

Dear Keith,
I know there a some awful people out there- I really do. But there really are some amazingly kind ones too. I hope you can find as manybgenuine people to help you. I would write more im sorry, but im not on a good day. Ine last thing to say is that the Samaritans are wonderful. And their phones are manned 24/7. They have helped me twice. Wishing you strength.