Struggling to come to terms with loss of my Mum

Hi, I lost my Mum right at the start of lockdown, on 24th March, and 6 months on I feel like I am going backwards in terms of grief. I feel totally stuck was here I am as we couldn’t give her a proper funeral and haven’t been able to mix with relatives, friends, neighbours to share the experience, it’s like I have (we have) been left to grieve alone, without the usual support, due to to Covid restrictions :cry: Can anyone else relate to this?

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Dear POrtavadie,
My mum died 2 years ago so I know how hard that is, but it must be so much harder to have lost your mum during lockdown. There have been many posts on this site form people who like you have not been able to hold a proper funeral and get support from their family and friends. (You can find those posts if you use the search option in the right hand corner an type in ‘corona’ or ‘lockdown’.)
I noticed that you also have had two other stressful event in the last 6 months - moving house and leaving your job. Does this mean you now live closer to people you could meet up with? Feeling alone in grief can make it so much harder than if we can share with others how we feel.
It is good that you have come to this site where we do just that. There is also an article on the main Sue Rider that you may find helpful. Here is he link:

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Hi @P0rtavadie,
So sorry for your loss. I can definitely relate to how you are feeling. I lost my Mum on 22nd March to cancer and I feel that covid made grieving properly impossible. We couldn’t give her the funeral she deserved either. I think I was in denial until recently where some dates made me struggle including the 6 month anniversary, what would have been my parent’s 45th anniversary and my son’s birthday that my Mum wanted to make. Please continue to message on here if it helps. I’ve also started a thread called ‘missing mum’ where a few of us have posted and support each other after sadly losing our Mums if you want to post on there. Take care x

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Hi Jo64,

Thank you so much for your reply, it really helped lift my spirits getting such prompt reply to my post - I have never done anything like this before, but I am desperate!
I was sorry to read that you too have lost your Mum so recently - I know 2 years might seem like a lot to some people, but it’s but a blink of an eye when you are talking about having lost a loved one isn’t it. All my family are in Scotland, and I have lived in England for over 30yrs, so that has hampered my ability to spend time with family and share the grief. I was due to go back next month as my Mum would have been 80 and we were planning on having a family meal together but new restrictions have put paid to that. This has impacted my mood so much as for the last few months I have clung to the hope of seeing my family, scattering my Mum’s ashes, and having a memorial service/tea for all those who weren’t allowed to attend her funeral (we could only have 6 people) - but it looks like we will have to postpone this now until next year, at her 1st anniversary in March. This troubles me as I think it would help me to move on from this bit, to lay her to rest properly and be among the many many many people who cared so much about her. Having recently moved was a bit of added stress but this was planned way before my Mum was diagnosed with cancer, we put it off so that I could spend time with her, which I was very fortunate to be able to do. My Mum only had one request, that she did not die alone in a hospital, she wanted to be cared for at home. So I along with other siblings cared for her at home right up to the end, and she passed away in my arms. Sadly for us it was not a pleasant ending and I struggle with this immensley. I have lots of sleepless nights as the moment the light goes out the memories. images, sounds all start up again like a bad movie. There is no magic cure, only time will help with that I know, but having to bottle everything up and not being able to share it with my siblings etc. is not helping. We speak on facetime weekly, but it’s not the same as face to face and being able to hug each other, that is what I miss the most .
Thank you for listening.

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Hello MrsRL!
Thank you so much for your reply, I have never done anything like this before, but reached out as I am really struggling. I am so so sorry to hear about your Mum, my Mum died on 24th March (the day after lockdown was announced) so pretty much the same time as your loss. I too had an awful week last week dealing with the 6 month anniversary. My Mum had cancer too, and didn’t have a pleasant end, I held her in my arms as she passed away and this I am really struggling with. That is an amazing achievement to have been married almost 45years, do you still have your Dad with you, if so, how is he coping? And how old is your son? How do I find your ‘missing Mum’ thread please?
I was so pleased to receive your reply, and one other from the community volunteer, I never understood the power of these websites, but am finding it so helpful, having an outlet for my thoughts and emotions, that I cannot share with my siblings or other family members due to being a long distance away from them (they are all in Scotland). I am married but my husband has a super stressful job, we are grateful this has not been impacted due to the virus, but a lot more pressure has been put on since the start of the pandemic. He has been amazingly supportive but I do keep a lot bottled up. We recently moved home from Hertfordshire to West Sussex, so having to leave my much-loved job was hard, and of course now is not a great time to be looking for work. Of course it has given me the opportunity to explore my new surroundings and have some time to myself, but sometime I can have too much time, and with the pandemic, I am not getting out and about as much as we were hoping I could.
Thanks for listening, if you are happy to keep talking, I would love to hear how you are doing and help if I can by listening.

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Dear all
I too lost my mum to cancer during the lockdown. Her birthday was on 20th of march. And she was sent home from hospital on that day. She then was in and out of hospital till she died on 15th of May. I am so sorry for all your losses and know what each of you has went through. Know that I am thinking of all of you.

Hello Meebee and thank you for your post. I am truly very sorry for the loss of your Mum in May, as you said yourself all of us on this post know the pain you are experiencing only too well. There just simply aren’t the words to describe losing someone during a global pandemic, meaning the normal rituals and things you take comfort from go out the window. For me it was 10 very very long days between my Mum padding away and her ‘funeral’, with no visitors to her house whatsoever. No family/neighbours popping in with homemade cakes, casseroles and making endless cups of tea. No stories shared, no comforting hugs given. Even now those things are still missing. There must be hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Keep sharing and hopefully see you at the end of that tunnel when we step into the light again xx

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Hi again @P0rtavadie, I’m glad you decided to reach out on here and that it is helping, even if just a little bit. I’ve found forums to help me in the past in other situations and have found this a great support so far.
It sadly sounds like the same timings, I lost mine on Mother’s Day too so that is going to be hard ongoing. I’m so sorry your Mum didn’t have a pleasant end. They believe my Mum had a heart attack that took her as a result of the cancer so it wasn’t the cancer that took her as such, although because of it. Unfortunately we were also not expecting her to pass when she did, so I couldn’t get there in time. She had my Dad and a nurse with her and got her wish to die at home too. I do still have my Dad, he is a man of few words and doesn’t really say how he is feeling. He is definitely lonely now though and lockdown made it even worse as he couldn’t see anyone, although I did take his shopping weekly and help with paperwork etc.
My son has recently turned 3, so he was 2.5 when my Mum died and just seemed to accept her death. That has been hard as I worry he won’t really remember her. It also took us a long time to have a child and my Mum was the most supportive person throughout, so it makes everything tougher as she so wanted to see him grow up. It was one of her biggest regrets. I will try to keep her memory alive but it won’t be the same. I thought we would have years with her yet and that I would see her grow old, she turned 63 2 days before she passed.
I’m not sure how to share a link, but if you look at my profile it might be listed there.
I’m the same as you and keep a lot bottled up. I don’t have any siblings, but I can imagine it must be very tough having no family around you. Do you still have your Dad? Moving home is also stressful at the best of times, so it must be a big upheaval for you. Also searching for a job at the moment during the pandemic and grieving must be very hard. I’m glad the forum is helping anyway. x

I’ve just managed to copy the link to the thread, here it is -

@Meebee so sorry for your loss of your Mum as well. My Mum’s birthday was 20th March too and she sadly died 2 days later. I hope you’re finding it helpful on here.

@Jo60plus sorry to hear of the loss of your Mum too. 2 years is no time either. Thank you for sharing the link and I will take a look as well.

Hello MrsRL, thank you for your reply and apologies for taking a couple of days to respond. Insomnia has returned and I am on day 4 with very little sleep since Saturday just gone :0(
My Dad is no longer with us, in fact yesterday was his 30th anniversary. He died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 49, when I was just 23, my Mum was widowed at 48yrs old and never got over it. We promised Mum last year we would mark his 30th this year with a special family meal etc. Alas she didn’t live to mark that, and I had planned to go home this week to be with my family, but local lockdown in Glasgow meant I couldn’t go into their house, so I didn’t fancy going all that way and being stuck in a hotel on my own, not being able to visit any of my family indoors! Stupid virus.
Ah, your son is so young, what a lovely thing in that he is innocent to all that has happened in your family, and what is going on in the world right now, but very sad that as you say that he won’t remember much about your Mum. That is hard to come to terms with.
Your Mum did not die alone as was her wish, and neither did mine. I promised her I would be by her side right up to the end, and I was. Some of my close friends were surprised at this decision and wondered if it was the right thing for me. But as I said it wasn’t about me, this was about my Mum’s end of life wish and who wouldn’t want to honour that. She didn’t ask me specifically, but I took it upon myself to say I wanted to be there, as after all, she was there when I came into the world, and it felt right that I should be there with her as she left this world. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, and I assure you there are days when I wish I had listened to my friends, as I suffer terribly most nights when in the dark, willing sleep to come, but it all plays out over and over again. But, I know from having lost my Dad, time does take the edge of the rawness and the pain, it never truly goes away. Its just this stupid virus that has prevented me from spending time with my family, friends etc. all those people who would have given all the hugs and words of comfort, sharing stories and memories. It just hasn’t happened and I think that is why I am ‘stuck’ where I am for now.
Going back to your son, if I may, you mentioned it took you a long time to have him, so I can only imagine the joy he has brought to your life, and he is now your reason for keeping going. I could never have children, I gave up trying after my 6th miscarriage 10 yrs ago, when I was 43. Not long before my Mum died she said one of her saddest things was not to see me becoming the amazing mother she knew I would be. My siblings gave her 4 amazing grandchildren, but it always made her sad that I was the odd one out in that respect, especially when we all got together and I was the only one without a baby on my lap. Bereavement is a funny thing, I am mostly grieving for my Mum right now, but I have noticed that I have been crying again for all the lost babies and the family I never had. I thought I had dealt with that, but a new bereavement brings so many other things back to the surface. Do you find that? Hope you are having a ‘good’ day x

Hi P0rtavadie, no problem at all. Sorry to hear about your insomnia :disappointed: You must be exhausted.
I’m sorry to hear about your dad and losing him at such a young age too. Such a shame you didn’t get to have a family meal and that the virus has meant you cannot go and be with your family either. I feel the virus is making grief so much worse for everyone.
You’re right, he is completely innocent to it all. I’m glad he doesn’t have to go through it all, but it is hard knowing he will not have my Mum in his life anymore and she adored him too. Maybe your friends were surprised as they hadn’t experienced it. Before my Mum was ill I wasn’t sure about someone dying in their home, as I was quite naive to it all, but when my Mum was in hospital and some of the ladies in the ward sadly passed away and with one their body was left behind curtains for a few hours, I knew then I didn’t want that for my Mum as it was her wish not to die in there. I’m glad you could be there for your Mum, I can imagine it wasn’t easy for you though. I wasn’t with my Mum when she actually passed but I saw her soon after. It was hard seeing her looking so frail when she was young really, she was only 63 but the cancer aged her. I wasn’t sorry that I went to see her one last time and I thought she just looked like she was asleep but it was very hard. I wonder in some way if she didn’t want me actually see her take her last breath. I’m so glad she wasn’t alone too and got her wish to be at home. I really do believe the virus has made it impossible to grieve properly. I also feel that many people are so concentrated on that, they don’t really ask anymore about how I am. Maybe not intentionally. Do you feel the same?
I’m so sorry to hear your heartbreaking stories of miscarriages. That must have been awful and a very hard decision to come to, but completely understandable after such heartache. We cannot have children naturally and my son is an IVF baby. We found we had male infertility and I had few issues myself so ivf was our only option and we were lucky enough for our second cycle to work. He will most likely be our only child as I just don’t think I can go through that again and I didn’t find pregnancy easy either with some complications, most likely caused by the ivf hormones. My Mum completely understood about our infertility as she had miscarriages herself and a still born, and I’m an only child myself too. It is hard losing the one person that truly understood and was there for us.
Im sorry to hear that bereavement has brought other things to the surface for you as well. I think you are right, a couple of people in the family are having second babies now and I feel like old feelings surrounding that have surfaced, even though I definitely couldn’t cope with another baby right now I do feel like those feelings from the dark days of infertility never go away even once you have a child. I’m also quite an anxious person and worrier in general and find that grief has made me feel worse some days. It has also highlighted mortality for me and made me worry about losing someone else close to me as well. Have you ever had counselling or considered having it? I still cannot decide if it is something I want to do or not. I hope you’re OK as you can be and have managed to get some sleep x

Hello there! Its been a trying few days since I last checked in on this site. The insomnia improved towards the end of last week and over the weekend, but is back again this week. It’s just as well I am not working at the moment as I couldn’t function on only 2-3 hours sleep per night!

I understand what you mean about this virus and how you feel people are so pre-occupied with that, and sometimes ‘forget’ you are grieving, and you don’t feel as if that’s a priority to them any more. Just because you are not breaking down and crying 24/7, you worry they will all think you are ok, when in reality you are just digging so deep to put on a front. I only have my husband and his sister+husband to speak to, we know no-one else where we live as we have just moved. I can’t be burdening those few people (and to be honest I haven’t ever spoken to my brother-in-law about my Mum, it’s his wife who does all the listening) so I feel her and my husband will be fed up with me being glum all the time and just want me to get over it. They both have demanding jobs and what with the pandemic, it’s almost as if you feel its an annoyance to them that you are still grieving, am nowhere near ‘over it’, hardly scratched the surface truth be told.
I have the opportunity to volunteer a couple of days a week in a local primary school, so will explore that and see where it leads. I did register to volunteer for one of the many local charity shops, but backed out as I am so worried a bout this virus, and there would be so many random strangers coming in every day and I feel exposing myself to this increased risk would just set my anxiety off the chart. At least with the school, it will be the same set of children, 5/6yr olds, os hopefully lest likely to pass anything on to me. Do you work? How as your past week been?

Hi P0rtavadie, how are you?
Sorry to hear your insomnia is back :pensive: Everything is always worse on little sleep too. I have had trouble sleeping some days too as have other things going on playing on my mind so that doesn’t help either.

It is difficult when there isn’t really anyone you can speak to. I’m the same really and tend to work through it on my own. My husband would listen if I wanted to talk but I often prefer to come on here and speak with others going through it. I’m just waiting to see what the restrictions will be with the pandemic when it is announced later.

The volunteering opportunity sounds like a great idea and will give you something to focus on. I don’t blame you for deciding against the charity shop, I would be anxious too. The school definitely sounds like a better idea. I hope it works out well for you.

I don’t work at the moment, I didn’t return to work after having my son as the pay wasn’t worth it for childcare costs and as he will likely be my only child so I decided to stay at home with him. I did look at putting him in nursery and working part time but then my Mum was ill so i decided to wait until we had funding for him instead and visit as much as we could. I was also avoiding him being ill all the time and then not being able to see her. I plan to do some admin work at home next year when he is at preschool, but will see how it goes. My week has been OK, but we have no heating at the moment and need to replace our boiler so it has been a case of trying to get people out to quote to replace it. It is not a great time for it to go wrong at all now it is getting colder so we’re hoping to have it sorted in the next week or so. How have you been? x

Hello MrsL, how have you been, did you get your boiler fixed?

Lousy timing for it to break on you!

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, on week 4 now of broken sleep, with a couple of all nighters in there where I didn’t sleep at all! It just totally wipes you out and even trying to build up to come on here requires a lot of effort and energy I just don’t always have.

How have you been feeling since we last spoke? I understand what you say about not wanting to talk to your husband all the time about your feelings, but do you have any close friends you are talking too, or is it just on here?

I too try to keep a lot hidden from my husband, heck I am a pro at that! He has a very stressful job, works from 5.30am until 7.00/7.30pm most days so I don’t like to burden him too much. He spends a large chunk of his days either on phone calls or zoom calls/meetings/webinars. So come dinner time, he is all talked out. We tend to have a good ‘catch up’ about how I am doing at the weekend. Having recently moved areas, I find I have loads of free time and do get lonely. I don’t mind my own company to an extent, but I do miss my friends from my old area, and of course all my family are in Scotland.

I got my DBS back today so I am green for go on the school volunteering. I was meant to be meeting someone from the school before half term, but I don’t think it will happen now until after. I can’t start until the w/c 9th Nov as I am in Glasgow for a few days the week beforehand, sorting a few bits out as we have sold one of our flats up there. Plus I want to bring my Mum’s ashes back. I was last in Glasgow the day of her funeral in April, and her ashes have been at my brothers house. As we cannot have a ceremony to scatter them until after Covid, I would rather bring her home to my place, and this might make me feel a bit happier - well that is the hope! Tighter restrictions in Glasgow mean I can’t stay with either of my brothers, so my week long planned trip, has been reduced to 2 nights in a hotel, really annoying as I can’t even visit them in their homes, but we can all meet up in a pub! How are restrictions where you live xx

Hi again, how are you? Sorry it has taken me a while to reply. My boiler is sorted thank goodness, it was getting very cold! I am ok, still having good and bad days but trying to keep busy. I’m not looking forward to another lockdown though.

Have you managed to get anymore sleep? You poor thing, you must be exhausted! I can believe it does wipe you out. Have you thought of speaking to your gp to see if there is anything they can do?

I mainly talk on here and I also have a couple of other people I talk to. None of my friends really understand as they haven’t lost parents. A lot of them are also busy with their families too. It sounds like your husband’s job is very stressful. I’m glad you manage to talk at the weekends at least. It must be hard for you being in a new area and grieving as well. It has been made even harder at the moment too with all the restrictions in place, so not the ideal time to meet people either.

Has anything else progressed with the school volunteering? Will it still go ahead with all the restrictions in place? I hope you are still able to do it, as I’m sure it will be good for you to have something to focus on.

I hope you get on ok in Glasgow and that the lockdown has not ruined your plans. I hope you manage to bring your Mum’s ashes back and it helps you.

Restrictions were ok here but as you know we are now heading into another lockdown. I’m not looking forward to it. Luckily we can still visit my Dad as he is in our bubble, but it will be hard not being able to really see anyone else or go anywhere either. I know it’s necessary, but I feel it makes grieving so much harder too and I struggled a lot in the last lockdown. x

Hi I’m so sorry for you loss. I lost my mum in February. She had completed her cancer treatment. I live in London and work in a school. My dad was adamant that he wanted to prevent her picking up any infections while she was immunosuppressed as I work in a school and am exposed to all sorts of viruses, I waited till she got to ring the bell after her last treatment to go and visit her. We planned a celebration and the champagne was on ice so to speak. When we were travelling up my dad texted me to say that they wouldn’t be coming to visit us in the cottage we had booked as mum was unwell and was feeling exhausted. I saw her on the Saturday and the following Tuesday. My dad texted me to say she had been admitted to hospital on the Thursday and that she was not in a good way. I visited her for the last time in the Friday, she died on the Monday. I’m still struggling to come to terms with her loss., I’ve finally made the decision to get some professional support but don’t really know where to start.

Hi Hanc66, so sorry for the loss of your Mum too. I’m glad you have decided to post on here and seek some professional support as well. I lost my Mum to cancer in March and I have found it very helpful joining here to speak to other people that understand. I didn’t see my Mum as much as I would have either because of worrying about passing something on, especially with coronavirus. I think that has made grieving even harder too. It took me a while to decide to join but I could feel my anxiety was very high and I was really struggling so I decided I had to do something. It is such a devastating loss losing a parent and very hard to come to terms with. I still struggle to believe my Mum has gone at times. It is still early days and I think it will be a long time yet before we can cope with such a loss, but do keep posting on here for support from others that understand x

@P0rtavadie how are you coping? Especially now we are getting closer to Christmas. I hope you are ok x

Hello MrsRL,
How lovely to hear from you, and sincere apologies for not replying to your last message in November. I had a mad dash to Scotland early Nov before 2nd lockdown to sort bits out at a flat we were selling. Was hoping to stay with my brother and go for a meal to mark what would have been my Mum’s 80th birthday, but a few days before I went, Glasgow went into the top tier and I couldn’t go into my brothers house, and restaurants were closed! So I ended up in a hotel and it was pretty miserable. I was also due to start vunteeting on 9th Nov but 2nd lockdown put paid to that.
I did start early December and it has been amazing. My sleep has improved as well as my mood. I brought my Mum’s ashes back with me and that has been an enormous comfort.

How are you doing my dear, how are all the family? Little one excited for Father Christmas?

Hi P0rtavadie, No worries at all, it sounds like you have been very busy! I’m glad things have improved for you sleep wise and the volunteering has been going well. It sounds like it was definitely the right decision for you. I’m glad you were able to bring back your Mum’s ashes too.

I have been struggling recently with Christmas coming up and also hearing the constant moaning from others because of the restrictions hasn’t helped. While I realise it is difficult for everyone not seeing family etc, some of us won’t see ours again. It is also even harder for anyone grieving not being able to spend it with their loved ones
He is getting quite excited for Father Christmas now. I’ve really put the effort in for him even though I haven’t felt like it. It is so hard being the first Christmas without Mum and also the first one my son really understands too. We have always spent Christmas Day with my parents so I’m finding it hard. How are you coping at the moment? I hope you’re OK xx

Hello MrsRL,

So sorry to hear you are struggling right now, I think those of us who have lost a loved one this year all feel the same. I think it helps having little ones around to get yourself in the festive mood, as hard as it must be, you lose yourself in their world and it briefly takes your mind off other things.

We just found out we are going into Tier 4 on Boxing Day, do a planned family meal we were hosting is being brought forward to Thursday! Hence the late hour prepping everything. Otherwise we would have masses of food and drinks and nobody to share it with. How are your plans affected?

It’s 9 months today since I lost my Mum and my sleep has wavered a bit this week as that milestone and Xmas approach. It just feels weird not having her to buy presents or a card for. The void inside me feels larger and darker than ever. Time, so far, has not helped heal. And I don’t honestly think I can start on that journey until we can have a proper send off. Each time we planned it another set of restrictions put paid to it, and it tortured me so much thinking we might have to wait until her 1st anniversary in March, but now even that seems as though it might not happen :cry:

It’s so good having you to talk to again, thank you so much for not giving up on me.

I hope you get thru the festive season OK, reach out if you need to sound off, I will be here for you. Merry Christmas xx