Struggling to cope with my Mum's passing

Thank you for your reply.In a strange way it does help to know that other people are going through the same situation.I think now that the loneliness is the biggest problem (after my Mum’s passing obviously).Io go from something that was all consuming 24/7 to absolutely nothing is awful.Mum could never be left on her own because she had zero balance and would fall if she tried to walk by herself so i was with her literally every minute of every day.We did everything together.We lad lots of fun in earlier days.We used to go to antique fairs,auctions and car boots.Even last year,aged 92, Mum was still coming with me to the local car boot on a Sunday morning,albeit with me pushing her around in her wheel chair.Mum never lost her love for life and she lived every minute of it as best as she could.Even with the Alzheimers we still used to enjoy life together it was just a bit different to how it used to be.I was determined that i was going to make Mum’s life as easy as i could whilst she was living with this cruel illness.I like to think that in some ways i was i successful because Mum was always content and happy.That was all i could ever wish for her.I was glad that i was able to do what i did for Mum but i do believe that the close bond that we had makes this situation now even worse.Nothing in my life is the same without Mum next to me.I just miss her so much that sometimes it physically hurts.I know that my Mum would also want me to be happy and live my life but as you say it’s just so hard.I just take one day at a time and try not to think ahead too much which has always been my problem.You take care as well.

I too spent for decades the majority of my time with my Mum, as her carer. My Mum passed away 11 months ago. I’ve lost my best friend and my companion. My world.
It still physically hurts. It’s like a heavy jagged rock in my heart. Sometimes, it gets so bad that I try not to cry for a few days. Just to look after my health.
Probably, one of the wisest things i did was go to bed an hour earlier every night. It helped me get more sleep.

I forgot to say that ‘I’m sorry that you lost your Mum’.

I’m in absolute awe of you alan. Of your dedication and your courage. I’m struggling dreadfully with mums AD. There are aspects of it that are tearing me apart. you are a shining light and how lucky your mum was to have you. wishing you calmness of mind and I’m sorry you’ve both gone through this. My mum has atypical AD and also dreadfully debilitating OCD.

Thank you, Alan. It must be so difficult when you spent all your time with her, and the same for @Bluebel. I hope you both are able to get some sort of life eventually, though it will probably take time and the loss will always be there.

I am sorry for your loss as well.I think that unless you have been a full time carer a lot of people ,understandably ,won’t understand just how deep the loss goes.You haven’t just lost the person that you were caring for but you also lose your whole way of life and your reason for being.I am also going to bed earlier nowadays as there is nothing to stay up for now,but i have real trouble in getting to sleep and when i do i keep on waking up during the night.Maybe my body clock hasn’t realised yet that i no longer HAVE to wake up so often.

Thank you for your kind and flattering words Tina but please don’t be in awe of me.I am nothing special,just a son who loved his Mum dearly and done what any child should do for their parent if they can.My only regret is that i am no longer able to do it.I would give anything to have my old life back as i hate this one that i have now but sadly i realise that is impossible.I wish you all the strength possible to assist you with caring for your Mum.I know what a struggle it can be but i can look back and be glad that i could do what i did for Mum.Just try and take one day at a time.

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Thanks Alan60. I must be very weak because I’m mentally burnt out. all the best.

You need to be kinder to yourself.We are all only human.Your Mum will know that you are doing the best that you can and nobody could ask for anymore.Can i ask, are you receiving any help at all ?? There is help out there.Sometimes the system hinders rather than helps but i chose what would be of benefit to Mum.

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Dear alan 60, I understand how you feel. I lost my mother 3 years ago. I spent the last year of her life living in he annexe with her, 24/7. She was very frail and often could not walk. She too had dementia but still was herself some of the time. Night time was worse, when her painkillers and anti-anxiety meds caused her was become very confused. I had to hide her front door key as twice at night she had managed to get out of bed by herself, wandered off, lost her way and ended up outside, yelling for help and sitting on the cold driveway.
I nursed her and was her full-time carer, until 4 days before her death, when she came very ill and was transferred to hospital, where she faded and passed away peacefully.
I was lost without this wonderful, kind, strong-minded woman who had been there for me every time I needed a kind word or a bit of TLC. She couldn’t solve my problems but she had a gift for distracting me from them.
She had been my best friend, my confidante, my breath of sanity in my insane and painful world.
I cried most days for over a year. I am still surrounded by most of her belongings, in the annexe to our house which we had built for her from her house sale.
Now, three years on, I still miss her badly, but the overwhelming pain has eased, and I’m managing to start sorting through her belongings.
It will be so hard to get rid of things which remind me of both her and of my childhood - tablecloths, clothes, curtains, books, games, ornaments, and her furniture.
But I cannot keep more than a few items, the rest will have to go to charity, recycling, sold or thrown away.
There are things which she treasured but which are of no use to anyone else.
When I’ve cleared all her belongings, I/we will move house, as remaining here is too painful, and without her support, I cannot stay in my marital relationship.

Alan60, it does get less painful, and the grief comes in moments, rather than being present all the time.
Hold on, be strong, it will get better.
Think of what your mother would want you to do, it helps, I find.
Much love,

Thank you for your reply SueN.There are a lot of similarities in our stories.It sounds like you can see light at the end of the tunnel that sadly i have only just entered.I am happy for you that you are feeling a bit better.It gives me hope that in time i will also start to feel better although it doesn’t feel like that at the moment.I know that i keep on repeating myself but i still can’t accept that Mum has gone.I kidded myself that i had prepared myself for this time but in all honesty i hadn’t.I feel so lost and alone without Mum in my life.For the last 3 1/2 years Mum had been my life.Mum was my sole focus and my reason for being and then suddenly everything,including Mum was gone.I have siblings but there are quite a lot of miles between us so i don’t see them very often.The feeling of loneliness is only made worse now that the nights are drawing in.It somehow seems to ram home that Mum is no longer here.I know that people mean well when they say that i have to start to build a new life for myself but i don’t want a new life i just want my old one back !!!

sorry Alan I didn’t see your reply. no, we don’t get outside help as mum won’t accept intervention or assistance. I find it hard as there are three of us and we’d do all kinds together but she’s completely taken against me. It’s like a loss already. I got a news item before about how the well known coronation street actress found her mother’s dementia had brought them together. I didn’t read it but my mum’s alz has shattered us apart relationship wise. It’s heartwarming to read about the lovely relationship you had with your mum. take care. ( don’t let anyone rush you into forging a so-called “new life”. Take things as slow as you need to. I wish you some emotional stillness.)

I am so sorry to hear that your Mum’s Alzheimers has had this affect on your relationship.It is such a cruel illness isn’t it and there are so many variations of it ?? I don’t think that, unless people have lived with the illness, they won’t realise what affect it has on your ;lives.It must be really hard for you to live with this situation but i think that all you can try and tell yourself that this isn’t your Mum who has taken against you but it is the illness and she can’t control that.I completely understand that this is easier said than done.I know that i would have been heart broken if this had happened to us but luckily it didn’t…I send you strength along with my best wishes and i repeat,be kind to yourself.

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Dear Alan60, don’t try to hurry yourself. You need to allow your grief to happen. Don’t fight it. Don’t fret about starting a new life. You haven’t yet left the one you had with your mum.
If you’d lost a limb, you’d be expected to struggle for quite a while, and then gradually learn how to cope without it. You wouldn’t be expected to act as if you hadn’t lost it. You wouldn’t be expected to forget about your it, and just get on with life.
You would gradually learn how to live without your limb, and how to change the way you do things. You’d find that you felt less loss, grief and anger, as time went on. But you wouldn’t forget your limb.

Losing a mother we have been very close to, particularly if we have been her 24/7 carer, is more drastic than losing a limb. And the lost part of us is invisible. It was part of our ‘heart’, our mind, our emotions, our being, our soul. It was part of who we were, and it’s been torn from us.
Others cannot see our wound, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there, inside us, raw and trying to slowly heal.

Be kind to yourself. Do what makes you feel a bit better. I found that going for long slow walks with my dogs, on country footpaths, listening to my headphones, with music or stories playing, started to soothe the pain.
Sitting on grass near a tree, in a quiet place, watching the clouds and the birds, was very therapeutic (the dogs didn’t agree though, they got a bit bored of the sitting down)
I also stop and take photos on my phone, of the different cloud patterns, sunsets, wild flowers, the local stream and it’s differing heights of water after rainstorms.
I took life slowly. And it helped. I would chat to my absent mother on those walks, tell her how I was feeling, how I missed her, how I’d had to move one of her belongings and how it had made me cry. It was a very one-sided conversation, but so had many of the conversations been when she was alive.
It helps to pour out your heart, and doing it when nobody is around, when you’re surrounded by nature, is a safe way to release some of the pent-up anguish.

So, be kind to yourself, eat and drink things you like (not too much alcohol though, it causes a very muzzy head the next day, and can make the bewilderment feel worse).
Read a book which can make you laugh, it’s not wrong to laugh. Watch interesting TV programs, documentaries which teach you something. That will make your intellect start to kick in, and feed your spirit. Learning new ideas is refreshing.

I’m sorry I’ve gone on rather a long time. I hope that maybe something I’ve said will help your pain.


What an amazing thoughtful post. Thank you I know you were talking to Alan. But it helped me and im going to take up some of your suggestions

Dear Jooles45,
I’m so pleased that my thoughts may be helpful to you.
I’ll be happy to listen to your thoughts and feelings and help you if I can. (It actually makes me feel better when I’ve helped someone)
So please reply if you’d like.

Dear Mutleysmum
Thank you for your kind words.You didn’t go on,in fact i could relate to a lot of what you said.Like you i do go out for walks and like you i do talk to Mum whilst i am on them but i find that at the moment i go to places that we used to go to together and then i just get upset because Mum is no longer there with me and i am there on my own.I hope that in time i will get to the point where i can look back on all of the fantastic,happy memories that i have with Mum and smile but at this moment in time all they make me do is cry because i no longer have Mum with me.

Also i am not always able to take things as slowly as i would like.You now what it is like when somebody passes away,there is all of the paperwork to sort out and trying to do all of that was a nightmare.Finally all of that has been done but now i have to try and start preparing myself for when i have to leave the home that i shared with Mum for so many years.It won’t be until next year at the earliest but i am dreading it.I am scared that i am walking away from everything that i hold dear to my heart and that i am used to but realistically i will have no choice in the matter…

Just for the record i don’t drink alcohol although sometimes i think it might be a good idea to start !!! Lol.

sorry “now” should read “know” above.

SueN that’s so kind of you. But I won’t bore you my stories. My mum died a year ago. It’s so painful isn’t it. So I took your suggestion and went for a long walk and visited a Japanese Garden. I live in Cornwall so am very lucky to have such wonderful places on my doorstep. I visited a church and stood by the window of rememberance. I’m not particularly religious. But I do find churches comforting this is a photo of one of the trees at the garden o visited today. And a little robin red breast hopped beside me

I hope you are ok too. Always here for a natter.


Hi alan, its 3 years since I lost my mum who had dementia, and I was only reflecting today that i am still working through that loss. Things are different now to how they were at first but the grief is still working through, and manifests in different ways now.

I’d say dont do anything in a hurry, if you took a job on you might find it hard to cope with the life changes so early on, I’d hang on for a while to give your body and mind time to re group.

Counselling is hard work too, so one thing at a time, be very kind to yourself!