Struggling to deal with my emotions after losing my mum

I lost my mum in 2017 and she was my world. I was with her 24/7 as I was her carer and then she died unexpectedly and we don’t know how still. I am crying and a mess everyday still and I just need some advice in how to help myself.

I also saw her after she had died and that image of her is still in my brain all the time. I don’t know how to make it all go away so I can carry on living my life

Have you tried speaking to a bereavement councillor? The video chats can be extremely helpful. I also saw my Dad after he had died and the image stayed with me but it is slowly fading and in someways it helped me accept that he was gone. What has brought me comfort since is that I can feel my Dad with me all the time but when I went to see him in the chapel of rest he wasn’t there, just the vessel that he inhabited. I like to think he is part of the breeze and the sun

I think when a death is unexpected like your mum and my Dad it can take a long time to be ok. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and cry when you need to

Take care


Hello. Me too. Dec 2nd 2016. My best friend my lovely mum died. I’d too been her carer until her dementia got too bad and she needed 24/7 care in a home and the guilt never leaves me. I was alone as my husband had left me when I moved mum in and my brother disappeared into thin air. Never felt so alone in my life and was working. I had to. I was with mum when she died and witnessed the whole death rattle noise for almost two agonising days. Then she died. And that for me is where something stopped and I will never be the same again. I feel like a frightened little girl alone and afraid of life without my mum. We were so so close. The only way I cope is to work work work and run from the images in my head the the horror guilt and devastation. Keeping busy is the only way for me. I have developed extreme anxiety and my GP is sending me to bereavement counselling. I feel that as time goes by it’s getting harder to be honest as the early days were a numb fog I can barely remember. I feel other people think I’m “over it” as if I ever could be. I don’t want to be as that means I’ve accepted and I’m ok about it and I will never be. Someone on here said we don’t get over it we get on with it. That’s a great way to explain it I think. I hope my story has helped you and brought a little comfort in the fact you’re not alone. I have no family/kids but have remarried but my hubby never knew mum so I have nobody to relate to and remember mum with and I find that so hard. Keep coming in here. It’s a massive help. Sending a hug.

Thank you so much. That’s honestly helped a lot. I start berevement Counselling in June and I’m so nervous because even talking the slightest bit about losing my mum I cry a lot. I feel guilty, like it was my fault she died. I always used to sleep with my bedroom door open and this one time I closed it, I lost her. It plays on my mind every day. Thank you so so much.

Hi Littlepompom18

Just read your original post and the replies. I am so sorry to read about your Mum and that you found it so painful to be with her at the end.

I was with both my parents and think not knowing what to expect is the worst. My Dad passed away over 20 years ago, collapsed in front of me. I saw him in the chapel of rest as hoped it would banish the memory of seeing the paramedics working on him and then at the hospital morgue. It was terrible and was not my Dad at all. It took years to get over. My Mum was over two years ago and was terminally ill, she slipped away so gently and peacefully. She had been unconscious for a couple of days. I used to always say goodnight to her and see her in the morning. The last night I just said goodnight as I was so tired. I was asleep on the floor next to her and woke suddenly aware things were not right. Mum was breathing her last breaths so I never saw her alive in the morning. I still find that very painful to remember and accept a bit like you with the bedroom door.

With both my parents I remember feeling like a little girl when I lost them. Struggling to help my Mum deal with everything after Dad and then not having her to help after she went.

I am really pleased to see you are starting bereavement counselling. I did consider that but didn’t want to wait so time went on and I have muddled through using this site and the support from people on it. Don’t worry about crying when you go, it will do you good getting rid of the tension. I still cry for Mum sometimes, have been writing this in fact. You loved your Mum so are going to be sad sometimes. I find thinking about when both my parents were alive seems to help me, memories of childhood holidays in particular. I have written on other posts on this site about taking ten minutes a day for yourself. I have my ten minutes with a cup of coffee at some stage during the day and spend the time remembering happier times. I am longing for the weather to be warm enough to sit in the garden for this.

The one thing that really banished the memory of them passing was having a really nice photograph of my Mum and Dad to look at when it got too painful. I have one of Mum by my bed so she is there to say good night to still. Dad is downstairs so there to wish me well when I go to work.

You take lots of care of yourself and keep coming back to this site. Everyone does understand as we all are going through the same unhappiness or are about to.


Thank you for sharing your story. It really helps. I gave my mum a kiss and a cuddle as she went to bed and that was the last I saw her alive. I tried waking her up but no response. I called 999 and had to do resuscitation until they arrived, that was also so hard to do. My dad isn’t in the picture and my family don’t like talking about her which is really hard. My best friend talks with me about her a lot as she has lots of memories with her too. I also talk a lot about her to my partner because she never met my mum so I wanna keep her part of my partners life too even though she never met her.I turned down seeing my mum in the Chapel of rest as I didn’t want to see her empty shell because that wasn’t her. I used to and sometimes now have nightmares about seeing her like that and my brain will walk me through the entire day over and over like a film that you don’t want to see. I have pictures of mum everywhere, in the back of my phone, under my pillow and on the wall at home. I dont know how I would have coped seeing her take her last breaths, that would have effected me so much more. I’m getting a tattoo of her favourite flower so when I look at it I think of her. I have a butterfly dedicated to her but that’s on my ankle and I can’t hold it close if I need to. Thank you so so so much for sharing your story. It’s helped me a lot.

I lost my mum in November 2018 and im really struggling with it. It still doest feel real. I was her carer and we did lots of things together. We went on lots of holidays together and she came to my house a lot. I was also at hers a lot and we called each other every single day. My mum was in hospital for a month before she unexpectly passed away. I visited her nearly everyday and was with her right until the end. My brother was no where to be seen and after she died ive done everything on my own. I have just had a drunked message of my brother telling me that I am the reason she died. This has been one of the most hurtful things. I did everthing for my mum while she was alive and even after she died. She died from sepsis and ive struggled with the thoughts of could I have done more?. Or if id saw the signs earlier she would have survived. So he has hurt me in the most awful way. I will never get over my mums death and having to watch her die, when id been working so hard over the years for her to be more active and healthy. I miss my mum everyday and thought I was doing ok until that very hurtful remark. I still have the images from her final hours and its images I never ever wanted to have to deal with.

Hi Kezza1077

What a horrible time for you with your brother. Why did people become so nasty at this sort of time. It must have been so hard for you with your Mum so ill so not needed to have someone in the background chipping away at you and your thoughts.

The big thing that you have and he doesn’t is that you were with your Mum. Hard as it might have been to see her pass away I think it is a very special privilege to be with someone at that time. Even if your Mum was very ill and not conscious she may well ave known you were there. You saw her on her final journey, how wonderful can that be and it really shows how much that you loved her.

I understand the worries that you could have done something more. I had those and still have the nagging feeling I should have seen how ill Mum was before she collapsed. I know I called the doctor out to her four times but the thought is still there.

Never think for one second you were at fault. You sound so lovely and loving, as do the other people on this thread. You sound to have had the most lovely relationship with your Mum, he is probably jealous of that.

I suffered with a horrible sister who was unbearable when my Mum passed away. I put up with it as we had to sort out Mum’s affairs together but with a mantra running through my head ‘This will pass’. I lived with Mum and afterwards my sister used to arrive constantly to check up on me, shout and swear at me, empty the fridge and then go home. She is still difficult but now I have my own house which she does not have a key to. She comes very rarely and only by invitation, not to stay though! For me it has passed to a large degree and for you it will too.

You say you miss your Mum, of course you do because you loved her and she loved you. That is your talisman you hold onto. No one can take that from you ever. The images will fade in time and you will be left with the happier memories of your holidays together and other times.

You take lots of care of yourself. I am really angry for you about your brother’s horrible, untrue and uncalled for remark.



Thank you for the lovely response, it has really helped me today. I realise that im not alone in my thoughts and feelings.

I have decided that I need to let the relationship with my brother go. He was like this even when my mum was alive. I just never had the strength to do it until that awful remark that he made.

I will continue everyday to make my mum proud of me and keep her memory alive. She was a truly good person, who had a very hard life. Starting with her losing her dad when she was 16. This had a massive impact on her and shaped her life and not always for the better. She had a hard life, but was such a strong lady. This I hope will be what I strive to become.

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Hi Kezza

So sorry to hear about your Mum. I lost my Mum in January 2019 - like you it was sudden and turned out to be sepsis. Please try and ignore your brothers horrible comments - I suspect he is feeling guilty and just lashing out as he knows you were the one who was always there for your Mum. Be very proud of yourself for all the care and love you gave to your Mum over the years. No one can take away those precious memories and in time they will no doubt be a real comfort to you. Take care and be kind to yourself. X

You poor thing sounds like your brother has said this and blamed you as part of his guilt for doing nothing and deep down he knows that’s the truth. I lost my mum in August 2018 and she truly was my best friend and also unexpected I was 27 and had a 7 week old baby which was my mums first grandchild so I feel i will never get over what has happened as it seemed like the timing was very cruel she was so excited to be nan and do things with her granddaughter. I never stayed to watch my mum die my dad brother and sister did but I just couldn’t do It, but even though I didn’t go I get the haunting images on what I think happened and my sister tells me I am seeing something worse in my head than what it was really like. My dad told me what happened to mum is completely natural and is what happens to every single one of us and I find comfort in this as the image may be awful but please remember it’s the most natural thing as it is entering this world. Hope this helps, hollie x

I came across your post and I am so sorry for your loss, and your brother’s cruel remark. Know that his sharp words will not change the love you & your Mum shared. No one can take your memories of the special times you had with your Mum. Those are the gifts she left for you.
My Mother died of late stage lung cancer in 2012. Luckily her decline was brief and rapid, and death came peacefully with me by her side. However in the weeks prior, my chatty, witty, strong Mother could barely speak or walk, and my heart broke a thousand times to see her like that. During that time my younger sister & I never left her side. But like Mel, we have an older sister who rarely visited, and when she did it was to insult and argue right in front of my poor dying Mother’s bed. All she cared about was what she could get, and she tormented us without mercy, even mocking me when I was reciting prayers at my Mother’s memorial. Now I lost my sweet younger sister too (May of 2018) and the older one continues to be as evil as she was before. We cannot let them stifle our grief. We need all of our energy to get through these dark days. Our love for those we lost, will overcome any empty words. Only you know what was between you and your Mum, and what you meant to each other. It has been said that “anger” is part of grief, so perhaps your brother and my (and Mel’s) sister cannot deal with their own guilt and grief, so they lash out. Whatever the reason it is unacceptable, and only serves to grind glass into our wounds. Take care, and protect your delicate feelings from harsh words. It is time to self-nurture. The kind people on this site will be here for you. My heart goes out to you. Xxx Sister2

Mum died last Wednesday. She had dementia for 6 years. I mourn what she was not what she became. Is that wrong of me? I have a wonderful partner. I will get through this. Glad I found this community.

Hi Dougp

I am sorry to read about your Mum and such a recent loss for you too. Remembering your Mum when she was healthy in kind and body is so important. Dementia is a horrible illness, seeing someone we love go downhill and become confused is just as bad as physical illness.

Hopefully the happier memories will gradually overtake the more recent and sad ones for you. You will get through this somehow although it may take time.

I am really glad you found this community too and hope you keep coming back if you need help.


Many thanks Mel it is tough but hopefully the good memories will return.