Struggling with sudden loss of my Mum

On Saturday 30th September I left my Mother, as I went to coach a football match. On my return, Mum had taken a fall and was on the floor in agony with a fracture of her hip.

She had been waiting in agony for hours as she could not get to a phone and her Grandson had not visited as planned.

Mum had spoken of pain in her hip/back since July. It had been attributed to her having a fall while decorating when I was in Sweden in July. This then fuelled a narrative that the pain would go with time, using painkillers and heat/ice.

We had multiple trips to A&E and her doctors, each time, just gradually getting prescribed with stronger painkillers but no one was looking at the timeline and thinking about what else it might be.

Mum’s pain was always worse at night and she would call for me. I would help her with heat gel, company downstairs or rub her back and give her a cuddle and comfort.

Mum has always been so strong and I should have known that this was something more serious than bruising, as she had always been so tough and not let pain be an issue with her fibromyalgia. I wish I had jumped to the worst conclusion and pushed for a scan.

When Mum had gone into A&E a month or so prior to her fall, they did an X-ray on her hip that came up with no issue, no sign of anything untoward and also a CT scan of her head. How I wish the CT scan had been of her hip.

Once in hospital we found out that she had secondary bone cancer and an undiagnosed primary, that was most likely lung cancer. That she was not well enough to have surgery on her hip.

In hospital, Mum lost mobility and was frightened. She had a varied experience on different wards with some amazing nurses, and healthcare assistants and then some awful experiences, particularly at night. Twice I had to intervene to have Mum moved, this meant the world to Mum, but it should not have needed this intervention.

If Mum had not had the fall we would not have known about the cancer, however, the fall meant Mum lost her independence and her mobility which kept her trapped. It was a lose/lose situation. So unbelievably cruel.

At the hospital I wish we had been told a best-case scenario, that treatment was limited and we could have gone home. Instead, so much time was wasted doing very little for Mum aside from making her unwell by constantly asking for bloods, taking pills and constant observations, even when her stats were fine. If this were to help her it would be fine but there was no outcome aside from monitoring.

We had the equipment from Occupational Therapy dropped at our house with the plan of making the move home, however, Mum had a bad few days and this was delayed. The plan was to then head to the Hospice and then head home. This was after she had completed five radiotherapy sessions.

We made it to the hospice, but not home. Mum was so happy at the Hospice, the care was great and she was comfortable. We genuinely felt and it was shared by the staff team that we would be taking Mum home.

There was so much excitement around all being together for Christmas and working together to put as many memories together for Mum and hopefully having more time than expected. I knew that it would be tough looking after Mum at home but this did not bother me, Mum is Mum and I would do anything for her.

Unfortunately across one weekend, Mum had suspected Sepsis, which she fought through, the next weekend as her observation was a 2 scoring, which was amazing, suddenly her breathing became more difficult the next day as she had a clot and from that Sunday we started to go down hill. This was at the point home was becoming a reality for us.

It was still hoped that we would get to the other side with the blood thinning injections and the fluids that Mum was receiving. However on Monday and Tuesday, Mum had several bouts of delirium, where she was panicked, and on reflection must have known what was coming soon and was doing her best to warn/escape this.

Mum was given a combination of medication to help her settle, which helped her but I will always worry that this medication along with her midline going in, which was needed, both contributed to the complications that Mum faced.

I do not understand and will never be able to process that my best friend, my Mum is no longer with me. We did everything together. My sisters have been present from a distance however both have very different relationships with Mum, one more phone-based and the other non-existent.

I cared for Mum through her mental health struggles, helping her through her alcoholism, and giving her a good quality of life and it was a privilege to care for my Mum, I would give anything to have her wave me off at the window, greet me at the door, give me a big cuddle and to see her smile and the pride that she had in me.

At present, I function to task. Mum’s funeral is on Wednesday and I can be busy with the idea of giving Mum what she needs, but I struggle to deal with others, whose grief is more guilt or I feel that they are on the want. Mum would give anything that she had to help people, she did not have a lot materialistically but she had a big heart and amazing warmth. I resent how she was treated by her daughters (my sisters), yet I have to be diplomatic for the sake of Wednesday and the belief that Mum would want us to be there for each other.

I feel that I can continue to complete tasks that I have with the business that I run, that Mum loved as it was about giving kids the opportunity that we/she did not have. However, I do not want to do any of this without my Mum.

Me and Mum watched a documentary on BBC where a celebrity and their parent had to travel across multiple locations without using a plane and with a set budget. I feel that completing this journey with the presence of Mum will be of help and spending time in Morrocco, which is where she loved her time there and always spoke so glowingly of her time there, would be a healing and/or connective experience.

Mum also wanted me to have a camera for Christmas so I intend to go to all of our places from our time together to create a legacy photo book with annotations that can be passed onto the family to keep as part of her legacy.

The above will help, but I do not do it to help, more to honour. I just want my Mum and to be with her.

I have found reading these message boards helpful for understanding that what we have experienced is more frequent than I would ever imagine, and we are all blinded to others’ pain until we experience our own.

If this helps anyone, like reading their stories has helped blot my experience temporarily, then that is great.

Just writing this statement is a helpful journey of understanding the struggle/journey of the last few months that is beyond humbling.

My Mother was only 58 when she passed on 23/11/23.

I wish I had not put so much pressure on Mum to get better and understood the issues that she was going through with bone cancer symptoms. Mum went 7 odd weeks with barely eating any food and limited drinks, all that time she held strong through her love and wanting to be there for me/us. I recognise this and Mum knew that I loved her so much but it all feels like sand through the hands and words now.

I was with her every day aside from three during her stay. Looking back at pictures I can see the gradual deterioration that I could not see when I was there day to day. She still lifted a room, made people feel special and I have some very special memories of taking Mum outside to the garden. Going on a mini adventure in the wheelchair to experience fresh air at 3 in the morning and seeing genuine joy on her face. I would give anything to have her back


@7WeeksIsUnfair thanks for sharing your story, sending condolences to you. It’s certainly not easy to accept the sudden loss of a parent. It sounds like you did everything you could to support her in the last weeks of her life. Grief is a complex experience so take care of yourself and allow yourself time to adjust. Best wishes xx

@7WeeksIsUnfair my heart goes out to you. Although our stories are different, i could really identify with your caring for your Mum and your struggles to get her the right medical help - your love and devotion really shines out from your words.

I lost my Mum 5 weeks ago. She suffered with health issues all her life and i was the one always at her side for every medical appointment, fighting her corner. Then 12 months ago she had a fall, and after a week in hospital we were told she probably had just hours to live. We managed to get her brought home (a year ago today in fact) for what we thought would be her last days/hours. Amazingly, she started to improve but she never regained her mobility and independence she had previously enjoyed, so i moved in with her because there was no way i was letting her waste away in a care home. It was a tiring, sometimes frustrating time for both of us but i wouldnt have it any other way - I would move heaven and earth for my Mum.

Like you, its only now in hindsight i can see just how poorly she was getting in the last few weeks. She died at home with me and my brother by her side, so I just feel grateful she got her wish not to end her days in a hospital ward.

Our lives were so closely intertwined even before this last year, but now i feel like my very soul has been ripped out. I also lost my job due to my caring responsibilities so have to face the prospect of finding a job very soon. The prospect of a future without my Mum there to talk to every day, to hug, just to sit with scares me so much.

I dont have any words of wisdom right now, but i just wanted to reach out and say im so sorry for your loss. Looking on this forum makes you realise how many people are hurting out there. We are not alone. It hurts because we love so much :heart: