Struggling with the loss of my adult son

I flew out to California last Dec to help with my adult sons latest open heart surgery. He’s had many but this was a biggie. He never came off the ventilator and caught MRSA and pneumonia which became sepsis. 27 days after surgery we were told he was brain dead. We let him slip away quietly on 24th Jan and my heart is truly broken. Every day hurts, there’s no cheeky messages via messenger, no emails requesting I bring him Gregg’s sausage rolls and crumpets, it’s torture. Seeing him slowly die in such an undignified way, all his organs failed, I cannot stop the images. My beautiful silly son will forever be 35 and it’s so painful, I don’t know what to do.


Hi Lcc59,
I lost my son just a year ago now,he was 31 years old,and I struggle every day with the pain of losing him.A parent should never have to lose a child,it’s not the right order.
I try really hard to draw strength from the fact that he’s at peace and not suffering.
When I can’t get to sleep I wrap my arms around a large pillow I have and imagine I’m wrapping my arms around my son and it gives me some comfort.He always wanted a hug or a cuddle.Their never too old are they?
I hope you find some peace and be kind to yourself.
Love Jayne x


Thank you Jayne, you’re right no parent should outlive a child. The loss of his future is too hard to handle, never getting to celebrate his birthday, Xmas or living a long and happy married life. His wife is a widow ant 31. You’re also right about the hugs, I mourn the fact that I’ll never get to hug him again. He was supposed to get through this surgery as he’d done before not catch mrsa and pneumonia in the hospital. He was such a lovely person and this was borne out by the amount of people that came to his funeral, we had to open the doors to allow people to stand in the halls and in the car park. That made me smile that they all loved him too. I will never get over this but have to try to get better enough to be here for my two other son.


Im so sorry you have been through a dreadful time. The pain is unbearable, unfortunately, people want you to be the person you were before. That’ll never happen.
My lovely boy had been ill with severe MH issues since he was 18. I cared for him throughout all the trauma. He was 41, seemed to be better than he had ever been. He had taken up boxing and was happy. He told me he didn’t feel well, was blue lighted into hospital with pneumonia. He was dead within a week from lung cancer. The shock is unbelievable. He was in an induced coma so i couldn’t even say goodbye. Im absolutely broken . It was just me and him against the world, i still have so much love for him xxx


We too were blown away by the amount of people that attended our son’s funeral.
Our church is so small but there were about 350 people standing at the back 3 deep although I didn’t see them at the time as I couldn’t look up.
I did however speak to everyone at the end and was truly touched by their heartfelt messages.
My son obviously touched so many people and I’m sure your child did exactly the same.
We are mothers in grief and only us no how utterly painful this journey is.
Love to you,
Jayne xxx


You’re right Penny11, I’m not the same woman I was before we lost my son. He passed in California and my husband (his stepfather) wasn’t with me and can’t understand why I’m different now. I’ve not got to the anger part in grieving that I’ve heard about, I just get angry with my husband when he touches my son’s urn with his ashes in. I’m angry that he’s daring to touch the urn, it’s not his son and he doesn’t understand. His kids are alive and well and one of mine isn’t. I miss my son so much, he was so caring and thoughtful. I’m so sorry your son passed so quickly, it’s too painful to lose a child. I don’t think I’ll ever be truly happy again, my three boys are now two :disappointed:

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It’s a terrible thing to go through. I can’t even get his ashes from the undertakers I’m so upset. My sister thinks i should as it would ‘be comforting’ . I am completely broken. I truly hope you find some peace. I can chat any time you need some help x

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Penny11 I don’t know if having his ashes at home is ‘comforting’ as such, it’s just I have him with me. Flying home from USA with him was an awful experience. I’m very close with his widow but I’m so far away, I can’t properly be that shoulder to cry on from here. She’s suffering some mental health issues since he passed and that’s so very sad, he loved the bones of her and he wouldn’t want her like this. Thank goodness for the internet, at least I can be at the end of a line for her.

I can’t sleep well, I stay up to the early hours and every night at 11:47 I stop everything and talk to him or write him a message. It was 15:47 in California when we let him slip quietly away but because I’m back here I do it at the time it would’ve been here. I’m very ocd about it, I feel the need to do this every night.

I wish I had gone round and talked to everyone that came to the funeral but I didn’t as I felt awkward. It took all my energy to read his eulogy and although some people came up to me I really do wish I had done it.

We really are mothers in grief and our hearts will be forever broken. Every day I tell my son I’m honoured to have been his mother.

Thanks for sharing x

Don’t harbour any regrets,you did as much as you could do. I couldn’t possibly have read out my son’s urology at his funeral,so well done you.
We all find out what our strengths are on this devastating journey and you will find yours in time.
Time being the operative word.
In time we will just learn to live a different way but never not without pain.
I send you all my love and support.
Jayne xxx

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Hi ladies
I lost my son in July this year he was 37 he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in December 2019 5 months after I lost my mum. By August 2020 he was bed bound unable to move his legs and he could only use one arm. It was horrendous for him as he was very fit and active never drank or smoked he found it very hard to accept what this illness did and took away from him. He left behind a wife and young daughter who is only 6. Myself and his wife have never really got along so we are no longer able to see our granddaughter which just adds to mine and my husband and other sons pain. I have been finding it very hard to cope without him I was there with him when he passed the last few days befire he died were horrible the district nurses decided to stop all his food and drink in case he chocked. He lived in a bungalow from November 2022 with 24 hour carers as it became too much for his wife to cope with and he wanted to give his wife and daughter a better life. I visited him every day sometimes twice a day whilst he was there and he phoned me 3 or 4 times every night during the night just to talk. I wish I had stopped the nurses taking away his food and drink I know he was deteriorating but I told them they were killing him by doing this but all they did was just drugged him up so he did not know what was happening he could not even speak but I still spoke to him all the time hoping that he could hear what I was saying. I am having counselling at the moment to try and help I wish I believed that there was something after death but I am not religious and I am sceptical if there is anything after death and I have not had any signs that he is ok. It is wrong in so many ways that your child should die before you and it just seems so unfair that he should die but I just take each day as it comes some are good and so are terrible but I try and carry on as best I can.
Anyway thanks for listening and its nice to be able to read all your comments its does help to know that there ate people out there that really understand how I feel
Take care and try and enjoy Christmas as best as you can
Kim xx

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I am so sorry for you , my son died on 17th July 2023. He had mild cerebral palsy and moderate learning disability and epilepsy under control. He was 47 but he was still my baby, it does hurt. I wonder why they did not fit a peg in if your son could not take food or fluid?

I’m so sorry that you’ve lost your beautiful son, you obviously had a lovely bond with him. It’s a very painful path we walk when we outlive a child. I lost my 35 year old son in January and it’s still so raw for me. I grab comfort in knowing I sat by his bedside for 27 days and spoke to him constantly. I like to think he heard me. I also didn’t agree with how his condition was handled by the hospital but they are the ones that are supposed to know what to do so I let them. I will always regret not pushing for more investigation into his infections on the day before he crashed. He was struggling for breath and his temperature was so high but they said it will be okay. If I had pushed harder would they have listened? I don’t think so, they were already ignoring my pleas. I know you say you and his wife do not get on but do you think that you could try one more sit down with her and have a calm conversation? I really hope you can get access to your granddaughter. I have a daughter in law who is missing my son so much, they adored each other and we help each other emotionally. She has her faults, we all do, but I know that she was devoted to my son so she will always be a part of my family. I feel, like you, that it’s so unfair that our beautiful boys have no future in this life. I have a belief there is something after this life, I think its been the biggest thing I can hold on to. Every night before I close my eyes I talk with my son and tell him I’m honoured to have had him as my son.

Please be kind to yourself and when it gets too much just breathe, just try to concentrate on your breaths until you feel better. We loved our sons so very much and that is reflected in the grief we share.

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Hi all , no it’s not right that our children should go before us and yes they will always be our babies no matter what age they are. It seems we all carry guilt of some sort or another when obviously we did the best we could at the time. It’s over 2 years for me and it’s the guilt that holds me back, all the what ifs and should haves. My son went suddenly during Covid so they would not let me see him in hospital , only when they turned the machine off and then I was all gowned up so could not touch him properly. I hang on to the hope I will see him again one day , and am just waiting . It seems like we all go through the same feelings that we really would not be aware of if we didn’t come on here, as no one outside really talks about it. I find that comforting to know I am not strange or alone in my roller coaster of emotions . Take care all .xx

hello sad to say this is a night mare we are always here for support


Im struggling tonight. I miss my lovely boy so much. Im still in shock from the cruel way he died. Christmas without you is hard. Im completely on my own now, I have no one.

@Penny11 I’m sorry you’re struggling, this awful nightmare we have to relive every day is far too painful. Watching my son’s body fail day by day runs through my mind every day. I’ve shut myself away from people so I know how you feel. I don’t know what to suggest other than keep on sharing on here, everyone here is experiencing the same pain. We’re all members of a club that none of us wanted to join, the loss of a much loved child.

Thank you for your reply. It really helps to know people understand your pain. I would love to hear from anyone going through this x

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this is a night mare some days i feel i want to join my son alec a cruel way to go

Like I tell my GP when she asks if I have thoughts of killing myself ‘that is a luxury I don’t have’. It’s hard to be going through this every day, ending it would stop the pain. If it weren’t for my two boys I would.