Sudden unexplained death of mum

Hi everyone
I’m new here but two months ago we lost my mum aged 64 very suddenly. She had what we were told was a stomach bug gastroenteritis for a week beforehand and was on the mend, but the ray after she actually started to eat again and feel better my dad found her on her bedroom floor passed away.

We are obviously terribly upset but also the corner could find no obvious cause of death, so has sent biopsies and samples off for analysis. He said it could take up to 8 weeks and we are at week 7.

The anxiety of waiting is absolutely breaking me. I’m terrified it will come back as a heart arrhythmia which will impact myself and my little girl, along with potentially my unborn child (I’m early stages of pregnancy too). The thought of many more months of waiting for appointments, potential genetic screening and results is sucking all of the joy out of life. I’m existing and working and doing everything I need to do for my little girl but there’s no joy.

I’m aware I’m catastrophising but also from everything I gather from reading around, it is a distinct possibility it is something of that type.

I just can’t bare the waiting and am finding myself feeling more and more anxious and angry that we don’t have any answers yet.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? I think I’d find it really comforting. I have friends who have lost parents but is always been a known cause so they have some form of closure.

Thank you for listening :slight_smile:

I understand. We are still waiting on the results for my husband who just collapsed and died whilst out running. We were told up to 12 weeks for the report so could be another 6 weeks for us. It is horrible as it could impact on my children if it’s something that is genetic but also, if they can’t give me a reason I think that will be really hard as well. I don’t know how to comprehend how a life can just be taken without a reason.

Hi to you both and my heart goes out to you both. The situation that you both find yourselves in is beyond comprehension, waiting to know such things is not easy without having to cope with the loss that both are dealing with. I don’t feel there’s much I can say except to hold you both in my thoughts and to say keep posting and reading posts on here because you are both very welcome. Love, blessings and big hugs to you both xxxx

Thank you for your kind words Susie

Thankyou Susie. And Jules I’m so sorry you’re in a similar boat. I hope we both get some answers to allow us to move on a little very soon.

Hi to you both,

I am very sorry for your losses. Unfortunately, I am over a year plus into the same journey.

My dad also passed away suddenly without any prior illness in his sleep in the den. My mom found him the next morning. The last thing she remembers is his smiling face wishing her goodnight.

We deduced that it was a heart arrythmia. He was older than your mom and husband, but not old enough where you would attribute it to old age. Our belief is that he drank too much wine that evening while out with some friends, he is not used to drinking that much, became dehydrated . This combined with some other unknown underlying combination created a very bad situation.

I feel the same way about the hereditary aspect and do plan to have regular heart checks when I get older.

Its very new for both of you. The pain of grief can be unbearable at times. Focus on your breathing when that happens. Be sure to eat and hydrate - being malnourished really does make it feel even worse.

It does improve over time. The initial shock takes a while to subside. The sadness unfortunately lingers, but you learn to live around it.

Sending strength to you both,


Hi EllDubs. I’m so sorry you’ve been through the same thing and for the loss of your dad :frowning:

Can I ask, did the post mortem shed any light on anything? I was under the impression that if they find no cause it goes down as SADS/unexplained arrhythmia and cascade screening begins with family in case it’s something hereditary. I just wondered what your experience of that process was.

I guess I’m hoping that we get answers sooner rather than later and I can focus on grieving without the added worry that I might be in for a similar fate and/or passing something on to my daughter and unborn child :confounded::confounded:

Hi Clarkey,

I am in the USA. Autopsies are not mandatory here unless the death is suspicious or the person was young.

We opted not to do one. Mostly because we were in shock at the time and were thinking that he would not have wanted one done. That decision did lead to many regrets.

Because my dad was peacefully in his chair with a remote in his hand, and a phone within reach, then his was likely on/off sudden. We concluded it was cardiac arrest / arrythmia from the evidence. It could have also been a sudden stroke but his family history does not have that or a heart attack that he mistook for indigestion and therefore did not attempt to get help. His dad and 2 uncles on that side all passed from sudden heart issues in their mid 60’s and late 70’s. Everyone on his mom’s side lived very long lives. Based on his general excellent health and active lifestyle, we assumed he had the luck of his mom’s side.

To answer about us and my kids getting tests: there arent any recommended genetic tests that we know of. We have all had ekg’s and those have been normal.

What tests are you doing? I guess we should look into those.

My doctor did not recommend anything to me. I agree that seems shortsighted.

We do plan to get more extensive heart testing when we reach our 60’s. Calcium scores for sure to check for plaque.

Hi EllDubs, ahh that makes sense then, different procedures in different countries.

We’re still waiting for full post mortem results but I will let you know if/what happens and any genetic tests we have to undergo. My anxious brain is just racing ahead and making presumptions! Need to stop googling…

I’m so sorry to read your story. I my mum suddenly died a year ago and it’s raw still, so very raw and I have questions also, if it wasn’t a pandemic would the end result been different? It burdens me but I feel I also have no answers or no one to ask…

All we can do is keep strong for the heat and now and keep going- hard to say and hard to do x