Thinking of the bad stuff

Hello everyone, after a run of ‘good days’ perhaps it’s sorting of mums ashes / buying her headstone that’s made me crash.
My question is, is there any benefit to thinking about the horrible memories, hospital, her decline, etc? When I find myself thinking about it shall I go with it or deliberately try to block it. You get no points for suffering I guess? It’s been 4 weeks this Monday since the funeral.

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Hi @Shhilly
I know … it’s been nearly 5 months and I still rewind and replay those last days in my head. Mum was poorly but she ultimately passed suddenly.
I think it’s our brain’s way of trying to proceess the loss and make sense of it. I read somwhere that we shouldn’t focus on the things that make us suffer even more in our loss and obviously those memories make us suffer. The advice was to redirect our thoughts to a more positive/happy memory of our loved ones, or all the things we did do to help them.
This seems easier said than done at times. I guess it’s all part of our grief journey.
Sending love and strength.x

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Hi Shhilly,

I lost my dad in November 2022 and have struggled with my thoughts since then. My dad deteriorated and passed away 8 weeks after a cancer diagnosis. I have a lifetime of wonderful happy memories but I have found that since losing my dad I have been stuck in a cycle of going over every detail of those 8 weeks.

Some days or weeks are worse with these ‘bad’ thoughts and they often happen at night before I go to sleep. When I am thinking clearly I know that my dad would tell me that I took great care of him but when I feel desperately sad I seem to almost focus on these thoughts.

I have mentioned this at my counselling appointment and the counselllor suggested that I try to be more curious about my thoughts. If it’s a self punishing thought to think realistically what I could have done differently (nothing, I did everything I could). Questioning is the thought helpful or harmful and why am I thinking these thoughts, rather than just letting my mind churn them over with no control.

It may not be helpful for you but I am trying to be more mindful and not just accept everything that my mind tells me.

Take care.
X

Thank you both very much, I will certainly make an effort to re direct the negative thoughts. Like you both, I did all I could to help mum, with what I knew at the time. The brain is a bizarre thing, it robbed me of mum and now mine is punishing me too but I guess it’s early days and these horrid thoughts are all normal I fear xx

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Thanks Shhilly, I think these thoughts are very normal. I know from posting on here that feelings of guilt are very common even when we did everything we possibly could for our loved ones. I think maybe our minds are searching for an answer to a profound loss that seems incomprehensible so it goes down every possible avenue. I hope in time that my dad’s illness and him passing is less at the forefront of my mind and instead I can focus on all of the happy memories.

You are not alone.
Xx

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Hi Shhilly
I think focussing on the negative thoughts is very natural.I still feel very angry about certain things that happened in the hosp mainly the lack of communication,the attitude of quite a few doctors and even one nurse who treated mum.I can’t get many memories out of my head and never will. I have tried blocking it as nothing will bring my mum back but that still doesn’t work. I am not sure how I will ever get over it Thinking of you Deborah x

Thank you, it’s very hard this journey isn’t it? I wasn’t prepared for each day feeling so different. I’ve been angry too, confused, manically googling dementia, torturing myself for not noticing vascular dementia and mum was never formally diagnosed. We just thought it was depression and reaction to meds, no GP, care staff or anyone during hospital admission ever mentioned it which I was angry about I feel I could have dealt with things differently. So then there’s guilt. Xx

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So sorry everyone is going through this, but at least here people understand xx

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Hi @Shhilly I know what you mean. For the first 2 months after mum died I was frantically googling heart failure. I felt cheated that we hadn’t been informed by mum’s heart nurse about the possibility or rather liklihood of sudden cardiac death. They just didn’t have that conversation with us ever…I just presumed mum would get gradually worse.
I felt I needed to know what was going on in those last days. I now think it was clear that her kidneys were failing and causing high potassium which caused a fatal arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
Of course at the time I thought it was sickness and diahorrea which she’d had before.
I feel that if we’d been better informed, maybe I could have seen exactly what the symptoms were.
Googling helped me get answers. I know nothing will bring mim back, but understanding what had likely happened helped me.
Guilt is a normal part of grief, but remember we aren’t doctors, we are just humans and we did the best we could given the information we had at the time. Of course we would have wanted to save our mums, but it was out of our control.
Be kind to yourself, some days are worse than others, it’s exhausting isn’t it?
Sending love, Kate xx

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Hi Shhilly,
We do indeed understand so post whenever you want. Emotions are all over the place and it is normal apparently to feel guilty. For some reason I expected my mum to live for ever as daft as that sounds but she was so young at heart for an 89 year old.
I am just googling everything i can at the moment looking for some answers to the many I have.
Deborah x

Hi All, my mum died at home a year ago but for the last 3-4 years of her life she was in and out of hospital a lot, mostly with chest infections or UTIs. I live near the hospital and pass it often, and I still think of the times my mum was there. When I see people going into the hospital to visit their loved ones a part of me wishes I could go back in time to when I would be going into the hospital to visit my mum, just so I could see her again. Then I feel bad because a part of me also knows my mum dying was a release from her frailty and illnesses (she was bed-bound in the last months of her life.) Grief can be very confusing sometimes. I know when I think of my dad, who passed way over 6 years ago, I can think of times when he wasn’t ill more easily, and hope in time I can do that with my mum. Take care all, Mike

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It’s all so confusing Mike isn’t it. Where I am at this moment in time, the thought of going into that hospital makes my blood run cold. Like your poor mum, mine was in and out alot, and her last days were there. A nebuliser was going at work too the other day and I had to take myself away.
I can’t think of much yet prior to mums stroke but hope I do eventually even if it’s a dream but I’ve not even had that x

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Hi Shhilly,
I think it’s very natural to dwell on the difficult times and the suffering of those we love when they pass for as long as we need to. Of course it doesn’t help to torment yourself but if you need to shed a few bucket loads of tears for your Mum’s hardest times then allow it to happen is my opinion. After 3 years losing my Mum I still have my times when I think of her ill and suffering, but I do allow the good memories in more as time goes on. My Dad passed in Jan this year and I’m thinking of him poorly and suffering right now. It feels right and natural that I cry for his pain and I try not to fight against it. You’re doing so well. Hang on in there one day at a time

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Hello Helen, thank you for the message and sorry you are suffering too. I guess there’d be something wrong if we weren’t upset seeing those we love suffer hey? It would be impossible to sit at someone’s bedside and watch them pass without mulling this over and having flashbacks. I’m having a better day today, who knows what tomorrow brings, but I hope you are doing best you can on this horrendous journey xx

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Reading this is really helpful to me. My mum died four weeks after diagnosis and one of the thoughts that gets me is replaying the final weeks and wondering if I cared for her properly or if the outcome would have been different if I’d done anything differently. Like your Dad, my Mum would say that I took great care of her and would have known that I was doing my best.

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So glad it’s proved helpful xx We all did our best in the most horrendous circumstances, I know that much x

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Hi SarahT2,

I’m very sorry for your loss.

It’s really difficult to lose a parent so soon after diagnosis. We had 8 weeks with dad from diagnosis to him passing away but it felt like 8 minutes. No time to process what was happening and having to make critical decisions with only the information we had at the time.

I am trying to be mindful about my thoughts but still thinking about everything that happened with dad in those final weeks. It’s just so confusing as dad went from being so fit and active to gone merely weeks after getting the diagnosis. I can’t understand it.

I do know that I could only hope to have someone to care for me and love me the way I and my family loved my dad. I know I did my best.

X

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Hi Katherine 86
Same here Five weeks after being told mum was very ill she passed and just hope I did everything I could for her under the terrible circumstances
Like you I think about it all
Thinking of you and hope you are feeling okish
Deborah x

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It’s awful to know there are so many people suffering grief like this but it is also comforting to hear that other people are struggling with it because I sometimes worry I am going mad.

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SarahT2
Yes agree I feel I am going mad also. My whole personality and appearance has changed due to grief. I have lost my zest for life, my sparkle and my enthusiasm to do anything I am just existing to be honest. I am grateful to me husband and son for understanding the state I am in because it cant be easy living with me like this. Sad , miserable, cant be bothered to answer people , drifting through each day in a blur. That is the state I am in at the moment.
Thinking of you
Deborah x

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