Turn back the clocks please

I sit each day and pour over my text messages to mum how I wish in every single one I told her his wonderful she was and how much I loved her. Our text conversations are lovely. Apart from the last two months with her telling me about her back and I keep nagging her to go to hospital. I sent her 33 text messages about her back in a space of 6 weeks. I used to live near her but living so far away now my hands were tied. I kept calling her and dad too begging her to get that X-ray. Mind you when she did have the X-ray it still showed nothing.

I sent her messages telling her I missed her and wished I could see her. Over the space of a year I told her I loved 6 times. It’s not enough. Nothing will ever be enough.

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…we done our utmost best, didn’t we, some people we love can be so stubborn, my partner Richard ( 74 ) was one of them…i always thought this was a man thing…Yes the rimes i told him about something for months on end to mention to our GP, but as usual Richard put it off, guess he was hoping it would just go away or he did not want to face up to a reality…
We done our best for our loved one…at the end of the day " you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink…" as the old saying goes…


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Morning joules,

5 months ago today, my mum and I went clothes shopping finishing off with a boozy lunch in a pub. We got home, tried on our clothes, hung them up and settled down to a night of tv.
3 days later mum had her mini stroke and 11 days later she was dead. I wish I could turn back the clocks every minute of every day. How did my 74 year old, fun loving mum enjoy shopping and a pub lunch one day then die 2 weeks later?
It just doesnt make sense. I have now deleted our text messages because I found them so upsetting. The last one was on the 11th june when she went to hospital for her carotid artery surgery and she was still waiting at 4pm to be collected. She wrote to me, you just hope they arent going to cancel.
They did, mum came home only to go back in on the 13th and died shortly after surgery.
The text messages were just a reminder of someone who was very much alive and who didnt know they were living their last days. I couldn’t bear to see them every time I went into my inbox.
I nagged mum non stop to go to the doctor or hospital when she was showing signs of her mini stroke but she wouldn’t. And even when she did the hospital started her on aspirin and scheduled surgery but still didnt save her.
As you know I never told my mum I loved her. We just weren’t that kind of family but she knew how much i loved her because of everything i did for her and everything we did together. Your mum also knew how much you loved her.
I cant tell you to stop doing this to yourself because I’m doing it too, every day i torture myself. I’m just hoping that one day we can both tell each other that the guilt has subsided and that we can look back on our mums with happiness. I might be in my 70s when this happens though…


You’re so right. My mum was 74 like your richard and she was so stubborn. She would never help herself and would never let anyone else help her either.
One of the reasons I loved that week between the mini stroke and her surgery was because she let me do everything for her for the first time ever. I cooked her breakfast, lunch and dinner, did her washing, prepared all her medication etc.
This was to be short lived as shenever came home after her surgery but do you know what? It wouldn’t have lasted. If she had recovered she would have gone straight back to who she had been before.
I think mum lived the life she wanted and I have to be grateful that she passed so quickly without fear x

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the irony of this is that my Richard and i watched these tv documentaries on the elderly ( yes we were one of them, me 68, Richard 74 ) who under all the odds were still out driving on our roads and the ones who were still aloud to and the ones who were eventually told to give up driving or were not passed to drive safely, well my Richard always said " he couldn’t see why he would not be one of them who is driving into his 100’s… " If he only knew he was dead, he had died, he would be very surprised…
Of course i am very angry, we both worked hard throughout our lives and now retired so this is the time we should be enjoying our retirement years together but i got diagnosed with MS at age 64, just four years ago which halted both our lives… am angry as we should both be enjoying at least the next ten years as many couples are now doing…



I have often thought that…mum would be so surprised if she knew she was dead. And then I wonder do they know? I like to think they dont. I’m not a religious or spiritual person but I do think there is something. I think someone or something took my mum on her 50th wedding anniversary to save her from suffering. Her surgery was routine and the doctors were happy she was fit and healthy for surgety. So why didnt she survive it?
3 weeks later we learnt from the post mortem that mum shockingly had advanced heart disease, evidence of a historic heart attack and serious plaque build up in her entire vascular system. Its very likely she would have suffered a huge stroke or heart attack in the next weeks or months so it seems she was saved.
It could have been so much worse for your Richard, my mum and joules mum x

Thank you both for your replies. God it’s just such an awful time. I had an ok day yesterday. So I knew today would be bad. Cheryl I was also wondering the other day “is she somewhere dancing with freddie mercury”. Lol. Or is it lights out. I find the whole concept so odd. Here one minute gone reduced to ashes the next. Me and mum were already planning Xmas. I just found a Facebook message that I posted in April. I had to go to the dentist which I hate I posted “mummy I need you”. And she put a laughing emoji telling me I would be fine and it will all be over soon” God I miss her

I wonder the same stuff joules. How can they be here living one minute? Laughing at a joke, laughing at each other, getting food shopping at Tesco and dead the next?
It is so unbelievable.
One day maybe we can look back at these memories and smile? I don’t want yo put a dampener on things but I still don’t smile at memories of my dad and he went 21 years ago. All I feel is sadness x

I could have had a post mortem for Mum and known the true facts about her passing. They asked me if I wanted it. I think my Mum would have very shocked that she passed. We were all behaving like it was a temporary visit to hospital. Life and the people we spend our lives with are far more precious that i ever believed. If only we could turn back time.

It’s just surreal. I keep thinking. How can she not be here. I hope there is an afterlife and she is with her beloved dad watching us and smiling and happy. Mum suffered with mental health problems her entire life which centred around her phobia of cancer and death. When the consultant told her she had terminal cancer she was terrified she died two days later. I think she just lost hope. I didn’t want them to tell her personally. What did she gain from it. She was dying anyway. So I kept saying to her. Let’s get rid of your pneumonia mum and we can take you home. I knew she wouldn’t ever be going home. But I just wanted to give her hope. That she wasn’t going to die in that hospital bed.

Hi daffy,

I turned down a post mortem for mum too. But the coroner insisted that one would be done as they had to know if mums carotid artery surgery had contributed to her death
I am so pleased that one was done in the end because we discovered that’s mum brain hemorrhage was coincidental and not caused by the surgery. We also discovered about mums heart and artery disease. Although it’s horrible, it does show us that mum wasnt going to be making the old age we thought she would. Its also good that mum didnt know how I’ll she was. She would have given up.

We just cant imagine being in that position can we and yet this will happen to us at some point. Its very hard to get out heads round.
I hope they are reunited with their loved ones somewhere too. X

Dad denied a post mortem. But they never knew mums primary cancer. And that lack of knowledge eats me up. Was it a slow growing lymphoma which would explain all her little viruses she got over two years and her saying she was tired all the time. Which we put down to her still working at 70 years old . Was it an aggressive lung cancer Because she smoked and that’s why she had the most awful chest infection. And it was going to kill her anyway. Was it breast cancer or ovary and do me and my daughter need to be careful and be monitored. My head spins with the uncertainty. Her death certificate says “lung cancer metastasised, unknown primary source”.


Did you discuss your desire for mum to have a post mortem with your dad? I discussed it with my sister and she was keen that mum didnt have one. I wanted one because it had been very useful when my dad died suddenly 21 years ago, but I went with her wishes. Also the corknoer said that chances of any answers were slim so we were persuaded. In the end the coroner changed their mind and we got the answers we needed.
However in your mums case it may not have given you the answers you wanted. Unfortunately I am tormented by images of mum being cut open and her organs examined. That’s the downside that you dont have to suffer.
For me, the PM has brought some peace of mind because I persuaded the hospital to give up her surgery and felt so guilty that I had killed her. The PM showed that this wasnt the case. There are positives and negatives x

Yeah dad was really insistent and I too didn’t want to put her body through that aswell unless necessary. Dad said “she had cancer and she’s gone nothing else to know about”. And I know he’s right but I’m the type of person that needs to know the ins and outs of everything.

I think your peace of mind regarding that the surgery didn’t kill her is your mums gift to you. She wouldn’t have minded the post mortem if it helped you. X

That’s a nice way of thinking about it. Dads PM told us that dad had suffered a massive heart attack and was unlikely to have known about it so that was a comfort too x

My Richard had not long driven back from a 30 minute car drive taking our dog to the pet groomers with the intention of doing the reverse trip one or two hours later to go to collect him so on that fateful morning-mid day neither of us had any idea of what was soon to take place, i had the shock of my life when i found him sitting in his armchair…Yes the medic - police or neighbour had said this could have happened to Richard when in the car…


This would have been so awful Jackie. He could have died in a veth traumatic way and even killed other road users.
I believe things happen for a reason jackie even though they make no sense 6 months down the line x

I decided not to put my mothers body through a post mortem. I don’t have all the answers, but if I did it wouldn’t bring her back. I don’t think she would have wanted to be pulled about.