I came across this forum whilst endlessly searching for ways to cope with the grief of losing my mum so suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically, 6 weeks ago today.
My relatively fit and healthy independent 85 year old mum tragically passed away after she tripped on her patio, banging her head. She didn’t tell me about the fall for a few days, and told my brother not to tell me. She knew I would be cross that she hadn’t gone to hospital for a check up. A couple of days later I took mum to dad’s grave on the 7th anniversary of his passing and strangely, for my mum, she didn’t seem too upset. For the past 7 years she has been very down and depressed as she missed dad so much (and if I’m honest, it wore me down) but she wouldn’t, and didn’t want to move on with her life. I never wanted her to forget our beloved dad, I just wanted her to smile and be happy again, after all, she still had children and grandchildren. Another couple of days passed by and I rang her saying I would see her at the weekend (she was coming for tea at the weekend), and she made an off the cuff comment about she might not make it. I thought she was being silly, and took no notice, but the following day she rang me saying she really didn’t feel well. My mum was a feisty character, very stubborn, and fiercely independent, so for her to say she wasn’t well was serious. I rushed to her house, calling 111 on the way (she didn’t want me to ring 999, and she certainly didn’t want an ambulance outside her house!). The advice given was for mum to go to A & E for a CT scan, so I took her immediately. She walked into hospital as the walking wounded, still a very proud lady, not wanting to bother anyone. Sadly, the CT scan showed a serious bleed on her brain, but they wouldn’t treat her , as they said she WAS TOO OLD!!! Mum was admitted and observed in hospital (I use the term ‘observed’ loosely, as she was neglected and disrespected by some appalling nurses). She was then going to be discharged without any care. I had to fight every day for information about what was happening. It took 7 hours one day for mum to get pain relief (for a traumatic brain injury), and twice mum was left in dirty clothes for 3 days, and I was told mum has washed and dressed herself. The hospital lied and lied about her condition and her care. Mum was moved 3 times during her time in hospital, and not once were the family told - I turned up to visit her and she wasn’t there, and no one knew where she was - an absolute disgrace. When mum’s condition worsened, we were told mum was being out on end of life care, but not with a proper explanation about why. We were shell shocked - they only told us the day before that she would be coming home. What could have happened ? Why? No communication from staff, no proper explanation, always having to fight to get a doctor to speak to us about our precious mum - all to no avail - to them she was just an old lady, too old to be treated. We were, and still are, so shocked, and there were many questions we didn’t ask. However, the one thing we knew is we wouldn’t leave mum to die alone. We made the decision to stay with her 24/7 until she slipped away. She had always been afraid of dying alone, and my last privilege was to spend the last 5 nights and 6 days by her side in the hospital, telling her how much I loved her.
Mum used to be a nurse - she gave 26 years of her working life as a nurse in the very same hospital where she died, and they just let her die, because she WAS TOO OLD, in their opinion, to be treated!
I didn’t have the best relationship with mum to be honest, probably because we were so alike, but I always had her back, and I loved her unconditionally. Since her unexpected and sudden death, I am traumatised having lost her so suddenly and in this way. No time to say goodbye, all those things unsaid, all the remorse and regrets for being a stubborn defiant daughter all these years, when all she wanted was to be my friend. She knew I loved her, but I didn’t realise how much I loved her until I lost her. I feel absolutely broken, my pain is like nothing I have ever felt before. I literally feel the physical pain of having my heart ripped out, and I am utterly inconsolable.
Thank you so much for reading my story about my mum. I wanted to put down my feelings to help me with my grief - it feels very cathartic to be able to write down my feelings, and know that others understand my pain.