Unexpected sudden tragic loss of my mum

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.


Hello @AliBongo,

I’m Seaneen and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing your story. I hope it has helped to write it down.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful.

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,

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Hi @AliBongo I’m so sorry for your loss .
It seems you had an awful experience at the hospital, my heart goes out to you. It seems so cruel when the elderly are treated like that in hospital.
I lost my darling 85 yo mum on 4th October suddenly to cardiac arrest. There was no time for goodbye nor to tell her how much she was loved.
In one way I am glad she didn’t have to go to hospital as I knew she would have hated to go and I have heard many stories like yours of maltreatment of the elderly. Just awful.

I understand how you feel about your mum since her passing. Mum and I also had our differences over the years as we had very similar temperaments. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. However, like you say, I could never have imagined the enormity of her absence and the realisation of how much I loved her since she passed.
Our mums know and knew how much they were loved. Over the years it’s only human to have had words at times or even difficult periods, but ultimately we share a bond of love with our mums that not even death can divide. You were able to be with your mum at the end and she knew that you were there and that you loved her. Be easy on yourself at this difficult time.
I hope you find comfort here, it helps to put your feelings into words knowing we are all going through the same emotional turmoil.
Sending love and strength.xx

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Kate111, thank you so much for your kind words. It really does help knowing that others understand how you feel, and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Sending my deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your mum too.

May all of our mums, and loved ones who have passed, rest in everlasting eternal peace x

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Hi Alibongo,
Just read your post Same happened to my mum in hosp I phoned 111 because she was being sick and they did a ct scan and found she had a blockage in her small intestiene. They wouldn’t operate as they said she was too old at 89 so left her to die. No food only water for 17 days so she went downhill . I demanded to take her home and she lived for another 3 weeks. By which time she was so so weak and no matter what I tried to give her to eat didnt manage to get her strong enough. I will never forgive the hospital for what they did. Lack of communication was a battle and I had to fight every day for my mum. I couldn’t wait to get her out of teh hospital
Thinking of you
Deborah x

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I’m so sorry to also hear what happened to your mum Deborah. Just tragic, and so uncaring.

Sadly we now also have to go through an inquest (not until the end of June!), and so our pain continues, until a final cause of mum’s death can be determined. Pretty obvious to us, and a complete waste of tax payers money in my opinion. It’s not going to bring mum back, and putting us through this is agony (but it’s ‘the law’) and so painful, having to dredge up our mum’s appalling care and neglect, in the very place where she served her time as a caring nurse to others for most of her career.

May our mum’s rest in peace, knowing we fought for them to the very end :broken_heart:

Hi AliBongo,
This is just awful for you all to go through. I pray you find the strength to go through it.
Yes the pain is terrible and will be with us forever.
Deborah x

Dear @AliBongo . It broke my heart to read your story. Both my mum and my husband experienced some poor care by the respective hospitals they were in. Because my husband’s was an unexpected and traumatic death we too had to have an inquest. Yes it did cause added stress and pain, but one thing I would say is that if the hospital is found to have been negligent, the coroner can and will apportion responsibility and demand a written response from the hospital about how deaths due to negligence or poor care will be prevented in the future. I know it won’t bring your mum back, but you can have the opportunity to fight the injustice she and your family experienced via the inquest. My condolences to you. I hope that in time your pain and trauma will ease and you can share earlier, happy memories of her.

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Thank you for your kind words and reassurance; I sincerely hope the Coroner seeks an apology from the hospital. No, it won’t bring mum back, but it may ease my anger towards their disrespect and lack of care and dignity to mum.

Today is 56 days since mum passed (not that I’m counting! ) and today is the first time I have thought ‘I need to enjoy my life, that’s what mum would have wanted’, so I’m going to put on my ‘positive pants’ and try to have a nice day, without wallowing in my own sorrow. I hate to admit that I’ve been pretty miserable to be around lately. But life goes on, and life is what you make if it, and I’m sure mum wouldn’t want me moping about for the rest of my life.

Thank you for caring. This forum has certainly helped me understand that we all share each others pain, and that everyone cares. x

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