What I wish I had done

When we were told my mum only had a few hours left. I stroked her face held her hand. Rubbed her legs. Played her favourite music. Talked of all the good times. She was unconscious. We laughed and we were silent. But I just realised I didn’t cuddle her as she died only after she died. She had such terrible back pain because of the cancer I didn’t want to hurt her I think. Now it’s all I Can think of. Why didn’t I cuddle her as she died.

Joole cuddles aren’t just physical, they are emotional, spiritual and your Mum would know that you were there, if you had of cuddled her you would be sat here thinking did I hurt her when I cuddled her. You did like many of us did what you thought was right at the time, you loved her and gave her everything that she needed and it sounds like she had a good death surrounded by love. Take comfort that she knew that you loved her. X

Thank you Silver lady. I’m having a bad day today. So many regrets. I wish I stayed with her the night she was told she had terminal cancer. But she told me to go home. I had been there for 9 hours with dad. So I left to give her some space and tome to get her head around things as she went practically mute after they told her. And seemed to just want to sleep. But she must’ve been so frightened alone in that hospital that night. She collapsed on the Monday with a chest infection 4 days later they tell her she has lung cancer and is dying. She died two days after they told her.

Your reply was lovely made me feel better thank you.

Jooles I can’t speak for your Mum I was given some bad news myself a few years ago and it is in my nature to shut down to evaluate the news, I was lucky I’m here, which is what I probably have a very pragmatic view of life and death. I am sure that your Mum needed time alone to think and digest, if you had of stayed she would have had to deal with your fears etc and that may have been too much for her, she probably didn’t know what to say or in truth what could she say to you that would have helped. My hubby died 24hours after they told him, we had been in hospital for 8weeks I was there up to 14hours days, I was lucky I had chance to spend quality time with him, I am sure that if you talk to others on here some will say that you were lucky in some respects that you knew she was dying without having to watch her deteriorate and had chance to say goodbye and that is what you need to focus on. Nothing I can say can help you but please take comfort all the thoughts and fears that you are having, we have all gone/are going thru in some shape or form, it seems to be part of our path thru our grief trying to make sense of this awful bloody thing that life has pulled on us. Try to remember your Mum with fond memories, my Dad died on the 8th February the day before my hubby was admitted to hospital, I couldn’t attend his funeral because I couldn’t move more than an hour away from the hospital in case a transplant became available, I wouldn’t leave my hubbys side, I dealt with this by knowing I loved my Dad and he knew it, just the same way your Mum knew she was loved. X

I can’t tell you
How much your words have helped me. I did think if I stay she has to be stoic. So I left So she could cry scream shout. The nurses were brilliant too. And they stayed with her throughout the night. Holding her hand and talking her through what was happening. Something I just did not know how to do. I was in shock. And was quite silent myself. I just kept telling her I loved her. Washed her face. Massaged her legs and arms. Fed her. But I did not have any words. I saw her panicking after the news. And it was the worst thing I have ever seen. My legs were like jelly and I was crying for the nurse to help her. I knew I was not the right person to stay with her during the night. She didn’t ask for dad to stay either. So truly hope we did the right thing to leave her to digest the information. I’m so glad it was quick. I’m not religious but I went to the chapel of rest and prayed for her to go quick.

Hi jooles/silverlady

As usual silverlady has given good advice as she does on all her posts.
I too feel so guilty about many things.
Guilty that I didnt make sure mum looked after herself more, guilty I didn’t make her go to hospital when there was clearly something terrible wrong and guikty that I didnt sit by her side once when she emerged from her operation on life support. I chose to sit for the whole 24 hours in the relatives room and dudnt see her once.
However, mum was a fully active 74 year old with her own mind and didnt mind telling me to stop treating her like a baby if I fussed too much. I tried to take her to hospital when she was showing signs of a stroke but I had no reason to know it was a stroke as the symptoms were not like you see on tv. Again mum told me to stop interfering!
Lastly I’m a complete wreck in hospitals and all I would have done was sit crying and shaking by her bedside. She knew me so well and would have hated me seeing her in that state. I chose to remember her laughing and joking as she walked down to the operating theatre and that is what I must focus on instead of all the what ifs and regrets.
Our mums knew they were loved very much as we demonstrated that throughout their lives. Mum came to live with me a year ago and we had good times. She never wanted for anything and was never lonely. We were always taking her out with us or running her around and she got to live with her beloved granddaughter.
Silverlady, although grieving terribly herself, puts positivity into her posts and makes me for one feel more grateful for what I had x

'My greatest mistake
Is that I never let it show
These feelings I feel
But God I hope you know
How much I love you
I’m never gonna let you go…

Song lyrics by Jack Savoretti

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Thank you all so Much. It helps to get the thoughts out of my head. My brother couldn’t visit the hospital he was traumatised. My mum never asked for him. She knew he wouldn’t cope. In fact my mum kept on looking at me and saying “you look tired go home”. Always worrying about us right up to the end. That was the last full sentence she said to me. Bless her heart. I miss her dearly.

Hi all
Thank you all xxx
At the end of the day the person we have lost were so more than the person who was in the hospital, I believe that unless someone has walked/walking in your shoes cannot say how they would react, we all like to think we know what we would do what we would say, how we would handle the situation, my reply is bullsh*t unless this devastating situation happens to you you cannot know as each illness, situation and the actions and feelings of the dying person are completely different. Reading thru your posts I think you reacted to all of the above in your own way, we all go thru the what ifs etc but the bottom line is you did the best for them and for you, they would be very proud of you. Accepting someone is dying is devastating, I never understood it until I did the longest silent scream in a public toilet, I couldn’t breathe, it hurt me physically, I walked back into the room kissed my husband and finally said you can leave me when you need to, I will be okay. He smiled and said I know you will. That was the end of our death conversation after that we simply touched and kissed. Bottom line I feel for me is I am so proud of the way my hubby handled his death and I am proud that I could be there for him to turn to, you should feel the same way x

Such lovely words from you both. Thank you. I feel i can put that guilt to bed now. And I thank you for that as it’s eaten me up for weeks now, you have no idea the weight you have helped lift from me. I am Thinking of you both and I hope that I can help return any help you may need on here one day. Xx

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I think what this shows is that our guilt is undeserved and incorrect.
I can easily see that your guilt is unfounded and am able to tell you so. You and others can see that my guilt is undeserved but I cant.
None of us have anything to feel guilty about but we still will have these feelings because they are part of our grief.
As long as we remember that others can see that we shouldn’t feel guilt it may help us through.
I know my mum is dead but still say 100 times a day, I can’t believe it. Of course I believe it is true because I havent seen her for nearly 4 months but it’s very hard to accept.
I’m scattering mums ashes next week and although I dont sit and look at them or even believe they are her, I will still cry eyes out next week scattering them.
If only I could erase the last 4 months and go back to the 10th June when she was still here, chatting on the phone and pottering round the house.
But I know I cant and I’ve got to learn to live my new life. It will never be the same again for me x

Life will never be the same again I agree, we have a big part missing, what we can do and have to do is set a new path and try and enjoy it the best we can. It has been helpful on here because it has shown me a couple of things, death, pain and grief are all individual, nobodies grief is any harder or deeper regardless of the relationship to the lost one, there are (in my opinion three types of grievers, a) that simply cannot get pass the loss, b) the in betweeners that will live a half a life c) those that will move forward maybe love again but one thing they all have in common is that the love for their loved one will never change, never alter never fade and most certainly never be forgotten. I am an optimist pragmatic type of soul I don’t know where my own journey will end but I know that my hubby would want me to be the best I can be in all aspects of my life, to live my life to the fullest for me and for him.

You sound like a wonderful daughter who loved and looked after her mum and like silverlady says. Our relationship and love isn’t defined by just that time in the hospital or the illness that lead us here.

I also must say about twenty times a day. I can’t believe she’s gone. Then I go numb for a few hours. Then it hits me all over again. I keep thinking I’ll see her soon and it won’t be true. Or I’ll ring her and she will answer the phone. I went to see her in the chapel of rest. When I walked in I gasped as I honestly didn’t expect it to be her. My head is such a mess at the moment. I can’t think straight for more than a few minutes. But I am now going to go and clean my oven and listen to some music. And just try and be normal for a little bit.

Joole you are normal we all have these thoughts I’ve even got it down to hours minutes to have the chance to say so much to him but I said the words that matter the most I love you. Being practical helps I redecorated the downstairs loo by myself just to stop thinking for a while. For me it’s when I wake when something tickles me on TV or in life, I want to tell him, i can’t, but I do. I talk to him it helps. The image of your Mum in the chapel if rest is just one memory try replacing with one when she was vibrant and laughing. X

You know what I thought? At mums funeral I kept looking at her coffin expecting her to pop out of it and go ‘tada!
Only joking.’
Because that’s what it feels like. One big joke or dream.
To imagine never hearing her voice or laughing with her is just unbelievable.
The house is so empty without her.
Hope the oven cleaning goes well x

I’ve just sat and had a full on conversation out loud with mum. She loved films and music. And I’m playing musical soundtracks from famous films I’m Shouting out to her “guess the film” while I’m cleaning. Glad no one can hear me. Ha ha. But that’s the type of thing we would have done. Just got to keep plodding on somehow. It’s the stuff you want to tell them that’s hard. And the finality of it all I guess.

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