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Grief for my mother

(41 Posts)
maddyone Mon 26-Sep-22 15:17:39

My mother died four days before the Queen died. Her funeral was exactly a week before the Queen’s. I wasn’t with her when she died, I’d gone home with visitors who had driven 240 miles to see her, because I needed to feed them. I thought she’d make it to the next day, but she didn’t, she died shortly after midnight. I feel terrible because I wasn’t there for her. And I miss her so much. We didn’t even always have the best relationship, in years gone by it was difficult. She lived in a care home for the last year and I visited her most days, but not every day. Now I feel terrible because I missed days sometimes. I just miss my mother and want her back, but she’s not coming back.

Septimia Mon 26-Sep-22 15:23:24

I'm so sorry about your mother. It's really hard. I still miss mine and she died in 1996!

As for her dying while you weren't there, there have been a number of threads on GN in which it's been said that it's quite usual for someone to wait until they are alone to die. You were there for her when it mattered and she probably wanted to spare you the trauma of being there when she died. Nothing to feel bad about.

Take care of yourself.

Blossoming Mon 26-Sep-22 15:39:33

Maddyone I still miss my mother, who died in 1996. You lost your mother such a short time ago and your feelings are still raw. I will miss my mother for the rest of my life but the grief and pain do diminish. flowers

Callistemon21 Mon 26-Sep-22 15:44:51

Grief is the Price we Pay for Love
Elizabeth II.

That is very true and even if you didn't always have an easy relationship with your mother maddyone, she was still your mother and you loved her.

Don't feel guilty, it's obvious you did your best and visiting every day is just not possible. We do wonder if we could have done things differently, said something more meaningful but getting upset over regrets stops us coming to terms with what is a natural part of life. Perhaps she waited until you and the visitors had left before she let go - many people do.

It's early days but in the future I hope you'll remember the more positive times.

Inside Our Dreams
By Jeanne Willis

Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’

Doodledog Mon 26-Sep-22 16:00:29

Callistemon is wise.

I think it's almost worse when we lose a close family member to whom we weren't as close as we'd have liked to be, as the grief is mingled with guilt. I know I'll feel that when my own mum goes, but there's not a lot I can do to change it.

I can't offer any better advice than you've been given, but I do sympathise, and sincerely hope that you can find a way to be easy on yourself.

Madgran77 Mon 26-Sep-22 16:18:06

maddyone please don't beat yourself up on what you didn't manage to do. Remember what you DID manage and be proud.

It is early days for you, and even though you two had problems sometimes, she was your mum, and you loved her

And you WERE there for her ...visiting regularly and caring for her guests who had come to see her! She would understand!

It is widely recognised that for some at the end of their life, they "wait" until they are alone to take their final breath. I volunteer in a Hospice and it is SO true that that really does happen quite a lot. flowers

FannyCornforth Mon 26-Sep-22 16:27:54

It will get better Maddy, it really will.
I know that I’ve already mentioned that my mom died weeks before Diana. It didn’t help matters at all.
You obviously did love your mother a great deal, and of course she will have known this flowers ♥️

BlushingSheep Mon 26-Sep-22 16:37:31

I've lost both of my parents within the last two years. I was just starting to feel as though normal life might be an option again when parent #2 passed away. That wasn't too long ago and I found that the Queen's death and funeral knocked me more than perhaps it otherwise might have done because of this.

One thing I've learnt through this seems to be that for many, myself included, guilt seems to be something that is really difficult in the early weeks of bereavement. I know I felt guilty about silly things, too, like seeing something that I know they would have liked and knowing that they couldn't see it (although, perhaps they did, who knows)

Please know that your Mum knew your feelings for her, she would have understood that you'd had to pop away and, like others have said, may well have waited for you to do just that so that she could slip away without causing you the potential distress of being there. (I know this doesn't work, though)

Sending a hug, and my inbox is always open if you wanted a chat.

Joane123 Mon 26-Sep-22 16:58:16

I' m so sorry Maddy, I remember you mentioning the loss of your mother. It is very raw at the moment, your mum knew you loved her. Take care flowers

Katyj Mon 26-Sep-22 17:37:56

So sorry Maddy. Life is so difficult sometimes. Grief has so many faces and what your feeling is just one of them.This happened to me with my dad, we’d only been gone two hours and had a call from the hospital to say he’d gone. It happens like this so often I’ve come to realise this is how it was meant to be.
Please don’t feel guilty, it was obvious from your posts about your mum that even though you didn’t always have an easy relationship ( who does ) that you cared very much. Please look after yourself now that’s what your mum would have wanted. flowers

Shelflife Mon 26-Sep-22 18:01:57

Maddyone, like other people I will miss my Mum forever and still wish she was here . She died in a nursing home having lived three years with us. She was failing and I was at her bedside for 24 hours , the nurse said that evening " you look so tired , why not go home , relax , and we will contact you if we need to. I left at 9pm , arrived home had a hot bath and went to bed. Phone rang at 2am ,Mum was deteriorating! It was 15 minute journey and she had died by the time I arrived. I felt guilty for leaving her that night as I had always thought I would be with her at the end. Don't feel bad about not visiting every day, I had a wonderful relationship with my Mum - she was the best and I was fortunate to have had such a lovely Mum. However when she went into care I didn't visit every day , but she was aways very happy to see me when I did go - about twice a week. It is a very recent loss for you and it will get easier - I promise!! You must now grieve but do take good care of yourself and never feel guilty, you did your best as we all do. Things will begin to feel better as time goes by - thinking of you .

Greyduster Mon 26-Sep-22 18:06:33

I’m very sorry for your loss, Maddy. Guilt is the one thing that many people I know have felt when someone close dies, myself included, even when the guilt is not in any way justified. Try not to dwell on what you didn’t do, and take comfort from everything you did do for your mother. Be kind to yourself.

maddyone Tue 27-Sep-22 10:33:24

Dear ladies, thank you for your very kind posts. I know that what you all say is true, and as you all know, grief takes time to work through and there’s no short cut. Yesterday afternoon was difficult for me because I asked my husband to pick up mum’s ashes from the funeral director and when I saw the box I couldn’t help myself but cried and cried. Anyway the ashes are now together with my dad’s as mum never disposed of them. She asked me to take both hers and dad’s and scatter them in a lovely place in Derbyshire, near to where she was born. Her sister’s ashes were scattered there too, and I believe her beloved dad’s too. We won’t be able to do that till next year though, so for now they’re both in my house.
The kindness shown on Gransnet when posters are struggling is remarkable. It is truly a lovely supportive community, and the vast majority of us have never even met.
Later today my husband and I are going to Greece for ten days. I will be honest and say I don’t really feel like going, but my husband definitely deserves a holiday. He has been so supportive in the practical sense, but he lacks a little in the emotional sense. When his own mother died last year he wasn’t very sad because she was very old and had been in hospital for five weeks, and he regarded her death as the end of her suffering. He feels the same about my mother. I know he’s right of course, but I can’t be quite as practical as him. I miss her. I loved her despite everything. Thank you for understanding.

henetha Tue 27-Sep-22 10:36:02

I am truly sorry, Maddyone flowers.

Shelflife Sat 15-Oct-22 23:00:52

Hope you were able to relax a little in Greece and had time to reflect on your Mum's life. I do know how hard it is, I wrote a letter to my Mum after she died telling her how much I loved her and letting her know how what her GC and GCC were up to. Silly really but it did help - I keep it safe and read it when I feel sad. You will always have her in your heart and will always miss her - but we learn to live around the sadness and the pain does ease with time. The sun ? will shine again - honest !!

Prentice Sat 15-Oct-22 23:10:54

Maddyone your grief is still raw and you want your Mother.
No matter how old we are we still want our Mothers, it shows they have been good ones.
Nobody can be at the bedside every moment of the day, it is just not possible, so do not feel bad about this.It will get better in time for you.

madeleine45 Sun 16-Oct-22 00:01:53

i hope you can enjoy your holiday a little , even though you will be thinking of your mum every day. Being away might be a little helpful as you wont be especially reminded of her as you would in favourite walks or places at home. My lovely husband died and I have had to move house leaving my precious garden etc and all the things we did together , and due to health problems I have had to even change the car as I cant get into low down cars anymore. So today was actually a lovely sunny autumn day, I went out to do something and as it was so nice, I carried on and went up to our special place at the top of Swaledale. We used to go there and take coffee and see the birds and the beautiful countryside. I scattered his ashes there. So today I went up to our place and actually walked about a little and said aloud , well it is so lovely here and I hope you approve of the car swap. Sounds crazy to some people, but after a bad few weeks I found it a very worthwhile trip and calming and relaxing, away from all the awful news and worries in the world at the moment. So maybe as time goes on you will be able to find somewhere that meant a lot to you and be able to just feel you can go there if you need or want to. It could be just in your garden or swimming or whatever means something to you and although no one else will know it , for you that will be a special place. I also have a little thing I do , remembering my wonderful granny , who meant so much to me. She used to say dont put flowers on my grave , give them to someone to enjoy. So I planted snowdrops and iris reticulata on the grave, but on her birthday and the day she died, I like to buy a small bunch of flowers , or a little plant in a pot. Nothing flamboyant. Then I give them to someone who I think would enjoy the surprise, of a little gift , not on a birthday or anything . Just unexpected and usually I try to get good perfumed flowers. I dont mention my granny, that is my memory of her and the things she did for others, but it does lift the spirits and I feel I have made my little acknowledgement. She died in 1961 and I have done it every year since then, and see it as a memory and connection with her. At the moment it is too raw for you, but possibly something like this, or perhaps , if you have a garden, planting something you connect with her especially would be comforting for you. Wishing you some rest and relaxation and peace

crazyH Sun 16-Oct-22 00:20:17

So sorry Maddyone- Reading your post, I am really worrying about my daughter and wondering how she will cope when I’m gone. She is divorced. Her 2 children are in Uni. I really hope she will find a nice young man, to share her life. Love is painful. flowers

maddyone Sun 16-Oct-22 10:37:29

Thank you for kindness everyone. I’m so sorry for your loss madeleine flowers
I enjoyed our time in Greece, and found it helpful. Of course I miss my mother a enormously, especially now we’re home again. It’s difficult time.

Bea65 Sun 16-Oct-22 10:46:55

maddyone as much as going away was difficult..coming back home will be too..believe whatever our ages we all miss our mothers' deeply...thinking of youflowers

ParlorGames Sun 16-Oct-22 10:53:16

I am so sorry for your loss maddyone. It is still early days although I miss my Mum dreadfully and she died in 2012.

I don't think we actually 'get used to'a loved one dying', more a matter of learning to live differently without them.

Sending hugs to you and anyone else grieving.

maddyone Sun 16-Oct-22 10:54:48

You’re right Bea I think I was able to enjoy Greece because my mother never went to the place where we were, and so there were no memories there to remind me. I thought about her every day, especially when I woke up, and I had a few tears now and then, but the different place was good for me. Now we’re home, all the memories flood back.

BlueBelle Sun 16-Oct-22 11:05:57

Please don’t beat yourself up maddy I was with both mum and Dad but with Dad I just sat there watching him breathe it was like I was in a trance and afterwards I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t held his hand he was on morphine so was drifting away but why oh why didn’t I hold him I just sat watching him breathing waiting for that last breathe
There is always something to beat yourself up about I had sat with my Nan nearly all afternoon and one of my three small children called me and I went to them I was probably gone half and hour and when I went back she wasn’t breathing I felt so guilty and that was 30 plus years ago and it’s never left me
I had to shed a tear over this post for your mum and my mum dad and precious grandparents I come from a tiny family and they were all I had I still to this day miss them so much
*Parlourgames’ my mum and dad both died in 2012 it still hurts so much and two of my closest friends lost their husbands it was not a good year

Blossoming Sun 16-Oct-22 11:20:13

I’m glad you enjoyed Greece MaddyOne, making new memories is part of the healing process and it doesn’t mean you forget the old ones.

maddyone Sun 16-Oct-22 12:06:19

Yes you’re right Blossoming. We have to make new memories.

BlueBelle,your post brought tears to my eyes. I think we all feel guilty because of what we didn’t do, whereas I’m told we should remember all the things we did do. I wasn’t with my dad when he died either. He was also on morphine and when given his last dose simply collapsed and died. I’d been at the hospital with mum the previous day, but mum was old and felt she couldn’t sit up all night with him, and needed to go home to sleep as it was late. I felt I should go with her as she shouldn’t be alone at such a time. He died at 6.30 the following morning. With mum I feel the guilt because I felt sure she was sleeping and would last till the following day, but I misjudged. I should have stayed and I didn’t. I have to live with that now.
You’re right BlueBelle. We don’t forget these memories and probably always feel regret. I guess it’s part of life.