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Coming to terms with the loss of my Mum (97).

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
It's over three weeks now since my mother died at her care home, after being discharged from hospital with untreatable pneumonia and 'terminal dementia' - I quote from the hospital notes.

We'll be having the funeral this Thursday - a requiem mass followed by a committal service at the crematorium and a sympathy buffet at a local hotel.

Later on I'll have to organise a service for the interment of my mother's ashes with my father's in the East Midlands town we used to live in.

I am sleeping better now, but still feeling heavy-hearted and at times of emotion, such as going to church or talking over the phone to a relative, I feel faint and weak. It seems a bit less unreal now, but I am still worrying that something will go wrong with the arrangements I've made.

Altogether, this period feels like limbo, and I'll be glad when it's all sorted out.

I'm starting this thread for two reasons - firstly, because it helps me to post, and if anyone is kind enough to respond, that is great too. And secondly because I've learned a lot by reading of the experiences of others, so who knows - this might help someone in the future.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,536
Kent
The time between death and funeral is difficult and you do sort of feel in limbo especially once all the arrangements have been made and you are just waiting. I also felt that after years and then months or weeks as end of life gathered steam there was so much to do still and that keeps you going until...
Nothing...silence...it's over. Some people say in trying to be helpful ...they had a good innings if they are elderly when they die...and I do know it must be equally or more difficult to come to terms with a younger person passing away especially in traumatic or sudden circumstances but...I sometimes think differently...you have had that parent around for longer which is a blessing but also it feels then illogically that they will always be around...makes no sense but then dementia doesn't either!!

You will see from other posts that carers still feel in limbo months or for a long time after....maybe it is a reaction to hard intense person centred caring for someone so deeply loved for so long. There isn't an answers all manual for dementia caring and the same applies to the grieving process...we are all different but have experienced similar things. I am sure Thursday will go as well as these things can and you have covered everything diligently...your mum would be very proud of you and the arrangements you have made
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,013
London
I always feel I cope best when I have something to do and after a funeral all the frantic preparations are suddenly over, although sometimes admin can linger on. It's quite difficult to get into a normal rhythm again - I'm not sure I've managed myself yet. I'm not surprised you feel weak and your health might take a hit for a while. You might find that people will ask you what you'll do next or urge you to go back to work or something when you don't know what you'll do next yet. Don't let anybody hurry you, and you have the right to be out of sorts for quite a while.

Much love. We're always here.
 

malengwa

Registered User
Jan 26, 2017
257
Hi Marcel, I'm there too, I think a few of us are at the moment.
It's a month since I lost mum, she wasn't as old as your mum, but as you say, parents have been there your whole life and their death, although expected at some point, is still significant.
Having been through the death of a child, and now the death of a parent, they are just different. My son was 9, there was less 'life' to remember, but it was sudden and tragic and it's the wrong way round. On the other hand, mum was mum for over 50 years, and she had a life before me, a life I have learned more about recently. There is dad to think about, who knew mum his entire life, and I want to be there to support him too. Mum was ill, we were anticipating her death, but I still sobbed my heart out.
I panicked in the days before the funeral and worried I had forgotten something or something would go wrong. But by the time it came I was so poorly with this virus thing, I was on automatic. It's a blur now.
I went back to work today but have had several wobbles and in many ways feel maybe I have gone back too soon. But work helped me in mums final weeks, I suspect it will again, but I'm trying hard not to underestimate how much the caring and then the emptiness takes out of you.
I am trying to learn to be kind to myself, but finding that difficult.

I hope the funeral goes as well as such things can, then and only then take that deep breath, and give yourself some time to grieve.
 

Prudence9

Registered User
Oct 8, 2016
478
Ahh Marcelle, I was wondering how you were doing.
I've been reading your recent posts, helping others, as have so many on here who are grieving, and wondered where on earth you get the strength?

The limbo is dreadful isn't it, you want the funeral over but don't want to say that last goodbye. And yes, fully agree with love.dad.., the older they are, the longer you've had them in your life.

I hope all goes well on Thursday, will be thinking of you xxx
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
Ahh Marcelle, I was wondering how you were doing.
I've been reading your recent posts, helping others, as have so many on here who are grieving, and wondered where on earth you get the strength?

The limbo is dreadful isn't it, you want the funeral over but don't want to say that last goodbye. And yes, fully agree with love.dad.., the older they are, the longer you've had them in your life.

I hope all goes well on Thursday, will be thinking of you xxx
Thank you very much, Prudence - you were so supportive when Mum was in hospital. xx
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
Today is 'Indigestion-and-Sciatica' Day - not pleasant (getting better a bit now) but at least I have an excuse for not starting the housework necessary for the rellies dropping by on the day of the funeral. :)

The lady from the Co-op Funeral Service rang today to go over details. Tomorrow afternoon & evening I'll be going to pick up my sister, niece and grand-niece from the station. It will be good to see them.

The siblings I've spoken to on the phone are the same as me - feeling sad all the time, but meanwhile the brain is turning things over and keeps popping up memories from early childhood involving Mum.
 

Scouts girl

Registered User
Jan 18, 2017
309
I do hope Thursday goes well for you. My mums funeral was on 20th December following her death on 29th November. During those couple of weeks I went into overdrive making arrangements etc, as felt if I stopped I would just dissolve into floods of tears and unable to cope. You experience such a mix of emotions don’t you, such deep sadness that our mums aren’t with us anymore and will never see them again but also relief that they are no longer suffering from this awful illness. Like others I had mum in my life for nearly 69 years and they were such happy years and so many fond memories to share. Life is so short and we take whatever it brings to us but I was never prepared for the impact dementia would have on me and my family and the suffering my lovely mum had to endure even if it was for a relatively short time. We all grieve differently and for me it comes in waves but with the support of friends and family I hope that we will all find strength and comfort. My thoughts are with all of us who have been through this journey and hope that this year will bring us peace and good health which we all deserve.
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
Thanks for your post, Scouts girl - it feels so good that we're all supporting each other. xx

You are right - even though Mum was better out of it, I miss her. Strangely, I wish I could ask 'the old Mum' about the funeral and tell her about the family all getting together!
 

Lmh1977

Registered User
Jan 7, 2018
39
I hope all goes well for you on Thursday. I hope all your wonderful memories of your mum will give you strength and comfort. Thinking of you and your family
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,268
East Midlands
Hi Marcelle I hope everything has gone well for you today & sending you big hugs & love & best wishes. Thank you so much for your support, it really has been much appreciated xx
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
Thank you, Kikki - that is so nice of you.
I'm just back after the requiem mass, cremation service and finally the sympathy buffet. There were no serious hitches and all went well. Shattered now, but no need to worry for a while.

Dear spouse is just making me a restorative mug of soup but I hope to be back online later to look at the threads - I hope you & your Mum are getting on okay?
Sending best wishes 'till I return'. xx
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,626
Yorkshire
Yes, I'm pleased with how it went. My brothers and sisters were there and very supportive. There were neighbours and friends there, and a deacon from a neighbouring parish, so as the local link I spent most of my time at the sympathy buffet with them. After they went home, we moved our chairs into a circle - thirteen family members - and chatted and caught up on news. It's been a long time since we all got together, and I hope we can reassemble for someone's positive event, like a birthday, rather than another funeral.

The limousine was five minutes late picking us up, which was a bit nerve-racking; the microphone at the church wasn't working well so people at the back couldn't hear very well; and at the crem, the priest had to keep asking for 'the opening hymn' and the 'final music' for half a minute before they obliged - it got quite embarrassing!

But those were all the bad points. Good points were that I was complimented on my reading of the psalm, and people admired the simple all-white bouquet I'd chosen for the top of Mum's coffin, and my eldest brother gave a very moving eulogy.

Our priest - a young African - was a little difficult to understand on account of his accent, but nobody could fault his warmth or the way he moved us through the liturgy, carefully and movingly. Several people told me that it was a beautiful ceremony.

I'll have to think later on about the interment of Mum's ashes with my father's in Derbyshire - but not yet, not yet... :)
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,536
Kent
Am glad the day you planned went more or less as it should have done and you had a lovely moment of reflection and sharing good memories of your lovely mum with the rest of your family. I hope the next few days are kind to you and send you a virtual hug
 

Tilly cat

Registered User
Dec 24, 2017
11
I am in a similar position. It’s a strange place. Look after yourself as much as you can. Xxx
 

Scouts girl

Registered User
Jan 18, 2017
309
So pleased the day went well for you Marcelle and you were able to reflect on the lovely memories with family and friends. Afterwards it feels quite surreal doesn’t it? I think about mum constantly sometimes with a smile and sometimes with a tear but I know now she is at peace but miss her so much. We, as a family are taking mum back to Scotland at Easter, to scatter her ashes on Loch Lomond as her wish, in the last few weeks of her life, was to go back ‘home’ which to her was her childhood home of Scotland. So I feel we can grant her that final wish. One day I hope I will think of her with more smiles than tears but no matter what she will be so sadly missed. Take care and take time to gather your thoughts. Please keep posting to let me know how you are. Xxx
 

malengwa

Registered User
Jan 26, 2017
257
Glad you got through the day, MarcelLe I found it draining but strangely enjoyable to see family. We are also burying mums ashes later, she wanted to be buried with her mum but there was no room in the grave so we felt this was the best compromise. I was really poorly with this flu bug immediately afterwards, and am still recovering now, 2 weeks later, so do please look after yourself, the body has taken a real knock. I still blub and smile in equal measure
on the plus side, we are today taking dad to see his sister for her 96th birthday. That side of the family were all upset they were not able to come for the funeral, travel, illness etc, but it will be lovely for dad to see them in happier circumstances and l'll be taking the photos we had at the service for them to see.
We brought the flowers from the coffin to dad's garden so that he could see them every day. He said they still look pretty good two weeks on, and has enjoyed opening the kitchen blind every day and seeing them. The funeral home also sent some flower seeds for remembrance so he will enjoy planting those in the spring.