Grieving after losing Mum

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
469
Hi All, my lovely Mum passed away earlier in the year after five years of living with dementia. The last two years were extremely challenging as I'm sure all of you have experienced and know only too well. When Mum finally passed after the end of life care (which our caring GP agreed was a brutal experience for all) I found myself extremely empty, hollow and 'shell-shocked', but strangely I never shed a tear, even at the funeral. This is in stark contrast to the sudden death of my partner several years ago, when she died I cried every day for at least three years - and a time that my Mum was an absolute rock for me despite the fact she must have also been in pain - it's something I never forgot.

I made the decision to give up work 9 months before Mum died to that I could spend more time with her and help her in her time of increasing need - I recognised that she was deteriorating but didn't expect it to end so 'soon'. I am so pleased and consider myself extremely fortunate that I was able to do that, although many of those days were extremely challenging and often very sad. For the last three months of Mum's life she ended up in care which was something I had fought (myself) against as it wasn't what she wanted (my father had previously been in care and passed away with dementia). However, when she went into care she improved dramatically and was no longer frightened or scared, which she was increasingly in her own property with carers attending to her. I continued to visit her every day in care and I kick myself that I didn't organise it sooner as it was a richer life for her.

A few months after Mum's passing I decided that I needed to visit my GP (something I never do). She took the time to call me the week after Mum passed away to see how I was getting on, which was totally unexpected and of course I said that I was 'ok'. When I visited the GP she explained that I was suffering from depression and suggested bereavement counselling. I have since had the counselling and it has helped me immensely, I have been able to understand the awful challenges and emotional stresses that I went through and the grieving that I have done over the years as poor Mum's condition deteriorated. I'm still struggling at times, especially as we are still trying to sell the property and going round to maintain brings back some quite painful and sad memories. I decided to share with you all as there is help out there and bereavement following dementia is unique and can be extremely confusing. I would also like to help others on this forum as I know how alone you can feel trying to navigate through the relentless dementia and care maze, where often you don't know what is the 'correct' thing to do. I'm afraid when I was in the eye of the storm I couldn't look at the forum as I found it too painful and frightening, it was like reading a story where I knew the ending but didn't want to read the plot - in hindsight that was a mistake, I shut myself off and took it all on my shoulders which wasn't sensible or helpful to anyone concerned. One day I'm sure the tears will flow in memory of my wonderful Mum. .
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,627
Merseyside
Welcome to DTP @Pete1.
I’m sorry to read about your Mum & I’m glad you’ve had some counselling.
Please keep posting as you’ll get lots of support here.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,402
Dundee
Welcome from me too @Pete1.

That's a powerful post. I'm so glad you have shared your experience here. I'm sure it will help members in a similar situation. I'm sure you'll find support here on the forum for yourself too.
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,244
East Midlands
Thank you for this post. So much has happened to me since my mum died that I do think I haven’t stopped to grieve properly because there has been so much to do. I’m now in the 5th month of clearing out her bungalow. She was a total hoarder. We are nearly done now ready for the sale but I got really sick of doing it today. The executor has been absolutely useless & has cost me more money off my inheritance & I felt a bit grumpy today if I am honest about all the stress of it all.
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
bereavement following dementia is unique and can be extremely confusing.
That’s what I’m finding out. Nearly 3years on from mums death and I couldn’t work out why the tears wouldn’t stop. I knew I wasn’t depressed but I was confused why anything/everything made me sob wracking sobs.

It’s a strange grief, but grief along with post traumatic stress (of) dementia is a confusing time
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
469
Hi All, something happened today that made me feel so sad. It is so daft I don't know why it upset me so much. I got the local newspaper delivered for Mum for years, and when she went into care I had it delivered to my address and I would take it to the care home and she would 'read' for a while and hand it over to me to read the rest. Anyway, they rang to ask if I wanted to subscribe again...it hit me like a hammer blow how much I miss Mum.
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
471
Yorkshire
Aw x A sad reminded of your mum and how much things have changed now, I think it's natural to be upset x
Just come across this thread. Sorry for your loss @Pete1 x
It sounds like your mum was a great support to you and you were a great support to her too.
Its so kind of you to share your experiences and offer support to others, like me, thank you x
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
469
Thank you @annielou, I always say there's no-one like your Mum. The anniversary of Mum's passing is just before Christmas, it's still hard to take and the memories of the final years are still in my mind, perhaps faded a bit. I feel for all the good people on this forum that are carers or dementia sufferers, I don't think anyone can really understand unless they have walked in those shoes.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
3,764
Nottinghamshire
I've just received an invitation to a memorial annual carol service. It'll be held 8 days before the anniversary of when my dad passed away last year.

I agree you have to have walked in those shoes @Pete1
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
469
That sounds as though it could be quite an emotional affair for you @Bunpoots

I do think when I read all of the issues that the good people on this site have to contend with that there is no real concept outside of the community (if I can call it that) of the relentless every day challenges that this hideous disease presents. I remember at the start receiving a call at work from Mum when I was about to go into an important meeting, she was frantic asking where the children were...I managed to deduce the children were myself and my sibling and Mum thought I was my (deceased) father and Mum couldn't get the concept that I was her son as she thought I was a young child. I remember going to my boss and telling him he would have to take the meeting for me, as I needed to get to Mums (45 minutes from work) explaining what had happened, he seemed extremely put out by it (frankly I didn't give a ****). The sadness and anxiety I felt on that drive to Mums was off the scale - it transpired when the Dr arrived at the same time as me (as I called her) Mum had a UTI and had already moved on from the lost children. That was the spectre of the future. It also made my mind up to put Mum before work. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame people for not understanding the emotional and physical impact, I don't think I could unless I had lived through it.
 
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MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
1,570
Essex
Dear Pete,

I'm sorry to hear about your mum. Five months on I'm still grieving for dad except I feel I am also grieving for mum who passed away eleven years ago. Only people like us will know what it feels to lose a loved one to dementia.

MaNaAk
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,402
Dundee
I've just received an invitation to a memorial annual carol service. It'll be held 8 days before the anniversary of when my dad passed away last year.

I agree you have to have walked in those shoes @Pete1
Oh that’s hard. These anniversaries and special occasions are always hard but I think even more so at this time of the year.
 

minet48

Registered User
May 23, 2014
46
Dear Pete,

I'm sorry to hear about your mum. Five months on I'm still grieving for dad except I feel I am also grieving for mum who passed away eleven years ago. Only people like us will know what it feels to lose a loved one to dementia.

MaNaAk
Hello MaNaAk. I agree with you and Pete. My sympathy to you both. What you said, MaNaAk, struck a chord. I feel I never got a chance to grieve for my dad who died just before Mum (who died recently) was diagnosed with dementia. Now it has caught up with me. I do try to remember that people don't know what it's like unless they have experience of dementia but it's hard to feel so isolated in your grief. I'm very grateful for everyone who posts.