Mourning for my mother


Registered User
May 12, 2006
west sussex
On the way home from the hospital today I was crying because when the nurse asked mum who I was she replied "my sister". this just made me realise how far mum has now deteriorated. I wonder when mum dies will I cry at the funeral?

Mum ended up in hospital again yesterday, third time in eight weeks, and only having been home 3 weeks since her last stay.

She has deteriorated considerably in the past two months, is now incontinent, and the world that she lives in in her mind is some 50 to 60 years ago, as she wants to go to visit her grandparents, who apparently live in the house opposite us, her aunts and uncles and her own parents, and has not idea whatsoever of where she is or what is going on around her.

Today she also looked frail, only a few short weeks ago she was driving me mad with her hyperactivity.

Only three years ago we watched dad waste away to nothing from parkinsons, and now it seems we may be faced with the prospect of the same for mum.

The doctors at the moment don't know whats wrong with her, she appears to have an infection but they haven't as yet figured it out. Whatever happens, she will come home, and whatever needs to be done will be done, and I will get the help that I need to support her and to support me.

But at the same time I am praying that if we are facing mums final days that she doesn't suffer like dad did, worst still I hope that she doesn't end up like her cousin who is 95 and who is just a shell of the person that she used to be....

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Candy,

It`s heartbreaking isn`t it to watch the deterioration, especially the realization of the depths of the confusion.

My husband has moments of your mother`s type of confusion, even though they are not yet constant. Then he thinks our son is his brother, and he too is longing to visit his grandparents.

This is trying to return to the carefree childhood life, where the sun always shone and life was fun.

Who can blame them? It`s far preferable to Alzheimers. :(

Love xx


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
My mother frequently thinks I'm her sister. To be honest, mostly it doesn't particularly upset me, just makes me aware that I have perhaps been more bossy that usual! My mothers sister was probably the bossiest person in the world, and a person with no sense of humour at all, so when I'm called "Rhoda" it puts me on notice to try an lighten up. Mummy's reasonable aware though: when I point out that I'm her daughter rather than her sister that information sticks for a while. If anything it irritates me in a mild sort of way: she didn't particularly like her sister and it's never pleasant to be confused with someone who is disliked.

Which is not to say I haven't mourned for the loss of my mother often and over other issues - just not this particular one.


Registered User
Jun 5, 2007
hi candy,

i really sympathise with what you're going through. i have been in the same situation as you...only last week sobbing myself to sleep after being told that my mum's confusion was permanent (she too has been in hospital since march, only going home for two weeks in may before becoming ill again and being readmitted). it felt like a part of her had died, and desperately painful to see her so changed.

our situation is a bit odd now as mum has made such a 'recovery' since a week ago that she now appears 'normal' and i don't know whether to think she was suffering from delirium rather than progressing in her dementia. it may well be that she takes another downward turn, i just don't know.

but what i did find, after coming to terms with being told she wasn't going to recover, was that not everything was bad. at times it almost seemed like she had been liberated from something. she would smile more, and be more gentle. she could talk about key events in the past and maybe even work her way through them. and even though we were told not to go along with her stories, we were able to laugh at them together (sometimes!). now that she seems a bit 'better' her deep anxiety about her condition has returned, and her defences are up.

we took her out of hospital for the day for her 70th birthday today and she was so furious with us for being late (actually we hadn't fixed a time) that she refused to even open our cards/presents for hours. by the end of the day she had mellowed, but wow it must feel bad when your physical and mental health nosedive and you're stuck in hospital.

anyway candy, hang on in there! i think the crying/mourning is helpful in some way, and you may feel stronger about what's to come.

lots of hugs, peppa x


Registered User
Feb 12, 2007
My mother rarely knows who I am now. I am usually either her cousin or sister. When she asks me about my "mother" I normally just give her whatever answer I think will keep her happy. Now I can't stand the sight of her darling sister and when she calls me her name it takes all my reserves of self control to just smile sweetly through my gritted teeth and go along with whatever she is saying.


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
candymostdandy@ said:
On the way home from the hospital today I was crying because when the nurse asked mum who I was she replied "my sister". this just made me realise how far mum has now deteriorated. I wonder when mum dies will I cry at the funeral?
Candy, you're travelling a very difficult road and I admire so much what you are doing for your mum. When your mum dies, I'm sure there'll be lots of tears from everyone and hopefully lots of people to share your grief and help you. And your frineds on TP will also help you at that time too. But that day isn't here yet. I have been crying a lot today about my mum, but trying to tell myself, as I tell you, that whilst your mum is alive, try to focus on her needs now and let tomorrow take care of itself, if you can. It's a horrible horrible condition and so unfair.

However, you also need to look after yourself and plan some treats and distractions that are unconnected to caring for others. So that you can refresh yourself and come back stronger.. Kind regards Deborah


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex

My Mum has no idea who I am at all, I used to be her sister and once or twice her uncle Alf!!!

But no matter what, she is still my Mum and I love her to bits.

Mum is still in there somewhere and occasionally I get a brief glimpse of her in a "look" or the way she moves her hands when she is trying to speak, her giggling or her occasional stern look.

Yes, the grieving started early on for the Mum I love, but I am equally sure that when the time comes for her to be at peace and with Dad again, where she belongs, I will be bereft.

Mum is, was and always will be, my very best friend, nothing can take that away from me.


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