6 months today

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
We lost my wonderful mum 6 months ago today. And it still hurts as much as the day it happened.

I'd been a carer for her since childhood. With small breaks in between when I went to university or she moved back to Wales. But from 2009 after losing my dad to a heart attack my husband left England to move to Wales so that we could add to her ever growing team of carers (I claimed carers allowance while there was another 4 in total, including my husband, employed by ilf, dp and an outside company who trained them all to do night care).

She was a stubborn woman and right up until the end refused to go into hospital. She was really ill the night before and we had to call a Dr out. But, she pulled herself together long enough to convince him that she didn't need to go in. She was so angry with me for calling him out. But, she made sure the last thing she said to me was that she loved me. I wonder if she knew what was going to happen somehow.

I remember her carer for that night coming into the room we were sleeping in and saying that she had fallen out of bed and she couldn't wake her. So, I left our baby with the carer and went through to my husband who just gave me this look and said to call an ambulance.

I'll never forget standing at her front door in the pitch black waiting for the ambulance. Seeing the blue lights flashing faintly in the distance and watching them get slowly stronger until they pulled up onto her drive.

They immediately knew that she had passed away and I had to tell them that they weren't able to perform cpr as she had a dnr in place. Listen to the howl of despair from my brother (another one of her carers) as they confirmed her death. And wait for the police to come and examine her body. Deal with my epileptic daughter having a fit while the police were there. And then the funeral director and watch her be wheeled away in a body bag.

We never got the chance to go and say goodbye because she had been cut open for the post mortem. The funeral director thought it would be too distressing.

So, here I am. Struggling a bit and not really sure where to turn next :cry:
Hi may I suggest you contact Cruse Bereavement Services to see if anything they offer catches your attention?
Here is their link https://www.cruse.org.uk/

Grieving is an individual process, there are no rules so do not let anyone tell you to do this or do that.
We all respond differently.
And though there may be some recognised and accepted stages to go through before some resolution is reached there is no specific order to them. There is no time period either; days, weeks, months or years it doesn't matter.
Be kind to yourself.
Hello Emmy,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. As Mick has already said we all grieve differently, there is no wrong or right way, no one size fits all.

I lost my Mum to Alzheimer's 5 years ago, in some respects it still seems like yesterday and because the memories are still strong I can't always believe it was that long ago. Time doesn't 'heal all wounds', but with time it does get easier to bear. My Mum was my best friend so I try to remember only the good times before dementia took away the Mum I knew.

From what you say I think, yes, your Mum did know that it was time for her to leave you and you have the consolation of knowing that she went on her journey at home with her family - for many it doesn't happen that way. Mine passed away in hospital soon after I had left the ward late at night, just the day before she was due to come home. I never got the chance to say "goodbye".

When you are ready bereavement counselling may very well help you onto the next step in your grieving process - many hospices offer such counselling even if the loved one who has passed away wasn't a patient, so it might be worthwhile exploring that option along with Cruse.

You have much to cope with at the moment so please try and be kind to yourself.

"Safe in the arms of the angels, but always in my heart"
Hi Emmy,
Welcome to the forum. I've lost six relatives in recent years. On the widows forum I belong to, we all found that around six months was the lowest point of all, because most of the paperwork is done, the "Widow Fog" is lifting, and then you realise this is how it's going to be for the rest of your life.
I mention this so you know that it's normal to feel especially down at the moment. Be kind to yourself, go away for a few days rest somewhere quiet, ideally on your own. It doesn't have to be anywhere exotic, I have been 40 miles away from home. I know that sounds odd, but it really helps to focus totally on how you feel, mentally and physically. Take a notebook, write down your feelings, especially how your body feels. Caring can be very tiring, so can the aftermath of someone passing away. Have early nights, late mornings, read a book, saunter round coffee shops and garden centres. A few days of this will really help recharge your physical and emotional batteries.
It's tough to find the time to get away. With an epileptic 1 year old it's all hands on deck.

Mum was such a big part of getting her diagnosed. She would watch for seizures and know when one was about to start as I used to have seizures when I was the same age. And I do wonder how I will cope without her around.

Her body was so tired of fighting that in a way it was kind of a relief. She had scholiosis, arthritis, lung failure, heart failure and was in constant pain. I'm surprised she fought on for as long as she did.

As odd as it sounds I do find a little comfort in the fact that she went at home with her family nearby.
As odd as it sounds I do find a little comfort in the fact that she went at home with her family nearby
it's not odd at all, I think it's how we would all like to spend our final moments.
I still wish I had been with my Mum at her passing, I do remember my last words to her were "I'll be back in the morning to take you home - love you Mum".

We can also console ourselves with the thought that we did everything we could do for our Mums but, in the end, their passing was out of our hands. I believe that your Mum continued to fight until she knew you were strong enough to let her go, now you must be strong enough to live the life she wanted you to have.
Emmy,
Your mum sounds lovely. You don't mention any help with your daughter. Help may be available through Social Services, so be sure to ask them to do a Needs Assessment for her, and a Carers Assessment for yourself. Very often there are services around in your area that are not publicised, which need a referral, but can really help.
As your daughter needs a lot more care, she may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance.
I know how difficult it is to claim for the first time, my own son was brain damaged at birth, but it can make a huge difference to the family finances, especially as it is not means tested.
I've got an appointment with cab this week for them to help me with filling out the form for dla. And then I will make an application for carers allowance once that is sorted.

We currently live with my husband's parents while we find our own place. So if I could get dla it would mean I could get out and about with my daughter more often and not feel quite so useless.

Mum always felt like such a massive burden on us all and often spoke about putting herself into a home so that we could all live our lives. Not that we would have let her because she would have given up the second she was in there and her death would have been a lot sooner
If you have a modest income, then The Family Fund might be able to help too. Google them for more information. They once gave my family money for a holiday, when I was absolutely desperate for a break.
Don't forget to contact Social Services as well to see if there are any local groups etc.
Having a child with special needs can been very lonely at times, but if you can meet up with other mums, you can support each other. When my son was little he went to a special playgroup. He's now 38 and I'm still in touch with mums I met there all those years ago.
Hi Emmy,
I'm sorry to hear about your Mum. Sounds though like she had her final wish and passed away at home.

My Dad died in a house fire and it took awhile for the happier memories to come more readily to mind than the horrid memories of that awful time.

When I realised I needed support I used Cruse's email counselling service. This worked brilliantly for me as I was unable to attend sessions due to caring for S. The email exchanges really helped me. They also offer telephone support.

Melly1