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Breavement - Carers UK Forum


For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Mum passed away on the 23rd May in hospital and I was with her, she was only 69. I thought she would be in for a couple weeks with a urinary tract infection like previous times before and would be out after the antibiotics kicked in, however that was not to be the case. Her funeral was on the 8th June (she had to have a post mortem, and along with bank holidays, Wednesday was the first day in which we could get her buried), anyway, I know that grief takes on many forms but I haven't really cried, I've cleared out her wardrobe and social services have been and collected her bed, hoist and wheelchair and I didn't get upset. Her wheelchair accessible car goes back on the 17th June.
I'm a qualified nurse and I am finding this all very strange. I've looked after many an ill patient during their last days of life and I looked after my dad when he died at home too. I go back to work next Monday, (I'm a deputy care home manager and I don't get paid when I am off work - I got 2 days paid bereavement leave, the joys of working in the private sector).
I am just waiting for it to hit me, but I'm just numb.
Kirsty, there is no timetable for grief. The tears will come when you are ready to weep. At the moment I would say you are in shock, and have gone into coping mode.

An unexpected, unanticipated death is always dreadful, but think maybe of it this way - if your mum had thought 'I'm going into hospital to die' she might have been very very fearful. HOPEFULLY the way it happened was not as traumatic as she didn't know it was going to happen. the irony is that an expected death can be worse for the family than for the person.

The tears will come, and so will the hideous pain, but as I say, they will come in their own time.

For now, go with your feelings, even if, for now, it seems to be more 'lack of feelings'.

With kindest wishes at a time of trauma, Jenny.
Hello Kirsty
I'm so sorry about your Mum. She was only a couple of years older than me. Numb is probably the right word to describe how you are feeling. Also the 'waiting for it to hit me' bit is right too. Maybe something extremely trivial will get through the wall around you. It might be far in the future when you are least expecting it. I have a similar wall about my Dad's death. I cried at his funeral but not much more than I cry at anybody's funeral or sad episodes on TV.
I was a bit dazed and numb but there was a lot to organise and I got on with it. What I did was transfer my anxiety into caring about, and for, my mother. My Dad died in 2004 and Mum is 100 this year, She is failing. Goodness knows how I will react when she dies.
Very recently a friend asked me why I had never in the last 9 years, since I took over my Mum's full time care and she moved to live near me, been more than a couple of miles from where she was. I told her it was because I wasn't THERE when my Dad died. I was on the motorway, trying to get to him on time. Then I sat and sobbed. Don't worry about it. Just allow your feelings to surface when and where they will. Just because they are not there for all to see at the moment, doesn't mean they are not there at all.
Kirsty, I'm sorry to hear your mum died at a relatively young age. It's difficult when your personal life and professional life overlap, and you have to put the lid on emotions so much that it becomes a way of life.
I would like to suggest that you take yourself off for a couple of days, to the country, on your own. Not so much a holiday, more a time for quiet reflection, when you can listen to yourself. I found this hugely helpful a few months after my husband died.
Kirsty, I mistyped - it should have read 'an Unexpected death can be more traumatic for the family, than for the person.'

I also wanted to say that if you look on the forum, and see the posts that are put up about caring for the very, very elderly, and how intensely sad and difficult and frustrating and distressing it is, that it may help you see that there could be 'blessings' in the way your mum died so young. This is something I, personally, have to think about when comparing the fate of my 92 y/o MIL with dementia and generally wretchedly unhappy at being in a care home, with that of my husband, who died of cancer in his fifties. His death, like your mum's, was far too early, BUT who knows what he was spared? I can't exactly call that comparison a 'comfort', nor really a 'blessing', but it is something to bear in mind all the same.
Hi Kirsty
Sorry for the sudden loss of your Mum .
I lost my parents and a brother within the space of 3 years , beginning in 2007 . I found after each loss I had to go into autopilot to deal with the practical side of things ,arranging the funeral ,notifying people ,caring for the house etc and it was usually in quiet moments that I would crumble . I still do ,all these years later !!
Everyone reacts differently to grief ,be kind to yourself and 'go with the flow'.
Kind regards
Julie .
Just as there is no timetable for grief, neither is there a right or wrong way to feel.
I for example have never (yet) really cried ay any death, even my parents. I am by nature practical and each time was a blessed relief from pain. Yes i was sad and lonely but not bereft or crumbling. That's not to say that I wiĺl feel the same about any future loss, and i fully expect each future bereavement and my reactions to it to be different
So just go with the flow, feel what you feel when you feel it, cry or not, sit in stunned silence or carry on as usual.
Just be kind to yourself every day and do not beat yourself up about anything
Thank you all for your kind words, they came and took mum's community alarm today and I closed down her bank account and I've blubbed for most of the afternoon, it's the small things that are making me cry.
Still got lots to sort out, mum had an equity release mortgage on the house that we live in so trying to sort out all this out. The will is now in probate, it will get sorted out eventually, I am an only child as were my mum and dad, so it's up to me to sort it all out, my husband is doing his best.
I'm back at work on Tuesday, so I imagine that will be a testing day.
Once again thank you for all your kind words, just taking a day at a time
Hi Kirsty, I'm sure Kleenex shares went up the year my husband died. It's good to let the tears flow now and then. Just try to deal with one paperwork job per day, so you don't get overwhelmed. I also found that my memory was useless, post it notes came in really handy!
dear kirsty, sincere condolences on your sad loss
love hugs and respect
inga x