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Six Months - Carers UK Forum

Six Months

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
When I posted the ‘1 week’ thread, I couldn’t imagine it ever being six months since I had Mam with me, but that’s how long it is, and I’m having bad days in a row right now.

I know it’s not helping, but I’ve got the time stuck in my head, and I’ve been clock watching since Friday, the last time I did this or that with Mam before she went into hospital. Today, Sunday .. six months ago, was the last time I told her I loved her, and walked out of the ward, before getting the phone call, and ‘the talk’ from the doctors.

I thought the lights being on over the road in ‘her’ house late at night would be easier to bear after the first time I saw them, but it’s not. The bedtime routine was just her and I, quiet time, sometimes a dander down memory lane, or telling her how well she’d done that day if she thought she’d had a bad one, planning things for her great-grandson.

Even the small things are getting me, Emmerdale or Corrie music, page of the catalogue turned over at her favourite trousers, you won’t believe this, but I’ve just got to the last box of teabags she had stashed - the kettle was never off, and she dreaded running out of tea. Oh, and hankies .. loads of them, still can’t see Kleenex on offer without almost picking up half a dozen boxes.

Mam said to me just a few days before she went into hospital ‘do you think I’m really ill‘ and I said no, because I didn’t know she was. The GP had just been out a couple days before, and was happy for Mam to just keep taking the iron tablets for the anaemia, even though she wasn’t managing to eat very much. Little appetite, and trouble with swallowing food, and tablets.

The only thing keeping me going is she thought she was going to be coming home in a few days. Just wish I hadn’t come away from the hospital when I did that Sunday.

Dear Sue

I can relate to how you are feeling my friend - its so hard. My dad died 3 weeks and 2 days ago and I still cannot believe it. Like you I left the hospital (after putting in 10 hour days there for almost a week) I went home to have dinner with my husband and son because it was my husband and I's 28th Wedding Anniversary. I left at 6pm and got a phone call from the hospital advising me to get back down. When I got there I was too late. I find it hard to forgive myself for that.

Dear Sue

Six months is no time at all - not after a lifetime.

I still get the odd bad day even though it's now 21 years since my Dad died - I don't think it ever leaves us completely and do we want it to ? Those who are remembered are never truly gone.

As has been said before - one day at a time. Gradually you will find that the 'good' days will outweigh the 'bad' days and that remembering your Mum will not always be so tinged with sadness.

When I got there I was too late. I find it hard to forgive myself for that.
Eun - I remember feeling so angry with my Dad because he didn't wait for me to get to the hospital. But with hindsight I now realise that there was nothing I could have said or done to change the way it happened - your Dad would not want you to feel guilty because you weren't with him, he knew that you were a loving daughter.

Dear Eun and Suzieq,

Thank you for your messages, and thinking of you Eun, your loss is so recent.
I felt the same as you, why did it have to happen when I wasn't there, inside I know Suzie's right, Mam wouldn't want me to feel guilty, but I do still feel like that sometimes even now.

Every time Mam was in hospital, I dreaded the phone ringing. Deep down, I think I was hoping against hope that she’d astound the doctors and pull through like she had before. Even her surgeon said at one outpatient check-up a few years ago, ‘I remember the scary ones’ because she had a heart attack right before emergency surgery, but he had to go ahead with it anyway, or I would have lost her then.

I know how lucky I was to have had that surgeon looking after Mam, other doctors said it wasn’t likely she would make it, he gave us time we might not have had .. I’m trying to hang onto that .

Right now, I’m thinking of the times I used to perm her hair, I was rubbish at winding curlers, but it usually turned out ok .. that’s a memory that makes me smile.

Sue xx
Dear Sue,
How are you doing now the six months is past. I was surprised when we got to six months too at the stress of the date. That was January 25th, and I thought that if I could get through Christmas, I could get through anything,but it was so hard.
It will be one year on Sunday since Rhys died.
There are no answers to how we should feel or rules to grief and how long it will go on for.
My Dad died 30 years ago and I still miss him and say goodnight to him every day.

My heart goes out to you Sue, Eun and LazyD, your loss is so recent and so painful. Special hugs to you xx
Grief is a funny thing, a memory that will make you cry one day will make you smile on another. It has it's own rhyme and it's own reason. And it's own time, 1,10,20,50 years ago, yesterday.
Dear Lazydaisy, Bluebird and Myrtle, thank you all so much for your support,

I got through my birthday and Mother’s Day LazyD, waiting for the dates to arrive and pass, but I hadn’t expected any particular significance for six months .. once it was in my head, it felt like I was re-living those last few days again.
I’ll be thinking of you on Sunday. X

Mam was desperately ill three times in the last ten years that I was caring for her, each time I thought how will I feel if I lose her ?

I had absolutely no idea, and when it happened, it seemed that other people were coping better than me. I realise they probably weren’t .. just differently that’s all. Myrtle, you’re right about how the same memory can have you smile one day and cry the next.

Still starting each day fresh, today’s been a bit better, sunshine has helped .. there’s been non-stop rain, thunder and lightning storms the last couple days, all grey and horrible .. my poor dog’s terrified, hides under the kitchen table and shivers ..

Sue xxx
Sunshine always makes the world look better....................and my dog hates thunderstorms too!