Just lost my mum and and so many regrets
My mum passed away two days ago and I have not been able to accept it, probably in denial but angry too.
Mum was in the UK.
I did manage to see mum before she died in hospital but she was on the mend before I left and had restricted access due to covid controls. I wasn't concerned as I genuinely believed I could get back in a few months to see her again.
She was discharged on the day I left the UK so I felt ok about leaving.
I planned to return in a few months, however, she was back in hospital within a week and took a downturn healthwise and was dead within about two weeks.
I wish I had stayed and I can't stop thinking I could have done more to get her well again. I honestly think the standard of care in the hospital was poor and this opinion is shared by my sibling in the UK.
I am now feeling terrible about not being there and I really miss my mum. I have let her down, took her for granted in respect of assuming she will always be there and made little effort the last few years.
I gave grown up children and a wife who are great but I feel so alone in my grief. I can't show my emotion because it's not my thing and can only do this in private. I feel like I should be punished for the way I have been and deserve it.
I know I have an underlying depression slowly eating away like a cancer. I also know this will be bad for those I leave behind.
Grief can't be like this surely? I am thinking of the time I had with mum and memories but this anger is boiling away too.
I don't know how this will end and I can only hope it will ease with time.
Thank you for posting about your struggles with your guilt and grief. We feel sorry for your loss. It takes considerable strength to write about such personal matters in a public forum. And, it is so beneficial to both you, and the people who are experiencing something similar, but find it too difficult to post.
One of the big things that stands out to us in your post is your statement that mum was on the mend, so you felt secure in the knowledge that it was safe to leave. This is really important to us because we know that we cannot predict the future, so we wouldn't have been able to predict that mum would have then taken a down-turn.
We know that grief can be quite complex, and happens for different people in different ways. This means that other people cannot tell you what you should or should not be experiencing in your grief. And, it becomes even worse when your own decisions meant you were not able to be there to say goodbye when mum passed.
We also know how important it is to find ways to allow your grief to express itself. Therefore, we would like to encourage you to call BeyondBlue Support Service on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline on 13 1114, and talk confidentially with the Mental Health professionals about what you are going through.
If you struggle to talk with someone, we would also suggest Men's Shed
where you can have safe conversations with other men while working on projects.
Finally, please continue posting here in our very supportive community.
Hello Ripcantrell, our most sincere compassion and deepest sympathy for the loss of your dear mum, and know that when you feel so close to your parent it leaves you speechless, wondering why this should ever happen.
When this happens could spark a feeling of deep sadness but unfortunately, you say you were already suffering from this, which I am so deeply sorry, but you made the effort to see her and should be commended for doing this.
What you are feeling is how others would feel, but please know we are thinking of you and offer you our total respect.
My heart really goes out to you. My Mum died in November 2020. She’d had a lot of health issues but was not expected to die suddenly when she did.
I want to really reassure you that feelings of guilt, regret etc are extremely common for many people when their loved one dies. A few months after Mum died I went to a grief support group and so many people reported those emotions.
I had been beating myself up thinking I wasn’t fully present with my Mum in the last year of her life as I was trying to finish a uni degree. I was taking her to medical appointments and procedures, dressing wounds for her, taking her for some day trips and on a short road trip, but all that time I felt I was distracted and, looking back, thought I should have picked up more on things that might have been a clue about the undiagnosed heart condition she ended up dying from. I also felt she wasn’t being taken seriously enough by medical practitioners with regard to symptoms she was having and I wished I’d pushed harder for them to do more.
But the reality is we are all only doing the best we know how to do at the time. As your Mum had been discharged and seemed to be improving it’s understandable you thought it was ok to return to Australia. The fact you care so much and have the feelings you do show you are a sensitive, good human being who really loved your Mum.
A few people have said to me that my Mum would not want me to be suffering and beating myself up now. I’m sure your Mum would be the same. You are also in the very emotionally raw state of it only happening a couple of days ago. While it’s a painful process it does ease with time, even if that process is gradual.
Gradually the good memories with Mum have been easier to reach for me over time and start to balance out the difficult emotions. I often draw on the qualities in her as a person that have given me real positives in life. She was so interested in the world around her and I know that’s why I take an interest in the world. Although at times she was consumed by mental illness stemming from childhood trauma, at her core she was a deeply kind and wise soul. I’ve been sustained by the gratitude I feel for what she gave me despite her own troubles in life and this has really helped with the grief.
We are all doing the best we know how to do so please don’t be hard on yourself and see if you can give yourself the love you so clearly feel for her. Take care and it will get easier in time.
Thank you for your reply and it's been a long time since I looked at this which was when I last posted to be honest.
I still feel like I haven't properly grieved or accepted mum has gone, which I have googled over and over to find out what this means. I have a lot of moments when I feel like I just want to join her and can't get past wishing I had the time again with her.
It's affecting other relationships too in a negative way because I literally feel like I have no one to talk to, not even my wife and kids. I have always been the prop and still feels that way which I no longer want to be.
I have read the other kind replies to my original post and it does help to know others go through similar experiences. I think they call it complex grief.
I'll keep moving forward the best way I can and I will try lifeline at some point.
Thanks Eagle Ray for the really kind and supportive words. It's been a while and hadn't got any easier but some points you made do ring true, like the remembering of good memories.
It looks like you inherited some great qualities from your mum and good to hear these resonate with your memories. I hope I can reach that point too.