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Lost my mam

  • 28-01-2022 1:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I just need to get this off my chest, I lost my mam last week.

    She had had dementia for a while and has been a few years since she has been her "old self" and had a tough last year or so, being very anxious and confused.

    So in a way I was prepared for it.

    I live abroad and when my brother called me of course it was devastating and I was crying.

    I quickly went into autopilot and got things organised and headed home on a last minute flight, of course the wake and funeral were sad but all the support from friends and relatives was a nice boost.

    I thought as soon as I'd get back to where I live now things would get easier - I was very naïve in believing this, I was so wrong and have been so so sad over the last few days.

    I have been crying a lot and even though I thought not a lot of things here would remind me of her, enough things do as she used to visit us a lot here.

    Yesterday I was in a park and started crying when I saw a bench she sat on that we took a photo of her ... also another place she was with my kids - her grandkids set me off too.

    It's tough, really tough.

    I wish I could believe in an afterlife where I would meet her again, but the finality of it all and that she is gone is just breaking my heart.

    Thanks for reading.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭NickNickleby

    Hi canonball,

    firstly, condolences on your sad loss. Your Mam has been part of your life for ALL your life and no wonder you're upset.

    I haven't had to face this yet, but some day.....

    Anyway, the way I try to think about this is I think how I'd want my now adult kids to feel, when I - their Dad, goes. I wouldn't want them crying and being upset by things that bring back memories of me. I'd want them to be happy for all the great times we've had, and each memory would be of a happy event. Like your Mam sitting on the bench. Surely that was a happy day, surely your Mam would rather you remembered her sitting happily on that bench and you smiling at that memory. I make it sound easy, and it isn't. But it will be. The loss is too recent to expect any other response right now. But, and I always write this on Mass Cards, soon, the sadness of your Mam's passing will be outshone by the multitude of happy memories you have of her.

    I hope this clumsy attempt does something to give you hope. There WILL be brighter days! Take care.

  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭cannonballTaffyOjones

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,151 ✭✭✭airy fairy

    Aww, sorry about your mam. There are no words to comfort really. And unfortunately, it won't get easier, but you WILL learn to live with it, and will remember the happy times and smile for her again.

    I described loosing my mam like my heart had been carved hollow. Days where I'd pick up the phone to tell her something stupid and then realised.

    My mam passed away unexpectedly, even though she had been sick. It came as a shock. I was numb for a while, then anger, bitter and all the other crap emotions that comes with loosing a parent.

    My dad spent months wishing he'd die too as he said he not only lost a wife, but a mother too. You know, the old days where the woman cared for the man as well as the children. He lasted 10 years and his anniversary is this month. Seems like yesterday.

    There's not a day goes by where I feel a heart tug for both of them. The sadness can become overwhelming. But don't deny yourself the sadness or the tears, don't deny yourself any emotion.

    Its crap.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Sorry for your loss. Give yourself time and allow yourself to grieve. It’s very early days yet. I lost my mam in similar circumstances a few years ago. At first I felt relief that her and our suffering was over. Then I felt guilty for feeling relieved. Then, eventually I accepted her passing and can remember small things with a smile. Take care of yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭Pistachio19

    Its really early days. In a week you have travelled home to your mums funeral, no doubt met with lots of relatives and friends who kept you on a high, gone through the wake, burial etc and then you travelled back to your home - that's a lot of stuff to deal with in a week. You get back home and then it hits you like a tonne of bricks. The adrenalin that kept you going last week is gone, the hype of the funeral and wake is over. You're not around other people who would be grieving for her (apart from your partner/kids) so you feel deflated and a bit lost. Give yourself a break and let yourself cry when the need arises. My mum is dead over 6 years and there's the odd time I still think I better ring her, if I have news she'd have enjoyed. Its true that time helps but we're talking months or years, not days/weeks. Be kind to yourself. Take time off work if possible. Don't hide your sadness and let the kids know why you are upset. Grief really is an emotional rollercoaster. If after some time you are feeling unable to manage your feelings, you can get bereavement counselling, or look for a local bereavement group, where you can share your stories about your mum and know that others will understand the depth of your loss.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭cannonballTaffyOjones

    Thanks so much all , really helping me.

    I read somewhere "There is no way around grief - only through it"

    This is so true, and I am not fighting any emotional moment, it helps that I am working from home too ...

  • Administrators Posts: 14,030 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    @cannonballTaffyOjones please please give yourself time. Your mam only passed away last week. You haven't even begun to process it. Don't try to rush it. Don't think you should be feeling one way or another. You need to just feel how you are feeling.

    You have lost one of the most important people in your life. Dementia is horrendous. People say it's like grieving for the person twice. Because you lose them to Dementia first. As you said yourself, it's the finality of it. From now on she will always not be there. That's huge. And it will take a long time to accept that, and to fully believe it.

    Give yourself time. A good friend of mine works as a bereavement counsellor. She said people often say the first year is the hardest, the first birthday, the first Christmas, the first anniversary etc. And she said it's not necessarily true. Sometimes it can be the third Christmas, or the fifth...

    Grief is different for everyone and it is very personal. You and your brother are siblings who have lost your mother. That's a shared experience, but even your grief will differ. Do not measure yourself against anyone else. Do not force yourself into any situation. Everything will come at it's own time. It will be a painful process unfortunately, but it is a process, and one day it will be not quite so painful.

    Take care of yourself. Nobody expects anything from you right now. So don't feel pressured to be anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭locohobo

    So sorry for you're loss....

    Just now you are at the very early stages of grieving with it been so short a time since you're loss. I won't say it will get easier.. BUT it will become more acceptable and you yourself will come to understand that this is not what she will have for you....

    You are or will go through the phase of self-recrimination. Why has this come about.. why did she have to die.. why was I not there more for her.. what should/could I have done differently...This is all part of the normal but not unique grievance procedure...There was nothing you could have done to change the certainties of life, the final certainty being death... At the times you find it difficult to get thoughts like this out of you're mind, just close you're eyes, form a mental image of you're Mam all smiling and full of life, just say "Thank You Mam"!! and reward yourself with a smile knowing that this is what she wants for you to always remember her like!...

    There is no set time on how long one grieves for, It takes as long as it takes...In my own case, 32yrs this year since my wife passed and still feels like....( I don't know what it feels like now as I have gotten so used to it...) This also will come to be for you.. not gone.. not forgotten.. just out of sight and so easy to remember....

    When I first came to accept that ultimate certainty I was in my local church annoying the man/woman?? up above...I went to the statue of Our Lady (to annoy her also)..There was a dead butterfly on the ground, I picked it up and placed it at the feet of Our Lady...Thats when I realised all is not ended. just gone to another dimension of our understanding....Update to today!.. When I got out of the bed this morning put on my dressing gown and spent a few hours pottering around the house...then I found a butterfly clinging to the belt of my gown...just said Hi love and put it away safely

    Nothing or No-one is ever lost.......Just around the corner!....

    I find this verse helps me to keep this in mind...Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

    By Mary Elizabeth Frye

    Do not stand at my grave and weep

    I am not there; I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow,

    I am the diamond glints on snow,

    I am the sun on ripened grain,

    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning's hush

    I am the swift uplifting rush

    Of quiet birds in circled flight.

    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry,

    I am not there; I did not die.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    “By Mary Elizabeth Frye

    Do not stand at my grave and weep

    I am not there; I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow,

    I am the diamond glints on snow,

    I am the sun on ripened grain,

    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning's hush

    I am the swift uplifting rush

    Of quiet birds in circled flight.

    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry,

    I am not there; I did not die.”

    I read that at mams funeral. It took me some time to understand the truth of it and to be comforted by it.

    This is another very meaningful one.

    “You can shed tears that she is gone,

    Or you can smile because she has lived

    You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,

    Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

    Or you can be full of the love that you shared

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday 

    You can remember her and only that she is gone

    Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on 

    You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

    Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


    Written 1981

    David Harkins 1959 –

    Silloth, Cumbria, UK”

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 tixati

    Hi @cannonballTaffyOjones I'm very sorry for your loss and I hope this thread is helping you a bit.

    My late mother had dementia for several years before she finally passed. Even though death was a release for her, we were all devastated. You will cry for the person you lost some time ago along with the person who has just died. Grief is sneaky and it raises its ugly head unexpectedly. I have found myself tearing up over all sorts of things that reminded me of mum. Songs on the radio that she liked, films and TV shows she liked, signposts to places where we went on family holidays, clothes, even cooking appliances. The list is endless. It has got much easier but I still have my moments. I went to counselling because I was struggling but that was quite some time after mum died. It might not be something you need but if you are still in a bad place when time has passed, please look for help. It makes a difference.

    It's still early days for you. Crying over park benches and grandchildren is very normal. You will find other things that remind you of her too and that's OK. I have seen grief described as love that has nowhere to go and that works for me. There is nothing wrong with crying because you are grieving somebody you loved and somebody you miss. It is also a time when you might think more about self-care and how to look after yourself. Do you have a support network where you live? As well as that, I found that organising some things to look forward to was helpful as well. Grief has no timetable and everybody has their own way of grieving. I don't believe in an afterlife either and that makes death even more final. That makes it harder than for people with faith who think this is an au revoir rather than a final goodbye.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭cannonballTaffyOjones

    Thanks @tixati , that sums it up for me - grieving for my mam of old (pre dementia) and the mam that just died.

    Sometimes I am crying over the woman I saw before Christmas - she was almost like a little kid, confused and anxious ... other times I think of her walking in the burren with her backpack years ago and I just lose it, strange the way it's one or the other, when one memory causes an emotional reaction others don't.

  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭cannonballTaffyOjones

    I find it tough in the mornings when I wake up ... a dull flat sadness hits me when I remember.

    Once I get up and take the boys to school and start my day I feel better, but it's tough ...

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    im very sorry op, look after yourself