Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

My anger is scaring me

Dee G
Posted by

My wonderful mum died ten days ago, she had cancer but died of an infection that was missed, not treated in time or effectively and led to her being cheated of the little more time we all thought she had. So there is more than the usual amount of anger mixed with the grief.

She lived and died abroad and the funeral was a few days after her death. in some ways that's helpful but I'm exhausted from the speed of it, the guilt of everything, the travelling and, did I mention the anger.?

I've lost loved ones before and thought I knew how this grief thing worked but I was so very wrong and am fighting to keep my cool questions like ".How is (her partner) coping" I say "He's devasted" when what I want  to say is " What a bloody silly question, How the hell do you think he's coping, he just lost his wife!" When they ask me how I'm doing I say " I'm struggling but will get there" but again I want to yell at then not to ask bloody stupid questions 

Work are being great as they have been throughout Mum's illness, I know I have to go back to work soon and get back to some routine but I haven't even found the energy to unpack and I'm usually the kind of person who is always "doing" but instead am just sitting.

I am horrified to find that I can't talk on the phone or in person because I am prone to dissolving into a weeping mess as soon as I hear that sympathetic voice tone and even if it's not a sympathy call ( I  yelled ar a salesman today and confess that it felt good),

I just want to hibernate or something until I pull myself together but then I get cross when a friend who I supported and am still supporting after the loss of her husband two years ago sent a card with conventional condolences and   "ring me when you get back" (In fairness other friends have been brilliant., know that I can't form actual words right now and are texting or emailing  because I can deal with that 

So, a bit of a mess at the moment, to put it mildly, can't even talk to my lovely husband let alone support him in his own grief, he loved my mum too.

My anger is scaring me as is my inertia. I know others have dealt with and are dealing with this so a simple question, how the heck do you di it?

Posted by

Hi Dee G

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mum.  What you are feeling is perfectly normal - we all feel guilt and anger at ourselves, doctors, support workers, the stranger walking in the park with his dog.  This is part of the grieving process - the brain is still trying to come to terms with the loss and is looking to blame someone, anyone for the loss because it is hard to accept the loss.  Unfortunately everyone asks stupid questions all the time but if someone has not been through this grieving process they find it hard to know what to say and how to say it - sometimes a silent hug works much better but people (even close friends) may not know if this is an acceptable thing to do.  Your true friends will show themselves now by being there fore you anytime of day or night and will give you the comfort you need even if it is just silence.

Please contact the support line on 0800 808 0000 which is open daily 8:00 – 8:00 for a free confidential chat. You can use this link your area to find support near where you live. This could be 1-2-1 or group and is also free and confidential. Also, post as much as you want whenever you want here and someone will always respond to you.  Do not worry if you get tearful or angry when ringing the support line as everyone is fully trained to listen and understand what you are feeling and will give you the support you need.

There is some useful information on coping with grief and information on the symptoms of grief.

This link allows you to download the Macmillan book Coping with Bereavement which is full of useful information and has support contact details at the back. This booklet about bereavement is free and can be downloaded as PDF or as an ebook.

This link takes you to a leaflet called In Memory which is very useful.

Lastly, here are some words which I hope will bring you some comfort -

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.

Put no difference into your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost in it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around

the corner .......

All is well.

Dee G
Posted by

Thank you, David. It helps

I seem to have spent quite a lot of time supporting others with their grief these past few days and, shortly after reading your kind response I found a really helpful online discussion on an old Guardian article, someone had written 

"The problem is, you put your own grief on hold to prop people up around you, and it does take its toll. You have to take care of yourself too."

I think I , maybe just need to accept that I'm going to be angry for a while and try my best not to direct that anger at anyone else.

Good to know that help and support is out there if needed, I think it's too soon for me but I have the support line number bookmarked in case

Posted by

Hi Dee

Your true friends will support you and those that got your support but now seem to be too busy to support you will fall by the wayside.

You have to look after number one - your own brain will know what is best for you and will not allow you to suffer too much at one time. It is an old cliche but time will heal - this whole process will make you a stronger person and will be even more compassionate and understanding.

Remember, post here when ever you want regardless of the time and someone will respond and call the support line if you need to - even if you just rant and they listen it will help.  Check out if there is anything local to you - not only can you get support but you can support others (this is how I became a volunteer).

Dee G
Posted by

Thank you, it helps