Bereaved family and friends

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

Don't know if I can face mum's funeral

Posted by

Hi everyone

My mum (bellabongo on here) died on Tuesday and I feel distraught. She went into a hospice a few weeks ago after she didn't take well to her latest chemo and the plan was to stabilise her so she could come home for a few days then get day treatment at the hospice, but she deteriorated and then died. I feel like I was maybe being a bit naive because the cancer was slow growing and the last scan she had showed it hadn't spread to her organs. I always just assumed that she would get better. In some respects it hasn't sunk in yet that she won't be coming home. 

I chose not to be with her when she died as I didn't want to see her dead body. Her funeral is next Thursday and I'm really stressed out about whether or not to go. When my gran died in 2012 I was too upset to go to hers but I went to the burial of the ashes and I've never regretted my choice. My dad says he doesn't think I should attend and him and my friends agree that I don't need to go.

I'm only 27 and I've already got mental health problems like depression and I was fired from my job a few months ago. I just keep thinking of them putting my mum in a box and taking her away from me to burn her and I genuinely don't know if I could cope with seeing that because I feel it would traumatise me and stay in my mind forever. I'm not particularly religious but I do find it spiritually more comforting to think that if there is life after death then mum has just walked off there (rather than having to think of her cold in a box). 

I don't know if I should do the same thing as I did with my gran and go to the burial of the ashes but not the funeral, or if I should do something like go to the funeral but leave before they take mum away. My friends said they will attend with me and leave with me if I need to. 

I've not had a very good life up until now and I'm feeling like I've drawn the shortest straw available. So sorry for the long post but I just wanted to get everything of my chest. 

Posted by

Hi and welcome to the online community and I'm so sorry to hear about your mum , this really is the place that no one wants to come to do, well done you for being able to post your message and telling us about your concerns, it was nice of you to tell us about the last days of your mums life.

Not everyone can face seeing someone they love after they've died and prefer to remember them as they were.

If you really can't face the committal part of the service, would you be able to sit at the rear of the chapel and maybe the person taking the service could give you a signal just before the committal and you could slip out the door, maybe the funeral director could help or your friends could go with you.

However as you've discussed with dad and explained how you feel and he doesn't mind if you're not there and that's what you want then I would stay away and just attend the scattering of the ashes, whichever way you decide it will be your decision.

Can I make a little suggestion to you, whichever way you decide would you be able to write your mum a letter telling her how you feel, how you'll miss her and will always love her and give it to the funeral director to put in beside her and she can take with her on her last journey to the place you hope she's gone to.

I'm sorry to hear about your own personal problems and would like you to know that no post is ever too long if it helps you to get things off your chest, this is a good place to do so, no one will judge you, we just give everyone our support when they need it, so there is no need to apologise for the long post and I hope by doing so it has helped you a little bit but please do come back to us if you need to chat, or even just to get more things off your chest, we really don't mind and hope you can keep in touch and tell us how you are doing.

I do hope that you find your way to saying good bye to mum.


 Alison was very active in many groups and even although she was suffering herself she always had time to give advice and support to everyone who needed it, she was a friend to many and will be missed by everyone who knew her.

I send my condolences to her husband and family.

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Posted by


I am so very sorry to hear that dear bellabongo has died and I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences.

As bellabongo, your mum was a very good friend to me here in this community. She gave me very good advice when I asked for it and support when I needed it. She always had a kind word or a wee joke to comfort and cheer her fellow cancer patients online. I will miss her, as will many others in the womb and incurable cancer groups. 

I can see you face a very difficult decision about the funeral and I don’t feel able to advise  except to say it’s important that you look after your mental health. It sounds as though you have good people around you with family and friends to support you  

Your mum was well known and well loved here. Would you mind if I posted the sad news in the womb and living with incurable cancer groups? I am sure there are community friends who would like to pay their respects online via this discussion. Please don’t feel you have to say yes - the choice is yours  

with love to you and your family at this difficult time 


Posted by

Hi lonely tropical fish,

I’m incredibly sorry to read your post. I exchanged several posts on here with your Mum and she was always very warm and kind-hearted. She helped me at some of my toughest times and I’m very sad for you that she has gone.

I’m not going to give you any advice on what you should do - I reckon there is no right or wrong - I just wanted you to know that I thought your Mum was a lovely person and to send you some love at what must be an incredibly difficult time.


Posted by

Hi , can I aIso send my heart felt condolences. Alison was also a very good friend to myself and many others on this Community and now you have found a safe place to get support at a very hard time.

Your mum indeed was a great support to many people at so many ways but she also had a very strong and real Christian Faith and we would often talk in the groups but also by Private Message about what was ‘life’ going to be like after this life had gone.

So if it’s any comfort to you your mum is now in a place that she often would talk about and in her own words, a place when “I wont have any pain then”

I know that Alison visited the Maggie’s Centre at The Beatson in Glasgow a lot and received wonderful support, these folks can be a support for you as well, they do understand what you are going through and indeed knew your mum well.

With regards to the service and all the parts that come with this? You do what you feel is right for you, don’t feel under pressure but do what you think would honour you mums memory best and yes get your friends round you as they will be a great help and support during this time.

I am so sorry that I can only send you virtual ((hugs)) but it’s the same ((hugs)) that your mum often received in the good and not so good times.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

Posted by

Hello ,

I am so very sorry to hear about your Mums death and I send my deep felt condolences. I am a member of the womb group and had lots of support and friendly advice from your lovely Mum.

Sending heartfelt hugs of support to you.

  GBear Xxxx 

What is a Community Champion?    Womb cancer forum  

Call the helpline for free on 08088080000, 8am to 8pm everyday.

“life is like a box of chocolates, we search for the good ones first and hope not to have to eat the bad ones"

Posted by

I get what your saying , sometimes its hard to she a loved one like that and best to remember who they were and if it helps, imagine your Mum walking though a forest along a lovely river and a peaceful quiet place but a warm and friendly place. Sometimes better for us to see this image. Your mum Alison was always very funny and inspiration and probably I hope had a peaceful place to wander though now.

What you decide to do about whether to go to the funeral or not is up to you if you don't feel you can I know your Mum would understand. There has been times I have faced that very question and I found I couldn't go, but decided on getting involved in a memorial garden instead and put my energy into that. I think it maybe something you would like plant your Mums favorite flowers etc so you always see beauty but also a place you can seat and talk to your Mum. I am not hugely religious but spiritual and sometimes I find comfort talking to my loved one who past away and image their warm smile and wise words.

Sending you a gentle hug your way

  GBear Xxxx 

What is a Community Champion?    Womb cancer forum  

Call the helpline for free on 08088080000, 8am to 8pm everyday.

“life is like a box of chocolates, we search for the good ones first and hope not to have to eat the bad ones"

Posted by

Hi lonelytropicalfish, I am so sorry to hear about your mum. 

Everyone processes their grief differently, and if you don't want to attend the service you don't have to, it's such a hard time, and it feels like everything is going at 100 miles an hour, but you do need to take some time for yourself to be kind to yourself, did you have any special memories of you and your mum that made you smile, maybe you can do that and remember the happy times. 

Don't feel like you have to justify your actions no one here will Judge, only support, this place is amazing for that. You do what feels right for you huni, and look after yourself. 

Sending you support and hugs and strength, 

Hope x 

Live Every Moment
Laugh Everyday
Love Beyond Words.
Posted by


I am so sorry to hear that Alison, dear @bellabongo has died.  Your mum was an amazing person whose warmth and kindness shone through on this Forum.  Like many others she helped me in my darkest moments- one night at 2 a.m. I was finding the side effects of chemo hard to bear.  She sent me a message which I will never forget!  I realised what i was going through was nothing to what she suffered every day!

Her sense of humour helped so many as well as her genuine good spirit!

There are no right and wrong decisions for you at this time and no one will judge.  Just do what is best for you and your mum lives on in your heart!



Life is what happens when you are making other plans!  
Posted by

Hi Lonelytropicalfish, I have just heard about your lovely mum and will miss her dearly! Alison and I have been friends here for quite a long time on the Living with Incurable Cancer Group and sent Private Messages to one another, discussing everything from medication making us like zombies, our families, hospices etc etc. We talked about the Beatson (which I attend) as well as The Maggie Centre next to it! I will really miss our chats and the laughs we had too.

In a way, I can understand how you feel loosing your mum while being so young! I was 19 years old when my mum died after a long battle with cancer. My mum was taken into hospital three weeks before she died and after my older brother & sister came back from a visit, they and my dad, advised myself and my young sister (who was 12) not to go because they said it didn't look like our mum and better to remember her the way she was! As far as the funeral is concerned, whatever you decide I know will be the right thing for you and that's exactly what your mum would want! No matter where you are or what you do, your mum will be there watching over you, as I know my mum has been all these years. Live life to the full and don't waste a minute, life's too short. It's going to be hard for a while but try to remember all the good times you had with your mum and be happy!

I"m so sorry being late to respond to your post but I am currently in Salou with my husband! Otherwise, I'd be asking for information regarding the funeral! However, knowing your mum, she wouldn't mind me not being there as she is in my thoughts and prayers!

Love Annette x

Posted by


I have just heard of your Mum’s passing, I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my dear Mum last year and came across the womb cancer forum where I was fortunate to receive support from your Mum and other lovely ladies. I can only echo what others have said about her.

Like you I struggled hugely - I too had lost my job a couple of weeks before and then my world crashed. No family but some very good friends.

Although I was with her when she passed I didn’t know if I could go and see her afterwards but a lovely lady at the funeral home helped me. As others have said - there is no right or wrong, no judgement. Your Mum loves you and lives on within you - you are a part of her and she will always be part of you. She will want you to be at peace and the best honour you can do her is be your Mum’s daughter. Be strong. Cry, laugh, remember the good times and don’t feel guilty when you have moments of happiness. Do what you feel and it will be the right thing for you. Don’t do something because you think it is what should be done- your Mum would not want that. Go with your heart and your instinct and you will be honouring her.

Private message me if you think I can help or you just want to chat, rant, rave...

Hugs, peace and lifebelts and buoys to keep you afloat coming your way.

Take care xx