Bereaved family and friends

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

The recent death of my mother

Posted by

Hi. My 71yr old mum was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in February this year, after some successful chemotherapy procedures, which gave her and our family some extra time with her, she passed away on the 19th of October 2019 at a hospice with her family around her in her last moments.

My dad and two sisters and myself are obviously still coming to terms with our loss but my family live up north and myself living in the Humber area of Lincolnshire, I feel I can't grieve with them, I've recently went back to work this week which has already resulted in a noticeable acute level of stress, resulting in me losing my temper twice in the space of a couple of days with a couple of colleagues. 

Any advice with dealing with the stress/emotions would be great. I talk about what's happened with my partner and some work colleagues which eases the stress but obviously I'm not dealing with it correctly.

Manys thanks


Posted by

Hi Frank

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mum - you can all take great comfort from being there with her when she passed.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve and dealing with emotions - we are all different and cope in different ways and at our own pace.  You may have lost your temper but I'm sure your colleagues would know that it is because you are going through an emotional rollercoaster at the moment. Don't worry about how long you take and how you grieve - never bottle anything up.  If you are in a supermarket and something triggers a memory just pop to the toilet and have a quiet cry then carry on shopping.

Not being with your family can make it more difficult at times but it also gives you the chance to work things out on your own.  Do you have a real true friend - not your partner - who you can talk to and will understand if you get angry and / or emotional?  Does your workplace have an HR team that could offer some confidential 1-2-1 support or maybe they could put you in touch with someone locally.

Try writing down things you remember from your childhood that your mum did (home baking?) and also any stories she told you from her childhood.  This helps to get your emotions out and will be there to look back on much later when you may have forgotten some things. Include photos if possible and ask family and any of your mums' friends for contributions.

Please contact the support line free on 0808 808 0000 which is open daily 8 am – 8 pm 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.

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.

Hope this helps and sending you a big hug.

Posted by

Hi David

Thanks for your words of encouragement, today has been a hard day were my emotions seem to have risen to the surface, resulting in a deep lengthy chat with my partner regarding our loss, which has affected her due to the close relationship her and my mum shared.

Yes my company provide a emotional support counselor which I have been thinking about reaching out to since being back, as well as the traditional avenue of a HR department with a door always open approach.

I'm thinking about taking some time out soon considering my behaviour over the past few working days, just to spend time with my partner and children to try and deal with it better and in a less stressful environment.

I have already embraced the memories from childhood with my mum and/or recent trips activities we all done as a family, before, during and after her treatment but once again I thank you for your support and thoughtful words.