Bereaved family and friends

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

What now ?

BetsyBoop123
Posted by

I don’t really know what to write and i hate asking for help in anything but I’m so lost. My mum was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in May,totally out the blue. My little world imploded. We carried on, I also have a 8 year old son that has lived with her since birth (with me of course too). I cared for her as best i could which now seems like not enough. On 29th October she passed away. Between her diagnosis (she went to the doctors then we were in hospital and then  we found out) and now, none of it has sunk in. I’m not really sure what to process first, that she’s ill? Then dying? All the stuff in between or that she’s just not here anymore? I can’t quite find the new normal for me and my boy and I’m not sure I want to. Any help would be appreciated,thank you x

DaveyBo
Posted by

Hi BetsyBoop

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mum.  You and your son can take great comfort from being with her all the time and doing as much as you could.  We all think, with hindsight, if we could have done more but your mum would know that you did the best you could and more importantly how much you both loved her.

There is no set way or time limit for grieving - we all do it differently and at our own pace.  You need to have times with your son when you both grieve together but also you need time to do this alone - maybe when he is at school.  This site has loads of information which will help your son and you will be able to concentrate a bit more on your own emotions knowing that he is getting the right support.

Did your mum have a favourite place such as the local park.  Visit this with or without your son and sit there quietly talking to your mum - she will find a way to let you know she is listening.  You can talk to her at anytime and she will always try to find a way to support and guide - the signs may be small but they will be there.  You can create a memory book - especially good for your son - including your memories, stories your mum told you of her childhood and photos.  

Never bottle up your emotions (and the same for your son) - if in a supermarket and you get upset just go to the toilet and cry quietly, if the emotions overwhelm you just leave and go somewhere that you can let your emotions flow.  If you have any true friends try talking to them -  a true friend will let you cry and / or get angry and be supportive even if it is just a silent cuddle.

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.

DINAH MAY
Posted by

There is something so weird about cancer, when you lose someone you love you feel others pain. I am writing this as the tears roll down my cheeks, I have been where you are now and I am so very sorry that you have to go through this too. Like you, my mum was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she passed 4 months after diagnosis.

Its been three years this christmas for me. It will get easier, I promise. But there is a different kind of normal now and even today I have bad days, I just think that you learn to cope. 

I think you are probably in a state of shock still. From the time of diagnosis to your dear mums passing  its a lot to process, and it will take time, lots of time. 

If possible talk to someone, your hospice will provide bereavement counselling. There is no quick way to pull yourself together and carry on as usual, you will go through all the stages of grief and a few more than once, you will cry so much, more than you ever thought was possible, and you may even wonder if you really want to carry on. 

Then, something happenings and it will only happen when you are ready. You realise that you can relive all of those wonderful memories again in your mind and you can do them without crying infact they will make you laugh and smile, you will start to realise how alike you are and it will give you some comfort to hear and see your mum in you.

 I know this all sounds crazy now, your heart is breaking and how could life ever be happy again. But I promise it will be. 

For now speak to people, speak on here pour your heart out, do anything and everything you need to, to get through this. Look after yourself make sure you get enough sleep, and that you are eating well and taking care of yourself, it sounds pretty obvious but its so easy to stop doing the simple things. 

Stay in contact with the rest of the world, friends, family. 

I miss my mum everday, I will for the rest of my life and so will you, but you are your mothers daughter and you will get through this, I promise XX

Teresa