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Bereaved family and friends

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

Loss of a mother at 19

Posted by


This is all very new to me as I tend to bottle up all emotions instead of talking about them.

My mum recently passed away in November from liver cancer. In October she was still working and seemed perfectly healthy. 
Once she was diagnosed she had 19 days before she passed away. We were told weeks to months but we were not expecting it to be that quick, there wasn't any time to prepare.

Thankfully both myself and my dad were with her and she went in her sleep. 
It didn’t hit me at first but lately it’s becoming a lot to deal with. I have family around me to talk to but I don’t like upsetting them. 
When it first happened I was so concerned about my dad that I didn’t allow myself time to grieve, I went back to work after a week of my mum passing. 
I just wanted to make sure my dad And sister were okay and now they’re doing really well, I’ve found myself slightly lost. I have an amazing boyfriend who’s been with my the whole way however it’s hard to understand when it hasn’t happened directly to you. 
I’m looking for someone with a similar age and story to mine that I can connect with and talk to.

Thank you for reading,

Shona x

Posted by

Hi Shona

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mum.  Unfortunately doctors can only give a best guess on how long when diagnosing based on the average for similar cases.  However, you can take great comfort from knowing that your mum knew how much you loved her and were with her when she passed peacefully - this would have given her great comfort.

The emotions you describe are perfectly normal.  You have put others first and now it is time for you.  A few things you could try are - visit one of your mums favourite places on your own and talk to her and quietly wait to see if she responds such as a breath of wind on a still day; try starting a memory book with stories from your childhood, stories from your mums childhood, include pictures and get help from relatives and friends of your mum - this is a great way to keep memories alive and expressing your emotions this will help; do you have a best friend you could talk to who will understand and offer support?  You could maybe go somewhere on your own for a day out or a weekend (after restrictions) and just let your emotions flow as they want - your own mind will know what is best for you and when; maybe plant her favorite flower in the garden and see how much it blooms.

Remember, we all grieve in our own way and at our own pace so there is no right or wrong way or time.  Bottling things up is not ideal - it doesn't matter where you are, if you feel tears flowing let them flow quietly or nip to the toilet and have a good cry.  Most people will understand and may surprise you how much support they give.  Your mum will always be around you and will always try to support and guide you as best she can.  Talk to her whenever you want to even something as simple as "Oh, it's raining again but it will help the garden" - you can still do this even many years later and it always helps.

If you need to talk to someone, 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.