How to get over the trauma of a parent's illness and death?!

Question: How to get over the trauma of a parent's illness and death.?
My mum died in July. She went into hospital on Monday June 30th with a suspected stroke. By Thursday they realised in was Viral Encephalitis. She became very ill and aspirated (vomited into her lungs), meaning she couldn't breathe. She was intubated and transferred to an ICU 25 miles away. She had to be kept unconcious as she was still intubated and on the Saturday (5th July) she had a massive heart attack. On Monday (7th) she was found to have a heart infection (sub-acute bacterial endocarditis). She had a tracheostomy and they stopped the sedatives but sh didn't wake up until Monday 14th July.She couldn't speak because of the tube in her throat but remained relatively cheerful. She seemed to be making progress and was being weaned off the ventilator but then she had another heart attack on Saturday 19th. (She had another smaller one on Sunday 13th). From this point she seemed to fade away.She couldn't manage more than five minutes off the ventilator without getting tachycardic. Eventually, she died on Friday 25th July, peacefully (she had quite alot of morphine) and with my brothers, my aunt and me with her.

I spent some time everyday with her and spent the last two days staying at the hospital with her.

I obviously have to come to terms with not having my mother with me anymore but I also struggle with the way in which she died and the suddeness of her illness and death. I want to think about my mum but all I can think about is how miserable she must have been and how painful and frustrating it must have been for her -not being able to move and speak and being dependant on people to feed her etc. (We would bring in Ben and Jerry's, rice puddings and Thornton's Chocolate Gingers for her!).

I understand that everyone dies and most of us have to come to terms with losing out parents. But why did it have to be so miserable and awful. Its so painful to imagine how dreadful it must have been for her.

How do I cope.? How do I stop myself bursting into tears at any moment.? (Including driving which is quite dangerous)

Plus, I just want to talk about her and the whole four weeks of her illness all the time - even though it's really painful to do so.

Health Question & Answer

Your mum must have been so comforted to have everyone around her, feeding her Ben & Jerry's! Yes, it will have been hard for her at times, but people often develop a calmness and sense of detachment when their time is near. They have time to make their peace with the inevitable, even if they keep fighting. You and your family will have given her the strength to do that.

Right now, everything you describe is perfectly normal. The fact that you need to talk about it all is good, as this stops you from suppressing the grieving process.

Please don't be afraid to cry. Try and pull up in the car when you feel the tears coming on. Don't be afraid of other very powerful emotions, including anger - even towards your mum for leaving you. That often happens during the grieving process, and many people feel very ashamed.

Contact Cruse Bereavement Care and ask them to arrange for counselling. They have a wonderful service, which is free, and they come to your home!

Nothing anyone says is of much help to you now but, as a bereavement counsellor, I can only urge you to talk to anyone and everyone, allow yourself to experience every feeling - some people even think they are genuinely going mad at times - and I promise you that the day will come when you remember your mum with smiles, rather than tears.Health Question & Answer

it all depends on who the person is and how they cope with death.
you have to learn how to accept that there's nothing you can do about it.Health Question & Answer

my mum died in same way or near enough, its hard ,its in a dream ,you cant think of anything will be like that for a good while its good to grieve its part of the healing process .Health Question & Answer

I found the book'On Death and Dying' by Elisabeth Kubler Ross a great help.My sympathies on your loss.Health Question & Answer

firstly,let me offer my sympathies

like you, my mother died very suddenly, and on my birthday, and it took me a long time to get over it, or at least find it less painful

And like you I cried a lot, into a towel, as hankies were useless

What you are going through and doing are totally normal

Do what you feel, and never try to stop your emotions,it shows you are human and a caring person

You'll also go through a lot of emotions, like anger, why me, feel guilty, although you've nothing to feel guilty about

All of this is totally normal

Talk about her, think about her and most of all be thankful for her, as a mother

I don't know if you are a mother yourself, but if you are it will bring your emotions into perspective, as nobody,but nobody,
is as special as your mum

The old phrase, time is a great healer, is so true, but at the moment,don't be hard on yourself, as you are human and have emotions, and feelings and the need to express them

Hope this helps

Health Question & Answer

You should talk about her as much as you want to. I lost my dad quite suddenly from a massive heart attack about thirty years ago. He was only 46 years old. I know it sounds impossible right now...and it is...but pretty soon as each day goes by you WILL find a way to go on and the severe ache in your heart will lessen from the loss and you will replace it with good memories of you and your mum. It is very very hard and if you need to join a group that helps dealing with loss then find one. It sounds like you have a lot of family that also probably wants to keep her memory alive and find ways to cope. I still miss him and more so when i had my kids and how much he would have loved them...but I have to believe that he can see them and its some comfort... I want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss and I wish the best to you and your family....Health Question & Answer

I am sorry for your loss.

Here is what I tell people when they lose someone in their life.

It's not how they left us, but its what they left for us in our hearts.

Meaning-did she use to volunteer to help children.? Was she someone who would drive someone to a store or work.? Keep those traditions alive. I am sure if you were to continue to do something in honor of her, she would be so proud of you.Health Question & Answer

That's normal. Just after my mum died I burst into tears in the middle of the supermarket, on the high street, in the flower shop and before that I cried almost 2 days straight, It is so hard and it hurts so much. But it's a year and a half now and I'm still here. My advice would be to find someone whom you can trust and feel comfortable talking to and tell them how you feel. Make sure they understand, you wouldn't believe some of the most insensitive things one of my closest friends said to me because she didn't understand how losing someone felt.
Best of luck and just keep a positive outlook. Health Question & Answer

Let yourself burst out: it's completely normal. Just this month, a kid from my school died. Just cope and mope, but not for too long. Cry if you have to. It is actually bad to bottle your feelings. If you need to talk about it, talk with your family or your friends who really understand. Or you can talk to yourself or write in a diary.Health Question & Answer

the best way to cope with it is to talk about it, write about... if you just hold it in, the sadness ill build inside until you cant hold it in anymore and you just break down. if you feel you need to cry, cry. you only have one mother, she gave you life, she will always be a part of you. everything happens for a reason this maybe a sign. this is going to teach you how to cope with tragedy. when you talk or write about your problems thats the best way to come to terms with things. i wish you the best of luck at this difficult time.Health Question & Answer

that is normal. you are still young. the older you get the more death's you will see. it don't get any easier. you will miss your mother forever but the hurt will pass to a point. try to remember the good times you2 had together. when i think of my mom i stop and say a prayer for her. it helps me. lots of luck. Health Question & Answer

hello flick, im so Very sorry to hear about your wonderful mum,she sounds like a very loving lady,and to spend so much of her time helping others.she will be sadly miss.flick she will always be watching over talk to her when you are sad or down,she will be listening to you.keep her photo on your bed side cabinet,and give her a kiss every will make you feel a catholic,but i don't get out much,as im on oxygen,and in a wheelchair.but you and your mum will be in my be strong,i know it hard,but you have to get on with your life,your mum would want you to.god bless you flick.xxxHealth Question & Answer

Try to remember that death , including the illness part of it, is a journey...the human mind has coping mechanisms to deal with the situation as it arises...a special place in the mind where people who face death, go to...its not something they can is often built on memories of happy times...your Mum will have been mostly in that place. When my Dad died, I just kept telling myself how annoyed he would have been if I spent long sad days thinking about the negatives...your Mum is still with you...when you say a saying that she taught you...that is her...when you look at a flower that she taught you the name of that is her...I could go will get much better.Health Question & Answer

It sure sounds like it was a tough time for all of you. I'm so sorry you lost your mom and she had to go through so much at the end. I think bursting out in tears and wanting to talk about it are both very normal and healthy. Keeping it all inside would cause you to be ill! I hope you can talk with a trusted friend or find a pastor or counselor to talk with for several sessions. Many churches have grief groups that take you through a number of sessions focused on different aspects of the grieving process. Why not call a few churches in your area or your chamber of commerce and ask if they have a group.
Time is a great healer, but in the mean time let those tears flow and give yourself slack. If you need a "mental health" day just to cry and it!
May you find some peace in knowing that her suffering is over. It sounds like you gave a lot of yourself as she went through it all and you will never regret all you did!! God Bless!Health Question & Answer

I know just how you feel hun I felt just the same when my dad passed away. All I could think about was his illness (lasted 6 months). Only time will heal your pain im afraid.There is no quick fix I just wished there was. My dad died 26 years ago and its still so painful at times. You will start to remember the good times and the bad painful ending will fade a bit but never go away. You will never get over this but you will learn to live with your loss. I would like to wish you the best of luck and hope that your pain fades in time. Health Question & Answer

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