My Mum died 10 days ago

(34 Posts)

I am struggling today with the concept of where she is now. I know this is a massive topic for mankind, nevermind Mumsnet.

Mum went to church every Saturday night (Roman Catholic - Sat night Mass is the quickest) but never spoke much about her faith. I was raised RC and so are my kids, but have never felt one moment's faith in my life (Dara O'Briain calls himself "culturally catholic" which describes me too. I would say I like the hymns and the concept of "loving thy neighbour" but that the whole organised religion leaves me cold and I would suspect it is all balarney).

Until she got ill three weeks ago I would have said that when you die, that is the end. But I literally cannot bear this at the moment. I am not sleeping. She was 62 when she died, she wasn't ready to go and thought that she was going to go through chemo and then have another couple of years. But after the first session of chemo she became neutropenic (spell?), caught pneumonia and was told that they couldn't save her. She died 23 hours later.

As it's now getting dark and I'm facing another long night - could you just tell me what you believe/think happens when you die?

Themobstersknife Wed 03-Jul-13 20:44:06

I just don't know. I like to believe they are up there watching us, but I am not religious in any way. But its too hard to believe it is the end. You are 10 days in. It is so raw. Things will get easier.
I am so sorry for your loss. Take care of you.

mumofthemonsters808 Wed 03-Jul-13 21:04:48

So sorry to hear this sad news, losing my beautiful Mum was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with. Twelve months on the pain is still very raw and I continue to miss her daily.

When I've seen dead family members in the chapel of rest, it has confirmed my thought that our bodies are shells and what makes us individuals (our souls) have indeed gone, exactly where to, is where it gets fussy. I have faith, so I believe my Mum is reunited with my Dad in heaven. My OH a non believer believes our souls go into the nearest new born baby.

Wherever your Mum may be, please be very gentle with yourself, it is very early days, take each day as it comes.

Thanks for the replies

I know I am being stupid. I am the sort of person whose life is based on facts and evidence. However, I am in some sort of strange parallel life where I wonder round hoping for a sign from her. If there is a heaven, they have better things to do than send messages, and if there isn't - well there isn't.

I agree that mum wasn't there when we went to see her body. But her suffering still was all over her face. Would quite literally give everything I have at this moment for some faith. Ho Hum.

Thanks again.

harbinger Wed 03-Jul-13 21:30:09

I am sorry for your loss.

I won't tell you what I believe. I don't know.

My DM is a true Christian and believes in the Bible. She has no fear of death. Religion is a truth for her. If your DM had faith, be happy for her.

evelynj Wed 03-Jul-13 21:37:59

Hugs to you-as other posters have said please be gentle with yourself, even sing/listen to some hymns if you find comfort in it.

I, like you have been brought up v religiously but don't know what has been ingrained and how much true belief I have. I believe in God (a higher power, but all my beliefs are personal and dont always match the bible).

We are all souls and have a body for a time but the energy from us as individuals I think has to go somewhere. Have you a special place where you could go and talk to your mum? As she went so quickly and suddenly it will probably take a long time to get used to this. Maybe talk to a counsellor if you think this will help.

I often suspect that a lot of people go through the motions with faith/church and this alone gives them comfort without thinking too much about their True beliefs.

FluffyDucky Wed 03-Jul-13 21:38:23

First I am so sorry for your loss. If you are finding you are not sleeping please feel no shame or problem in going to the doctor for a short term solution (sleeping pills)
My mum died in 2011, she took her own life, so it was very unexpected. She was not massively religious but did believe in god etc..
Like you I am very much science, don't really believe in heaven etc.. but found myself getting upset at the thought of her getting cold. I questioned everything I thought I knew and wanted to know. I still don't know if she is 'up there' but I do know she is not suffering now. You may find some form of symbolism a comfort.
On the day of the funeral we saw lots of rainbows, now when I see a rainbow I think of her. My sis in law was always told when you see a robin it is someone you love who has passed. On our wedding day (almost exactly a year later) a little robin appeared during the family photos.

It does get easier, and you will get so fed up of people saying that! But it does. You sort of learn to live with her not being around. Have you had the funeral yet?
xxxx

bishboschone Wed 03-Jul-13 22:01:38

I lost my dad 3 weeks ago and I don't really believe in any religion. He is buried and it feels very wrong that we have put him in the ground . Mum of monsters that's really interesting as your dh beliefs make the most sense to me .

Just seen your posts - thanks so much for responding.
Today we cleaned my parents' house (my sister and I) and started tackling the paperwork, while Dad went back to his job.
We had some moments where it got too much, and others when we could laugh - especially when we found our old school reports and her secret M&S card!
Still feels completely surreal and I am mainly getting by on the pretence that she is just out with her friends, shopping or in another room.
I am rather angry that everyone's lives carry on when ours seem to have just halted - hope this feeling passes.
I'm going to speak to a priest - which is not my style, but our parish priest is around my age and largely unshockable. Not entirely sure what I want him to say - secret proof of heaven known only to priests?!

Rufus43 Thu 04-Jul-13 20:13:25

Hi, sorry for your loss. My mum was RC and I am very, very lapsed. I don't believe in God or heaven but I believe that you go where you believe you will go.

So when I die I will just cease to exist but my mum is settled in heaven, her heaven how ever she believed it would be.....so plenty of Tia Maria and chats with Elvis I should think

Makes sense in my head anyway although the newborn babies would be lovely

lljkk Netherlands Thu 04-Jul-13 20:22:10

I'm so sorry if this sounds rude, I don't know how else to ask.

Why does it comfort you to think she's in heaven, Branston? Is it because you miss her and want to see her again, or do you think she deserves better than to just stop existing?

Because I miss her and need to see her again.
Although she was lovely, I wouldn't say she deserved anything above other people. I'd be quite happy if, in a Philip Pullman type of way, she was part of a tree or a star - as long as I could be with her again.

sittinginthesun Thu 04-Jul-13 20:42:44

So sorry for your loss.

I was exactly where you are now when my dad died nearly five years ago. I am also a cultural catholic (my Mum is a lapsed Catholic, I am pretty anti established religion, but it still flows through my veins!).

I spent a long time "searching" for him. Even before he died I was struggling with the idea that he wouldn't be around.

My job actually involves working with bereaved every single day, but I had no idea I would feel like that.

I had a huge urge to speak to a priest, but don't know any locally. I had counselling via my GP, which did really help, but didn't answer the question.

In the end, all I can say is that, looking back, it was a very strange but magical time. I saw many "signs" - lots of amazing sunsets that no one else saw, two strange experiences (both in churches), and I actually ended up feeling very calm and accepting.

When my grandma died a couple of years ago (mum's mum), I saw the most wonderful sunset. I actually had to stop the car because it took my breathe away.

If you met me, you'd think I was the most sensible, organised, non religious, non believer, but I actually now truly believe there is more too it. Still don't go to church. wink

Take care.

Themobstersknife Thu 04-Jul-13 20:59:04

On the due date of the baby that I miscarried, I saw what looked like a shooting star. I think it is the little - probably / possibly - coincedental things like this that help, even atheists like me.
Glad to hear you can laugh as well as cry. Sounds like you are in pretty good shape.
You will see / feel / hear her again I am sure.

Themobstersknife Thu 04-Jul-13 21:00:00

Like you sittinginthesun - I nearly crashed the car when I saw my shooting star.

Hassled Thu 04-Jul-13 21:06:47

I'm very sorry for your loss. And I absolutely understand - when my parents died, the "but where are they now?" question really startled me, but was all I wanted to ask.

A friend told me she has long conversations with her (dead) father in the car - asks him what he thinks about X, and she'll know what he would have said, and that somehow he keeps going that way. I've never really been able to do that, but it's a lovely, comforting thought.

What has comforted me more than anything is seeing my parents in my children - I'll get a comment from DD, or a look or a smile from DS3,and I'll realise my parents haven't really gone very far at all, that they're actually right here.

orangeandemons Thu 04-Jul-13 21:16:25

I remember this stage. The "searching' stage. Mu mum died 7 years ago, and this bewilderment and wondering are fairly normal

What helped me was going to graveyards and looking at the huge numbers of dead people. It made me realise that everyone has to go at some point, and we are all, just part of the circle of life. I don't know what happens, but like to think that the body dies, but the spirit goes on, perhaps reuniting with others from real life. Otherwise why have all these people lived and died? Think of the scale of it.

I think we on earth to learn, and then carry that knowledge onto something else. I am not at all religious in anyway.

When I started to recover from my mums death, I became much much less scared of dying, almost to the point of being curious. I used to be absolutely terrified of death, but, when it comes, I like to think l will go without a fight. This has been the best part of losing my mum ( if there is a best part). I feel I will see her again

TeaCuresEverything Thu 04-Jul-13 22:03:24

my personal belief is that the soul goes into a new baby, somewhere in the world who is born at the same second a loved one passes.

I just don't believe that each newborn is a brand new soul, I think that we've all lived before, many times.

this comforts me in a strange way.

that said, when something like this happens all we really want is for it not to have happened at all. condolences on the loss of your lovely mum.

escorpion France Thu 04-Jul-13 22:28:20

I believe our loved ones are on a different plane and can communicate with us if we are open about it. I have had light flickerings quite a bit. I also sometimes hear their voice in my head but I think that is just my memory of how they would have reacted to certain situations. It is hard thinking about burying our loved ones. I have often thought about the physical aspect of the body and how it would rot, and that has made me feel really bad, but with the spiritual connections I realise like another poster has said, the body is a shell, but the spirit moves on, in many ways and stays in our thoughts and hearts. So sorry for your loss OP x

Orangeandemons put it well - I'm searching for Mum, particularly at night when kids and DH asleep.

Not been back to the graveyard since the funeral last Friday, maybe that will help. My dad and huge extended family did "the rounds" of all the graves that day, but my sister and I couldn't bear it - I felt that I'd just left Mum in the ground and held onto anyone nearby to stop myself going and getting her out. Am aware this sounds melodramatic - but there was a voice in my head persistently saying "what are you doing? Get her out, you can't leave her there".

throckenholt Fri 05-Jul-13 07:43:49

For me - their body is gone but their essence is always there - in your memories, in your children, in mannerisms - in the things they left behind.
For me their body really is an empty shell once they are gone (have felt that with both my parents), and I don't believe in some other place where all the happy dead collect.

You are going through the shock stage at the moment - particularly because your mother's illness was short (with my mum her illness was about 2 years and I think I went through the shock stage when she was first diagnosed, and had time to get through that before she died).

Give yourself time, try to do some things that remind you of the happy times and not the last few weeks.

bishboschone Fri 05-Jul-13 11:45:11

My dad died 3 weeks ago and I have visited his grave twice .once yesterday . I had this strange compulsion to dig him up. As if he was alive and I needed to get him out and I had to ask myself was he definitely dead. It's a strange process coming to terms with his death. I don't care if I sound crazy it's how I feel . Take care of yourself , it's a long road hmm

juneau Fri 05-Jul-13 12:00:21

Well, firstly, you're not stupid. You're in the early stages of an overwhelming grief, so please be kind to yourself and whatever things you're torturing yourself with are normal - not stupid.

I think it's natural to turn for comfort in a time like this to whatever you've traditionally been taught - and for many of us that's religion in it's various forms. I would call myself culturally C of E, but as I get older I find I don't really believe in any of it. However, during times of crisis I find myself praying - clutching at straws, I suppose - but in our darkest times we'll try anything - even something that we don't, in our more rational and calm moments, believe in.

So do I believe in an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud and gathering souls? No. Do I believe we go to a 'better place' when we die. No, I'm sorry, but I don't. Do I believe that my beloved grandparents are 'looking down' on me and have turned into some kind of guardian angels? I wish I did, but no.

What I do believe is that our loved ones live on in us. They live on because we remember them, we live by the maxims they taught us, they live on, literally, in our DNA, in our memories, in the physical objects they've left us and which remind us of them every time we use them or see them hanging on our walls. I'm sitting typing this at my grandad's desk. He died in 1996 at the age of 86. I remember him every day and I thank him for this most useful and beloved of items in my house.

My condolences to you flowers

sonlypuppyfat Fri 05-Jul-13 12:08:27

My condolences to you, me and my mum were talking about this today she does'nt have any faith. I have a very strong faith CofE and I believe that if you accept Christ as your Lord then you go to Glory with Him which is where your dear Mum is.

t875 Mon 08-Jul-13 00:19:40

So sorry for your loss OP I truly believe although I miss my mum like crazy she passed away suddenly to a massive stroke last April. I truly believe she us around me and my family and my dad I believe she guides us I also feel her around me, I get that spiritual voice in my head. I've heard my name called in a way she would, I've Smelt over whelming perfume and we have also litter thing go on
But saying all this I wish she was here physically but I just take the comfort and the memories with me / in our hearts she will always in my mind be with me but spiritually now. I very special guardian angel.

Please come to the thread of losing a parent I have had such wonderful support from there through very sad over whelming times. Thinking of you and hugs take it easy x

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