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My mother is in her 80s. I wake up every morning feeling sick about losing her
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grandehorizontale · 26/05/2022 08:04

My mother is 86. She is pin sharp - a bit grumpy and difficult but I love her. I have no idea how I will live without her. I talk to her every day and visit her regularly. I deal with all her health stuff. -take her for medical appointments, take her for a few days away......

I wake up every morning with a sense of dread. Every GP visit - every blood test - makes me feel sick. She doesn't have any terminal conditions but I am constantly frightened of what the next GP visit will reveal. Does everyone with an elderly parent live like this? Do millions of people feel like me? It doesn't help that I don't have my own children. So, when I lose her (I have already lost my father) I will be alone. I try and have a word with myself - I try and protect her from my anxiety. Would like to hear the views of others.

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GayParis · 26/05/2022 08:09

I'm not sure if this will make you feel any better but I often feel like this and my mum is 63!

We're extremely close and the idea of losing her really does make me feel sick & any health issues she has I'm often a wreck. Not that I let her know that!

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Antarcticant · 26/05/2022 08:13

I know this feeling Flowers

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LetitiaLeghorn · 26/05/2022 08:20

My mum is 86 and has dementia. I know she's declining and I'm going to lose her. I can't bear to think about it. I got into a pattern of fretting so much of how she was going to be in six months, that I was letting precious months slip by. So I've tried to learn to appreciate and enjoy today and try not worry about tomorrow. I lost my dad 7 years ago and haven't really got over that yet, so to have neither in the world seems unbearable to me.

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ChiswickFlo · 26/05/2022 08:26

Hmm.
I'm not really sure that's healthy for you tbh.
Could you access some counselling to discuss this? Work on making your life a bit more about you and your needs than about your mum?
I can empathise - my mum is 76 and really quite frail now but I try and enjoy the time we spend together rather than focus on future loss.
My dad died at 67, so I know that life goes on - whether that seems possible at the time to us or not.
Good luck x

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Schulte · 26/05/2022 08:27

I know the feeling too. I live 1000 miles away from my mum and only see her once a year (because Covid) and I have to stop myself from thinking those thoughts. Try to make the most of the time you have with her.

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Peterbear · 26/05/2022 08:29

I know this feeling very well. I'm trying to enjoy my mum whilst she's here but it niggles away at me.no advice for you OP sorry but I hear you and it's scary and probably quite common.xxx

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BeyondMyWits · 26/05/2022 08:31

Don't let worry about tomorrow steal the joy from today.

She has no life limiting illness other than life itself, so enjoy it together.

She's in her eighties. She has every possibility of still being there at 100. Over a decade away. Are you going to worry every day for over a decade?

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Sniffypete · 26/05/2022 08:34

I lost my mum at just 64. I'm mid-thirties. My grandmother died at 90. For me, the loss of my grandmother was much easier as she had lived a good life, she had dementia and was suffering so really her death was a release from the pain and suffering.

You know that the time you have left is precious, treasure that and make memories, take photos and give her lots of hugs and kisses. I didn't have that with my mum. She was too young.

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Sniffypete · 26/05/2022 08:35

And I don't mean that in a horrible way - just that you need to appreciate the time you have left. That could be another twenty years away yet!

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Apollonia1 · 26/05/2022 08:40

I know how you feel.
My mum is 92, sharp as a pin. Healthy for her age, lives alone with my dad (93), drives etc.
I dread losing her. I think I'll have a breakdown when it happens.

My only advice is, try to enjoy the good days now, so you've no regrets later.

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lljkk · 26/05/2022 08:40

Don't let your anxiety about the future ruin your Today.

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Iamthewombat · 26/05/2022 08:47

lljkk · 26/05/2022 08:40

Don't let your anxiety about the future ruin your Today.

Yeah, this.

My parents are both 90. One of them is going to go before the other, most likely my dad. I’ve got my mother drilled in what to do if she wakes up and finds him dead, or very ill, in bed or if he dies on the sofa watching Eggheads.

That sounds quite cold, doesn’t it? But I’m focusing on doing nice things with them when they are alive and anticipating their practical needs. Of course I will be sad when they are gone, but why accelerate the sorrow whilst they are still alive?

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MsMillyMollyMandy · 26/05/2022 08:58

I can sympathise with these feelings.
My parents are in their eighties and suddenly seem very frail. Dad has been in hospital since February (admitted with pneumonia and then caught Covid) and has transferred to a care home yesterday. Mum who has dementia is joining him shortly.
My in-laws are also in their eighties and becoming frail.
I sometimes feel overwhelmed with sadness about what is ahead but have to focus on how lucky we are to have benefited from the support of both sets of parents for so long.
I must admit to having a huge fear of death having reached my late fifties without significant bereavement.
I phone my parents daily ( we live in a different country) and also FaceTime regularly and encourage my DH to do likewise with PIL. The conversations are long and often circle around the same loop multiple times but bring great comfort, especially to my Mum. Although I sometimes feel worn out from the frequent flying visits and daily calls I know I won’t regret it when they are gone. As previous posters have said, no real advice other than to enjoy your Mum and try to focus on quality time with her xx

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MayorDusty · 26/05/2022 09:14

I'm glad you started this thread @grandehorizontale I feel like this every day but the handful of people around me make me feel I'm being crazy.
Admittedly I'm very anxious now (there was a fall a couple of weeks ago so not entirely unwarranted) and I think the pandemic really sharpened my fears.
I've spoken to my Dad or seen him every single day, wherever I was in the world even before mobile phones. He's even been at the birth of my DC.
I can't imagine that day when he's not here.

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grandehorizontale · 26/05/2022 09:22

Thanks MayorDusty - it's difficult to seek support about this from close friends - because they (if they are lucky in that they have any parents still alive ) also have elderly/frail parents (in some cases in a lot situations than my mother) and so it feels selfish to download on them.

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Woolandwonder · 26/05/2022 09:26

I feel very similar, my parents are younger 69 & 74, I feel constantly on edge waiting for a call with bad news and feel like I won't cope well at all. They are also still carers for a sibling of mine with learning disabilities and there still isn't a solid plan for the future so I think that weighs quite heavily on me too. I work hard to refocus on the now and not get too tangled up in those thoughts but there are days that are easier than others!

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LetitiaLeghorn · 26/05/2022 10:01

I think its different when you don't have children as well. If you have children, it's not that you don't feel the loss just as great, but you do still have family in your life. But with no children, you suddenly feel very alone and sort of adrift. It's a bit scary to think about.

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MrsSkylerWhite · 26/05/2022 10:04

My mum is 84, fit as a fiddle and I don’t give the future a passing thought.
I don’t think your constant worrying is healthy and it will ruin the time you have together.
Can you talk to a counsellor, for some perspective?

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MadameCholetsDirtySecret · 26/05/2022 10:07

There is something else going on here subconsciously, I think and it’s about your own mortality. Understandable, but unless you look deeply at the root of your anxiety, it isn’t going to go away.
i speak as someone who has lost one parent too young.

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wonderstuff · 26/05/2022 10:11

My mum turns 70 this year and I worry about losing her, she’s my rock! Dad died at 64 and since then I’ve been more aware of her mortality. I’m hoping I’ve got another 30 years with her, but I can see she’s starting to slow a little, she’s started declaring her age every now and then (I am nearly 70 you know). Definitely need to focus on what I have rather than what I stand to lose.

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cherylsammy · 26/05/2022 10:22

I totally understand this.
I was the same with my gran,she was a mother to me.
I worried every day about her till she passed at 97.
All those years I wasted worrying about loosing her when I could have just enjoyed her being here.
Enjoy every day with her.
I know it's easy to say don't spend every day like that because I did it ...now I'm on the other side I see how much time I wasted.

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fossilsmorefossils · 26/05/2022 11:19

I always dreaded losing my mum (she had health ptoblems all of my life) and I did lose her in my twenties. It was awful but it does get easier with time. I still miss her but the times between me being upset about it stretch to longer and longer each time. I did end up having a child and it does help to have family. I am very thankful for the good relationship that we had. So many people miss out on having felt very loved and I do take that with me going forward.

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ArseInTheCoOpWindow · 26/05/2022 11:26

Could l just try and help.

Im 58, my dad died when l was 7 and my mum when l was 42. Because l didn’t have a father l really remembered my mum was kind of extra important.

l too was dreading her dying, and felt sick with anxiety at the thought. When it did happen l was very upset at first. But you kind of make peace with it. When l go to the graveyard, it’s like the circle of life. You have to go for more to be born. My mum died 16 years ago. I don’t really need photos of her, l clearly remember what she looked like, even the sound of her voice. I still talk to her in my head all the time. She’s always with me

l hope this helps a bit

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Bigoldmachine · 26/05/2022 11:44

Hello. I am going to try my best not to sound unfeeling or too harsh, but you cannot protect yourself from your mum dying, or from the emotional pain you will feel when she does. Anxiety’s “job” is to protect you from harm, but here it is out of balance because you cannot protect from it. What you can do is use it as a reminder to really enjoy every day with her and cherish her. So when those anxious thoughts present, rather than thinking “one day she will die”, think “how lucky I am she is here”. Easier said than done I know.

I also think perhaps you should do some work coming to terms with the truth that one day we will all die. And that is ok and right. As a PP said perhaps it would be helpful to try and work some things into your life that are just about you / not about your mum.

also you feel this way because you love her so much. Isn’t that wonderful!! To have had a loving mother and such an enduring close relationship. Yes, the absence of that one day will be painful but that’s the price we pay as humans for fulfilling relationships. I’m sure you wouldn’t have rather not had that relationship with your mum.

my mum died when I was 20 and I still miss her a lot, and feel it’s unfair sometimes…. But I think about how lucky I was to have those 20 years with such an incredible mother, and how much of her lives on in me and the ways she has shaped me as a person.

good luck op I know it’s hard but death is a part of life. The fact that joy, sorrow, love, grief, every single beautiful and painful thing in the world can all exist at the same time to me is part of the wonder of being alive!


oh and ps if you can’t tell I am a very very emotional person but I know I do deal with grief well, I think this is because I am fiercely protective of my right to my feelings. When one day your mum does die, yes, allow yourself to feel all those feelings, sit with the pain and let it be. But you don’t need to do that now. She is still here so sit with the good feelings, let them be and let yourself feel what you feel NOW, not what you’re worried about feeling (that’s abstract and unhelpful. Again it’s going to sound cold but if you really think about it you could even die first who knows?!)

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nextweekfriday · 26/05/2022 19:34

I wonder if it's worth drawing on your life beliefs that could help you accept death as a part of life? Or focus on building really positive memories with her now lots of lovely photos together, have conversations with her about how you're feeling as she may tell you she wouldn't want you to be sad?? Also one thing worth considering is that death when it does come may be an end to suffering - when my dad died i accepted it a lot easier knowing he was no longer suffering...

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