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  • #25063
    rjt123
    Participant

    My mum passed away this week at age 80.

    Not sure how, although it seems she died peacefully in her sleep at home. She was battling cancer since July 2021.

    I’m struggling with loneliness at the moment … friends, relatives and colleagues have all been very supportive though I live alone (with dog) so it is a hard thing.

    I’m also bipolar so there is that too that I need to keep an eye on.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 15 total)
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    Replies
  • #25064
    Gabby15
    Participant

    Hey,
    I’m just reaching out to let you know I was in a very similar situation in 2021 when my Dad passed suddenly with stage 4 lung cancer he didn’t know he had. Right after he died my mother cut me out of her life as my siblings had already done a few years prior. I was an absolute mess, with no family, a single mum to a 5 yr old – i couldn’t look after myself let alone him for weeks. I remember just doing the bare essentials to get by and sitting alone after his bedtime just crying my eyes out.

    It probably took a year before I could actually talk about Dad without welling up and crying.

    My friends got me through for the most part but was only so much they could do. I stopped taking my meds and my bipolar was completely unmanaged. I had frequent episodes both (manic and mania), severe depression and anxiety which led me straight back to substance misuse (meth) as the only way I knew how to cope. During a particularly bad episode I was fortunate enough that I still had a shred of self awareness. I rang my friend and told her I needed help and for someone to look after my son. I went to hospital and they reported me to Child protection. When I was discharged they allowed my son to come back home to my care. They did regular check ins and drug screens for a few months and worked with me to get the proper supports I needed and also to create a safety plan should it be needed in the future.

    It’s important you get professional help / therapy to make sure you stay compliant with meds to manage your bipolar. It doesn’t take much when grieving to become really unwell. Have a plan and talk to a good friend and tell them what to look out for so they can identify you’re unwell and not just grieving, in case you can’t. Be totally honest about it too.

    I’m glad you have your dog. I had my beloved dog during that time also and he was the best support ever. As alone as I felt, I knew I wasn’t completely alone. He gave me unconditional non judgemental love.

    I’d never lost anyone close to me up to that point in my life and losing my dad was a tremendous first loss to deal with. Time will help you heal. Paying tribute to your mum may also be something that helps. I contributed a $200 writing prize to hunters writers grieve project. In doing so I got to select a winning piece of poetry about grief that would be included in their published book along with a dedication to my dad. It made me feel good to honour him in that way.

    Sorry my reply is so long. I wish you all the best and you have my sincere condolences. You are not alone, you reached out on this forum and that’s so brave. Please just keep reaching out. Happy to respond anytime.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Gabby15.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Gabby15.
    #25067
    rjt123
    Participant

    Hi Gabby … thanks so much for responding to my post … it really helps. I’m compliant with my meds but not seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist at the moment … I can do some therapy through work so will initiate that next week. I chatted to a friend in Germany before so feel less alone in the world.

    #25068
    vmestia
    Participant

    Hi @rjt123,

    I’m so glad you reached out to this forum and seem to have a few good plans in place for your self-care. I imagine it must be bittersweet to think your mum died peacefully, after nearly two years battling with cancer. That in itself must have been a rollercoaster of emotions. I have a long-distance phone friend who went through cancer, and the process rocked her whole family before, during and after diagnosis/treatment. My dad also went through cancer, though he and my mum practically shielded me from the whole thing… but regardless of how much I was able to “see”, the struggle with facing mortality and losing the simple presence of loved ones is real… I didn’t grow up with pets but have a dog and cat now, and it’s amazing how different a home feels with other living presences around. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s really weird that modern humans are so isolated instead of living in tribes, and I’m sure there’s a bunch of biological reasons that explain why living alone is hard. I also just remembered a friend speaking to me about when she lost her dad – they both knew it was coming, but when it ‘finally happened’ it hit her like a shockwave. Even though she expected it, she couldn’t have expected bracing for the loss she felt.
    I adore my therapist and hope your heart feels deeply connected with when you see yours. Cheering you on for being you!

    Thank you also to @Gabby15 for your honesty and lived experience. I’m so glad that you had enough self-awareness, friends and positive experiences with helping professionals. A sense of community is exactly what drew me to volunteer with Griefline… unexpected kindness from all over, in many different ways. One little bit at a time, especially when life sucks. We’re just a bunch of humans here to support each other.

    Here are a few specific tips that Griefline Australia shares for coping with grief. Please also feel free to call the Helpline on weekdays or Book a Call if that better suits your schedule (details at the bottom of the article).

    Coping with Grief

    Take care,
    vmestia

    #25069
    rjt123
    Participant

    Thanks @vmestia

    #25075
    VMKat
    Participant

    Hello @rjt123

    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. I’m glad you found the strength to reach out to this forum. Sharing sad feelings with others at such a difficult time can be challenging.
    I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to experience the feelings associated with losing your mum. It is the strongest and longest bond most of us share with someone, and having it severed is one of the most difficult experiences a human can experience. My best friend lost her mum a few years ago, which gave me a glimpse of that pain. I can now understand that when you say, “It’s a hard thing”, it’s actually totally overwhelming and devastating. ☹
    We are here for you.

    #25076
    vmzef
    Participant

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one can be very difficult, and it’s understandable that you’re struggling with loneliness at this difficult time. It’s good that you have a supportive network of friends, relatives, and colleagues, but I can imagine that living alone with your dog can be challenging. Dealing with bipolar disorder while grieving can also be challenging. Remember that it’s okay to take time to grieve and process your emotions. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, and don’t hesitate to ask for help or support when you need it. Here is a resource that might help you with this challenging time. Please remember that we are here for you to listen and help where we can.

    #25079
    rjt123
    Participant

    Thanks all for the support

    #25080
    rjt123
    Participant

    As a tribute to mum I have set up a thing that people can donate to mum’s favourite charity (a dog rescue organisation). Work colleagues have also organised a contribution for me and I am going to use the funds to adopt another dog in mum’s memory – she wanted to get a dog this year. Better than planting a tree – I’m a bit unorthodox that way. I’m just overwhelmed by the love and generosity people I know are giving me at this time.

    #25121
    vmestia
    Participant

    Dear @rjt123, so glad to hear you are continuing to receive love and generosity from multiple sources… and aren’t dogs simply a fountain of unconditional love and snuggles!! How deeply meaningful to carry on your mum’s wishes… and get extra love in her honour, with ‘home support’ from your work colleagues. I am so happy for you!!

    #25126
    rjt123
    Participant

    Well the funeral is tomorrow … I am looking after myself and we are all well prepared for a harrowing day

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 15 total)
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