Losing Mum and Dad – Depression, Mental Health and Grieving

Aged 17 losing Dad to Lung Cancer and aged 21 losing Mum to Alcoholism, there’s no way I thought I’d ever get over the loss of my parents. I always said to myself, if my Mum died, I’d never be able to cope. My Dad tried his hardest to keep me at comfort by telling me everything, and preparing me for the day he finally left us, but with Mum, there was no preparation, so I was in denial that it would even ever happen.

With Dad, I didn’t really have any idea of how to grieve, I suffered with severe depression, I couldn’t hold a job down, the responsibility of taking over everything he had was just too much. I’d drink heavily, self harm, comfort eat, cry myself to sleep most nights and even attempted suicide three times. I had no tactic or way to distract myself from the hurt and the pain. I used to write him letters expressing how hurt I was, then feel bad for writing negative things and rip up the letter and start again and pretend everything was ok to make him proud. I hated myself at the time, he was a proud Dad, and the thought of him seeing me in that way just ate away at me daily.

I’m not sure I have ever got over the loss of my Dad, I’ve not tried, and I still hold his ashes to this day.

With Mum, I was in Birmingham at the time and received a phone call to say that she had been taken in to hospital and was in a bad way, she was an hour away in Wellingborough, so I made my way over to be with her. It was the worst I had ever seen her, she was frail and just looked straight through me, this hurt. It was as if she didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what to do, wether to comfort her and show my true feelings, give her cuddles and tell her how much I loved her, or be angry and try to make her realise what she was doing to herself and her loved ones. I think I was in denial as much as she was.

Looking back now, I should’ve got help with how to deal with someone addicted to alcohol, I could’ve maybe helped her more.

The last day, she laid there on the hospital bed with a machine keeping her alive, there was nothing more that could’ve been done to save her. I just remember looking at the poor nurses and thinking they could do more and they could save her, but when they asked if we all felt ok with them ‘letting her go’ they just wanted her at peace. We couldn’t keep her in pain forever. I watched her take her last breath, with her sons and family around her. She looked beautiful, just as she always did.

Everything after that was a bit of a blur, I knew I had to distract myself this time and be as strong as I possibly could. There was a funeral to make perfect, I still had bills to pay, a house to run and to not let myself get to the point I did when my Dad passed away. I turned to photography, I bought my first camera, and just went out and photographed anything I could find. It was arty, and my Mum loved art, she’d have been proud.

Every night, it would hit me. When the world goes quiet and your in bed ready to switch off. I’d sob. My partner would comfort me the best he could and tell me to put the telly on to distract me, but I’d always be scared that there’d be something relatable come up and it would make it worse. So we turned to comedy. I’d have four choices that always made everything feel better. Jason Manford, Live at the Manchester Apollo, Michael McIntyre Hello Wembley, The Big Bang Theory or anything Lee Mack related. Anything to make me laugh would just work.

Now 8 years later, I still write Mum and Dad letters. I have two children to be the best Mum I can be to. And to this day I still use comedy to get me through hard times.

If anyone has lost someone they loved and are struggling to grieve, I will always be there to chat with or try my best to help the best I can.

Here’s a few contact details where you can seek help.

MIND – Help with Mental health issues and anyone struggling with addiction and Alcoholism

Sue Ryder – Help with Grieving

Please don’t just sit and hope the feeling will just go away, get as much help and support as possible, and surround yourself with positive people always!

Living in England

So born in Sutton Coldfield, I was born in to a happy home with my Mum and step-father in A little place called Streetly, life was good, lovely big home, big garden for me to play football in, great school life. It was kind of a village, but more built up. I wouldn’t quite call it village life. 
At the age of 9, my mum and step-father separated, so me and my mum moved. We went a mile and a half down the road to an area called Great Barr. It was OK, but more busy, and I didn’t like it as much as where I was bought up.

As the weeks, months, years went on, I made friends, understood that I could still school in Streetly (luckily) and still stay friends with the same kids. I’d ride my bike up to Streetly, catch the bus or walk, stay out until late at night, sit outside the butchers in the street just chatting until it was time to catch the bus home. 

All of this felt safe enough, I was mugged once of my phone and necklace my dad had bought me, but soon got over it and carried on. 
It was also safe for me at 15 to catch a train from Birmingham to Leicester alone, it still feels that way, as I’m seeing kids much younger travel from place to place alone. I often look at kids that age and wonder if I really looked that young back then…
Anyway, back on track..so I was then 15, me and my mum wasn’t getting along, and it became apparent I should move in with my Dad. I moved to a small town in South Birmingham called Shirley. This felt OK, again, much different to the previous two places I’d lived, but sure I’d adapt soon. 

I did, my dad still drove me 13 miles to school and back, he’d pick me up from my friends in the evening, and I even got a job cleaning a hotel…

Again, theres always a nobhead to ruin your great experiences and throw snowballs at you unexpectidely…as they were children, you cant really throw back just incase the snowball has a pebble in and you end up going down for murder…so “f*** off you little s***” seemed more appropriate.
Anyhow, again, circumstances arose, and I ended up moving to Leicestershire with my boyfriend. We lived way into the countryside in a lovely bungalow in Woodhouse Eaves, Loughborough.  It was stunning out there, cottages everywhere, a lovely little pub, with cowhide seats and the smell of a burning log fire, even in the summer nights, I’d move back tomorrow if I had the chance.

 
A lot of Leicestershire is completed by gorgeous countryside and villages, ive lived in Blackfordby also, a bit too quiet for me, but again a beautiful location. 
Moving again, 2 hours down the road to a town called March in Cambridgeshire, at the age of 24, I could appreciate different places more than I used to. We lived right on the river Nene, I’d be sat in the living room watching the boats go by, and the cyclists going past on their little bikes with baskets on. All felt a bit strange, I felt this was completely different to living in the Midlands. I loved it here. 
Two years on, we moved again, yes…again! Just a 15 minute drive down the road to a tiny village called Manea. Now this was a gamechanger, it had one small, overpriced village shop and a little pub..I struggled to adapt. It was also oil ran instead of gas, which was all a bit odd too. We have a tank in our back garden that you could only describe as a round submarine with no windows. After two years of living here, I’m now comfortable. The village school is great, Ive made lots of great friends, and tge country views are to die for. Perfect for running! Manea kind of reminds me of one of those American films, where people go storm chasing and the land is completely flat for miles. 
I’l pop some links below to some of the areas I’ve lived in..some good, some bad… 

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Love, 
Hannah SC x