Together we will beat cancer


Supporting my mum and grandma in grief

21 Nov 2022 13:47

Hi all, 


Tomorrow marks two years since my grandad passed away from duodenal cancer. His loss was very sudden (diagnosed four weeks before passing) and his death in November 2020 meant dealing with his illness and loss in the middle of lockdown. 

He and my Grandma were married for sixty years when he passed away, and he was very present in our family life (I considered him as a father figure). Growing up, I would see him everyday and once I was older and left home, we'd still speak most days.  His loss totally rocked our families world. My Nanny has become totally reliant on my Mum for her shopping, me for dealing with her bills etc. She stays with my Mum every weekend etc. 

We are now at the two year mark of his passing and in many ways, it feels like it has only happened yesterday. I feel in a 'better' place with my own grief, I'm able to live around it rather than 'in it' if that makes sense? However, I am increasingly worried for how my mum and grandma are coping. I live around two and a half hours away but speak to them both daily and 9 times out of 10, the phone conversations will end in tears. My Mum has become reclusive, her life (understandably) revolves around making sure my Nan is okay - but I know she struggles with anxiety and drinking habits (these were pre-existent problems but have defo got worse). 

Sorry for the rambling but just wondered if anyone had any advice on how to support them both through their grief? Or if anyone has been through anything similar with supporting a parent through grief? I feel as though I've been able to move on with my life and deal with my grief, but they are both totally compounded by their loss. Sometimes it feels as though it's never going to get better... I dread big family occaisons, even getting a new job etc. It feels as though my famiyl will never be truly happy again.  I dread the day that anything happens to my Nan because I truly don't know how my mum will cope. 


Any advice would be really appreciated! 


Supporting my mum and grandma in grief

21 Nov 2022 14:30 in response to Coventry1

First let me say how lovely that you had such  a lovely grandad and how close you were to him. It's wonderful you want to help both your mum and Nan. Loss impacts everyone in different ways and I don't think your grandad would want anything but happiness in your future. I know for sure that I would hate for my children and granddaughter to be putting their lives on hold or not being happy because of losing me.

I want them to smile and talk about how much fun we had. In many ways although a dreadful shock it's good that it wasn't a long time to suffer from your grandads perspective. 

Of course your Nan is struggling after so many years the loss won't really go away for her,so not a lot you can actually do ,your own mum is maybe self medicating with alcohol, not good but again not much you can do other than suggest she asks her doctor for help. Then it's her choice so don't feel bad if she does nothing. 

Please look after yourself and don't let the loss stop you from going on with your own life, do things you love, live life to the full, and feel zero guilt for doing this, it's a  gift you're giving your lovely grandad who would I am sure want this for you.

Big hugs to you x

Supporting my mum and grandma in grief

22 Nov 2022 10:34 in response to shmagic

Hi Shmagic, 


Thanks so so much for your lovely reply. You've got no idea how helpful it's been...

You're so right - there's not much I can do for my Mum and Nan and I can't beat myself up about that. You are absolutely right, he would want me to live my life to the full. 


Thanks so much for your wonderful advice xx