A-Z of Loss

My mother-in-law died last week after a long illness; although she declined rapidly in her last week. These are some of the emotions and experiences my husband has been dealing with during the last few days. His dad died four years ago and his widowed mum lived alone, so it’s the first time we’ve had to deal with the practicalities as well as the emotional rollercoaster of grief:

Anger at trivial TV tears

Bank accounts, debtors and direct debits

Crying rivers of tears at random times

Death Certificate in duplicate copies

Empty inside. Eulogies researched and written

Fear and anxious thoughts. Flashbacks of final moments

Guilt at being glad her pain is over

Holding on to her things

Irritation at anything

Just wanting to sleep, but can’t

Keeping her house tidy

Looking through old photos

Making contact with everyone she ever knew

Not able to sit still

Overwhelming need to speak to her, but he can’t

Picking out photos and hymns

Quiet; her house is so still and quiet

Record broken – remembering conversations on repeat


Timing discrepancies – that last week was both the longest yet shortest

Underestimating the muddle death leaves behind

Vultures circling; eager to pounce

Waiting for the funeral

XXX – finding old cards from her

Yearning for yesterdays

Zest – wondering if he’ll ever get it back




31 thoughts on “A-Z of Loss

  1. So sorry for the loss of your loving family member. There are no words that anyone can tell you or your husband and family to make it easier. Grieving is a process of acceptance. I lost both my parents and they were both quite young. Your loss I can relate to but the circumstances are all different. I also lost my brother at the age of 57 quite unexpected. It takes time and that is different for everyone. No one can understand how you all feel. I will keep you and your family in my daily prayers and may your mother-in-law RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words and prayers and for sharing your story. 57 is young 😦 My in-laws were only in their 60’s and I’m hoping my own parents have many happy years left. I suppose if this teaches us anything, it is that we really must make the most of the short time we have.


  2. So sorry for your loss. I remember reading in previous posts about her, living in her house, that she kept very clean, but was very alone. I will be thinking of you and your family, sending positive energy to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry for your loss. In as much as I hate the word death, it’s just real and we just need to live each day as if it’s the last..makes me want to love my parents, siblings and friends the more. I thought about it somedays back and I asked myself ‘ what would people say about me when I die, how many lives would I have touched, would it be a fulfilled life’? A-Z means a lot💕💝


  4. I didn’t realise they were only in their 60s. Writing is a good way to capture the memories and to try to make sense of senselessness. My condolences to you all.


  5. So sorry but yet relieved it is all over for everyone, even when death is expected it still shocks. I don’t know if your husband and sister in law are believers, if they are keep repeating that there mum and dad are back together with each other where they belong, pain free. 60’s is young but we don’t get to chose unfortunately when it comes to illness.


    • Thanks Elaine. I think they’re on the fence with the god thing, although they’ve been saying their dad will be shocked at the early arrivals of their mum and a few of their friends. She kept telling us all she had a great life and had no regrets so I think that’ll be a comfort to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, that seems like a very therapeutic thing to do, write a list like that. He must be feeling really overwhelmed now. Perhaps he should try making a list, too. I can see how making a new list every couple weeks would help gauge where a person’s stress level is. I find this very interesting, Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sad for you, your husband and your family…I know just how heartbreaking this process can be. I lost my parents just six weeks apart when I was in my early thirties. Our children were very young and our son was very close to my parents…our daughter was barely two years old…she really does not remember. It took me so long to get over the loss…if I ever really did. I could not seem to get over that my parents…who were not elderly by any stretch of the imagination…would not be around to see our children grow up. All I can say is…be patient with each other and help each other. Your husband will have so many emotions…that will pop up at the most surprising moments. You’ll just have to go with the flow and be there. Thinking of you!


    • Oh jeez, your family have had it hard. I can’t imagine losing my parents at such a young age and so close together and then your later tragedy too 😦 You always seem so cheerful and optimistic in your posts and often brighten my day. Thank you for your kind wishes. x

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess that we just decided about Justin (our son) and my parents to be happy and smiling and looking on the bright side…because that is a way to honor them! When I first went back to school after we lost Justin, some of the teachers-good friends-seemed to be having a more difficult time than me. I decided right then and there to be my regular self…smiling and being lighthearted. It took every ounce of effort that I had some days, but it worked! And I know that it pulled me through the distress. My husband did the same thing at his office!


      • YOu are a very strong lady. If anything, you know more than most just how fleeting life can be and therefore we’re best to make the most of it. My mum was telling me that she watched a documentary where people said you should smile even if you don’t feel like it and in the end you feel happier. Sounds like you tried to do just that.

        Liked by 1 person

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