Alison's mother died in 2006 after receiving hospice care at home. However, Alison didn't access bereavement services until January 2019. Here she explains how hospice services saved her mental health and how time is not a factor with grief.
"At 25 years old, I was travelling in Australia and received a call that my mum had been diagnosed with cancer. She had spinal cancer but had also been diagnosed with primary breast cancer. My parents called to say that I needed to make a decision if I was going to come home or not as they were going to find out how serious the cancer was in the coming days.
I booked my flight to go home for the weekend, arrived on the Monday and by Wednesday at Ipswich Hospital, we were told how serious the cancer was. She quickly deteriorated and the hospice team stepped in to care for mum at home.
Because her health deteriorated so quickly, I didn’t have time to process any of it. I was straight into practical mode with grandparents to look after and the funeral to plan. My mum had been the sticky tape for the entire family and I had to now take on that role.
12 to 13 years went by and in 2018 my Great Aunt died on my mum’s side. She was like another grandparent to me. Towards the end of her life, I cared for her before she was then in a home. In the same year, I also cared for my grandmother who then died at the age of 99.
Once my grandmother past away, I felt I had some freedom that I didn’t have to look after anyone anymore. But when that happened, everything that I had been supressing for 12-13 years hit me.
It was only until I was out with my friend, Hanna, that she asked me ‘are you ok?’ and I just said ‘I’ve got nothing in me’.