Am I grieving normally? Or at all?

(3 Posts)
onetiredmummy Sun 17-Feb-13 10:18:32

Morning everyone,

I feel as though I'm not doing what I should be doing & wondering if there's something wrong with me. If you recognise me please don't out me in RL. Here's the story, it may be long, sorry.

My mum died of cancer in 2011. She had ovarian cancer for about 7 years in all as she had chemo & it would go, but then it would come back. In 2011 it went into her brain & she died. However I think I caused her death ultimately. We were very close despite me living 2 hours away, we spoke on the phone every day & when I left my husband in 2009 I came back to the town where my parents lived so I was with her for the last 2 years & used to come & care for her one day a week so my dad could have some time outside the house to relax & recharge. Before she died the plans were that I would have her for another day or even more as DS2 was under a year so I was at home.

I think I caused her death, as we were at a garden centre on her last day alive & she was in a wheelchair & it was a Sunday so my DS1 was with us, can't remember where DS2 was, possibly with my dad. Anyway DS1 who was 6 at the time was on her lap being wheeled around at her request, she loved him so much. I did what I would usually do for a joke, I got a fern & tickled ds1's nose with it. However he jumped backwards & his head connected with my mum's head, not hard but it was a mild head bang for both of them. Within the hour my mum started looking vague & not talking, we took her home & she went to sleep in her chair & didn't wake up again. My dad called an ambulance when he couldn't wake her at 5 for her medication & she died in hospital at 5 the next morning & we were all with her. I swing between feeling responsible for her death that was too soon, to feeling glad that she died before the whole non walking/talking stage that the doctor said would happen. She died peacefully in no pain & she was still herself if that makes sense. But I hadn't have played that stupid joke on DS she would have lived longer but not had the quality of life.

So I knew she would die for ages but when it came to it her death was sudden.

Anyway I get back from the hospital & it all starts getting a bit too painful so I think well she hasn't really died as she is still with me in spirit. I'm not religious but think that there's an afterlife & mum can come & see how we are all doing. So I haven't grieved for her. At all. I've had a cry on occasion & I miss her but that's it. I know there are 7 stages of grief but I haven't felt angry or denied it. I know she's dead but I feel as though I haven't dealt with it properly as everyone else seemed so sad & I wasn't really.

Is there something wrong with me, surely this is not a normal response. I loved her so much.

Andro Sun 17-Feb-13 12:42:56

When it comes to grief, there is no 'normal' response - it very, very personal.

Your mum had cancer, some people who have had a loved one progress through terminal illness have 'gone through' some of the grieving process before their loved one actually died - anger at the diagnosis, not wanting to believe that it's terminal, anger at the illness its self etc. By the time their loved one has died, some have reached an acceptance of the inevitable and a peace that their suffering is over.

No-one can ever tell you that your grieving process is wrong, you'll do yourself more harm than good by comparing yourself to other people.

LimboLil Thu 21-Feb-13 18:33:10

Hi, my Dad died in December and I have been the same. I think family members have found it most odd. He had dementia for five years and was only really poorly the last 10 weeks which he spent in hospital. It was awful, he had feeding tube, catheter, mentally he was gone and he had totally lost his memory for about 6 months beforehand. I was so relieved when he died. A week before he died it had been agreed he could go in a nursing home, but he got pneumonia and died a week later. I think for me the big black cloud of his illness had been hanging over my head for such a long time and when he hit the final stage, I knew this was it. I really wanted him to let go and he did, and I was grateful to him for not staying any longer. I also had other issues going on (SN child) which needed (and continue to need) dealing with. So I needed to pull myself up and get on with it straight away, not fall apart. It was such a difficult time that I needed to put it to one side, I still do, whereas other family members want to talk about him and what happened over and over again. I don't need to. I was there. I knew what was going to happen and I know what happened. I've accepted it. I don't want to spend another day being miserable about it. I think I will revisit that time in years to come but for now, I want to get on with my life. Maybe this is how it is for you?

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