Acknowledging my Daughters Death

(48 Posts)
Triumphoveradversity Wed 01-Jan-14 11:39:21

I have been avoiding talking and thinking about my DD over the last few months. She died in the summer of natural causes in her sleep, sudden adult death syndrome and was found by her housemates having died in the night.

I spent the last few months concentrating on her younger brothers distress. His school helped me get counselling for him and I am also going soon and have an appointment in a couple of weeks.

It sounds ridiculous but I have been pretending it didn't happen. For instance I buy presents through the year and have a present and birthday card cupboard. I had already bought some things for her and when I went to get stuff out I picked up one to wrap and then realised I didn't have to do it.

I'm actually scared of letting the grief come. I suppose I'm a bit of a stiff upper lip type. I always have always been like this, I actually wish I wasn't. I had a thread about the loss of my phone a couple of days ago and got amazing support over there and it did mean it got me starting to talk about it.

I know everyone handles their grief differently but did anyone else go very numb for a long time or does anyone else know much about this stage?

I did want to write on here months ago but I was worried it would make it real.

sooperdooper Wed 01-Jan-14 11:44:16

I'm so sorry for your loss, I think it's normal to try and pretend it hadn't happened, especially when it comes as such a shock.

It's good that you're going for counselling, I hope it helps you

onedev Wed 01-Jan-14 11:46:13

I am so truly sorry for your loss. I don't have any advice for you but am glad that you've found your way to posting here as I've seen the support that MN can provide. Wishing you strength for 2014.

AnUnearthlyChild Wed 01-Jan-14 12:02:07

I am so sorry for your loss.

I saw your thread about the phone. I have no sensible advice, but know that we are all here for you.


LouiseSmith Wed 01-Jan-14 12:02:29

Im so very sorry for your loss, I cant begin to imagine what you must be going through. No mother should have to lose a child. I have no words of advice, but I wanted to give you my condolences.

MerryMarigold Wed 01-Jan-14 12:09:28

You've been very brave coming on here. I think the closer you are to someone, the longer it takes to process the grief. You have done what you needed to, because you may not have been able to cope with it all coming in one go. It is perfectly fine and natural. There is no 'right' way to grieve and you are doing it in the way you can. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I've never lost a child and I can't imagine the pain. I did lose someone very close to me in a shock accident about 12 years ago. I still think of him very often though the hurt is less now.

MerryMarigold Wed 01-Jan-14 12:12:54

What was her name and what was she like?

magimedi Wed 01-Jan-14 12:16:04

I am so sorry for you loss.

I also saw your phone thread & was so pleased it was found.

I think that by posting about the phone & this thread you have started to process things a little. I am sure you will get some amazing help & support here.


GW297 Wed 01-Jan-14 12:18:39

So sorry for your loss. I am delighted you got your phone back as I was so hoping you would.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 01-Jan-14 12:43:38

I was on your phone thread too smile So very very relieved you found it x

When my Dad died I couldn't talk or post about it either. Denial & I suppose hoping if I didn't do either he would just walk back in the front door. He died suddenly, young & totally unexpectedly, he was full of life... the shock was overwhelming, it is only recently (several years on) that I now mention it on MN and mostly in situations like this - more to say 'on some level I understand, even though it's different for all of us' rather than to talk about it for myself.

I still can't believe he's not here. I had a lot to deal with when he died, mainly keeping my Mum in one piece and dealing with the enormous amount of paperwork (he has his own business etc).

After a while I just felt like I had 'been brave enough, that I had been 'good' enough, that I had struggled on for long enough, that I had held it together for long enough - I was 'done'' - so it was time for him to come back now... then the reality of that never ever happening started to seep in, but I don't think I will ever really accept it.

I know it's different in that you expect to lose your parents at some time but not your children. I have never lost a child so I don't know how different it feels. I didn't 'get' how it could be so devastating to lose a parent before I lost mine, I think I felt it was 'the order of things' so 'not so bad' as losing a partner or child - if that is actually true, I can't imagine the absolute hell it must be, because this is 'bad enough'.

Lots of love - you aren't alone x

Pawprint Wed 01-Jan-14 14:02:32

How tragic.

When my sister died, I went through similar phase of denial - I think my parents did too.

Grief is painful but can't be avoided. Having said that, we all grieve in different ways.

Triumphoveradversity Wed 01-Jan-14 14:45:09

I don't want to write anything too identifying as I was in a DV situation with my ex.

She was a very sweet young woman, incredibly thoughtful of others. She always wanted to do the right thing for people even if it made a situation difficult for her.

Islenka Wed 01-Jan-14 16:08:51

I am so sorry for your loss thanks

onedev Wed 01-Jan-14 17:12:50

She sounds lovely.

Twitterqueen Wed 01-Jan-14 17:21:18

So very very sorry OP. I cannot begin to imagine your pain.

I think that your post here means that you are beginning to find the strength to firstly acknowledge your loss and then in time, to deal with your daughter's death. (

It will be a long and difficult journey but you have made the first steps so well done.

I would suggest that you please take things at your own pace, don't feel guilty about anything (waste of energy!) and deal with this awful event in your own way. Whatever you do is right for you at that specific time, so if buying presents helps, then carry on.

Be thankful for the time you had with her and the joy that she gave to you and to others. No love is ever wasted.

MerryMarigold Wed 01-Jan-14 17:26:56

She sounds like she was very lovely. Sounds like you have so much to deal with if there is also stuff with ex, it's not at all surprising it's taking time. So glad the counseling will start soon. I'm sure it will help you and is the right time for it.

fortyplus Wed 01-Jan-14 18:03:53

Triumphoveradversity - so sorry to hear of your loss. Grief is a process and the stages are similar for everyone. Denial is the first and perhaps you have taken a little longer to reach the end of it than many, but there's nothing wrong with that. Counselling will help you.

Be kind to yourself - this is something that you will never 'get over' but you will eventually 'get used to' and come to accept what has happened and that it can't be changed. xx

BIWI Wed 01-Jan-14 18:08:37

When my mum died (almost 10 years ago now), I couldn't grieve. I was totally bewildered about that, as we had been very, very close and I always thought I would be devastated when she died.

Eventually I have come to realise that it was my own coping mechanism.

The best way I can describe it is to imagine blowing up a balloon, holding it closed and opening it occasionally to allow a small amount of air out. That was how I dealt with my grief. Little bits, every now and then.

What I learnt through the process, and also after a session with a bereavement counsellor, is that there is no one, 'correct' way to grieve. You do what 'works' for you - although that does imply that you can control the process, which I don't think you can.

Above all, though, be kind to yourself and do whatever seems right/appropriate to get you through the days. It will, it does, get easier over time.

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. flowers

Newyearchanger Wed 01-Jan-14 18:10:49

Some things are too painful to deal with all at once and we have to protect ourselves.

HorsePetal Wed 01-Jan-14 18:20:03

I'm so sorry Triumph - your daughter was obviously a beautiful girl. You must ache for her everyday.

I saw your phone thread (so pleased that you managed to get it back) but got the sense that you hadn't posted or talked much about her death.

How do you begin to deal with something so painful as grief?

I am so incredibly sorry xxx

Back2Two Wed 01-Jan-14 18:34:11

I read the phone thread too, and I'm pleased for you that you found it.
I have nothing wise to offer, but I'm touched by the wisdom on this thread and I hope that it can give you some strength and some comfort.

Triumphoveradversity Wed 01-Jan-14 22:19:51

Thank you for all the lovely messages on this thread. It is totally right that I have been in denial, I was actually worried I would just lose it totally so bottled it all up. I think the balloon analogy is a good one and how I need to deal with it.

I haven't talked about it much, if anything I have immersed myself in two of my sisters problems as a way of avoiding my own. I am very aware of that now.

A very lovely friend of mine said she thought Christmas would be the time it was going to hit and she was right. She is coming to stay in a couple of weeks for a weekend as DH is going off on a weekend with his Mum and sister. I was invited but as they are coming for this weekend as well that was enough for me.

MIL has been really supportive and I get on very well with her. SIL is someone I'm not keen on, she has a very dominant personality with a tendency to bully. Her own Mother despairs of her behaviours sometimes.

Newyearchanger Wed 01-Jan-14 23:18:16

When my father died I tried to pretend all was normal as much as I could and had to focus on my mum who was not managing. I found I just then got worse over 6 to 12 months with everything bottled up and proceeded to cry my way through the next two months and through all my cruse sessions. I felt guilty for letting it take over my life, I know now its completely normal . My dad died at the prime of his life. Recently my mum died after a long decline and I felt sadness but not the overwhelming shock and grief I felt with my dads sudden death.
Please look after yourself and try cruse.

When my dad died I had received a call from my mum that evening which I couldn't hear plus she had been drinking and I said I would call back. The next call was that my father had died. I rang BT trying to listen back to the call to see exactly what she had said, I was haunted with guilt and fear but they couldn't play it for me.

I read your phone thread and was so happy that your dh found it.

Mrsmorton Thu 02-Jan-14 12:36:47

I didn't realise you'd found your phone OP. I'm so pleased that you did. thanks I'm so sorry for your loss.

JugglingIntoANewYear Thu 02-Jan-14 12:51:30

I'm so sorry Triumph sad

Perhaps it will be good to talk with the counsellor in this new year and begin to let little bits of air out of that balloon very slowly, however feels right for you

Lots of wisdom from MNers on your thread here

Your dd sounds so lovely x

everlong Fri 03-Jan-14 14:36:03

Dear Trimumph I am so sorry you have lost your daughter. All of what you describe seems quite normal to me.
I lost a 20 year old son 5 years ago to suicide and like you I think I was in denial until the beginning of 2013 when a fall out with my closest friend caused me to totally breakdown.

I don't think denying what has happened to your daughter is good for you though.. I know that you are scared of facing the truth and accepting her death but long term it's better for you. We have to grieve them. Some how.

Have you tried therapy/counselling? I think waiting a while to have it is probably better than having it straight away, I think we need to get over that initial shock and imo that can last a long time.. I had counselling 12 months after my son died and I think it helped in many ways..

It's hard. Everyday is hard and there is no magic wand, no miracle to feeling better. I don't think you ever do feel better tbh but we have to adjust to a new life.

hello triumph. Be gentle on yourself, please. From what I can see, you are already taking those important steps to allow yourself to grieve. You are on here talking about your DD, you acknowledged that Christmas was likely to be difficult, you are realising that your life has changed.

I don't know if you are the type of person who finds crying cathartic, but perhaps I can share MrMia's words about tears. He calls them liquid love. I found that very helpful. xx

I'm so pleased you have felt able to write about your dd on MN. I'm confident you will find comfort here as there are, sadly, many bereaved parents here. Each of us grieves for our child differently, but you won't be alone.
It sounds like you have a great friend too, I hope you are getting lots of support in RL.

Triumphoveradversity Sat 04-Jan-14 19:20:56

My poor friend said when her Mum died people would cross the street to avoid her. I do have a friend I can talk to she is coming to stay next weekend and that will be a good chance to talk about DD.

MIL and SIL are here this weekend. Finding it a bit difficult and uncomfortable. SIL and I have not got on very well since she smacked my DS about 2 years ago. I offered an olive branch this afternoon by saying we had our difficulties it was time to move on, she just replied yes, she just didn't want to talk. I was just really trying to open a dialogue.

Not one card or mention of DD, not a how are you nothing now or at any time over the last few months. DD is from my first marriage and I guess she just doesn't consider her family. Mil has been very supportive over the last few months, I wish she was visiting without SIL. I just find with feeling low like this I don't want to be near anyone that is not very nice.

She has also made a comment about poor DH having a receding hairline. He has been out shopping and come back with hair loss shampoo. I loathe her for making him feel insecure. She has always been difficult, her own Mother admits to this. I cannot bear her being vile to DH, he is not perfect but he is a decent man and not unkind.

Thank you to everyone for posting, I really do appreciate it. My counselling starts mid January so I think posting here will help ease me in to the sessions.

CoddledAsAMommet Sat 04-Jan-14 21:12:45

OP, have you been in touch with SADS UK? They're a charity started by my aunt when my cousin died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome when he was 16. Do give them a call - they're amazing and will help with whatever you need. The phone number is 01277 811215.

LilyTheSavage Tue 07-Jan-14 03:18:15

Hi Triumph. I'm so very very sorry about your DD. I do know exactly what you're going through as my DS died almost 5 months ago. He was 21. I haven't coped very well and have been going for counselling which I think has helped. I have some lovely supportive friends and my DH, and 2 other DSs but I still miss DS2 every single day.

We went to see the ILs at Christmas and they didn't mention DS once. They didn't ask after the other two either. I felt stabby and violently angry. They aren't bad people but are just wrapped up in their own little world. I still feel stabby!

If you'd ever just like to chat please message me. I'm going to mark this thread so I can see how you're doing too.

Sending you much love flowers

hello there triumph, just wanted to say that I am thinking about you and your DD, wondering how you've been this week thanks

Triumphoveradversity Mon 13-Jan-14 20:31:30

Thank you to everyone that has posted, I will have a look at the SADs site as well.

I have had visitors the last two weekends and have been busy. My DS Godmother came this weekend as DH had gone on a weekend with his Mum and sis, his sis lives overseas hence seeing two weekends in a row. I am struggling with SIL behaviour, none of us are perfect but I am not going to see her for some time as she made me so angry. Her own Mum says she is difficult, DH and I argued about it sad.

I ended up really crying about DD today. I suppose it was cathartic but I found it all totally overwhelming. I think because she is on my mind so much but not on anyone else's, I can't shake it off. I'm not even sure I want to shake it off, I need to let the years come.

Thanks again to everyone.

Paintyfingers Mon 13-Jan-14 20:40:55

Triumph, Your dd sounds so lovely. No wonder you couldn't bear to start acknowledging what has happened. I'm sorry you were so upset today and of course you can't stop thinking about her.

itinerant Mon 13-Jan-14 20:56:47

I've pm'd you (my first ever mumsnet pm!)

LilyTheSavage Mon 20-Jan-14 06:43:46

Hi Triumph
I was thinking about you.
Sending you love brew

Triumphoveradversity Thu 30-Jan-14 23:04:20

I just wanted to let people know that my counselling has started. It was helpful but very tiring. Sort of like the tiring you get when you have jet lag.

I haven't had the energy to get out and about loads but I have had a friend come over for lunch on Monday and also have a friend coming over for tea and some cake tomorrow.

The counsellor was very good and explained how everything would work, she likened my situation to being like a Pandora's box, I was obviously scared to open it as I was worried I wouldn't cope at all with all the grief and that she would help me open it but only a bit at a time. She also said there were no time limits on sessions. It is actually a hospice that offers this service and they are the ones that helped DS and who his school recommended and helped me arrange.

I am exceptionally grateful to them especially in the way they helped DS.

LilyTheSavage Fri 31-Jan-14 13:05:04

Hi Triumph. Well done for starting the Pandora's Box - it's a good way of describing it. I've been seeing a counsellor as well and I wanted to do it as I had such terrible images in my head that I couldn't share them with somebody I loved or even cared about. It's a good idea that she's helping you a little at a time.... more manageable I guess.

Enjoy seeing your friends and be kind to yourself.

Mojito100 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:30:04

My thoughts are with you. I lost my DD and even though I acknowledged it and am dealing with my grief I understand where you are at. There are things I still do or say that are personal to me. I only ever refer to her as having passed rather than she has died. The latter seems so final and I'm sure some May view it as denial but it works for me. I fully support what has been said before. We all manage our grief our own way and the only thing I can say in support is that you are doing what is right for you naturally and to keep flowing this path. Trust in yourself completely and do whatever feels right instinctively. This approach has worked for me. Not a day goes by I don't think of her constantly and I hope that never changes. I am sure tears and an overwhelming sense of loss will find you. It's hard but go with it and accept however you cope to be right for you. On those special days such as birthdays etc I act completely normal and keep it all in and on random days I may cry my eyes out because of the utter hopelessness I feel and the tragedy that has occurred. Be kind to yourself. My heart and thoughts are with you.

LilyTheSavage Sat 01-Feb-14 08:34:07

What Mojito said. The randomness and unpredictability. Oh my goodness!

LilyTheSavage Mon 03-Mar-14 07:12:00

Hi triumph
How're you doing? I haven't heard from you for a while so I'm just checking in.
Time for a brew

Mojito100 Thu 06-Mar-14 22:50:25

Triumph - just checking in like lily. Take care of yourself. By the way I have jus re-read all the posts here and don't think it would hurt if you told your SIL where to go. She sounds insensitive to you and DH and someone needs to make that clear. Don't see her if you don't want to and if she is due to come to yours feel free to tell her not to. This is about you and not her.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 27-Mar-14 13:06:24

Just checking in as it has been a while. Time seems to merge in to one day somehow.

The counselling is helping me, I totally broke down last week in the session.

I have had quite a few dreams about DD lately. She looked very well in the dreams and I was helping her decide what hairstyle to have as she getting married in the dream.

The counsellor explained the stages of grief and also explained they can criss cross each other. So my denial does still raise its head. A couple of mornings ago the phone rang really early in the morning and I immediately thought that's early what's going on, I hope DD is ok.

I'm just about to go to my session, sorry its been a while.

LilyTheSavage Mon 31-Mar-14 10:35:37

Hi triumph.
Just checking in again. Glad you're finding the counselling helpful. Hope yesterday wasn't too painful. It was ok for me. My two DS rallied round and made lunch and were lovely and we just chilled together.
I wish I could dream about my DS2. Did you find your dream comforting?

Take care of yourself. cake

LilyTheSavage Thu 08-May-14 07:56:11

Hi triumph
Just checking in to see how you're doing.

Triumphoveradversity Tue 03-Jun-14 09:04:32

I'm checking in.

I must admit its not good news and I have had some kind of breakdown, I think that is probably why I avoided grieving in the first place. I have become very anxious generally about everything. I have also made the decision to leave work. So my life has changed a lot, DH supports this decision, I can't do this counselling and work.

My situation is complicated by the fact I saw her Father my very abusive ex last year and had to have dealings with him. I hadn't spoken nor seen him for over a decade.

My counsellor is really great and I'm incredibly thankful for her. At one point I was tempted to stop because I found it too painful. The counselling has also bought forth other stuff which I was quite surprised about so is now covering not only the loss of DD. I was probably naive thinking we would only discuss her death.

I'm going to a funeral today of a very lovely lady who I knew, she made the best cakes I have ever tasted and was like my Father in that she had a long life and knew she was dying. It will be the first funeral I have attended since DD's so am worried and I have pondered if I should go but this lady was so very kind to me I need to say goodbye. She was also truly elegant, real old school stuff.

Georgethesecond Tue 03-Jun-14 09:15:09

I wish you strength at the funeral and I hope you can remember the
Positive things about your friend. You will get through all this, really you will.

LilyTheSavage Wed 04-Jun-14 13:41:06

Hi Triumph.
I'm sorry about your breakdown but it's not surprising given everything you have to deal with. I hope the counselling helps. I had counselling but don't know if it helped or not.... I don't know how I'd be if I hadn't been IYSWIM.

Hope the funeral goes ok. I think it will probably be difficult for you. You're so brave to go.

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