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AIBU to not know how to grieve my mum? How do people do this?

(48 Posts)
KidFears Mon 14-Nov-16 19:33:19

My mum died 2 weeks ago. It was very sudden. I can't believe she's gone. It feels like a bad dream. I don't know how to do this. We'd been arguing a lot lately and now I can't believe I wasted so much time that I could have spent just being with her. I never understood the phrase "full of life" until now. She was so full of life, and so beautiful, and so incredibly strong. We used to laugh so much together. I found all of these old pictures of her and I want to ask her about them.

I put this on AIBU because I don't know if I'm doing this right. Im walking around, taking ghe kids to school, doing errands, etc., and everyone probably thinks I'm OK. And then sometimes it hurts so much Mmm I can't breathe. I know lots of people have lived through this and worse but I don't know how I'm supposed go just accept that my mum isn't here anymore. It makes no sense. I need her so much and my kids need her more. How do I do this? I feel sometimes like Ijust can't do it.

ByeByeLilSebastian Mon 14-Nov-16 19:35:55

You do it one day at a time. You be gentle with yourself. You cry if you need to.

The pain never truly goes but you learn to deal with it in time.

Sorry for your loss flowers

Eebs Mon 14-Nov-16 19:40:13

I am so sorry to hear about your mum. Anything you feel is normal at this point. Just not nice. It is early days and you are In shock. When my mum died i found I could be fine and then a wave of grief would come from nowhere and overwhelm me. It was when I was on my own that it was worse. Usually driving. It will get easier but you have to go through all the feelings to get there. I really am so sorry and suggest you take support when you can. It's not a bad thing to feel so horribly sad but it is horrible.

SaltyBitch Mon 14-Nov-16 19:40:43

You're doing absolutely fine.

You do what comes naturally. Whether that be solider on and distract, or break down and cry. You can do both too.

The only healer is time and even then it's not a healer. It just teaches you to cope.

ElectricMelon Mon 14-Nov-16 19:49:27

So sorry for your loss flowers

I also lost my mum suddenly a few weeks ago. I am fine on the surface and getting on with life and people keep telling me I am doing it wrong and that I should be beside myself, unable to function but I'm not and it makes me feel so guilty.

And then, like you, I have moments of overwhelming sadness and can't believe she is gone. It's so hard.

Just take it a day at a time and take care of yourself flowers

Thirdload Mon 14-Nov-16 19:49:48

One day at a time, and talk to someone. Have some time to yourself when you need it.

I think it's even harder when it's unexpected. My mum also died suddenly, she was young.

Eventually (and it took some time to get there) I realised that mum gave me enough love to last a lifetime. When little things happen in day to day life I can almost hear the words she would have said and it makes me smile. I am a few years down the line compared to you flowers

SaltyBitch Mon 14-Nov-16 19:52:46

People keep telling me I am doing it wrong

What absolute bastards.

Wibblywobblyfoo Mon 14-Nov-16 19:55:25

There is no right or wrong. You just get through each day how you have too.

SirChenjin Mon 14-Nov-16 19:57:05

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

In the early days there is no right way - it's utter hell, pure and simple. I lost my mum almost 5 years ago after a misdiagnosis and went through the whole range of emotions, from anger and rage, to shock, to disbelief to simply feeling completely bereft. Gradually, though, you learn to live with it and to laugh again - but it takes a long time. I echo what pp have said - take it slowly and don't feel you 'should' or 'shouldn't' do something. Just be kind to yourself and look after yourself.

whattheseithakasmean Mon 14-Nov-16 20:04:50

I am so sorry, there is no way round grief and no short cuts, you just have to trudge through it. it can be physically exhausting, do not be surprised at how tired you may feel. I found this Henry James quote in a very moving letter he wrote to a bereaved friend struck a chord with me:

'Sorrow comes in great waves—no one can know that better than you—but it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain. My dear Grace, you are passing through a darkness in which I myself in my ignorance see nothing but that you have been made wretchedly ill by it; but it is only a darkness, it is not an end, or the end. Don't think, don't feel, any more than you can help, don't conclude or decide—don't do anything but wait.'

DeadGood Mon 14-Nov-16 20:10:29

Would writing to your mum, in a book kept aside for the purpose, bring you any relief? Just little notes, letters, memories. Sometimes having all these questions and thoughts, rattling around inside, makes you feel even worse. And the feeling of one of your "memory keepers" being gone can also add to the bereavement. Our parents know so much about us, our lives, our childhoods - when they go, a big part of the web that keeps us grounded and connected is suddenly gone too.

So sorry to hear what you are going through. x

eggyface Mon 14-Nov-16 20:12:10

I also found when my aunt and my mum both died within a short time, the grief didn't feel how I expected.

Often I wasn't 'sad' - sometimes very anxious, worried, or frustrated or angry with life. Be gentle with yourself and feel whatever you feel. Even if it's nothing.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Xx

Milkand2sugarsplease Mon 14-Nov-16 20:19:35

I found myself in the same position a couple of years ago.

One day my mum was here and completely fine, the next day she had a massive stroke and 4 days later we were by her bedside as she passed away.
I'm still not sure I'm 'over' it. I don't think I ever will be. I'm a firm believer that time will not change anything - it's her death that changed everything. In time I have learned to live with it (and without her) but that doesn't stop me wanting to call her, or call in on her on my way home from work.

It has got easier to live with over time so just take each day as it comes and allow yourself your emotions. If you're sad, you're allowed to be. If you're happy, you're allowed to be.

I had a very young child at the time and I think that helped me immensely as I had to keep going and look after.

Now, I just hope she's keeping an eye on me and DS and I try to live my life in a way that would make her happy and proud of me. flowers

dailymaillazyjournos Mon 14-Nov-16 20:22:01

So so sorry. And so sorry people have had the temerity to tell you 'you are doing this wrong'. How dare they. There IS no right and there is NO wrong way to grieve. Especially at this early stage where you are probably still not able to really take in and believe what has happened.

However you feel (even if that consists of just not knowing how you feel) is absolutely ok. There are no short cuts and learning to carry around a loss is not linear either. You can alternate between feeling relatively ok, to feeling utterly floored, or totally unable to believe what's happened and everything inbetween. That's also normal.

Everyone is completely different. And it can depend on so many factors - your relationship, how the person died, whether it was expected etc. Please just listen to yourself and take it literally hour by hour right now. I never thought I'd feel ok again after my Mum's (traumatic) death, but the grief did ease as time passed. Sending you a big (but gentle) hug and again, I'm so sorry about your Mum.

zeezeek Mon 14-Nov-16 20:27:44

Mine is currently dying - sometimes it seems very slowly, after a sudden deterioration in health following a year when she was symptomatic but refused to see anyone.

The diagnosis was a shock, but at the time totally expected, the same with the decision not to treat and only offer palliative care.

Our relationship has been difficult practically all my life and during the time of her admission we were very angry with each other - me because she refused to help herself, and her because I interfered and called their GP.

As I live a long way away from the Hospice where she's staying, I can only visit at weekends. People keep telling me that this time is precious and that we should use it to mend the bridges. We're not. We chat briefly about stuff - my kids, my work, my husband. The thing is though, I don't want anything different now. I don't want her to suddenly tell me she's sorry for the 40 years where I could do nothing wrong and tell me that she loves me and is proud of me. That's what I wanted to hear when she was alive and well and when we had time to change our relationship. Now it would just feel too little, too late. I'm also too wary of her to visit her alone. I always have the pick my father up and take him with me.

I don't know how I feel. At the moment it is all surreal. I know that she's dying, but she's not dead yet and when I think about the end of her life I get upset, but at the same time when I talk my father and brother (who live close and are visiting everyday) I cannot help but feel relieved when they say she's deteriorated because it means the end is nearer and this time nearly over.

KidFears Mon 14-Nov-16 20:38:23

Thank you all so much. ElectricMelon I'm so sorry for your loss. It just feels unfair. You know how whenever someone posts a thread complaining about their mum there's always one wet blanket who posts something like "you shouldn't complain about your mum when my mum is DEAD and I would give anything for one more minute with her"? I hate that person but now that's kind of how I feel. I would never write that of course, and on a logical level I know people have the right to be annoyed or angry with their mums. But right now I just feel so cheated.

KidFears Mon 14-Nov-16 20:42:02

ElectricMelon I didn't mean to make your loss about me. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your mum. I hope you're taking care of yourself.

CPtart Mon 14-Nov-16 20:55:08

My DM was killed eight weeks ago in a car accident. Here one minute. Gone the next. Her partner was critically injured and is still in hospital at the other end of the country near his family. My mum's house has just sold very quickly, and we're in the stages of clearing it. Its is all completely surreal. My DF died 17years ago aged 54. I'm feeling very cheated at the moment.
I haven't cried in three weeks. I feel very emotional, on edge, but am just too busy to cry, holding down a job and with two DC too.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I have no words of wisdom but take each day as it comes and there is no right or wrong when it comes to grief is what I'm learning. flowers

Babyroobs Mon 14-Nov-16 21:22:29

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mum a number of years ago very suddenly through a tragic accident. One day she was taking xare of my kids whilst I worked , the next she was gone. Like you we had had our arguements over the years. At first i think you just carry on functioning because you have to. there wer days I didn't want to carry on and felt suicidal but I carried on i suppose because of my kids. It does get a little bit easier over time and you learn to live with the grief. Six years on it isn't quite so raw and life is a little more bearable. I hope you have plenty of support, there are places where you can get counselling for you and your children if you think it might help.

Shakirawannabe Mon 14-Nov-16 21:32:14

I'm sorry for your loss flowersflowersflowers

sillygoof Mon 14-Nov-16 21:51:13

We lost our mum nearly two years ago, after illness (so not unexpected). I have a brother and a sister, and we all dealt with it in completely, drastically different ways. Some of us took a bit longer, my brother closed himself off a bit, I had a baby so I just had to carry on. I worried at the time that I wasn't dealing with it, but I was, just in my own way. You will too. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Ahickiefromkinickie Tue 15-Nov-16 00:15:19


Lollollollol Tue 15-Nov-16 00:36:25

What a sad thread. I'm so very sorry about your loss and I'm sorry that other people are in the same situation. thanks

I don't know how people manage either. I suppose they manage because they have to. One way or another you just have to muddle along.

IMissGrannyW Tue 15-Nov-16 00:46:43

This thread is so sad. Actually, I clicked on it, couldn't bear it and went away and then had to come back. Not to be trite, but hugs and flowers and other emoticons to everyone here who has lost.

I lost my dad. I don't know to fuck how I'll cope when mum goes. Dad was an absolute bastard, and it was 5 years ago, and I'm still so, so sad.

My (rubbish) advice is to treasure your dreams. Fantasies play out there, and memories resurface.
And be kind to yourself.
And to not think there has to be a 'right' way. As Terry Pratchett said - "there is no justice, there is only me" (and the person saying that was Death). I miss Granny W, and I miss my dad. Even after 5 years, I still can't quite believe I won't see him again.
And there is no fucking timetable. Although the first year is def the worst - because it's got all the "firsts" in it... first Christmas without them, first birthday, etc, etc. But then something knocks you sideways. Cried today because someone with his name contacted me, and the receptionist spelt his name with the female spelling instead of the male (dad had a name which men and women both have)

TheClaws Tue 15-Nov-16 01:36:57

There is no right or wrong to grieve. It is different for every person and every loss. Grieving isn't a 'couple of weeks' process, after which you'll revert back to your normal self - not usually, anyway. Grieving is a forever thing that you carry with you always. It does settle backwards after a bit, but you might find you are often thinking of your Mum, and it hits at odd times, too.
It is my Mum's birthday today, but she died eight years ago. Whenever my kids achieve something amazing I know she'd be proud about, I think of her. I often see her at the shops - except it isn't her. Her birthday isn't harder than any other day, as I feel her loss every single day. So grieving, for me, is always there.
I wish you all the best flowers

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