just having an irrationally upset day

(14 Posts)
Canella Sat 11-Dec-10 10:40:58

dont know if this is the right place to post this but since its all related to the death of my mum then it seemed the best place.

My mum died when i was 9 (i'm now 36) and i deal with it ok most of the time but my dd is now 9 and i am constantly worried about the same thing happening to me. i sobbed on the eve of her birthday wondering if this would be the last birthday that i shared with her - it seems so irrational to type it but i cant shake the worry.

My mum died 10 days before christmas and this morning i was sat with dd while she practiced her christmas carols and i was just overwhelmed and had to leave her and then sobbed for 10 mins - i'm crying even typing this. Christmas is often a time that upsets me (especially carols - i avoid them mostly!!!) but this year is especially bad.

i think i cant imagine being the mum to a 10 yr old because when i was 10 i didnt have a mum.

think i need one of you to come along and knock some sense into me.

OP’s posts: |
plupervert Sat 11-Dec-10 10:59:26

No knocking needed! Nothing so cruel. It's not even morbid or ghoulish to feel this way. We all learn from our parents, and you simply don't know how your mother would have continued.

That is a totally separate issue from your continuing grief about your mother, especially at this time of year. Anniversaries are bound to be hard, and all the "family" emphasis of Christmas is bound to make you feel worse, so please be gentle with yourself, and stop talking about sense being knocked into you! sad

The best way I have ever come across for dealing with grief is to keep the person with you as you go through life, remembering them when you would remember a living person ("oh, I must remember to tell X that - it will make her laugh!"), talk to him/her, don't let other people think you have forgotten.

Does your DD know about your feelings, about your mother? If not, perhaps you could make this Christmas special for both of you by "introducing" her to your DD? It seems such a shame that you should be alone with this sorrow every year at Christmas. If your DD is old enough, I'm sure she would be really proud to help comfort you in this way, and it can't be a bad idea, in any case, for her to know something about her family.

I hope this helps.

Canella Sat 11-Dec-10 13:01:24

Thanks plupervert!
Some good advice there but i really couldnt explain these feelings to dd. She's 9 and for a while had terrible trouble last year settling to sleep in case she died or i died. I think it plays on her mind already so dont want to let her know that i worry too. She never worries about her brother or dh so i know it must be related to my mother dying. I also lost a really close friend 2 years ago who was only 36 so i can understand why she worries.

I sometimes talk about my mum with the dc but i dont have loads of memories so its hard to do but think its a good idea to share the good side with my dd a bit more.

Have loads of friends in RL but i think they would think i was tapped in the head if i said all these things out loud - even dh doesnt/cant understand it!!

Its her anniv on weds-weirdly i think if i get past it then my worry will ease. Well at least until i'm 43 cause thats how old she was when she died.

Rationally i know there is no reason i'll die like she did (it wasnt genetic) but on days like today there is no rational thinking going on.

Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
zeno Sat 11-Dec-10 15:51:57

Hi Canella.
The pervert above speaks sense. Rationality has almost nothing to do with when and how grief affects us as far as I can tell.

I think times of year and significant ages can be particularly potent. I've talked a lot to my friends irl about worries that I have and I do find it helps. I think the act of saying them out loud can take the sting out of the anxiety. Also it helps me to know that my friends get why I'm so twitchy about some things. They don't seem to think I'm nuts - if anything it's regarded as a sign of love and trust that I'm willing to tell them the wierd head stuff.

ChippingIn Sat 11-Dec-10 16:21:38


I'm really sorry you feel like this

There is nothing 'tapped in the head' about it at all and I am really, really sorry that you don't have (or at least don't feel you have) someone you can talk to IRL about this. Is there any chance you are underestimating them and not giving them the opportunity to be there for you?

What you are going through is perfectly normal and understandable and I'm sorry that you don't already know that x

I think it is very hard for people who haven't lost someone to understand just how deeply it affects you and for how long it affects you - but I am still suprised that your DH of all people can't understand how scary it is for you, for your daughter to be the age you were when your Mum died.

Have you thought about going to a bereavement group?

Anyway, we are always here (HUG) x

frostyfingers Sat 11-Dec-10 18:10:32

Canella, there's never a right time or a wrong time to grieve. I lost my father when I was 15, my ds is the same age and it brings it all back. I recently went to a friend's funeral whose dc's were roughly my age at the time my dad died and I was completely incoherent by the end of it (30 years on...).

And now I've lost two friends near my age and am feeling very vulnerable - how much longer have I got, what about my children etc etc.

It never goes away, and it would be unnatural not to feel upset around this time of year. Go with it, and remember all that you can about your mum.

ItalianLady Sat 11-Dec-10 18:13:39

I kind of get how you feel you don't know how to be a mum to a 10 year old as you didn't have a mum at ten, as I didn't know how to be a mum to my children at all as I never had a mum. Somehow, you find a way.

I wish you peace and a long and happy, healthy life with your lovely daughter.

Canella Sat 11-Dec-10 18:28:44

Thanks for your replies and your kindness.

frostfingers - i think i feel similar to you - its the grief for my mum, dd being the same age and the recent death of a friend. Rationally these deaths were due to reasons that are so rare but it doesnt stop me irrationally worrying about it something happening to me. After my friend died, it was not only horrific because i had lost a great friend but it was the thought that her dc were going to go thro what i had gone thro and it brought back so many painful memories that i think i hide the rest of the time.

Chippingin- i probably could talk to people in RL about it - i am probably underestimating my friends - but part of me doesnt really want too. Its easier to tell strangers on the internet than break down in front of friends about grief thats 27 years old. blush
DH just doesnt deal well with these kinds of situations. He does know how upset i was today but he doesnt want to get into a depp conversation about it. He's 40 but has never lost anyone close to him so the kind of grief i feel is an alien concept to him. He had any idyllic childhood - his parents are still together and play an active part in our lives. But he works with sick and dying people all day so think he has a bit of a barrier about dealing with emotions in order to get thro his working day. But he is a great DH in so many other ways that i'm not knocking him about this.

zeno - you talk a lot of sense but think i dont feel ready to burden friends with all this yet. I know one great friend who would be the perfect person to talk to about all this but she moved house yesterday so isnt available for me to pour my heart out too. I have a sister but we never have conversations about our feelings and she doesnt have dc so not sure she'd understand it - or maybe i'm underestimating her too!

OP’s posts: |
Bobbiesmum Sat 11-Dec-10 18:46:40

Sorry I can't type much as I'm on my phone but just wanted to let you know this is VERY common to feel how you do. When my mum died when I was pregnant I got a book off amazon called ' motherless mothers' and there is a whole chapter in there on this.
So sorry that you lost your mum so young.

plupervert Sun 12-Dec-10 14:57:51

Hi, Canella. Sorry the suggestion about talking to your DD was no good. Of course you don't want to traumatise her any more, when she's already shown fear about this herself. However, it sounds as though you really do need a confidant(e). The loneliness of your situation does really shine through your posts. I understand that it is hard to change the terms of a friendship to talk about something which happened before the friendship was even born, but it is sad that you are carrying these thoughts alone in the middle of company. Therefore, please don't worry that you are seeking comfort from "strangers" here. You are doing the right thing, to reach out.

However, if you need a confidant, it sounds as though your daughter might need one, too. Maybe you could talk to her about your mother outside the anniversary periods, so you feel calmer. If your DH (her father) is unable to talk about grief and dying and other such matters, your DD could really benefit from learning to talk to you (or anyone!) about these things, and you could both feel less alone. If you don't think you can handle being her confidante, it's still worthwhile encouraging her to seek one of her own. If she learns to live with insecurity (which is with us all in life, only not everyone is hyper-aware of it, as she seems to be), she will end up happier in general.

frostyfingers, I was really moved by how you seem to be treating this as a season of remembrance.

Bobbiesmum, how old is your DC now?

plupervert Sun 12-Dec-10 15:12:22

frostyfingers, I just wanted to add, about the season of remembrance, that it's really sound psychology to do this, and it's embedded in Christianity and Judadism (of the religions that I know if): dwelling deeply on the dark side for a set period, and then celebrating the end of that period, for example Lent followed by Easter. I once went to the shiva (Jewish tradition) of a friend's family member, and saw how the family lived in torn clothes, with pictures and mirrors covered, without music, the men not shaving, "sitting shiva" every evening (mourning service - God, how it made me cry), for a week, and was astounded by how effective it was to have intense mourning for a period. Having gone through that, they seemed to feel as though they purged their guilt (of the living) and the worst of their pain, and were able to live more peacefully afterwards. Of course they still think of her all the time, but they drove themselves through the worst of the pain, rather than letting it come back again and again.

Of course grief does come back again, and that's probably why you were so overcome at that funeral, Canella. You probably even felt worse because you had expected and hoped never to feel that way again, but I don't think that's possible. I have a horrible feeling that grief is a regenerating thing, and needs to be expressed periodically, as frostyfingers described. Even the positive - flip side -- of this is true: good intentions need to be renewed (New Year's resolutions, salvation at Easter if you are a Christian, Monday morning intentions, etc.), because any kind of enthusiasm cools off!

Canella Sun 12-Dec-10 19:43:47

thanks for all the kindness - sometimes strangers say the nicest things.

after i came off MN last night, I was on FB and the great friend who had moved house was also on there and we had a right good chat about how upset i'd been. She's been thro some hard times in life but also has this similar coping personality that i have and she had equally sound advice like you all have.

I also ordered that book you recommended Bobbiesmum - thanks - it looks like just what i need. i'm sorry that you're mum died when you were pregnant - what a terrible time of mixed emotions it must have been.

Plupervert - i am not at all religious but can really see the rationale behind really being immersed in grief and then perhaps that making it "better" in the long term. I really didnt have that experience after my mum died - i wasnt allowed to go to the funeral and she really was never mentioned very much again (partly as my father drank heavily throughout my teenage years leaving me to kind of raise myself but thats a whole other issue). there were never any photographs of her in the house - it was like she had never really existed so i'm sometimes not surprised that the grief bubbles up to the surface now and again.

But after my close friend died 2 years ago (again unexpectedly) i really grieved for her at the time - i sobbed and sobbed for a week, was inconsolable at the funeral but then at the wake it kind of lifted and i felt i could remember the good times rather than the constant sadness. we also all talk freely about her and altho my grief for her is part of my life it feels more manageable than the grief for my mother from 26 years ago!

about my dd - she can easily confide in me about her worries - we have a really open relationship but i definitely wouldnt burden her with my worries about my own mortality. she's far too young to be able to understand this - i dont even understand it! but i understand that she needs to learn to live with her worries but not let them overwhelm her. Thats how most of us live most of the time but sometimes it just becomes more than that. Weirdly today i feel much calmer - think i'm just very grateful for the kindness i recieved!

OP’s posts: |
plupervert Sun 12-Dec-10 23:19:43

Don't worry about not being religious; even if you aren't, it is very useful to know how most people (when this country, for example, was an avowedly Christian society) used to organise their lives and console themselves.

It's good to hear that your daughter can confide in you.

Have a good night and sweet dreams!

plupervert Fri 17-Dec-10 09:41:47

How are you all getting on?

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