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Grieving for my Mum - don't understand myself

(13 Posts)
noarguments Mon 22-Apr-13 16:46:19

Mum died a month ago after a nine month illness. I was quite involved in her care in the last few months.
Was very busy doing the difficult stuff - telling people, funeral arrangements, looking after my Dad etc etc.
Now that's done I do feel empty and sad, but I'm functioning quite normally, and therefore (because I'm a woman) I feel overwhelmingly guilty.
Am I just cold and heartless?
Am I just in denial and its waiting to hit me?- still can't quite believe she's really gone
Did I do some of the grieving process while she was really ill - we knew last summer that it would beat her.

I'm not expecting any answers - I realise there's no right way to feel, but its confusing me and I somehow feel I'm letting her down. I loved her so much and it was so hard to see her decline. And is so so hard to see my Dad on his own.


cathan Mon 22-Apr-13 17:10:03

There are no rules for grieving so don't be hard on yourself. Whatever you feel is right for you right now. When my father died after a 7 month illness, at first I was just angry - with him for dying, with my siblings for not helping more in his final months, with everyone. I felt it was wrong to feel that way and then got very depressed, thinking I was a horrible person etc. With the help of a good friend, I got through it, faced my underlying grief and now, 3 years on, am able to remember happy times with my dad again. So ... don't blame yourself for what you feel. Your mourning will be individual to you and you will get through it. If you can, find someone you can talk to about your feelings. Best wishes.

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Apr-13 17:50:38

Grieving isn't a neat and tidy process, it can hit you in bits and pieces, or all of a sudden after you expected to have got past the worst. And, yes, you can go through a lot of grief before they actually die. I lost my dad a year ago, after a long illness. I was more "ok" about it at the time than I'd expected, because I'd already gone through denial and anger and guilt and all sorts of stuff during his illness. But around the anniversary it has rather caught up on me and I find myself tearful and pissed off at the world for no external reason.

Your mum knew you loved her. You dad knows you love him. Functioning, coping, carrying on with life are not "failing" to grieve or show how much you valued her, they are just one of the ways that people deal with their loss.

You don't have to fall apart, now or later, for your feelings to be genuine.

hatsybatsy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:00:18

OP - am not in quite the same position as you in that my Mum is still alive. But she was diagnosed with terminal cancer 2 years ago. I do think we have done a lot of grieving over that time - a lot of raw emotion, anger and sadness.

It does sound like you are on autopilot at the moment - but like the others have said, don't be too harsh on yourself. Surely there is no right or wrong in all of this. Look after yourself

nemno Tue 23-Apr-13 11:12:11

Gosh, I wondered whether my husband had written this thread pretending to be me. My mum died at the end of March after finding out early summer last year about her terminal cancer. I nursed her with dad at home since she became very ill in December.

All that you feel, I feel too. I have decided too that I started grieving a long time ago which is why my demeanor is fairly normal now. But I do feel guilty. The worst thing is I would really like to get a break from Dad now but he only really has me. This makes me feel like a horrible person.

I know this post is all about me but I hope it helps to know you are in company with feeling like this.

noarguments Tue 23-Apr-13 13:36:37

Popping in to say thank you so much for replies. Computer on the blink so quickly doing this from work - but will add more later.
You've made me cry with your lovely repsonses, but in a good way confused

mummylin2495 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:50:08
For anyone who is grieving for a parent

nemno Tue 23-Apr-13 14:10:40

I looked at that thread mummylin but at the moment just can't relate to how most of the posters are grieving. It makes me feel like I really am heartless. Like OP I'm sort of wondering if it is inevitable that I will be hit by something overwhelming in the future. You keep hearing that it is necessary to work through and not avoid your feelings or you will pay later. Don't get me wrong, I am sad, I am having very disturbed nights but I am not anything like as distraught as I expected to be.

Sorry OP, it's still about me. I am very sorry that you and anyone has to go through any of this. Take care.

mummylin2495 Tue 23-Apr-13 15:22:30

I think everyone is different and there is no set pattern. We all learn to cope in our own are not heartless, you are just coping in the way it is for you. Feel free at anytime to join us. We are not a judging thread.

noarguments Tue 23-Apr-13 21:37:03

Mummylin, thank you, I've seen that thread and might feel its right for me to join you sometime, but I'm like nemno I don't feel like I'm at that stage. I don't feel like I'm feeling the loss properly, or as I should. Which is crap because I know there's no "right" way. We aren't a demonstratative family (although still very close) and I wasn't best friends with my Mum like many are - there was always a parent/child relationship, - so maybe that makes a difference.
Nemno, what keeps it real for me is my kids - that life is busy with kids, they still need driving around, they still need food on the table etc. They know that something momentous has happened, they're 11 and 13 so know exactly what's going on, but day to day life goes on as normal for them. I think I'm just going along with that. Its a very superficial existence, I'm not allowing myself to think too much about anything. That can't be healthy.

And my Dad knows that I can't be there as much as he'd like me to be because I have my own life. Doesn't stop me feeling bad about it though! Sadly he has to get used to my Mum not being there, and that will be a slow and painful process. Breaks my heart to think about it. So I don't.

Sorry for the ramble. So sad for everyone's losses, and best wishes to Hatsybatsy and her Mum.

mummylin2495 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:14:58

It's a strange tho g isn't it,how everywhere and everyone just carries on ex toy the same, when you want to shout at everyone " don't you know I have lost my mum" best of luck and maybe see you on our thread one day.

mummylin2495 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:15:44

Excuse the mistakes this iPad seems to make up words!

DailyNameChanger Mon 29-Apr-13 00:31:53

Hi ladies, my dad died in December, he had dementia for 5 years and died after a 2 month stint in hospital. I am a bit similar, I have wanted to get on with life and get back to 'normal'. Not that there is normal anymore as I have had another major life event going on (son, special needs) but I think in a way that has given me another focus and made it easier to cope with my Dad's death, whereas my siblings are mostly finding it harder. I am also struggling with my mum. We never had the greatest relationship and since my Dad has gone, she is 'on the scene' much more and some of the old issues have started to raise their ugly head again. Not that I show this, I repress it and I know it is very difficult for her, but it is an added stress. I think for me, it was such a long time since I had seen the Dad who really was, not the sick one, that when he got really bad it was a relief that he had gone. I was grateful to him for going when he did, he was only at the really bad stage for a few months whereas I know dementia sufferers can go on like that for years which would have been truly awful. I think it hits you in stages and if you are getting on with life and functioning as mum to your kids, that has to be a good thing. x

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