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At what point does it actually get better?

(23 Posts)
alazuli Sat 22-Oct-16 18:52:46

It's been 6 months now since my mum died and if anything I feel worse now than I did straight after she died. I probably haven't been very good at confronting my grief. I'm just trying to get through each day.

I know this is very personal but at what point did you start to feel better after a loved one died? Will I ever feel better? It doesn't seem like it now...

BackforGood Sat 22-Oct-16 23:58:38

Because I lost 3 people in a very short space of time, I went to a bereavement group for a while. I remember one lady there (probably late 40s/ early 50s, but an only child of parents who were also only children, so she had not Aunts / Uncles cousins and she was single and didn't have any dc, so felt very alone) coming to the group one week, mainly to thank everyone for their support and to say goodbye. What she said was that she'd had a lightbulb moment, which was as follows:

"I realised that I'd been waiting for 'things to get back to 'normal', as in, return to how it all was before I lost my Mum. I then realised, that, as my Mum was now gone, things would never be "normal" - as in the way they used to be - again. However I realised that I would have to get used to what would become the 'new normal', and that it was OK for me to laugh sometimes, and go out sometimes, and not think about her for a short time some days, and to gradually pick up threads of my life again, just the same as it was still ok to cry sometimes, and be upset sometimes, and remember her a lot"

I think of what this lady said a lot and found it rings true with me. You don't ever "get over" losing someone close, but you learn to adjust / live with the next part of your life.

6 months is really still very new. Personally I think it's important to talk, to cry, to remember, but we are all different in our approach.

Look after yourself flowers

lemonzest123 Sun 23-Oct-16 00:02:10

Really feel for you OP. I'm two weeks in and wondering how things can ever "go back to normal". Normal died with her.

Onedaftmonkey Sun 23-Oct-16 00:06:04

I'm so sorry for your loss. In a way it never gets better. You just learn to cope. The pain will subside. The ache will lessen. But the love will never die.
At this point no words with soothe. I just hope you are supported enough?
My thoughts are with you flowers

FlowerOfTheValley Sun 23-Oct-16 00:08:58

I'm very sorry for your loss. It will feel better although it will always feel different.

It is very up and down for a long while. I appeared to function quite normally after 6 months but what felt normal to me by then was my new normal rather than how I should have been. I didn't realise I wasn't anywhere near right at the time.

In my own experience you have to grieve first before it starts to get better. Like you I didn't confront my grief and just plodded on. It was only when I faced it and let my grief out I started to feel better.

It took me nearly 4 years but I was stuck in a rut for a long time too scared to face my loss. Bereavement counselling helped me enormously.

You will feel better again but it does take time. flowers

alazuli Sun 23-Oct-16 01:25:55

That's a good way of putting it BackforGood - a new normal.

My mum had cancer for 2 years so after she died I couldn't handle thinking about it all anymore. Now, I've realised that's done more harm than good and have started grief counselling with Cruse.

Onedaftmonkey - I have some great friends around me but I struggle to talk to them about my mum. As a person I find it hard to be vulnerable so I keep everything locked up inside of me.

Anyone else find their anxiety has gone through the roof while grieving? I can't stop worrying about everything and feeling like something terrible is going to happen.

bummyknocker Sun 23-Oct-16 01:42:12

I am so sorry for your loss.

I lost both parents very close to eachother (think months) then an aunt and an uncle a year later, then a former work colleague, all within 18 months, I remember not telling people at work about the aunt and uncle in case they thought I was cursed.
The night after my uncle's funeral, I thought I was going to die. The anxiety was crippling. I was diagnosed asthmatic and having the inhalers was a crutch. At work, I would go into the loo and bawl my eyes out. Then as time progressed, I would think, I'm having a good cry when I get home, or as I walk home.

Some time later, I remember thinking, what would they want for me? To be happy, so I focused on being content with me, while still grieving. It is possible to be ok, happy even, but grieving. I hope that doesn't sound too mad.
I got drunk a few times and let rip with close friends, that helped a little. Lots of people would not even acknowledge the double loss. That hurt.

Slowly, you learn to live with it. I still cry and grieve, I still miss them, but I'm getting better at it, and so will you. flowers

talesofthevillage Sun 23-Oct-16 01:55:07

Bummyknocker that sounds very hard flowers

alazuli Sun 23-Oct-16 11:44:02

Bummyknocker sounds like you went through a horrendous time. That must have been so tough for you. No wonder you were feeling so anxious. So sorry for your losses. xx

Leapling Wed 26-Oct-16 23:23:43

Sorry for your loss. It's been 5 weeks almost since my DD died aged 7 months and I've asked the question of when it will get better so many times. All I've discovered is it's different for different people and as cliche as it sounds, take one day at a time. 6 months still isn't long after losing someone so close. I certainly feel like it's getting worse but am hopeful it will get better.

This article is specific to losing a child but the way it talks about grief is general.
www.psychologytoday.com/blog/laugh-cry-live/201309/when-baby-dies-picking-the-pieces

The bit about letting go of what might have been and accepting what is really stuck out for me. Easier said than done though. And as bummyknocker said, you can be happy and sad at the same time.

alazuli Mon 31-Oct-16 00:58:07

Leapling so sorry for your loss. What a terrible, horrific, sh*tty thing to lose your dd so young. Thank you for posting that link. Not sure I'm anywhere near the stage where I can find a positive from grief but hopefully I'll get there in the end.

willowcatkin111 Mon 31-Oct-16 01:10:52

16 years on and it is not 'better' but I can relate to the 'new normal' comment. Special moments I still miss her and wish she was here to share them but time does mean that is less realistic and I can more often be glad that she is no longer in pain etc
The first year is the worst as every occasion ( birthday, Xmas etc) is your first without them.

alazuli Fri 04-Nov-16 20:14:16

I know this sounds silly but it's only hitting me now that I will never see my mum again. Maybe I've tried not to think about it too much. I'm so heartbroken and sad. I wish I could give her just one more hug. sad

Basicbrown Sat 05-Nov-16 09:41:53

alazuli I lost my mum 6 months ago too. I think that the first few months you are just in shock. Just getting through the days is all you can think of.

I can relate to exactly what you are saying, it is sinking in and has really hit me over the last couple of weeks. I don't keep forgetting that she isn't here sad. It is the deep, grinding loss that one of the people who loved me and my dc most is gone, the loneliness of missing her.

I don't know about counselling, in a way I don't really see how they can help me because they can't bring her back.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 05-Nov-16 18:48:46

In honest answer to your question. It doesn't really. You just learn to cope better. I don't think you ever get over losing your mum.
My mum passed just over a year ago. I still have bad days and mornings when I wake up and for a fraction of a second I forget she's gone and it all comes back to me. That at least in this life aside from in pictures and in my dreams. I'm never going to see her again. It certainly was not in my life plan for her to die so young. I thought she'd be around to see my dd have children, but. It wasn't to be, so. I have to carry on. I mean what other option is out there.
If giving up would bring my mum back. I would do, but my mum wouldn't want me to do that. I have to be the best i can be to make her proud.
plus if she's now at peace. There's no way. I'd wake her up.
So sorry for your loss. ((((((((())))))))))

BeBopTalulah Sat 05-Nov-16 18:58:16

My deepest condolences.

I cannot imagine how you are feeling. My grandparents died in quick succession when I was in my early teens (very close to them indeed). When I talk to other people about them I can still feel a lump start in my throat, and when I visit their grave I bawl my eyes out, 15 years on. I still miss them terribly.

I believe the most important thing is to not put pressure on yourself to 'get over it', because I don't believe you ever do. That sounds awful, but it doesn't mean you won't be able to get on with your life. You will reach a point where it isn't all-consuming and you can accept it. Losing a parent is completely different to my experience, of course. But this is the only example I have flowers

TheTantrumCometh Sat 05-Nov-16 19:15:36

Not silly at all. I'm 9 months (yesterday) into living my life without my dad. I definitely threw myself into grieving and it helped. But I still have bad days/weeks.

At the moment I'm finding I've gone beyond the permanent, almost physical, pain of his passing (though, as I said, I have my days), but it's the little reminders that get me at the moment.

Earlier I was getting the washing in after dark and all there were lots of fireworks in the distance. It reminded me of the bonfire nights we spent in this garden (mines bigger than my parents) having our own little display and my dad loved it. And then that led on to the enviable thoughts that we will never get to enjoy that together ever again. I didn't expect to quietly sob as I was getting the washing in but there we go smile

I don't think it gets better as such, I think our ability to cope and adjust gets better

Goldnick Sun 06-Nov-16 22:59:50

It's almost 3 years since my mum died. I miss her. She had dementia, Alzheimer's, and I felt at the time that we/she were lucky that it wasn't more prolonged. She had a good life, on the whole, although I think the early years were very painful and we didn't know the half of it.

To answer your question: as time goes on, I miss her more, and I'm sad that the time is lengthening since I last spoke with her and held her hand. But I think, and I know it's a cliche, that grief is the price we pay for love, so in some ways I relish the grief, if that makes sense. I feel it worse at times when she would have helped me, when I'm sad and down, when I feel like I'm not doing well, because she always had a good word for me, my family, how we were doing. No one else fills that gap.

I'm feeling every loss of family of that generation more and more. It's not getting easier, just feeling them all slipping away. My mum was the last of her family (9), my dad is one of 8 with only 4 of them left. PP is right, we just have to cope and adjust.

Truckingalong Mon 21-Nov-16 06:55:57

I think grief just changes. It's not got any easier for me, it's just changed. It's become easier in some ways (I occasionally don't have it at the forefront of my mind) but as the shock gradually starts to wear off (I don't think it ever goes completely - how can such a life changing seismic event ever not be shocking) a new grief takes its place. A bone-aching, enduring, lonely void that can never be filled. Sorry for the life-affirming, uplifting tone!

alazuli Mon 21-Nov-16 10:21:10

Trucking - That's what I'm realising now. That it will never get better really and that I will never stop missing her. I wish I could just see her one last time! Life just feels so meaningless right now. I'm really struggling. sad

Thanks for all your replies. So sad we're going through the same thing.

Truckingalong Tue 22-Nov-16 08:00:58

It's so strange that we all go through loss and bereavement and grief and yet we are so unequipped and unprepared with how to deal with it. It's like a big secret that no one lets you in on. You're happily bumbling along in life and then wham, this happens. It's just dog shit.

echt Tue 22-Nov-16 09:58:56

My DH died unexpectedly nearly five months ago.

I miss the fun, the companionship.sad

endofthelinefinally Thu 01-Dec-16 11:09:33

I don't know alazuli.
It is 3 months since my son died and if anything I feel worse.
I am on the edge of tears all the time. It is crippling.
I avoid going out - there are only a couple of friends I can see because they can cope with my grief.
I can't speak to people on the phone.
I think, for me, it is because as time passes, the reality sinks in.
I was used to DS being away for periods of time - either working or travelling. But he would always turn up on a regular basis. Now it has been 3 months and I am experiencing the pain of realising I will never see him again.

I am so sorry for your loss.
flowers

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