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Grief keeps rearing its ugly head.

(29 Posts)
pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:09:28

I am not entirely convinced I have ever actually grieved for my mum. She died just over 2 years ago.

I missed the date of her passing anniversary last month, which, when I remembered, made me feel callous and cold. Sometimes I feel like this, like its not bothered me emotionally.

Clearly it has, it has devestated me in a way I cannot describe. I do not feel weepy, or sad. I feel something I cannot explain I guess. I feel, numb. Mostly, numb, and like I am missing a vital part of me. It feels more physical than mental. it has always felt like that. at first, when she first went, it felt as physical as losing an arm, something that I needed to be whole. That missing has never gone.

But, I have never really dwelled on seeing my mum for the last time. Well, not true, it has sort of been there, played on my mind once in a while, mainly when I last saw her alive, which was not so great (she had cancer). I saw her in the Chapel of Rest at the funeral parlour, and it did not really seem like her. It was her, but I did not feel too disturbed really. I felt just like seeing a dead body.

however, last night, I had a stinking headache, and I thought of mum, as I often do when I am poorly, and the image of her in the morgue was very vivid and disturbing, it was her, mum was dead. And then I kept flitting back from her when I last saw her alive, to the morgue and back to her alive, and I tried to replace the image with a happy one and I could not. It was like a dream image, but I was very awake, it was clear, and now I cannot get it out of my mind. And I now have this awful feeling that I let her down. Somehow, like I should have grieved more, should have done more for her when she was ill, missed her more, cried more, I don;t know. I worry she did not think I cared as I did not cry when I saw her dead body. I don't really know what I feel, just this sense of letting her down and the image of her dead body.

Sorry, can't really talk to DH about it. and I needed to get it out.

fruitshootsandheaves Thu 12-Feb-09 21:13:18

I still feel like you sometimes. I feel bad for not talking to her more, for being almost scared to talk for fear of upsetting her. Actually she was very angry and refused to remenis with my dad which was sad.

Sometimes I'd just like a cuddle from her and for someone else to take charge for a while and for it not all to be up to does get easier but it never goes away completely.


DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:13:27


My mum died nearly 5yrs ago, but it would have been her birthday today.

I too feel like I have never properly grieved, mainly due to the fact DD1 was only 2 weeks old when mum died so really was so caught up in the new baby thing to let it all sink in.

4.5yrs down the line im sat here not talking to anyone, wasting time on the internet just to get today over with.

not a day goes past that i dont think about mum in some way or another - DD2 is the spitting image of her, red hair and glasses, but I do find the anniversaries of things very hard to deal with properly.

I didnt see my mum once she had died. It was all very quick and sudden and with the baby hormones I just wanted to remember her as she was.

I hope you can find some comfort in knowing I know how you feel. x

nickytwotimes Thu 12-Feb-09 21:14:00

Aw, pav. sad
I think you do still have a lot of grieving to do. It is quite common for it to be delayed - did you have to put it on hold a little when she died because of other things going on?

I am sure that you never let her down. She wouldn't want you to feel this way.

Why can't you taklk to dh? He could give you cuddles.

My Dad died nearly 4 years ago and I especially miss him when i am under the weather. I think things are just a little rawer then and your defences come down.

ChampagneDahling Thu 12-Feb-09 21:14:23

Sorry to hear about your mum and that you are are struggling to cope.

But its good to get it out - have you considered counselling - you have obviously got some issues that need to be dealt with.

Ihope you can find a way of getting some inner peace [hug]

spudmasher Thu 12-Feb-09 21:16:58

I think this is normal. I am grieving for my dad- lost 6 months ago and what you describe- the flash backy type stuff is exactly what I am experiencing. His death was also to cancer. My mum has been to bereavement counselling and I have spoken to her about it and she says it is normal.
As for what to do about it...I don't know.
I am having it on almost a daily basis. The shock of it is very real. Two years is not really that long ago. Maybe you have been shutting it out and are just beginning to dael with it.
I think maybe just accepting your loss and acknoweldging the utter awfulness of it might be the way forward.
I hope the good memories begin to come soon.
Much sympathy to you pavlov.

DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:19:49

I think counselling would help you pav, as im sure it would me, but im such a private person i couldnt imagine trying to discuss it face to face with a stranger.

DH is fab, but he doesnt know how it feels. No-one does unless they have been through it. In fact, DH's words today were, Im here if you want to talk or a cuddle but otherwise Ill leave you be to deal with things in your own way. I have been pretty much mute all day. sad

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:29:17

Thank you for replies.

fruitshoots - that is just how I feel, about sometimes wanting her to come and me mum, and for me to be daughter again. I also felt just like you say, that sometimes I felt scared to speak in case I said something wrong, or upset her, or reminded her she was dying (like she needed reminding), or that I might have been seen as being flippant. And, to be honest, I sometimes just did not know what to say, other than 'don't die' which I could not say.

danJAR - aw love, must be hard for you today too sad [hug]. Funny, mum's birthday, it has not hit me too hard. Christmas has not hit me too hard. It is times when i do not expect it, normal usual days when it gets me. Something, like, i guess feeling ill, and usually phoning mum up so she can tell me to go take some pills and get an early night.

I actually found mum looking more peaceful after she died. Last time I saw her alive she was, not her, not physically, mentally she was there, and she was pretty bloody angry with God (in her eyes, not mine, I am a non beleiver in the way she beleived). She had quite a rough life really, and she felt this was the summing up of her life. It was hard to hear, and I could not take it away, or get to her to understand completely enough she had a good life too, and how proud I was of her. When I saw her in the morgue, this was all gone, all that heartache she carried. But, she was still dead, and that is what the image of her keeps saying to me, not at peace. Dead. No longer here.

Nicky - no, not so easy to grieve when she died. She was diagnosed when I was pg with my first, and she died when DD was 6 months old, my brother was getting married, I was getting married, she wanted/needed us to keep going. DD has been so good, so happy, I could not find time to let my guard slip I think.

Its not that I cant talk to DH, I can, and I do. But, he has lost his job, lost his dad 3 years ago, has his own emotional stuff to deal with now, and has a horrid bug, so i really don;t want to be all about me with him.

champagne - I went to counselling when mum first passed, but, i got nothing much from it, just felt like it was 'yes, oh, oh dear, oh thats not good, oh you poor thing, oh how hard for you', I could get that from anywhere so stopped. I can cope mostly, but these images after 2 years are sudden and quite shocking. Its odd I guess.

Phew that was long!

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:36:16

DanJAR- and it does help with all you guys sharing with me, it helps to feel I am not alone, that this is normal/ok, and also to just talk about it I guess.

I spent a lot of time feeling 'angry', at everyone, some of which was justified (fallout with family member) some of it was just wanting to blame everyone else for how I felt, but to be honest most of my anger was internal, or moaning to DH about it, like you DanJAR - DH is great, and he has experienced loss, but he was not so close to his father and he died suddenly, not that I minimise his loss, but it was different, not less, just different. He also understands that, he knew how close I was to mum, and he also watched her die too. He has been a rock, but I don't want to bore him.

I am not sure about counselling, I am not sure how it can help. To be honest, I think MN is a good form of counselling, talking to strangers, some who have experienced similar, but with the bonus of not having to do it at a set time each week. I can talk about my feelings and get support and advice when I need it, rather than when I am slotted in. My friends, they care, but they not know know.

spudmasher Thu 12-Feb-09 21:38:23

Do you have dreams pavlov?

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:39:05

Spud - thats not long ago at all sad. Thank you for your support, I should be supporting you blush. I am so sorry for your loss. Cancer is so ugly. I never realised just how so. I guess, really, mum was 'lucky (if you can describe it like that hmm in that it was aggressive. She went relatively quickly (8 months from diagnosis).

nickytwotimes Thu 12-Feb-09 21:40:02

Yes, pav, I have found 'talking' about my old Dad on here a big help.
It is instantly accessible and there is enough distance to allow honesty.

DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:40:50

pav - i agree totally with what you have said there.

MY case is different in that it was sudden, so sudden that I went out at 6pm, said bye and she was dead by 10pm.

I like using MN, a lot of the oldies on here have helped me in huge ways to get things into perspective when i have my low days - and like you I can be in tears on any given day, it doesnt just have to be the anniversaries. I dread them, really dread them. I had a really bad time of it around my dads birthday last year because it was his 50th. A big one. One that mum should have been there for.

Oh bollox, im just rambling without even helping here, maybe I should go to bed.

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:44:26

From time to time I dream, not often, and only recently (did not dream about her at all after she died, almost like it was deliberate, I used to wonder why I did not), but when I do, mum is normal mum, no flashbacks, just something where she is there, as if she is still alive. Its usually something mundane like DD is eating her breakfast and mum walks in and asks if I want a cuppa, and I say yes, and it is normal, and she is not dead. I do not think she is dead, its as if she never died, and it is usually in a situation she would not have been in before (ie, in our flat with DD aged 2). It is usually in the context of something else too, she is part of the dream, not the main of the dream, so I do not wake straight up. But when I do, I feel the physical missing all over again.

Do you dream?

Lilyloo Thu 12-Feb-09 21:44:47

Pavlov i am sorry.
I also think i have never grieved 'enough' for my mum but what is 'enough' ?
I as others have said was pg with my first child and i am quite private / strong so coped as i had (in my mind) no choice!

I agree DanJar its all a bit too odd to discuss with counsellors who have no idea who the person is i am talking about!

Pavlov my tough days arent mothers day/ birthday/ xmas etc but the days i 'really need her'.

spudmasher Thu 12-Feb-09 21:45:28

You are not rambling DanJar- you have acknowledged that this is a gret source of support. I too found the site so useful right from the day of my dads diagnosis to advice on what to say for the eulogy.
To quote Dave's dad on The Royale Family 'Good point well made'

DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:46:13

yes. i dream of her a lot, and just like you, normal day to day stuff in places she has never been, with people she has never seen.... DD2 and DS for example.

I am going to see Colin Fry in April, not holding out much hope for him to get anything for me but I can only dream.....

spudmasher Thu 12-Feb-09 21:48:32

Pavlov I do dream regularly. They are all about my Dad wanting to be there but not being 'allowed'. Very odd. Want them to go away but know that it is all part of the process. Like you say, wake up feeling the loss all over again. So raw. Just my brain trying to make sense of it all I suppose.

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:50:20

DanJAR - you are not rambling! And I hope you do not think I was minimising your mum passing suddenly, I certainly did not mean that, just that its a different manner of losing. I wonder if I did a lot of my grieving when mum was still here (or maybe felt I should have?). DHs dad, he lived in Santa Fe New Mexico, DH had not spoken to him for a week, and it took him 2 days to get there. He saw him (he says just to make sure he was dead and not pulling an insurance job!!!!) and I think he had to, as he had not seen him for a year.

We talk about both mum and his dad to DD, and she found a photo of him a week or so ago. Who's that? my grandad? Mine, he is my grandad....DH was close to tears. DD also once asked me where nana was, which threw me as MIL is granny to her, and my mum was nana!

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:52:59

DanJAR - see, i was rambling there! You put it about the dreaming much clearer than I did!!!

spudmasher Thu 12-Feb-09 21:55:24

Who is Colin Fry DanJar?

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 21:55:30

Thanks Lilyloo smile I do not know when it is 'enough', but certainly don't feel there yet. I sometimes feel I have not started yet.

I wonder at why it is so hard, when it is such a normal part of life to lose parents eventually? Why does it feel so wrong, something that we wont ever get over, when we have so long left to live ourselves without them?

DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:56:16

dont be daft pav, you did nothing of the sort.

i mean this with no offence at all, but sometimes I feel those who know they are dying have an advantage. They get to say things and do things to tie up loose ends. My mum didnt have that chance, she didnt have the chance to say goodbye or anything, one minute she was on the sofa watching the TV, the next on the floor being given mouth to mouth by my dad and brother. (From what ive been told) She didnt know her time was up so to speak.

Please dont take offence to that, I mean no mallice at all. In some ways Im pleased it happened the way it did rather than months or years of pain and suffering.

Oh jeez, Im winding myself into an awful mess now.

DD1 and DD2 know who Grandma is in photos, and know she lives in heaven. When we go to the beach they throw stones in the water and say "We love you Grandma". (mums ashes were scattered on the beach in scotland where she was raised as a child) It breaks my heart, but out of the mouths of babes and all that.

DanJARMouse Thu 12-Feb-09 21:57:42

Colin Fry does a show on living called Sixth Sense. He can basically communicate with those who have passed over.

He does shows quite often near me, but its only now I feel ready to go.

pavlovthecat Thu 12-Feb-09 22:01:23

No offense taken at all. For me, most importantly, she got to hold DD. She got to look after her, and she got to feed her first chocolate button, one of her first foods. DH and I had said no chocolate (pfb, not even started weaning yet!) and mum had always joked about feeding her chocolate buttons when my back was turned, so we bought some for mum to give her. Unfortunately, she could not hold out to my brother's wedding two weeks later sad

Mum's ashes were scattered on Glastonbury Tor.

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