I dont understand my feelings.

by Ali
(North East)

My mam has just died on 31st May 2012. I am the youngest of 4 children and was extremely close to her. I have experience of death; my boyfriend died when I was 30 of a malignant brain tumor. I helped nurse two relatives one of them my dad until they died and I am also caring for my auntie who has cancer.

My mam was 78 years old. My brother and sisters alwalys say I never cut my apron strings with both parents and I suppose that is true.I cannot express in words how close I was to my mam. I spent a lot of time with my mam and so did my daughter. My mam was disabled and I had noticed she seemed more frail in the last 6 months.

On 24th May she suffered an anaphylactic reaction and she ended up in theatre to place a tube in her throat subsequently she was put into intensive care and on to a life support machine. At first they did not know the swelling was an anaphylactic reaction they told us it was a tumor that they thought might be malignant (she had been tested for myloid melenoma a year before). The tumor 'disappeared' ! there had been no tumor her anaphylactic reaction had subsided and consequently the so called tumor had reduced and then disappeared. All the swelling reduced but she developed double pneumonia. We were told on numerous occasions she was unlikely to survive. My brother eventually gave permission to turn off her life support machine which they did.

She was in hospital for 8 days; I was at the hospital most of the time and stayed for 2 nights during that time. When they switched her machine off and removed the tube I held her; blood spurted from her mouth when they removed her tube.I held her whilst they did it and continued to hold her and give her words of comfort. My mam lived for 23 hours after they turned the machine off and I can only describe that time as pure hell. I held her for the majority of that time giving her words of comfort. Her physical appearance and deterioration was heartbreaking. Her body blew up with water, her body started to turn black; I felt like I couldn't cope. I felt ill, hysterical, traumatised and hopeless: but I would'nt leave her. In the end the staff said she was staying alive because I was there and I agreed to sit in the hospital accommodation for a while to see if her condition changed: it didnt. In the end a nurse took me to one side she said the only reason my mam would not die was because I was still there and that she would only pass away if I left and went home. I felt I couldnt leave her though but knew I couldnt take much more. I screamed for my dad to come and get her. I went to the hospital church and wrote a prayer for god to come and get her NOW!! I went to my mam and said lots of lovely things to her and then told her that this was killing me, that I was suffering and that I had to go. I turned around and walked out: it was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I drove home (a 15 min drive); walked in the house and got the call that my mother had passed away.

I dont regret what I did; i think i did the right thing and do not feel any guilt.

I didnt cry. I have no grief at all for my mam. When I think about the trauma of the 24 hours she survived on life support I can get upset but I have no grief like when my boyfriend/dad died. Im just carrying on as normal although I am off work. I just dont understand why I have no grief. Has anyone any insight into my situation. I would be very grateful if anyone can explain why im reacting in this way.

Comments for I dont understand my feelings.

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 05, 2012
4 months on
by: Ali

Its now 4 mths since my mam has passed away. I still do not accept she is dead. I have stopped my grief counselling because i cannot cope with it. The reason i do not accept she is dead is quite simply because i cant. If i did i would not be able to function and i have a job of work and bills to pay. As unhealthy as it sounds i pretend she is alive and that i just cant see or hear from her at the moment. I know its very unhealthy but it is the only way i can survive. I cannot say goodbye to my mother and i refuse to do so. I dont know what will happen in the future but for now im keeping my head above water......... Just!

Jul 20, 2012
Rest in peace my lovely mam
by: Ali

Dont think of her as gone away
Her journeys just begun
Life holds so many facets
This world is only one
Just think of her as resting
From the pain and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days or years
Think how she must be wishing
That we could know today
How nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away
And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And she was loved so much.

Jun 30, 2012
Thank you all so mcuh
by: Ali

Thank you all very much for your advice and compassion. I have since my mothers passing had to undergo quite a major operation and think this has allowed me to feel a little grief (it might be the effects of the anaesthetic!). I am also starting grief counselling next week. I have my mothers ashes with me and this is providing me with some comfort. Though I must admit for most of the time I just dont feel like she has died. I know I have a long way to go but find all experiences written very informative and helpful. Thank you all very much and I wish you all find peace in your hearts x x x

Jun 07, 2012
Grief - Delayed
by: Anonymous


I totally understand where you are right now. First off, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. As others have posted, losing a parent is devistating - I know because I lost both of mine. Dad 7 years ago and mom at the end of February this year.

I too did not immediately grieve when mom died.

I was the calm one at the funeral. I was the one assuring everyone that she suffered for years and was in a better place. I didn't shed a single tear.

Well, it turns out my time was coming. My grief was delayed because I had too much to handle in the immediate aftermath of her death.

But grief has fully got it's nasty grip on me now. Has had me for about a month. So much so I have anxiety.

So I believe it's a matter of time before you start to grieve. You will someday but no one knows when or what will trigger it.

The best lesson I've learned is to submit to grief when it comes. It will be like being tossed about in a storm at sea. The goal is to hang on and endure until the storm goes away, which it will - someday.

I wish you all the best.

Jun 05, 2012
Feelings of grief
by: Anonymous

Hi I know exactly how you feel I idolised my dad who died suddenly.After dealing with funeral arrangements and helping my mum who was devestated,people were shocked that I was back at work two weeks later.I couldn't figure it out either but I could not feel anything I felt numb.As time goes on though it hits you suddenly out of the blue.I have had some terrible days where I feel like I can't carry on and when I think of his lovely happy face and positive attitude to life I feel guilty for being so miserable.I have found losing a parent such a life changing experience,and you are on an emotional roller coaster for a long time.No one can judge you with regard to grief we all need time to go through the process in our own way.

Jun 05, 2012
Ali I am touched by your brave story
by: by: Doreen England U.K.

Ali I am very touched by your well written account of your experience with you family and how you nursed them through cancer and illness. You are a very brave young woman to have given such a labour of love to your family members.
Ali so much is going on for you and because you have just suffered your loss you are numb. It is like having shock absorbers in place to allow you to cope otherwise you would crumble and perhaps not recover from the enormity of what you have experienced.
Grief does not come all at once it hits you in different places when you least expect this. But it will come. It will be very painfull and you will wonder how you can cope. It is rather like being frozen and when you thaw out then the grief hits you. Each person reacts differently and your experience may be less severe or more severe. You have to go through it in order for healing to take place. There is no other way around this.
What I have done is buy 5 grief books from Amazon and working my way through this and if I still can't cope I will seek bereavement counselling. I also keep a journal and write in this every day and in a conversation to my husband who has died. I address him with the problems around me and what I can't cope with. Then when I look back over time I will then see how far I have come in my grief process and see how forward I have come. It is also therapeutic and is a nice way to record your thoughts and experiences.
I hope this information helps you move forward and have better days ahead.
Best wishes for the future.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Lost Moms.

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Feed Widget


Tap into the compassion, support and wisdom of the


Essential Healing Guide

Grief Relief

Free Griefwork

Free Stress

SBI Video Tour!