Not sure how to feel

(United Kingdom)

My mum passed away in April 2012 after 40 years battling Multiple Sclerosis. She had been seriously ill for a long time and we had been told 5 or 6 times that she was going to pass away, and she always seemed to rally round. So, I still don't know how to feel about the fact that she has gone. I have been waiting for shock and grief to kick in, but I know deep down that I am in denial still. I have found it very hard to express this to my loved ones - mum had been so ill for such a long time that I feel like I should have been prepared but I really don't think I was.

I also feel a little bit guilty about the grief that I know is to come - having read some of these blogs on here people talk about missing their mums advice, or hugs, or daily presence. Howver my mum had been in a nursing home since I was eight years old and so I never really had that mother / daughter relationship with her in the traditional sense - although I have no doubt that she loved me very much. In a way, this has made it easier for me to deny that she has gone because I can get on with my daily life and pretend that she's still there in the nursing home - but it has also left me confused about how I should feel about her loss.

I'd love to hear from anyone who perhaps has any advice or thoughts based on their own experience.

Comments for Not sure how to feel

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Oct 30, 2012
Not sure how to feel
by: Anonymous

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments - they have made me feel so much better and not so alone in these feelings. It is a great comfort that there is such understanding out there, and also people who are willing to reach out and offer me comfort and advice at a time in their lives when they are also battling these difficult emotions. You are all in my thoughts, and thank you again for offering me comfort, I hope you can all find some too.

Oct 25, 2012
Similar Feelings
by: Jules

I lost my 22yr old son a month ago and while the circumstances are different, I'm having some of the same emotions as you.

Like your situation with your mother being in a nursing home and not really being available to you in a "normal" mother/daughter way, I had watched my son slip further and further away from me as he feel deeper into drug abuse...So we had not had a normal mother/son relationship in a long time either...While I think of him a great deal every day, his passing hasn't made a big difference in my day to day life...( As much as I hate to say it, it's made it easier in some ways, i.e. I don't have to worry about where he is, what he's doing, what's going to be the next drama...There's no worrying about leaving the house because you know someone isn't going to try and slip in to rob you blind, etc.)...And part of me hates saying those things, but it's true.

If I could have him back and be given the knowledge and tools to help him I'd do it in a heartbeat...But, to have him back the way he was??...I'm not so sure.

My own mother said to me that in a way losing my son was a lot the way people feel when they've lost a parent or partner to Alzheimer's...The Long Good-bye...They're still there, but in a way you'd begun losing them and their companionship and presence in your life before they passed away...That's a little how I feel about my son, ( except I still held out hope that something might work)...Perhaps that's something similar to what you're going through though...I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Oct 25, 2012
Not sure how to feel
by: Doreen U.K.

Confusion comes with grief. DENIAL is also a part of grief. I lost my husband to cancer 5 months ago. He worked all over the world his whole working life 47yrs. It feels as if he is away on a job and I am feeling. "Come on now Steve it is about time you came home. You have been gone too long and I AM MISSING YOU." "PLEASE COME HOME NOW I NEED TO SEE YOU."
I don't know when this Denial will go. It is a part of our grief so I guess it has to work itself out. None of us know how to deal with grief because it is so very painfull and full of exploding emotions. It makes one feel all beaten up and they can't move. Like a shock to the system. Only God knows since he Created us this way with feelings and emotions.
Grief doesn't last forever. It is made of of stages and once we go through each stage that we become stronger. None of us are sure how to feel in grief. But one thing for sure is. In Grief we all feel the same way. We all experience the same pain and sorrow. Till it gets less and life gets easier.

Oct 25, 2012
Let the small things count
by: Anonymous

Perhaps she was not able to hug or advise you, or to be with you everyday. However, try to remember the small things... a gesture, the expression in her eyes, or the little twist of her mouth to indicate a smile of happiness when you arrived to see her. Perhaps there was not even that, but you will find something in your memories which will help you to realize that your visits were a high point in her life. I do not doubt that she was very sad about the fact that she could not provide the attention which you needed, but I am also certain, though it may not have been clear at the time, that her love for you was deep and strong. I imagine from what you relate here that your mother was a brave and courageous woman who could possibly only express her love in the smallest of ways. It also seems to me that she fought a brave and courageous battle to remain here with you for as long as she possibly could. Let the small things count, and let the deep, strong love which she felt for you sustain you.

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