Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Confused about my loss

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. kannie
    kannie avatar
    1 posts
    16 December 2019

    My mum passed away 7 weeks ago now. Although not completely unexpected as she was unwell, it was a shock at the time. My reaction has been so strange to me.

    The funeral was a wonderful gathering of family and we all supported each other and there were tears and lots of hugs and lots of love expressed. But now I cannot feel any emotions when I think of her loss. It is as if I am numb. I don't understand this as I had a loving (but sometimes complex) relationship with her. And when I lost my dad I had a completely different experience of grief which felt more immediate.

    Two things have happened recently....I seem to be getting snappy with people whom I am close to. It is as if little things are triggering my temper and I am short and cranky. I can only assume this is related to my grief. I have not experienced this before. Has anyone else experienced something similar?

    The other thing is that my grief associated with another loss in my life (an estrangement from a close family member) seems to be dominating my thoughts and feelings. I feel this grief often, but since my mum died it seems as if it is so much more intense. It is as if I cannot grieve my mum as my loss of another is so dominant. Does this make sense? Is this possible that my grief for my loss of my mum is being overshadowed by grief of another?

    I really don't know how to understand all this and I certainly don't know how to feel about it all.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    176 posts
    18 December 2019 in reply to kannie

    Hi Kannie,

    I‘m deeply sorry for your loss. It must all still be so raw...I feel your swirl of emotions from your devastating loss and estrangement. You sound overwhelmed, lost, and distraught...

    I think grief is unique to each person. It can hit us all so differently...I think your feelings, as awful as it all feels, is understandable, real and valid...

    I think grief sometimes comes out in disconnection/numb feelings, sometimes it rears its head as rage, sometimes it means long crying spells, etc...I think there’s no strict way for grief to unfold...

    But, no matter how we respond, I feel the common thread in all grief is losing someone or something that we love...

    In your case, maybe some of your grief is numbness and anger at the moment, and as horrible as that may feel, it’s okay...let grief do its work. I think holding space/allowing ourselves to feel really difficult grief related emotions is part of the processing and healing...

    I tend to cry a lot or disconnect when grieving. I oscillate from the 2 extremes...I suppose what I’m saying is we all experience grief in our own way. I found that trying to deny/avoid it didn’t really work in the long-term...

    What helped, as counterintuitive as it sounds, was actually giving myself permission to feel the horrible feelings...it’s not easy or pleasant to do that, but I found over time, my grief became more bearable of its own accord...by letting myself feel difficult emotions, grief ironically no longer took hold of my life.

    Granted, that took time...and some things and people I will never stop grieving, but I’ve learnt to manage it much better now...

    At this early/raw stage, I would gently suggest that you allow yourself to feel your emotions but mindfully. E.g. if you feel your anger coming on, maybe remind yourself “I have the right to feel angry as I have lost people that I loved deeply, but I’m not going to take it out on other people that I also care about.”

    Sorry, I feel as though I haven’t been particularly helpful. I suppose what I‘m getting at is maybe, as hard as it is, just let grief run its natural course.

    Maybe don’t fight grief. Fight how grief affects the way in which you relate to loved ones, but don’t fight the grief itself if that makes sense...that is my suggestion at least...

    Most of all though, I just wanted to reach out and let you know that, even if our experiences aren’t identical, there is a lot of empathy around grief here on the forums.

    Thinking of you...

    Kindness & care,

    Pepper

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up