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Topic: I never grieved for my mother..is this unhealthy?

25 posts, 0 answered
  1. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    11 May 2019

    Evening all, I have never asked any professional person this question probably because it simply hasn't been a problem for me. Nor is it now....but....I can't seem to find any websites, or long term effects, if any, or posts on Forum about "not" grieving a close family member. In my case, my mother when I was 16.

    The reason I am curious if this is more common that usually thought....is that my sister died a few months ago and I didn't seem to "grieve" much then either, even though I had no ill feelings towards her. In fact I felt terribly sad for her during her illness and problems through life and loved her, still do. I wouldn't call it"grieving" though. (I have grieved terribly for pets...unrelenting pain, distraught with the grief, taking long long time to cope with that kind of loss...but with these 2 people, I seemed to just get on with my life).

    Re my mother, I can honestly say I have never missed her, felt sad at her passing, wished she was here, been around to see my children, life's successes, shared my celebrations, not for one second, minute, hour or day since the Dr delivered the news at the hospital. Never felt the need to "talk " to her or share anything with her, "ask" her advice, cry for her....nothing! Has this lack of grieving process at 16 affected me in other ways perhaps? Is that really relevant anyway? Just curious if anyone else "non grieves"

    Sending wishes for peace and love to you...thanks for listening...Moonstruck

  2. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    827 posts
    11 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello Moonstruck

    Grief is a very individual process. When my mom died I cried constantly when I got home after being at work. Even at work I would disappear to the toilet to have a weep. I felt devastated and I wondered the opposite to you, am I grieving too much, is this normal. Yet when my sister died it was completely different and to this day I think I have only cried/felt sad once. No idea why or why the difference.

    Well actually I have some thoughts. I always felt ignored by my mom, that she was not interested in what I did as a youngster, not even interested in where I was. Maybe it was my perception. When she died I was not there as mom lived in the UK and I got the news after she passed away. I often think I was grieving for the person I wanted her to be, the person I felt was a mom to me and my grief was because this would never happen now.

    My sister, also in the UK, had cancer and I could see how tired she was the last time I visited about three months before she passed away. She was interested in my life and we talked on the phone quite often. I was sad when she died but felt it was her choice to refuse further treatment after 11 years of surgery and chemo. There is only so much the body can take. I knew she was content with her decision and I could not wish her still here. So some sadness but not overwhelming grief.

    So two different reactions to death of a family member. Whether my reasons are correct or not I don't know but I feel OK with that explanation. If your mom made no impact on your life then maybe this is why you feel you cannot grieve in any way. It does not always happen that way.Sometime I think my grief should have been for my sister but there is no way of knowing how we will react news of this kind.

    It could be you are holding this grief within you and one day it could get out and knock you for six. Maybe you grieved for mom as a youngster when you felt no response to you and have no need to mourn now. There could be many reasons. I feel there is no need for you to either try to feel some grief or to worry you have life long problem because of this. My best guess would be that if you felt nothing for mom as you were growing up it would translate to feeling not much when she died.

    Lots of talk about me but I am the only model I know. I do believe we all come to terms with death eventually given that we will all die one day. Why, when and how we experience a deep sadness I don't know.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Enigmachick2
    Enigmachick2 avatar
    5 posts
    13 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    After reading your post, I became interested in this topic so I googled and I came across an article which references a study that you may be interested in. It mentions that half the people studied had 'resilience or absent grief' (other responses to grief include 'chronic grief' and 'common grief') - so your reaction seems common! There was also no proof of 'unhealthiness' in people who had this reaction to grief.

    https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/coping/why-some-people-dont-grieve.htm

    I do think grieving is a very individual process and may be dependant on the relationship you've had with the person who has passed. My mother passed suddenly when I was 16 and I remember that I didn't cry immediately (I was in shock and it didn't seem real) but I did and still grieve for her 20 years later. I was very close to my Mum and felt some guilt at her passing as we were constantly arguing in the weeks leading up to her sudden death. I also wonder how losing a mother at a young age has affected me.

    Thanks for your post!

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Croix
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    1140 posts
    15 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Dear Moon~

    No, I would say it is not unhealthy in the least. I grieved immensely when my partner passed away, and for some pets, but not for my parents.

    I think in my case it was a question of how close they really were to me. I'm quite a warm person and do care about others.

    Your reactions sound very normal and understandable, the passing of others takes people in differing ways, it does not reflect anything other than people and circumstances vary.

    As Lord Henry Wotton says:"Her capacity for family affection is extraordinary. When her third husband died, her hair turned quite gold from grief."

    Croix

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  5. CMF
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    CMF avatar
    306 posts
    15 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moon,

    In short, no not unhealthy. There are no rules on grieving and it's a personal thing. As far as grieving for animals, well i think you may see them as more dependant and helpless, therefore you have a soft spot for them.

    Cmf x

    1 person found this helpful
  6. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    3150 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello Moonstruck, an interesting thread.

    When Mum was put into a nursing home, only because she had a knee operation, no physio and couldn't walk, her mind was excellent, but when she passed away things were totally different, she was a vegetable and pleased that she had passed away, no more suffering, so no I didn't really grieve, I certainly loved her and she was a loving, wonderful Mum, but that was before she was put into the nursing home.

    As we develop our own lives, get married, have kids, or even if this doesn't happen but we move away and create a different life then we aren't depended on Mum anymore, that's when we change our mind.

    I realise other people are depended on their mum and of course, will have a different point of view.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Croix

    Are you sure you're not getting your quotes confused Croix? I recall a similar one referring to a recent widow "I never saw a woman so altered...she looks quite 10 years younger!"

  8. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    386 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon,

    You asked an interesting question as you often do. And there have been thoughtful answers,

    I agree everyone grieves differently and at my mums funeral people asked me why I wasn’t crying . I had cried for her during her years of dementia so now she was at peace, and I had no tears.

    As long as your reaction is ok with you and doesn’t worry you it is fine. I know people who are like you and there is no one way to grieve.

    Thanks for your honesty.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moonstruck,

    If I’m reading your post correctly, your mum passed away when you were 16?

    im sorry that happened to you. I believe it stays with you whether you “feel” it or not.

    my mum died when I was 17, from  alcoholism.

    that was 25 years ago, I remember early days I used to try and make up a feeling.. as though I was acting like I was sad, I felt I should be feeling terrible but I wasn’t, I felt numbness.. I felt nothing.

    It was only 3 or 4 years ago I sat and cried about her. There’s the annual mother’s day stuff that throws it all in my face, the christmas events with. My ex’s family who were the picture perfect christmas Lunch.

    So I guess I can say there are now At least two of us in this world who questioned themselves why they could feel sad about the loss of a family member.

    im sure there are more,

    your not alone, and I believe that the fact you came here and put the question on the table clearly identifies you as being empathetic toward your mum and the loss of her,

    its just my view..

    warm regards

  10. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    Thanks to all for your interesting responses. Billy C, I never sat down and cried for my mother, like you did...never have. Mothers Day, other family "days" etc don't remind me of her or her loss at all.

    I only began thinking of my "non grieving" for her recently as my sister died, and I was noticing the difference in my reactions and emotions afterwards.

    It's good to know others understand and have had similar experiences of "not feeling sad", particularly when we read that the loss of a mother, of all people, our primary carer, is regarded as the most traumatic loss...or whatever.

    Certainly hasn't been the case for me. Sometimes I think so called "experts" tend to pigeon hole us and have stereotypes that we are "supposed" to fit.

  11. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moonstruck,

    so far in my time here, you have provided me with avenues of thought that helps me every day, above and beyond my own, your continuing support of others helps..

    i hope this is ok with you,

    I want to know what happened between you and your mum. Only because I care about you,

    ive read your post, and the way I see it, you are skimming the surface..

    always here for you, regardless..

    warmest moonstruck

  12. Croix
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    1140 posts
    16 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Dear Moon~

    Your quote is by Lady Bracknell prior to nibbling a cucumber sandwich, same author, different work.

    Seriously the 'supposed to fit' concept you mentioned can cause a lot of worry and unhappiness, and is just plain wrong. We are all different, does not mean we are not good people.

    Croix

  13. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    17 May 2019 in reply to Croix

    Yes I know Mr Croix. The author may have used similar words in different works....as her nephew replies to her about the widow looking ten years younger. with a comment "I believe her hair has turned quite gold with grief"..

    Perhaps the author particularly liked the phrase "turned quite gold with grief".

    (and at the risk of sounding like a boring old fool....she didn't get to nibble a cucumber sandwich, as it turned out her nephew had scoffed the lot before she arrived....he said the greengrocer had run out of them!) xxx (luv ya Croix)

  14. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    17 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    Hi there Billyc......

    Your question about "what happened" is hard to answer. I truly don't think I am skimming the surface really..which is exactly the thing that had me wondering if the non-grieving was common.

    Nothing "happened" between us. (as you would agree you are asking me to reveal very personal stuff about my youth here, so I can only go so far). lets say my mother was very over protective, it's obvious to me now that she had depression anxiety too, felt very inferior to other women, never encouraged us to achieve, terrified of "drawing attention to ourselves".

    had unresolved and untreated issues from her own childhood and as I grew into pre adolescence, she was suffocating. She tried in vain to stifle any individuality, growth, ambition, dreams, hopes..all of which I had in abundance.

    I felt no affection or had anything in common with her whatsoever. I wanted desperately to escape and would have as soon as I was old enough.

    The best favour my mother ever did for me in my life, was dying. Her dying allowed me to live and experience life fully.

    I remember the overriding emotion I felt when the Dr announced the news at the hospital to us was "relief".

    If this makes me sound like a heartless cruel horrible person I am sorry....but you did ask!.....best wishes Moon S

  15. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    17 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    just a quick amendment to Paragraph 3....

    "she was suffocating" I mean "she was suffocating ME"

    and...tried in vain to stifle any individuality, growth etc". I mean "tried to stifle it in ME"....( and my two siblings too)...they did not fully escape her influence as they were quite a bit older than me and had to endure her for longer..I was lucky...I got out in time! )

  16. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    17 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moon,

    plenty of layers there ,

    Firstly, thanks, Truly

    your honesty is language I seek everyday, you made me feel bloody good,

    Stay the course.. language, sentences and words are relevant to protect ourselves, you just gave me a true cut of honesty.. and it was beautiful,

    i cant help you with your mum, I can only thankyou for the hard you have just done..

  17. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    17 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    Thanks BillyC....I hope I didn't reveal too much as to give my identity away to anyone I know who happens to be on here. I was taking a bit of a risk.

    I am glad you like my words. Writing comes very easily to me. I have to say again.....I don't need any help with my mother. Its not bothering me and I am not "in denial" as some people might assume.

    I started this thread because I was simply curious whether others had lost parents and not felt grief. I wonder to myself why I made you feel "bloody good"....glad to be of some use.

  18. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    18 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moonstruck,

    you revealed to me that you are human being.

    Its great

  19. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    19 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    Hey Billyc ....I just read a headline in a Sydney newspaper dated last Mothers Day . Big bold black letters saying "Motherless Mothers left with big hole"......then a story about how becoming a mother when your own has died is so terrible.. typical example of 'stereotyping".

    Sorry newspaper journos, but I don't fit the mould. No big hole, no sense of loss, no desire to ask her advice, didn't give her a thought.

    I did though,have an example to follow...I was the exact opposite type of mother of what she was!!

    So don't believe everything you read in a newspaper....especially the sensational headlines!

  20. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moon,

    It actually sounds like a semi-decent article, I still get the mother’s day blues.

    You do sound like something happened between you and your mum, and I’m ok with you not telling me all of it. There have been a few days lately that I have acted out among people I know. I think it comes from the Mother’s Day blue blues, i pretend I’m ok with everything but reality is suggesting I’m not!

    I hope your well

  21. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    Hi BillyC.....the article was OK but the headline simply repeated a stereotypical accepted opinion that is simply not true...not in every case...only some.

    And I have to assure you again, nothing "happened" between me and my mother. If you think theres something sinister I am not revealing...this is not the case.....I'm not pretending anything at all.

    Which is why I don't reveal my lack of feeling towards her to anyone....as they assume I am in some sort of "denial"...not the case at all.....sincerely...Moon S

  22. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hey Moon,

    ive got your back, by my previous post to you, I mean that you brought this up for a reason, and I don’t believe it’s purely for confirmation that it’s ok not to grieve somebody when they died.

    can you let me know which paper wrote it? I’d like to read it..

    loving your conversation Moon,

    best

  23. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Billyc

    OK, so you don't believe me. No point in continuing this conversation then is there? The paper with the stereotypical headline was The Sun Herald (Sydney) May 12

  24. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    I believe there is a point in continuing the conversation, because I do believe in you,

    thanks for the article reference.

    all the best

  25. Billyc
    Billyc  avatar
    35 posts
    20 May 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon,

    you Are worth every minute I spend on this forum,

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