Delayed Grief

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this too was a gift.*

*Mary Oliver

Sometimes after a significant loss – such as a spouse, child, father, or mother – you find yourself so busy taking care of others, “being strong,” and/or just surviving day-to-day, that you really don’t allow yourself to deeply grieve or mourn. That doesn’t mean that you don’t occasionally have times of deep pain and sadness, but you then say to yourself, “OK, get on with your life. That’s what he or she would want you to do.”  Then time goes by – it may be six months or eighteen – and all of a sudden it hits you like a brick. This has been aptly labeled by some as “delayed grief.”

When grief sneak up on you several months after your loss, it may be difficult to share it with others because it seems they won’t understand. They thought you were OK, and “beyond” it all, so how can you bring up your grief now?

There are some things you can do. They are not too different from what’s needed immediately after a loss. You just need to give yourself permission to enter the process.

  • Seek out a grief counselor or support group. Guidance from a professional, or a group of fellow mourners who understand, can be just what you need to get through a rough patch. Sometimes anger, guilt and regret surface because they, along with other feelings, were delayed. Know that these feelings are natural, even at a late stage.
  • Find readings or tapes on the grief journey. The Hello Grief website is a good example of such a resource.
  • Refrain from making hasty decisions or entering quickly into a committed relationship out of loneliness. Give yourself time to move through this delayed period of mourning. When you have sorted out the challenge of delayed grief, there will be time for these things.
  • Maintain your strength by eating well and exercising. Exercise helps clear the mind in addition to being good for you.

Here are some other words by Mary Oliver that speak to me and may speak to you, also.

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying.

I went closer,
and I did not die.

Surely God
Had His hand in this,
As well as friends.

Still I was bent…

Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It is not the weight you carry
But how you carry it—
Books, bricks, grief—
It’s all in the way
You embrace it, carry it…

Even when grief enters late, you can move towards the pain, and through it, by caring for yourself and giving yourself permission to grieve and mourn.

Embrace it, carry it, be startled when you laugh, admire beauty, and begin to heal.

* * * *

*Poems by Mary Oiver can be found in her book of poetry Thirst.

Photo Credit.

95 Comments:

  1. Alisha said on May 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm ... #

    “That time
    I thought I could not
    go any closer to grief
    without dying.

    I went closer,
    and I did not die.”

    Bill – as always, you have a gift with words. Not only with your own, but with sharing the words of others in exactly the right way, at exactly the right time. How fortunate we are to have you in our circle.

  2. joyce said on June 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm ... #

    When my daughter died she left behind her only child-my beloved Kate.I have spent the last 2 years making sure she was ok..forgot myself.Iam just realizing how much I miss Megan….you were a beautiful child ,a troubled adult..but I loved you so much….and sometimes I think that i cannot live without you..but i do!!!!!! Love you my beautiful angel!!!! Mom

  3. joyce said on June 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm ... #

    alisha,I am sure God sent you my way!!!!!!!! love you!!

  4. Bill said on June 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm ... #

    Joyce,

    How hard it is to lose a child. As you take care of Kate also take care of yourself. Someone wiser than me said, “You have to keep filling up your own bucket or it will be hard to share the water with others.” — Grieve deeply, move towards the pain and start the healing. Sounds like you are on your way. -Kate is fortunate to have someone to tell her about her mom and keep the good memories alive.

    Take good care!

  5. Miles said on June 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm ... #

    My father died from cancer in 1976 when I was 17 years old. My parents did not disclose his illness to my brother and me until it could no longer remain hidden.

    A few months before his death, as I watched my 6′2″ broad-shouldered father literally waste away before my eyes, my mother decided to finally inform of something that she had kept from me since my childhood – that the man I was mourning wasn’t my biological father, as I had been led to believe! She delivered this shocking news to me, at an obviously inopportune time, with a viciousness and insensitivity that I have yet to forgive her for. I was completely numb. In addition to the almost unbearable grief of my impending loss, I felt betrayed and that my life had been a lie. I was about to lose the man who I loved dearly and who I thought was, in the biological sense, my real father and simultaneously became aware of the existence of another man who actually was my other genetic parent.

    Half of my origin was completely unknown to me. Did I have grand-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins or other siblings? Did they even knew of MY exitence! My mother also sternly made it clear that she would not assist me in any way in finding or meeting my father. Nearly 15 years would pass before I finally did.

    After my father’s death I wore his clothes until I eventually grew out of them; his underwear, socks, shoes – everything. I still have some articles of his clothing and to this day, 34 years after his death, I continue to use only the cologne my father wore – Aramis. Unaware of how profoundly I had been affected by my father’s death, I set about not simply to be like him, but to actually BECOME him. I studied the biological sciences, not because I particularly liked it, I was inexorably drawn to it because that’s what he had studied. My first marriage was identical to his – to a divorced woman with a young child.

    I’m still trying to heal from this crushing experience.

  6. Jo said on June 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm ... #

    This is definitely what happened to me after my father’s death. I as a young teen felt really numb about it all and kind of uncomfortable with others’ expectations of how I should be grieving his loss. The reality that he was never coming back didn’t set until a year later . By then,among friends, family, and teachers the general consensus was that I should have been over it by then, even though the mourning had really just begun. As a result, I isolated myself for a long time and I still have difficulty sharing any sort of emotion with anyone. I have begun to work through this all pretty recently. I’m so glad to find this website; it has been such a comfort to find others who understand.

  7. Bill said on June 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm ... #

    Miles & Jo –Both of your stories touched me. I firmly believe that telling your story is an essential part of healing. When time passes it’s harder to do for all the reasons you mention. The story telling can be in conversation or in writing. That’s one of the reasons for Hello Grief. Join the “facebook-like” section where there are forums and groups you can join to share your story and listen/read the stories of others. –Take care and continue the healing path you are on.

  8. Tiffany said on June 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm ... #

    My mother committed suicide when I was three. She left behind my father and my two sisters. We were 18 months, three (myself), and five. I am now 31 and still grieve daily a mother I do not know nor can remember…Without someone telling me “this is your mother” and showing me pictures – I would not know who she was…but grieve for her every day, I do.

  9. Bill said on June 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm ... #

    Someone once said, “Any child old enough to love is old enough to grieve.” Very few people “get” that. Love is the connection and love is the bridge. It’s OK to grieve every day. It hurts, but it’s also a sign of love that you have carried in your heart all these years. I wish you well.

  10. Jenni said on October 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm ... #

    I lost my dad 2 years ago on the 16th November. I was 23 and 6 months pregnant with my second child. My dad was only 50, he had just had a heart bypass to better his life, then he was diagnosed with cancer and died 5 weeks later. I became the rock of the family and stepped up to ‘sort’ everything out. In a way mine and my mum’s roles were reversed and I became her parent. My mum is finally starting to come out of her shell again but, unexpectedly, I have started getting upset at every little thing, crying every night. I miss my dad so much, we were very close. The longer the time passes, the more I miss him. I hate the thought of life moving on without him. Everyday I see my kids grow up and I just think about what their grandad is missing out on. It’s breaking my heart. I thought it would get easier with time. I don’t want to talk to my family about it because they seem to be doing really well and finally moving on. Also I’ve found that 2 years down the line, ‘society’ seems to have this pre-conceived idea that you should be over it by now.

  11. Becky said on October 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm ... #

    My mother died 2 and a half years ago of cancer. It was a shock diagnosis and she lived for 8 months. In that time she left my dad, moved out of the family home and in with another man. I still lived with my parents at the time and although we have a big family I knew about my parents marital issues and was always being involved by my parents.
    I cared for my mum when she became ill which along with the marital issues and mum’s eventual death was a very difficult time.
    Its now two years on and I had thought I was doing ok. I spent 6 months in Cambodia at the end of last year to take myself away from everything here and have a focus. I have been back for a while, have a good job, great friends and a wonderful boyfriend but I keep finding myself feeling very low and alone.
    My dad has a new partner and I find it very difficult to spend time with both of them.
    My mum was a wonderful person and an incredible inspiration and her actions in the last period of her life were really out of character. I sometimes find it very difficult to think about the amazing times with her and get myself insecure that I will repeat her mistakes.
    I miss her terribly and am so sad she wont be around to see my wedding day or her grandchildren.
    I am scared to talk to my family about how I feel and I don’t want to upset them by brining up awkward issues and my friends have busy lives and often say they don’t know what to say. I think they expect me to have dealt with everything and get on with my life. I sleep really badly and often see things at night and have vivid dreams.
    I did go to counselling when mum became ill and for a while after she died but I got angry with the counsellor who I felt had lost interest in my situation.
    I know that no-one has any warning of when grief will strike and how, but it really is a lonely thing.

  12. sam said on November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am ... #

    I can relate so much to what so many of you are saying. My beautiful mother died nearly 2 years ago and was very ill for 12 months before she died. I felt I had to be strong for my parents and also for my partner,who missed the happy person I had been. When mum died, I had so many things to take care of, I never had a minute to myself. Now I am trying to go ahead without her and after 2 years, I seem to have stalled and the grief is still awful. I can’t talk to my partner, as he feels I should have moved on by now. My mother and I had such an incredible relationship and I just don’t know how to get myself back together…..

  13. Bill said on November 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm ... #

    On the grief journey we often “stall” or get “stuck” and that’s hard because it simply hurts so bad. Maybe it would help your partner to read “When Did Grief Get an Expiration Date” that’s on this site. If not, join the “facebook” like section of Hello Grief and talk with others there who do “get it.” See if there’s a bereavement group in your area -hospice groups often run them.–Getting stalled is not unusual.Be gentle with yourself and give yourself permission to be so very sad then take some small action like one of those above.

  14. Linzie said on November 28, 2010 at 2:02 am ... #

    My Dad died, at age 45, when I was 17 (I’m 34 now). He was diabetic and had ongoing problems but none of this was ever made a big deal of. He went in for a triple heart bypass (which was not successful and died a few weeks later). My parents both protected me from what was going on. They intentions were good but I really hadn’t considered that he might actually die. I didn’t even know about the many complications with diabetes.

    When dad died I really felt like the carpet had been pulled from under me. (I was very much a daddy’s girl growing up) but I was also a very sensible and mature teenager and just felt I had to be strong for my mum. I definitely grew up in a household where no matter what “life goes on” and in retrospect we all and to pretend everything was fine and get on with life in general. Of course, my teenage friends didn’t know how to deal with death and left me very much alone. It happened over the summer out of term time and before going to college. I don’t remember much about this time other than I remember feeling like I was NEVER going to get over it and being scared that I was going to cry everyday and feel sick every day.

    But I went off to college and indeed college abroad and I never spoke about it to my family again. I find it immensely hard to talk about my dad to my mum, even in passing, when sharing happy memories about the past. In fact, I have probably only said the word “dad” out loud a handful of times in front of my mum.

    It didn’t really seem a problem. I really didn’t think grief – or any form of delayed grief – was a problem.

    Until this year, when I found myself in yet another self-esteem destroying relationship and having my heart broken again. I have spent a year unable to get over someone who treated me awfully. Even though I accept that this man was terrible and cruel to me and that I am better off without him, he ran off and left me. Cut all contact dead without any real explanation. Just leaving me with a lot of questions and the slow realisation of all his lies, manipulation and cheating. But I have spent the last year working with a therapist trying to deal with my self esteem issues and trying to deal with the deep depression the end of this relationship has caused. Why even though my intellect knows that I am better off without him, emotional side is still attached and stuck.

    It’s only tonight while reading the post, I am starting to see that the finality of his departure- that he cut all contact and I am left alone without him – is why I am not moving on and keep getting stuck in a cycle of grief.

    And why I have often struggled to end damaging and unhappy relationships.

    I always thought it was because I was too scared too be on my own. Now I don’t think that’s really the main issue.

    I think its the fear of grief and not knowing how to deal with it. I always dismissed any idea that my problems were anything to do with my dad dying because I *on the surface* dealt with it so well.

    I hope I might have made a breakthrough tonight…

  15. Bill said on December 3, 2010 at 10:43 am ... #

    Linzie, I’m pleased you visited this post. Sometime things just fall into place. When life experiences keep repeating in a similar fashion and with similar feelings it often means we are caught in a “game” of some sort. As you say, “stuck in the cycle of grief”. Since you were only 17 when your dad died and although you handled it “so well on the surface” you were a “victim” of the loss. In these relationships you are again “victim”. I think you may have found something to explore with your therapist. There’s always “hope for a breakthrough” and you are doing the right thing. Rather than moving away from the pain you are moving towards it which is the healthy thing to do and you are being strong in doing so. My thoughts are with you! -Bill

  16. Teresa said on December 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm ... #

    Momma died from cancer April 23, 1979. At times it feels like just yesterday, but I can no longer see her face or hear her voice. Maybe it is more fresh right now because our oldest daughter, her namesake is getting married in a few months and moving away.

    Another special event Momma will never enjoy with us. There have been so many, like my graduation from high school two weeks after she died or my wedding or the birth of our daughters . . . The list goes on and on.

  17. Bill said on January 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm ... #

    Such a long journey and so many special milestones not shared. Yes, your daughter getting married and another milestone missed by your mom. Her moving away is another type of loss even though you are happy for her. No wonder the feelings are “fresh” for you. — Have you ever tried writing you mom a long letter telling her about your life -joys and sorrows? You might also write a letter back from her to you in response. It’ obvious she is still with you in spirit because the feelings are there. — Thanks for sharing and may you have more joy than sadness and more blessings than regrets in life.

  18. Beverly said on February 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm ... #

    My husband of 34 years died 3 years ago after a 5-year illness. At the time of his death I questioned how I was dealing with it. I never cried (shed tears but never cried). I loved my husband dearly but it was like I was in a vacuum. After his death I became seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital several times before I finally underwent surgery to have a good portion of my colon removed. My doctor said that the blood supply was being cut off to my colon causing it to begin to die. The doctor never could give me a reason for it other than it was possibly stress related.

    A year after my recovery, my beloved basset hound died and I was surprised that my grief over his loss appeared to be greater than that experienced for the loss of my husband. (Again, I cried but did not weep).

    A year later I met a man that charmed me as I had never been charmed before. Suddenly the world went from black and white to glorious color. I dated this man for a year and a half only to have him reject me for another. My reaction to this unrequited love is the most pain I have ever experienced. I find that I cannot go through my normal activities without constantly embarrassing myself by uncontrollable weeping. I cannot understand why my reaction is so extreme because I have made many concessions in this relationship that are not healthy or compatible to my nature. I factored in the rejection and the hit to my ego and yet I was still confused at my extreme saddened state.

    I have begun to realize that this unrequited love is but a catalyst to the barrier of delayed grief. I now have been crying for months(and it has never been my nature to cry much over anything). I believe the pain of my losses had built up so much that it was only time before I either, once again, paid the price for the pent up grief health wise, or the floodgates had to be opened.

    I now look at this breakup as possibly the healthiest thing that could happen to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t allow myself to grieve before, but I believe the severity of my suffering is based on the degree of my losses. As much as it hurts, I feel I am unwrapping my heart so it can finally heal.

  19. Martina said on March 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm ... #

    I lost My Mom a little over two years ago to Cancer. I was her caretaker, and she my best friend. Since her death, Life has changed in everyway. The support network, of friends and family has completely dissolved. I graduated from college, started a new career, and married. I have never felt more alone. All of the days that should be thrilling, and wonderful have lost their luster. The family has broken up. My Husband is supportive but I cannot lean on him alone. I still cry everyday missing my Mother. I have much anger towards Family whom I feel did not embrace my Mom in her final days. I cannot let go of that pain. When should healing begin? Is this normal?

  20. kimberclown said on March 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm ... #

    Almost 14 years ago, my childhood sweatheart and good friend committed suicide while stationed in Japan while serving in the Marines. At the time of his death, I was caught up in an emotionally abusive relationship and had my own horrible issues to deal with. When he died, I went to the viewing but for some reason could not go to the funeral. I was only 22 then, and proceeded to spend the next 5-6 years in a drunken haze, never FEELING anything. I got married and had 2 children, but always had my James in the back of my mind- but never really cried over it. Well, one night almost 9 years after his death, I was watching the Sopranos of all shows and one of the characters hung himself. This was what my dear friend did, and all of a sudden I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, and cried tears of pain and sorrow. I literally have spent the last 5 years in a torrent of grief and regret. up until that night, I had never visited his grave (I pretended that he was just away on duty, he wasn’t dead). Now, I go to his grave all the time, and beg for his forgiveness. I want him to know how sorry I am, and how much I love him and he means to me… I cry every day, and feel so horribly guilty for not going to his funeral, it literally kills me. I just don’t understand why I did that, and why then it wasn’t that upsetting to me… Now, 14 years later I can barely breathe when I think of him. WTF is wrong with me, and will it ever be ok again????

  21. Jason said on May 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm ... #

    I agree with you on delayed grief…I lost my brother to a tragic car accident when I was 19 and he was 24, and I was left the sole survivor.I was brought up close to my family, raised Roman Catholic, and Italian. I managed to be strong and help my parents, and they helped me in return and also my grandparents across the street from me.My grandfather passed away a couple years back, and now we are caring for my grandmother who suffers from dementia. I am also a gay male who suffers from clinical depression, but the pain of losing my brother still haunts me, and I understand the dark part…where I feel I am left in a dark world. You see life differently and it is hard to relate to others on a superficial level. I managed to work and get a university degree. My parents were hard working, and this tragedy struck at the very core of our souls. I did suffer from alcohol addiction because I had to repress alot of my feelings and be strong for my parents and carry on..so it does creep up to you…you somehow manage to survive,and live and try, and be with good and better people who you can trust, but its hard in this world.

  22. Lincoln said on May 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm ... #

    I understand your feelings Jason. I lost my younger brother 2 years ago. He was 26 years old. His death was caused by a mixture of drug addiction, mental illness, cancer and plain misfortune as the ambulance he called went to the wrong address at 4am in the morning. I have listened to his call and his last words. I could hear the fear in his voice.

    For me I had great, and still have, great issues of guilt. I live and work overseas and when he died I flew back that day it happened. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t visited him. I predicted his death due to his drug used whilst undergoing chemotherapy. I was so cold about it but I hated what he had become and how he treated my parents.

    While we were almost twins as children and inseparable as teens we grew apart when my father lost our home and his business. I moved out, got a degree and got on with my life. My brother got stuck into the wrong crowd and started using. He never graduated and slipped away. I did abandon him, although you know, I know he would never blame me.

    For me while life goes on and I have learned to live with it. His death is like a scar or an unhealed wound – part of me has died with him or maybe something switched off inside me. My childhood died that day because he was my childhood, that sweet, fresh and silly childish trust and total innocence of the realities of life and its end passed with him.

    I do not believe in a God or higher power and accept that I will never see him again. This hurts terribly and the grief still washes over me only on lonely nights in waves of bitter melancholy to the point I feel almost self indulgent and self pitiful.

    Ultimately I want his all to short a life and death to have meaning for me and how I live the rest of my life. However, I have failed these last 2 years to live up to this maxim. I must reconcile with my dead brother’s memory and give his 26 years a meaning and a purpose. At times this a bitter legacy but take from it what you will. Live your life not in the fear of death, an unknown, but in the amazement that you are here. Life is short, live it well because only memories will remain. Peace

  23. Neil said on June 27, 2011 at 2:11 am ... #

    I am a gay male, and I lost my partner of 13 years last year. He was a loving man who suffered from depression and anxiety, and turned to alcohol. His doctor prescribed anti-anxiety meds, which he over used. He hid the extent of his drinking from me for years, drinking at work and at night when I slept. I knew he needed help, but thought we had time. He got sick suddenly last year and went into the hospital ..turns out he had advanced liver failure. Within two months he was gone. I never knew liver failure could take your so quickly. He had been suffering in silence, trying to go on, all the while being so sick. I feel such guilt, could I have done more? Why didn’t I know how sick he was? Now 15 months later I am emotionally numb. I can only do the things that must be done…eat, work. I am trying to hold on, keep on going day by day, but I feel like a robot, mechanically going through the motions of life with no emotion.

  24. David said on June 29, 2011 at 10:27 am ... #

    Neil, I understand your feelings of guilt and regret. I lost my partner of 11 years to pancreatic cancer 10 years ago and even now I am still working through the overwhelming feelings of “could have I done more”. Dan and I had a complicated relationship and we were apart when he began showing symptoms that he ignored until it was too late. Had I been there, could I have made a difference? I don’t know. I still cry, still feel the void he left, and still feel guilt over the things I had said and done that hurt Dan and I can never take back and do over. You will make it. Life does not return to the way it was but a new normal will take its place that you can live in. Do not hesitate to cry, to reach out to others who will listen to you. Even speaking with your partner and writing to him can help. I believe that, wherever he is, Dan has heard me and it gives me greater peace and comfort. I support you in this difficult journey, Neil.

  25. ally said on October 13, 2011 at 4:07 am ... #

    The love of my life died of a heart attack out of the blue 17 months ago in June 2010. I am lost and desperate without him. I had known him – and loved him – since 2004 but I lived in the UK, he lived in India. and I was seeing someone else who – tho I didn’t love him, I was comfortable with him and he made me laugh although the relationship was not emotionally fulfilling. Also the person I was seeing in UK put a big emotional weight on me: his marriage had broken up and his wife didn’t let him see his two children and he would always say to me that I was his life; what would he do without me; he would be nothing without me etc. I felt very responsible for his happiness. Very very responsible. I was too cowardly to tell him I had fallen in love with someone else. Joel was English and led treks in the Himalaya. I loved him I loved him I loved him. For five years we spoke and emailed and SMSd every day and spent 2 months of the year together. I felt so alive with him but didn’t have the courage to have the awkward conversation with UK boyfriend to end that relationship to move to be with Joel. Now Joel is dead. And my pain is unbearable, physical, unbearable. I want to die to end this pain. Everything is hopeless. I want him, I want him, I want him back. He was my point in life, my joy and I am bereft without him, tortured with regret, why didn’t I grab life to be with him? So what if Jim was hurt; it happens every day and he would have survived the hurt. Why couldn’t I do that.We broke up after Joel died. All I can think about is Joel and 17 months on I am still tormented, depressed, suicidal sometimes – though I wouldn’t do it because of what it would do to my father. I don’t know what to do to not feel as I do. Joel’s death made me realise HOW deeply I loved him. How all the things I worried about – money for example, he made zero on his treks and was 56 with no savings and no state pension – were just details. The important thing was the love; he was the breath in my body I now know. I hate life without him. I don’t want this life I have. I can’t imagine being Ok again, feeling happy. I am in such pain, I am in such a dark place. Please help me.

  26. Bill said on October 21, 2011 at 11:30 am ... #

    You need someone or someones to share your story and your grief with. Everyone’s story and everyone’s grief is different. Saying it out loud as you have done in this post is part of he healing path. It may be a support group of grieving women/men or a professional grief counselor. It will hurt, you will hurt and there’s no magic, however, strange as it may sound it is in moving towards our pain that we heal. You will find that the intensity differs with each person, but that similar feelings are the same -guilt, anger, love, loneliness, despair, regret… That’s where the connection is. Don’t hesitate to change groups or counselor if they don’t meet your need. — You have learned two great lessons that you will learn to recognize as gifts to your spirit. The first is that people are responsible for their own happiness, you are not, except for your own. We can contribute, but we are not responsible.The second is that you had a deeply satisfying and loving relationship that nourished you and, as you revisit it, it will continue to nourish you in the midst of such pain. I will also say that through Joel you found in yourself a capacity to love another person deeply. It is very unlikely that you will duplicate Joel as each experience and person is unique so don’t try. Since you know you have this capacity to love there can be, after a time of healing, someone that you can share that gift with and they can return it. Two other things I believe: Joel would want such happiness for you because he loved/loves you and you you must forgive yourself for not making the decisions you feel you should have made. We all make mistakes and regret doing or not doing something. It’s a painful lesson, but a lesson you need not repeat. — As you can tell, I find solace in poetry and it’s not for everyone, I know. In addition to this post and other articles there is the social network side of Hello Grief you can join and that can be healing too as you and others share. I’ll revisit this post I started with the article if you choose to respond. — I wish you well on your journey.

  27. Lou said on November 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm ... #

    I lost my dear lovely mum to dementia over three years, my dad and i cared for her at home until the end, in 2008. I had a baby just before mum was diagnosed it was so so hard and i miss her so much,being an only child makes you feel so small, then in 2009 one month to mums year anniversary i lost my fantastic dad to a sudden heart attack, i still can not find who i was or who i am and i feel so so cheated, i think my husband and i have gone awol and it all scares me so much i feel like the only person alive sometimes….not sure if that makes sense to anyone? however selfish do i sound?? So sorry for all who have gone through loss, it sure feels like a lonely existence yet i have two beautiful children and a husband who i was so so in love with, i think i am destroying it all but i dont know what to do, i feel so guilty, for being so sad.

  28. Diana said on November 16, 2011 at 10:09 am ... #

    I just wanted to first of all say thankyou and then to mention divorce. It seems sometimes that divorce may not appear to be as bad as death and I know I read when someone said that it was an insult to say divorce is as bad but then two people on the site i was reading on said, no they had been through both divorce and death and divorce is terribly painful because the memories and betrayal are so hard. So for us all I express deep compassion. I know for me, to lose my parents and also now lose my husband to another person after 26 years feels like a death. I didn’t want to go on a divorce site because it is the grief I am dealing with.

  29. Michelle said on December 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm ... #

    My brother died suddenly 6 years ago and left behind his young daughter of 8 yrs. At the time she grieved, however, she is now 14yrs and now she is revisiting her grief with everything that comes with being a teenager. Any hints or tips to help support her through this time would be greatly appreciated.

  30. sherry lanzino said on January 6, 2012 at 9:42 am ... #

    My sister died almost 20 yrs. ago She was 29. I am 53–she would have been 48 had she lived. She died in Billings, Montana in a hotel room. She was a singer in a band. She drank alot. Her husband was the keyboardist & he was having an affair with one of the other girl singers. My sister discovered this & started to drink more. One night after the gig, she decided to go party with the drummer & his girlfriend–her best friends. She stayed up late & finally went to bed around 4am. She never woke up. She died from alcohol poisoning. I got the call she had died & I was 8 mos. pregnant with our only child. Because I was in strong maternal/protect mode, I never allowed myself to really grieve. If I had done so, I would have really lost it. Instead, I moved ahead & raised our son. He is now 19 & my job is all but completed. I find myself now, depressed & sad. I am in menopause which doesn’t help. I have never spoken to my brother-in-law, the one who cheated on my sister. He never offered an apology or explanation. Recently, I have found him on Facebook & we are meeting next Sat. for the 1st time since the funeral. I have so many questions. I want my mom to have some closure & me too. Now, I am faced with delayed grief & the waves of pain come every day. I desire healing for all concerned. Any thoughts?

  31. Elaine said on January 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm ... #

    Hi i lost my angel baby Jesse and my mum within 6 months of each other in 2000. i have struggled alot of the years to come to terms with losing them. but 11 years on i have decided to see a berevement councillor. it has got to the stage where i am so scared and sad all the time and just want help, today after 13 weeks of therapy i got to the stage of sobbing uncontolably because im so sad and the grief has really hit me. i love and miss my mum so much as for my angel i can only imagine what her life would be like. i have a happy beautiful 9 year old girl and i really want to find some peace to enjoy my mine and her life for the present and future x I also lost my brother in law aged 20 6 years ago, and my sister is very ill at mo which has brough alot of emotional feelings from caring for my mum.

  32. Jim said on January 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm ... #

    Wow, the last few letters are about very long-delayed grief and so is this one. My heart goes out to all of you, but especially Sherry, we are the same age and dealing with the same time period. I lost my precious son Andrew to SIDS in 1991, 6 months old. Thought I’d dealt with it then. I was the strong Dad. We went through group therapy and counseling, had another baby, have now raised both the surviving children to adulthood, they’re kids that we’re proud of, both have a lot of heart and love in them… and we are now finally dealing with a marriage that the light and fun went out of years ago. I think we took solace that we just held it together a long time despite the SIDS death (not easy to do). But now I think the marriage counseling is opening up my heart, stripping away scabs, I have for the past couple months started to feel uch mmore emotional. Then I found some pictures of the burial and realized it’s coming up on 21 years after Andrew’s death — WOW. I’ve hardly ever cried for 2 decades (though sappy movies where dads love their kids make me tear up), have even had the death anniversary pass without thinking about it several times, but now it’s really coming back. I think I may be grieving both our marriage and Andrew again too. It’s really taken me by surprise how strongly I’m feeling it this year, it actually feels good to cry, like I am somehow coming alive again. God is exposing my heart somehow and I’m not really sure how, or why, or where this is going. But holy cow, after all these years, so unexpected. Thanks for having this site here, I just google’d “delayed grief” and boom here you were.

  33. Pam said on January 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm ... #

    It will be three months since my Dad died. It was very fast when it happened and was almost a relief that he didn’t suffer too awfully long. I took care of business have managed his accounts, struggled through possessions and family dynamics, found homes for two dogs, have gotten a renter for his home that he left to us, and now I am feeling the pain in my heart and chest and in middle of the night sadness and awakening. I have relived a lot of the moments and tried to put them in perspective but all of this has put my own and my husband’s mortality on the horizon. What I once thought of as exciting the idea of early (59) retirement now seems frightening and lonely. What will we do? How long do we have? A sense of panic has risen up in me along with this grief. I honestly didn’t expect this. I will take advantage of the grief counseling at the hospice center where Dad died. I have appreciated the thoughts here so different and so similar to mine. I too googled grief after several months. Thanks for being here. Pam

  34. Stephanie Baffone said on January 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm ... #

    As a grief therapist myself, it’s wonderful to see some useful tips on how others can find their way. I often see clients dealing with delayed grief and giving them permission to mourn is so helpful in healing.
    Love your site!

  35. PJ said on February 6, 2012 at 9:34 am ... #

    What if you don’t believe in higher powers or have any faith anymore because the horrific death of your loved one stripped you of all belief? What if all the platitudes of: there’s a reason, the universe blah blah….better place….embrace it…. make you so mad you can’t stand it? What if thinking it’s a ‘lesson’ makes no sense to you and thus offer no comfort, or judgment that you’re not grieving correctly.

  36. Jana Weaver said on February 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm ... #

    My mother passed away July 30, 2008 from lung cancer and I am just now beginning to grieve for her. I shed a few tears, but I didn’t grieve. I had very little pain. I know when she was diagnosed, I was devestated. I cried alot, but she lived almost two years and two weeks to the time she was diagnosed. I remember waking up from a dream where I was weeping and my pillow would be wet from crying, but that was before she died. I have just recently started doing that again, but this time the pain will not seem to subside. Twice in the last week I woke up from a dream about my mom and I was crying. I don’t know anyone this has ever happened to. I would love to know if anyone else has experienced this. In the dreams the pain is so real and deep and this time, I feel all that grief. I guess I just don’t understand why now?

  37. TJ DuVall said on February 17, 2012 at 12:05 am ... #

    Jana – I found this site as a result of a google search about delayed grief. My Mother passed away in October 2011. I was sad, but I was so relieved that she was no longer suffering that I’m not sure I really “grieved” her loss. And I still have my Dad to be concerned with. She died after a 2 year battle from broken shoulders/hip and alzheimers. Just this week, out of the blue, I had dreams two nights in a row about her this week. One of them she called me on the phone while she was down here “finishing some business” (after dying) and it was so real it kinda of haunted me all day. The next night was not so great, I dreamed she was still alive but was lost for 2 days because she couldn’t find her way home due to the alzheimers. Having these dreams seems to have brought the grief to the forefront…or maybe vice versa. I think we just get busy “carrying on” with life and taking care of business, we didn’t take the time to really grieve the loss.

  38. 'manda said on March 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm ... #

    i’ve been suffering with grief since age 8. my dad & sister died 6 mos apart. i’m now 30. just lost my mother-in-law to cancer a few months ago. i feel so numb. like i’m just going through the motions of daily living. i’m trying to raise my 2 children & enjoy doing it, but am finding it very difficult to get through a single evening without crying. the loss of my mother-in-law is just resurfacing the pain of my dad & sis. it’s unbearable and breathtaking…..the feeling of losing a family member. i just want to pick up the phone and call them. 21 years later and i’m still going through the “bargining phase”, begging God to bring them back. wishing & praying that this is a horrible nightmare.
    Ive never been to grief counceling and am realizing that i can’t “live life” unless i do something about this. this isn’t “living”, it’s just going day to day.
    Wishing all of you out there suffering w/delayed grief the peace in your hearts that you need to enjoy life…as I start my journey to begin long overdue counseling to obtain my peace.

  39. brightmorningsky said on March 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm ... #

    My Mom died 1 year and 9 months ago. It was so unexpected. She collapsed while at a church picnic, in a beautiful Iris garden. While my family and I initially found the beauty of the place comforting, and thought “what a wonderful way to go”, I can barely look at an iris now. She was such a wonderful mother, so good to everyone. Up until her death she was living a life of service to others, going and scrubbing the floor of the “older folks” homes who couldn’t do it anymore, making quilts for the people in the nursing homes, living a full life. She was the last of the parents, for my husband and me. We had been through this three times before, and managed to go on. We loved them all, but somehow my mother’s death has impacted us in such a way that we are plodding through life. We have hope and faith, but the grief that stalks us every day is unnerving. I even see it in my 11 year old daughter, and that makes me so sad. I feel like she could move on if I could move on. In the last few years it feels like we have lost all the people that we had a close connection with, outside of our little family. I know that I need to reach out and find kindred folk, and find a real purpose in life to heal … but I’m just so tired. I even got sick 7 months after mom’s death, and have been trying to gain my health back, knowing that I really have to address this grief or I will not be able to do that. It is comforting, though, to see that others know what it is like, and that there is no time limit on grieving.

  40. Kerrie MacDonald said on March 9, 2012 at 7:40 am ... #

    I googled delayed grief and have picked up a lot,
    thank you

    I googled delayed grief and picked up such a lot from this site,
    Thamks

  41. Deni said on March 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 26 years in August of 2010 to lung cancer. Other than the financial issues I faced I thought I was handling it well. Then April 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

    I tried entering the dating world again but the few men I have met only make me miss my husband more. We were soulmates – I know that sounds so cliche but we were. Even during bad times in our marriage he was my best friend.

    I find myself watching something on TV and I think “oh I must tell hubby about this, he would love it”. And then I remember he’s gone.

    Nineteen months later I miss him more now than ever. We have 2 adult sons but I can’t talk to them about him because it’s too upsetting to them.

    I guess after reading a lot of your stories, I realize I’m not alone in this. I attended our Hospice’s grieving but at the time I wasn’t as despondent as I am now. Perhaps I shall go back or join GriefShare or something.

  42. LauraE said on April 3, 2012 at 1:12 am ... #

    My dad died 13 years ago, when I was 10. Since my family NEVER talked about anything, we never talked about this. Mourners gave condolences and sympathies to our mom, but I felt like us kids (my 5 year old sister, my 16 year old brother and I) were overlooked. Mom and dad never talked to me (not sure about the others) about death – geez, I didn’t even get a “birds and bees” talk so I didn’t have much to go on when it came to losing a parent. He died after a very sudden and short illness – all within a matter of a week – and we didn’t get to see him in hospital. The last time I saw him alive was when my mom was driving him to the hospital and he told my sister and I not to worry because he would be back. The next time I saw him, he was in a casket. This was the first time I had seen a dead body, the first time I had been to a funeral. I didn’t know how I was supposed to react. The only time I openly cried was when the casket was being lowered into the grave. Everything had felt so surreal until this point. Suddenly, I didn’t have a dad and all the moments I was looking forward to having my dad around for were gone with him.
    After the funeral, we didn’t talk about it. Life went back to “normal” and even though I’m sure my mom was trying to be strong for us, I never felt okay openly grieving because I never saw her doing it either. I cried in the shower or anywhere else where no one would hear. The day he died, we were moving into a new house so I have no memories of him there. I secretly hated my friends for still having their dads and I regrettably remember feeling a slight sense of “now someone knows what it’s like” when a classmate’s dad died a few months later. I can’t believe I wished that on someone else! My mom and sister developed a close relationship and my brother was off at boarding school so I felt very alone in my family (and I still feel like I don’t belong.)
    Now 23, I don’t remember the way his voice sounds and I have to look at photos to remember what he looked like. This makes me so sad. A few people, most recently my 6yr old niece, have asked me if I miss him. I do but it’s so awkward and unnerving to say it out loud or talk about him at all.
    We still never talk about my dad and I feel like he has been forgotten. I don’t know a lot about him as a person because I was always the overlooked middle child in the family and never got to spend much time with him. I don’t remember sitting on his lap or getting a hug, or being told that I was loved. I had resolved that I would improve my relationship with him when I was older but that will not be happening in this lifetime. I don’t know what I will tell my future kids about their grandpa – I didn’t know him either.
    I feel like a part of my life is just a huge void. I was the very textbook “daddy issues” girl and through finding faith I have been able to overcome some of the risky coping mechanisms I developed in my teens but I don’t think I can share a happy future with my future husband and kids until I have this resolved. I just don’t know how…

  43. 'manda said on April 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm ... #

    LauraE,
    the similarities in how u feel about your dad and i feel about not remembering hugs, being told i love u, time spent are unreal. i think when you lose a parent as a young child, you never actually “finish grieving”. there’s no deadline on fininshing mourning. i am the youngest of 5 children. my brothers have many vivid memories of my dad. most of my “memories” are stories told to me or things my mind just made up to create a ”
    past” with my dad. i know how you fee. you can still have a nice relationship with your future Mr. My husband and I have been together for 12 years and he’s my ear. he listens to the same stories over and over about how i miss my dad. even if you learn to deal with it better, you’ll never quite get over it. the grieving will be a part of you and sometimes it’s easier than others. there are people out there, believer it or not, who do know how you feel. try starting a journal….it can be an outlet for you. write letters to your dad in it. nobody else has to see it, but it may help.

  44. David said on May 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm ... #

    My dad died last September. It was a very sudden death. He was diagnosed in May with Stage IV malignant melanoma in his lungs and it spread fast. By the time of his death, his body had swollen up, his eyes were gray and glossed over, and he was just moaning like an animal. I was there for him the entire time, and after he died, I was there for my mom. I cried before he died, but I didn’t cry after his death. Now, I wish I had.

    I had a scare over a month ago where I passed out and began having panic attacks. Afterwards, I lost my ability to sleep normally. I’ve seen doctors and there is nothing physically wrong with me; it’s a mental problem. I tried group counseling and therapy, and while it makes me feel better, it’s always temporary. Every night I have insomnia and nothing has helped. Two weeks ago I broke down and started feeling very very depressed, especially in the mornings. I just get into these moods where I can’t think about anything else except how hopeless I feel. During these moods I’m thinking about a lot of things: how I miss my father, how I’m scared I’ll never feel normal again, how I miss my old carefree life. Sometimes crying makes me feel better and sometimes it doesn’t. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week. I don’t know if I have delayed grief or something more serious. I’m worried about taking anti-depressants because I’ve always been very sensitive to mood-changing drugs and narcotics.

    I’m just so impatient when it comes to feeling depressed. I hate the way I feel and I want to feel better, but I just can’t. I’ll go to bed feeling good and thinking positive thoughts, and then 3 a.m. will roll around and I will have not slept at all and I will just panic. On nights when I do sleep well I still wake up feeling super depressed.

    I guess my question is how bad can depression be and still be a natural response in grief? Is this grief or is this clinical depression?

  45. admin said on May 8, 2012 at 9:46 am ... #

    David: Thank you for your question. We are glad to hear that you have taken steps to get support for yourself. We encourage you to share your thoughts/concerns regarding your depression & thoughts on medication with the psychiatrist so that you can determine your best options for managing your symptoms & how you are feeling. We would also encourage you to discuss your question about the severity of depression vs. normal grief response with your psychiatrist. There are many factors that influence both an individual’s symptoms of depression as well as an individual’s response to grief. While there may be patterns of coping or grieving within families, a person’s response to a death of a loved is unique. The psychiatrist will be better equipped to answer your question as he/she will review with you in more detail the other things that are going on in your life, which can influence how you are thinking and feeling. Again, we encourage you to be upfront with the psychiatrist about how you are thinking & feeling so that you can identify the best plan for managing what you are coping with.

  46. R said on May 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm ... #

    I live in the uk and throughout my childhood I went over to Ireland every summer to visit family and obviously over the years I made many friends there. One of which was Paul. This developed as we got older into a sort of summer boyfriend of sorts for the last few years from 2005- 2008 but as we only saw each other once a year it wasn’t anything serious or official we were just kids 16/17. At the end of 2009 Paul was killed during a fight that broke out in a bar in his home town. I heard the news through family and friends and I was upset but thought I got over it. Almost 3 years on I have still never returned to what was once my 2nd home since before he died. This year his killer was sentenced and the verdict found him not guilty of murder but guilty of man slaughter instead I cannot stop thinking about Paul and his final hours etc. and find myself talking to him all the time and obsessing over things like he had msg’d me and I hadn’t replied. Every day he is on my mind and I don’t know how to cope with it. He died 3 years ago so everyone thinks I’m fine but I’m really struggling! Any advice or thoughts on why this is happening?

  47. Terri said on May 27, 2012 at 7:17 am ... #

    I’m 32 years old, I lost my Dad 11 years ago unexpectedly, I lost my Mum to a brain tumour, she was ill for 2 years but died just over a year ago. I got through both without really crying at all, just carried on functioning as if nothing had happened, it all felt fine to be honest which always makes me wonder if i’ve not dealt with things properly. I am an only child and am not close to any of my more distant family, I moved to another county because of my husbands job.
    I have been married for 7 years to someone 12 years older, but we have been together for 15, we have no children by choice and I am trying to leave him. He has been emotionally abusive, he is irresponsible, gives no help, seems to have little respect for me, I am trying to keep things and the home together and have run out of energy and feel like a doormat and would like better life for myself. However, underneath he is a good person, he would always be the first to dive in to rescue someone if he thought their life was endanger, he loves animals and is generous and I really value those qualities (but they are very similar to those of my dad) – however he is not generous in ways of the heart and has no consideration for me, he always puts these other types of generosity before me, as if he doesn’t see it as important and I am alone in so many ways. I am struggling because as I try to leave, I am hit with an absolute uncontrollable terror of grief and I can’t work out why because I really so want a better life for myself. My relationship is almost a carbon copy of my parent’s marriage – my Mum wanted to leave for similar reasons but never quite could no matter how she tried. I am trying to piece together exactly what it is that I am trying to deal with here… I am wondering if the grief that I am feeling is linked to my parent’s deaths at all? I feel such grief at the thought of leaving my husband (even before i’ve actually done it?!), I feel that because I made marriage vows, I am in a big part responsible for his safety and happinness and how dare I walk away from that.
    I also crave scenes from my childhood, I actually skipped over the fence at the weekend to have a look around the primary school I went to as s kid, it felt great to know that it wasn’t just a dream of better times, I can’t help but thinking there’s something behind being so attached to this memory. Even as a child I always struggled to adapt to any loss or change, like changing schools, changes of routine, even changing of the seasons produced emotions in me, splitting up with my first serious boyfriend of approx 3 years when I was 19 was catastrophic, I went through all the stages of grief then, it was the worst period of my life and took me 2 years to function again, I am changed ever since that time – it’s strange how it had such an effect on me as the boyfriend was quite clearly wrong for me. ANd although I miss them, the only thing that I have not felt on a deep emotioanal level is the loss of my parents which logically, sounds like something strange to me.
    Can anyone help me unpick this mess as it is just so cripling. I feel like I can’t move on and deal with this grief until I actually leave my husband, yet that is the one thing I am frightened of. HOpe someone can help me.

  48. R. Melendres said on June 22, 2012 at 2:13 am ... #

    Is it normal to grieve 24 years later?I lost my mother when I was 5 and never thought of it-never been able to get caught up with all the surviving and looking out for my younger brother.

  49. Caron D'Ambruso said on August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm ... #

    My husband committed suicide on October 17th 2008. I picked myself up, went back to work and got on with my life in short order. Lately, I am finding him in my thoughts, my dreams and I find myself crying often and reminiscing our 24 years together. I see his face in clouds and dream of nights together and days spent talking and laughing with him I guess that’s very delayed grief and I feel like I wish I had taken the time to say goodbye properly at his death. Instead, I was trying so hard to get over the loss by filling my life with moves, sorting through my job and financial state that I didn’t take care of the most important part of his death, grieving. I remarried a year ago and have to hide my sadness because it’s hardly fair to my new husband to have to go through grieving a man he never even knew. I believe my first husband was the love of my life and to lose him so tragically and so completely with no warning or time to prepare for his passing has left me lost and completely overwhelmed. How can I gat past this? Grief counseling at the time of his death did not help but just made the pain more acute, so I dropped out. Now I realize. I can’t get on with my new life until I say a proper goodbye to the life I once had. I’m stuck in the middle between a new, happy life and the one I lost. Anyone else have a delayed reaction to grief this long? What can I do to salvage the rest of my life? I have no one to talk to as all my friends and family prefer my current husband to my lost husband and I don’r have anywhere to turn. Help me please.

  50. Shannon said on October 19, 2012 at 9:19 am ... #

    in 1996 I lost my husband to terminal illness. At the time our son was 2. Both he and I had had bad first marriages, mine more so than his but neither of us had had any children and finding each other after years of poor relationship was quite magical. I was determined my son was not going to grow up as a victim – the child whose father died when he was young – I worked very hard to show him that death is part of life, and it is OK to be sad but life is to be lived and don’t waste your time here. Looking back I had lost my mother, married my husband, fallen pregnant and had a baby, discovered my husband was ill and then lost him all within a 5 year period. I do believe I grieved, I had some awful moments but with a 2 year old and a job life was busy. We dealt with lots of my son’s emotional issues along the way and I wanted to move forwards not backwards. I remarried in 2003 and this year my son turned 18. He had some difficult moments growing up with depression and anxiety but has overcome all of that and is a wonderful young man with a huge future. He grieved over a long period of time and will continue to do so I believe. However, he is a realist and knows his father is not here, that he won’t ever know what he was like and that the man who is my husband now willingly paid for his private school education and provided him with a car and continues to pay for further study. In other words my son does not live in the past. Now, after having invested so much of myself emotionally to get my son through I thought at 18 it would then be MY turn to live a little. However I have found this year I have struggled. I have no joy in my day to day activities, my work is suffereing, even though I have had 2 overseas holidays this year I am exhausted and all the things I thought I would have time to do now my son is no longer at school just haven’t happened. I feel really burnt out but I don’t know why. During the years my son was growing up and needed lots of support I worked full time in a demanding job and while it was difficult I managed it and did a good job. I now have a far less demanding job and am struggling to manage my workload. So my thoughts turned to my state of mind and whether I am suffering some form of delayed grief. My memories of my late husband are faded now and the reality is that as time passes and you experience new things it distances you from the life you knew. I am everyones “rock” but suddenly I am not feeling so rock like! I am that woman who people will find out has lost a spouse and I say to them “:oh don’t you feel bad, it is a long time ago and we move on.” I sleep fine but go to bed later and later so I am not getting enough sleep. I have put on a lot of weight and generally don’t feel so great about myself. So I guess I am looking for answers about whether grief can manifest like this 16 years after the fact even when I believe I have grieved. I cried with my son when he was little, I understood his pain and shared it, I did everything I could to help him without stopping him from grieving so I didn’t pretend it hadn’t happened. Is it so wrong to want to have a positive future?

  51. Laura said on October 29, 2012 at 12:14 am ... #

    My husband was killed in a car accident three years ago, five days before our only son’s eleventh birthday. My son struggled horribly for the first year and has gradually gotten better over the last two years. He is in really good shape now though of course he misses his father. I am very proud of the work I did and continue to do to ensure my son’s wellbeing, in the process though I haven’t been able to do much for myself. I’m not even sure what to do for myself. I’ve certainly been overwhelmed by grief at times and I know I moved through a great deal of pain and sadness. I still feel that there is more I need to do but it’s puzzling. In many ways I’m fine. I have loving family and friends, a rewarding job and a full life, I still feel alone, and scared a lot of the time. I feel that I haven’t really moved on, rather I live life around the edges. I do what needs to be done and take care of business. Sometimes I think I am doing the grieving I need to do and I am moving on while at other times I’m not so sure and suspect I’m just hanging on. I tell myself that all I can do is to put one foot in front of the other and keep to the path. I’ m just not sure where to go from here or what to do. I’m scared I’m missing out on life because I’m so stuck.

  52. Anonymous said on November 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm ... #

    My mom died 11 years ago I can’t even talk about her without getting teary eyed for the past few years it seems to get harder to deal with I was 21 when she died suddenly. She had heart disease but the cause of death was unknown. It seems like every event that occurs in my life make it harder to deal with marriage, kids, etc. I have been isolating myself from the world and didn’t realize it now I’m like where do I begin to get my life back. My family is tore we hardly talk and its 8 of us total my life feels like a mess. I often wonder do I have psychological issues now that this has happend.

  53. Barbara said on November 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm ... #

    This is probably the strangest story. In 1972, I broke off a relationship with a man I had loved deeply for four years. Someone else had come along, and my head was turned. Yes, it was in 1972. The man I broke up with looked me up three times in the following few years, but my feelings for him had just somehow disappeared. The last time I saw him (he had come into town – wasn’t living in the same city anymore) and called me. We went out for a while. When he brought me home, he told me he was thinking about getting married. He had been married before, but was divorced. I had little or no reaction to this. Fast forward to two years ago when I called an old friend of his and asked about him. I was told that he had died, but I missed a lot of the details. I convinced myself that he was mistaken, since I could never find any proof. Then I happened to come across one of his relatives’ family trees and, sure enough, found out that he died 21 years ago, at the age of 54, from an aortic aneurysm. Since learning this, I’ve been in a deep depression. I know the relationship wasn’t meant to be, but knowing what I know now all these years later, I’m so sorry for the way I hurt him, and I’d give anything to have him back now. I can’t understand why I’m experiencing these feelings all this time later. I’ve grieved for many people over the years, but this is really different.

  54. Anonymous said on December 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm ... #

    My mother passed away when I was 17 and I guess I never really grieved about it. I spent a majority of my childhood taking care of her, as she had kidney disease when I was at the age of 5. I always knew she wasn’t my biological mother, well becauae my sister and I were MUCH younger, and well I just knew from going through the court papers in her room, and just from so many clues. There was a big generational gap between my mother and us, and by the time my sister was 11, she wanted to hang out with friends and be a normal kid. My mother wa from the Old South, and i’m assuming had experienced trauna in her life because of some of her abusive tendencies. For some reason, although I was two years younger than my sister, I always understood what was going on and validated my mothers sheltering because I know she meant well..

    My sister was put into long-term foster care at 11 (different than our guardianship at the time) the family didn’t really know how to tell her and promised she’d return. My sister rebelled from this and was obviously hurt so young. Me i’ve always seemed kind of numb to things, but now when I looked back, I spent a lot of my childhood crying and isolated. My mother did not alliw me to see my sister for fear that she would be a bad influence, and my mother became muchs harsher than before but took her guilt and loneliness out on me.
    After I too was put into long-term foster care, my mother went to stay with her daughter (one of my older sisters) and we really didn’t speakm much that year; I was 14 and very hurt by the surprise. I had become very rebellious and I guess my mother didn’t know what to do. She wanted me to spend all of my time with her and not go out with friends. She couldn’t understand how I had become a follower, but little did my mother know I had always been.bullied in school for being smart and poor, and figured if I couldn’t beat them, to join them.
    While visiting my mom one day, I overheard my older sister telling my foster mom to.watch out.for me, and in other words saying I was disturbed. I felt really betrayed because no one understood that I was not only an artist, but I was in very deep pain and still very young.
    I spent more time visiting my.mom, especially because I hated my foster mom. When I got my first job at 16, i’d go to the store and buy her flowers and many gifts for the holidays. It felt really good to ne able to do these things for her.
    The last time I saw my mother alive, was on thanksgiving 2010. I promised her I would come back soon. Sometimes I would promise to go with my mother to dyalisis like I used to, but I was too young to understand how important it was to be with her. A part of me couldn’t stand to see her hooked up to.the machine and I always invisioned how I would get the news that my mother had passed as a child, I guess to “prepare” myself for it.

    The night before her death, I could not sleep. I just had a strange feeling. I woke up to get a call from my older sister with the news. I didn’t really cry the way I thought I would. Even the dog cried more than me at the time. I had an outburst when I went to the funeral, and I guess I felt the whole thing was just a nightmare. I didn’t invite my best friend from childhood or any of my friends because it was just that personal to me.

    I went on to graduate high school, something I worked really hard.to do because I ditched so.much school. I moved out of the state with high.expectations after meeting my biological mom a few years back. I figured it would be a fresh start for me, nut turned into a year of depression. I didn’t go out much, just worked and.studied. My biological mother got abusive and I ended up staying with a friend, and then her friend. I got a bad case of bed bugs and they kicked me out of their house where I went to stay with a guy friend.of mine. I took a break from school, and ended up on a relationship with him, where I gave so much for.him and did not give in return. I stayed with him for a year and finally moved in to a nice house with roomates.

    Thanksgiving of this year brought back some vivid memories. I had gotten so used to blocking everything.off in life that I couldn’t remember many memories with my mom, especially good ones. I cried and the next day woke up to anxiety attacks that lasted for anout 4 days on and off. I didn’t go to school, and my room somehow became a catastrophe that I have yet to.fix (which.is really unlike me). Last night I went to look at old pictures and sat up all night weeping like crazy. I’ve told a few people, who some.luckily understood because they know that i’ve been in denial about my feelings about it for 2 years. But I still feel empty. I figured the other day that my mother is moving into her afterlife now, and that I have to let go and let her rest in peace.

    The thing is, I feel like I woke up that day in agony of what I had done. Moved to the east coast from the west coast to live with a mother that will never bring to me what time can’t undo, a new life that has been awaiting me for two years that I have really yet to live. I’m glad to have my life back, but I don’t.know where to start…

  55. Kristina said on December 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm ... #

    I am grateful to find this article and all the comments from others. I just lost a friend 2 months ago to murder. She was a friend, but we were not close friends (i.e. We didn’t go do things together…just knew each other from church), but I took it really hard. That surprised me. But, I have come to realize over the past few weeks that I am not only grieving for her, but for a very close friend that I lost suddenly 9 years ago. At that time, I was not able to attend the funeral and she was cremated, so I never had the chance to really say “good-bye” and, because we got together intermittently throughout the year, I think I have been able to just convince myself somehow that she isn’t really gone. So, now it has hit me and I am grieving as if it just happened. I also have been working on a food addiction over the past year and I think that the fact that I am no longer using food to comfort myself is part of the reason this is hitting me so hard. It’s a lonely place to be because everyone else–her family and other friends–they have all moved on. There is no grave to visit. So, my friend who just passed away is helping me through this…I have been visiting her grave and saying,”Good-bye” to both of them at once. I am a Christ follower and believe that both of them are safe in heaven, but the pain is still intense in knowing that I will not see them until I get there. Thank you to all of you who have shared here so that I could know that this delayed grief is not crazy and is something I must do in order to move on.

  56. Marina said on January 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm ... #

    I am really grateful to come across this sight. To have what I am feeling validated.
    I lost my sister to cancer 17 years ago. We were very close and only a year apart in age. It was devestating, but less than a year later I was married and moved out if the country leaving ALL my family and friends, seeing them rarely. I always planned to go home but my husband kept putting it off. 10 years ago my fathr got sick and died. I was not there and I could not go to the funeral due to time it would take for me together there. I never truly mourned I think. Being away from everyone made it like I could almost forget and act like it didn’t happen.
    My point is I am ready to leave my husband because I have become so depressed and homesick and worried that I may miss more time being with my family. It has become an all consuming thing. My husband is a good man, but just will not move.
    I guess I was just wondering why I am now no longer able to cope with being away from home, and maybe this is why, delayed grief.

  57. Anne said on January 10, 2013 at 10:26 am ... #

    I lost my mam to cancer to cancer 16 months ago, she had been diagnosed 5 years earlier and we knew it was incurable. It was a horrific time, while there were times she was well, most of the time she was very sick and in and out of hospital, and I was always bracing myself for “the end”, our relationship was very close, we would talk for hours and confide in each other but in her final weeks she closed off and I had to sit and watch her fade away feeling nothing but hearbreak and helplessness, after her passing I seemed to cope better than I expected, I had bad days but got through them, now however it has all come crashing in on me and I am crying constantly. Until now I could only remember her being sick, but now memories of the beautiful kind strong lady she was are flooding back and Im only starting to feel her loss, the pain is unbearable and I cant shake it off, Id like to thank this site as I realise what I am going through is normal, as I find it difficult to share with people around me because of the time that has passed, thank you

  58. Emma said on February 6, 2013 at 5:06 am ... #

    Thank you so much for this site. It is just what I needed to read. It has been nearly 2 years since my father died and its finally caught up with me. Over the weekend I had 2 very vivid dreams that my dad was talking to me in our old house in the UK, and we were ‘preparing’ for his death. I have been so so busy since he has been gone, and still am. I was lost to why now?! I am lucky I have a good friend who listened to me last night and is a little like a father figure himself to me. I miss my father so much, so so much, the more successful I am with my equestrian career the sadder it makes me that he is no longer here to share it with me.

  59. Marie-Claire said on February 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm ... #

    Two days before I gave birth to my first (and only) child, my mother had a stroke which left her blind and part-paralysed. She died six weeks later of cancer – having never seen or met my son.

    It will be two years next month that she left, her anniversary falls on Mothers Day this year.

    Most days I’m fine. But some days – like this – I feel so overwhelmed with grief and sorrow I feel that I would curl up and die on her grave if it weren’t for my beautiful boy.

    I’m a single parent, so I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to. My family are quite ‘closed’ people emotionally. I don’t feel comfortable speaking with friends as time has passed and I know they must feel I should have moved on. A couple of them have said I must let go of her, but I can’t ever do that. To let go, means to lose her, and it just hurts too much to do that.

    I feel that I didn’t get a chance to grieve properly, because I had this tiny baby to look after on my own. I had to be strong.

    I suffered anxiety attacks after about 9 months, as my step-grandmother became terminally ill also, and it just brought waves of emotions to me. I was prescribed anti-depressants (which I only took for 3 months), and was bullied out of my job because I was struggling to focus properly.

    I am also studying a degree, which I am due to finish in July, and the thought of graduating fills me with DREAD, as it was my mum who encouraged me to start the degree, and I can’t face achieving it without her here to share it with.

    Most of the time I’m fine, but when it hits me, I feel like I’m dying inside :-(

  60. Marie-Claire said on February 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm ... #

    Just as an addition – the reason she never met my boy is because I wasn’t allowed to take him on her ward because he was a newborn. She was dying in the same hospital as me when I gave birth. But I wasn’t allowed to see her for weeks. She had one lucid moment when I first saw her, but apart from that she was talking gibberish and then couldn’t talk at all. I took my son to her deathbed and stroked his hand against hers, but I cannot be sure that she knew any of this. It breaks my heart.

    I’m so happy to have found this site, it really helps to read that other people out there share these same feelings – even though I really wish that none of us had to endure this.

  61. Kristina said on February 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm ... #

    I just lost a friend in November that I did not consider myself that close to. I enjoyed her and saw her around church. But, I took her death very hard. It took me a couple of days, but I realized that, although I was sad for her loss, the bigger thing was that it triggered a loss of a close friend nine years ago. NINE years! Back when my friend died, it was sudden…and I was busy taking care of another friend who was ill and couldn’t travel alone. When I returned, I cried here and there, but I guess I never really grieved. I had missed the funeral. She was cremated and ashes not buried in a specified spot, so there was no grave. I avoided going to places that we used to see one another. I think that, at some level, I tried to convince myself that we were both just really busy and didn’t have time to get together. But, this fall, it hit me like a ton of bricks and, when it did, I felt like she had just died. And it was so lonely because everyone else seems to have moved on. I found myself panicking because I couldn’t find pictures of her and felt like I had somehow let her down because I had not really grieved for her. But, I have been blessed. It’s been hard, but I have a relatively new friend who has been walking this road with me and letting me share my grief with her without making me feel it is silly or frivolous. I have been going to the grave of my friend who died in November and that has helped to be a place to say good-bye to them both at the same time. And, by the grace of God, I have also been put back in touch with someone who was also a close friend and who also still misses her deeply and that has been healing for both of us. I have not completely finished grieving yet, but I feel the most at peace with it than I have in a long long time.

  62. christie said on February 22, 2013 at 5:17 am ... #

    I am so glad that i found this website . It is only now , that i relise i am dealing with and that i am not mad . Thanks x

  63. Marina said on February 25, 2013 at 2:49 am ... #

    I just want to say to everyone that has posted on this website that people grieve differently and even though time has passed the death of someone has a profound impact that May not be fully felt for years. I have now found affirmation for my feelings and “delayed”grief.
    I am just greatful to this site.

  64. Madeline said on March 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm ... #

    I am completely in trouble. My dad died 15 years ago from Alzheimers. My mom, the “rock”, fell apart although she wouldn’t acknowledge it publically. So I stepped in and took over and cared for her and my mentally disabled sister. Then my sister died in 2009, and mom fell apart again. So I cared for her. In just a couple of weeks, it will be two years since mom died. In spite of it all, she was my best friend.

    It’s been my job all my life to be the caregiver. I am suddenly without an identity, and I have no idea what to do. I have nobody to rely upon. My family thinks of me as the substitute “rock” and expected me to handle it all. So, I did. I have no close friends because my whole life has been devoted to one purpose, and I never had time to develop ties.

    In the last few months, with the estate finally settled, I have started to unravel. I am lost. I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m scared. My religious ties have failed me, I just feel like giving up. I keep putting one foot in front of another, but there is no joy in my life and I wonder when I’ll just get tired and….stop. I’ve tried counseling, but what they wanted me to do seemed too overwhelming. Is there ANYTHING I can do, anywhere reasonable I can start to rebuild a life I haven’t really had since I was a girl????

  65. Nancy said on March 4, 2013 at 12:00 am ... #

    This is a really important site, and reminds me of a lot. My own mom lost her father when she was 4 (they weren’t sure if he had an accident or was killed). I lost a brother to severe mental illness, a psycholgical death, as he became a threat to me. And recently, despite a great deal of avoidance and a near collapse, my partner becamse psychotic and we divorced as a result – really quite a lot. We have 2 kids, 8 and 9, who deserve a life. I want to bring some kind of message of hope, because I see so many pleas for help against the pain, and grief that doesn’t ebb. For several years, the past 3, I used to cry before work, at lunch, and at night, so the children couldn’t see. But I was hyperactive with grief, bringing my partner back from her psychotic break with a lot of care, until I nearly fainted from exhaustion. Then she moved out to her parents, giving some relief, and now we are tied up in a custory battle. Here’s the hope: she got better, her depression has ebbed, and she’s moved away from psychosis. My attorney is kind, and listens. My mother went thru periods of alcoholism and addictions, but she became a really loving, kind grandmother (as long as we don’t overstay our visits). Every day, I live with grief. I could cry at a drop of a hat over my brother Chris, and he’s been ill nearly 30 years now, lives in a group home, and is so sick. I worry my former partner has been robbed of a normal life, but it was too taxing on me to make up the difference in her functioning and still protect the kids from her depressive episodes; she may never understand this. I look at the kids every day, and try help them become individuals – to hear what they need, to provide for them, and to not lean on them for what I am missing in my soul. Every day, I look for hope. You need to go looking for it, it doesn’t just perch on your sill. I have learned this. I am not religious. Someone once said to me, you find God in others. Some days, it’s really the dog who cheers me up. Honestly, I have had better days, and really dark days. What sustains me is that the children deserve a life of their own, and my attention, protection, affection and admiration. I had a really rough childhood growing up, filled with alcoholism, loss, psychosis, there was more. I didn’t always react well. When I read about people struggling on this page, my heart goes out to you all. When nothing seems to work to alleviate the pain, I can only say that I am sorry. I have been there. I am grateful for this site, for normalizing those feelings. On the days when I feel a deeper connection to all that is good, I just know, I went looking.

  66. Bobbi said on April 7, 2013 at 5:15 am ... #

    Roughly 15 years ago, my dad gave up his rights to be a parent. As a result, that was the last time I saw my grandma. I was 8. She died in 2008, and I didn’t go to the feuneral, feeling nothing from the loss. This week, my boyfriend’s aunt died, and while I knew her, I don’t feel I know her enough to grieve with him. As I’m preparing to occupy our toddler for the 6 hour drive to this feuneral, I picked up some crochet supplies- something my gramma taught me. I can’t get the hang if it, and its all I can do to keep it together. Even worse yet, I had tried to contact my grandpa (her husband) and he has flat out rejected me. It’s been 15 years, and this is just now hitting me.

  67. Donna said on April 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm ... #

    After 30 years I have revisited the loss of my brother. He passed about 10 years after my Mother. I was 12 years old and when my brother died I could not g there. I need to say that I loved my older brother very much. He was very troubled after our Mother died and he never recovered emotionally. I think he tried to be strong for his younger siblings and got lost in the shuffle. I love you Dick and cannot stop crying about you today….30 years after your death. Thank you for always watching out for me. I hope your soul is in a happier place. Donna aka Tea Leaves

  68. Melissa said on April 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm ... #

    I lost my fiancé almost three years back. We have twin boys who are also three years old now. When he died in a car accident I was totally confused. Our twins were four months. We were engaged for two weeks and I was 22. I had so much to deal with. I just started a job. The twins were still very dependent on me. And I missed him. I had no time to grieve. I kept busy all day everyday for three years. I was raising our children and keeping sane. I barely cried. I felt like it was someone else’s pain I was seeing cause I didn’t feel it. In fact I still don’t. I went through a really angry stage. I dislike anyone who was happy. I resented young couples. More so I resented happy families with a mom dad and their baby. I could understand why I couldn’t have that. Why did I have to be alone raising these beautiful children. My brother was the driver if the vehicle in which my fiancé died in. I hated him too. I hated that he was moving on with his life. I knew deep down he was living his own nightmare of guilt and I almost enjoyed it. It has taken me 2.5 tears to move past the anger, bitterness and resentment. And now that I feel almost normal I’m starting to have recurring dreams of him. The thing in my dreams are that he never died. He was just away. And I was so angry that he left me and didn’t say he was going. I used to have the same dream every few months. Now it’s every week. I never grieved him. Partly because grieving would mean saying goodbye. I think my dreams are telling me something. Yes I’m mad that he left me with two kids when I was so young. And I’m mad that he didn’t prepare me for what was to happen. I’m mad that he didn’t keep his promise to grow old with me. I’m mad that he didn’t say goodbye

  69. Katie said on May 7, 2013 at 2:52 am ... #

    It’s wierd, my ma died eight years ago, and sure I felt grief from time to time, but not quite as vivid as lately, now I can’t even look at a rabbit, robin, or tomb raider game without it reminding me of her. I’ve been a damn wreck for a bit over it. She was sick for a few years and she went back in 05. And yeah, maybe i was just busy with graduating, going to college, trying to get a life, and the way my dad broke down as a person afterwards worried me to death. My brother stopped going to school, and my dad would just go to bed at four when he got home from work. For years this went on, but Dad’s gotten remarried, and she’s a nice woman. I just hate how i was to mom, I was a bitch as a teenager. Not spoiled so much, just mad, anxious, defiant. She sat in the living room every day, and I’d just march past in a huff over something or another. I guess I resented her a bit for being sick, hated how it had affected the family. It overshadowed everything for a few years. But I wish i could say i’m sorry.

  70. Amanda Busbee said on May 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm ... #

    I love this site. Beautiful words.I just started a blog and wrote about my journey with grief in hopes to help others. http://amanda-cranberrycorner.blogspot.com/

  71. Ducky Reed said on May 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm ... #

    My father, a healthy 26 year old male, died of a brain aneurysm when I was 8 years old. I spent the first year going ‘Okay… dad’s just gone’… telling the other kids at school my parents had split up, listening to my mother spit venom about her hatred for him to her new partner, watching as my two younger brothers called my stepfather ‘daddy’ and pretended our biological father never existed. Later in life, I would have an abusive boyfriend who would taunt me on a daily basis, calling me ‘daddy’s girl’ and telling me that my father had just overdosed ‘like my junkie mother will someday’. I kept everything inside, and even cut off contact with my mother (who was NOT a junkie, but had used drugs when i was much smaller for a while) in an effort to protect her I suppose… I carried on with this ritual of hating my father for the things he didn’t do and pretending he had never been there, blocking out his memory until 2011 when I turned 20.

    It hit me suddenly all the memories of my culture (my father was Irish with Celtic tribal heritage that became the subject of many a bedtime story when I was small) and every memory i had with him… and every part of me that was like my father. I pierced my nose that night to try and detract from how much it reminded me of his… the same with my lip… the same with my eyebrow… and while the swelling was still in place I looked completely different and felt some comfort being able to forget him again. It was at that moment that I cried over him for the first time in my life because I didn’t want to forget again at all. 12 YEARS LATER.

    I’ve since removed the silly piercings and entered into a relationship with a man who allows me to grieve properly and talk about my dad… reminisce about all the things I repressed. Unfortunately, it’s been a tough process for him too because in the time I’ve been with him, my godfather (heart attack), a close friend from school (suicide) and both foster parents (motorcycle accident) have also died… so it’s been delayed grief AND immediate grief all at once.

    I find it so hard to get through every single day knowing they won’t be here anymore… they were part of what helped me begin my grieving process for my dad. I guess it’s just felt like I’m being punished, losing so many people I love.. it feels like my inability to grieve for dad for so long has turned me to stone and this sudden hit of emotion has felled me in such a way that I feel like i’ll be stuck here forever in this sadness.

    I just hope it gets better…

  72. Wendy said on June 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm ... #

    First off, what a comfort to read all of your stories and see some progress being made in very big ways in some of your lives on your grief journeys. In my 20’s my only sibling, my brother died at 29 from alcoholism / cirrhosis of the liver to which I didn’t even know he was an alcoholic until 6 mos before he died. In my 30s my dad died in his sleep at the age of 61 very shocking and unexpected – heart disease / diabetes. In my 40’s my high school sweetheart and husband of 26 years died after a 3.5 year battle with colorectal cancer – he was 44 – no history of it in his family either. Just one year ago my mother died from infection after falling and breaking her femur due to osteoporosis. Countless friends at young ages have died that I know. Part of me feels like I should be really screwed up right now…. but I carry on and continue to focus on what and who IS IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. I have adopted the thinking of living one day at a time and try to find all of the great wonderful people in my life that day. An attitude of gratitude has really helped me get through. Yeah some times of year, songs, things, events bring me to a very sad place and I let myself feel it and then pick myself back up very shortly thereafter… because the sooner I realized I cannot change what has happened in my life I started to find peace and serenity of each new day and being thankful for everything in it – even the bad days. I don’t want to sound like unfeeling, cold or that I don’t struggle with all of these losses at any given moment but I truly do have peace in knowing everything happens as it is supposed to even thought I don’t understand why… and that is kind of ….. well… comforting not to try and figure it all out because we can’t. Death is so hard when it is someone we are very close to…. just as it would be for them if we had died. Change in life is hard – I try not to be unhappy with the hand I’ve been dealt in this life but to play the hand I am dealt the best I can. My heart goes out to each one of you on this site. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my story…. it is still evolving and still clinging to hope that one day I will understand why but for today I am OK not knowing all the answers. Healing for us all ~ Wendy

  73. Laura Seal said on August 9, 2013 at 11:37 am ... #

    My father died 5 years ago after a 6 month painful death of bowel cancer.

    At the time I didn’t grieve. I had started a new job, my sister declined into depression and drug use, and my stepmnother pushed us all away (including my father). We never received anythin from hs will and have never been back to our old home. But Iw as OK – I wasn’t too sad, I didn’t need to talk about it, I just got on with life.

    Almost three years later the dreams began. I saw a counsellor, who went over and over my family history. The dreams stopped. I thought I was cured.

    Then a year later, I met a guy. A wonderful guy. And I went crazy. When I drank, I was angry, when I didn’t, I was insecure. Eventually I drove him to anxiety, panic attacks and breaking up with me, then taking me back. Over and over and over again untl we were both wrecks. And I had no idea where it came from, I blamed him, I’d never been like this before. Now we have finally broken up for good,and I am grieving and distraught. Not just over him, although that hurts too, but over my father. It’s like he’s suddenly haunting me, his smell, voice, the way he grabbed my hand and begged me to make the pain stop when he was dying. I can’t find the box of memories of him I hid away. I can’t stop crying as soon as I’m alone. In the shower, on the train,on a bench at lunchtime.I’m angry he left, and and angry he didn’t sort out his will, and guilty for not helping him enough on his way out of his life.

    I’m starting hypnotherapy and a trauma treatment called EMDT to try and release this lump in my chest thatI’ve had for five years. But god, I wish someone had told me to just feel the feelings, accept them, whatever they are, not rationalise them and be too strong. It would have saved me so much wasted time, and a wasted love.

  74. Sarah Cooper said on August 20, 2013 at 11:10 am ... #

    I find reading all of your comments to be an extreme comfort for me. It is like reading messages about myself. My Mum died in late 2009 and at first, I wondered why I didnt cry, didnt really mourn, two days later I was back out and about and 12 days later, I was back in work. I did think that this was very strange at the time. My Mum was great at giving advice and was amazing at cheering you up, when I got dumped she wrote me a big long letter on the back of a photo of me as a kid! lol. 4 years on, I am becoming – to be honest – an emotional wreck. I cry all the time, the smallest thing just sets me off, I dream about her almost every night and then wake up crying.. it is just so weird how it’s come out of nowhere. At the time of my Mun’s death, I became “Mum” to my little sister who was 18 at the time. I think maybe I worried so much about her, that I didnt think enough about myself. I wouldnt wish these feelings on anyone, I just feel so sad and so depressed and I feel like people just wont understand.

  75. Nicole Scott said on September 4, 2013 at 2:17 am ... #

    I lost my dad 5years ago in 2008. I was sad, but did not cry. He had a really bad bout with alcoholism and seizures. I just wanted him to be safe at the time where I dont have to worry about people taking advantage of him or something happening when he would become intoxicated. When I was in college… my dad supported me and my little daughter who i took to college with me. He packed us up and moved us there and when I graduated.. he was there again..packed us up and moved us out. Any car issues I would pick up the phone and call my dad.. The last time I spoke to my dad was on my birthday and i will never ever forget that phone call.
    In 2010 I had a major breakdown because of a car issue and I went to pick up the phone to call him.. and then it hit me. It was like I was grieving for the first time and didnt understand what was happening to me.
    Now here it is in 2013 and I have dreams with him in them and in each dream the first question I ask him …is if he is still alive and i touch, hug and tell him to pinch me so that I know its real.. and its such a wonderful relief….
    Until I wake up crying… and its been five years and I cant even talk about him without crying. This year was the first time that I admitted that I really miss him. I dont know what is wrong with me…I should be over it by now or at least be able to speak about him without full fledged crying..

  76. Darlene said on September 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm ... #

    I left my husband in 2010. We had 2 boys so we made the effort to get along, we spent Christmas together, did the kids birthdays, graduations, etc. Last August he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I took him to his doctor appointments and went to his place on weekends to help out and do some shopping. He passed away in November 2012 and up until now all I have not really felt much, except maybe anger at his sister and him. Recently I have been having moments where I get all teary eye, I push the tears down and carry on. Today as I was buying duct tape I started to cry, it is the silly things, like duct tape, bungie cords and tarps. It is the moments when I am driving down a street and remember us driving the same street back when we were together. I guess part of me feels that since I left him I have not right to grieve and I am sure there are others who feel the I have no right to grief either, but we spent over 30 years together and there were good times and I guess I did still love him. Anyway, I found this site and thought maybe if I put some thoughts in writing it might help me.

  77. Sarah said on November 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm ... #

    I lost my dad to cancer a year ago. Even though I was daddys girl and worshipped the ground he walked on I didn’t really cry as I know he wouldn’t want me to be feeling sorry for myself. I also knew I was so lucky to have had him in my life as so many people never get to experience that great relationship I had with him so I thought it would be selfish.

    So I worried about my mum and sister and made sure they were okay instead and threw myself into work. All of a sudden about three weeks ago I started to cry. I had no idea why as I never cry over anything. ive cried for hours on end ever since until suddenly today I found this site and made the connection that it might be delayed grief. I genuinely thought I was going crazy or had depression or something, it’s so comforting to know this is just a stage of grief that I just have to work through.

  78. chris said on December 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm ... #

    I am a 43 year old man, father of three and husband (2nd marriage) of 11 years. Throughout my life I’ve suffered from anxiety, some periods more severe than others. My father died at age 38 of cancer some 32 years ago and I’m only now seeing, feeling what effects it has had on me.

    I’m the “textbook” survivor who resorted to perfectionism and the false sense of control to get thru life. I abused alcohol, recreational drugs and sex to cope, rather forget, but managed to get an education and establish a somewhat normal life. I was unfaithful to my highschool sweetheart because I felt abandonned and was unable to understand, let alone express, my true feelings and took solice in what was familiar to me.

    I did take stock following my divorce, the 2nd most painfull period of my life, and tried to be a better person. I’ve been completely faithful and committed to my 2nd wife and blessed by 3 wonderful children…so why the post?

    About a year ago I experienced severe panic attacks. These are not new to me as I had the pleasure of experiencing them as an undergrad. I’ve attributed them to a prolonged period of stress, mostly work related as I have a rather intense (at least my perception) profession compounded by the fear of failure and endless pursuit of control. In corporate America this drive is often confused with strength of character and some exceptional qualities. While I’ve been blessed with several skills, it is primarily fear that finishes the job for me as is, I believe, the case for many executives behind the glass in the corner office.

    I’m here because after almost a full year of introspection, multiple trips to the ER and clinics to confirm what I already know (I am not suffering from a terminsl disease nor going crazy), I recognize that I never allowed myself at age 11 to grieve the loss of my father. I was too consumed by, “being the man of the house,” and seeking approval and acceptance from authority figures (my best days were report card days, if you can only imagine, and sports events where I could earn praise and love) to notice. How would have even known what I should have been doing instead? My Mother was absent, seeking her own solace with man after useless man…

    But, its ok to be late in this case. I need to cry but I forgot how to. I miss my Dad, wish he could see all that I’ve accomplished but, more importantly, who I am as a father and husband.

    I’ve read a lot of these posts and have nothng but admiration for all of you. It isn’t easy, it won’t be easy but we all have a choice in terms of how we respond to the challenges that we face in life. Would I be different today if my Dad didn’t die some 32 years ago? Of course. But, then again, I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I have thus far, watched my children cry, scream and laugh until they peed their pants.

    In hindsight, the thing I regret most is working so hard to forget and then investing so much energy into fighting, fearing my anxiety…imagine how I could have to better use all that time.

    God Bless you all. I pray that we may all find peace.

  79. Hannah said on February 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm ... #

    I think this is what’s happening with me. My fiancé died on August 4 2013 and he was my heart and soul. I’ve been so busy with our baby boy that I have given myself time to grieve. I’ve seen more than any 19 year old should have to see.

  80. Sam said on February 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm ... #

    I am 15 and I never really mourned the loss of my mother – it has been 10 years and it is hitting me now. I moved on too quickly and I am looking back now – this article really helped me to try and get through it.

  81. Kat said on March 3, 2014 at 2:24 am ... #

    My mom died when I was 22, after an 8 year battle with breast cancer. My partner of 9 years and I separated a few years later, in a very abrupt -no communication-contact kind of way. I started dating someone really soon after, and even though things did not feel right, I could not feel very much, and avoided seeing/facing things. We ended our relationship last year after 6 years, and I was NUMB – literally numb – ALL YEAR. Getting myself extremely busy and overeating. Now, through yoga, meditation, and love from beautiful people, it is all coming out. I have cried every single day for 5? weeks and I feel ALIVE again. The pain on my chest is at times unbearable, and I love it, I am so grateful to feel, again! And I read that the way we process our grief, is the way that we will be able to love again, fully. Also, to set the intention of healing for oneself and for others, and that has given me the courage to face my horrible feelings… to think it can benefit others as well. I miss my mom deeply, as well as these two beautiful men who were so much a part of my life for so long. I hold them all close to me. Thank you for reading.

  82. Patrick said on March 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm ... #

    We just past what would have been my Mom’s 99th birthday. She died 5 years ago at the age of 94 and was buried on my birthday. I initially wept and seemed to shelve my loss up until her past birthday. Physical pain led me into emotional pain stemming from her loss in my life. Through journaling and sharing here I’m no longer shelving it but moving through it. I was happy to read this article and to know I am not alone in dealing with my loss 5 years after the fact.

  83. Rachy said on March 23, 2014 at 8:12 am ... #

    My sister died 4 years ago and I kind of superficially grieved – I never felt that devastating crying, sobbing feeling. Until now. I recently stopped taking antidepressants that I had been on for years (way before my sister’s death). I’m wondering if the medication numbed my grief and now I’m actually going through the mourning process I didn’t do then. Has anyone got any views on this? It seems so, kind of fraudulent to be saying I’m grieving for my sister 4 years later.

  84. trish said on May 5, 2014 at 2:11 am ... #

    My father passed away almost 2 years ago. Now I have realized how much I miss him. I am so lost without him. I can honestly say the last 8 years of my life have been chaos. I fell away from God and it showed. I drank for 2 years had a child and had a 3 year relationship with an abuser/ alcoholic. I love my son I just wish his father and I had a better relationship because now looking back in my life and the things I did with my dad, I see the things my son is missing out on. That makes it harder for me. I have been putting a smile on my face for 2 years and today I broke down. I realized he is not coming back. I cant call him or see him again. My son cant share the experiences I had with him. I was 25 when my father died and I would give anything for just 5 more minutes with him. Now I need to turn to my heavenly father for support and know that I will see him again one day. It has been so comforting writing this and knowing im not the only one grieving late.

  85. GAJD said on May 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm ... #

    I am hurting inside and alone with no family. Parents are deceased and only sister and sibling deceased. I have gone on with life but am not happy. The void of family is a hole inside of me. It is another life where I never thought I would be. I am not happy here. There is no real meaning in life and worry all the time and wish at times I would go in my sleep so I don’t have to live. I only want to be with my deceased family for there is really nothing here to live for. What is also hurting is I am living with my significant other but am the provider all the time. Work is hard to be found and all the responsibility is mine with no help. This is even more depressing and feel the void even more. Wish I knew how many years I have left to live and worry about finances and what if I really become sick and run out of funds. Life is scary and am afraid. No one knows the pain I feel in my heart and talking to God with no response from him so I could hear is sad but true. How I wish my family were here so I could be with them. It hurts more and more as years go by. Please God help me. I need to be loved and am so lonely. I tried explaining how now the shock of my sister’s death hit me but not until you experience family being deceased only do you know what it is like. It is miserable wanting to pick up the phone to talk to them. Last night I called the old number at home just to hear the phone ring and someone actually picked up the phone and I said I called the wrong number. It is so sad. Going to church is painful as the tears roll down my face while hearing mass and look at the altar and ask God to please keep them close by and hold them and love them. I think I should seek professional help but am afraid all they will do is just look at the clock and pretend to care – give a prescription. To all those who still have family at least there is comfort to grieve with – but no family is a tremendous void and pain. Please pray for me.

  86. Jessben414 said on June 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm ... #

    I lost my 17 yr old sister in 1989 when I was 11 unexpectedly. It is going on 25 years this November. I have selective amnesia from the trauma I experienced surrounding the incident. My question is this: is it possible to grieve the loss all over again as bits and pieces of information get reintroduced to you? After 25 years? I mean is that possible to start this all over again?

  87. Alias said on June 4, 2014 at 1:33 am ... #

    I was about to leave for basic training with the army in June- (only for a couple months). She stops over to say goodbye, and i finally was able to muster up the courage to tell her how I felt about her. It was intimidating for me, as I was 17 and she was 19, (she graduated high school the previous year). We kissed and stared in each other’s eyes for 4 hours – as only teens can do. Time stood still. I can hear her breath in my ear as i kiss her neck. We were so happy and content, we didn’t talk much, just stared in each other’s eyes. We wrote each other while we were away – she was a counselor at a girl scout camp. When I came home in August and asked my sister if we wanted to do something with her (they were friends too) – my sister told me she died two weeks ago. She didn’t want me to know while I was gone, (which in hindsight was best). I was pretty angry and felt abandoned and totally alone.

    The problem was, what are you supposed to do when the funeral and memorials are done?!? Add to that she was buried in her family’s hometown in another state (her parents lived in my town still though)- which my sister couldn’t remember the name of the town as there was just a memorial service in out town, then she was buried in the other town. Finding where she was buried wouldn’t have been a problem except the year was….

    1990

    And the library didn’t have the paper with the obituary in it anymore, or at least i couldn’t figure out where. So I sat in my car outside her folks house…but what the frack am I supposed to say? “Hey Mrs. S – I know you’ve only seen me a few times, but I made out with your daughter and I missed the funeral – where is she again? Oh and can i ball my brains out in her room for like 100 years?” I know that sounds juvenile – but I what can I say I was 17…. so i never asked. I bottled up all those feelings – has to as I had 2-a day football practice, a student government big event I had to help plan, scholarship interviews..

    So over the years, (and a completely disastrous senior year relationship-wise – I pity the poor girl I took to prom) – something would remind me of her, and I’d smile at her gentle memory of that moment when time stood still…No biggie.

    Then last sunday, 2014, 24 YEARS later – I see a girl post a bunch of pictures of my nephew on facebook and says “Will miss you!” She was going off to college, my nephew was a year younger and heading into his senior year. I called him immediately and asked him if he thanked the girl yet or talked to her…he said “No its kinda weird” I then flipped out telling him he needs to at least talk to her because she obviously likes him and she was leaving and that you never know – what if she dies next week? I thanked him and ended the call.

    After the call though I just lost it, and was dysfunctional for the rest of the night. Normally wouldn’t be a problem but now I am married with 2 toddler daughters… and its around bedtime. I could barely read a book to my daughter because I had to pause to compose myself. After they were in bed I just went to my study and cried till 2am…. cried going to work, puffy eyed, balling at lunch, crying allt he way home, choking up on my evening run.

    The bottle I kept for all those years broke. i didn’t even know this was possible – delayed grief for 24 years…not to mention more complex. And I still don’t have the faintest clue what i should do, and when Im alone Im nothing but a slobbery mess. Hopefully I can pour all this out of the bottle by the end of the week. I hope. I mean I know she is gone, and I moved on but I can’t stop thinking about her and I cant stop crying!

  88. Lynda said on August 21, 2014 at 9:05 am ... #

    My mother died on 13/3/2013 of end-stage emphysema, and there was a large, dark spot on Her left lung, which was probably cancer.

    She got ill suddenly, lost the ability to walk within a week. That week I went to another town to record a hearing, leaving her with my daughter. I was gone a week. When I came back she had gone from needing to be helped to the bathroom to dying bit by bit in hospital and no longer able to speak. She did nod and say mm hm when the doctor asked if she wanted morphine. I made arrangements for an ambulance to bring her home so she could die in her own bed. When the ambulance came there was only 1 guy to manage the guerney and he almost dropped it sideways coming up the 2 steep stairs. Oh, God! She died the following night. I was in the room and just went to lie down on the mattress I had put there for a little while, fell asleep. When I woke up she was gone but still warm.

    My mom was bipolar and had slipped into dementia somewhere along the line. For the last two years of her live she alternately hated and feared me. I loved her anyway. The night she died I looked into her morphine-dulled eyes and said I loved her, had always loved her, and always would.

    Beneath the numbness lies the guilt that I was asleep when she died, and the anger at her for being so cold to me and then dying so quickly that I didn’t have time to prepare for it. The guilt that I was in another town when she was at her most vulnerable. The loss. Oh, the loss of her- her talent, her smell, the sight of her. Somewhere deep down I’m in pain, but I can’t get to it.

  89. Lynda said on August 21, 2014 at 9:15 am ... #

    For clarification: My daughtere was 32 when I left her to help my mom to the bathroom and went to record a hearing. I’m now 53. I have a 27 year old son who lives with me, who could do no right in my mother’s eyes from the time he was a toddler, so what he feels, I imagine, is not much of anything towards her. I am ambivalent, numb, lapse into periods where I realise I’ve been staring at nothing for over an hour. I’m self-employed and work from home, and more than a year after her death I still haven’t cleared away the last of her things from her cupboard. I’m stuck.

  90. Susan said on September 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm ... #

    just found this site today while doing searched for “delayed grief” while at work. God bless you all as every story was so very moving and I hope everyone who posted before me is doing OK and has found some measure of peace.

    I quit smoking 5 mos. ago and have just now started to really grieve the loss of both my father and my aunt. Problem is, my dad passed in 2000 and my aunt in 2005. I can’t believe how I’ve used this habit as a major defense mechanism. It’s been amazing to see how my head is clearing and emotions are now raising to the surface after living such a dissociated existence. I was very fearful of all that has been happening to me lately in terms of these intense feelings of loss and excruciating pain hitting me all these years later. I’m grateful for finding this site because reading these posts has helped me feel much more “normal”, not in how I processed my grief mind you, but in the fact that because i didn’t really do it back then, i have to do it now. Feelings don’t go away even if we do and no matter how long we turn our heads to ourselves. They stay. I’ve learned this. Perhaps I now feel strong enough to take them on. Before now, i just couldn’t fully. Thanks for listening.

  91. Anthea said on November 7, 2014 at 1:55 am ... #

    Love and light to everyone who has shared their story , many will benefit from knowing they are not alone.

    Its been 2 year since I lost my darling son and I am still and always will be broken hearted and seem quite numb still.
    He was and is my soul mate and gentle loving, caring young man. I do so miss his laugh,his smile, his awesome hugs and his love for life. A more caring person you would be lucky to have in ones life.

    My story began really about 3 years ago my mom in law who lived with us fell and broke her hip, after the operation her mind which was not great before became full blown Alzheimer’s, I refused to put her in a home so a few days after the operation she returned home a I took an the task of her care, it was a tuff 6 months many ups and downs but she passed away peacefully in her bed with us there holding her hand. A few months later my sister in law fell very ill and ended up in ICU for around 2 months, daily runs to the hospital to check on her became the norm. Talking to the doctor and making calls like signing the DNR were very hard , but as she had had a stroke due to her condition there was very severe brain damage and she was fitting 24/7. She passed 4 months to the day after her mom. What else could possibly happen surely we a family could now get a break. Well the answer to that would be a no.4 months later my boys went out for the night, on the way home on a well lit 4 lane highway a drunk driver ( 4 times over the limit) go into his car and got on the highway counter traffic flow, he hit the car my boys were in head on, there were 5 young adults in the car 3 of which passed away , my eldest son being one, to this day I do not know how my youngest managed to get out the car and walk to the medics to try get help for his brother. I do believe someone was watching over him. To get that call ….. it was like we went into automatic pilot, the trip to the accident and hospitals I remember very well although foggy as far as emotions go , I do clearly remember the pure and utter horror the ripping out of my very soul when I was told my son had passed away and been let in to see him. I remember checking him all over and apart from a few cuts I could see very little injury, needless to say I went over the autopsy report over and over to understand why. I know this sounds like a really horrid thing to do but I had to understand why. My younger son is doing very well and recovered fully from his injuries within a few weeks, although he is recovered from this well he is of cause racked with guilt and emotional scars but we support each other as best we can. About a year after the accident Dad had a breakdown of note, this was both very scary and traumatic as to see one you love go through something like that is very sad. We managed eventually to have him booked into a hospital were he got the help and counselling he needed , delayed grief indeed. We of cause all have PTSD but we all manage this is different ways. At this point I time I fight daily to pretend all I well with me , I cry within always, I worry about the family constantly, but have faith in our love and try to laugh daily as that is what our son would have wanted, so may happy memories. Just to share a little more for those of you early in your grief ( as we are still really) others do react in strange ways , when I returned to work 2 weeks after our los ,very few people could talk to me … maybe one or two in fact. this was hard but I swallowed hard as I realized it was up to me to make contact with my fellow staff an put them at ease, slowly but surely the more I talked about it the easier it became or everyone. It hardly seemed fare but its just the way things are. People do not know what to say or how to say it, never mind how to behave around you. Very sad really and boy can they say some hurtful things …. its been a month now you need to get over it as an example I wanted to punch a few people LOL, but you learn to take these comments with a pinch of salt and eventually start to understand they have no idea and in your heart hope they never do. I find myself have really bad days were if you just say hello I want to burst into tears but fight them back as not to make others feel bad.
    Some days I feel ok today is the day I am completely going to loose it and have a breakdown ….. but I don’t as I still have a family to look after and they need me. Daily I wake up and do a self check as to how I will cope with the day ahead. Each day a challenge but we get through it, we are stronger than we think, we are more loved than we think , it is ok to be happy and laugh even within deep everlasting grief. You are not alone and never will be , know we understand and send you all healing, love and strength.

    A few tips from my heart,

    Talk about your lost loved one to whoever will listen , its good to talk.

    Disregard hurtful things people say they don’t understand.

    Surround yourself with love and never give up, you will survive the bad days.

    Follow what your body ,heart and gut is telling you they are generally right. Your mind can be nasty so think twice before listening to that.

    Allow yourself to feel and be sad, the more you fight it the worse it gets.( trust me I do it but I am learning to accept these days) tomorrow you will feel a little better and more able to cope.

    Your truth is your reality , if you believe you can you will !

    Cherish Yesterday
    Dream tomorrow
    Live today

    From a heartbroken but surviving mom.

  92. Karen said on November 17, 2014 at 7:45 am ... #

    Thank you Anthea those are lovely words. I googled this site and now feel relieved that what Im feeling is completely normal. We lost our son in June last year, although some days it seems like hes been gone so long. I went back to work two months after and just got on with life, I have a supportive partner and a daughter of 6 so reality kind of keeps you grounded. Ive got great extended family and friends who are always willing to listen but I feel it hard to talk about it, as even though Ive accepted hes gone I still cant quite believe it. He was only 8 and was born with Cerebral Palsy so it was always hard for him and us as a family, and his life expectancy wasn’t going to be fantastic. But he died suddenly after 3 fantastic seizure free weeks and everyone saying how good he looked. He had been near death so many times in the past and we had got ourselves ready to lose him but he always bounced back, but this time there was no warning I woke up to find him choking and aspirating and before the medics could arrive he had passed. I always feel guilty becuaes I didn’t wake up early enough to find him, I lay in that day for an hour as I hadn’t gone to be until 2am and had only had 4 hours sleep. The day he went replays in my mind all the time, but up to the last week or so I have pushed it away and got 9on with life. However two weeks ago another little buddy of Adams (my son) from school also passed quite suddenly, and being friends with his family, seems to have brought it all home and I cannot get out of this grief. I am a positive person usually, I started working part time as a nanny with a child with special needs in September and I love the role and being able to support the family and understand them and what they are going through, but sometimes feel overwhelmed by it all. And I feel guilty that my daughter has to suffer like this at 6 years old. Reading these posts has made me feel more normal and I do know people a lot worse off than me, and to be honest I get through it because my sons future wasn’t looking great, lots more operations, feeding tubes, morphene meds etc. and I try to take comfort in the fact I feel hes in a better place with no more pain but I just miss him so much it physically pains me. Karen x

  93. Carmen said on November 24, 2014 at 11:03 am ... #

    December 16, 2013 was the day my life changed forever. It is the day my mother died. My mother had been diagnosed with psirosis of the liver for about two years after carrying for her we had a very bad falling out causing us not to speak for 8 months. The next time I saw my mother she was laying in a hospital bed 4 days befor she died. I feel as if I wasted all those months being hurt and I missed her last months of life. Being the one who always keeps her cool in stressful moments I managed to make funeral arrangements and lay her to rest without assistance from my two siblings. I have experienced months of regret but mostly anger and resentments towards my imediate family. The last thing I did was have her name written on her stone and I have not been able to visit her grave site again. I am angry and in pain as I feel cheated. I dread the holidays as I know that her one year anniversary is almost her which reality has to be faced again. I have been so busy keeping my children and husband together that it scares me to feel that pain all over again. I find myself praying for strength and courage to face the holidays with joy and love. Carmen…..

  94. Anthea said on November 25, 2014 at 12:28 am ... #

    Dear Karen

    I m so sorry for your lose.I feel for you and all the other moms and dad`s out there in the same situation as us.

    You are quite right and I think we all have our times of “coping “ with our lose and pain then at times its hits us again like a freight train. You see unless a parent has lost a child they will never truly understand and that’s ok we don’t want them too …. but it does leave us in a rather lonely place at times, no matter what support we have but I am glad to hear you have such a great support system though as it is very important. We joined the compassionate friends group which has helped us a huge amount, just being around people who understand helps so much. They are going through the same things and knowing you are normal is quite a relief.
    Yes it is really hard to talk about our lose not only because it hurts so very badly and it brings everything to the surface again , but with time the more you talk about Adam the easier it becomes and it helps in your healing. You will find that eventually you will enjoy talking about him and remembering the happy moments you had together. But again don’t rush this it will come in time when you are ready. In the beginning and even at times now I cannot help but shed a tear but more and more I can talk about him with just pure love in my heart and no tears.
    I often tell people we become great actors and could be in the top blockbusters, we laugh and smile and pretend we are fine but inside we live with half a heart and are not and never will be the same person we were before our lose. ( then we have our days when we just cannot hide it anymore, I call these my Kevy days (my sons name was Kevin), that way I don’t have to explain to everyone they understand that I am not feeling good and give me some space to work through how I am feeling.
    The feeling of hiding your feelings and feeling disconnected from our lose it also very normal, I also have that so you are not alone there either. I have read so much about grief and to be honest not all of it makes sense with the stages they talk about , I am not saying it is wrong far from but do feel it’s a guide. I can say I have been through many of the stages at different times but cannot say well I am in this stage of grief. For example for ages I did not feel anger towards the man who caused the accident but then a few months ago some 2 years after I was not feeling myself and after a while finally realized I was feeling so angry inside I could scream. It took some time to work through this and still get that feeling sometimes and I must say I don’t like it but it is normal and must be felt and delt with. What I am trying to say is whatever you feel at a given time is normal …. I know I have a lot to deal with still but I am ok with that and take a day at a time. What I am trying to say we all do this on our own timeline and that’s ok.
    We will carry guilt because of all of the thoughts such as what if, if only I had, maybe if. This is all part of our grief one day we can only hope we can let go of that, but it is also very normal I think anyway. Our children know the love we have for them and they carry this with them as well.
    I wish there was a magic pill we could take to make these feelings go away but there is not , so we move forward with life and do our best.

    Our child is always on our mind and in our hearts 24/7. It does not matter how old they were went they left us, be it a new born or an older child they are part of us and always will be. The different situations we had with our children like you and Adam the meds and medical condition were part of who he was while here but not who he was , who he was and is , is your lovely boy who shared your home and family who brought happy memories and love, you will have oh so much more to add to this I know  .You remember all he means to you, this to me is what we hold close. For me my Kevin was and is my heart and soul , my best friend and soul mate, a loving caring soul that will be with me forever. Our time was cut so unfairly short but will remain with me forever. If I had the chance relive the nearly 21 years we had together but be offered the same outcome I would do it again because our time together was amazing and the love and laughter endless, I really learnt so much from him in life through his loving heart and wide open eyes.
    I think we will always feel their love, their touch , hear their laughs and see their smiles that is a gift they left us with. We will remember all the good times the laughs and hugs that we so cherished. These are the things that get us through. The love we shared with our beautiful children will never be lost and will always be with us. A child`s love is pure and reaches into eternity.
    Yes we have an unnatural pain and situation to live with and it is so very unfair no matter what the reason we lost our child but we are strong for them and will live for them, yes we will have days when we just cannot get out of bed but that’s ok too.
    I share these words to try and help, I am not an expert by any means I am mom who lost a child, but I do know this lose and the pure devastation it brings. So if any of my words can help just one person it brings me joy .
    Sending all my love and healing to you and your family.

  95. Thomas said on December 13, 2014 at 12:51 am ... #

    I lost my husband almost 5 years ago. The first of the year. I use to love the holidays. Joy spreading, family time. Giving to everyone I love . since his death I greive daily. I am in the bad relationship. My children have grown to on love him. Sometimes I I look at the man an think I would never have allowed this before. I enjoy his company. He holds me at night an I am not alone but feel lonely. I still want my husband. I was not there when he. Had his heart attack. I am a nurse an was taking care of another person’s sick family member. I question daily if I could have saved him had I been home. I feel i need to move on. Get out of this relationship and find out who I am. I cry so hard at times I think my heart will break in two. I muddle through each holidy un and en find myselfen exausted not excited as I I use to ok be. I am thankful for nights without my friend. I am sorry he will never be more. I am not ready for anyone. I hate myself at times. I am raising my children the best I can alone. I want arms to hold me an to feel l anything but loss and pain. When will that happen?

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