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Old 03-19-2017, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Delayed grief over my mom's death

mom died when I was 18 and she was only 35.I didn't cry when I heard she had passed away.I felt nothing.I was in denial for while,hoping it was just a dream and the next day I will wake up and she will be still here.It didn't hit me until I was in my early 20's.Since then,i'm fine for the most part but I occasionally burst into tears then it goes away.(on and off throughout the years)
However, I'm now 31 and finding myself properly grieving for her death. I'm constantly crying and find myself fighting back the tears when I'm out in public and at work. I'm missing her more now and wishing she was still here.I'm longing to talk to her but she is long gone.. looking at her last pictures she sent makes me sad

The thing is,she died back home in Africa so I wasn't able to attend her funeral nor have I visited her grave.We learned about her death few months after she passed so I never got to say goodbye.She apparently tried to get hold of us in her last days but failed because we had no access to phones,facebook,skype and we could only communicate by letters at that time I also feel guilty and a deep regret for not making an effort to stay in contact with her when she was still alive
Will I ever feel better?Will the pain ever go away?Will visiting her resting spot help or will it make me more depressed?
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:04 PM   #2
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Heart Re: Delayed grief over my mom's death

I've lost my mom about 2 months ago from lung cancer. I haven't been able to cry or even sob a bit, as we were never close and estranged the last few months of her life.

I may or may not have a "delayed" reaction, but if I or you do, it's normal. Everyone's grief is different. There is no time table, no time when you "should" be over it (don't listen to people), no "right" way to grieve. Some people cry, some don't, some get angry, some are numb, etc.

As for the pain, I'd say it goes get better but with a lot of time. I've had a lot of losses in just the past 3 years, and around the time I found out my mom was in advanced stage of lung cancer, a really good friend suddenly passed.

Then 6 months later, mom is gone. That's two in just a few months, it's too much.

As for visiting her grave, follow your heart. Be true to your feelings. If you feel like you don't want to go, then don't....Do what you feel is best for YOUR well-being, not what someone else thinks you "should" do. (I get a lot of that)

Maybe weigh the pros and cons of going to her grave vs. not going? If there's more of an upside to either one, no matter how small, go with that.

I've never truly gotten "over" any loss; it's just more bearable and less painful as time passes. Right now time is dragging for me. Sometimes it feels like it's been years since she passed, other times it feels like yesterday (literally). I felt like that on 2/27th, exactly 30 days after her death.

Recently I got an e-mail from my friend's dad. It kind of brought the pain back, like it was fresh again. I thought (irrationally), "He's alive?!" It looked like it came from him.....His dad figured how to get into his e-mail.

It was kind of comforting to hear from someone who shares this loss, as we had no mutual friends. But it was also sort of like reliving the loss from the beginning, as I had that same "I can't believe it" thought when I saw the e-mail..

My heart goes out to you.

A grief group or therapist may help. Or talking to someone else who has experienced a loss can be healing too, so you have someone to talk to about your feelings.

Tears are healing. Your co-workers might be sympathetic if you tell them why you're crying. It's a risk of course, so trust your gut on it. Maybe just one person? It's possible she or he experienced a loss too. I can't hold in tears well, but I wish I could cry. It would be an outlet. If you don't want to cry in front of people, hopefully you can go to the restroom and cry there. Or talk a walk outside. Or sit in your car. I don't know your work situation so these are just random thoughts or ideas.

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Old 03-20-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Delayed grief over my mom's death

My mom died twelve years ago. At the time, I was very busy with my own life, raising teens, working. Her health had been poor for years and when she finally died, it almost felt like a relief.

Now my kids are living their own lives and I have miserable empty nest syndrome. I don't work much. I have a lot of time on my hands and I would love to have my mom around now, when I have time and energy to devote to her. I feel like I am really grieving for her, now.

I agree with nonightowl. Grief is very subjective, and talking with a therapist would probably be helpful for you.

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Old 03-20-2017, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Delayed grief over my mom's death

I went through delayed grief when my mom passed away 16 years ago. I spend a long time in denial because I couldn't bear the thought that she was no longer with me. So I pretended that she wasn't really gone, but would come back one day.

My dad passed away last year, and it was like my last link to my mom. I took care of dad who had dementia and I think I grieved his loss before he was even dead. But it did ignite a lot of grief regarding my mom. Then my beautiful pup passed away and it brought up more stuff.

You will grieve your loss in your way and in your own time. A grief counselor may be able to help. It does get better, you learn to live with it but not totally get over it.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Delayed grief over my mom's death

Jenna, I am sorry for the deep sense of loss you feel. It is so real for you. I wish there were words that could help, but all I can do is listen and empathize.

There are things you can do other than traveling back to Africa. Which ones seem appropriate to you is your decision. Here are some options.

Write a series of letters to your mom, or a diary or a journal where you share your thoughts with them. Writing out your wishes and regrets can help release those so they are not so emotionally charged.

Take some sacred object or a button or even a picture wrapped in plastic and make a shrine either in your house or in your backyard in a place that will not attract neighbor's attention. Then you can "visit" with your mom whenever you feel the need.

Reach out to any relatives who knew your mom and have them share what they know. Maybe some of them have recipes your mom used and you could try making them too.

Go to and track her ancestors with info you get from relatives on who her parents were and where they were born and when.

Well that is a few ideas. Send me a message if you want to discuss more or reply to this post.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Delayed grief over my mom's death

Sorry to know about your mother. Hope your are ok now.
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