1.5 years on from my mum’s death; sudden grief & anger

Hi All
I visited this forum quite frequently after summer 2016 when I lost my mum to metastatic bladder cancer. I’m an only child, my dad died many years ago and my mum and I were very close. The first year was very hard and I quite often was “ambushed” by sudden attacks of grief and I also had a lot of anger as the year my mum was ill was very hard and some of my family were the opposite of supportive and my mum was understandably sometimes very difficult when she was ill and everything was upside down.
This year, the second year, I also lost a good friend unexpectedly who hadn’t been ill and around that time my grief “attacks” returned - just suddenly feeling the wind knocked out of me, fierce crying, like an emotional thunder storm - but not as bad. And they passed. But recent months have been more calmer and I am enjoying life.
Then this past weekend I suddenly fell down a rabbit hole of intense grief re my mum and anger at how some things were when she was ill and anger at feeling “left” in the world - it’s exaggerated as I have a loving partner, good friends (though a couple of fall-outs lately have affected me), rewarding job, busy and good life, and I got very very upset and angry at things and it has shocked me how upset I was. It took the form of intense crying and negative thinking and this awful feeling that I am “back to square one” with a mountain of recovery to climb even though I know rationally that’s not true. It’s not usual, I’ve been much more on an even keel lately but suddenly I have been like a wee public park rowing boat in a force 10 gale on the South Atlantic Ocean! I know there is no timetable for grieving, I have just felt shocked and ambushed by these returning feelings after quite a long time. There are anniversary “triggers” galore at this time of year (my mum went downhill from late Feb; Mother’s Day March, my mum’s birthday April, her terminal diagnosis and deterioration April to June) but I thought I was doing better with those this second time around.
Just looking for reassurance I suppose from those also going through grief. I also know the “stages” thing are rough ideas and not sequential but maybe I also feel anger “shouldn’t” resurface this “late”?
Thanks for reading xxxxx

Hi there. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and it is different for every individual. My Dad passed away in December and we had such a close relationship. I am devastated but try hard to look at the positives and the great plus of having had such a wonderful relationship. I too am an only child and I still have Mum but at times that is and always has been a toxic relationship but I am doing all I can to try and support her but dealing with mum and my grief is not easy. I would ask if you have really dealt with all your feelings and maybe it is time for further help and counselling to deal with why you may be feeling the way you are at the moment and what strategies you can adopt to feel better and rationalise things. It is such a rollercoaster but I have just started seeing a counsellor to help me deal with my feelings, emotions and my Attitude to Mum. Best wishes to you and any advice you have for me would also be welcome Lynne x

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Hi, I’m 4 years on from losing my Mum and I can assure you I still feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions. It feels like it can change from day to day. I can feel great joy & excitement about my life & then suddenly sad or angry. Sometimes the triggers for these emotions are obvious - Mothers Day is always tough - but equally sometimes I cannot put put my finger on what has caused me to feel this way. I now stop trying to identify exactly what has caused the emotion & just acknowledge that’s how I’m feeling at the moment. What helps me though is knowing that the sad or angry times will pass & then happiness will reappear. It is tiring though so I try to make sure I look after myself physically - exercise & a good diet really help me. Things like caffeine, alcohol & sugar all really affect my moods. Counselling can definitely help as can meditation, mindfulness & journaling as useful alternative therapies. You are definitely not alone inwhat you’re going through. Take care

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Thank you for this thoughtful and wise reply. Sometimes just hearing this from someone else who understands is a great thing. My partner also tells me in a kind way not to try too hard to figure it out and just feel how I’m feeling at that time. Yes, I have also found the thing about some things that set me off being obvious and others not at all. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Your reply has made me feel very peaceful and strongly part of a community of what it means to be human with all its joys and struggles. And I definitely do need to look after my health and relaxation etc better as it is very tiring to go through all the emotions. I will try to take some walks this weekend. I hope you can find things to relax too over what is a difficult weekend for many of us. Take care. Thanks so much. Xxxxxx

Thank you also for your kind and thoughtful reply. It is always good to learn of others’ advice and their situations and to remember that whether present or absent, aspects of family relationships are always tricky. I’ve had counselling before for other things and am very open to it so I’ll consider it. xxxx

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