Cut adrift by my family

I lost my wonderful Mum in March 2106 suddenly. She had vascular dementia but her mesenteric artery was cut during bowel surgery and she died in ICU 24hrs later. It was not expected. I am an only child. Have seen my father (who was physically abusive to my Mum and I) once in the last 40 years (when he told me that he needed to ask his other daughter if she would be happy for me to become part of his family - she wasn’t) and only have an Auntie, who is married with 2 adult children. Upon my Mum’s death, she told me that she would be a mother figure to me and always be there. Despite me making numerous phone calls, surprise visits (200 miles of driving) sending flowers and cards, they never phone, contact or bother with me. Since March, she has phoned once. My cousins have never contacted me. I have tried really hard to maintain contact (they are my only family.) I am a registered nurse and I am aware that grief can make you push people away but I honestly have not. I have tried so very hard to maintain contact but they just do not seem to care. I feel cut adrift; as if I have no family, no roots and no way of keeping my Mum’s memory alive within the family. I was coping with my Mum’s death but this has pushed me over the edge. My partner is ill after having a stroke and I work full-time. How do I cope with this? I miss my mum so very much but my partner does not deserve to deal with this, and is not well enough, but he is he only one who cares and has not rejected me. I just have no stability anymore and feel utterly betrayed by the people that I thought would always be there for me. I feel that I should just walk away, but my Aunt is the only link I have with my Mum anymore and so I try to maintain some semblance of normality. Any advice would be very, very gratefully received. Thank you.


Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mum, and that your family are not staying in contact.

It sounds as though you are feeling very isolated and feel that you have lost a connection to your mum, as well as a family support network.

Sadly we do hear fairly often on this site from bereaved people who have found friends or family members not as supportive as they would have hoped. I have found a couple of examples, which you may wish to read and reply to while you wait for more replies to your post here.

Choccyface has written about problems with her brother and her adult daughters here:

Kit, Ev, Mum and sethcat have all written about problems with different family members or friends in this conversation:

It sounds as though you have got an awful lot on your plate, with work and looking after your partner, as well as grieving. It sounds as though you are putting a lot of energy into these relationships and not getting much back.

It’s important to look after yourself when you are grieving. Perhaps, at least for the time being, it may be better to save energy for yourself, and focus on your partner and friends if they are supportive?

Priscilla thank you so much. Sorry for the late reply. Your advice was really helpful. I think I just needed to hear that I have done enough and move on. I cannot make my family care more than they do and I have come to realise that blood really isn’t thicker than water. I thank you very much indeed. I’m just taking every day as it comes and my partner and I are there for each other. Thank goodness that people like you exist. You are a sanity clause!

I’m so happy you found it helpful. Please stick around on this site and keep posting if you ever need to talk more.