Delayed grief or something else?

Hi there,

This is my first post and to do this tells me I am desperate for advice. My mum died in February after a 3 year long illness where she was in and out of hospital, at crisis point each time. She always rallied round but it was always a case of waiting for the next attack to happen which left me in a constant state of fear. I couldn’t continue with my own family life the way I should have because I was always ‘on call’ and filled with dread.

My mums passing ended up being horrendous like something out of the Exorcist and I dealt with it like a trouper comforting all the relatives who were devastated and taking all the pressure of my dad where I could as he is in bad health himself. After she passed I felt a relief from the dread I had each day. I arranged everything funeral wise and was fine. I was so proud of myself for having it all together and felt like I was able to be like this because I had grieved for her while she was still alive.

Four months on and we have just moved house. The minute I walked through the door I felt something in my stomach that has made it impossible for me to eat for the last five days since we moved in. I cannot stop crying, I am scared, I feel feeble and vulnerable and I wish I’d never moved. I want my safe haven back and the emotions I am feeling are crushing. I feel lost at sea.

The house we have moved to is huge and imposing and I now realise that this is not ‘me’. I am a council estate girl from humble but perfect beginnings and don’t want for much. My partners business has taken off and so we could afford to buy this place so I know we are lucky but I just need and want my safe haven semi detached place back.

Are my negative feelings towards the house real or is it delayed grief finally calling on me? I cry in front of people I wouldn’t normally dream of. I feel I am being assaulted by every unwelcome emotion possible and I’ve no inclination to do anything. No decorating or even cooking tea for my children. Please be honest with me I need all the help I can get and I thank you in advance for reading my ramblings.

Hi Gogsie,

I am not surprised you feel like thus you’ve had the most awful 3 years and taken this enormous burden on yourself. You haven’t had time to recover or grieve for your mum before you’ve packed up and moved house with all the stress and upset that entails.
You are the one who needs looking after now. can you talk to your partner about hiw you feel? Or maybe see a counsellor? Don’t try to hide your feelings.
Please take care of yourself and get the help you need . J x

Thank you so much for your kind reply. Luckily my partner is very easy to talk to and he has been really good. The only problem is that I am so irrational at the moment that I feel anything he says to reassure me fails to really make me feel better because the anxiety takes over in the end x

Hello Cogsie. I understand a little about where you are coming from. I’m sorry to read about your loss and what you are going through. I gather you lost your Mum in February, which is no time at all really. Could it be that the anticipatory grief and post grief have interfered with each other and caused some form of complicated, or delayed grief as you mention? I lost my Husband in 2016 and it’s taken all this time to realise that experiencing grief is one thing but confronting it is another and on a daily basis that a truly hard place to be. Maybe the new house was the catalyst or the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. Maybe it felt as though you were leaving your Mum behind in some way, or leaving behind a way of life that felt like a link to your life with your Mum and your past. Grief does strange things to our thought processes. I know it’s not a helpful reply but I understand how you may be feeling, please don’t suffer in silence if you think you may need a helping hand from a professional if the feelings do not fade over time. It’s good your Husband is a support to you. Take care.

Tina I am very sorry to hear about your husband nd I hope you re beginning to e a light at the end of the tunnel.

I think you are right in what you are saying and if I continue to feel like this I will seek some professional help other than my gp. He gave me a beta blocker to take the butterflies away so I can try to eat. They are working to a degree but I still have no desire to eat yet. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me while you have experienced a great loss yourself, I really do appreciate your kindness x

Hi Gogsie.

I feel what you are saying deeply as I’m scared I’m going down the same path. I lost my dad last May then held it all together and cared for my mum for a year as she was diagnosed with terminal cancer straight after he died. My mum then died this May. Everyone has been amazed how I carried on and now I do feel relief as the constant anxiety when a loved one is so I’ll is pure hell. I feel like I will crash too though at some point in the future so I really think what you are going through is normal after such an emotional time.

House moves are up there with the most stressful things in life and I agree with Tina19 that you may feel a double loss of your safe home that will have links and memories to your mum.

The only way I get through is to think what my mum and dad would want me to do. I am sure your mum would be proud of you and your husband and want you to enjoy the success you have worked hard for? Do you have any of your mum’s possessions that you can display in your new home to help keep a connection? Also, just be kind to yourself. There is no rush to decorate etc. After the year you have had, just take it slow and treat it like a mini breakdown holiday. I’m sure your mum would want you to look after yourself now.

By the way, I don’t know if you’ve used it before but I post on this forum regularly and it has been a God send to me. It really helps rambling to strangers who understand.

Ann xx