Delayed grief

Has anyone on this site experienced the sudden loss of a parent at a very vulnerable age?
I have ( my Mum) when I was 16.
This has lead to 45 years of unreleased grief, pushed deep down inside of me as a means of self protection.
It’s had the opposite effect, however, and I have become very stuck at the age of 16 and have not matured…tried everything from psychotherapy to cbt to hypnotherapy…which all seem to be just sticking plasters on a very deep wound.
It might even be PTSD…all I do know is that it’s ruined my life and I have under achieved in all areas…money, career, relationships, property etc.
I have concluded that the only way to salvage some ‘normal life happiness’ is to actually go through the stages of grief that I was unable to do at 16 due to fear and simply not knowing how to.
Prince Harry’s recent, brave words have spurred me on to make this post.
Any comments/ advice very gratefully received.

Hi Peter,

I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your mum at such a young age and that it has affected your life in so many ways. It is true that bottling grief up and not having the chance to grieve fully at the time can cause more issues later on.

I’m glad that you have found this site and been able to write a little of your story down here - that is no small step after all this time. Everyone here has lost loved ones and it is a safe and supportive space to be able to get things off your chest.

You might also find it helpful to read and reply to this post from Jay92 who also lost his dad at a young age and is experiencing the impact many years later: That post is a few months old, but Jay should get an email notification if you do reply.

You mention that you have tried various forms of professional help, so perhaps you may not be looking for more, but I just thought I would mention we also offer an online bereavement counselling service, where you can talk to a counsellor via video chat. Find out more:

Yes, I know exactly about your suffering Peter. I absolutely adored my Mum, we were very close. I had to look after her dying of cancer age 19 in 1972 for 8 months, it was devastating, I had no one to share it with, my Mum didn’t know what she had got. I was older than you but very young inside me. Prince Harry’s bravery helped me too. Like you, it has ruined my life and it has effected me in so many ways. I have had a mental block which has loosened at times but I am using a lot of energy pushing the grief down- so so tiring. You say about a means of self protection, very much for me too. Everything you say is so relevant to me. For years I have felt too ashamed to say anything and have not wanted to face it. I have tried different things in the past but nothing seems to have helped. Having read quite a lot of the entries on delayed grief which helps, what surprised me was the effect I had with reading about newly bereaved people. I realised I had been in a time warp and regardless of the amount of time which has gone by I feel newly bereaved because I never went through this process. Your comment about going through the stages of bereavement I think is right. Just reading entries from newly bereaved people about the loss of their Mums is awakening something up in me.
You are not alone. You wrote your entry quite a while ago, I hope you will read this.

Back to top