Delayed grief

I’m new to this forum. I thought I’d try it because after 40 years I’ve not really accepted my mother’s sudden death from Enchephalitus in 1976.
I was 16 at the time and it was a shock to me and my 8 siblings. My father never talked about it or openly grieved. I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t cry. Then, about 8 years later I felt sad and tearful but I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone because I should be ‘over it’ by then.
I’ve since had 40 years of depression, anxiety and breakdowns. Had 2 marriages and 2 divorces. 4 children (grown up).
I’ve spent probably thousands on counselling and other treatments, and have a whole library of self-help books. I’ve been taking antidepressants for years.

Hi Mark,

I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your mother when you are 16, and about the impact this has had on your life over the years. Not being able to talk about your loss or grieve openly is known to be something that can cause more problems down the line, so it’s sad to hear that your father encouraged this approach.

This Online Community aims to be a safe and supportive place for you to share some of these feelings. There are lots of others here who are dealing with bereavement, in both the short and long term. I’ve found some other posts written by people who are dealing with bereavement many years on - you might find it helpful to read these to see what other people’s experiences were, and maybe post a reply if you’d like to talk to them:

If there’s anything I can help with, or you have any questions about the Online Community, you can contact me at

Community Manager