How do I go on

I am 51 and last year after the most heroic and horrendous fight my lovely, sweet and gentle 29 year old boy, Dan passed away from osteosarcoma .
I have so many issues, grief of his loss being the biggest one of them along with late diagnosis due to the pandemic and a awful palliative care experience. We have just been through his year anniversary of his death on the 17th October and I’m still drowning. Not sure how to cope and can’t show it as his sister thinks I am should be there for her and her emotional pain and has even called me selfish. How do I cope with that?

I am so very sorry to hear this. I am sure you loved Dan dearly and are missing him terribly.
I too have lost a much-loved son. He died in April of a brain tumour. I still can’t believe it. Not only do I have my own grief, I also feel sad for his wife and two children - he was a devoted daddy.
How do we go on? I don’t know, but somehow we must.
I’m sorry your daughter thinks you are selfish. I expect she’s grieving and doesn’t know how to deal with it. I wonder if there is anyone she could talk to, such as a counsellor or if she has any close friends she can confide in? I’m sorry she is in emotional pain. You have your own sorrow to bear. I hope that you and she will find a way to be strong for each other. I hope you have kind friends who can support you.
There are lots of conversations on the “Losing a child” section in this community. It can be helpful to share your experience with others. We all try to encourage each other, because we have all lost a child and know how unbearable it is.

I’m going away tomorrow to look after my grandchildren for a couple of days. I’m trying to keep busy, and being with my son’s children helps a little.
I wish you well. Susan- J. :broken_heart:

Hi Daniel - very sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my daughter in January and my family relationships collapsed. My sister who I love sent me a vile text saying I was controlling and manipulative and many other nasty things. We have had a close relationship all our lives. I was at my lowest when she sent that text. Superficially we are now talking although I doubt very much we will ever regain that closeness again. It seems to me that losing a son or daughter creates such misery and unhappiness that often family can’t cope, so they blame someone else rather than dealing with their own grief. All of this adds to our own feeling of loss. I feel like I lost my daughter and my sister too. She’s still alive but our relationship isn’t. Sadly it’s all too common that family relationships do not survive unscathed and in my case I still love my sister, but I don’t like her very much anymore. I don’t share my feelings with her because I know she doesn’t want to hear it. She refuses to talk about how she treated me and we now don’t talk about anything meaningful. I can’t see that changing and I have to accept that our lifetimes care for each other is over. It looks fine on the surface but beneath it all is an undercurrent of a broken relationship. It’s hard enough for me to pick myself up at all but she doesn’t understand how overwhelming my loss is. Sadly she doesn’t want to understand. It’s easier and less challenging for her to just blame me for being upset that my daughters dead. She isn’t interested in my grandchildren either. That’s up to her and I can’t change it. It absolutely haunts me that she could be so cruel to me when I was broken. Still am broken but I’m doing my best to focus on dragging myself off the floor without her. I was so broken in the early months and she set out to finish me off. She had no idea how much pain I was in and she chose to demolish me in a text. She also told me her and her husband have boundaries and they won’t change. So be it. They can sit together with their boundaries drawn and get on with it. I doubt I will see her again and that saddens me to the heart. She wants to brush it all under the carpet. I can’t control her behaviour but I can stand aside and leave her to it. I’ve come to the conclusion that bashing me when I was broken is not ok and I’m not putting myself up for more of it. I hope you can find the strength to remember that you are the one grieving the most and deserve respect and support from your family. Sending you hugs xxx

Hi Susan
I’m so very sorry to hear you also lost your son. Thank you so much for responding. It’s not right is it, parents should not go before their child. Thankfully, in a bitter sweet way Dan and his fiancée didn’t have children as he battled the same cancer when he was 14 so he was infertile.
My daughter refuses to see that she is in the wrong or need any help for her emotional pain. I am dragging myself on but it’s difficult as I’ve even been accused of using her 18 month old daughter, my granddaughter, as a crutch. All I do is dote on her like any other grandparent would. She represents life and love and comes with no emotional hold backs other than enjoying life. On the flip side I also childmind her 2 days a week so my daughter can work. My friends are trying to support, but to them it’s a year gone by and old repetitive news.
Enjoy spending time with your grandchildren they are the bright light in all this chaos called grief xx

Hi Nell
Thank you for responding.
I am so very sorry to hear you lost your daughter. I know everyones grief is different but after losing my mum, dad, brother and sister the pain of losing my son Daniel is just a whole new other level
You hope those around you would support you and try to understand the depth of your pain, but in my experience that has not been the case either.
In life both Dan and his sister always seperately played the card of, you love him/her more than me, right from being teenagers. Even though Daniel is now gone my daughter pulls this card and beats me with it.
Now she throws her 19 month old daughter (my granddaughter) into the mix. Although she still expects me to childmind 2 days a week so she can work. I’ve been accused of only loving my granddaughter and using her as a crutch.
I cut my mother in law off a few months before Dan died, as she was very selfish and if she was not the centre of attention she would throw a tantrum. She even complained as I wouldn’t leave Dan’s beside the day he died to collect her. She was quite capable of getting there on her own. She complained about her seat in the family funeral car and even that no one paid her enough attention at the wake. She left in a huff. She’s never once said sorry for your loss.
Family are not always who you thought they were, even when they are your own children, which hurts as much as the child’s death. I feel I’ve lost 2 children instead of one and although we carry on, the depth of my emotions are broken into a million pieces that I don’t think will ever be the same again. How can it be, when someone you love and thought you new inside out just easily shows you another side of them you have never seen or thought they were capable of.
Maybe my daughter has more in common with her grandmother ( my mother in law) than I thought.
How can we as mother’s get ourselves off the floor and carry on. I don’t even know if that’s possible. The life we thought we had just appears to have all been a pretence and now I feel like I’m standing on the outside watching it all go by, being careful with what I say or how it will be perceived.
Take care Nell xx

Hi again. I resonate with all you say. My life before feels like a pretence. I lost my daughter and the one person I thought would be with me in my grief was my sister. She wasn’t able to do it and I don’t even think she takes any responsibility whatever for adding to my grief. I’m angry and that doesn’t help me either. Somehow I’ve got to put my attention where it should be, on grieving my daughter. I’m working on getting away from the side show which is my sisters anger. For my own well being I need to put her to one side and deal with the real forever loss, my girl. I haven’t got much energy at all and need it to deal with my own feelings about my daughters death. On better days I am able see that and feel it. On a bad day I feel so sad that it has come to this. Instead of the loss bringing us together it has created what seems like a huge chasm. My sister has turned into someone who has apparently no empathy and proud of it. Us mums and dads are devastated but our feelings can be lost in the scramble to blame and judge but people who have no idea how broken we are. They don’t want to look at it, or themselves. We have no choice but to search our hearts for reasons that our child has gone. I’m pretty good at beating myself up about my daughters death. I don’t need people I trust and love kicking me when I’m down. So I’m not asking for help from my sister and I’m pretending I’m ok. That’s what she wants to hear. Nobody is a winner, we have both lost something that can’t be replaced. My daughter. We are both alive and instead of comforting each other we are miles away from each other emotionally. It’s sad xxx

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