Losing my estranged mum

Today is the funeral of my mum, my parents divorced when I was 14 and she moved away and remarried the same year, (I’m now 36). My mum suffered with her mental health for many years, often taking her rages out on me and my sister. Over the first few years I tried to keep in contact albeit she would ruin things by going off the rails again, 15 years ago I decided it wasn’t healthy keeping in touch and soon we lost contact.

Over the years, I’ve often wondered how she was, if she was happy, if she had changed. I think over the years I came to terms with the mum I loved as a child was no longer that person and so I set about getting on with my life. Cut to this year, I lost my cousin to cancer-she was only 41 and then my mums sister passed away suddenly in may, I saw my mum at my aunties funeral and tried to strike up a conversation, I did intend to try and salvage something from our relationship but she told me in very blunt and rude terms to go away.

Since that, I got a call from a cousin to say she suddenly passed away, I rang her husband and he confirmed she had passed away suddenly and there would be a post mortem, it’s been nearly 2 weeks and I was offered to go and see her at the chapel of rest which I declined-having seen my grandad-her father pass away when I was younger has played in my mind for many years.

So it’s now the morning of the funeral, I haven’t cried or been upset, I’m so confused as to how I should feel-her last words were to me were swear words, I found out she had created a Facebook account earlier this year but never contacted me, I guess I don’t know how to feel about it all, i guess there’s a lot of guilt that I didn’t try harder to keep in contact and a lot of sadness as she has missed out on mine and my sisters life so much. I guess I would love to have had a better relationship with her but it is all too late now. Has anyone else had anything similar happen? I feel a great sense of loss, more s loss that she has missed out as opposed to her passing away

Hello, I’m so sorry to hear abut the death of your estranged mother. It is completely understandable that you are having some complicated and confusing feelings about this. It is normal to grieve for the relationship that you wished you could have had, but please know that it is not your fault that your mother had mental health problems and treated you badly.

You have asked if anyone has had a similar experience, so I wanted to point you in the direction of some other conversations started by people who have lost a parent that they had a difficult relationship with - you might find it helpful to read and reply to these:

If there is anything I can help with, or you have any questions about this site, just let me know.

Priscilla
Community Manager

30 odd years ago my mother died. She was not a good mother and my childhood was not good. I was not abused physically but mentally. She taught me a lot about how NOT to behave. I could never hug her even as an adult because I never got hugged as a child. When she died I was upset obviously, but the pain came much later.
I forgave her and I hope she did me. I was not a good son. But it was not entirely my fault any more than hers. “To err is human, to forgive divine” True!

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