Nannie, it's been 3 years

Hello, I’m 20 and I lost my Nan 3 and a half years ago. At this time, I had just left high school and had just found out that my brother is dependant on heroin. This caused a lot of upset in the family home, and as a result I had moved in with my Nan around the time of her death. She died of a very rare lung disease (cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis) caused by turning up soil that hadn’t been touched for years (she inherited some land and was re-doing the garden), I was very very close to her, after losing my grandad (her husband) 2 years prior to this, and as my own mother was caught up protecting my brother, my Nannie and I had grown very close and I cared for her whilst she was ill. I am now at university, engaged, and pretending to have happily moved on with my life, however I have suffered with depression since the day she died. I have put on weight and have suffered massively from the mental torture that I have put myself through. I have been on anti depressants, and anxiety tablets, I have starved myself, binge eaten, self harmed, had suicidal thoughts.

Around 6 months ago I thought I was getting better, but then my parents told me they were getting divorced, and it has all gone down hill from there. I am now in a worse place than I was 6 months ago. I believe that due to my brothers addiction and my parents divorce, as well as concentrating on my education and trying not to let my relationship be affected too much by all of this, I have not had time to grieve for my Nannies death. I still cry every time I drive by her road, or smell a cake (She was always baking and her house smelled amazing every time I walked in). I still cry when I think about how she didn’t deserve to die and how she and my grandad were both taken way too young, aged 67.

I thought over time it would get easier, but as I reach every milestone of my life it reminds me more that she should be here to celebrate with me.

I spent my gcse exam period revising all night on her bedroom floor so I was there to comfort her when she woke up being sick, and I never got to tell her my results. She would be so proud.

I have been unable to tell her that I passed my gcse’s, that I got into sixth form, passed (with multiple resits and lots of tears) my A levels, and that I am now studying 100 miles away from home at university. I am unable to tell her that I am engaged to the most amazing man who has supported me through every step, who she never even got to meet.

I need her to be here for me through the divorce of my parents, who are both relying on me very heavily for support, I need her to tell them to stop bad mouthing each other to me and to stop burdening me with the pressures and details of their relationship.

When I get married I want her to do my hair like she was able to for my older cousins. When I have children I want them to come home from the hospital in a cardigan knitted by her like every other baby in our family has done.

It has been 3 and a half years, why am I still unable to talk about her without crying.

Please, give me some advice, please share your own stories, let me hear your wise words. I need to find a way to be able to grieve for my Nannie as I did for my grandad.

Thank you for reading.

Hi Amb101,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about you losing your nan, and everything else you’ve been through in the past few years. You certainly have had a tough time of it - you did amazingly well to pass your GCSEs and A levels and get into university in spite of everything. It sounds as though you are a credit to your nan.

I think you are quite right when you say you didn’t get a chance to grieve properly at the time. However, it’s not too late to get some support. I’m glad that you’ve found this site as talking (or writing!) about your feelings can be a great first step for a lot of people. This is a very supportive place, and you should get some understanding replies from other users soon.

Have you considered having some counselling? I think you could really benefit from some support to help you deal with everything that’s happened. Your university should have a counselling or student support centre that you can contact.

You can also speak to a trained adviser at The Mix - a support service for under-25s, which offers, online chat, a helpline and telephone counselling. Find out more:

You aren’t alone on this site. For example, we have another user on here called EmBeth_1994 who is currently at university and lost her dad four years ago. You can read one of her posts here:

Keep posting if you find that it helps.

Thank you for your reply,

I feel a little better for simply typing out my feelings. I have previously contacted the universities well being team and have had a few appointments with their mental health advisors, I have been on the waiting list for counselling sessions and have been for a while now so hopefully I will get them soon.

I will look into the mix, hopefully they can provide me with support whilst I wait for some counselling at university.

It is also nice to know that there are other people in a similar situation to me.

Thank you.

Hi Amb101,

I read your story with interest. I am not a young woman like you but I do have empathy. My son’s girlfriend was going through a lot of what you went through with your parents in during her exams and at Uni so I know how hard that must have been as well as coping with the your Nan’s illness and loss.

You do need to ask your parents to respect your position. The divorce a result of their problems, they should not be laying any of that on you. They need to understand the effect it is having on you. Perhaps some form of family counselling would help mediate.

You have achieved great things despite your problems, you are obviously a very resilient young woman. It sounds like you have wonderful foundations to have a long successful and happy life in your chosen career, as a wife, as a mother and ultimately as a great Nan yourself. Try to look forward, your Nan would have wished all the good things that life could bring for you but most of all to be happy.

You should contact the user that Pricilla has referred you to, private message if you prefer, I’m sure she would not mind. get some help in any way you can to try and ease some of the family pressures, you may then be able to get a better perspective on your grief if it was not as muddied with other issues.

Please let us all know how you get on, here if you need to offload…x

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