Still feeling numb

My Mum died at the end of January this year. It was expected, as she had end stage vascular dementia. I have cried… a lot, and felt guilty for not being with her at the very end of her life, and after organising her funeral without help from my siblings, I felt exhausted and traumatised.
I am trying hard to get on with my life, but everything seems meaningless, without Mum to refer to and talk to. I feel devoid of emotions. I can’t feel joy or happiness anymore. I delivered my daughters baby two weeks ago, at home, as labour progressed quickly and that’s what I had to do! I felt no joy, just a bit of anxiety afterwards, and relief that all went well with the delivery. I feel like an automaton… going through the motions of each day but not really LIVING each day. I want to be left alone, with no demands made on me. This isn’t possible, of course. I don’t work now, but have grandchildren to help with and a dog to walk. I’m not even enjoying the dogs company anymore. I’m quite scared about this lack of connection with the world. How long will it last? I feel abandoned.

Hi Sara,

I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mum and how you are feeling exhausted and disconnected. Grief takes many forms and it is not unusual to feel numb. You did an amazing job delivering your daughter’s baby, and I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to feel joy in the moment. Did you do a lot of looking after your mum while she was alive? You mention wanting no demands on you, so it sounds as though you may be feeling burnt out and drained from being the carer in your family. You do need to put yourself first for a while and give yourself a chance to grieve.

I’m glad that you’ve been able to take the step of writing things down here - having outlets for your emotions is a really important part of the grieving process. You could also consider some bereavement counselling to help you process your experiences and hopefully start to be able to find some enjoyment in life again. We offer a free bereavement counselling service via online video chat here on this site. Find out more:

While you wait for more replies to your post, you may also be interested to read and reply to some of the other recent conversation in the Losing a Parent category, to see how other people have coped:

Hi I’m new to the group. I lost my grandad on the 23rd July this year, week after my birthday. He was in St benedicts hospice. Totally devastating, he was 86.

Thank you for your reply.
I saw a very lovely GP today, who gave me time to explain my feelings.
I’m going to start antidepressants, as I have a history of suffering with depression and I acknowledge now that I need help. I am booked to see her again in two weeks time.
This has given me hope that I will be feeling better in a few weeks time, whereas I was beginning to think I’d be in the maze of grief for a long time.
Chemical intervention isn’t always a good thing, but I’m sure it’s the right thing for me at this time.
I’ve looked at literature about coping with grief and low mood, and try to put some the ideas into practice. And if I need a sleep during day, then I will. If I can’t face doing something, I won’t do it. I’ll be gentle on myself for now.

My dear Sewingsara, my parents died within months of each other, I cared for dad for eight years, then I looked after mum until she passed away a few months later, I did everything for them, i felt it was my duty but also i loved them both so much they had been wonderful parents.
Unfortunately 5 months after their funerals I suffered a breakdown, due mainly to the fact that I thought I could do everything for them when they were alive, even turning down help. I tried to side line grieving. I was weary,

I was put on a very mild dose of anti- depressants to be take early evening, I didnt want to take them but after about a month I began to feel much better. I cant remember how long I was on them, my doctor was fantastic and monitored me weekly/monthly. After I had been taken off the medication slowly, although not totally addictive my doctor sent me to meditation classes. The class consisted of 6 ladies, it was run by a trained nurse. That was the real turning point. The course lasted 8 weeks. That was 30 years ago and to this day I can practice my meditation if I get stressed. After the course ended my doctor gave me a meditation tape (as was in those days) i used to lay on my bed and listen to this tape. It wasnt just music you got direction.

In January of this year my husband passed away, he had been poorly for a few months, both during his illness and after he died, I would lay on the bed (I find that for me is the best position) to practise my meditation. By going to those classes I was taught how to relax every part if your body, from your toes, fingers head and of course the correct way to breathe, which helps for people prone to panic attacks.
You sound as though you have a lovely supportive doctor I am sure she will monitor you, I am sure you will also benefit from the Sue Ryder Counselling.
Dont be like me and refuse help, take what is offered especially the wonderful support from this site.
Please believe you will make it … but …very small steps
God bless
Irene x

Dear Irene,
Thank you so much for taking time to reply to my post.
Your experience of meditation has obviously been a very positive one, and it’s a really good idea. Thank you. I’ve tried relaxation in the past, and know it helps, but sometimes, finding the time each day is difficult, plus, when feeling down, attempting to do anything is such hard work! However, I’m sure there must be an App for meditation… there seems to be one for just about everything, doesn’t there, and your reply has prompted me to find one and give it a go. I’m all for these non invasive treatments.
Many thanks. Sara

Hi I recently lost my mum just over 2 weeks now and we had her funeral yesterday.I know how u r feeling I left my mum on the day she died as I normally would do and had a phone call from my brother to say I needed to get home quick it wasn’t till I got home that realised that my mum has suddenly gone the paramedics tried to get her back but she died in hospital as soon as she got there.I miss her every day and only tonight I have been crying uncontrollably cos I just want to give her a hug.the world seems so empty without her.I went to her grave before and didn’t want to leave her alone.I wondering too how long this feeling lasts cos I too don’t want to do normal life things