It’s been just over 2 months since I lost my best friend (my mum). She was a healthy woman in her early 50s up until a few months prior to her passing.
I have been struggling more so since the funeral, which was 5 weeks ago. I do recieve bereavement counselling although up until 10th November I had 3 weeks without this.
I live at home with my dad and sister and took the choice to defer my place, on what will be my second degree until September 2022. In light of this because of losing my mum I have taken the decision to have a year off, to help me work through my grief as best possible. A decision that my grandparents and sister do not support and my dad only partially supports it.
I had only just been discharged from CBT in the beginning of May, so I have been struggling a long time with anxiety and depression, before suffering the greatest loss I’ll ever experience and I’m only in my late 20s.
My home life is very fractured and my mum was genuinely the glue that held us all together. I have continued to do the housework I had always done since returning from uni, including looking after myself (e.g. washing/ironing my clothes, cleaning messes I make and cooking for myself), I also hoover the downstairs daily, clean the bathroom once a week, wash the towels and tea towels and tidy up anything downstairs in communal areas. I say this as I want to give context to the situation I’m in currently, as my dad has lost his life partner I have also started cooking his evening meal several times a week. The only tasks he has to complete are washing the household pots, emptying the bin and washing and ironing his own clothes.
He has been back at work 2 weeks now and everyday without fail he comes in and complains about having everything to do in the house, he makes snide remarks to me ‘some of us have had to work today, you could’ve at least done some housework for me, why are you leaving me with all these pots to do’. It puts a great strain on me and really heightens my anxiety. I understand he is fatigued from work and grieving all the same, but just because I am not working doesn’t mean I am now the allocated housewife (I understand there may be traditionalists that will disagree with this). I reached a breaking point today and shouted in his face after he prodded me and prodded me.
I don’t want to live in such a hostile environment, where I have my sister telling me I should ‘get a part time retail job’ as if being around the general public is going to help when grieving. I have struggled in customer facing roles in the past and been left in tears many times. I have my grandparents who harrass me to get a job and I need to ‘pull myself together’ they also want to come into the house and get rid of my mum’s things and I have to stop them from entering the house to do this. They believe they have our best interest at heart, I am empathetic and understand they are grieving too, but when I explain that they are causing distress and upset, I am met with the same stoicism of ‘pull yourself together’. Additionally I do not want to feel I need to be doing everything in the house, when honestly a few days a week I lack the motivation to even get out of bed because I’m paralysed by depression. Even on those days when I stay in bed awake for 4+ hrs I still get through all my chores and try and find some time to do things I enjoy.
When you’re trying to live in the present and tell yourself you’re enough and being told by grandparents you are useless and will never amount to anything (despite having had 4 part time jobs, a full time job, a degree and plans to pursue a second degree and work in the NHS from 2025). Then you’re living with a sister with a completely opposite outlook on life, as well as a dad more aligned with this ideology of hers. I don’t know I’m trying my best, I try to balance my day between chores, things I enjoy, gratitude journalling and grief journalling.
I find myself feeling that I’m looking forward to moving away in 10 months, but equally I know I will find myself isolated. I used to video call my mum everyday when I was at uni last time, I’d always have her there. We shared a lot in common, a similar outlook on life, a love of music (we went to Glastonbury together once and several gigs) and she always supported me in whatever I felt was making me happy. The quality I most admired in her, was she didn’t care what we did as long as we were all happy and there was no pressure from her, you could just be if that’s what you needed to be happy. As with many who had a close relationship with their mum’s, she was the only person in this world who truly understood me and I know I’ll never be able to find that in anyone in this world.
My depression led me to believe that I will probably never experience real joy again without her. Then I was left with thoughts of why would I want to continue with life? What is the point in being here and achieving anything at all or having any experiences, if I’m always going to be left with this void inside me.
Then you have the guilt of knowing your mum would love to be here still. I know this with absolute certainty as my dad lost his mum (48) when he was 14, my mum always said she didn’t have a life and how cruel it was to be taken so young. I had to watch my mum cry daily for 2 weeks in hospital ‘I don’t want to die yet’ non of us knew it was going to be within weeks after this, we thought she had a year. It is still a shock and it feels like it was a sudden death, even though it wasn’t as it was a few weeks.
I want to thank anyone if they’ve gotten this far, I do very much appreciate it. It’s so cathartic to let this out.