Stuck in my grief?

Hello all

My dad died in 2016 and my mum died in early 2022. Next week there’s an annual event at my work, and it has got me thinking back to the same event in 2022 & question how much has changed for me in the two years since then. I had counselling through the Sue Ryder charity last year, and coming on this forum to post - or just to read the messages - have both helped.

In summer 2022 my cousin asked me & my brother if we wanted to go on holiday for a week, and we said we couldn’t face it. I still can’t face the idea of going on a week’s holiday anywhere, maybe I could go on a day out somewhere , but not a full week away.

I can hold down my job OK, but any time away from my work (weekends, annual leave) can often trigger feelings of depression, anxiety and a feeling of emptiness in my life without my parents here.

I have mental health issues - I had them while my parents were alive too - and my brother has mental health conditions also, which are more serious than mine. I feel this has complicated the grief for us both, certainly for me anyway.

This all leaves me asking myself if I’m stuck in my grief, or if I’m just adding more pressure by comparing where I am now with the same time in 2022, a few months my mum died.

Just writing this out helps, take care all.

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Pondering being stuck in grief. Doesn’t that imply you’re supposed to “get over” it? The opposite of being stuck being moving on? I do think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get better and quickly to boot, so we can go back to our old normal and participate in society again in a normal way. All those shoulds and ought tos are an added burden.

I don’t believe we ever get over it, but of course, if we are to continue to live, we need to find a way to do it that’s less painful. But where is that to be found? I’ve had issues with depression and anxiety before too and that doesn’t help now, mostly because I don’t think I have a “normal” baseline to go back to, it’s merely “dark” or “darker”.

Sorry, I’m terrible at advice, but your post resonated with me. Do you think it would be helpful to go to a counsellor again? It can’t hurt to talk things through. And perhaps try to go away for a day at some point, just to see how it feels? If you want to try.

Sending hopes for peace for both of us. :heart:


Thanks @Ulma - your words are really appreciated and your advice is good, so no apologies needed. Yesterday would’ve been my dad’s 90th birthday, and it’s been a real grief trigger for me as - with it being a bank holiday - I had all day to think about it. Take care also, and I’ll certainly keep reading and posting here as it’s been a real help :heart:


I suffered through what would have been my dad’s birthday recently too, so I understand. Somehow the pain that’s already unbearable gets even worse. :heart:


Often there’s an event/moment that marks a time and you can’t help looking back at how things were before or during that time. It can really set off feelings of grief if it was a better time or if you were in the middle of losing a person and how traumatic that was. For me it’s usually happy memories and just wishing I could go back to that time. I lost my mum at 14 and I’ve always thought of life up until that point as the happiest of my life but after that everything has that sadness in the background.
My dad passed away in April 22 and my husband in Feb 23 and I also feel I’m stuck in my grief. The first year I seem to have coped/dealt with things well but since my husband’s anniversary I feel the grief has really started to come out.
I have no energy or desire to do anything and I put pressure on myself for not being more proactive in dealing with how I’m feeling.
I’ve just read something helpful on this website stating a grief counsellor asked someone to draw a circle and colour in what represented their grief. It went on to say the size of it didn’t change but we made more room around it to learn to accept and live with it. At the moment I’ve no idea how I can do that but I think I’m going to need some help. I need to find a way of accepting how I feel and to not feel guilty for it. Some how you need to give yourself time and space and if needed some more support with how you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself xx

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Hi @Lucy55, I hope you find that model with the circle of grief, and growing around that, helpful. Another helpful model I’ve found about grief is the button & ball in the box. Take care

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Hi @Lucy55 & MK70 I’ve just been reading your replies and this has resonated with me. Since losing my mum I’ve been suffering with low mood, anxiety, PTSD, i have a lot of dark days and it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As members have said grief never goes away. You grow around it and you learn to adapt to a different way of life. I know when I lost my mum a part of me died with her. I’m not sure if that will come back. Grief is unique. I was talking to a friend of mine recently and I said that I was still grieving for my mum and his reply was “it doesn’t matter, even if it takes all of your life”. Take care and look after yourselves.

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Hi @Pinkdaisy661. Yes, I’m just beginning to understand myself that grief is lifelong, so I agree with you it’s therefore about adapting to a different life, but that’s much easier said than done (I find anyway.) Have you read about Dr. Tonkin’s Model of Grief? I can see the sense in it, as long as you give yourself the space and understanding that it’s OK to fall back at times inside the circle of grief at the centre.

Hi MK70: I think I’ve heard about it! But I probably need to read it. Grief is unique as our love for that person was /is unique! I’ve thought about this many times and if I could bring my mum back pre-dementia I would. I have many darker days and it’s very difficult to get yourself back up so to speak even though the sun is shining. A lot of people don’t understand especially when they are not going through grief. I’m sometimes hard on myself that I should be over it but you never get over grief like you say ‘You learn to adapt to a new life without that person’. Thanks for your reply.

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