What could someone ask you?

Someone asked me today whether I would like to talk about my mum… I realised that since she died - which is only a couple of months ago - I have not really talked to anyone about her, and I had no idea where to start. I have so many memories, but I feel so stuck not knowing what to say, which is not what I expected at all.

What questions could someone ask you, that would really help you talk about someone you loved who died? Not the ‘are you ok’ questions, more the ones that would really help you open up about that person? I do want to talk about her, but don’t really know how…

@NPM What an interesting question? What a kind person to ask you if you want to talk. So often people close off and do not want to hear about those we have lost.
Maybe talk about what jobs if any, your mum had, what her hobbies were, any cooking or hair disasters you remember, favourite holiday destinations, how did she deal with difficult situations (most of us have a coping mechanism), could she sing or dance? Did she like her name, what siblings did she have, and if she had any siblings where was she in the pecking order. Did she roar with laughter, or did she grin, smile or stay poker faced? I am sure there are loads more things, but hope this gives you some help in remembering her and talking about her.

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I found taking on the sue ryder forum an absolute blessing. People on here understood how painful and raw it all feels. Personally, I found it too uncomfortable talk to a friend or neigbhour in person. I just didn’t want to fall to bits in front of them.
I loss my Mum suddenly and its been devestating. The people I’ve met on here have been truly wonderful.


Hello @Wong and thank you so much for your thoughts - they are really helpful and I’m thinking about writing down some answers to them, as a way of easing my way into talking about her. You’ve reminded me about how after one cooking disaster when she was newly-married, she threw out the meal she had made and said she would never cook for my dad again! She could be very impulsive and determined! She loved music and dancing, was a music and movement teacher for a while, and thought music in particular was a really important way to understand people. She was creative, vibrant, loved laughing, and had the gift of drawing people to her and making them feel so special. And that’s just such a small part of who she was.

Thank you - those questions have really helped my mum ‘live’ again in my mind, and sparked off so many memories again. That is truly a gift and I am grateful for it.

I hope you have found support on this site - I imagine being here means you are also grieving, and that is a hard and painful experience. At least here there is empathy and understanding for what we are all going through in our different ways.

Take care


Hello @Daffy123 I agree with you so much about this site. I’m so very sorry about your mum - as you say it is absolutely devastating and I know what you mean about falling to bits. I have also found though, that it very painful when people don’t want to talk to me about my mum - even people who know me - because I feel as though they are ignoring what she meant to me, if that makes sense.

I have been able to share some memories of my mum on this site, and have been met with such kindness. It helps to have this space to say things like I miss her so much, I can’t get my head around her not being here any more, and sometimes the weight of grief for her feels so heavy it hurts just to move. I call those times my rock times - I just want to crawl under a rock and wait until it passes again for a while.

It’s important to be able to share like this - thank you and keep sharing.

Take care

NPM, the person who asked, if you’d like talk about your Mum sounds like a kind person.
Many people don’t seem to know what to say to grieving people, unless they’ve experienced loss.
I understand the “crawling under a rock”. I was very happy to hide away indoors.
Make sure you take care of your health. Grief is terribly physically draining.

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@NPM I am glad it helped bring some memories back. I joined this site after my partner died, and it has been good to know that other people are feeling grief in similar ways, although we would not wish it on anyone. It helps me realise that I am either not going mad, or the majority of the people on here are going mad with me. I cannot really talk about my partner on here, but can talk face to face with people, and in fact feel the need to mention his name from time to time (we are all different with what we feel comfortable with). He was the other half of me, and I miss him dreadfully. However some people do seem uncomfortable when I mention him in face to face conversation. I think that is why I was so impressed that someone actually made the effort to suggest that you talk about your mum. That was a wonderful gesture. Your mum sounds like a very talented woman full of character. My parents died quite some years ago now. It was devastating! All sorts of things remind me of them as I go through life. You could give my mum a subject and she knew a song about it. I do notice my mum and dad in my own and my sister’s personalities and traits, and do love the fact that I feel that they live on in their children and grandchildren, and now their great grandchildren. Memory is a wonderful thing as it helps keep our loved ones in our hearts. I have fond memories of my grandparents too, and it only needs a word or expression to take me back through the years to being a young kid in one of their kitchens, probably getting in the way, but trying to help them cook.


I’m so sorry to read that you are here because your partner died @Wong. I remember when my dad died - my mum was in her 50s - and how acutely bereft she became. Everyone experiences loss and grief in a very personal way, and I can only say that she felt profoundly lonely without him, and I think perhaps always did. Even with children, and then later grandchildren, there was a place in her that was alone without dad. There were so many of life’s experiences she was never able to share with him, including their first grandchild (I was pregnant when he died) and I think it must have taken great strength of mind to learn to live - in a very different way - without him there with her.

To lose a partner is to lose so much of one’s own life narrative, shared experiences, hopes, plans - so much. I remember she used to say, when she did talk about it, that there was no-one after he died to remember the names, a face in a photograph, something funny or sad that only he would have known about. They met working in Africa, and came from very different backgrounds, and we lived an unconventional life in some regards. I think that made it hard for her afterwards, because she had to make a new life for herself with different people, somewhere she hadn’t lived for many years.

My siblings aren’t able yet to talk about mum, so in the weeks since she died I have rarely talked about her except to my husband. I miss her presence so much - her wit, her laugh, her wisdom when I need it - just the safeness of her being in the world. I get scared sometimes that I’ll forget things because I don’t talk about her. Because of the life we had, she was my reference for so many memories of places we lived, friends we had, even the pets we loved or the schools I went to. Unlike my husband, I can’t just drive to somewhere and say ‘that’s where we used to live’ or ‘that’s my primary school’ or ‘look that’s the park I used to play in’. Those places are all so far away, and without mum to remember them with it all seems so unreal now. And when I look through her photographs, she isn’t here to remind me, make it real again.

Sorry for the ramble - really we all just miss our loved people so much.

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@Daffy123 I agree that so often people don’t know what to say, or are uncomfortable to ask. Now that we can meet outside again, I met up with some friends last week - not one of them asked me about mum, even though we have known each other for over 25 years. I sat there feeling so awful, and felt that I couldn’t bring it up in case it made them feel bad - I just wanted to cry. I think now I also wasn’t ready for that sort of contact - even with a few people it felt too much.

I find sleeping is really hard, and even when I do sleep I still feel so tired. As you say, grief is such hard work, even when we’re not actively crying. It helps to work from home, so that I can take a break if I need to. Grief makes everything feel harder…

I have a photo of mum here in my office, and often I look at her and sometimes even say something to her - often I just ask why? She was a very resilient woman, and I imagine her telling me I will get through this. She lost her parents in her 40s and then her husband - my dad - in her 50s so she understood loss. I just she was here to talk to me about it. We miss our mums so much…


It sounds really positive that you are telling your story @Lonely - my mum wrote hers because we kept asking her to, and since she has died I have felt really grateful that I have a record of her life, which also includes some of the stories of our life as a family. One of my greatest senses of loss and heartache after she died was not being able to talk to her about things she had done, all the places we had lived as a family, holidays that we have been on when I was younger – so much family history went with her, and at least I have something to hold on to with her written account. My children - her grandchildren - also know her story, and we treasure it so much.

Take care and keep writing x

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