When will it feel real?

My 63 year old Mum died 3 weeks ago, we were incredibly close and although I’m sad, I feel like I’m coping too well if that makes sense.

Mum was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in summer, she tried chemo, but it didn’t work so in December she was told she had 3-6m. I’ve been devastated every day since her diagnosis, in fact I think my grief was harder to manage when she was still here.

15 days before she died we were told the cancer had spread significantly, 5 days later she couldn’t walk and had to have a bed and camode brought in and I moved in to care for her. 10 days after this she was gone. I knew it was coming, in the last few days I told her it was OK to go and I was there with her when she died. I felt relief it was over for her, she was independent and didn’t like needing to be looked after, and instead of feeling devastated I felt peace when she took her last breath…I’ve had so much to sort I’ve not had time to fall apart, and now I have time I feel numb. I keep saying it over and over again, Mum is gone, mum has died so that it sinks in.

I’m scared by how I don’t feel…I’m sad, I miss her terribly but I don’t think it’s sinking in, and I’m scared of what it will be like for me when it hits me…have I already grieved in anticipation or is it coming. I feel guilty its not coming…

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Hi KP82,

I can understand what you say. For me it feels a bit like jumping up and down levels. I’m not sure if I’ve hit the bottom yet, and not sure when it will happen, or what that means!

I hear that in the early stages the ‘numbness’ wears off and then it changes again, we’ll have to see I guess.

Sorry for your loss.

Merrin x

Hi Merrin

I’m sorry for your loss also xx

I guess I just expected to fall apart, but as you describe there’s a sort of numbness…I arranged the funeral, I’ve sorted her affairs and I thought once I’d done that it would really hit me but there is still a surealness about it that I can’t quite explain.

My Mum was a strong woman, and experienced great loss in her life also, I must have some of her strength because something is keeping me going.

Take care x

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I can identify with a lot of what you’ve said. There’s nothing wrong with the way your grief is affecting you.

My Mum and I found out she was ill 8 weeks before she passed. We thought she would have had longer. I was with her, I told her it was ok to let go. I was devastated but relieved for her as she would have hated to go on in that way. She was always fit and well and so strong and independent, even though she was 83 she was truly amazing with the zest and energy of someone half her age.

Like you I grieved for her while she was still here and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t wasted the time and just relished that she was here instead of worrying and being so upset…but at the time, I couldn’t see beyond the fact that I was going to lose her.

I fluctuate between total devastation and being unable to stop crying to days of numbness where I question what’s wrong with me and why can’t I feel anything. I’ve learned that this is normal, that everyone grieves differently and there really is no right or wrong. I believe the numb days are my brain’s way of protecting me.

Don’t over analyse how you feel, just go with it and do what is right for you. Just because you aren’t crying doesn’t mean you don’t miss your Mum or that you’re not grieving ‘properly’. Don’t worry about what may happen, just take one day at a time.

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My dad died going on for 3 months ago from COVID and sometimes it still doesn’t feel real. I alternate between acting normal and feeling extreme grief and desolation. I think for us until the funeral it absolutely didn’t seem possible. Even the funeral was so surreal bc of restrictions… but until the funeral I expected him to turn up at home. The night before the funeral I dreamt he came home complaining about the hospital experience. We all dreamt of him the night before the funeral.

I hope you are taking care of yourself after taking such good care of your mum and that you have a support network

Hi @sabreese,

I had something very similar the funeral made his death seem permanent.

I lost my partner of 21 years 5 weeks ago it seems really difficult like some sort of grief blanket wants to land on me and then I push it away and it keeps coming back. I’m not in denial but those times when I’m feeling a little bit OK I know what’s to come and it’s very difficult isn’t it.

That alternate situation, it tortourous.

I hope you’re all having an ok day.

Merrin x

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Hi really feel for you love i lost my dad in november and mum in february i still cant face not seeing them both again keep going to phone to ring my mum up for a chat so i know it not sunk in yet and what will it feel like when it does sending love and hugs to you allxxx


Can definitely imagine the phoning up for a chat thing. How very hard :frowning:
I am so sorry for your loss.
Sending love to you at such a dark time x

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Thank you lovelyxxxx

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Hi Merrin, I am so sorry to hear that, how awful. I completely relate to the blanket analogy. I also would not say I’m in denial, I acknowledge what’s happened but only at times, it’s too hard to let it rest all the time. It is so difficult, very up and down, and what a mixture of emotions.

Hope you are having an OK day yourself, take care

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