When you can't let go ...

This might apply to a lot of people mourning … a counselor wants me to start saying instead of my parents, “my late parents” to get my mind into the present.

I was an only child not married … but I am not weird, I promise. I just never met the One.

I was very attached to my gorgeous loving mother and father. We were a trio. I was very shy, to boot. Anyhow, I just wondered if anyone might agree, if you are in a mental space where you are trying to move on in life, about forcing oneself into the present.

I think I still could meet someone and have a life. I had a boyfriend … but that is old history.

Would anyone agree that it is healthy? I have a lot of deep sadness that I would leave my mom and dad in the past … but the counselor says it is stopping me from moving forward.

I just have nothing … and my memories of them are my only comfort. I try for a new career but rebuilding a life takes time … especially these days.

I just really struggle leaving them in the past. Though dead, they are all that I have. I told her I would try.

Does anyone else understand how I might be reluctant. Thank you.


Hello Berit.
Sorry, don’t agree with your Therapist.
It all sounds a bit brutal. Probably well-meaning, but brutal nonetheless.
Struggling badly today, lost my Mum 9 weeks ago. Feels like 9 months ago so can’t write a lot.
There are several grief therapies a lot less harsh such as “continuing bonds” to name just one as I read of on the excellent site “What’s Your Grief” and “AfterTalk.”. You never know, her advice may work for you, but for me personally it’s too stark. I lost my Husband 5 years ago and still wouldn’t use that term. If it’s something you think may help you, you could always try, but don’t be persuaded unless you are sure.
I wish you kindness and compassion Berit.



If you are weird then so am I as I too am single and unmarried and have no biological children but I am lucky to have a fantastic goddaughter and two adopted nieces that I could not love anymore had they been mine.

Circumstances saw mum and I to live together and I never and will never regret it and I cherish all my memories and photos.

I personally totally disagree with your therapist keeping labelling them as ‘late’. You unfortunately are all too aware they have passed and don’t constantly need to be reminded of that everytime you want to talk about them. Moving forward as you said takes time, probably even longer these days with all this covid stuff.
When you choose to move forward will be when you feel ready and not because of how you describe your parents. I think that’s nonsense personally.

Do what you feel is right for you when you feel it. You have listened to your therapist and you have taken it on board.

Hope your weekend is finding you ok,

Suzanne x



Sorry to hear your struggling today and it’s 10 weeks since I lost my mum and I’ve been having a couple of bad days too this week. It’s like reality of them not returning is just hitting home and at times that realisation is overwhelming and just so lonely. I’m doing ok just now so will take it whilst it lasts :crossed_fingers:

Always here if you ever want to talk.

Take care,

Suzanne x

1 Like

Hello Suzanne

Been reading a lot on here and between 7-10 weeks seems to have a common theme, as you mention, realisation I think.

Hope your weekend remains calm, and likewise, always here to chat.



Hi Berit,

This is why I hated bereavement counselling.

I had 6 sessions and they made me feel worse. My counsellor made me say ‘it would be nice if my mum was still here’ instead of ‘my mum should still be here’

It felt so patronising. Who goes around saying ‘my late parents’ ?
What are they late for?

I’ve lost both parents and it wouldn’t make you move into the present by saying the word late.

I have survived this by getting enjoyment in small things. Exercise, a good book or tv drama, a glass or two of wine.

I know full well what the present entails but I can’t help thinking about the past every day

Cheryl x


Hi Berit
My wife passed on Christmas Day 2020 and I was offered counselling after a few weeks from our doctor’s practice. I had the obligatory 3 sessions and then passed on any more. I did not want anyone to get inside my head and mess with my memories of Elaine. Sod your counsellor, grieve in your own way, don’t leave your parents in the past, they are yours to remember anyway or anytime you want to, this site is full of the best free support and advice you will find anywhere. I have stopped crying as much but still watch soppy movies and then the tears flow when I see the couple set for a romantic life ever after.
Stay safe and be strong. Gordon


I have a question @berit: has your counselor ever lost a loved one?


We must treasure our memories of our loved ones. Treasure them and hold them close always. Look at photo’s, videos or whatever you have.
You must grieve as you need to grieve. I don’t think your therapist is right


It seems that all of the kind people who replied feel it is OK to carry your lost beloved handily in your pocket, in your heart, to know that they are always there and always by your side.

I think I understand that if one dwells in the past you are lost to the past when I do have some time to move forward. But I cannot say “late parents” no, not at all.

My mom and dad are my mom and dad until I die. They are here now, though not physically, they are me and I am them and always in my heart.

So I do appreciate your sentiments as this is the only way I can handle what seems to be a quite harsh world.

Thank you.


I am so sorry, Suzanne. I know you might feel … It is so hard! Ten weeks is very little. Be tender with yourself, as I am sure you know how to do.

1 Like