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  1. Hi FireDragon, Thanks for the response. It's always comforting to hear from someone else that lost a parent at this stage in their life because it's... different. I haven't found anyone else in real life that relates so I'm happy to hear from you. I really feel the depression, separation anxiety, and abandonment issues kicking in now. I've been acting really recklessly and I can barely focus on much else but this new relationship I just started. Even though I know I should be taking time by myself to heal, it almost feels like I really can't emotionally deal without having someone else there as a crutch right now. I have my sister and I have my best friend, but there's an emotional connection missing with them. That, I don't know, I somehow think I can fill with a boy. I know I can't. Yet I still jumped into another relationship. I recognize the unhealthy behavior though. I was always pretty level-headed before my mom died but now that we're in that 8 month mark, I feel myself losing touch with the values I had when she was alive. It's almost like I'm a different person? Hard to describe. I've read that people act out of character when they're dealing with grief but actually being in that spot is different. It's like I'm self-aware enough to see the difference, but I don't have the emotional will to pull myself out of whatever rut I'm in. I'm caught between allowing myself to ride this through and feeling whatever it is I need to feel, making whatever mistakes I need to make. Or... I don't know. What is the alternative? If anyone who reads this is worried, I have gone back to grief counseling and I've disclosed all this to my counselor. We're working through it. Grief really does ebb and flow. It's hitting me hard these days and in ways nobody really knows how to understand or empathize with. I welcome anybody's insights. I'm just a little lost right now.
  2. Hi everyone 🙂 I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I've posted around in different topics so you may have seen me already. But a little backstory on my loss: My mom died of a sudden heart attack back in November of 2017. I was the one who tried to give her CPR while the paramedics were on the way. She was taken to the hospital. The doctor invited my sister and I into the room where the ER team was performing CPR on her. They tried for a good hour. Her heartbeat just wouldn't stay. It was my sister and I who had to tell the ER team not to resuscitate if her heartbeat faded again. (I rail that off like bullet points to a presentation now. It surprises me how swiftly I can tell someone about how the light of my life was distinguished.) My mother was my best friend. She was my rock, my strength, my inspiration. The reason I did anything. She gave up her life in the Philippines and came to America with almost nothing to give my sister and I better lives. My father was (and still is) abusive, emotionally manipulative, emotionally unavailable. Just... not a great person all around. I still live with him because there's nobody else out there to take care of him, but our relationship is strained. Or, tbh, almost non-existent. I'm trying to convince him to move back to the Philippines so both of us can live with more freedom. I entered a relationship with a guy about two weeks after my mom died even though, deep down, I knew my emotions were a mess and I wasn't ready for it. But I felt like I just really needed someone there to fill the void that was threatening to swallow up my life. He was a good distraction. He said all the right things, made promises that I realize now were all empty. He kept in contact during my entire trip to the Philippines for my mother's funeral and burial. He gave me the support I thought I needed. It was a short relationship but I fell deep and really felt like he was the one to stick around. (At a point he swore on my mom's grave that he'd always be there to take care of me now that she was gone. We also talked about how, maybe, she sent him down just for me because he came into my life at just the right time... It makes me scoff now thinking about it. Hah.) He ended up slowly distancing himself and stringing me along until I was the one that had to end it. He barely said a word. I posted about it on a thread in Loss of Love Relationship. It's been about seven months since my mom died and a couple months since my ex and I broke up. I still find myself completely heartbroken over it all, but moreso over my ex. It feels like it's been harder to get over that heartbreak than my mother's death. Which I don't think is true. I think I'm using my failed relationship as an emotional distraction for the grief I really need to face head on. But it all hurts just the same. My question in terms of behaviors in bereavement... (1) Has anyone who suddenly lost a close loved one felt like the depression really settled in more than six months after the actual loss? Directly after my mom's death, I was just numb. Now that's worn off and feelings of devastation seem to wash over me throughout the day. I can't control it. It feels like a mixture of panic, and grief, and heartbreak. (2) For anyone who has lost a parent while in their 20s: has anyone found that they suddenly have the urge to be in a relationship? I never cared about being in a relationship before. I enjoyed dating and being in relationships, but I never had the deep guttural need to have someone there before. I can chance a guess that it's related to the abandonment I feel now that my mother is gone, but I'm wondering if anyone else can directly relate. I never wanted to get married or have children before, but now they're both at the forefront of my mind. (3) Has anyone else in grief felt that they really wanted to have a connection with someone, but also felt that they are too broken to really develop anything real? It's a strange contradiction. I'm very careful about the guys I let into my life now. I tell people honestly that I'm still trying to heal from a lot of loss and I'm not ready for a relationship. But, deep down, I really feel like I need a connection with someone. But I also feel like I'm so confused about my emotions most days that nobody should have to deal with the mess that's swirling inside my head. I want to make connections but I also feel like I'm not worthy of anything real. I've read a lot of articles about how losing a parent in your 20s, on the cusp of adulthood, is different from grieving a parent while in your adolescence or later in life. It's been difficult and I find that it feels even more difficult now, about seven months since she's been gone. Anyway, I feel like I've rambled a bit but I hope I got it all out. I'd love to hear people's insight. Thanks for taking the time to read through all this!
  3. Hi kphil, I'm sorry you're going through this. A lot of us on this forum know how difficult it is. I lost my mother very suddenly at the end of last year so I understand, to a degree, what your boyfriend may be going through. Right after my mother's death, once I got over the shock of it, I reached out for love and support and started a relationship. I felt very vulnerable and needed someone there. That relationship ended and, to my dismay, he was the one that suddenly cut contact with me. (I still don't know why. Maybe my grief was too much for him to handle.) It's been months since my mom died and now I feel like I'm not ready for a relationship and I don't know when I ever will be. It's a strange offset of grief, at least in my experience. At first, I felt like I needed to invest in all my relationships and make the most out of them. In time, it's begun to feel like I need to protect myself and those I love from loss like I experienced. Deep down, sometimes it feels like I'm too broken to love or be loved. I am not saying for certain that this is how your boyfriend feels or why he decided to do what he did, but perhaps it gives you a little comfort to know that it really isn't you. He is dealing with his own issues. Grief is difficult -- perhaps the most difficult thing in life to deal with. It hurts that he can't be with you right now and it's going to continue to hurt. I don't want to make excuses for that kind of pain, but I do want to express that in the initial months after a huge loss like a parent passing away, it's hard to even grasp your own emotions. KayC and Rae1991 have already made excellent points as to how this break up is about his issues and not you. And that you should focus on your own journey now. Coming from a person who was in your boyfriend's position, I know how difficult it is to expend emotional energy on a relationship when all you feel inside is broken and lost. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry he may feel that way. I'm sorry his way of coping with his grief is to distance himself from the relationships that means the most to him. I'm sorry grief has worked this way in his life. I wish it wasn't so difficult for you and for him. I understand how much you're hurting. A lot of us here do. It feels almost impossible the first few days. It's been two months since I broke up with the guy I dated after my mom died. Our relationship wasn't long but it held so much emotional weight. It's been two months and I still think about him. I still miss him. And that's okay. In terms of coping with the break up now, I would say to respect his wishes. He needs space and time to figure out the mess of emotions inside of him. It's going to feel impossible and it's going to hurt on most days, but it's healthier to respect his boundaries. Also respect your limits. If it'll hurt too much to see him at his birthday party, don't go. Look out for your own emotional well-being. Protect your energy. It helps to focus on yourself, your hobbies, your friends, your journey. It helps to try new things, to keep yourself occupied, to journal your feelings to get them out. It helps to let yourself be sad when you're sad. It helps to feel all your emotions so you can process them, work through them, and let them go. It helps to talk to people -- your friends, your parents, maybe a professional who can help you through the really difficult days. Don't keep your emotions bottled up. Write them out or tell someone. Tell us. This all helps. But it doesn't make it easier. Break ups are always hard, especially if you aren't the one who made the decision to end the relationship. It hurts even more when you just want to be there for that person because you love them and you can see that they're struggling. Perhaps when he has started to heal and he's ready, you two will reconnect but I wouldn't place all my hopes on that possibility. It's not fair to you to be held in this grey zone. It's harder to heal when you don't know for certain where the relationship is (or isn't). If it's possible, I hope you can honestly communicate to him that it hurts to not be certain where the relationship is. Please do not let him place the relationship on hold indefinitely. That would be too painful for the both of you. If it's possible to have an open, honest discussion on his intentions for the relationship and your intentions maybe you can outline a timeline. Say, "For the next three months we will be separated. We won't contact each other and we will give each other space. In three months, we will reconnect and decide whether or not we are both invested and committed to continuing the relationship." Place limits and boundaries on this 'break' if he wants to be with you later, after he's healed. That would depend on whether he is open to a discussion like this. Sometimes this puts too much pressure on someone in grief. In any case, I wish you the best. I'm sorry it's so painful. During the most difficult days, I like to remind myself that all I have to do is make it through the next second. Second after second. Just breathe and keep going. Remember that you always have a place to express yourself here.
  4. Hi Lothar, I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation. It's difficult. I wanted to give my own perspective as someone who lost a parent. In the first few days, weeks, and months after the loss it is extremely difficult. Losing my mother was the most devastating thing to ever happen to me. I lost her suddenly, but I can't even imagine how difficult it is for those who must deal with their parents being terminally ill. From my experience, it was hard to work through my own emotions after my mother's death. Half the time I didn't want to feel anything. The other half, I didn't know how to express how sad or angry or numb I was to anyone. I withdrew into my own world because it was too emotionally exhausting to have to deal with anything / anyone else other than my own grief. I hope you do understand that grief is a heavy, heavy beast and everyone processes differently. I am sorry she pulled away from you when you wanted to support her the most. I know it's difficult to deal with someone cutting contact with you. After my mom died and I moved on from the shock, I reached out for support and starting dating a new guy. I was the opposite of what a lot of other posters deal with on this forum. I didn't push anyone out. I sought to find love and acceptance and support, like that I had with my mother. Unfortunately, he ended up leaving me with barely a word as well. I was left with the grief of my mother's death and the grief of my boyfriend leaving me too. It was hard to deal with. I relate to how much you're struggling. The first few weeks are the worst. You think about them constantly and you convince yourself that if you just reach out, if you had just done this or that differently in the past -- they would still be in your life. It takes time to work through these emotions. But the sad truth of it is: if this person wanted to be in your life, they would be there. It will take time to process your own grief, for the relationship that could have been. It takes time to heal from a broken heart. Please take time to focus on yourself. Reach out to friends, focus on a pasttime you love, discover new music, write in a journal to release all your feelings. Anything that keeps you going. Sometimes that means just letting yourself be extremely sad. It's healthy to feel all these devastating emotions so you can work through them and let them go. Her father just recently passed so she is in intense grief at the moment. I would send her a short text like, "I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope you're doing okay." and leave it at that. If she wants to reconnect, she will when she is ready. She needs time to work through her grief on her own. When I was going through the grief of losing my mom then dealing with my break up a few months afterward, a friend told me "In times like this, it isn't that people change. They just unfold and show you who they truly are." She is reacting and processing her grief in the only ways she is able to at the moment. Unfortunately, that means withdrawing from close friendships/relationships. If she asks for space, that's what she needs. Maybe in time after she has started to heal you will reconnect. But I would not focus all your hope on that possibility. I would send her well wishes during a very difficult time and focus on your own journey. It will be difficult. But you will get through it. Good luck. There's a lot of people here cheering you on.
  5. Hi Blue Captain, I would love to visit her resting place but we actually laid her to rest in the Philippines, her home country. She lived half of her life in the United States with us but we always knew she wanted to be buried where she grew up. I think that's also the reason it's been difficult. As much as I'd like to go to her grave and visit her, she's seventeen hours away. Thank you for the suggestion though 🙂 And thanks to everyone else who's responded. It's really comforting to hear from you all ❤️
  6. Hello 🙂 My mom passed away back in November. She was in her early 60s and died very suddenly of a heart attack. I have been trying to deal with her death and process the grief as much as possible, but of course there are times where it's very difficult. I know for a fact the month of May is going to be extremely hard for me because Mother's Day (May 13th) is only days before her birthday (May 16th). I have gone through milestones without her already. She died in early November and just days later I had my 24th birthday, but I was so numb at that point I could not truly feel anything -- physically or emotionally. I've gone through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my sister's birthday without her. I noticed that, as time passes, the numbness of grief has slowly faded and the holidays and milestones seem to get harder and harder. Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went, but I very much felt the physical effects of grief and depression during my sister's birthday (April 5th). I was incredibly lethargic, could not concentrate at work, and got frequent jaw aches/headaches. I'm feeling these exact same things settling in again as Mother's Day and Mom's Birthday approaches. I know it will be difficult either way, but I was wondering if anyone who has lost their mother, or a parent or grandparent, has any advice on dealing with holidays like this? I've already requested her birthday off from work because I know I will not be able to hold it together or be productive in the least bit. I've been speaking with my grief counselor . I've also been journaling and will start to practice mindful exercises. But if anyone has advice or can even share their own experiences of their first mother's day without their mom and how they dealt with it, I would love to hear. Just to know I'm not alone in what I'm feeling.
  7. Thanks for your responses, Rae! It's great to hear from someone that's dealt with a similar situation. In retrospect, his emotional unavailability does make a lot of sense now. There are things from his past that he never resolved and never wanted to resolve, and it shows in the nature of his relationships now. It's also interesting that you and I, Rae, went through similar things with our fathers being emotionally unavailable because of their traumatic childhoods. Perhaps that's why we are drawn to partners that are EU, but I don't want to psycho-analyze or oedipize that much. Lol. I will definitely dive into that Ted talk later tonight after work. It's been comforting beyond words to be able to get perspective from people who have had loss or who also have experience with EU people. Most of the people in my life can't provide advice from these perspectives because they've never experienced it before. So, thank you again.
  8. Hi all, Update: It's been about two weeks since I ended things with him and I was on a pretty good path to recovering from the break up, until two nights ago when I found out he has already started seeing another girl. After ghosting me and using "I'm not in the right state to be a relationship right now..." as the lie/excuse for his behavior, he was already with someone new. I was fuming and all the anger I had avoided expressing to him (in an effort to end things on a civil note) flew out the window. I ended up sending him a very long message about how angry and hurt I was, and he should have just been upfront and ended things with me if he wasn't invested anymore instead of stringing me along until I was forced to walk away. That I cared about him and my only intention was to love him and that he knows I don't deserve the way he treated me. That, for some reason, I still cared about him but I was completely done now. Then I wished him good luck working through his issues (with more than a few expletives thrown in there, I'll be honest). I immediately regretted it after I sent the text. Literally seconds after pressing SEND I lambasted myself for doing it. Called up a close friend, showed them the text, and cried for hours over how hurt, and angry, and stupid I felt. And maybe it's because I did still have a little bit of hope that things could still work out between us and now I was forced to face the reality that I fell for someone that wasn't as invested as I was. I received my first response from him in weeks. After a couple hours he replied with a very short, "Okay. I got it." It was a strange mixture of feeling as though I had been punched in the gut but also like I knew it all along. In the back of my mind, I always had a hunch that he disappeared because he was just an emotionally unavailable person who did not have the empathy to address my feelings head on. So he avoided confrontation and just disappeared. In any case, it hurt like hell. But I'm writing here to show anyone that might be going through the same thing that I didn't ride off into the sunset after my last post. Things got worse for me emotionally but it's still okay. I'm working through it. (And you'll get through it too.) Even though I tried to leave everything on a positive note, I felt it more important and healthy for me to vent out my frustrations. Perhaps he was dealing with things emotionally and is jumping from relationship to relationship as an emotional crutch. Maybe that is the case and I feel for him and hope he works through his issues in a healthy way. But I could not move on unless I got things off my chest. I don't regret being honest with him and contacting him one last time. I now feel like I've said my piece and I can leave things as is. Now I feel like I have closure and it was the kind of closure I really needed: closure I created for myself. I am still grateful that he was in my life during a very difficult time and gave me support when I needed it. I am also still angry and hurt, but I'm working through these emotions so as not to harbor any bitterness. Forgiveness is essential to emotional freedom, I think. And in time I will forgive him for the pain; not because he deserves it but because I deserve the peace. And at the end of the day, his issues are his own. I am trying and working through my emotions every day to remind myself that it is not my fault that he was/is/will continue to be an emotionally unavailable person. Moving forward, I know not to ignore red flags and to instill boundaries. I've been speaking to my grief counselor regularly. I've been taking anti-depressants, going out with friends that put positivity into my days, and I'm speaking openly and honestly about my emotions (something that I never used to do). Even though the last few months since my mom passed have been an insane roller coaster ride of emotions and mental acrobats, I am at a place where I am growing, and learning, and processing my pain instead of suppressing it. I am proud of that. Though it hurts like hell on some days, there are also days where I look up at the sky and can't help but smile. I am not a religious person but I do believe in the beauty of the universe, and perhaps in some way my mother's energy is still here helping me learn valuable lessons of self-love and self-worth. I'm taking just taking it day by day. Wow, this is long. Sorry! But thank you again for all the replies to this thread. I've been reading through other topics on the forum and it has been wonderful to witness such empathy, kindness, and care.
  9. I'm so glad my message helped in some way! I will definitely try what you suggested as well. I only recently started writing letters to my mom after my grief counselor suggested it and it has made me feel a lot better to be able to tell her all the new things going on in my life, in some way. Planting something in her name and taking care of it seems like a great idea as well. Thank you! Sending love and best wishes your way. Good luck with the wedding planning ♡
  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's been about a month since you posted so I'm not sure if you're still on the forum and if you'll see this, but I hope you know you aren't alone in what you're going through. My mom passed very suddenly back in November. It seemed like she was fine one second and then she was gone. Like you, I cried hysterically when it first happened but afterwards went completely numb. I went back to work a few days later and everyone thought it was strange "how well I was dealing with it" as well. I'm not an expert at grief or its stages, but I can say I shared a similar experience. It didn't seem real that she was gone so in order to protect my own emotional well-being, I think I numbed myself and didn't feel anything at all. I do think that's a normal reaction to grief. It's been almost five months since she passed and I can say it does get less difficult. Everyone kept telling me "it gets easier with time" but I noticed that they were people who had never experienced the loss of a parent they were close to. Time definitely does its work in lessening the weight of grief, but I won't say it gets easier living without your mom or dad. It gets less difficult. What helped me through the most difficult periods was allowing myself to feel however I felt and not judging my emotional reactions. If I was numb, I was numb. If I felt devastated, I would cry. If I was angry, I would let it out. Every emotion possible will sweep through you and that's okay. Just work through it at your own pace. I assume you'll be getting married next month and I hope the best for you! I had my 24th birthday only days after my mom passed so I know it isn't easy going through major life events without a parent. But I hope you do find joy in the day with loving people around you. Your dad is in some form still with you, whether spiritually if you are that sort of person or in your memories and in the memories of the people who love you and who loved him.
  11. Thank you for your replies! It's been a tough week since I ended things but I've since unfollowed him on all social media. I've been reading up on how to cope, process, and grow after a painful break up, and have spent a lot of time investing in myself and the people in my life that have been supportive and loving and present. I feel a lot better now. I've accepted that some things just don't work out. And thank you IHurtToo for phrasing it as, "He was in your life for a season." Some people come in your life to teach you lessons; they're not there to stay. I'm grateful for the time we had together and for his support. I still miss him in a lot of ways, but I'm not angry or bitter. Since my mom died, I think I have been very desperate for closure and it initially really freaked me out that he left without closure too. But that's life. He has his reasons for walking away and I don't think it's my duty or responsibility to try to figure it out. I truly feel like even if he were to reconnect and we discussed why things ended the way they did, I still would not have closure. I'd still have questions. I always will. Now, I'm at peace with not having the answers. I'm grateful that I had him in the ways I did. We're no longer a part of each other's lives and that's okay. I wish him the best. Thank you all for your replies again. I reached out during a really hard time and reading what you all had to say gave me so much comfort. While I'm taking the time to heal, the only committed relationship I'll be investing in for a while will be with myself.
  12. Hi! I signed up for an account after reading through a similar thread about people losing a loved one then consequently cutting their significant others off, almost without warning. Strangely the opposite thing has happened with me. My mother died suddenly of a heart attack in November of 2017. I met this guy about two weeks after her death and was swept up into a relationship. I was the one that was very distant at first because I didn't feel emotionally ready to commit to someone and I didn't want to hurt him. After about two months dating, I decided I really was falling for him. He was kind. He was supportive. He gave me space when I told him I needed it, but always gently reminded me that he was there if I need anything. Maybe I was searching for someone to fill in a void that was left after my mom died. Everything was going well. We texted all the time, saw each other often, sometimes even talked on the phone at night until we both fell asleep. I told him multiple times about how I felt like I had abandonment issues because my mom left so suddenly and I was afraid he would do the same. He promised he would always be there. We talked about meeting each other's families and started planning trips to different cities together. Then February came around and things changed. He started to become very distant. I told him I felt this change and he repeatedly said he was fine and I shouldn't read too much into it. I called him one night in February to ask what was really going on because I could tell something was off, and he finally told me that he was going through something mentally. "It's something I tend to do," he said. "i'll be with someone and then I'll just disappear. I implode on myself. I can't help it." I asked him how long this usually lasts. He said months at a time. I asked him to talk to me since he helped me through my mom's death and I wanted to be there for him too. He said it's not something he would ever talk to me about. I asked him what he wanted me to do. He said he needed distance. I asked if we were done and he said no, he just needed time. It hurt, especially since we'd been on such a good path and he had given me so much comfort through a really difficult time. It was frustrating that he wouldn't "let me" be there for him since I knew what it like to feel alone and in a bad spot mentally. We went from talking everyday to almost no contact in a span of a week. I think my abandonment issues kicked in and suddenly it was all I could think about. I wondered if he was doing this because he was just done with the relationship but didn't want to be the one to break it off because he knew I was fragile since my mom's death. So, after about two weeks of no contact I texted him and told him it wasn't good for my own mental health to have silence between us like this. He said he was sorry he couldn't be faster or stronger getting through his issues. I felt guilty and told him that I was sorry, and that I loved him, and I would continue waiting for him until he was ready. But if he wanted the relationship to end he could just tell me and I would understand. No response. But it really was killing me, to lose my mother then lose this guy too. It seemed like one second they were in my life and the next they weren't and there was no closure from either of them. (There never will be for my mom. I get that.) His birthday was a few days ago and I had been stewing in my feelings for a long time. He and I were technically still "together" but it was like I was dating a ghost. No returns on texts and ignored calls. It hurt that I couldn't spend the day with him. So I told him that I really couldn't stand the situation we were in, that I missed him too much, and it hurt too much not to have him there. I thanked him for helping me through my mom's death and told him he would probably never know how much he meant to me. I said I felt lucky to have gotten to know him the way I did. Said I would stop waiting for him to come back to me since it seemed like he wasn't in the right state to be in a relationship. Wished him luck in healing on his own. Again, no response. I unfollowed him on all social media, deleted our texts conversations, deleted our pictures, changed his name on in my phone. I knew I needed a clean break and I thought he would do the same. But then I realized he kept following me and checking up on my social media posts (you can see who views your instagram and snapchat stories). In a moment of weakness(?) I added him back on instagram and snapchat and we've both been keeping up with each other's posts. I understand that he wants space and I know I need to respect that. I haven't tried to contact him and, though my resolve weakens sometimes, I don't plan to anytime soon. But... I still have hope that he'll reconnect and we can work it out. I know I should just get a clean break from him and stop checking up on him on social media, but I still miss him terribly and almost can't help myself. i don't post statuses about him. I don't talk about the break up at all on social media. But I do check up on him constantly. Granted it's only been a week so maybe it's normal. What I wanted to get perspective on is... How do I go about healing and moving on? I know there are many people on this forum who have experienced their s/o leaving them after a death of a loved one and they could use grief as reasoning. But I am the one in grief. And the grief has actually made me want to reach out to him even more. He was one of the only sources of comfort during the most difficult time in my life and not having him there has been kind of devastating. I'm angry that he would leave after everything I told him about my abandonment issues, but I also understand my grief is not his burden. I don't know. I've gone through two losses in the span of months and some days it does feel overwhelming. I'd just like tips on keeping peace within myself and, maybe, a reality check that I need to let this guy go. How do I let him go? How did you all focus on yourselves and invest in the good things in your life? How do you deal on bad days?
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