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Letting Go

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Hi all

I just want to raise a topic that I am finding very difficult at the mo. Just to recap my story for info, I have been on this board for a few months now, I lost my mum when I was 16 - that was 10 years ago - but I had completely blocked it out [i still don't know how I managed to not think about it for 10 years]. But anyway, I've been depressed pretty much that whole time and several months ago started going to counselling, and realised I had done no grieving for my mum. So the past 4 months have been very difficult with all the old grief that is coming up and totally disrupting my life, I had to take 2 months off work which has never happened to me before in my life, and started taking medication. I am having a few more good days now than I used to, but what I am finding is how on earth am I meant to let go of all the grief now? I keep thinking everytime I cry "ok thats it i've got it out of my system now, thats the last time I'll need to cry", but then another day comes and I'm just sad about it all over again. I miss her so much I just can't quite contain it, and I can't understand how I have ignored her for the past 10 years...

The most difficult thing at the moment though, is that she had a very unhappy life, she was depressed and agoraphobic from her teenage years, and then our little sister died and within five years of that she died of bowel cancer. The day of her funeal the minister giving his speech referred to her "hard life with agoraphobia" and that is the first time I had ever heard that word - I had no idea what it meant.

Most memories I have of her are ones where she is unhappy, sad looking - my dad had such a busy life with his job and church he was never in the house much and she had no friends - she always seemed so lonely. In a way this is making the grieving so much harder because I have so much sadness for her, that she was unhappy for most of her life, and I'm sure very lonely at times as she was housebound with very few visitors. One of my aunts said that she lived for us, for her children, thats all she lived for. But I am just so so upset that she had so much sadness and there is no way to help that now, and at the time I never understood why she was unhappy and thought I was doing something wrong. I tried my best to be good and help around the house but it never seemed to change it much. I realise now of course that it was not my fault and she wasn't taking any of her problems out on me, but as a child that is just what it felt like.

I just feel I have so much remorse for her past, but I cannot change it, how can I accept all her sadness and deal with it - so many people here on this board talk about their parent(s) and how wonderful and happy and great they were, and what great relationships they had with their parent(s) - but I never really had a great relationship, so I feel I have to grieve for what was not and what I will never have too. :( My mum certainly gave her all to us, for which I am eternally grateful, she knows that in her heart I am sure, but she just never seemed happy, not truly. And I am so angry that I was never told what was wrong with her and given the chance to understand or help. And now there are no chances. I didn't just want want to be a daughter, I wanted to be a friend.

How am I meant to let go of all this? :( Its so much pain

Thanks for listening.



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I'm so sorry that you are suffering like this and also that your Mum suffered too.

Unfortunately, sometimes adults make decisions to "not tell the children" and they do this with the very best intentions ... keep that thought. That said - I too would have been angry to have not been told. There's nothing like lack of information to feed the fear in a child's/adolescent's mind! Sometimes, their imagination runs riot, leading them to conclude something even worse is going on.

Please remember what you were told, that your Mum lived for her children and carry her in your heart.

It is so painful to see someone you love hurting and be powerless to make them feel better.

Keep up the counselling - it does help. I am a big advocate of it and have a connection with the lady that I see once a week. It has helped me so much, as has this board/forum. I'm just wondering if your counsellor is a bereavement counsellor because they all specialize in their own fields, just like clinical specialists do. It's worth checking.

Grieving is a very personal journey ... it can take some people a year, some 3 years, some 5 years, some a lot lot longer, till they regain some semblance of balance or normalcy in their lives. I don't believe that we ever "get over it" but that we eventually learn to live without those people that we love and miss. Don't push yourself. Remorse, regrets and guilt are part of grieving, and I have to say that this is my biggest demon. It visits me when I least expect it, and just as I think I have laid one thing to rest, it rears its ugly head again, and again and again.

Hang in there Rachael, we care and you can get through this, as unbelievable as that sounds right now.



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Hi Rachael,

You did what you could do at the time of your mum passing. I am sure we would all want to do just that much more. I lost my best friend recently, and I love her just as much now as before. Please take heart that you are strong and want to think about your mom and I am sure that you did your best at those times.

Thanks for your message, I will never ever forget my friend as I am sure you will never forget your mum.


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