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Delayed Grief

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My dad died 19 years ago yesterday....why did it hit me so hard? I came across this term called "delayed grief". Despite my efforts to protect myself from the pain of losing my parents by postponing my grief, it is the love I have for them that requires me to mourn for them. The pain doesn't "go" anywhere it has just been lying there in my heart, waiting for me to deal with it.

A little history here. My mom died suddenly when I was 4 from a heart condition. My grandma died by suicide when I was 14. My dad died from a drowning accident when I was 15. My grandpa died when I was 20. My other grandpa died when I was 29. My uncle died by suicide when I was 30. My husband has also lost 3 of his grandparents and a close aunt since we have been married over the past 14 years. I have experienced a lot of death in my life. People would comment on how well I handled it and how well I turned out. The truth is that I never dealt with my grief. I never handled it, I just denied it. Now that I am older and more mature, it is starting to "come out" all the time. Mothers day is awful. The 24th of July (which is a big holiday in Utah) was awful. Everything that reminds me of my parents makes me sad and cry. Has anyone else experienced this? I thought I was going crazy because my grief has lied dormant for so many years and is now demanding that I deal with it. I have horrible nightmares and I am constantly afraid that something bad will happen to my 4 children. Any thoughts????

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hi mykenzysmom,

I am so sorry for all the losses you have had.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the fact that your Dad's anniversary hit you so hard. I am only 7 months into the loss of my Dad and in the depths of my heart and soul I know it will hit me hard every single year. I don't think it matters that it's 19 years, the simple fact is this is your Dad, your parent and like you say I think the pain doesn't go anywhere. Maybe sometimes we let the pain in more than other times but I think we always have it.

I don't know much about delayed grief because this hit me from the moment it happened and I have been grieving. But it is never ever too late to talk about it, let the pain in, allow yourself to cry, to feel whatever you feel.

Of course Mothers Day is hard for you, your Mom is not here with you to celebrate and therefore it brings so much sadness.

You are definitely not going crazy, grief certainly makes us feel that way and the fact that you say you feel you've denied your grief is why you feel now it's making you go crazy. But just know that you are not, everything you feel is normal, it does not matter that you lost each of these people years ago.

All I can say to you is maybe do some reading and research on grief, it may just let you know that all you think and feel is normal. I had no clue what was happening to me when this first happened. I had lost 2 aunts, my grandmother before that I was extremely close to but none of those loses could even compare to what happened to me losing my Dad. I truly thought I was losing my mind, it was frightening, daunting and I didn't know what was happening. So I googled lots, read as much as I could about grief and slowly I realised I was perfectly normal, there was and is nothing wrong with me, I am simply grieving, aching and longing for my Dad and trying my best to be in a world without him.

You will find so many kind people here, feel free to share your feelings, your thoughts, your questions with us. This site has been and continues to be a lifeline for me.

sending (((HUGS)))) to you,


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Thanks Niamh for taking the time to reply to your post. I am very sorry about the loss of your father as well. I know that the first year is very tough...there are so many reminders around. Thanks for the kind advice. I will do some research. It really helped just to write down my feelings somewhere. I have never sought out any kind of grief counseling because I have always been able to function in life fairly well without it....but it does help to hear from others who have gone through losing a parent.

Good luck to you and HUGS back!!!!! :lol:

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