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4 weeks this week since my Nonna passed away from Cancer

Community Member

It will be 4 weeks this week since my Nonna passed away from Cancer. A day/night that has changed my life forever. 

On her last day, so many family members came in and out to visit her and say their final goodbyes. It wasn't until dinner time that most family members went home to get dinner, leaving only Me, My Mum and My Sister with my Nonna. All day I just wanted to sit by her side, hold her hand and just watch her and I finally got the chance. It was at this time that my Mum said some words to her mum(my Nonna). She also said to her that it was ok for her to let go and be at peace. Within 5 minutes of Mum saying that she passed away. 

I was holding my Nonna's hand when she passed away. I remember her breathing changing and knowing that she was going to pass away soon. I always thought that I would be so scared to be in a situation like that, but I felt so calm. The moment she stopped breathing everything went silent and I could feel this sensation through me. When the nurses came to fix her up before family came back I didn't want to leave her side. I knew she was gone but I just felt this need to protect her.. 

During the week after she passed away My sister and I helped mum with some funeral arrangements(Picking clothes out for Nonna to wear, Music, Photos, Eulogy). The day of the funeral came and my boyfriend and I were busy making sure the music was right, that the photo presentation went right and I'm not sure if it was because I was pre occupied that I didn't cry much on the day.

We are now going on 4 weeks since she passed and I still haven't cried much. I don't know if that is normal or not. Some family members say that when she passed away she gave me the gift of her strength(which was that sensation I felt), some say it takes time and some say it could be because I haven't accepted it. I have moments where I feel like I am a terrible person because I am not grieving for her like others. 

Since she passed I feel like I have to be strong for Mum, My sister and other family members because they need the most support. I feel like when it's my time to mourn I will do so. Not a day goes by where I haven't thought about her, sometimes it still feels surreal that she has gone. My heart aches with so much sadness. I just don't know if it's normal to not cry over someone who You loved so much and had 28 wonderful years with.

I don't know if I am in denial about it all, stronger then others at the moment, or am still trying to process it all and in time it will hit me.

I would love to hear opinions or from other people who may feel the same way. 

4 Replies 4

Community Member

Dear Neeky, it is very difficult to lose a loved one. We all grieve in different ways. Unless you grief gets in the way of you managing your life, doing the things you  need to do and your relationships  in an ongoing way, it falls well within the usual realms of people's expereince. If it does start doing that it is worth seeing your Gp to arrange somebody to speak to and get some support.

Your Nonna sounds like she was very special to you.  Process it all in your own time, and don't be too concerned about how you process it unless it starts to really get in the way of your life and relationships.

The moderators

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Neeky, what a lovely person you are, to literally hold your Nanna's hand through the process of her passing away.

This is such an important event that you will never ever forget, and by not crying doesn't mean that you aren't grieving for her, you are, I can tell it from the way you have written your post.

For you to stay with her definitely shows the love and devotion you had for your Nanna, and because you aren't crying doesn't mean that you aren't grieving.

We all have different ways to grieve and crying doesn't have to be a prerequisite to show the loss we feel.

My Mum was in a nursing home for about 10 awful years, she hated it at the beginning and I also hated her being there.

I do remember in the early days of her being there, there was only her and myself, at  this stage she was mentally OK, but couldn't walk, and she looked me in the eye and said to me, 'darling please put a pillow over me', and I said that I can't, and I am sorry.

The day of her death most of the family were standing at her bed, but she hadn't spoken for a year or so, probably longer, her eyes were closed, and then suddenly she opened her eyes and looked around, and then she passed away.

I didn't cry, maybe because I was pleased that she had left her horrible life style, being in a nursing home which she hated.

I think that it would be lovely for you to believe that she has given you this sensation that your Nanna must have had, and only you were given this, so be very proud of being given this.

It's a privilege worthy for a lovely person, carry it where ever you go, and Nanna would be so pleased to have given this distinction to you. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Neeky, a year ago my Nonno passed away and I have been feeling a lot more upset as I wasn't there to say good-bye to him or hold his hand.

My Nonno was my great grand-father and my only grand-father as well as being the only man in my family, he was like my own father. He had a fall and was in hospital for a week and the thing that sucks the most is that i wasn't there to say good bye and to tell him I loved him. I was in Queensland at the time with friends and I prayed to god after the last time I saw him that it wasn't time to take him yet, but I suppose it was because he passed away six days later after I saw him.

I was so over-whelmed, it was so surreal to know he wasn't there anymore and the worst part was having to see my Nonna who was married to him for seventy years to grieve over her loss.

I found myself frustrated that I was away and I felt like I did the wrong thing even though i didn't think god was ready to take him yet. I was angry with my mum and my family for not telling me and making me feel like they were more important than me in this situation.

Everybody deals with loss differently and not crying does not mean you are not upset or hurt that your Nonna is gone. You were so lucky to be able to hold her hand and tell her that it is okay for her to leave. I'm sure your Nonna knows you love her so much and she is looking down on you and blessing you everyday of your life.

I hope you're feeling better now xx

Community Member

Hi Neeky

At the risk of stating the obvious again that everyone is different however there is something they have not said and that is there will be a trigger for you to release your emotions but no one can tell you what it will be because it is your personal thing.

Because you have not cried yet is fine but have the tissues ready close at hand for the trigger. I suggest keeping some in your bag.(lol)

It sounds like you were loved and are loved which means while she will be watching over you so too will those still around you.

I too had the opportunity to be there when my mother passed and I also dressed her which is a wonderful memory to have.As with you being there once your Grand mother passed.

So don't fret pet There is always someone there if it gets too big for you.

All the best.