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Grieving Mum and a Partner I never had

Community Member

I hope here is the right place to put this.

I (27m) lost my mum about 1.5 years ago to cancer; I am an only child and she was a single parent, so I have been left alone in the family house to kinda just “deal with it” and “get on with life”. I have been completely unable to do that - unable to touch her things, throw anything away of hers or even use some of the shared items - to the point that I have had to buy duplicates of some stuff.

Very recently (within the past few months) an ex I still cared deeply for moved in with his current partner-of-a-few-years; I fell to pieces as, not only was the man I loved sharing his life with someone else, but he was (in general) living the life I had always dreamed of, whilst I was stuck here in this seemingly endless hell. I reached my breaking point and talked to him about what “we” were; we were close and felt like a couple in all but name, but one day he just shut me out and became cold and distant. I don’t know what happened or why, but I knew what we had - so I stuck by him through the years. It was immensely painful at times, but I told myself it’d be worth it and he’d eventually come around and see I was always here for him and we’d go back to how we used to be.

…That wasn’t how he saw it; he stated that he was “careless and immature” with his emotions and didn’t put proper forethought into them. As a result, what we had was “more than a friendship, but not quite a relationship”. He says that some life stuff happened and he shut a lot of people out (he says it’s a recurring problem he has) and that, when he sat down and thought, he “realised I could never take a gamble on someone I had never met before halfway across the world” (he lives in the US). He said he had a crush on me, but it never would’ve worked. Since then, a (mutual) friend has told me that the ex confided in him a bunch of reasons why we never would’ve worked - distance not being one of them. He told me that the ex I had in my mind was a fantasy, and he doesn’t exist like that. He told me that he’s been polite to me ever since he shut me out - so that he wouldn’t be the “bad guy”.

I feel I’ve hit rock bottom, and I’m doing all I can to try and work my way through this, but it feel impossibly hard, working without a direction or goal. I’m aiming to start cleaning up the house, but I have no idea how to start with mum’s stuff. Likewise, I’m trying to take care of myself, but it feels pointless without my ex as the finish line.

Any advice welcome.

3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Dean Dharug,

Im so sorry for your loss of your beautiful mum I understand this would be really hard for you.

I’m sorry to hear what has happened with your ex I understand this would be heart breaking for you.

Please be kind to yourself and please know we are here as a community to support you.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Dean Dharug,

I am deeply sorry that your lovely mother passed away...my deepest condolences...

Sorting through your mums things will be so difficult and my heart breaks for you knowing that this is going to be such a hard task to undertake....I am sorry your facing this alone...Please be very gentle on yourself and try hard to remember to only do what you feel up to doing...it’s okay to do only bits and pieces until you gain more inner strength...and to rest, leave it and when you feel up to it continue on....Their is no hurry dear Dean....all in your own time...

I am so sorry, that your ex has done that to you...

We are all here for you, to try to support you through this sad and heartbreaking time...Please do continue talking here when you feel up to it..

My kindest thoughts with my care dear Dean..


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Dean

Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your dear mum and the compounding feelings of loss over your ex as well. 

All that you've expressed isn't surprising at all! Such losses are really hard to deal with. 


If your goal is to get up and brush your teeth then that's a goal. 
To check in on the forums once a week or once a day, that's a goal. 


It's OK to take some time out from any self imposed demands, you can give yourself permission to do so. 


There are also Hotlines you can call, who have professional MH advice and the Beyond Blue hotline is a good place to begin. YOU are worth it. They may be able to point you in the direction of further help, if you would like that. 


I hope you can do some well deserved self-care, you're always welcome to share your thoughts and feelings here.