Dealing with grief over the death of my mum (2+ years ago) and feeling lost
My mum passed away very suddenly 2+ years ago and at that time I was still living with her and completing my bachelor's degree. It was just her and I and our two cats, whilst my brother and sister were living with their partners. My mum and I were very close and when she passed away, it was as if a piece of my heart died with her.
At the moment, I am living with my partner and am completing my masters. Whilst I thought I was finally happy, a lot of feelings have resurfaced and I am feeling quite lost. I thought I knew what I wanted in life but now I don't know. All I really want to do is talk to my mum about my issues as she was the only person who could ever make me feel better whenever I was down.
Whenever I am a little down at home, I kind of feel like my partner sometimes tries to downplay my sadness because his own mum is quite an emotional person who tends to display her sadness and anger in very dramatic ways by making a scene. While I don't do that, I think my partner's response has been ingrained into him because of his own experiences with his mum. Due to this, I feel as if my sadness isn't justified and that I am being silly and should just toughen up. I guess I should approach my partner about this but I don't know how to.
Grief is complex. We don't process it in a linear way, or all at once. It sounds like your partner is confronted by your feelings and tries to minimise them to avoid talking about them. I would suggest trying to talk to them clearly about your needs and how you're made to feel in this situation. The trick is to focus on 'I feel like' so it doesn't sound like an accusation. If this is a major issue and you can't work it out alone, I'd suggest counselling
Thank you for sharing this here. We're sorry for your loss, and we can hear it's been a really difficult time. We're sorry you've not been able to feel supported and understood by your partner recently. That would only make the grief more isolating, but you're not silly, and we can understand it isn't easy to let your partner know how this is impacting you. As That Other Guy has shared, grief is complex.
Are you connected with any bereavement or mental health support currently? It might be worth having a look at the advice and directories on the Beyond Blue website here. We'd highly recommend talking to Griefline, on 1300 845 745 (6am to midnight AEST every day). We're here for you too - you can call the Beyond Blue helpline at any time, on 1300 22 4636.
Here's a few things we found online you might find useful:
- Griefline's article on delayed grief
- Relationships Australia’s advice on communication in relationships
- It's really important to be kind to yourself through this, so there's some tips for practicing self-care here.
Im so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mum.
I understand it must be so hard, you sounded close.
I’m sorry your husband is downplaying your sadness.
He could be conditioned to think this way but it doesn’t mean he can’t challenge that and learn to be more receptive of what you are currently going through.
Please try to bring it up with him because he can’t work on his behaviour if he doesn’t understand it’s effecting you.
Sometimes old emotions can arise, things that we thought we have healed from but haven’t.
Please try to allow these emotions you can try to work through them to lead you to a place of healing.
Sometimes it’s helpful to do this with a professional.
Sometimes we do question what we want out of life and sometimes it takes a bit of searching from within to know what that is.
Be easy on yourself, all will be revealed in good time.