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What if I Don't Feel Sad After a Loved One's Death?

42 answers | Last updated: Jul 21, 2014
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Caring.com User - Martha Clark Scala
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Martha Clark Scala has been a psychotherapist in private practice since 1992, with offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, California. She regularly writes...
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answered...

Sadness is the feeling that most people commonly report after someone dies, which might be why it feels peculiar to you if you don't feel sad. But be mindful that See also:
How to Grieve: 5 Myths That Hurt

See all 126 questions about Grief and Loss
grief and loss evoke a number of different feelings, not just sadness. You may also feel numbness, relief, anger, guilt, fear, remorse, peace -- or perhaps even joy. None of these feelings are right or wrong. They're just feelings.

The circumstances of the loss and your relationship to the person who died are likely to influence the emotions you feel. If the person was in excruciating pain, was suffering a prolonged illness, or demanded a lot from you, you may feel more relief than sadness once he or she has died. For example, if you cared for your mother during a long, final battle with cancer, you may feel comforted that she's no longer in anguish; you may also feel happy to be freed from the constancy and uncertainty of caring for her. And if the person who died wasn't nice to you, you can't really expect to feel terribly sad. These are all normal responses.

Also, some people go through more sadness before a death than after it. If you've done a lot of this type of anticipatory grieving (while caring with someone with Alzheimer's or another debilitating disease, for example), you might be surprised that you shed fewer tears once the person is gone. That's normal, too.

Finally, be aware that we're all capable of feeling a number of different emotions at the same time, which can sometimes have confusing results. For example, fear, relief, and anger may vie for top billing when someone you love has died after a long illness. Fear could be about the medical bills. Relief could be about the end of the person's physical suffering, or about the enormous stress and self-sacrifice you experienced as a caregiver. Anger could be about the kind of medical care the person received. It can be almost impossible to feel sad when all of those other feelings are swirling around. Sadness may surface at some later time when the more immediately demanding feelings have been addressed -- or it might not.

If it still strikes you as odd or unsettling that sadness isn't registering when you think about the person who died, that's worth exploring. Since sadness is an extremely hard emotion to weather, maybe your psyche is somehow holding you back from letting you feel it. Ask yourself, "What would be the worst thing that could happen if sad feelings started to surface?" Explore further by asking, "If that worst thing happened, would I survive it?" And if it doesn't feel like you'd survive it, ask, "Is there anything I could do to make that worst possible outcome more tolerable?"

For example, a lot of people express concern that if they tapped into their sad feelings, there'd be an avalanche. They fear they'd never be able to stop crying. This fear is extremely common, but usually unfounded. Emotions come and go -- and they go more swiftly when they get airtime. So if you fear an avalanche, you might ask someone to be your safety net -- to act as your witness, or simply to be available to you should you need companionship.

You might discover that the more you look into the absence of sadness, the more you see it really as just that -- an absence of sadness. If it's an absence of feeling altogether, then your task is to keep yourself safe while numbness persists. It's easy to give numbness a bad reputation, but it really is your psyche's best attempt to protect you from big feelings or reactions until you're ready to have them surface.

If the numbness lasts for many months, however, consider treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as this is one of the disorder's most common symptoms. If it turns out that numbness or PTSD is blocking you from feelings of sadness, getting treatment can help you identify and understand the how and why of your emotions -- and help get you back to feeling like yourself again as quickly as possible.

 

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frena answered...

after the death fo someone we've been caring for, i don't think it's at all unusual to feel relief, or just kind of numb or at a kind of loss because the central part of caregiving is suddenly over -- and it's always sudden, no matter how expected it might have been. often, you might have lost sleep over many months, been last on your own care list, been living with ongoing exhaustion. all of this interrupts or delays the grief process. besides which, after caring for someone close, being there in the dying process, there can sometimes even be a deep sense of the joyfulness of having done it all more or less right, having walked all the way with them to the gates of death, having shared extraordinary moments of radiance, of having done a great task well.

it also takes a while to truly know what you might feel. loss after caregiving has many different aspects, feelings and responses. keep a journal, maybe, so you can follow your own journey of discovering life after loss.

something wrong with you? i doubt it. there's no roadmap for loss, nothing to say what or how you should feel. give yourself all the time you need for recovery and renewal and see. i've had friends who lost dearly loved husbands who went along kind of numbed for six months until they woke up one morning and suddenly it hit them, as in "Oh my God, my husband is dead!"

so, sleep, eat and recover at your own pace.

 

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Clotho answered...

There's nothing wrong with you. My saddness often turns into something I don't understand. I've lost my mother, father, and several others in the last 10 years and each time I seem to feel bad only when I reflect one what happened other than "when" it actually happened... I also will cry at the drop of a pin when someone dies at the end of a movie but not at all when one of my loved ones passes away. I used to think there was something terribly wrong with me until I found myself wondering about it. There it is, no matter how you react, what you feel, or what you show... To be here right now, reading this, contemplating anything to this sort, well there you go. You're okay, just realize that not all are normal and just because we're not it doesn't make us awful, just different. I know if you're like me you feel fine, like nothing is wrong. That's okay too... Doesn't feel like it is but it for sure doesn't make you someone bad. Again, you're here aren't you?

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

well i kinda feel the same, I've lost my dad 7 Days ago, yes 7 DAYS! and i cried when i heard the news, or i made myself to cry, i feel hypocrite, that was it, just cried for few hours, and tears where gone!!

i am so angry about my self, i luv dad, and he luvs me, but i can't feel any thing any more, nothing at all!! not sad not joy NOTHING! am i a bad person?, or i am not person at all,

and he was sick but only for 3 weeks before he gone, and he never made us struggle with him, he spent all the 3 weeks in the hospital, so no i don't think its relief for me, he didn't bother us from the first place.

and to make it worse i made him reach this situation, i mean i am to blame for raising his blood pressure and his health crashed down because of it, because of me,

and to make it much much worse is, i cried over my cat for 3 days but cried 3 hours over my DAD !!

wow, i want to puke on my self, i am disgusting by myself,

(if any one know whats wrong with me, plz use simple English, cuz its not my language as you may already noticed, thank you)

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My father died three weeks ago. I have been so beating myself up emotionally for the fact that I feel free and relieved since his death. I had a complicated relationship with him, and my sibling has taken the loss so hard that I have been feeling like a terrible, ungrateful and unloving daughter, especially by comparison. It has been so helpful to me to see these postings and see that I'm not alone in my feelings, and that how I am feeling is okay and should not be condemned. I did love my father very much, and I know that he loved me. I think that I grieved the relationship and the father I wished he could have been (he had mental illness) decades ago. It's okay that in this moment I have no tears.

Thank you all so very much.

 

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Becquie answered...

I am grateful to be able to read these postings. My parents are still living but are physically and mentally declining and I am an only child. I feel a tremendous burden. I am physically and mentally drained. I don't know how I will respond when they pass away, but I think I will feel relieved. I feel guilty for even thinking that but we are all human. Human beings are complicated. Relationships are complicated. Maybe it would be helpful if we just accepted ourselves where we are at and stopped comparing ourselves and asking ourselves if we are normal or if we are grieving enough. I think our society puts way too much pressure on us to behave a certain way instead of realizing we are all individuals and we will grieve in our own way and process things in our own unique way and that's okay. Blessings to all of you.

 

suyung60 answered...

So glad i just read all these comments as we are going to the funeral of my hubbys sister this afternoon.he was saying to me only a couple of days ago that he feels bad because he doesnt think he feels sad enough.she died a week ago today after a battle with cancer,but peacefully and pain free thanks to the wonderfull care of the hospice. i will show him these comments later thanks.

 

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BigironClintonweinst answered...

Grief is personal I lost my dad when he was 54 I was 24 I spent a lot of time with him although at the end I was overseas I also didnt make the funeral I sometimes think about him and then go for weeks and months and don't I can speak to him any time I like though I know he can't answer me I mourn for him each day and remember all the good things we did and all the great times we had I have 3 grown kids and spend a lot if time with them I am going to see my mom this week for the last time before she passes ( breast cancer ) she has been in remission for 7-8 yrs she is too young 74 And has so much more to do I am so mad frustrated sad and so on But I know that everything she is lives in me and my family so she lives on My daughter and grand daughter will make sure she will not be forgotten So to all the good people out there I leave you with this message Live and love today live life like today is your last day Plan for tomorrow Manage your health and love your children Clinton w.

 

AlinC answered...

I had a similar response to my mothers' passing when I was 16. I had a feeling of.happiness almost. I.most certainly was not happy. My mother was my rock and I did not.have a clue what I'd do without her. My feeling of happiness/numbness was my bodys defense. Mechanisms. I was in Shock and our body.will protect us. It's the way our body responds in order to survive.

 

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myamorris603 answered...

So glad i found this place. I lost my husband two months ago after years of him being sick and I was his total caregiver. I did everythign for him and worked a full time job outside the home. He was in the hospital for a month in icu before he died. I cried everytime I left icu after visiting him. I didn't cry when he died and haven't since. I thought I was horrible person becuase i feel relief at being able to do what I want to and what I have to rather than just work and take care of him. ANd I'm not missing him like I thoguht I would I I think others think i am. or should. But I guess what I'm feeling is okay since it's waht I'm feeling. I do love him. But I am relieved he's no longer suffering.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

This site is a godsend. I just buried my husband yesterday. Everyone has left and returned home and I am just as calm and unemotional as if nothing has happened. I wasn't like this when it first happened (a week ago) for 2-3 days I was emotional, but now, I am not. It's very strange and is making me uneasy, but reading these posts at least makes me feel like I'm not alone. I did care for my husband after a long long illness and many crises in and out of the hospital, surgery, intensive care. He died at home, in hospice after five months of total bed confinement. I feel peace and relief that it is over. I will miss him in many ways as the months, years go on without him, but right now it feels like a vacation. My biggest discomfort is worrying that others may feel I didn't love him! Ugh. I wish I didn't care what others think, but I do. I do love him, but I was tired, he was tired, and it was the right time. Plus I have very strong faith that we will see each other again in heaven. Thank you all for sharing your feelings and thoughts that are similar. Kind of a surprising way to feel, but it is what it is.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

This site has helped me come to terms with my feelings. I have had a very unhealthy relationship with my father in law since I married my husband 21 years ago. My father in law was a dirty old man. He made sexist comments to any woman that he talked to. He has grabbed at me and my daughter countless times. I was the first to stand up for my self and most of my husband family thought I was making a big deal of the way he behaved. My last straw was when he grabbed my then 14 year old daughter and tried to look down her shirt and put his mouth on her neck. I could not understand why this family never stood up to this monster. I know my daughter and I was not the only ones he abused. He died yesterday..I feel nothing. I feel sad for my husband...but that is it. I hope that does not me a horrible person.

 

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Lapetitebo answered...

I feel much the same as others on this thread. I lost my darling Mum 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I am the youngest child and only daughter and cared for my 83 year old Mum as much as I could for several years whilst still trying to run my own life and family. Over the past year we have been slowly watching my witty,funny,vivacious Mother deteriorate, she has been ill for about 30 years and never complained but during the past year she has been hospitalised more often than she has been at home and even when at home she was in pain,confused and frightened. She stopped eating about June last year and was continually throwing up etc..on top of her multiple COPD related ailments the doctors thought she had stomach cancer but she was too frail to withstand any investigations. She suffered respitory failure back in January 2012 and despite being written off by the medics she defied all odds to make a recovery although she was never really my same Mum again..the past 14 months have been traumatic and exhausting..when she died she weighed 4 stone and was unable to hold her own weight or do any basic care functions for herself. I am grateful that we were able to fulfill her last wish...to die at home with her family rather than n a clinical sterile and impersonal hospital. The hospice at home staff and Marie Curie nurses were amazing in her final days and with their support we were able to give her a dignified and strangely beautiful death. Now I feel sad but mainly Numb and also relieved for her and for us, but I feel like this isn't real somehow and that I haven't been as sad as I should.. I loved my Mum so much but don'T think it's really hit me that she has gone. Thank you for reading.

 

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klm1 answered...

I lost my beautiful mom on March 14th 2013. She had emphysema and was on oxygen for the past 19 years. Although she suffered for so long, her spirit and zest for life did not slow until recently. My mom lived with my husband and I for the last 8 years. She has been our main focus for so long. I know i grieved with each step that she deteriorated and I worried about her passing with each hospitalization (and there were many). Now that she is finally at rest i feel an overwhelming sense of peace. I feel guilty but your comments have made me realize I am not going crazy. Thank you so much for sharing

 

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Loulou9685 answered...

This has made me feel so much more comfortable about how I feel after reading this..... My mother battled cancer on and off for 30 Years....in the last few years I was her main caregiver as she lived alone after divorce. She died 4 weeks ago and I truly believe that I did the majority of grieving and mourning before she died....we were massively close and though there is a horrendous void and I have moments of total panic when I realise I can't call her, I also feel an overwhelming sense of relief. I know that my life has changed forever and I feel guilty for "getting up and getting on". I am on fairly high anti depressants so also feel that they're keeping me slightly level... Anyway, just wanted to put something down in writing.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My mother died February 24, 2013. She was my best friend. I am a woman (43) who was born lots of years after the first born child (a boy). Therefore I was the main caregiver. My brother was there but on the sideline. My father died in 1991 at the age of 67.

Since august my mother's health deteriorated. I first thought it had to do with her copd. But after a while there were so many things wrong that I thought the worst.

My mother was 86 and had a terrible fear of doctors and hospitals. Therefore I did not call a doctor until it was inevitable. She was taken to hospital. They tried to cure a light pneumonia, but after a while it was clear that there was more. It turned out she had breastcancer with metastases. They thought that she had a few more months to live so they had to discharge her from the hospital. She went to a hospice. Then they gave her morfine and suddenly I didn't have a mother anymore. There was a body looking like my mother lying in a bed, not responding to anything. 5 days later she died. I was with her when she died. It was like I was with a stranger.

Since then I don't feel anything. I cleared out her house. Did all the things I had to do. But I don't grieve. Which I thought I would do endlessly. I loved my mother so much, we were always together. We were together at least 4 days a week, we called eachother 2 times a day. Why don't I feel anything? Why don't I grieve?

I think I did all this a few months ago when she kept feeling ill. I was so scared then. At a given moment I even begged her NOT to call the doctor. Doctors were her fear, not mine, but deep inside I knew that when she did call, there would be no return. I understand this will not help the topic starter much, but this is how I feel.

 

Mamta Domingo answered...

my mom died of pancreatic cancer on the 16th of april 2013 which was diagonised just a month ago during this last month i stayed with her my journey with her was a intense one traumatic to me and painful to her, we were told by the docs she wud nt survive long so in a way we were prepared but ever since she passed away me and my brother are filled with remorse we dont cry but we dont feel eating, socialising , the heart feels heavy trying to becum normal but find it really difficult. People pouring in keep telling us that we will be blessed 10folds for serving our mom but this does"nt give us peace. hope with the passage of time we overcum this trauma.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I just lost my dog, Ziggy, two days ago, he was hit by a car, I screamed and cried for hourse on end afterwards. Yet now, I don't feel anything. I loved him so much, yet tears won't come anymore. I feel so bad, he deserved to be mourned not ignored and forgotten. It helps me to see so many other people who have lost more than a pet. I guess I'm just in shock.

 

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ymarie answered...

It has helped me to read these responses. My husband just died two weeks ago of emphysema. He had been sick a long time. In the last 10 months he needed a lot of care. I worried about him all the time and grieved for the condition that he was in and how little I could do to help him feel better. Life hadn't been good for him for a long time. Even so, he seemed happy and didn't complain and always did the best he could and kept a great attitude.

I feared loosing him. Then he become extremely sick....spent a week in ICU and there was no more that could be done for him. He choose death over living on a respirator. I thought it was a very brave decision. He handled it bravely and died peacefully. The situation is: I did not cry and I have not cried. I love my husband very much. I don't understand this. I miss him but I am not hurting in my missing nor upset. I am just glad he doesn't have to suffer any more. But I didn't expect not to cry.....so it helps to know that others are like me.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I have lost a person today who was same as my father is.. There is no tears in my eyes.. I love him alot..I am far away from my family for my studies. The posts above are good.. I am just different from others but not bad. I hide my feelings only.. RIP Grandpa..

 

Patti McGonigle answered...

It is interesting reading the many different emotions people feel. As for me, I'm in my mid 60s and my 92 y.o. mother died this week. I had no relationship with her, having finally given up in disgust at her wily manipulative and narcissistic ways. I worked hard to be a good daughter and help her in any way it never failed to come back and bite me. You see, you get to the point where you realize what seems to be unfathomable to you your whole life, especially when you yourself have two children that mean the world to you and you would NEVER hurt in a million years-and if you did make a mistake and hurt them, you said you were sorry. My brother, also estranged from her, and I knew that we were in a setting of competition with her first born son (different father, but he was still considered our brother and we love him) was the problem child, but the one who totally owned her heart. Hence, the competition. We never knew it. We were children and couldn't deduce the big picture. As adults, it hurt even more. So, grieving? No. Sadness? Yes. Definitely sadness, but not for the normal reason. Not because we lost a dear nurturing mother, but sad because we lost a woman who was none of those things and for living a lifetime of grief, knowing we would not have a typical parent/child relationship. My father died first and I used to hope and pray I had him longer than I had her, but no such luck. He went to his grave in great part because she helped destroy him and his health. We decided to call it quits before we were destroyed by a self-centered and oblivious woman who was our mother. Lesson to be learned: love your children unconditionally and equally. And if you do wrong, say you're sorry. Be there to support them and act like you have interest in their lives, their work, their joys and their sorrows and no wrapped up in yourself and your own needs. I am glad she did not suffer and died after having pneumonia and hospitalized for a few days. No pain which was a good thing and for which I thank God. God knows my heart, and I know that He knows how hard I tried.

 

Missing my Mum answered...

My Mum died unexpectedly in January 2013. We spoke every Friday afternoon when I would call her at 4:00 pm. She always answered. Then, one Friday, Mum didn't answer. I thought she might be out shovelling snow (which bothered me as she was 80 years old, but feisty as hell). Anyway, I left a message on her answering machine. I called again 30 minutes later; left another message. Mum didn't call me back. I tried again first thing the next morning - still no answer. Called my brother who reminded me Mum was going to meet with a friend - that's right, I had forgotten about that.. However, by 4:00 pm the following day and still no response from my Mum, I called the police in her city to check on her. (My brother did not leave his cell phone on).
Anyway, I received the much dreaded phone call that night - my Mum had passed away. I was devastated. We had had a rocky road that we followed, the two of us, but had finally reached the point where we loved to be with each other. And now, she was gone. So much I wanted to say. So much I wanted to hear from her. I miss you Mum - always will. Love, your daughter.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My dad died at the age of 51 2 years ago from organ failure. I was 22...when I first got the news I was numb and lost for words. I was in shock for months. I did not even shed a tear at his funeral. I was lost in deep thoughts of regret all the time wondering why can't I feel anything anymore. Once that ended the only emotions I felt where pain and sorrow. I went through a very dark path. I can still hear my dad saying “dont worry be happy? eventually I started coping with his loss but I miss him so much. When I was younger he called me his “baby bubba“. He called me that till the day he passed.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My 46 yr old daughter died 10/12/2013, Everyone remarked how strong I was. I never cried except for a few tears. Made all the funeral arrangements, cleaned out her apartment, sorted through all her items for sale and donation. It is now Christmas and I feel like crying all the time. I think because I was so busy at first I didn't have time to break down. Now things are sinking in. She is really gone, Not on vacation or living up north miles away but really gone. Her sister, my other daughter carried on and on and now has a horrible tatoo honoring her. They were never close. I question if she is feeling guilty about not being the sister she should have been. I know I did my best but losing a child is very different from losing a parent or spouse. I have lost both. I know I will get through this but right now I have a "don't care about anything mode". This is a very strange feeling I have right now. Never had it losing anyone else. I still feel it was harder watching her in pain and suffering then see her go peacefully at the end. But I can never forget her eyes looking at me so scared. I see it all the time. May never get past that.

 

Patti McGonigle answered...

To anonymous/46 y.o. daughter who died on 10/12/13--I wanted to send you a hug, but the option didn't appear next to your post prob. because it is anonymous, but I just wanted to say I'm very, very sorry for your loss and yes, I'm sure all of us would agree-losing a child is far different and in many ways far more painful than a parent's loss. I'm sending you a warm hug to comfort you, and though that is a very small consolation, know that I will be saying prayers for your comfort and healing. God bless you and your family as they cope with the grief and loss. xo

 

mck answered...

Thank you Patti. I did not know about the Hug/prayer but I am very pleased with that. Unless someone actually goes through it , it is very hard to put into words. I wish I could do something to help others but don't really know what right now. I am sure something will show me the right path

 

vanasues answered...

i was always the black sheep, but yet I am the one who took care of them when ill. Drove many miles took them to drs.. actually made me angry at times... Im not a saint, but no one else was there, I made mistakes but the biggest mistake to me was my siblings leaving me to take care of this.. I took good care of them but it was hard !!

 

Patti McGonigle answered...

mck you are sweet to want to help other people, but right now, you have your own grief to deal with. Don't let anyone rush you, grieve in your own way, your own time. I'm learning that everyone has their own thoughts after someone close dies. Your emotions run the gamut. I don't think the sadness of losing my father will ever leave me, and that is because I felt so cheated. Cheated that I never got to enjoy him, cheated that he was so unhappy and with such a death wish that it overpowered his desire to try to stick around and live, for us who loved him, cheated in so many ways. I could never say that I've really moved past my father's dying. But you do move on get on with life, which I've done. Your grieving is still in its infancy. Give it time, honor her memory, and most of all, talk about her to people. I'll remember you in my prayers.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I feel I have a heart of stone, because I don't sry at funerals. When close relatives die, I am sorry for the loss, but my sister died at 84 and would not get well, A niece died suddenly, but I was afraid she was becoming an alcoholic, so I was somewhat relieved, My parents died when I was young, amd were sick, so knew would not get better. I never cried but I still feel like I should!

 

Steven B answered...

My father died this past Monday. I definitely believe that my lack of emotion (other than my pain at seeing my mother grieving) is due entirely to the first response posted by Ms. Scala, that explained the concept of "anticipatory grieving". My father was a twin, and when his brother died after a brief battle with cancer I began to gird myself for the eventuality of my own father's passing. The fact that I was closer to my uncle (someone I had more in common with), and that I was something of a disappointment to my dad (he was a sports fanatic and for me there's no interest) also contributes to my 'vacant' emotions. My uncle's passing hit hard, and it was then, some 24 years ago, that I began telling myself "my dad can go anytime, he was a twin". I thank Ms. Scala for her wonderful words and I can begin now to unburden myself with the guilt I am carrying and have been since my father's passing five days ago.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I was relieved when my mother passed away at 93 - loved her dearly but she had a full, long life and it was simply time. Now my husband of 22 years is facing terminal cancer and I have no grief. He was verbally abusive these many years and while I don't wish a painful, drawn out death on anyone, I will be free of this when he is gone. It's hard to find helpful literature on how to deal with loss of people with whom one has had painful relationships. Please reply if you have references of literature on this topic. Thank you.

 

Seamma765 answered...

My mom passed away 3 weeks ago age 69 and me and my older sister aren't crying or upset. We are OK and feel slightly relieved and happy and positive. Everyone keeps messaging me to see how I am and I feel bad that I want to say I am OK. My mom was a fantastic mother and we really loved her but cant understand why we aren't crying. My younger sister sadly died in a car accident 3 years ago and we cried and cried for weeks and months and were devastated...we had a lot to take on after her death with caring for my mom and dad who were devastated.. me and my sister had to support my parents lots after my younger sisters death and also trying to care and watch out for and support her children ... I have cried at many family members funerals but didn't have one tear at my moms. She had been ill and deteriorated a lot since my sisters death and was constantly in and out of hospital and ended up housebound and completely dependant on my dad. We were always waiting for a phone call to say she was sick that day and we would then jump up and take her to hospital or go over to help when she needed it. Now I just feel relieved but feel guilty that I do and know my mom deserved more tears from me.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I really identify with anonymous whose 46 yr old daughter died. When my son was killed on his bicycle aged 20, I was incredibly strong probably through physical numbness (which still persists in my heart for the most part, 19 months later). I had the energy to organise a funeral to celebrate Tom's life, because it was the last thing I could do for him. The huge love we had gave me energy, and it took a while before the energy left. I think when faced with the totally unacceptable, I just knew I had no choice but to accept it. His death is like a wall, infinitely deep, wide and tall.. I knew even seconds after hearing the news, that it was futile to hit against the wall in anger, and that I'd be sat against the wall weeping if I ever tried. When I cry, it just cuts off too quickly, leaving me crying on the inside but for some reason not able to express it or release it. In life, I was full of emotion for Tom.. if he had any problem, I was there with all it took to help him, and lived vicariously and with deep empathy. Now, I love him in heaven, and I am convinced in my heart and soul that he lives on there. Maybe it is denial, maybe it is to help me cope psychologically, but it feels like my motherly love has helped me move with Tom.. to love him where he is now. Because I love him so much, if he has died, then to me there is no death. To me, he cannot have ceased to exist, and I have adjusted my mental map to love him in heaven. The fact that I have done this may make me appear strong, or not as feeling as a mother should be, but I know it comes from loving him with all my heart, and yet having no choice about having lost him. This is a very helpful site, and all are loving people.. we just have different stories.

 

Darius answered...

When both my parents were in the care home and died 8 months apart, i had a huge amount of responsibilities to take care of everything. I guess in my mind I decided that it was very, very important that I keep my head since I had to take care of so many things, including the funerals and estates. So I put almost all crying on hold, and I knew that later on after things had settled that I would have time to be in sorrow. It has been a year now, and I still miss dear mother so very much and think about her every day and I will call out her name sometimes. I suspect I will feel like this for many years to come -- this was my trade off since I did not have the option of falling to pieces with grief when they actually died.

 

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A fellow caregiver answered...

last week february 19,2014 i was on my first vacation in twenty years,my son was in prision .i tryed half his life to help him ,i had doctors try to find out what was wrong with him .i did everything humanly possable to help my son .i loved him more than life.could never reach him ,he was a lost soule.he was always away from me.he died in my bathroom while i was 16 miles away.i cryed a few days ,i feel peace for him and me ,but inside i feel like i am dead.whats wrong with me what kind of mother am i!

 

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A fellow caregiver answered...

This made me understand how do I feel a bit better. my ex Fiancee a heroin addict, and my first love died before 4 days only, we live separately and he died alone in his bed while sleeping. I felt that there is something wrong because he was not answering the phone, but was not sure, I feel so guilty because I waited for a whole day before I moved to search for him, I went the first thing in the next morning searching for him, went to police first was hoping to find him in jail or to be reported in Hospital, but he was not, And then I my doubts were more confirmed but I knew in my heart that this time he over dosed and that he is dead in his place. WHY I did not move earlier? this question this guilt feeling that I feel deep inside that (i wanted to let him go and wanted him to die) is terrible, I fought the world for him risked my life for him, forgave him so many times, why did not I move? did i want him to die? what does that make me? is the fact that He hurt me never been faithful made me broke justifies my action? when I used to look in his eyes I always used to feel sorry for him I knew he will die young, and I just eventually forgive him and fight Heroin with him. I knew he loved me a destructive kind of love, but he did, I know he did, I wanted him to live, why did not I think right and saved him by checking on him and calling the ambulance earlier. Am I a monster?

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

You are not a monster. My heart goes out to you. What a difficult, heart-breaking, maddening situation. There is no way to win with addiction. But when you love an addict, you try. It is the ravage of the disease. God bless you. Remember the good, let go of the bad. Be gentle with yourself. He couldn't help himself and no one else could either. Of course, you were conflicted between how to go on living that insanity and at the same time loving a lost human being. Again, God bless you.

 

MaMaofJames answered...

I have been asking myself to how terrible i am to because of death happening two days ago to my x husbands wife died of a massive stoke ! I am loving it ! really thought I would go first ! She married him 29 years ago , totaly turned him against our son who was five at the time , abused my baby every time emotionly he went to their home. She didn't want him paying his $37,50 a week c.s. By the time my son was 8 his Dad didn't have anything to do with him ! My son grew up with demons not having his Daddy ! Crying for him ! I hated it !! Despised her an him ! It has been his older brother an I being his Mama an daddy . Now that she died his Daddy called him to come to him , come to him , my son is all hes got . His Daddy told him hes sorry he neglected him ,sorry he wasn't there for him . D. wouldn't let him have nothing to do with nobody ! But me and his brother has been thur hell trying to be there for him !! Well my son got to see her took off life support , he felt bad but not bad ! He told me Mama . if something happens to you , I won't be able to take you off . I said son if I am brain dead you'll have to take me off ! He said no Mama . I am just gonna bring you home an do some experiments on you !! God , I did something right in my life !

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My dad just died a few HOURS ago. We put him in hospice just five days ago and that was when I fell apart. I feel fine right now even though we missed his passing by about five minutes (I should have driven faster all the way across town perhaps).

He had several years of dementia and was diagnosed with inoperable cancer about six months ago. I had grieved all along. The term anticipatory grieving fits me and my situation. I feel relief right now and I am not going to feel guilty.

 

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Patti McGonigle answered...

I'm very sorry for your loss. Don't feel badly that you didn't race to get there. Things happen as they are meant to happen. Your being there may have delayed his death and prolonged his suffering. It is relieving at the onset and please come back to the board to share your feelings, whatever they are or may become. This is a nice circle of support that I've found most helpful. I'm glad your dad is at peace! xo

 

mck answered...

I am the lady with the daughter who passed in Oct 2013 of cancer at the age of 46. This is her birthday month, also the month my mother died and my second husband died 3 weeks after my mom and my dog died too. So I am hoping to get through this month. My son in law and I are going to Graceland in May to spread some of my daughter's ashes. This was a request she told my son in law. I go to the cemetary about once a week to change flowers or say hello. I know she is not there but feel better if I stop by. I am very sad right now and cry at movies and commercials but still not at the thought of my daughter. I am planning to put together a slide show of her life photos. No one will probably ever see it by me but I feel I would like to do this. Anyone else ever tried this

 

berserkangel answered...

My classmate whom I don't like very much,her dad passed away two days ago. Our "class" is actually a group of four people(don't ask) in a tiny school of 24 people(again, don't ask) and we have been in the same class for 4 years and know each other quite well. But I dislike her and she doesn't really like me either. We sort of have a history, but for a few months now we've been getting along really nicely. I never knew her father, but I heard stories about him through her. I was a little bit sad when I heard the news; I got sadder when I saw her mom crying so much;and I myself felt awful and had a good cry later that night. But after that, I felt fine. The day after, I still felt great. Thing is, since it's all so personal, people expect me to be sad, solemn and everything. Another member of my class, this girl's best friend, is taking it pretty hard. I feel like a hypocrite. I have another friend throwing a graduation party today;me and my friend are both coming. Everyone coming knows the girl and her dad and again I will be expected to be somewhat sad, and pretty quiet. I don't feel that way. I feel ready to PARTY and see my friends, but I hate-hate-hate having to force a frown or sad smile or solemn tone on myself when I don't feel like it at ALL. My question isn't really "Is this wrong"-not really, because honestly the girl herself is totally chill. I think it hasn't sunk in yet, or she's in shock or something. But how do I adopt the right manner around other people? I don't want people to think I'm heartless, selfish, or unfeeling. I was very sad-I really was-and I am sad when I think about it, but not as a matter of course. What do I do?

 

 
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