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Should I still feel this way after all these years?

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Hello everyone, so its been almost 17 years since my Mum passed away, I was 12 and my brother was 10 (who found her passed out). I remember the day as if it was yesterday.... a normal school day morning, with my Mum waking us for breakfast then it all changed dramatically. 

Basically I'm now almost 29, moved in with my boyfriend recently into a lovely home and in the next few years will most likely start a family. But still every single day I think of my Mum and cry pretty much every other day thinking of her or wishing she was here. I see all my friends growing up, getting married, having kids & I feel as though I'm stood still with this huge part of my heart missing since my Mum died. I find myself jealous of every friend I have that has a decent relationship with their Mother & needing constant reassurance from the people close to me. 

I always feel as though I'm not good enough, ever since she passed or that I'm not liked. Recently I found out that my Dad (who is now remarried) is moving to America & my Brother is moving around 100 miles away which has effected me badly. I feel as though no one understands & my family isnt the unit it should be .... I try my hardest to keep us together or have a strong bond but both seem to just follow the women in their life & dont seem as interested although they do care. Our relationships are quite strained as I'm very different to both and feel they don't understand me one bit. I'm very sentimental and struggle to let go of anything of my Mums whereas my brother has openly admitted he isn't sentimental & anythung of value he would probably sell (including my Mums engagement ring). Which I find awful. To Dad/bro its as if she never exsisted & I have no one to reminisce about my Mum to or that will tell me about how she was as a person. 

The fact they are now both leaving (which was my biggest fear after mum died) has made me think of my Mum 10 times more & I now have to go clear the family home of my mothers things & childhood items as my Dad is selling the family house and I'm the only one who seems bothered. 

The question I'd like to ask really is, does anyone else feel this way? Greiving still after so many years? Feeling as though it effects everything in their life whilst other family members sail through & tell you to 'move on'. To me after a death you never move on, it just gets slightly easier to cope with. I just feel so terribly alone & I'm sick of being upset and wishing I had my Mum. Ive spoken to both my Dad & brother & neither gets it and friends are sympathetic but have their own lifes to deal with. I've seen a counsellor & had bouts of depression etc but that void is always there..... I do want children soon but I want to be stronger before then. My Dad has never said he is proud of me or been there properly in the emotional side of things (although he did try his best) but now as an adult I feel lost & just constantly want the reassurance I'm good enough. 

My boyfriend gets the brunt of it all, we constantly argue from this although he desperatly tries to understand & is there for me no end (I couldn't ask for a better bf!). Does anyone have any advice or coping mechanisms? I miss my Mum dearly & will always cherish the memories I have but I'm so sick of the tears now and feeling so alone or that no one understands ... any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you x

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Dear N_Lou_88,

I'm so sorry to hear how are you feeling. Everything you are saying and feeling is normal and part of grief. Its only natural to miss your mum and want to keep her memory alive.

Sorry your dad and brother's actions have hurt. I feel as you do. That everyone wants me to move on too. But I can't. I'm still struggling with the loss. I know its hard.

Take your time going through your mum's belongings. I know you will cherish those items including her ring and perhaps one day pass it on to one of your children.

Everyone grieves differently. There is no right way or wrong way. I would suggest trying counseling again or joining a support group. I also visit websites that try to help me process grief. What's Your Grief and Tiny Buddha. I'm also reading this book called the Grief Recovery Method. I hope you can access additional resources through school, work or church.  Have you considered journaling? Creating a memory box? Writing a letter to your mum.

Sorry for your pain and sorrow. Please know you are not alone. We are all here. Thinking of you. Sending you lots of love and hugs.

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Hi, N_Lou,

It has been 7 years for me. I am empathetic towards your situation. After my mom's passing, my dad left me and moved to the other side of the country in order to emotionally survive. 2 months ago, my brother and his family moved out of state with very little warning and we used to live in the same neighborhood. I feel all alone now. I have my 10-year-old son who is truly my savior - he is what gets me through every day and I am also incredibly fortunate to have a really amazing man, but a part of me will never feel complete again. I too get jealous of friends and even strangers when I see them out with their moms and I secretly cry a few times/week (usually while I'm driving alone).

My best advice for you is to hold close to the loved ones you have left! Friends, boyfriend, ect. Put your energy into those who are still here! Consume your life with love and positivity and continue to come back to forums and communities like this! I also agree with the journal suggestion. I started one and it's done wonders! I also created a stuffed bear out of one of my mom's old sweaters and it sits on my living room sofa. Perhaps go through your mom's stuff and use her old clothes to make the same or a blanket! And remember that everyone grieves differently and try to accept that. My dad and brother grieve differently than I do and I don't allow that to affect me. I focus on my grief and myself, because in the end, that's what's more important.

Best wishes,


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Dear N_Lou_88:

You could say I lost my mother when I was three because that is when she left my dad and didn't have much to do with my life after that.  I got to know her a little better in her old age when I visited her in the nursing home, but I never had a real moher daughter relationship with her..   My father raised me so I was much closer to him.  I lost both of my parents within a couple of months of each other in 2014.  She was 89 and my dad was 86.  I have a half brother who isn't really there for me as much as he used to be.  I have another half brother who isn't there for me at all -- he hardly knows me.

I'm a lot older than you (57), but I can identify with your feeling different from other people, because you didn't have a mother most of your life and because you are more sensitive and sentimental than other people.  I'm sorry that your father and brother haven't been able to provide you with the moral support you need.  It's wonderful that you still love them and want to have a strong bond with them, but sometimes that isn't possible, especially over long distance.  I would try to strengthen and cherish the bond with your boyfriend as much as you can, so you can start that family you've been wanting.    Does your boyfriend have family members whom you can adopt in a sense as your own?  Sometimes you just have to give up on your family and find a substitute family with people who love and value you the way you deserve.  You are good enough.  Your harshest judge is yourself.  Love yourself.  Be kind to yourself as you would be to your mother.  One good thing is that if they don't want your mom's things, then claim whatever you want as your birthright!  Your mother's memory is now your responsibility to honor and preserve.  Maybe she had other relatives who knew her well.  You could try seeking them out by letter or email, if they aren't close.   What's nice is that you probably have mostly good memories of your mother.  You didn't have to go through the turbulent teens with her.  I realize this may be cold comfort, but your mother is now someone you can idealize, because all you ever received from her was pure, unconditional love, nothing negative.  I don't think you would miss her so much, if you were getting negative vibes from her. You probably inherited your good and loving nature from her.

So many people have happiness handed to them on a platter, but people like us have to fight for our happiness.  Don't ever give up, because once we have happiness, we enjoy it more than most people.  That is the gift of being sensitive.   The down side is we grieve harder, but you have to take the good with the bad.  Take care and I wish you the best of luck.

I found this link that you might find helpful:


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