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Lost. I do not think my behaviour is normal.

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My life cut short is as follows. I am 26 years of age and my Nanna was my world. She raised me from being little but unfortunately in 2011 she went from the person allowing everyone to lean on her to a person that needed someone to lean on. She suffered 2 strokes and had to be placed in a care home as I could not meet her needs at home whilst working and going to university. I was still a very active part of her life visiting her regularly, taking her to every hospital appointment, taking her on days out, paying her personal expenses ect. She would usually get seriously ill around winter time with conditions such as pneumonia and I would cry all day and cry myself to sleep every night for weeks if she was hospitalised, i'd take time off work to just sit with her in the hospital from morning until night even if she wouldn't be awake, I just did not want to be without her and feared her leaving me forever.

On 2/4/17 my life changed forever. I received the phone call that I will never be able to erase from my mind, my Nanna had sadly passed away in her sleep in the early hours of the morning. I couldn't breath travelling to the care home assuring myself that someone had made a mistake and it was not my Nan who had been perfectly fine since Dec 16 but I opened her door and there she was in bed, perfectly still, eyes and mouth wide open. Unfortunately thats just where the torture for me begins. I had to wait with my Nanna for 6 hours whilst the out of hours doctors can out to see her and certify her as deceased, then a further 2 hours for the police to come and take statements as her death is classed as sudden/suspicious and then an added 1.5 hours for the coroner to come and take her away. I could not leave her on her own in this time, all i could do was get in bed with her and cry whilst over time i watched the signs of her death show in her physical state. 

I was a complete mess for the first two days as you can expect but  I am deeply upset now as I found from day 3 onwards that I can carry out every day tasks such as cleaning, cooking, watching a little tv, i have even had a genuine laugh and smile. I have cried very little since the first two days and I simply do not understand why. Why am I not crying for my best friend and person I loved most in the world? I cried alot more for her when she was alive! 

I started funeral arrangements the very next day trying to keep distracted as much as possible, I can not stay in the house all day because then I begin to think of her and then I get upset so i quickly put my mind else where or go out for walks. I am looking for peace anywhere I can and have found myself going to church looking for comfort and signs that she is ok or waiting for the moment where so many people claim their loved one comes back to them at the end of the bed or in a dream but I am receiving little comfort from either at the moment. 

She is having to have a post mortem done and thoughts like " that will mean that she really is dead" come into my head or when I was discussing embalming with the director i thought "they can't take all her blood".

Have I actually acknowledged to myself that she's dead? I feel the loss of her but only when I allow myself to think about it which is not often. My main question is 'Why am I not crying for her?" I am a very emotional person and will often cry but why not now. Has anyone ever had a grieving experience like mine? 



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I'm sorry for your loss.  We all grieve differently, and we can even grieve differently than we expect to.  Grieving doesn't have to mean tears, even if you're normally a more emotional person.  Losing someone so significant is a shock, so it's also possible you're still in denial (denial is typical during grieving process).  You said you feel the loss but only when you allow yourself to, which isn't often.  That may be your answer.  It's a very difficult thing to go through, and it's okay to go through it at your own pace and as you feel ready (or I guess as ready as anyone can be for something like this).  But it does seem like to get through it, you have to go through it.  All the grief you're feeling, it's just the love you have for your nanna.  I've read that for those who feel overwhelmed by having to feel their grief, it can be helpful to set aside a little time each day in a private area and think about the one they lost.  That way you reserve the hardest feelings for when you can devote your mind to it in a safe and quiet place.  And you know what, not all sadness ends in tears anyway.  The most profound losses in our lives run deeper than that, b/c they take a part of you with them.  

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I understand how you feel and wish you peace.  I also was very close to my grandmother.  I was only 25 when she passed and I cried quite deeply for her right away.  Her loss made my bond with my father, who raised me without my mother, closer than ever and we had already been very close.  Thirty years later, I lost my father and I was shocked that I didn't cry for him at his funeral.  My relatives were surprised, too.  I was deeply sad and anxious in the weeks that followed, but I could only cry for short periods, not the deep sobs that had always brought me relief before.  I would even watch sad documentaries on tv to try to provoke tears, to no avail.  I also had insomnia at this time, and couldn't take a nap even though I was sleep deprived.  I was addicted to sleeping pills.  Eventually, I weaned myself off of them.  About two or three months later, I started to cry more freely and deeply.  Now over two years after my dad's death, I cry less often but deeply.  I now fall asleep even when I don't want to.   Sometimes I'll tear up just thinking about my dad, but most of the time I can remember him without crying.  I still think about him every day, several times a day.  Thirty-two years after the death of my grandmother,  I still miss her and feel sad that she didn't have a more fun life, but I haven't cried for her for many years.  However, I honestly don't know if I'll ever stop crying for my dad, because he was all I had left in the world.  He was the only person in the world who truly loved me and needed me.  I have a half brother, aunts and cousins who care about me to varying degrees, but it's not the deep, abiding love of a father -- no one can replace him. 

I think in those first few weeks and months I was in shock and denial, which is an unconscious defense mechanism by the mind to protect us from deeply painful emotions and anxiety.   Later on we tend to use rationalization more to deal with the death of a loved one. 

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17 hours ago, completelylost said:

I cried alot more for her when she was alive! 

I think this might be part of the explanation to the way you are feeling

Like you, I haven't cried much for my father since his passing.  The first month after his passing, I questioned if something was wrong with me.  

For me, I'm partly in denial, partly busy with work, and partly at peace as I was able to spend a lot of time with my father last summer and even when he was sick in November. I am so thankful for the time we had and I am thankful I had the forethought to tell him I loved him so much and what a wonderful father he was.  My dads health was slowly deteriorating the last few years, so I grieved deeply many many many times before his passing and I think that explains a little about how I have grieved after his passing.  I also know immediately after his death I was in shock and my emotions closed off, probably as a defense mechanism.  But as the months have passed, it is starting to hit me and I'm having more difficult times

My advice is just be kind and gentle to yourself and let yourself grieve the way you need to.  As long as you are not deliberately avoiding your emotions when you do feel emotional, then you are doing what your body can handle.  Take comfort that everything you are feeling is perfectly normal 

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Thank you for your replies and i am also sorry for everyone elses loss. 

I just don't know how to go on with my life. I have decisions to make but yet I constantly wonder if i should or shouldn't do something in case my grief finally kicks in, i feel as though it has not and i fear what it might feel like. Should I return to my highly stressful and unsympathetic work place? Should I go on the holiday I have had booked for months on the 1st May, just 29 days after her death and with no date set for a funeral as of yet. I just do not know. 

A nun asked me if i was ok yesterday as she thought I looked upset and I told her so straight forward that my Nan had passed away 6 days ago. I felt the answer came out as easy as if it would if she would have asked me what I had for tea. Very little emotion.

I'm trying to come to terms with my way of grieving but it does make me consider things. I thought I expressed emotions well. If this is how I express grief, by continuing with life as normal, how on earth do people view the way I express love. Do i express love clearly? Did my Nanna know how much I adored her? I would tell her every time i was with her but she never accepted it. Always replying that she loved me more. 

I find that rather than acknowledging my loss instead my mind just ponders questions after questions? I am going to try and set aside some time each day to just look at photos and remember her and possibly start writing a diary with stories i recall. I do not ever want to forget her and our stories and I'd love to share these stories when I have children. Have you any other recommendations for practices to help cope?

Thanks x

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Completelylost, my mom passed away 2 months ago.  It was during her last week that we knew she wouldn't make it and I started grieving before she had passed.  It felt more real then than it has since.  Some days I feel very little.  Like my mind refuses to go there b/c it's too hard, and I don't fight it b/c I welcome the break.  That loss is just very difficult to process, whether I'm crying about it or feeling numb to it, it all comes from the same place. 

There's no wrong way to grieve.  Maybe the hardest part for you was in sharing those last moments and saying goodbye.  Maybe it'll hit you a year from now.  There's no way of knowing.  We can also grieve differently for different people in our lives, or during different times in our lives.  Grief really is a tricky thing.  I've lost all but 1 grandparent.  2 passed within days of each other and it was so hard seeing them during their last weeks that after they passed, I felt more relieved for their peace than anything.  Then I lost my aunt a month later and it hit me hard.  So really, who knows where grief will lead us.  In your two posts on this thread, you've sprinkled enough words that clearly tell me how much you loved your nanna.  If it's that clear to me, I'm sure she knew quite well how much she meant to you. 

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