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Mum Died - Estranged - Chronic Alcohol Abuse

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to this site and just needed somewhere to talk with people who are going through grief at the same time as myself.

I am 24 years old and I found out my Mum died on 1st August this year. I had not seen my Mum for nearly 5 years. She had been getting worse with her drinking for a number of years, leading her to become an abusive parent, both emotionally and physically. I did not want to leave her all alone, but I made the decision to cut ties for the sake of my own sanity when I was 19 years old (really, I was still a child and had no idea how to cope with a parent with a drinking problem).

The last time I spoke to my Mum was on the phone in 2014. I can't even remember the last thing I said to her. I know she lost her phone (as alcoholics tend to do) and I never heard from her again. I had no idea where she was living and I knew nobody that she was friends/in contact with- I couldn't find her, even when I physically went searching for her last year.

The day I found out she died was the worst of my life. The post mortem results said that the main cause of death was 'chronic alcohol abuse', with secondary causes of 1st stage liver disease and alcoholic ketoacidosis (because my Mum wasn't eating anything for days at a time, apparently).

I have read many stories online of people whose parents are alcoholics or drug users and their children despise them and want nothing to do with them etc. I have not read anywhere about the children who, although estranged from their parent(s), still love them. This is me. I have so much love for my Mum and I am absolutely distraught that she has died at the young age of 51 through her drinking habits.

The guilt I feel is immense. I feel that I left her to die alone (she was found by a friend, on her knees, leaning on to her sofa- nobody knows the exact time she died that day, but she was completely alone).

I am angry, so angry- sometimes at myself, sometimes at my Mum for leaving me/abusing herself so much, my 'friends' (most of whom haven't been there for me at all), my family (the majority have gotten over it already) and random people in the street who still have a Mum and don't realise how lucky they are.

The main 'feeling' I feel is numbness; because I hadn't seen her for so long, nothing about my daily routine has changed and I had not physically seen her body before she was cremated. In my head, it's not real. It's a cruel joke that someone has played on me and I will wake up to find it has all been one big nightmare. I wish that were true.

I haven't got anyone even close to my own age to talk to about this- I don't know anyone who's lost a parent. How on Earth can people my own age empathise when they have no idea what this feels like?

I am on the 'waiting list' for a Cruse 1-1 counselling session, but they say it could be 5 months before it happens. I don't think I can hold on to my sanity for that long, but I don't want to speak to my doctor, either- I don't want 'happy pills'. I want my Mum back.

If there's anyone who's been through anything similar to myself, I would be so grateful if you could reply to this post. Even if it's not similar to my situation, I'd welcome anyone's advice/opinion.


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I work with people every day who are estranged from their families because either they are alcoholics or drug addicts or one or both of their parents are. Trust me, most people love their mothers even if they have suffered tremendously because of them. So, you are not alone in feeling absolutely horrible about all of this and feeling guilty. Even feeling numb and/or angry is perfectly normal. Of course you are angry at the abuse and neglect! You have every right to be. 

One way to get through this while waiting for a counselor is to simply write about how you feel and to talk about how you feel. 

We will be here with you,


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