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Posted this in impending loss forum also, but may be just as pertinent here.

Apologies if this is not the appropriate place for this. I didn't really see a "My mother in law is passing and I just realized I never actually dealt with any of my grief. Ever." so figured I'd start with what triggered all this.

So, just turned 45, and my mother in law is having a lot of medical issues and likely to pass soon. I am the type who always finds an answer, and always plans things out logically. It's essentially a survival mechanism that has served me well. I had a rough upbringing in an emotionally detached family. I've been estranged from my mother for decades, and my father passed about 15 years ago.

My mother in law has been extremely kind to me, and become kind of like a surrogate mother to me. I've been trying to be strong for her and my spouse, but feel like I've been screwing it up. Becoming angry that her family with the exception of my husband seems to not care or be offering much in the way of support.

After talking with a friend of mine who does hospice work, he mentioned he sees this kind of thing a lot. Especially in those who bury their grief. It occurred to me I never really dealt with any of my grief. Ever. I was raised that you just ignore it, deal with the fallout, and move on.

So now, faced with impending loss, trying to provide support for my mother in law, and my husband, I find myself completely falling apart, and filled with terror that I'm screwing this up, and completely lost on how to deal with all the emotions this is causing.

Obviously I don't usually reach out for help, and feel guilty for not being able to be strong and keep moving. How do you even begin to unravel decades of repressed grief? And not just grief from family passing, but from everything? Apparently a lot of it is still with me, and now that I tripped over it I have NO clue what to do with it.

I can't afford counseling, and live somewhere where none is available for free. Any advice on where to even begin would be much appreciated. Right now all I feel is confused, guilty, and completely ill equipped for this.

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