U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-26-2018, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,335,478 times
Reputation: 27726

Advertisements

"Anyway, I continue to miss her but mostly it feels like it has destabilized me. It feels like my foundation and roots are gone and there's no real purpose to life anymore."

"Life feels pointless alone. Maybe it's not just that my mother is gone but that I am very alone that is affecting me so much. But it does feel my foundation/roots are gone now."

The technical term for this is "existential crisis." Been there, done that many more than a few times, got the t-shirt and the merit badges. You are correct in the idea that an anchor can stabilize you, and that your previous anchor is gone.

Your next question is "How do you want to proceed?" If you want more anchors, there are obvious ones, such as religion, selfless work, close friends. I in no way denigrate those or diminish them, they are ALL valid. There is a much harder path as well. The encompassing phrase for it is known as a "spiritual quest." A true spiritual quest takes years, and may be never ending and can be troubling and frustrating a lot of the time. The positive of it is that the quest itself is an anchor unlike any other. Much of the time when you are on such a quest, you are involved in a religion or religions, perform selfless work, and have close friends.

How do you start such a quest? Ask yourself the simple question "What is/are the purpose(s) of life?" and write down as many answers as you can possibly think of, understanding that there may still be more. Once you have done that, start exploring and trying to experience each one fully, taking all the time you need before moving on to the next. YOU guide the quest, YOU set the pace. Eventually, you do come up with answers that work for you. No one can do the work of a quest for you.

There can be ways to facilitate such a quest, such as extensive reading, or Jungian analysis, or religious studies, or meditation practices, or any number of other possibilities. ALL of those ways can lead to your being a better person, a more purposeful person, and a more fulfilled person.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-26-2018, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Dalton Gardens
2,798 posts, read 5,363,879 times
Reputation: 1570
My mom passed away in October 2004. It's been 13 years but seems like yesterday. At the time of her death I was living in another country (the UK) and could not afford to fly back to the USA to be at her side when she passed. However, I did fly out in 2003, right after she had been diagnosed with incurable, inoperable cancer. It took me nearly four years, with the help of Prozac, to get back to feeling somewhat normal, but before the Prozac I was going off the rails on a fast train to Hell. I felt suicidal, and when I didn't feel suicidal I felt resentment and homicidal towards truly evil people who were still alive. Just when I started to level out my dad passed away in February 2008. I was able to fly home to be with him for about 10 hours before he passed. What made it worse is that we were in the process of preparing to move back to the USA so dad could live with us. My siblings in the States were not emotionally equipped to deal with dad and the onset of Alzheimers, whereas I was trained in Dementia care at a middle management level. So back came the guilt, but this time it was double. I did get through dad's death without Prozac, but felt so much pain and sorrow for another few years that I didn't know if I even wanted to live through it.

Losing a parent is hard. There is no formula or timeline for getting over grief. Everyone is different. Some grieve for only a short period of time, while others grieve their entire lives. Nobody should be told to "get over it." Its how you deal with it that matters. You need to tell yourself that even through the pain and sorrow it is OKAY to laugh, to enjoy, to LIVE.

Sorry for waffling on. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone and you are normal
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 05:31 AM
 
2,267 posts, read 1,220,897 times
Reputation: 4504
Quote:
Originally Posted by october2007 View Post
My mother died 4 years ago. I never thought it would affect me so much and I'm wondering if this is unhealthy or abnormal and/or what to do about it. I did have grief counseling soon after she died but not sure it helped and it seems like in some ways I feel worse about it after 4 years.

I'm a 61 year old single woman and feeling alone in life now because I actually am (father long gone, my only sister and I are no longer speaking, a couple of long distance friends). I've lived away from family most of my adult life and wasn't that close to my mother but during the last year or so of her life I came and lived with her and tried to help her. I began to feel very attached to her and enjoy her in a way I never really had since I was young. She died sort of suddenly and it was shocking to me.

Anyway, I continue to miss her but mostly it feels like it has destabilized me. It feels like my foundation and roots are gone and there's no real purpose to life anymore. I think this is kind of strange since I went most of my life not being that close to her. But knowing she was there even though miles away grounded me and helped me feel secure I guess. Without her I feel ungrounded and insecure and nothing seems to be worth doing anymore if she is gone. Can anyone relate? This seems kind of extreme to me but I feel like I can't deny it anymore.
I lost my mother a few months ago, way before her time. She was 67, I'm 40.

It does change you. Feeling like there's no purpose to life anymore... I'm not sure I would phrase it that way, I would say that my perspective has changed. There are things I used to care about that I realize don't matter at all in the grand scheme of things. I'm more patient now, less argumentative. Very few things right now are important to me.

I am married with a child. My wife and daughter are the most important to me, without them I would feel very lost. They help me focus on the day to day, rather than dwelling on what happened. Between work and my family, I am busy enough that I can choose when I want to think about it or not. Some days are better than others.

I would say that there's no set time limit for grieving. I've been told that the pain will never really go away. Birthdays and holidays are always going to be tough now. 4 years may seem a long time to some people, but it really depends on how you process something like this. My mother has been gone for just over 3 months now and at times it seems like it was yesterday and others it seems like it's already been years. It's hard to explain, but I bet you know what I mean.

I would suggest going back to counseling, or finding a friend to confide in. I also lost my aunt at the same time, so my cousin and I are going through the same thing. Having her to talk to has been very helpful to me, it's easier to move forward when you are doing it with someone else who has experienced the same thing.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 06:30 AM
 
15,832 posts, read 18,454,406 times
Reputation: 25619
Quote:
Originally Posted by october2007 View Post
My mother died 4 years ago. I never thought it would affect me so much and I'm wondering if this is unhealthy or abnormal and/or what to do about it. I did have grief counseling soon after she died but not sure it helped and it seems like in some ways I feel worse about it after 4 years.

I'm a 61 year old single woman and feeling alone in life now because I actually am (father long gone, my only sister and I are no longer speaking, a couple of long distance friends). I've lived away from family most of my adult life and wasn't that close to my mother but during the last year or so of her life I came and lived with her and tried to help her. I began to feel very attached to her and enjoy her in a way I never really had since I was young. She died sort of suddenly and it was shocking to me.

Anyway, I continue to miss her but mostly it feels like it has destabilized me. It feels like my foundation and roots are gone and there's no real purpose to life anymore. I think this is kind of strange since I went most of my life not being that close to her. But knowing she was there even though miles away grounded me and helped me feel secure I guess. Without her I feel ungrounded and insecure and nothing seems to be worth doing anymore if she is gone. Can anyone relate? This seems kind of extreme to me but I feel like I can't deny it anymore.
I am sorry for your loss.

I can relate to you. Losing my sister had that effect on me for about that length of time. My grief was made more devastating when I lost my brother, my last sibling about 2 years after my sister.

It took me a couple more years before I felt like I was truly focused and back to some sense of normalcy. Finally through processing and thinking about how much time I was wasting literally doing almost nothing...turning down lunch invites, not enjoying my outside gardening etc. simply going through the day to day without enjoying anything really. I finally decided that I owed it too my deceased siblings to get back to living. I would imagine that they would be taking me to task for wiling away time rather than enjoying my life.

That helped me immensely to get back to being more productive and to actually begin to enjoy my previous hobbies and interests.

Your grief is real, each person grieves at their own speed....there are no hard and fast rules so do not be alarmed about your grief. But, as you grieve you'll eventually begin to think of experiences with your mom that can become cherished memories.

It was a blessing that you had time with your mom after having lived away for so long. I lived away from family for most of my adult life and that is a big regret of mine, that I was states away with no day to day.

You also gave up your life and moved back home, which is likely making your grief harder. Take a look at whether you really want to remain there.

One thing that has helped is talking on the phone occasionally with a friend of my sister, who also is grieving her loss. It has turned over the last several years into a friendship....we actually haven't even mentioned my sis passing for the last several calls.

If you have extended family or friends of your mom that you could simply reconnect to that might help, as well as support groups online for grief and forums such as this one. Talking and sharing your grief can help so much.

There is a saying usually regarding romantic relationships that might fit here.

Depression is hanging on, Sadness is letting go. I believe what you are lacking and what is keeping you so stuck emotionally is not talking with others and processing your loss...you are sort of suffering silently it seems. Here are a few links from a search for "grief support online"....there are many that are free.
Bereavement and Grief Chat Room - Bereavement and Grief Forums - Bereavement and Grief Community - Social Networking - Online Bereavement and Grief Support Group - HealthfulChat

Online Grief Support Groups: Loss of A Loved One | Grief In Common

Online Grief Support - A Social Community - Don't grieve alone; 13,500 members and growing

Last edited by JanND; 01-27-2018 at 07:42 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 10:33 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 1,507,855 times
Reputation: 4408
Quote:
Originally Posted by october2007 View Post
My mother died 4 years ago. I never thought it would affect me so much and I'm wondering if this is unhealthy or abnormal and/or what to do about it. I did have grief counseling soon after she died but not sure it helped and it seems like in some ways I feel worse about it after 4 years.

I'm a 61 year old single woman and feeling alone in life now because I actually am (father long gone, my only sister and I are no longer speaking, a couple of long distance friends). I've lived away from family most of my adult life and wasn't that close to my mother but during the last year or so of her life I came and lived with her and tried to help her. I began to feel very attached to her and enjoy her in a way I never really had since I was young. She died sort of suddenly and it was shocking to me.

Anyway, I continue to miss her but mostly it feels like it has destabilized me. It feels like my foundation and roots are gone and there's no real purpose to life anymore. I think this is kind of strange since I went most of my life not being that close to her. But knowing she was there even though miles away grounded me and helped me feel secure I guess. Without her I feel ungrounded and insecure and nothing seems to be worth doing anymore if she is gone. Can anyone relate? This seems kind of extreme to me but I feel like I can't deny it anymore.
October2007, very sorry for your loss. Yes, I can absolutely relate. My circumstance is very similar to yours. Lost my father 4 years ago, my mother is in an ALF right now and not doing well. Divorced, no kids, very small family. Best friends have scattered. I am still working but it's hard to make friends at work.

You say you tried grief counseling soon after your mother had passed. I recommend you find another therapist. One that can help you with your anxiety and emotional pain.

I wish you well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 10:59 AM
 
753 posts, read 372,077 times
Reputation: 1319
I can completely relate. In fact, I could have written the post. Iím 55, a single woman. Lived my whole adult life away from home and independently. For most of my adult life, I wasnít real close to family, but became close to my mom a few years back. Then she died suddenly last year, and I feel rudderless in a way.

For me, I knew once she died there was no one left to confide in who would understand where I was coming from. I donít expect there ever will be, as my siblings just donít have the same perspective I have.

I donít know how normal these feelings are. I do think part of it is my age. I think people naturally feel more vulnerable as they hit senior status. Particularly if you are single and childless.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,115 posts, read 3,932,227 times
Reputation: 18782
My husband told me when his father died at 85 that he felt like an orphan. Odd that a person can feel like an orphan when they are in their 60's. Losing a parent can make you feel very alone in the world. I'm sorry for your loss and hope with some grief counseling you can get your grounding back.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,430 posts, read 3,556,681 times
Reputation: 22666
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I'm sorry for your loss, october2007.

I felt ungrounded and insecure when my first husband left me, like I was floating in space, all alone. I think most of us need someone to be an anchor for us, like your mother was to you. Some people can live alone happily, and some cannot. If you keep your eyes open, you can find someone to anchor you again. Good luck to you.

I felt like an untethered balloon after both parents died...
apparently it's a common reaction, but you can learn to adjust and find support in other ways. Sorry OP it's taking you longer than you'd like...take care of yourself, share your feelings with others, even consider counseling if you can't make progress forward....it helped me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,676 posts, read 2,485,292 times
Reputation: 4737
I suspect the feeling of being unanchored is not unusual after the death of a close relative.

I’ve been researching and building my family tree for the past 8 years and have uploaded the results to a couple of sites. I’m regularly contacted by people who recognize a relative and that has led to some interesting email exchanges.

Occasionally, the person who contacts me is in mourning and is interested in learning more about their roots. The interest fades over time as I guess they learn enough to satisfy them. I used to be surprised that the interest never extended beyond great grandparents as I have traced some lines as far back as the the 1500s and 1600s. However, I guess their need was emotional rather than genuine curiosity about their roots.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2018, 04:44 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,255,725 times
Reputation: 12507
October, There are a couple of lines in the movie "The Holiday," where Kate Winslet's character says something like, "I know you don't want to hear that other people know how you feel. But I really do know exactly how you feel."

I (and seems like a few of the other posters) know how you feel. I can relate.

I feel for you, and I hope you can work your way through this.

Maybe it would help you to join something for a while, so you can have contact with other people with a common interest. Nothing that requires you to speak too much or be too social. If you need to lose a few pounds, maybe Weight Watchers group meetings. Or a book club at your local library. Or a local walking group, board games, cards, a writing group. Anything. But just one thing, so you don't feel too much pressure. Check meetup.com or do an internet search for groups in your area.

It's also important to eat healthy and be on a regular walking or exercise program. Not that it will combat depression, but there can be a temporary psychological lift from walking outdoors or going to the local park for a walk.

You know, it's possible there's a medication that can help you. There are medications that help with temporary psycholoical issues. I went through a trying time some years ago, and my internal medicine dr prescribed two medications for me, to get me over the hump and clear my head. I wasn't able to sleep or eat, my brain was busy and talking & worrying all the time, I was very anxious and stressed out. I'm not one to take pills, but after discussing my problem with him, he prescribed these. They worked very well, and very quickly. I didn't take them for long. In case you think something like that might help, to get you through a trying time.

Pets? Dogs are like having kids, but cats are much more independent, in case you can go for a pet. They give you unconditional love and affection, and I've always loved having an animal to give my love and affection to. But they do cost, and they can hamper traveling. And then there's the shedding. Arghhhh.

You are not alone. I still think about my mother every day (and she wasn't a good mother to me. But I think loved me in her own way.) I recently lost a sister, too. This will happen more, as we baby boomers age. I don't know the purpose of life, but sometimes I remember how it used to be when I was young. Life used to be fun. I don't really have much fun, any more. Do you? Maybe there's some way to get back to just having some fun and not worrying about all the other garbage.

Let us know how you're doing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top