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Hoping for too much?

(34 Posts)
Katek Sat 23-Apr-16 22:52:16

Today is the 16th anniversary of my mother's death under very sad circumstances and nobody has remembered except me. Is it unreasonable of me to hope that someone else in the family might have mentioned it? Perhaps asked how I was doing? I know I could have brought the subject up, but I didn't want to shove it in anyone's face if they had forgotten.

Anniebach Sat 23-Apr-16 23:07:06

Katek, it is possible that many in your family remembered but chose not to speak of it , so don't be sad , we don't know people's thoughts if they choose not to share them, you have your own memories , hope you haven't been to distressed

Katek Sat 23-Apr-16 23:11:58

Thank you Annie, I've just been quite sad and introspective today - hers was an unnecessary death at that time. I shall try to focus on happy memories as I go to sleep.

TwiceAsNice Sat 23-Apr-16 23:30:46

I've found many family members remember but don't say anything to others because they perceive them as managing the grief better and don't want to risk upsetting them unnecessarily. I'm sorry you're grieving and sad and hope you have a better day tomorrow. Take care.

Anniebach Sat 23-Apr-16 23:38:00

Katek, hold onto your happy memories , they will comfort you X

obieone Sun 24-Apr-16 06:23:00

I am sort of in the opposite situation. My friends' mum died in quite tragic circumstances, and my friends and I have rather learnt to keep largely quiet about it, as attempts to talk about it are batted away by the family.
Might you have done this in the past?

If I were you, I would bring it up at some point, and see what they say.

sunseeker Sun 24-Apr-16 08:50:48

The first anniversary of my DH's death my brother rang me. We chatted about what was happening in his family and general things but didn't mention DH. When I later emailed him to thank him for the call he replied that he had telephoned to check I was OK but didn't want to talk about DH in case it upset me (which it would have done). Perhaps the rest of your family are feeling like you - remembering but not wanting to "shove it in anyone's face". flowers

Lillie Sun 24-Apr-16 09:11:05

Maybe there comes a time when, for other people, the anniversary date of a death fades. You may or may not find this happens for you too at a later date.

My mother died when I was young, over 35 years ago, but nowadays I remember her on her birthday, on my wedding day and on other joyful dates. Her date of death is just a number on a certificate, and no one in the family ever really mentions it. Some years I feel a bit sad, other years the day goes by without my even remembering.

You must do what is right for you, sometimes grieving on one's own is a quiet personal tribute to the mother one loved. Other times you may feel the need to share your feelings.

Luckygirl Sun 24-Apr-16 09:46:19

They may have chosen not to bring it up for similar reasons that you have for saying nothing. Holding her in your thoughts and in your heart is a tribute to her; and it may be that others are doing the same. I can see that this seems a lonely business - but you can remember her quietly in your own way, as others will do in theirs. flowers

morethan2 Sun 24-Apr-16 11:05:59

The 39 th anniversary of my mums death was this month. I no longer feel the pain of grief. It feels like the memory and grief have been absorbed into me, become part of me. Does that make sense? I remember her with great gratitude and love on her birthday and the anniversary of her death. My daughter has her names as her middle name. ( she was born 15 months after) It's a very old fashioned name and she never uses it, but on the day of her wedding it was used and it made me feel as if mum was part of the day and still part of my family. It took a long time before I felt this way. Perhaps your family still find it difficult and don't want to upset you Katek at the 16 year point I still felt the searing pain of loosing her on special anniversaries. I'm going to make myself a cup of tea now and ring my sister and talk about my mum perhaps you could do that next week and gently say. " I was remembering my mum last week." flowers for you.

Jane10 Sun 24-Apr-16 11:14:28

Sorry I didn't see this post yesterday Katek. The other posters have said what I thought. Thinking about next year could you plan some sort of memorial activity? That way people could be sure that you're OK about talking about it.
I saw a nice thing in the Botanics in Edinburgh, it was a park bench decorated with roses. Seemingly the family made that a place to meet to think about their late Mum/Gran etc. Is there a special place your Mum liked maybe?

Solazure Sun 24-Apr-16 12:28:49

We all just prefer our own thoughts on my brothers death in 1989. I do hate it every birthday and date of death is mentioned on a social media site by my sister in law, many years into another relationship

Eloethan Sun 24-Apr-16 13:15:40

Katek I'm sorry this has caused you so much hurt.

Not remembering the exact day of someone's death doesn't, I think, imply a lack of caring. I think about my Dad and Granddad every day but I couldn't tell you the exact date they died on.

Also, you say the circumstances of your Mum's death were especially upsetting and perhaps people are unsure as to whether they should risk resurrecting some very unhappy memories. Personally, I think it is better not to avoid expressing sadness, but they may feel more comfortable broaching the subject if you say something first.

Witzend Sun 24-Apr-16 13:38:27

I would think people are reluctant to bring sad memories. Or maybe, with busy lives, it has simply slipped their minds.

I always remember the date my father died in 1987, since it coincided with a nephew's birthday. When we knew he hadn't got long, , poor nephew who was still only about 12, said, 'I hope Grandpa doesn't die on my birthday!' But he did. Still, as my sister pointed out, it would be one way to remember a lovely Grandpa in future.

Just the other day, though, my brother emailed to say that that day (happened to be the day before g-daughter's first birthday) would have been our father's 100th birthday. I don't think it would ever have occurred to me otherwise, even if I hadn't been busy making fairy cakes for little Gd's party. But we all wished 'the old man' a happy birthday - it seemed a happy time to remember him.

M0nica Sun 24-Apr-16 16:03:26

For some reason I have great trouble remembering the date people close to me died. I know within a week but I am amnesic about the actual day. At first I felt quite guilty about this, because I almost always remember birhdays, wedding anniversaries etc, but after awhile, as more people dear to have died and I have the same problem with their dates of death as well, I have come to the conclusion that there is something going on deep in my subconscience which has to do with grief and rememberance. i am sure I am not the only person who has this problem.

So perhaps Katek it is not that family members have forgotten but that their subconscience does not want them to remember. My DS died in tragic circumstances and I almost have more problem remembering her anniversary than with any of the others.

Charleygirl Sun 24-Apr-16 16:19:09

My parents died within 19 days of each other nearly 37 years ago and I could tell you the date, time and circumstance of each.

Deedaa Sun 24-Apr-16 16:54:59

How awful for you Charleygirl DH's cousin and his wife both died suddenly within a week of each other and that was a huge shock for the family. I'm not surprised you remember.

I had only just remembered that yesterday was the 37th anniversary of my father's death. I know his date because it was a month after his birthday, but I only have a hazy idea when my mother died without looking it up. I find I remember things we did rather than the deaths. My Mother in Law on the other hand had to be treated with kid gloves on the 22nd of each month and on every Monday because her husband died on Monday 22nd August. This went on for years although she hardly had a good word to say for him when he was alive.

Katek Sun 24-Apr-16 19:32:02

Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions...i shall certainly mull them over. I don't know why I feel that things should be different just because another year has passed, waiting for time to heal perhaps?

lizzypopbottle Sun 24-Apr-16 20:52:19

Hi Katek I have lost many close family members over the last several years, including my husband and both my parents. My husband's death was particularly sudden and traumatic. These loved ones were hugely important in my life. However, the actual anniversaries of their deaths may pass by unmarked because I think about and talk about the people I've lost quite a lot so I don't feel guilty if some days go by without consciously remembering them. Perhaps it's time for the memory of the tragic nature of your mother's death to recede to some extent (of course you will never forget) and for you to remember good things about her life. I often say to my children, "Your dad would've liked this, said that, done these circumstances." or, "My dad always used to say..." or "Your Nanna would've had a good laugh at this..." In this way, the people we've lost are still with us because we remember the good things, fun, laughter, advice etc they contributed to our lives. Perhaps I'm particularly resilient in this way but maybe you could give yourself a break and plan something happy to do on the next anniversary of your mother's death. Maybe you could do something she liked to do but try to do it with a positive mindset. Or, don't be shocked, maybe you could try not marking that date on the calendar at all. You shouldn't feel guilty about enjoying that particular day because, after 16 years it really is just a day and you probably remember her most days and certainly not only on that one day every year. If you can't let go of that particular day, at least try not to judge or blame your family for remembering her in their own way.

rubylady Mon 25-Apr-16 02:05:31

I think that sometimes we can deal with an anniversary of a death and sometimes we can't. I am the only one who has ever bothered doing anything for my baby brother who died at 12 hours old. I go to the cemetery, take some flowers and re do his vase, clean it off and put new flowers in and have some time talking to him about what I've been up to. At other times I have taken fish and chips and ate them there, had a flask of tea with me, visited just like I would have done had he been with me. But no-one else in the family bother, never have, even though they know that I do. As long as I do it, I don't care really.

For other anniversaries, like my beloved Auntie, I have her picture on my windowsil and on her birthday I buy some flowers and place them at the side of her photo. I expect I shall do similar for my lovely dad who I lost a month ago.

I have had friends who all the family get together and go out for meals at their mum's anniversary of her death but they always did if from the beginning. Everyone is different. Maybe drop it into conversation Katek that you were thinking of your mum and that you would like everyone to be together next year? Maybe next year you might be feeling differently about it. We are always here for you to lean on. smile

NanKate Mon 25-Apr-16 06:48:10

What a very sensitive reply Rubylady you are obviously a very caring person.

How lovely having fish and chips with your bro.

On the anniversary of my dad's death, I usually make myself a nice drink and nibbles and toast my dear dad as tears are running down my face.

I felt so bad last year when I suddenly realised at the end of the day that my mum had died 21 years previously and then I heard her say 'don't cry for me I want you to be happy'.

Quote - 'Grieving is the penalty we pay for love'

f77ms Mon 25-Apr-16 08:25:35

My Mum died 2 years ago , she was a massive part of all our lives and we all loved her very much . I don`t grieve much to be honest as I did everything in my power to make her last few years of illness as happy and comfortable as possible . I think it is what you do when they are here which counts more , I miss her but don`t really mark the anniversary of her death any more than any other day .

Angela1961 Mon 25-Apr-16 09:49:50

There is a lovely poem called - I carry you in my heart. I often read it when I have thoughts of my mum, because I do carry her in my heart as many of us do for our loved ones. If just one person remembers that loved one then for that moment they are with them. You carry your mother in your heart and for you that is all that matters. She lives on in you xx

goose1964 Mon 25-Apr-16 09:50:56

I don't remember my Mum's death date or for that any of my grandparents, I'd rather remember their birthdays & when we were happy rather than a sad date

durhamjen Mon 25-Apr-16 13:17:30

My father died on Valentine's Day, so it's not difficult to remember.
My mother died exactly three months later, so we remember hers as well.
However, I do wish he hadn't died on Valentine's Day, as it makes it a sad day now.