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Not sure how I feel yet.

(110 Posts)
phoenix Sun 12-Feb-17 04:03:46

Had a phone call from DIL at half past midnight to say that my mother has died. She (my mother) stopped speaking to me some years ago, heaven knows why, I ran myself ragged looking after things when my stepfather was ill and after he died.

I tried to find out what the problem was, but phone calls resulted in her hanging up on me, an unexpected encounter in Waitrose was unbelievably awful, made me wish I had just stayed hiding behind the yoghurt section instead of approaching her.

Now of course I will never be able to sort things out.

I was so proud of her, she was an unmarried mother in 1958, in a small community. She was sent away for the birth, I was supposed to be adopted, but she decided to keep me, despite my having a cleft palate and being difficult to feed.

Perhaps one day I will try to tell the whole story, or at least as much of it as I know, but for now I must admit to feeling somewhat out of kilter, hence still being up at 4am.

NanaandGrampy Sun 12-Feb-17 09:38:20

I'm so sorry to hear how you're feeling Phoenix.

We always want that storybook relationship with our parents don't we. When my father died ( he divorced my Mum and I had not seen or heard from him in 20+ years)I felt cheated too . I had so much to say and now no-one to say it to.

Eventually I wrote it all in a letter that I burnt.

I hope you go easy on yourself and take the time to process your thoughts.x

harrigran Sun 12-Feb-17 09:41:04

So sad phoenix, mourning for the shared times you could have had and the loss of your mother. Be kind to yourself and remember the better times flowers

Christinefrance Sun 12-Feb-17 09:42:24

Phoenix, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mum, please don't feel guilty but take time to grieve. flowers

nanaK54 Sun 12-Feb-17 09:45:33

A huge virtual hug from me too.

Stansgran Sun 12-Feb-17 09:45:55

As others have said grieve for the might have been and treat yourself kindly .flowers

Luckygirl Sun 12-Feb-17 10:15:06

Such a mixture of grief and regret for what you wish had been.

I truly do understand this - although my mother did not cut off contact with me, like yours did, she was a very difficult person to be with and we had a very poor relationship; so I know that sense of might-have-been, could-I-have-done-more.

I can only say that it will pass - but that period of confusion is one I recognise well and I am walking by your side. flowers

MissAdventure Sun 12-Feb-17 10:22:58

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Phoenix.x

wildrose Sun 12-Feb-17 10:24:23

So very sad. Thinking of you flowers

Greyduster Sun 12-Feb-17 10:48:17

I am very sorry for your loss, Phoenix. I know what it is to have a difficult relationship with one's mother. I always thought mine was a nightmare until I realised, later in my adult life, how little enjoyment she must have got out of her marriage and how it shaped us all. When she died it took a long time for me to mourn her, but when I did I don't think I have ever shed so many tears. I adored my father but I have never ever shed a tear in mourning for him and, to this day, I don't know why. My heart goes out to you.

Katek Sun 12-Feb-17 10:57:07

flowers. Take time for yourself.

Izabella Sun 12-Feb-17 10:58:00


tanith Sun 12-Feb-17 11:20:29

flowers and a virtual hug, I'm very sorry.

phoenix Sun 12-Feb-17 13:02:23

Hello all, many thanks for the messages, they are appreciated.

I've just spoken to DS, she had been in and out of hospital, but he wasn't "allowed" to tell me. She was 83, and hadn't been in good health for quite a while. DS is handling all the arrangements, so I will just have to wait until he lets me know what the plans are.

janeainsworth Sun 12-Feb-17 13:16:16

So sad for you Phoenix. It's shattering to lose your mother, whatever the relationship has been

DanniRae Sun 12-Feb-17 13:21:33

Sending you lots of love and {{HUGS}} phoenix xx

SueDonim Sun 12-Feb-17 13:44:28


JoyBloggs Sun 12-Feb-17 13:54:55

flowers Thinking of you.

shysal Sun 12-Feb-17 14:43:11

It has all been said, but thinking of you Phoenix flowers

MiniMouse Sun 12-Feb-17 14:46:44

Oh phoenix I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Others on here have said such wise things. So many of us mourn 'what might have been' and try to make sense of it, but I'm not sure that it's always possible. Perhaps now another family member may be able to fill in some of the gaps - they may have felt that they couldn't whilst your mother was still alive. flowers

Lona Sun 12-Feb-17 14:59:31

phoenix I too am so sorry to hear of your mother's death. I cannot imagine all the conflicting feelings you must have, but you tried your best so don't feel guilty.
Sometimes there are no answers.

Riverwalk Sun 12-Feb-17 15:08:55

So many mixed emotions for you phoenix but she was your mother and it's bound to be a hard time right now.

Who knows why she cut herself off from you - nowt so strange as folk.


M0nica Sun 12-Feb-17 15:35:29

Phoenix flowers. It is so sad, and a shock when one's mother dies. A whole part of our life becomes history.

It is easy after the death of someone close, who we have not had an easy relation with to regret that we didn't reach that happy ground we sought before they died, but it is an illusion, unless a breach was recent and clearly temporary, and yours doesn't sound that, to think that if we had had a bit more time, another year that breach or difference would have been resolved, but it is unlikely.

I loved my DM dearly, but we were chalk and cheese and we never achieved the closeness that both of us wanted. In the end I just accepted the relationship I had with her. When she died, I was left with the regret and the what ifs about our relationship. But I soon realised that if my mother had lived another 20 years (she died in her 80s) nothing would have changed and I have made my peace.

Phoenix I think you will in time come to terms with the relationship you had with mother towards the end of her life. You did what you could to resolve the issues. Do not agonise over the might havebeens, they would probably have remained unfulfilled. Remember everything that was good and happy about your relationship in the past, your mother's courage and determination, and love for you and lay the problems of recent years aside and blame them on the vagaries of age.

phoenix Sun 12-Feb-17 16:05:37

Actually I feel rather sorry for her, before she cut me off, we had a great relationship, same sense of humour, laughing over daft things until we had to cross our legs! She wouldn't go clothes shopping without me (I used to have to take a days holiday from work and accompany her as she went from shop to shop).

Such a shame, and such a waste, and unless she has left a letter, I will never know what it was all about.

Luckygirl Sun 12-Feb-17 16:13:56

Please do not hold out hope of a letter - it does seem unlikely if she did not even want you to know she had been in hospital. It truly is not your fault that she chose to cut herself off, and worse not to discuss the reasons with you. It really does leave you hanging in mid air. She really should not have done that. It is very hard indeed on you. But it is NOT your fault.

She made things very uncomfortable for your son too I am sure, having to keep information to himself.

A chapter has closed now and time will help you to adapt to that. As others have said you could try to hang on to what a good mother she was in the past - at least you have that to look back on.

It is indeed a shame and a waste - but some things cannot be changed and we have to be determined to move on. I do hope that there are people alongside you to hold your hand through this difficult time.

GillT57 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:16:25

Many wise and kind words on here Phoenix and hopefully of comfort as you try to come to terms with this. Whatever you did or did not do, you obviously got one thing right; your son and his family who your Mother felt able to talk to. Perhaps they will be able to help you.