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Shouldn’t I be better by now 3 and a half years after losing my son

(41 Posts)
Marketkat Tue 19-Jul-22 11:39:35

I still feel devastated after losing my son. I just think I should be doing better, I don’t want to join in much. It really doesn’t help that I have people that ignore me and assume I want to be left alone. I’ve had conversations with my sisters about this but still nothing forthcoming. Now I hear two of them going away together and last time (before my sons death) the three of us went away together, now I might have gone, I’m not sure, but I just don’t get asked. I only just found out from a different sister that they are going tomorrow, I feel so hurt and have been by them many times this past 3 years. I always forgive them but this time I just think it’s the last straw.
I wish I felt better and had more strength to tackle this, it’s mind boggling, I don’t get it. Cut my loses now, nothing is as bad as what happened to my son, but the added pain through all of the this kind of ignorance really hurts and stops me me from moving on with my life.
How do I overcome this adversity and how much should I forgive. Thanks for reading, I needed somewhere to put this down, try and make sense of what is happening

Dogsmakemesmile Tue 19-Jul-22 12:04:10

Dearest Marketkat, I had to reply to you as I felt so sad at your post. Forgive me if this is poorly written. There is no "should" in this situation. I do not know what happened to your beloved DS but I do believe there is no timescale for grief. All your feelings are valid. Have you any friends with whom you could discuss matters? Regarding the holiday could you say to your sisters that you wish them a lovely time and you would like to join them next time? Perhaps they are waiting for a cue from you? Many people cannot cope with another's grief.
Have you considered going to a GP to request counselling? There must be self help groups too for people who have experienced loss? Just remembered The Compassionate Friends. Have googled tel number 0345 123 2304. That exists to support bereaved parents.
My best wishes to you. Other posters will have experience and better advice. Take care.

mokryna Tue 19-Jul-22 12:07:19

Thinking of you Marketkat flowers

crazyH Tue 19-Jul-22 12:09:09

Marketkat - how very sad. How do you cope with the loss of a child? Perhaps your friends that you wouldn’t want to go on holiday with them, but it would have been nice if they asked you. People don’t know how to react when there’s a bereavement. See your GP or the number given by the earlier poster. Be brave flowers

MayBee70 Tue 19-Jul-22 12:20:41

Forgive me if what I’m saying is awful ( I don’t mean it to be: I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose a child and think that I would be consumed by grief forever ) but might it be that you need to give yourself permission to feel happy sometimes. As if feeling happy is somehow being disloyal to your sons memory? I don’t know what to think of your sisters. Maybe they assume that you wouldn’t want to go with them. I asked a recently bereaved friend how she wanted me to be when we eventually meet up and we agreed that we should still talk about her husband. I wasn’t sure if that would upset her but that’s what we’ve agreed. And please consider seeing a doctor and taking medication if necessary. x

JaneJudge Tue 19-Jul-22 12:22:53

3 1/2 years is nothing and I think it is perfectly normal to feel angry at people for not supporting you better. People are afraid of death and they protect themselves instead of thinking about how much pain you must be in yourself flowers

downtoearth Tue 19-Jul-22 13:06:25

It is 42years since I lost my first daughter and 19 years since I los my second daughter Marketkat it takes time to heal and we are all different,you need to go at your own pace,to learn to live and come to terms with your loss.
You will never get over,but you will learn to live with it.
This loss leaves us with an open wound within ,where every slight,wether intentional or accidental by others wounds and hurts us even more,and makes us feel more vulnerable.
You will come terms in your own time,and start to live again,and the pain will ease.
3.5 years is very new still.
Sending you a hug thanks

pandapatch Tue 19-Jul-22 13:07:59

There are no rules or timetables for grief. My son died almost 4 years ago, aged 34 after a long hard battle with paranoid schizophrenia. I love and miss him every single day but get some comfort from the fact that he is at peace and flying free. So many people just don't know what to do or say. Please do get in touch with compassionate friends, either through that telephone number or this link

There are lots of people there who really do understand having been there themselves and I have found them a wonderful support.

I can't remember where I first saw this but it really resonated with me

Grief is Like Carrying a Stone in Your Pocket

“The best way I can describe grief as the years go by is to say it’s similar to carrying a stone in your pocket.

When you walk, the stone brushes against your skin. You feel it. You always feel it. But depending on the way you stand or the way your body moves, the smooth edges might barely graze your body.

Sometimes you lean the wrong way or you turn too quickly and a sharp edge pokes you. Your eyes water and you rub your wound but you have to keep going because not everyone knows about your stone, or if they do, they don’t realize it can still bring this much pain.

There are days you are simply happy now, smiling comes easy and you laugh without thinking. You slap your leg during that laughter and you feel your stone and aren’t sure whether you should be laughing still. The stone still hurts.

Once in a while you can’t take your hand off that stone. You run it over your fingers and roll it in your palm and are so preoccupied by its weight, you forget things like your car keys and home address. You try to leave it alone but you just can’t. You want to take a nap but it’s been so many years since you’ve called in “sad” you’re not sure anyone would understand anymore or if they ever did.

But most days you can take your hand in and out of your pocket, feel your stone and even smile at its unwavering presence. You’ve accepted this stone as your own, crossing your hands over it, saying “mine” as children do.

You rest more peacefully than you once did, you’ve learned to move forward the best you can. Some days you want to show the world what a beautiful memory you’re holding. But most days you twirl it through your fingers, smile and look to the sky. You squeeze your hands together and hope you are living in a way that honors the missing piece you carry, until your arms are full again.”

Hope you find something there that helps - sorry for the long post

merlotgran Tue 19-Jul-22 13:54:34

It’s three years since I lost my daughter, Marketkat and I understand exactly how you feel about your sisters going on holiday but try not to let it upset you. I’ve had loads of family support but admit to feeling a twinge of envy when they do things that don’t include me.

Why should they though? I’m the same person I always was. Grief shouldn’t define any of us who are bereaved.

If you sisters have made you unhappy during the three years after losing your son you would be better off making your own happiness and accepting their future activities may not include you. Only you can take your life forward and you sound like you’ve lost your confidence.

Things will get better. We have to make it so.

TwiceAsNice Tue 19-Jul-22 14:55:46

I lost my son in 1984. I still miss him. Grief is a black circle , people think as time goes on the circle gets smaller. It does not! Your life grows in other circles around it, the grief stays the same , your life slowly revolves with it.

This example is from the bereavement charity Cruse, consider having some bereavement counselling from them, it is free and they will come to see you at your home.

There is also the Compassionate Friends and the Bereaved Parents Network.

I trained as a counsellor/trainer with Cruse 11 years after my son died and stayed with them for 14 years , it helped me .

Don’t feel guilty if you have good days but 3 years is nothing. When you lose your child you lose a piece of yourself it is not like another bereavement at all. However remember you will always be his mother and he will always be your son. Look up the poem Gods Lent Child , the Vicar read it at my sons funeral and it helped me a lot. Please PM me if it would help.

Marketkat Tue 19-Jul-22 19:15:04

Thank you so much for your kind replies, I’ve taken something from each of the posts. I think I must move on without thinking my sisters will be able to change their ways. Make a different future now. They were very good when my son was ill (he had bone cancer) so I guess I must be grateful for that at least. It was afterwards when they withdrew saying they needed space as it was all to much! I don’t have any friends as such, nobody I could confide in. My friend left me to, I don’t know why she just stopped responding to me. I can assure you I am not a terrible person, in fact I’ve gone out of my way to help these people many times in the past. I guess I wasn’t able to do that for them anymore.
Thank you again, it’s not something I’d do normally but had to find some comfort and you gave me that. Much love to you X

Mandrake Tue 19-Jul-22 23:47:36

Three years is absolutely nothing after losing a child. That's still very fresh.

Baggytrazzas Wed 20-Jul-22 00:26:29

Hi Marketkat, your situation is very sad indeed and I have no idea how you must really feel after losing your son, or how long it might take before you start to feel better. However, I was wondering if this might be a good enough time to plan some positive actions that might help you get out and about amongst some new people, such as joining evening classes when they resume in September, or thinking about taking on some voluntary work, etc? This could allow you to mix with different people and expand your world a wee bit, whilst still allowing you to grieve until you feel you are ready to move on a bit further. There is no reason why you couldn't still be in contact with your sisters or friend if you wanted to but you would be less reliant upon only them. Good luck whatever you decide.

MissAdventure Wed 20-Jul-22 01:00:30


MissAdventure Wed 20-Jul-22 01:09:49

I meant to say, apart from the line about being a "stronger woman", the rest rings true for me.

Whiff Wed 20-Jul-22 05:34:40

Marketkat I can not imagine the pain you are going though losing your son. But my husband died from grade 4 malignant melanoma 18 years ago. I have found as the years as gone by the grief has gotten worse yes I have learnt to cope better. But that sense of loss deepens.

Your loss is far worse than mine. I have no idea how you find the strength to get through everyday but you are. I call the first 10 years of bereavement early days . Because that is my experience.

What your sisters have done is hard to understand . Surely they should realise you need them more than ever. But what I found after my husband's funeral all his family apart for his mom disappeared and some friends did. It's as if death was catching and they didn't want to catch it .

I know with my husband when he died my present and future died to. And making a new present and future is so hard.

With the death of your son you are not only grieving for him but the life he should have had. And that is hard to bear.

I thought I had to be strong as our children where 20 and 16. But I realised that keeping my feelings in was hurting me more. So if you want to scream ,shout,cry or hit a pillow do it . It will make you feel better. I talk to my husband out loud everyday and that gives me comfort. Talk to your son it doesn't matter what about hopefully it will give you some comfort.

Like I said I can't imagine the pain you are going through. But I know for me as much as I didn't want my husband to die he needed to as he was in so much pain. I am an atheist so don't believe we will meet again. I don't know if you have any believes but if you do I hope they give you comfort.

I don't believe in counselling. But there may be a self help group in your area for parents. McMillan may be able to put you in touch with a group. As only people going through what you are can understand how you feel. ?

henetha Wed 20-Jul-22 10:46:47

I can't read this thread without saying how very sad I am for any parent who loses a child, no matter what age. My heart goes out to you Marketkat, and all others who have gone through this. I hope you can find peace somehow.

Grantanow Wed 20-Jul-22 13:03:02

I lost my son many years ago and mourning took a long time. Now I feel sad about it but it does not impinge on my life. I suggest talking with a bereavement counsellor may help.

MawtheMerrier Wed 20-Jul-22 13:15:53

My sincere sympathies Marketkat nobody should have to bury their child.
We did, 49 years ago - he was a baby of 4 weeks but the grief was 100% regardless of age or length of life.
You need understanding people around you, not those who either leave you alone or ignore your grief. Being left out in this way by your sisters is IMO unforgivable and when you feel able you should try to explain to them that despite not wanting to join in everything, it is hurtful to be left out in this way. It won’t be an easy conversation, they may be defensive or even turn the argument back on you. They have presumably no experience of this sort of loss, and believe me, if you haven’t lost a child - from miscarriage through to adulthood- you can have no real concept.
Bereavement counselling does sound as if it might help you to come to terms with your emotions. You never “get over” this sort of loss, but if your life is to go on, you must be able to face forwards -not leaving him in a past life- but bringing his memory and that of the good times with you. You are still his mother, nothing can change that and despite your pain and suffering I hope there were many good times to sustain you.
Do look for help, you can come through this and strengthen yourself to go on. flowers

AGAA4 Wed 20-Jul-22 14:19:17

MarketKat ?

Marketkat Wed 20-Jul-22 17:20:47

You’re all so very kind, Thank you.
I’ve got lots of good advice, I’ll do my best to move forward now, my son was everything to me., I know it will be hard but I’ll do it for him, his smile was infectious, we had a great relationship. Life won’t ever be the same, but I’ll do my best with it. X

BlueBelle Wed 20-Jul-22 18:06:09

Marketkat it doesn’t help you but I did shed a tear for you I feel you need a big old hug
I think your sisters don’t know how to handle your grief or they are totally selfish and don’t want you to spoil their outing

May I ask if you’ve had any bereavement counselling and (this will take some courage p) or have a group near you that you could join When my daughters partner died she joined I think it was called ‘young and widowed’ ( but there would be other groups obviously you’re not widowed) and found it very helpful and has made two friends she is still in touch with eleven years on For some people it will prove very helpful just to talk to others in a similar situation other people don’t want to and prefer just to keep their grief private but it’s worth thinking about
Please don’t be on your own try and make new friends we can never have too many and do come on here for a chat a virtual hug or some support We re not a bad bunch on the whole

Beautful Wed 20-Jul-22 18:27:02


So sorry about your loss, must be so devastating to loose a child no matter how old they are , so can understand how you are grieving ... 3 years to some isn't long to others it is long ... everyone is different ... have you thought of counselling ? It will help to talk to people you can express how you feel , you won't be judged at all, as they are there to help ... I am no doctor but seems like you are depressed aswell , speak to your doctor he/ she will understand how you feel ... even write down how you feel then easier to tell them ... I can understand the way you feel about your sisters, would have possibly done you the world of good & probably what you needed a holiday ... not the same I know , but when I loss my dear husband (had 3 cancer surgeries 6 weeks later ... may I add not life threatening) I could count on one hand the ones who bothered ... people told me people don't know what to say ... I said rubbish ... even if they said hello ... please think of getting the help you need, there are people out there to help you through it ... I will remember you in my prayers ... God bless smile

silverlining48 Wed 20-Jul-22 19:00:47

Marketcat It takes whatever time it takes, and there is no ‘should’ about it . We are all different and losing a child has to be the worst sort of grief.
There is lots of advice and support on here, I hope it helps, just a bit. Sending a hug and flowers

garnet25 Mon 03-Oct-22 12:13:35

Our Son died aged 30 of a heart attack in 2007. Please be gentle with yourself, you are allowed to mourn him for the rest of your life. It will get easier though and the advice you have been given here is all good. One thing I found really useful was taking about him with others, his and our friends that still helps me loads. Sending love and hugs. x