Hi everyone,

It's been 6 1/2 months since Mom died and I know first holidays are hard. But how do I handle having my 25 year old children not understand prolonged grief, commenting "Mama just hangs onto things", which I do in "normal" life. I am actually feeling a bit better. They are concerned, of course, but just don't quite get it. I mean who the heck wants to hang onto feeling sad or having thoughts about their Mom's last moments? Everyone means well but it just increases my wanting to stay quiet and fake it. Ugh.
As always, thanks for listening.

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My best friend lost her nearly 102 year old mom six months ago. She keeps busy and/but is still grieving.

Her "kid" doesn't get it, either. She has recently re-entered therapy to try to sort out all of these conflicting feelings. As have I.

I can't recommend therapy enough; having a dispassionate, trained sounding board is invaluable.
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Cover999 Dec 2022
Depends on the therapist.
(((((((hugs))))) just (((((((hugs)))))
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I would have an honest chat with your children who are grown adults now and should be able to process the fact their mother is grieving for HER mother, which they will be doing themselves one day. You don't have to 'fake it' for their sake, nor do you have to stay quiet and pretend to be fine. I'm a believer in speaking my mind to my family and friends, and they can take my truth or leave it, but for anyone to judge me for my own feelings is flat out wrong. Having anyone tell you to 'just get over it already', in so many words, does nothing to actually help you past your grief.

Perhaps a bit of grief counseling would help, but if not, time should do the trick. I wouldn't rush to take anti depressants either, b/c there are some emotions that a pill isn't going to fix. The only way out of grief is through it, in my opinion.

Wishing you the best of luck processing your own feelings in your own way and in your own time and space.
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"It's been 6 1/2 months since Mom died and I know first holidays are hard. But how do I handle having my 25 year old children not understand prolonged grief, commenting "Mama just hangs onto things","

Well, for starters, I wouldn't call 6 1/2 months 'prolonged', I'd be more inclined to call it 'normal'. But even the label of 'normal' implies that it's anyone's' business but yours. You'll move forward in the process, when *you*, are ready.

Secondly, while grandparent is an important relation, it's still not as personal as 'parent', this is the person who brought you into this world directly, and introduced every aspect to you personally.

If they don't back off you could say 'You'll understand some day - but hopefully not too soon'
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6 1/2 months is not long in the grand scheme of things.
But you can begin to turn your thoughts around.
When you think of mom and things associated with her think of the good that went with it rather than dwell on the "sad" aspect of missing her. Tell stories that keep her with you in your heart and mind. Share some of the things that you remember from when you were young. That "favorite" meal the kids like, was it one your mom made? That is part of who they are now just as much as it is part of you.
You will catch a glimpse of her walking down the street in a store window, your reflection won't be yours but for a brief moment it will be hers. That voice in your's hers telling you you did a good job, or to stand up straight.
It's ok to stay quiet and reflect. But not a place to stay for long.
If you were not sad I would be more concerned.

When my Husband was in the last few weeks of his life I was sitting by his bad, holding his hand and crying then it hit me....These were selfish tears. I was going to lose him but to want him to remain as he was, a shell of who he was was not right, not fair. He would not have wanted to live as he was. It was then that I was more at peace. Did it hurt when he died..of course. It felt like someone ripped my heart from my chest and stomped on it. But he is still with me, every time I look at my grandkids, he is there. When I make a meal that was a favorite of my Husbands the kids comment on it. I wear his shirts and I am reminded of him. There are songs that sometimes bring on the tears...then again sometimes I hear the same song and it is just a song.
But...I share what I learned caring for him, I volunteer at the Hospice that helped me care for him. He is still with me!
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Sometimes faking it for others helps us. Smiling when we don't feel it actually changes hormonal levels in our bodies, and in truth it is important we keep some of the good hormones slowing. At some point it does become a choice. There are levels of grief, and I think that parents losing a child often have zero control; the grief is terrible. But understanding that someone has passed after living a long and relatively content life does them no honor, your own body and soul no favor, and is distressing to those around us. If you do need to get help consider a Licensed Social Worker in private practice; they are the best at life transitions. A year of grief is expected. I would say allow yourself to speak and mourn, and then also give voice to some of the funny and happy memories as well. You may decide to consider a mild antidepressant. Some need it to form a bridge. Sounds as though you have an understanding family and that is a major "blessing" in itself.
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