Tell me about your experience.

My mother died 3 weeks ago. I can’t stop cleaning. It’s the only thing that gives me peace and space to process and makes me feel safe and secure and like I’m showing love when I’m struggling.

I’m short tempered and impatient and hugely desiring solitude while I lick my wounds. Everyone wants the OB service they are used to and expect and they don’t seem to get I can’t give it to them.

For someone who spent 35 years obsessing about her death, her paperwork is in a terrible state. Breadcrumbing my way through her mind to find any paperwork about insurance etc. hoarded everything apart from anything useful. 

Funeral is in a couple of weeks and I’ve held strong that it’s only my dad and I in attendance. I’m not here to host her friends be pointed at and fabricate who she was to an audience.

It’s quite clear among other undiagnosed disorders bi-polar was present and navigating a house clearance of that has been pretty traumatic.

I just want it all to be over and to feel normal again. I’m not devastated that she died. I’m sad at how she lived.

Sorry to hear that OB. Grief is an odd thing and takes everyone differently. I hope your cleaning helps you process and the funeral goes well and gives you closure.

My dad died 9 days ago. I loved him dearly. I keep on waiting for the grief to hit me but it hasn't so far. I am kept busy taking my mother shopping and to the various medical appointments which my dad used to take her to, putting the bins out, contacting people, trying to sort out the funeral, writing the eulogy and so on.

Maybe stop obsessing. There is no obligation on you to host her friends but controlling everything and everybody around you does not seem to be a very healthy response. Lots of funerals are full of people who don’t get on. Excluding others is probably not necessary. Get some help with the paperwork. Pay someone if necessary. You don’t have to host her friends but should let them know where it is. It’s pretty common at funerals for people to ignore each other if they don’t get on  or have a big fight. All fine imo. Don’t drink and do some exercise. 

My experience was the slowly unravelling horror of finding out how my mother died from the hospital and then the fact that hospital staff had clearly looted her belongings. 

That shock kinda overtook everything else. If I’m honest. 

Then I raged at the sheer fooking predictable stupidity of it all.

She could have taken two pills and had a blood transfusion and lived another 20 years. 

She chose to die… 

Slowly. Painfully. 

Over the course of weeks … while hospital staff begged her to let them save her.

It all just kind of  reaffirmed how entirely mentally fooked up she was.. she couldn’t accept reality and truth even at the cost of her own life… 

which helped me understand and accept that there really wasn’t anything anyone (including me) could have done to help her. 

That realisation helped me get past the whole feeling sorry for her /wounded animal thing you seem to be going through. 


Just an awful relentlessly awful time. Anger, emptiness, all the negative emotions, day after day just existing in a void disconnected from the world around & requiring enormous strength of will to engage with people. Unless they've been through it I don't think most people have a clue & whether they are well meaning or not almost everything anyone says just seems f***ing stupid. It's a long process. It's not something that you just get over in a few weeks or you have a cry and feel better. After the shock of the first few weeks there are months of further descent, false dawns, denial, guilt, bargaining etc. When you think you might be recovering along comes a milestone like Christmas or a birthday or you're in place you used to go with them & it hits all over again that that person is gone. It's also a physical process. One of life's experiences that changes you permanently as your brain adjusts and find a way to deal with it. I think that's actually healthy in the long run and taking things like anti-depressants will interfere with recovery & the growth as a person that comes with it. For me it was at least a year before I felt near normalish again as far as daily functioning goes. For some it is less & for others longer so go easy on yourself.  I was very hard on myself thinking I could force my way through it and also that I was underperforming at work which caused a further downward spiral. Unfortunately we don't live in a society that undertands grief & respects it, like say the Victorians, so managers can be extremely unhelpful. An aquaintance lost his job because his managers imagined it is something you bounce back from in a couple of weeks & fired him.  There's not much you can really do except let it happen. Don't expect to be the same person you were before. A marker for me of being on the way back up was realising & accepting that person would not want you to feel as shit as you may end up feeling which is part I suppose of having to let them go (in a way). Go for walks. If you have supportive friends and family going through the same thing that will hopefully help. Mine were total khunts. Avoid alcohol, sociopaths and morons. 


The Victorians were onto something wearing black. A helpful sign to people to back off and give that person some space and support. 

Any form of grief is normal for the first few months. It’s only after that there might be some arrested form of it. Do what feels natural, let mr OB deal with the kids.

Oyster Bay, we haven't always chimed along that well, so you may not welcome my replying to your post, but when I see thumbs down used maliciously (I suspect by one person with multi nicks) this is in some measure an attempt to redress that from an unexpected quarter.

Notwithstanding past differences, I always tend to read your posts; you have an authentic voice, as you again demonstrate here. I think you have identified your turbulence perfectly in your last short sentence. 

My experiences of past grief take several forms (child, very close friend, beloved dog) but until recently when my dad died in his mid 90s, I had not encountered this version of it, and like you, it has really unsettled me unexpectedly. For months I wanted to see a much loved dad out of his distressing indignity as the vestige of who he was. Now I miss who he was to me in his very simple, uncomplex way: the simple stability that a loving parent can provide.

When a parent dies we rehearse our lives. Even a damaged parent provides a status quo even if not stability, which when disrupted can hit unexpectedly, like moving house and getting used to your new home, but emotionally. I presume that will also profoundly highlight the version of parenting we wish we had been able to enjoy and that seems a perfectly reasonable way to experience grief too; like living in a house that was falling down around you but which you couldn't for one reason or another move from. 

I hope you very quickly find calmer waters.

I remember with my father how many tasks there were to do. For some reason we had to get both my parents' funerals organised in about a week - I think they didn't have space to keep the bodies around for longer but people seem to get a bit more time  - anyway we just had a week. My father's was worse in one sense as we had more tasks to do as he  died after our mother.  In another sense it was better as we had lost him to dementia for 2 years and then in a way got him back at his funeral and burial.


Our mother died first and my father handled just about everything. I don't know if anyone can tell the two posters on the thread who both lost a parent recently how to handle grief as everyone is different.


As to whom to invite, that is up to the family to decide. We had no limits on our parents' attendance list and just had to think of the people. It was fine having lots of people in the church and didn't matter if we didn't speak to them. A few came back to the house for things like quiche but it was no big deal and I wish we had had more time to speak to those at the house (and at the grave side)

I know and understand grief.  My mother died very suddenly, in front of me when I was 10.  There was no such thing as grief counselling back then and no one in the family knew how to handle it.  Suddenly I found myself making my bed at a boarding school I'd never heard of.  For term breaks, shipped off to my grandmothers or to summer camp as I was in everyones way.  It was always "what's best for him" rather than asking me what my thoughts were.

It could have been worse, my grandmother (maternal side) was orphaned within 24 hours, her mother died after a brief illness and her father died suddenly the next day.  Gran was 11 and one of six, they were farmed out to cousins.

My Dad died 20 years ago last month.  Our relationship was complicated and contact not particularly frequent, but I recall a deep sense of something like vulnerability, that someone who would always have been there if things had gone wrong, someone concerned with my welfare since before birth, was no longer there and I was, at least in that part of it, more on my own than I was before. 

I think it certainly contributed to my later depression, so if I had a takeaway its that you should be aware not just of direct long-term effects on your mood, but that it may be just another incremental straw along the way to the one that breaks the camel's back.

As always, be kind to yourself, especially at a time like this - you are right to feel what you feel, you are allowed to treat with it and have it affect you to whatever degree it does.  Rather than wish you the best, I'll wish you the least worst for this sad part of your life's journey, and the most learning and growing alongside the pain.      

Thanks all for your insights and thoughts - I didn’t feel strong enough to reply for a while. 

The down thumbs are the very worst of Rof - not even as brave as a shitty comment under a sock puppet on an anonymous message board.

I’m not resilient enough for it. I’m anxious enough as it is.

Gwen - I’m sorry to hear about your dad and hope ur holding up ok, your mental load is already a large one. 

As already noted, my dad died recently. The funeral is next week. I am having a sad day today. No particular reason; I was fine yesterday.

An upstairs light unit stopped working at the weekend and I checked all the usual things but could find no reason.  I really needed him to talk to about it (he was a sparky by profession) and it was odd and tough that he wasn’t there (even just to take the piss for my ineptitude).  I ordered a new unit but when I went to fit it the old one started working again. I think Dad was having one more laugh at my expense.


It's nine years next month since my dad died.  When it happened, I thought I was fine so was back at work within a week.  I wasn't fine and it took me months to realise that.

Then a strange habit started.  If I look at a clock and it says 15:15, I have a one minute conversation with dad, just catching him up on things and remembering to thank him for everything.  Why 15:15?  They were the last four digits of his mobile number and the only part I ever remembered.

Hi OB. Yesterday was the anniversary of my mum's death. For me, having close family nearby in the days leading up to and the weeks after her passing was vital. My father has health issues of his own, and the family rallying around him has brought us closer than we were. This has really helped over the last year.

So to the extent that I have any advice, it would be to embrace your family - at least the ones that are important to you and your dad.  And on the subject of the funeral, be sure that what you are planning is what your dad wants as well as what you want.

Oh, and big thumb down to the down-thumbs.