It’s been about a year since my mom passed away after a nine month battle with uterine cancer. While my mom was sick and in the week after her death, there was so much support from all our family and friends. Everyone was always calling and texting to check in, sending her cards and flowers, and bringing us food. But just a few weeks after her death, aside from the occasional text on the holidays or the anniversary of her death, no one is reaching out to see how I’m doing.
This has brought up a lot of negative and uncomfortable feelings. I’m angry and resentful towards my family and the people who made promises when my mom was sick that they would continue to be there for me after she died. I also feel very lonely and uncared for since no one is reaching out to see how I’m doing. Here is how I’m dealing with these negative and uncomfortable feelings:
My go-to coping skill for any issues that come up in my life are to talk with my therapist about them. Therapy gives me an outlet to express my negative emotions and decide what I’m going to do with them. I explore options like talking to my family members about how I’m feeling and creating a separate support system through my friends. My therapist always validates how I’m feeling and is a non-biased support.
Talk with Your Support System
Although my family has not been very good at reaching out to see how I’m doing with my mother’s loss, I do have a few friends who I can usually count on to check in on me. I can talk with these friends about my anger, frustration, and resentment towards my family members for their lack of support, and although they cannot relate they can at least listen. I’ve also talked with my dad about the lack of outreach coming from my aunts and uncles, and he has been able to relate and empathize.
Finding People Who Relate
Fortunately for my friends but unfortunately for me, I am the only person I know who no longer has a mother. This has been an incredibly isolating and lonely experience. In an effort to connect with others who understand what I’m going through, I’ve found a few groups on Facebook for people who have lost their mothers. Reading what the other women in these groups write about their experience with their mother’s deaths helps me put words to how I’m feeling and helps me feel less alone.
If you are also feeling lonely after a mother’s, or any loved one’s, death there are ways of coping with it. Talking with a therapist, letting your support system know how you’re feeling, and finding people who understand can all be helpful ways of feeling cared about. If you are interested in beginning therapy to address loneliness and other issues associated with grief, contact The Light Program today.