To bereaved people: Does there come a time when remembering stops becoming so painful?
My mum died 13 years ago (I am 24 years old now). I don’t really recall spending a lot of time after her death grieving, and although I remember experiencing intensely private moments of grief and pain, I just tried to get on with things – life was demanding and wasn’t going to stop for me because of her dying, and I didn’t really feel as though there was any “space” for my grief, it felt awkward and isolating.
Throughout the rest of my teens and early twenties, I didn’t really think about grieving, and didn’t find myself upset or crying when I thought of my mum – I suppose I didn’t dwell on it. In the past six months or so, I’ve had some major life changes and for various reasons, have started to think about my mum’s death, and its implications, and my own feelings about it much more. On these occasions, it is so intensely painful, and I keep finding myself tearful or crying about it when I think about it.
In an attempt to try and address my feelings now, amongst other things, I have bought two books about the experience of parental death, and I can tell already that these will help me, even though I am only about 10 pages into the first book. But even reading this book is incredibly hard and causes me to get upset and cry. I read about three pages at a time and then have to stop. I can feel it’s helping me, but it’s very difficult to read.
What I would like to know is that if you have experienced the death of someone you love, in time, do you find that you can stay connected with that person, and remember them, and their death, without it feeling so vividly painful and raw, and without it causing you distress? How long did it take you to reach this point? Was there anything that you thought or did that helped you achieve this? Do you recall any particular milestones? I know this is a very personal question, but your thoughts would be much appreciated.