Am I normal ? Haven't cried once !


Registered User
Apr 4, 2004
Dear all, I am the kind of person who cries very easily but since my lovely mum passed away on June 11th I don't think I have cried once. While she was dying I briefly shed some tears because it was sooo horrible to see her waste away - there were times when she was distressed and couldn't tell me why and it was awful to see. But this whole journey with her over the last three years has been such a nightmare - I am single, father already passed away, no siblings etc that I could barely cope alone with seeing her decline, especially as in the last few months she totally lost the ability to swallow, was emaciated and unable to communicate at all. When she contracted pneumonia, I made the decision with the GP, to withdraw treatment, so, in a way, hastened her death, but it would, from what I understand have been inevitable as she was in such a state. She took ages to pass away - her breathing stopped for long periods then started again over 4 days - the care home workers had never seen anything like it ! Anyway we (me, cousin, care home Chaplain) were with her when she finally went. When she finally stopped breathing I just felt total and utter relief - I think I was even smiling. Now, of course, I feel guilty about that and wonder if I am normal and/or am bottling something up inside. The thing is I don't think I am. I am now back in Mali , West Africa where I live, and have the worst flu I have ever had in my life - which I don't think is unconnected ( ie 'symptoms' are coming out as physical rather than emotional).
I keep thinking I am going to blow at some point cos I feel so calm now. The only thing I can say in mitigation is that I keep having weird, quite peculiar dreams about her death and/or have to pinch myself to tell myself it has really happened. I have plenty of wonderful friends to talk to about it - indeed it is refreshing to be in Africa where the subject is not taboo - but why don't I feel sadder ? I adored my mum.
Answers on a postcard please ... !
love Sarah C xx
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Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
sort of north east ish
dear sarah

i don't think there's any such thing as a normal reaction to losing someone. you're possibly still quite in shock with it all ...... not least since you've had the journey over to UK and back to Mali in the midst of all this. i can imagine it all feels quite unreal - hence the dreams, and also that you're exhausted with it all and that's showing itself in your being unwell.

it's still all very very recent - it can take time to work out how you feel. try to give yourself a bit of space without rushing back into work etc.

keep in touch



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Sarah

I don't think you are abnormal at all. Your mum had been ill for so long, and you know the end was close. You were able to be with her at the end, and that is something you will always be grateful for.

There is nothing for you to grieve for. Your mum's suffering is over, and you are no longer being torn apart trying to care for her at a distance.

I'm not saying grief won't hit you. It may creep up on you when you least expect it. Then again, it may not. You may just be aware that there is a gap in your life where your mum used to be, and be able to remember her without pain.

Just take it as it comes. There's no right way to grieve, we all do it in our own way. And take care of yourself. Your illness just now is the effect of the strain you have been under. Just be good to yourself, and don't ever feel guilty. You did everything possible for your mum.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Sarah

I agree with Hazel. You are probably experiencing a feeling of relief that this suffering is over and your mother is at peace.

It doesn`t mean you might not suddenly and unexpectedly burst into tears one day, and if you do, you know what it`ll be about. But if you don`t, don`t fret. You don`t need to cry to show you loved your mother.

Take care xx


Registered User
Jan 15, 2007
Dear sarah

No you are not abnormal I have felt very much the same as you I have shed a few tears for my mum but not as much as I thought I would.

What you have been through with your mum is very similar to my experiences with my mum and I think we probably grieved a long time ago plus when someone you love has suffered so long it does come as a relief for them and us.

I do miss my mum very much but I would not want her here suffering as she did.

Take care of yourself

Linda xx


Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
east sussex

I can only agree with sarah and linda when they say that they had a sense of relief when thier loved ones suffering was over , i felt just the same when my husband passed away in April.

Cynthia x x


Registered User
Oct 17, 2006
Hi Sarah
I can only agree with everything that has been said. We grieve before our loved ones die and relief that their nightmare is over is only natural I think. My Dad died nearly 2 years ago, he was 93. He had dementia and cancer in a variety of places and nothing was going to get better so the relief for him (and for me too if I'm honest) was greater than the saddness I felt at the time. I cried at the funeral when my son made a lovely speech about his Grandad but haven't really shed a tear since. I had to carry on with caring for my Mum once Dad had died and I've felt that stopped me having time to grieve for Dad. So maybe when Mum has gone I'll have a big cry for both of them or maybe I wont. I think anything any of us feel is ok or normal or whatever you want to call it. We all deal with things in our own way and that's fine.

Be kind to yourself and take care.