What's happened to my tears...feeling guilty

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by snowygirl, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    So mum passed away 5 weeks ago and at her funeral I cried loads and am generally a very very emotional person. On Christmas Eve I had a little meltdown but pulled myself together and got on. I thought Christmas day would be awful but somehow it wasn't and neither was Boxing day. This is the first Christmas without my mum or dad(we left him in his care home this year)and I felt nothing and even a tiny bit of relief. The relief mainly as every Christmas since 2010 has been treading on egg shells with either mum or dad or both. This Christmas was so much more relaxed and I feel guilty for not feeling anything. Where have my emotions gone? I keep thinking I should've cried through the day, during the dinner or unwrapping presents. I remembered my parents but no tears came. I've had days at work where I haven't coped and assumed Christmas would be awful. I just don't understand this grieving process. Any suggestions or advice or should I just stop thinking too deeply?
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Just be grateful you're not a constant snotting mess! Grief changes constantly, there is no point trying to analyse it and feeling guilty if you think you're not sad enough. There is no "one route" through the stages of grief. We are allowed to feel relief as well, you know. Please stop beating yourself up, it won't do you any good.
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    I think your suggestion of not thinking too deeply is the right one. Tears are necessary but they are exhausting too. Every day can't be a bad day, tears will be replaced by sad thoughts and slowly those sad thoughts turn to happier ones as the good memories come to the surface.

    Enjoy the good days and accept the bad days. I lost my husband nine months ago yesterday and I too had a good Christmas, nothing like I imagined it would be. There are bad days but they pass and slowly the good days are taking over. For me it means accepting my loss though the loss will always be there. Bereavement is very different for everyone but please don't feel guilty for lack of tears. You are managing well, that's something to be proud of and should the tears come more often then don't feel guilty about that either, just keep moving forward.
  4. Zana

    Zana Registered User

    May 12, 2016
    Grief is like water. It can be calm and serene it can be raging and furious and it can come and go in waves.

    When my father died (suicide) I was so shocked and busy arranging things that I didnt cry.
    It was 10 years later as I prepared to move house that I visited his grave and all the 'things' I didnt get to tell him overwhelmed me.

    No two people are the same so just let things come naturally ..
  5. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thank you. I'm just not understanding 'me' at the moment but as you say its best not to try to as everyone is different. I am grateful though that my Christmas was ok and I'm sorry for anyone who had a difficult time getting through it once again.
  6. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    My dad died in October & I've still not had a proper cry. I feel detached which is very weird.
  7. nita

    nita Registered User

    Dec 30, 2011
    I feel the same. My mother died last week on Thursday evening and I was in shock, shaking, sick, etc. but then I seemed to accept her death. I felt calmer after I'd slept. Now I'm not sleeping properly but I am not crying. I don't know if it is because she was ill for so long, bed bound for 3 and a half years, in pain that I am relieved but I am also relieved for myself as it was becoming such a strain and I suffered a lot of anxiety. But I do feel guilty that I can't cry.
  8. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Hi Snowygirl and all

    I think when you have cared for someone with dementia for a long time you get conditioned into keeping your own feelings, needs under wraps because those of the person you are caring for come first - they can't be pushed aside(if only they could), when the end comes the conditioning reflex isn't automatically reverted but it takes time for the body, mind and emotions to find a new equilibrium as the daily adaptations to your life are adjusted to. Be glad of the good days when you feel fine, just accept them am sure you've had more than enough of those when you don't or haven't felt fine.

    Nita please don't feel guilty for not shedding tears, they are a release when you are able to but you still have enough on your plate to deal with right now which maybe you're holding yourself together for - we do it instinctively.

    Hoping for better days for all whatever stage of grief
  9. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Just like there's no wrong or right way when it comes to either arranging a funeral, or giving away or keeping possessions after, anger or sadness, I think the same applies to grief, and crying or not.

    Sometimes, especially in the early days, I'd laugh at something, and feel guilty, or sob, and wonder when it would stop. So whatever you're doing, or feeling, is right for you, now. It may change, it may not. The volume of tears shed is not a measure of your grief, or otherwise. I wish you well xxx
  10. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    Hi snowygirl, I'm sorry for your loss. I wonder whether it as simple as, with someone with dementia you grieve so much during their life that maybe one is oo wrung out to cry much when they die.
    I never felt overwhelming grief or cried much after my father died, a few years back. Yes, there are moments of sadness and nostalgia, but he had dementia and I felt he had left his moorings some time before he left his life.

    I hope not to be too sad when my mother finally goes, either. For me, ot is them living this half life that is the thing I grieve about the most.

    But no, nothing to worry about, nothing to feel guilty about. Grief does or doesn't hit people in different ways and amounts. I believe grief can also be feeling nothing buy relief that that person is no longer suffering and is at peace. That's still a kind of grief.
  11. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    Snowygirl - I am sorry for your loss (and others'). I share many of your feelings. My mother lived with me for over 5 years until she died in late November from vascular dementia. I have cried but not as much as I thought I would and most of the time feel relief - for her as she no longer has to suffer from the effects of dementia (a truly dreadful disease) and for us. It was becoming tough to care for her and there was, as Nita said, much anxiety and we were getting little rest with all the worry and staying alert 24/7. I think my overwhelming emotion is sadness that she had dementia in the first place - I talked to friends of hers after she died who she had met in university over 70 years ago and they were bright and with it. I also feel guilty that I'm not in pieces all the time - though things do get me. Strangely enough it's often when I'm out in the car going to places where I used to take my mother - even just to Lidl - that I get a bit weepy. There's no textbook way of grieving and my biggest problem at present is keeping the guilt monster at bay! Take care all. Sue
  12. Toddleo

    Toddleo Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    It is only three days since mum passed, and I too have not had a "good cry" I just feel overwhelming relief that the Alzheimer's ordeal is behind us.

    I feel weepy though when I am visiting Talking point and seeing the awfully sad posts about those of you who are facing the daily distressing struggles of their loved ones having Alzheimers. It is such a cruel thing.

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