When A Daughter Loses Her Mother

Insights on Dealing With Your Loss

Articles abound on grief—the stages, how to cope with loss, and when to seek help. But it’s harder to find resources on what is “normal” when a woman loses her mother.

You may think your situation is unique; maybe you had a very close friendship with your mom. Or the opposite may be true; you weren’t close at all—perhaps even an abusive or neglectful environment was your experience as a child. For many of us, it was somewhere in between, and we are still trying to figure it out.

After my own mother died, I spoke with many women on how they dealt with their mothers’ death. There were some things that seemed to be common to most of us, and this may be of help to those newly grieving.

First, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Intuitive grievers are usually (but not always) female, and express their grief openly.

Some people are instrumental grievers; they are the stoics, and males are typical of this group. They feel the pain of loss, but try to problem-solve their way through it.

If you have not been able to cry over your mother’s death, it’s okay. Are you normally an emotive person? If not, then this may be the way you deal with the world. It is possible that you are modeling behavior of a parent—probably your mother!

Maybe you are doing fine, but then a song comes on the radio, or you come across one of your mother’s belongings, and you dissolve into tears. This too, is normal, and can happen months or even years after the death. Grief is not continuous, and there is no timeline. Be gentle with yourself. It is not uncommon to fall into a funk a year or more after your mother’s death. This is because the loss begins to feel permanent.

Do you have alternating feelings of sadness, anger, regret, guilt, or loneliness? These are normal responses to grief. When the death occurs suddenly, there is no time for closure—getting answers to questions you were afraid to ask (like did you ever really love dad) or finding out their final wishes, or asking forgiveness, and having the chance to say your goodbyes. Even if the death was not sudden, issues can go unresolved; we always think there is more time to talk about the important things. You finally realize that your relationship with your mother was what it was—and the possibility of changing it is zero.

This can be agonizing—BUT…you can get through it, in time, with loving support from friends, family, clergy—or other support systems. And more importantly, your mother most likely KNEW what was (and is) in your heart; verbalizing is not always easy or even necessary.

But know this: If you are feeling pain, it is because there was a real, loving bond between you and the person who gave you your life. It doesn’t matter what the BUTS are; you are the person you are today in a good measure because of your mother. So there had to be some good, even if there was also some not-so-good. And if you are fortunate enough to have had a close mother-daughter bond, rejoice in the life you shared together. Your memories will one day make you laugh and smile…and the pain will become less and less. Many blessings on your journey!


In Loving Memory of My Mother

Comments 18 comments

SingSong profile image

SingSong 4 years ago

Good hub. Thanks for sharing. I, too, have lost my mom. (recently) What has astounded me that as a grown woman, I still want my mommy. :)


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

This is a great piece with very real advice. It is really difficult facing grief as so many deep emotions suddenly crowd your mind. "I found myself thinking 'how do I grieve?'. Your words are so true, grieving is individual and one grieves the way thier body and mind lets them. I am so sorry you have lost your beautiful mother. I am glad you found your way here, to hub pages. Welcome.


Pat Chiri 5 years ago

Lori--

Found your blog interesting & having lost my Mom 10 years ago-found your piece comforting. Having no siblings, and often a back & forth fussing with each other, when she passed, I felt her peace, but still miss her dreadfully to this day. I guess blogs are neat. I have a granddaughter with a year old baby girl writes a beautiful family blog. I'm not interested in such-but maybe one day when I need you for a lesson, we can get into them more. Take care


Loritutor profile image

Loritutor 5 years ago from Nokomis Author

Thank you, Tuula! I appreciate all the wonderful support from everyone. Now I have to figure out what to write about next!


Tuula 5 years ago

This is just so beautiful, and you do look so much like your mom! Your writing is also wonderful!


Loritutor profile image

Loritutor 5 years ago from Nokomis Author

Joyce: the fact that she has a place in your living room speaks volumes. She would like that, I bet!


Joyce Hannah 5 years ago

Our next yoga class will feature as a centerpiece.....my mother. See what you started. (As you can tell, I am one of the non-emotive ones.)


JIM FREEMAN 5 years ago

IT WAS CATHARTIC TO READ THIS,GOD BE WITH YOU.


Ingrid 5 years ago

Lori, Congratulations on your first blog writing! - So appreciated your thoughtful insights, ideas and feelings expressed! You touched my heart...a big hug to you. The picture of both of you is so lovely - and your daughter looks just like you!


Diane Jenkins 5 years ago

Lori,

What a lovely piece. It really made me think about what I went through when my mother died 24 years ago. We will have to discuss these things. This is such a wonderful tribute to your mom. She would be so proud. The picture of the two of you is perfect. You both look so happy!

Love,

Diane


Denise Billings 5 years ago

You continue to amaze me with your multiple talents. Your first blog was very touching and insigntful. You look just like your mother!! and you both look so happy...these are the memories to hold on to.


Liz Larsen 5 years ago

Hi Lori,

Your mother is so proud of you to write your first piece on your experience losing her and grief at large. Just yesterday and last night I stayed up for the reading of our neighbor's son's name at the 9/11 tribute. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and was 34. Loved your wedding dress and bridal photo. XO, lIZ


Barbara Stover 5 years ago

Enjoyed your blog. So many good insights into dealing with grief. You are a very talented writer.


Beth Gourlay 5 years ago

I was so touched reading this ~ I miss my darling mother every day!! You look so alike. Thank you for sharing this. With all our love and best wishes for this venture.

Beth & LG


Loritutor profile image

Loritutor 5 years ago from Nokomis Author

Thanks for all of your comments and insights. I appreciate it, and all of you! xoxoxo, Lori


Debra Betterly 5 years ago

Hi Laurie,

Beautifully said. There is and always will be a special bond between mother and daughter no matter what. The good and the bad are all part of the life lessons we are here to learn. Thanks for sharing!


Linda 5 years ago

Lori, what a lovely piece and so close to my heart right now. And what a beautiful picture of you and your Mom, I'd not seen this, it's really a great memory.


Laura Graham 5 years ago

You are a spitting image of your mother! Good insight Lori, thank you for sharing. Good luck on your venture

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