Dealing with the grief of losing your mother

This article will discuss how you can deal with the grief that comes from losing your mother. The article will also explain how it feels to lose your mother, and the impacts this can have on your life.

Dealing with the grief of losing your mother  

Dealing with the grief of losing your mother has no manual. Each person will deal with it differently, it can be that sometimes even when you think everything is okay, at some point those feelings of grief can just rush back. You can look at a picture, or listen to a song that reminds you of them, and that sadness will kick in.

However long it has been, know that your feelings are valid and that there are many more that are struggling with the grief of their mothers in the same way you are. But if you still are trying to understand if what you feel is normal, we will now discuss many of the ways one can feel as they lose their mother.

How does it feel to lose your mother? 

At first, losing your mother can make you experience intense sorrow. It can feel like your world has completely changed, and that is true. Losing your mother can often feel like losing the safety net you have under you throughout your life. 

You may not live together anymore, or even be distant, but knowing your mother was just one phone call away is something that may have given you great comfort, and relief in the past. So now, not being able to count on them, can make you feel lost. 

That is especially the case when someone loses their mother at a young age. When you still counted on them for so much in your life. The loss of a mother can change the family dynamic, and sometimes, the family members can distance themselves after the loss, making it all even more difficult.

But even to people that had stranded relationships with their mothers, when they pass away can be something that leads to intense conflict. You may have lost touch with them many years ago, but in some sense, you could have it in your mind that there would always be time to care for that relationship. 

Be it for you to try to get closer, or even for them to apologize. Once they die, this possibility ends, and with that, many feelings that were buried can resurface. In those cases, it is common that people will feel rage, or sometimes even frustration.

With all that said, it is now clear that grief, especially because of the death of a mother can have a deep impact on you. The death of a parent has been linked to higher chances of developing depression. And not only that, losing a parent can make you feel remorse, guilt, regret, anxiety, emptiness, and even numbness.

And even though that sorrow may seem impossible to pass through, with time, you may begin to feel better. And that sadness will turn, little by little, into remembering, and missing them. But if you are dealing with the loss of your mother, know that there are some ways to help you cope. Let’s discuss what they are.

How can I cope with losing my mother?

While trying to cope with the grief caused by the loss of your mother, here is what you can do.

Allow yourself to feel

Dealing with grief is never easy, the grief of a mother can be even more intense. As you are dealing with losing your mother, don’t pressure yourself to move past the grief too quickly doing that can only add up to your suffering.

Know that grief is a process, and it is not a linear one. There may be days when you wake up feeling good, and others not so great, but that is all part of the process. Accept and validate your feelings even if the other members of your family are dealing with their grief differently.

Respect your needs

As said before people grieve differently, but even you may notice, from one day to the next, that your grief is manifesting itself differently. Sometimes you may want to talk to people about it, others not. In some moments, you may want to be around people to think of other things, and in others, all you want to do is be alone.

Be sure to listen to your needs, and act in a way that you respect them. Don’t feel guilty for putting yourself as a priority at this moment.

Keep your traditions alive 

Each family has its traditions, they may be related to your religious beliefs, or be traditions that you created as a family system. Keeping them alive will give you a sense that, even though your mother is not there anymore, there is still a family unit, and you can count on one another in this difficult time.

This sense of support is extremely positive since it is only your family that will be able to deeply understand the meaning of that loss. A friend of yours may have lost their mother as well, but the representation their mother had, maybe was different than the one your mother had in your family, so in all of you maintaining your traditions, you will have a space to share how this loss has been affecting each of you.

Focus on the happy memories 

At first, the loss can be so unbearable that it may be hard to focus on the happy memories. But at some point being able to look at the positive things you lived through will allow you to understand that, even though this person is not physically a part of your life anymore, all you lived together is inside you, and will live on.

Look for professional help

As said before, dealing with the loss of a parent can be something that will make you more susceptible to developing mental health conditions such as anxiety, and depression. If you feel that, at any moment you are at risk of developing those conditions, it may be time to look for professional help.

But that is not the boy situation in which you should look for professional help. If you feel it has been difficult to deal with your emotions, or if you are dealing with them mostly alone, having someone to share with is important.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How to deal with the grief of losing your mother? 

What is complex bereavement? 

Complex bereavement is the name given to the experience of grief that a person goes through in which after a year since they lost the person, this loss is still causing deep impacts on your life.

Clinically this condition is called Prolonged Grief Disorder, and it makes it harder for you to move on with your life, or you can also experience emotional numbness, feel that life has lost its meaning, or even still be in disbelief about the death of your loved one. It is a condition that can often lead the person going through it to want to die.

To cope with Prolonged Grief Disorder people may need professional support. Through that, they may not only share their feelings but also create new meanings in their lives.

Is it possible to not grieve the death of a mother? 

Yes, it is possible to not grieve the death of your mother. As with any other relationship, grief is often related to the type of relationship you had with the person. The more intense the relationship, be it on the positive, or negative aspect, the more intense the feelings of grief can be.

But if you never had a relationship with your mother, it can be that you don’t feel the grief from losing them. But you shouldn’t feel bad about it, in the same way as embracing the sadness that can come with grief, you should embrace what you are feeling.

Will I ever forget my mother?

No, even if your mother has just died, it is unlikely that you will forget them. Your mother has such an important role in your life that, even though the two of you didn’t have a positive relationship, once they die, you will still carry them in your memory.

What can happen, over time, unfortunately, is that you don’t remember some things about them. For example, you may forget their smell, but once, as soon as you sense a similar smell, it will bring up all the memories once again.

How can I cope with death?

The first thing to do, as you are dealing with a loss, is to give yourself time to grieve, and in that, you may try to understand the impact this person has had in your life. Following the rituals you believe in, which often give you time to understand that the person has died, and give you time to say your goodbyes can help.

Keeping the memory of the person alive, and not pretending that they never existed can be a way to show how valuable this person was to you, and appreciate them. If at any time you feel it is needed, look for professional help, and hopefully, with time, you will begin to feel good again.

Can being depressed make it harder to deal with grief?

Yes, dealing with depression can make it harder for you to cope with the grief of losing a loved one. That is because depression makes you more emotionally sensitive. You can feel so much sadness, that losing someone you love will add to that, making the pain even more intense. 

In those cases, it is important for the person to maintain their depression treatment, and even discuss with the professionals caring for them if there is any need for adjustments.

And it is not only that, depression and grief seem to be deeply connected, so it is not only possible for that to happen, but it is also possible that grief will make a person more susceptible to depression as well. 

As you lose someone you love, you can feel that your life has completely changed. Depending on the type of the relationship, it can even seem meaningless, and that can often lead you to depression.


This article explained how you can deal with the grief of losing your mother. It also showed how losing her can make you feel, and how it impacts your life.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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