The stages of grief and the repercussions throughout life

The stages of grief and the repercussions throughout life

I wrote this post back in June as I sat in a caravan in the middle of nowhere in Cornwall. I was away on a hen weekend, a very thought provoking and enlightening weekend, and it drove me to write this post. Its been sat in my drafts for a while but today is the day to publish it. I hope it helps someone else, or just rings true that grief, no matter when it happened carries on forever. And you don’t know know when it will hit you hard and knock you for six.

The stages of grief and the repercussions throughout life

Life without parents

I lost my mum 24 years ago and my dad 21 years ago. More than half my life has passed without my parents and it still hits me like a sledgehammer every once in a while.

When someone dies you go through a grieving process. It is different for different people but most likely involves shock, emotion, anger, acceptance. This process can take months, years or so I have found out many years. The effects are incredibly lasting and have changed me forever. A simple event can trigger me into bouts of depression and I am flipped back into the grieving process again.

Trigger Events

Two weeks ago a series of events caused a significant relapse. My friend Neil came over to stay, who is going through an incredibly hard breakup. There were a lot of tears from him, a few from me. The conversations were very emotionally draining for both of us. Then the Manchester bombings happened. This threw me, watching breakfast TV made me cry for two hours. I couldn’t help but to put myself in the position of the parents who were searching for their children. Incredibly sad.

A comment was made in a Facebook group about negative thoughts and how a negative spiralling thought might create a negative event. And it brought back a horrid memory. When I was around eight years old I realised that my parents were older than everyone else’s.  I clearly remember thinking they might die. I remember thinking they are older so they might die. This thought came back again and again throughout my childhood. Did I cause my parents to die?

After mum died, I started to think a lot about what would happen if my dad died. And then three years later he did. Again, did I cause this to happen with my negative thoughts?

Have I caused an Event?

Any rational mind will of course say no Lynn,  don’t be ridiculous! You can’t cause a dramatic event like this to happen by the power of your mind . But yet when you are racked with emotion from world events, upset friends and as I have just realised it being ‘that time of the year’ which marks the anniversary of the deaths of both parents you become very irrational with your thoughts. And I start to dwell on the fact that I caused my parents to die.

The thing is, when someone dies you question the whys and the how’s.  Is there anything I could have done to prevent it?  If it’s an accident you might think about the what-ifs or the decision taken leading to that accident. With disease it might be thoughts of a more healthy life, less drinking, more exercise. But really at the end of it all we have no CONTROL over when we or others die. We maybe have influence, but not control.

A change of Direction

At the age of 38 I decided to change the direction of my life. I quit my job, starting Mrs Mummypenny full time to start building my business dreams. Much weight was lost and I ate clean for two months. I wanted to be fit and healthy in mind and body for my 40th birthday and beyond. I am influencing my health so I reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack when I am 58 leaving my boys without a mum.

So back to the stages of grief in the past three weeks I have gone from extreme emotion, to anger, to questioning everything, to making changes to get in more control of myself- acceptance.

I just want you to know if you have lost someone close to you, it’s tough. And it will keep on being tough for the rest of your life. But as time passes the tough times become less frequent. Seek help and guidance whenever you are feeling down and emotional, don’t bottle it up or let it make you too overwhelmed and angry. Please see this link from Betterhelp, who can give you more information about this guidance. And crying is really good for you.

stages of grief


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

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13 Responses

  1. Such a lovely heart felt post on a subject which will no doubt strike a chord with many people. Thank you Lynn.

  2. My cousin who is one year older than me passed this summer. A lot of pain is grief, but some of it is fear given the age factor. I think fear of dying ties into our grieving more than we think.

  3. Great article. I’ve experienced the same. Lost Mom 34 years ago and Dad 12 years ago. Mom died suddenly without warning and Dad was ill and bedridden for 8 years. Still miss them both and have various triggers that cause tjebgroef to come out. Thanks for sharing as this will comfort many

  4. Lynn, I am sorry you have endured such loss at a young age. It must be tough especially raising kids of your own want ting to reach out to the people who taught you. It is so important to have your peeps around you to support you, to empathize, cry, laugh and love you. You are such an amazing person with a big huge heart.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your loss of both parents. Your post really resonates with me. I lost my dad at 13, and it completely changed the course of my life. You’re absolutely right that grief goes on forever. It crops up at the strangest of times and, I agree, irrational thoughts creep in. It’s become a little bit of a theme in mine and my siblings’ lives – trying to ‘save’ someone because we couldn’t save our dad. When this pattern causes upset in their lives is when I start regressing again, going over it all (usually at 3am). The positive thing (if there is one) that I’ve found is how much empathy it’s given me, and it sounds like you have the same trait. I wish you well while you go through this difficult stage, and I hope you’re moving out of it now and into a more comfortable place.

    PS I am 38 and also quit my job this year to follow my dreams. Sadly the weight loss is still eluding me, though 🙂

  6. Losing someone you love is extremely difficult. In a perfect world, we could be selfish and forever hold onto the ones we love. But, you know, in a way, we can. We can hold onto the memories of that person in our heart. One of the greatest gifts they leave us is their legacy. We never forget them. My mom passed away in 2007, 4 days after my 44th birthday. I still miss her dearly and grieve for her. But she walks with me throughout my life. I ask her advice, turn to her when I’m down, share with her when I’m happy…it’s a great feeling to be able to do this. And I agree with you, Lynn; a good cry is beneficial. So shed your tears when you need to, but be warmed by the memories you have of your mom and dad. They’re right there with you.

  7. Grief is hard and guilt as well. You have handled it with grace and making positive changes in your life. A crisis can be hard, but so often hope rises from it or a life changing direction.

  8. Life changing events, such as bereavement impact in a variety of ways on our life, and others. To have lost both your parents is huge. As parents are so, so important. I can recall others saying they felt like, or thought of themself as an orphan once both their parents had died. Even as adults they felt orphaned, which surprised them.

    I think it is important that we can share our thoughts and feelings in regards to losses. It takes time to readjust, and we remember those who we spent lots of time with. For you to have shared your losses with others can help us to understand ourself and others. As you mention there can be times when triggers occur.

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