Post # 1
My mother passed away a few years ago. Since then, I’ve made some new friends, met new people who I’ve became sort of close to, new coworkers, etc.
When topics come up about family, parents, moms, etc, I don’t really mention that my mom has passed away. I only ever say “my dad” or “my mom used to”. So I kind of allude to the fact that she’s not around, but I never specifically say why.
Why do I do this? I hate telling people that she passed away because they ALWAYS feel bad for me. I’m 25, my mom passed away when I was 22. Yes, I was pretty young. And yes, I miss her and it sucks not having her around. I just can’t stand the pity. And they always treat me differently after I tell them, it’s subtle, but I notice it.
Any other bees who have lost a parent feel this way?
Post # 3
People do the same thing when they find out my Mom is a cancer survivor. Which is bizarre, because SHE’S STILL ALIVE!
Yeah, it was awful… 17 years ago. We’ve moved on, it’s fine! She survived! But people get all quiet and pitying. It’s SO bizarre!
Post # 4
My college roommate’s mother passed away while she was in highschool. Her mom was on a trip when she passed so RM never got to say goodbye and she was cremated before the funeral which was really hard on RM. We talked about it, but I don’t think I ever really treated her any differently because of it. She was my friend and that was simply part of her past, granted it’s not a very nice part but it did have a hand in shaping who she was in the present.
She did use ‘my mom is dead’ as a comeback to your mom jokes and the looks on people’s faces did get funny after you’ve seen it enough times, it’s the ‘oh shit, I’ve really just put my foot in my mouth’ face.
Post # 5
@MichiganGirl24: I haven’t lost a parent but I did lose a brother when I was 10. Fourteen whole years ago. And I STILL dread bringing it up because people always give me that face. Pity face is so unhelpful, thanks though.
It comes up once in a while anyways and I find myself constantly assuring people that it’s OK! Sometimes I wish I could just talk about him without everyone getting all sympathetic on me. It would be nice to be able to tell a story from my life without people feeling bad for me!
Post # 6
@MichiganGirl24: I know exactly how you feel.. I am only 23 and i lost my mom suddenly just 6 months ago. She was my best friend and I have been having such a hard time coping with it. I hate talking to new people now. I hate having that cloud above my head and hoping that they don’t ask anything more detailed because so much of my life revolved around my family. I also hate talking to people I haven’t seen in a while because I don’t know if they know about my mom’s passing or not.
I am just hoping that the pain and emptiness will slowly fade away and eventually it will be easier to talk to people about her.
Post # 7
@MichiganGirl24: I have a really close friend whose mother died of breast cancer when we were teenagers. She also got sick of all the pity surrounded by it. She found it difficult to even have normal conversations because she had to be careful not to say things like “my mom used to say/do xyz” or else she’d get the “aawee” look.
Her way to deal with it probably wasn’t the best but it was somewhat entertaining…one time we were getting ready with a bunch of other friends and she said something about her mom just in a casual way and another girl just gets sad eyes and says “awe, you know you look so much like your mother” to which my friend responded “What? with no hair and half a boob?” – which just made it super awkward for the girl who brought it up. But it did prevent people from giving her any more pity speeches.
Post # 8
“I hate having that cloud above my head and hoping that they don’t ask anything more detailed”
That is a perfect way to describe it. My sister lost her husband to a work accident. While people don’t usually directly ask about it, when they first meet her they ask general things like what she does for a living. Well, she’s a SAHM because she has small children and is compensated by her late husbands company. So after saying she’s a SAHM they ask if she’s married, how she “gets by” as a single SAHM so even the most general conversation brings it out.
She always hates that…it’s like you know people aren’t expecting it and you feel like you put a damper on the conversation and people never know what to say next.
Post # 9
I lost my father when I was 19 and my bf of 8 yrs when I was 23….and I feel the exact same way! I hate bringing it up. For me it’s that look of pity/sadness that people get. And I know they only mean well but I hate the pity. I am from a very small town and for a longggg time I’d hate to visit b/c every single person i’d run into would have that look and would talk to me like I was breaking.
Post # 10
@ValerieBee03: oh dear that would be such a difficult thing for your sister to have to go through.
it is specially hard for me when they ask me what I do as well. I have been working for my parents company for the past 4 years. When my mom got sick I took over her job. So I find it difficult to not say I work at a family business with my mom and dad .. cause technically now it is only with my dad. It just feels really awkward for me!
Post # 11
@MichiganGirl24: I feel you. It’s always awkward because, for me, yeah it’s sad but it happened 4 years ago and it’s just a part of life. But when they clarify and I try to casually say “Oh, because my mom is dead” then it becomes this whole big thing. And it’s not like I can say “Oh don’t worry about it. It’s fine!” because then I sound like I don’t care. I hate it.
This actually happened a couple weeks ago with SO’s friend’s wife. I love her but we’ve only had a few in-depth conversations so I don’t blame her for forgetting that my mom’s gone. She made some reference that assumed my mom was alive and I just worked in later that SO & I have “one mom & one dad between us” since his dad is gone, too.
Post # 12
@MichiganGirl24: I have this same issue! I lost my dad to cancer this past January. Obviously it was a very sad time for my family and I wish he was still with us – HOWEVER, it drives me crazy how people act when they find out. I have a really hard time saying “My dad is dead” to people who don’t already know. So I find myself trying to NOT talk about him to people who don’t know about it… it’s just weird. I even try to say “I’m going to my mom’s house” because I don’t want to say my parent’s house for some reason now that he is gone. But I really hate the whole “Oh my god, I am so sorry, etc etc.” I mean I understand that they feel the need to acknowledge that I just said that my dad is dead, but the whole pity face and sympathy being directed towards me, drives me crazy. I don’t know what the solution is, but I just wanted to tell you that I feel the same way as you!
Post # 13
@ValerieBee03: Oh lord. That’s the WORST! Your poor sister. I can’t even imagine… because my first question to a SAHM is usually “What does your husband do?” and what is she supposed to say? Holy cow. I think I’d start semi-lying and say I’m a nanny or something. Damn.
Post # 14
I lost my mom last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer, I hate the pity looks i still get from her side of the family. I can go about my day and talk about my mom on a regular basis with work and at home, because my sister and my DH and I feel like mom is watching over us, so we talk about her, a lot. and I’m happy I do, if I tell someone my mom’s story, of how she was healthy her whole life and then started to feel off… went in for blood work only to find that her suger was high and they put her on diabetes medication only for that not to work because it was cancer not diabetes. It might make someone think to ask for a ultra sound if that happened to them or it might make them look into pancreatic cancer as its the least funded cancer for research so maybe that person will donate next time i do a walk…
I understand the look, i hate the look, it sucks, and losing your mom at such a young age sucks, but i ignore the look and go about my converstation.
Talking about my mom keeps her alive in my heart.
Post # 15
@MichiganGirl24: I also wanted to add that it has been 10x worse for my mom. People just automatically assume she has a husband (she doesn’t even wear a wedding ring and hasn’t for years) and make comments like “what does your husband do?” or “where is your husband?” or “have you husband take care of it!” and it is SO awkward to watch her have to say that her husband is dead. I am cringing now just thinking about it. 🙁
Post # 16
@Lizzie123: Aww man… hugs to you. The first year sucks the worst because you sometimes run into people who knew your parent but didn’t know they’d passed. I HATED that! I stopped shopping in town because I would run into people my mom worked with (she was a school administrator for decades). Then we had a bunch of funerals last year and some long-lost relatives actually mistook me for her! So freaking awkward. A) I’m not her and B) oh yeah, she’s dead. Awful.