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  • Lost both parent to cancer. Don’t know how to grieve



    3 replies

    Hello - 4 years ago we lost out father to cancer. He was the love of my mums life. I didn’t grieve as I should - I kept my feelings inside because the main thing was to make sure that my mum was ok. I put her first. And this summer, my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died with us round her bed around three months after the diagnosis. So now I’m lost. In 40. I didn’t learn to grieve before, but now I must and I don’t know what that looks like. There is work to do when losing both parents. I’m used to worrying about something else, or someone else. I’m terrified of facing my feelings. How does one process this stuff? I just feel numb. My last 4 years have been devoted - in my mind- to thinking if my mother is ok. What happens now?

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  • David

    Hi Dots, we’re sorry to hear about the loss of your mum and dad and how hard it’s been with your grief. It’s clear that you wanted to prioritise your mum’s welfare and did not feel it was possible to grieve after your dad sadly died and so now, after the loss of your mum, you are feeling the grief for both.


    It’s normal to be unsure and not know how to process loss. You said that you feel numb – this is a natural response and one that lots of people find challenging because they believe they should feel something. Grief is very much an individual experience and whatever you feel (or don’t feel), those emotions are valid and matter. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. If you would like to share more with the Marie Curie community then this is a safe space for you to do so.


    Maybe there are others here on the community who have felt the same? If you have struggled with loss and experienced uncertainty, feel free to share your own experience too.


    We have some useful information on our Marie Curie website about coping with loss – at www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/bereaved-family-friends/dealing-grief/grieving-your-way. Our Support Line is also available on Freephone 0800 090 2309, if you ever need a listening ear.

    David – Support Line Officer

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  • Dots

    Thank you so much David 😊

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  • HannahJG

    Hi Dots, 

    Thank you for sharing your story on here. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of both your parents, it's okay to feel lost. Grief is very different for everyone, personal experience has shown me there is no right or wrong way to grieve. 

    I lost my Dad to cancer nearly 10 months ago and at first, I felt numb - almost emotionless. Then the emotions came in different forms E.G anger, tears, frustration etc. 

    I have learnt that talking about it definitely does help. Even if it's typing on here - knowing that there are others having a similar experience or knowing how you feel is very comforting. Getting those thoughts out of your mind and putting them into words may give you some relief. 

    Please feel free to continue sharing your feelings on here, there is always someone to listen and reply.

    Take care of yourself,

    Hannah - Community SuperUser

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