She isn’t coming back!

Ask A Therapist OnlineShe isn’t coming back!
Courtney asked 12 years ago

How do I get it though my head that my mom (who hung herself 2 years ago) isn’t coming back. I frequently have dreams and thoughts of my mom coming back or that she faked her death and will come back soon. I know its not true, but I continue to have the dreams. It’s an every night thing. Please help me.

1 Answers
Insight Psychological Staff answered 2 years ago

Thank you for reaching out and I am sorry to hear of your loss.  Losing a parent in such a way would be extremely devastating, hurtful and confusing.

The loss of someone important always has a significant impact in a person’s life, but when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly it can create many other issues that prevent the individual from engaging in a healthy grieving process. It sounds like this might be what has happened in your case.

There are many things that may be impacting your inability to move on from your mother’s death, including unresolved feelings, such as anger, disappointment, confusion, and hurt. Any and all feelings you may be having are perfectly normal and valid, so don’t think that you are alone in feeling the way that you do. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to a situation like this and grieving is a process that does take time, and a lot of times an individual will need someone to help guide them through this process, even if that’s just providing a safe place for you to talk about the significance of this troubling event and your feelings regarding your mother’s death. I would suggest that you reach out for help through a therapist in order to fully engage with your grief and to help you with any unresolved questions and/or feelings you are still struggling with. This link will take you to our website’s grief and loss section that houses more information as well as the therapists who specialize in this area.

In the interim I would suggest that you practice grounding and mindfulness techniques that can help with troubling thoughts and emotions, as well as to help focus your mind, in times of extreme distress. These types of exercises can help you to be able to control your emotions so that you’re able to decipher them and figure out ways to deal with them. Some examples are to do things like:

  • Journaling about your feelings and memories, helping you to process your feelings about the grief instead of ruminating or feeling “stuck”
  • Accepting your feelings and allowing yourself permission to feel them
  • Reaching out to others who were connected with your mother and sharing stories and memories of your time together

Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself.  Continue to maintain a proper sleep schedule, exercise, and eat well. You may also want to read more about losing a loved one to suicide here.

One thing I do want to stress is that there is not one  way to grieve.  We are told about the stages of grief and that you should expect to go through them in a systematic way and then you will be able to move on, this is not necessarily, and more often not the case. It usually looks more like this example here:

Photo taken from

I wish you all the best on your journey to finding peace.