Emotional transference?

Last year my mum died, after a long stint with Alzheimer’s Disease. I had a brief bout of despondence, but soon recovered.

So today I heard that my aunt (my mum’s older sister) died under similar circumstances, and I can’t stop blubbering. :frowning:

Sheesh…I haven’t seen my aunt for maybe 20 yrs, and most of those she’s been in a nursing home, off with the fairies. Why the fuck am I crying about her, when I couldn’t even produce that many tears for my own mum?

Fuck grief…why does it have to be so darned unpredictable?

After my sister died, I spent six months basically in shock before I fell apart. Grief happens when it happens. Take care of yourself.

Before your Mom passed you had already recognized, her passing would be painful and traumatic for you. Also, you knew it was coming, and had time to steel yourself, build some emotional walls to protect yourself from the pain.

With your Auntie, you had not seen her in a couple of decades, so were hardly expecting her passing to be terribly traumatic to you. In addition, you had no warning, or time for protective measures like shutting yourself down emotionally to avoid feeling the pain of loss.

As you can see, you can hold at bay, for a time, the pain and loss you don’t want to face. But sooner or later you will experience something traumatic which will catch you unprepared. When that happens it can trigger a cascade of all of the suppressed emotions you’ve been trying to hide from.

Suddenly you are reacting out of all proportion to the trigger, and you recognize it and find it unsettling as it indicates you really can’t control your feelings, like you attempted. We are not machines, that can turn our emotions on or off, or just ignore them as and when we choose.

My husband didn’t shed a tear when his brother died. The brother was a huge Michael Jackson fan and so when MJ died a year after the brother, he cried like a baby, somehow it came out that way.

Courage my friend, it’s just not easy.

Almost the same thing happened to me, except that the triggering event was a happy one.

A year after my mom died of Alzheimer’s, I went to a farmers’ market. It was a gorgeous spring day, full of flowers, and an African musical group was performing. They were playing one of those joyfully melodious Zulu tunes. The beauty of the day and the music brought me to tears and I was suddenly bawling my eyes out in public and feeling a massive rush of emotion and grief. I had to stagger off to my car, squinting through my tears to find my way.

That was very, very weird.

And it’s all good. And healthy. Think of all the extra stress we load ourselves with by carrying around those unacknowledged feelings.