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wavesI was recently having a drink with some friends and one of them informed the group that her mother had just died. I looked at my friend and thought that she had no idea yet just how immense the grief she was entering was going to grow. Life would never be same for her ever again. Even though she was strong on the outside, none of us could even start to imagine what she was feeling inside.

Whenever I hear the news that someone’s mother has died, my heart stops for a moment because there is nothing that can prepare you for the immense impact this can have on the very foundations on your life. Whether you are 6 or 60; whether you have a fabulous close relationship or a fragmented distant connection; whether her death is expected or sudden there is one definite. The day your mother dies, part of your connection to life dies too.

Your mother is the person who has known you the longest; she gave you life; she felt you moving within her and then brought you into the world. She then raised you in the best way she knew how to. Mothers are our anchors to our world. And even if they don’t achieve the perfect mother status and your relationship with them hasn’t developed to be the close and ideal connection you would have hoped for, that connection is still there. As the grief sets in and the realisation of what it means to not have your mother in your life anymore, you can become free floating, not knowing what to grab hold of to stabilise yourself.

When she is no longer in your life, the depths of grief and loss can be all consuming. The family unit changes, the dynamics become confused. Depending on the stage you are in within your own life the fallout from her death can ripple out to areas you hadn’t considered. Has she seen you achieve great things in your career?; met your life partner?; held your children- her grandchildren? Have all the questions about your own start in life been answered? Who do you contact when you need love and understanding?

My own mother died when I was 12 years old and the different levels of grief have appeared during the different stages with my own development. I have learned that grief is a very personal experience affecting us all differently. It is like sailing in a huge storm at sea. We can be thrown in and out of the eye of the storm as it takes hold of every aspect of our being. At the beginning of grief, waves are enormous, battering and controlling every thought and action we make. As time goes by, the waves start to have small breaks, giving some respite. You start to notice that the breaks get longer but at times they intensify; other times they become more gentle. I’m not sure that anyone ever ‘gets over’ their mother dying. The loss will stay with you forever. But in my own experience, the ebb and flow of the waves is a way for me to remember the depth of the love we felt for each other and how special our connection was. For that I feel blessed and connected.

If you are experiencing grief please be gentle with yourself and give yourself the time to feel the emotions fully. There is no prescription to how you grieve or for the length of time it can take. The waves of grief are your own special process you need to go through. To be experienced in your own way and at your own speed. Be kind and gentle to yourself or to others who might be going through this intense and life changing loss. Grief is a very personal to your own experience. For some, the recovery can be quick and relatively uncomplicated. For others it can take a lifetime There no prescription to how we ride and feel the waves.


Sometimes, to assist you to get through the challenges such a loss can create, it can be of great help to turn to others for support. This can be friends, bereavement counselling or a coach/therapist. Support and connection can be a great healer and giver of strength.


Giselle Monbiot is The Woman’s Empowerment Coach specialising in enabling women to find their own voice and identity. She guides women to work out what balance means to them creating a happier and more fulfilling existence. Because we deserve to be happy. For further information about working with Giselle visit her website or click on the button below to book a complimentary phone session to find out how you can work with her.



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