Loss: Death of a Less-Than-Loved One

My mother was a mentally unstable person who inflicted a lot of abuse on her children.  I could find some way to sugar coat that, but I won’t.  It’s the truth.

But, wait, isn’t there a rule that we don’t speak ill of the dead?

That idea has caused so much pain to those who are trying to come to terms with the death of a less-than-loved one.  We need to throw that idea out and allow people to own their feelings.  Just because someone has died is no reason to elevate them to sainthood.  They were here.  They are gone.  They did some good things in life.  They did some bad things in life.

I know when my mom died, and I told my manager at work about it, she immediately sent this gorgeous bouquet of flowers.  I felt like a hypocrite accepting them because I wasn’t grieving the passing of my mother.  I thought grieving was about being sad someone was gone, and missing them, and that wasn’t me.  But I was grieving.  I just didn’t recognize it at the time.

What I did feel at first was a feeling of safety.  I felt like I had my life back.  Even though I had not spoken to her for many, many years, I still carried the emotional weight of her on my shoulders.  I heard her voice in my head.

What amazed me, though, was that the tears came months before she actually died, while she was on the decline.  My brother had called to say that she had another stroke and they thought the end was coming.  I got off the phone and suddenly started crying, and the crying felt like it was never going to end.  I asked myself what was going on, and discovered that I was grieving the mother I never had, the mother she could never be to me.

Grief is the reaction to loss, and in this case it was the loss of my hopes, dreams and expectations that I could have a loving mother.  She never, ever said she loved me.  She wasn’t capable of that.  I was finally adult enough to recognize it, and the anger I felt toward her was gone, but inside I was still that vulnerable child longing for love.

Here is some more information about dealing with the death of a less-than-loved one from the Grief Recovery Institute.

As always, you are welcome to share your experiences, tell your stories, or just ask questions.

Thank you for being here today, and for caring.

Blessings and hugs,



Can You Say Yes?

How many of these can you answer yes to?  These are a sample of the 47 or so types of losses we experience in a lifetime, and those losses often have deep running currents that influence the rest of our lives.  Pretty scary when you stop to think about it.




  • Did you move more than twice before the age of 10?
  • Did you ever have a pet die?
  • Did you have early childhood religious training?
  • Have you experienced a major change in financial conditions? (Positive or negative)
  • Have you ever quit a job?  Have you ever been fired?
  • Have you ever been married or divorced?
  • Did you graduate from high school? …from college?
  • Have you ever experienced the death of a close family member?
  • Have you ever experienced the death of a distant family member?
  • Were you physically abused during childhood? …adulthood?
  • Were you sexually abused during childhood? …adulthood?
  • Have you ever been involved with a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion?
  • Do you have a strained or painful relationship with a living parent, spouse, or friend?
  • Have you ever experienced the loss of the use or function of any part of your body?
  • Have ever experienced the death of a spouse?
  • Are there long stretches of your childhood that you cannot remember?
  • Have you experienced a series of illnesses or accidents?
  • Have you been in a long series of unsuccessful relationships?

Feeling Stuck?      Heartbroken?      Confused?

These are some of the normal reactions to losses we have had in our lives if we never find a way to resolve or complete them.  All those feeling are grief.  Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss.  We grieve for everything.  And unresolved loss is cumulative,  and negatively cumulative.  It drains us of energy and robs us of choices.

You may have been told to believe that:

  • You have to bury sad feelings
  • Time heals all wounds.
  • You should be strong for others.
  • You have to keep busy.
  • It was just God’s will.

Yet the clichés listed above, and the hundreds of other not listed, may have caused you to cover up your normal and natural responses to loss.  The simple truth is that you may not have much helpful information with which to grieve and complete the losses that have occurred in your life.  Consequently, you may have spent, and continue to spend, an inordinate amount of time and energy covering up the painful feelings associated with loss.

This doesn’t have to be!  Join us in workshops designed to help you heal yourself.

Workshops Offered

In our workshops, we create a safe and supportive group setting.  Individual one-on-one classes are also available.

  • Moving Beyond Loss – How to move beyond all types of loss.
  • Moving Beyond Divorce – How to dump your relationship baggage and make room for the love of your life.
  • When Children Grieve – For adults wanting to help children deal with divorce, moving or other losses.
  • The Loss of a Pet – Helping you get over the loss of your cherished pet.

Chris Donner                                           Cee Neuner

503-278-6324                                         503-964-1921

Email:  Chris@Cee-Chris.com             Email:  Cee@Cee-Chris.com

Website and Blog:  http://www.Cee-Chris.com

Serving the Central Willamette Valley and the Greater Portland Area in Oregon

Cee’s Turn

It’s my turn to tell you about why I’m a part of the Grief Recovery Institute, and why I am doing this work.

Through the Grief Recovery Method, we talk about our own experiences of grief and loss.  That’s where the magic really happens.  People see us and how we’ve gone through it, have been there, but even though our experiences might have been different from theirs, they know that we know the pain of grief.

There is a way to go beyond that.  And to get the magic back in your life.  To get the feeling… “I really like this life.”

There’s life beyond loss.  Yes, it changes your life.  Sometimes hugely.  Sometimes not. But it’s still loss.  It just matters what you do with it.  If you work the Grief Recovery Method, you’ll have your own stories about how you got your life back.  You’ll learn how to deal with losses in your life.  We all have them.

Today we all feel so isolated and so alone.  It’s wonderful to see people who can talk about their experiences, and smile, and be happy, when people hear our stories it gives them hope.

A lot of times you just need somebody to listen without judgment, someone who just lets you talk.  Someone who can be a heart with two ears.

That’s why I do this work.

It’s fun to see the life come back.

That little spark when they realize they aren’t alone.

That’s magic.

That’s what the Grief Recovery Institute is all about and just think, I am a part of it.

Hugs, Cee