Grieving an estranged adult child


Does anyone else have experience of grieving intensely for the loss of estrangement from a child who has turned against them?

I have been plunged into a pit of depression and grief by my 31-year-old daughter, who has severed contact with me after several years of limited communication. I love her dearly, but she has struggled with psychotic depression and seems to blame me. I am so sad. How do I get over it?

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Apr 03, 2019
Estrangement is a form of grief
by: Betty from GriefandSympathy

Dear Jill

Thank you for writing to us. We are very sorry to hear about the situation you find yourself in. It is a very sad time for you, unfortunately a common occurrence. I have two good friends who find themselves with the same problem and the grief you must be feeling is very real.

There will be feelings of guilt - "Did I do all I could to help"? Feelings of uselessness -"What can I do to resolve this"? Your daughter must be feeling sad too, to have made this decision. She obviously has some unresolved grievances that you don't understand. We can hurt people without ever knowing how or why they misunderstood our behavior.

Bringing children into this world and seeing them grow is a wonderful but difficult process. We can only ever do what we think is for the best at the time, all us of can get it wrong some of the time.

Accept that what you are feeling is grief with all that entails - shock, anxiety, even anger at times. Remember that your daughter has had a lot of health problems to cope with and may need space and time herself.

What you do to cope with this, is, take a day at a time and get on with your life. Try to keep up with friends and other family members. Talk about your feelings to a trusted friend. Don't avoid company and go to the movies or out to meals with friends. Your life has to go on no matter how difficult that may seem at the moment.

When we lose a loved one we have no choice but to get on with our life - it is precious too. Your daughter may come back in her own time - make it clear that you will always be there for her.

There are many pages on coping with grief on our and you may find some useful. Loved ones do not always have to die for you to feel this grief.

You are reaching out for help and that is a good start.
If you are still struggling and can't find help among friends or family or from our pages, you might find the online counselling service we recommend useful. You can read about it at the bottom of the page.

We wish you well.

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