As if I let her do it when she dies it will destroy me? with her through her end of life (her MD saw her lab work and said: Oh, you'll probably live another ten years! (She is 91), I don't want to get too close to her, too much affection because I am afraid that when she passes it is going to be utterly unbearable. Is this normal? Have you ever felt this? Does it have a name? Help me be balanced, please. M88

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It is so hard to explain in words. I will google that detachment. I do think I WILL BE SORRY if I don't get close and feel her soft hands touching mine. I don't know what / how / she sees me, but I think she perceives me as when I was a small child. She would like to caress my hair.....things she always did when I was young.
I may add: I lived away from her for 30 years, since I married and moved to the USA. So she stayed in Mexico and we both suffered way too much for the separation. But I was young and in love. I still am in love, haha, the young part is going away like crazy. I was so homesick.........and I went thru something like Eyerishlass said, things had her perfume, or I brought her big bath towel with me... I was a newlywed, and one time, I saw the towel and just busted out bawling............
Back then, calling Mexico was $2.00 per minute.........yes two dollars per minute...........there was no Skype, no instant messenger, nada. So... we wrote letters back and forth. Then 9-11 came, and the Anthrax scare in the mail put a halt to the letters. THen we sent faxes...........and lately, right before I brought her over to live with us, we were on Skype for free!!!..............Hmmm, help me think...

Could it be she is trying to make up for lost time? We saw each other during those 3 decades once a year, and sometimes every 2, every 3 ... every 5, was the longest we could take.

I do thank you for your comments, insights, ideas, opinions, experiences, hypothesis.............I do welcome it all.

M88 :^(
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I think you're protecting yourself. Maybe you've even already begun the grieving process. Maybe that huge part of your heart where your mom lives is shutting down to prepare you for the pain of losing her.

My mom died many years ago but every once in a while I'll get a whiff of her perfume while I'm out shopping or doing errands. I'll chase that scent down knowing that some other woman is wearing it and when I find her I mill around her just so I can smell her perfume. It's like being a little kid who's lost her mommy.

Grief can do weird things to us and while we all know about the 5 stages of grief I believe there are other subsets to those 5 stages. The 5 stages are too cut and dried. There's so much more to grief than those 5 stages. I think that's what you're feeling. Grief. I lost my dad 3 years ago and I still get a pain in my heart when I think of him. I almost don't want to think of him because it hurts so much. When my mind does begin to wander to my dad there are times I shut that down because I don't want to feel that pain. I just stop thinking about it and move on. I don't know if it's healthy or not to do that but that's how I cope.

Let your mom in again. I'm afraid that you'll be sorry someday if you don't.
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Emotional detachment? My mom too was a hugger. Even as a child I would pull away, I think now because of many instances of my feelings of abandonment that occur in dysfunctional households. I was never a touchy, feely person and I think it is a way to protect ourselves from the devastation some feel in significant losses like that of a parent. Google "emotional detachment". There us a personality, termed disorder, that refers to this detachment. A feeling of numbness and non-feeling.
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It probably is not terribly unusual. There probably is a name for it.

I hope you can overcome whatever this is called, and go back to "normal" interactions with your mother.

Unless you step out in front of a beer truck this week, your mother is most likely going to die before you do. That is the natural way of the world.

Mom is going to die -- maybe not for 10 years, but surely within that timeframe.
You are going to be devastated. You are going to miss her like crazy. But you are not going to be destroyed. Most people on this planet go through the loss of their mother, and they survive it.

So, Mom dies, and you survive it. Will you feel glad than you had less hugs and touchy-feely encounters?

I think your instincts about pulling away a bit from your dependence on your relationship with Mom may be right. Somehow you have to know that no matter how much you love her and how much you will miss her, your life will go on. Perhaps a therapist could help you with that. But the idea that physically withdrawing from what has been your normal pattern of affection will prepare you better doesn't seem to me to be sound reasoning.
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