DEAR DEIDRE: WHY was I so upset to learn my mother had died, given we have been estranged for many years?

I am a man aged 35, married with a daughter who’s ten. I’d not spoken to my mum since I was 22 and she never met my girl.

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I am the youngest of six and had an awful childhood.

Mum was cruel to me and I left home at 16.

My sister lived with my mum and has been horrible to me ever since.

I got on with my four brothers until Dad died ten years ago, then Mum turned them against me too.

One of my uncles told me she had died and the news really shook me up.

I feel so lonely now.

DEIDRE SAYS: The child inside always longs to be loved by their parent.

And when they treat you badly, a part of you believes it was because you were unlovable.

Now your mother has died, the hope of ever having a kind and loving mum has died with her.

That is a very painful loss.

It will help you to talk through your tangled feelings with a bereavement counsellor.

Contact Cruse bereavement care (, 0808 808 1677).

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