Hi @Marc, welcome to the Griefline forums and thanks for honesty and strength in reaching out. Your expression of anger, guilt and grief comes through loud and clear in your first post as do some really valid reasons for you to be feeling overwhelmed with these emotions.
Firstly, COVID preventing you from going to your Father’s funeral is really significant. Grief rituals like funerals and memorials give us a way to express strong feelings and give us a sense of order in a situation that might have previously been out of control. They also create a kind of connection with the person we’ve lost. Perhaps you’re feeling like you’re missing that at the moment? In your second post, you asked if anyone could suggest some ways to cope…have you thought about carrying out your own ritual? Maybe a memorial event with close family and/or friends where you can show photos or tell stories about any of the good times (and bad if you like); or you can do something in his memory as simple as watching his favourite tv series/movie, planting a tree, setting up a quote blackboard/whiteboard and adding his best quotes as you remember them…whatever works for you.
You express feelings of anger and these might be due to COVID or due to the fraught relationship you had with your dad as a child, or both. And while all grief is hard, dealing with the loss of a difficult relationship can be even more challenging to work through. However, anger in grief can be seen as a life force to push through the blocks that are preventing us from moving forward. A grief and loss counsellor might help you to physically release the anger in a constructive way, to get to the underlying issues. Some ways of doing this are; writing or scribbling in a journal/notepad with heavy strokes, (or a letter to your Dad as @GLfriend suggested), throwing paint at a canvas, breaking eggs with one hand into the sink, kneading and pounding dough, digging in the garden, hitting or yelling into a pillow…whatever works for you as long as it’s not harmful to you or anyone else. But it’s important to remember that the release is mostly only helpful when you talk about your feelings and what’s underneath afterwards. You mentioned you’ve been working through the issues so perhaps you have someone you could share this with? A grief and loss counsellor would also be really helpful to get to those underlying issues.
And then there’s the guilt you mentioned…such a common yet debilitating emotion when someone we love dies. You might like to take a look at this article posted by @Tmc in our Helping Hand topic on the forums “Guilt and grief: coping with the shoulda woulda coulda”. Also, take a look at the Griefline resource hub. There’s lots of helpful information there, and you might be interested in the article on the $85 mini-spit society – it’s a hopeful piece that talks about the importance of connection in hard times (this one is particularly for guys who like to barbeque!).
We hope these ideas for coping strategies are helpful. Let us know how you’re going with it @Marc, we’d love to hear about whats working and whats not. We’re here for you. 🌸