Home › Forums › Loss of a loved one › My dad died unexpectedly at 53. I can’t say goodbye to him › Reply To: My dad died unexpectedly at 53. I can’t say goodbye to him
Dear @crystal-n, our hearts go out to you at this terribly painful time. Losing your dad so very recently and not being able to attend his funeral must have been awful. We hope that you had someone with you to support you on the day? We are finding so many new members of our community are going through the same suffering of not being able to attend their loved one’s funeral or memorial due to COVID. Though it’s very early days for you, you might like to take a look at our post to @Kawi where we make some suggestions for carrying out your own memorial ritual. However, it may be too soon for you right now …take your time and trust your own instincts as to when you are ready.
Now that the funeral has occurred do you think you can reach out to your family to express your grief? It’s really so important that your grief is witnessed …and it’s always so helpful to connect with your family who knew him well.
You sign off your post by telling your Dad that you’re sorry …feeling remorse or regret is such a common reaction when we have lost a loved one but it’s important to remember that what has happened to you – losing a parent – is one of the worst things humans can experience in our lives. So we urge you to practice self-compassion. We use the BREATHE acronym in the Griefline support groups …hopefully, it will give you some guidance;
B Be kind to yourself
R Respect your body by not overindulging alcohol, drugs, and bad food; by getting enough sleep, and by moving around at least a little every day.
E Engage with others in big and/or small ways. We’re not asking you to bloom into a social butterfly or anything. Just try not to isolate. If you haven’t been around other people in a while, go to the local coffee shop or go out for a walk and wave to your neighbours.
A Allow your emotions to ebb and flow.
T Take life one minute, hour, and day at a time, remember that coping with grief is something that happens bit-by-bit and day-by-day
H Allow yourself space and time to remember, honour, and to connect with your loved one’s memory and their continued impact on the world.
E Your critical voice has a lot of expectations about what grief should be like and how you should cope. Remember, there are very few “should” when it comes to coping with grief. Everyone copes in their own way and at their own pace. So, give yourself a break.
With regards to ‘T’ – taking life bit by bit is sometimes easier to achieve with the support of mindfulness. So you might like to take a look at our article ‘Mindfulness for grief’ here on our website; https://griefline.org.au/resources/mindfulness-for-grief/
@crystal-n, we hope that you will keep reaching out to us as your grief unfolds…we are here for you. 🌸