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Loss of both Parents

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by VM-RedCat24.
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  • #29815

    Hi my name is Mark, I’m in my 50’s.

    It all started 7 years ago in April, my Dad had a series of strokes which later he succumbed too. Spending every day in hospital with him several times a day for me has left a deep emotional scar, more so watching him slowly get worse day by day. Watching his pride being taken away as he was a very proud man.
    I was working away at the time and I needed a break so I returned to work purely to just get some normality back in my life. The day after I had returned to work Dad passed away and I was back on the plane back home.
    Will I forgive myself for leaving I don’t know. We were told he would go into palative care while I was away, he never made it that far. I think deep down he knew I was going back to work and didn’t want me there when he passed.

    We had a great service for him with all of his mates saying farewell.

    6 weeks later in June I was about to start cleaning Dads house when I received a phone call which has completely changed my life.
    My Mum suddenly passed away due to an annurysm. My brother and myself in total shock. It feels like we have robbed the period of grieving for Dad to then focus on the preparations for Mum.

    After Mums funeral things took a big spiral turn for me, I was not a pleasant person to be around. I seeked help from a psychologist but this only made matters worse for me as he failed to show up on 3 occasions.
    I decided to do the whole process on my own.
    I was suicidal, I had planned on how, where and when to this. I wasn’t thinking of my family at the time but just myself (I have kept this quiet from a lot of people )
    I drove to the location when suddenly it was like Dad talked to me and said get it together. Fortunately I’m still here to write about this. I’m not ashamed to talk about what I almost did, in which it has made me a little stronger and I can openly share this with others as to what I was going through.
    It was an extremely rough, dark period in my life and still gets very rough at times. I keep a lot of things close to my chest.

    Just passing Dads 7 year anniversary and knowing Mums 7th is coming up I’ve again hit a dark period, but not to extreme of when all this started. This period of 6 weeks is the worst part of year for me.

    Not each year is the same as I haven’t felt much over the last few years, but I have this year, I get very quiet, sleep more and really lack motivation. I try and keep a brave face at times. This year was the first year after several years where I’ve just broken down out of nowhere.

    I’ve found over the years grief has no boundaries and rules. It comes and goes then hits you like a tonne of bricks like this year for me. I try not to dwell on what has happened as we cannot change any of this, but it does get extremely tough sometimes.

    I have some friends who check in on me which I feel very pleasing. Some have gone through grief and can relate to my story and they too share theirs, the others which are yet to experience grief just listen.
    I have found we don’t have answers for grief but just being there for someone going through this helps immensely as I have found out.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #29848

    Hi @gummers72

    Before I say anything else, I just want to say how proud this internet stranger is of you. Coming here, talking about what you’ve been experiencing, is a big step. Talking about it with your friends is an even bigger step that some people are never able to take. You took it. This internet rando is very, very proud of you for doing so.

    Regarding the rest of your post: my favourite analogy for grief is that of a ball in a box. When grief is fresh, it’s a very large ball in a very small box. Every time it’s jostled about, the ball hits the walls of the box and you experience the pain of grief. Slowly, as time goes on, people like to believe that the ball becomes smaller and smaller but that’s incorrect. The grief never really gets smaller. It never really goes away. You get bigger instead. You grow around that grief. You’re the box. And slowly, as the years progress, things don’t cause the grief to hit your edges as often any more. But when something does, it feels as fresh as if it happened yesterday. And it seems, to me, that is what is happening for you right now. Something this year has set your ball bouncing around and hitting the walls and causing pain again. And that’s ok. That’s one of the reasons Griefline is here.

    During times like these, when we are reminded of that pain so strongly, it can help to have rituals available to us to perform. Tip 3 in our article ‘Coping with Grief’ has some excellent tips on how to honour our past loved ones. Whether that is by talking with friends and family or performing rituals during the times when the grief is hardest to cope with. I will leave the link here for you to have a look through:

    If you need to talk to someone – sometimes talking to strangers can be cathartic – the volunteers here at Griefline are available to talk between 8 am and 8 pm AEST. You can call and have a chat by calling 1300 845 745 any time during our opening hours. You can also book a call and we will call you at a time of your choosing. And the forums are also always available.

    You’re right, we don’t have all the answers to grief. But we can find them when we reach out to others and accept their help. Thank you for reaching out to us, here at Griefline.


    Hi Mark,
    What an awful shock to lose your Mum, so soon after your Dad passing. There are so many layers to your story. It sounds like you still have many complicated feelings about that time. It is not unusual to feel guilty about things that you might or might not have done, or plough over the things that might have happened differently. My father passed 22 years ago, and I still cover that ground. There is no time limit.

    I wonder, as you work your way forward, how it is that you will bring more of all the good things your parents meant to you into the way you live your life? Reading of your struggle and victory over suicidal thoughts, made me think that you had found that deep connection with your Dad at the time when you needed it most and that carried you through. I’m so glad that it did.

    Anniversaries can be challenging times though, that bring old feelings back to the surface. As you hit these rough patches, please feel free to reach out to a volunteer at Griefline on 1300 845 745 between 8am and 8pm for a compassionate conversation about how it is for you right now.


    I commend you for telling your story. It’s not easy to speak up. Some people get it and some people don’t. It’s very hard to watch your parent leave. I’ve heard many people, nurses included, say that often people pass when you aren’t there. I had so much anxiety about being there for the “moment” mum passed. I was far too obsessive about not leaving the room. Ironically, she passed as soon as I told her I had to leave “for a couple of hours”. I made it back in time for her final breath, or just after it at least. For me it was something I dreaded since I was about 5 years old. Now I’ve lost both parents. I lost my brother last week suddenly and very unexpectedly. This was 8 weeks to the day we lost our Mum. Now we are planning another funeral. It took a second death for me to have the guts to reach out and ask for help. I’m really feeling it now. A real heaviness.
    Thanks for sharing your story as it’s helped me not to feel so alone in my grief.


    Hi @gummers72 Mark,

    Your story is emotional and insightful all the same. I am so so glad you are still here. Your parents are with you at all times, and I find it so powerful that you felt your Dad intervened on one of your darkest days.
    It is true to say that grief has no bounds. It’s as if you carry a cloud over your head at all times, whether the cloud has sun beaming through, or whether it is darkened with rain. Grief transforms us. It takes us on a learning journey like no other.

    I’m pleased to hear you are able to share your experience with others and vice versa. For my own personal grief journey, this assisted me through the toughest times like no other. It is so validating being in a space with ‘like minded’ people, despite the losses that connect you.
    Please feel free to engage with the phoneline, or Grieflines forums again. We form a supportive community and are here for you.

    Take care and thank you for sharing,


    You are never alone in your grief, though it does feel lonely at times. We are all here to listen. I did reply on your story. Don’t think you did the wrong thing in leaving, I carried that guilt for 5 years when I left Dad and still do to a degree. Your heaviness is completely understandable, from you and I losing two family members in 8 weeks is unconsolable. I never want to have to experience this again. The anger, pain loss of self worth feeling so empty are some of the feelings I had at, these came back hard this year that’s why I decided to find somewhere where say my story. I have to go through all of this grief again in 5 weeks, it’s an unknown how I will feel but I normally start feeling emotions rise about 1 week before these anniversaries.
    Always reach out, no matter how minor you think it maybe. We are all here for each other.


    Hi @gummers72

    It’s been a couple of weeks now and I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing and how your grief is feeling for you? You mentioned having your Mums 7th anniversary soon and how difficult this period of the year is for you. It’s important to reach out and stay in touch with loved ones and it sounds like, from your original post, that you have a great support network in your friends and you are more able to talk about your grief, then perhaps you were initially.

    As you very kindly worded to cmd83, you are not alone in your grief. Please reach out if you need or call the helpline on 1300 845 745 if you would like a friendly ear.

    Take care of yourself.

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