Lost my Dad in May

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  • #19914
    Bexzie1085
    Participant

    Hi, this is my first post here.
    I lost my Dad in May 2021 quite suddenly. He was in a nursing home with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia but was doing really well. He had a very sudden deterioration and passed in 3 days of that deterioration.

    I have been struggling really badly since. I don’t know how to do this life without him, he was my person, my best friend. I have questions I’m never going to get answers for and I have nightmares and flashbacks of him passing.

    I’m trying to be strong for my Mum but I don’t know for how much longer I can keep being strong for.

    I don’t know what to do or who to talk to. People tell me I should be doing better than I am and that gets to me.

    I thought by posting here there may be more support than just talking to
    Friends.

    Thanks for letting me hoping xo

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  • #20271
    Moon
    Participant

    Hi Bexzie, I hear you and I’m listening. I too have only recently joined this forum, I’m glad I did, and bravo for you too for reaching out.
    Although my recent bereavement is of my child, I also know the grief of losing (both) parents.
    There’s a 1 year date coming up for you soon, so it’s good that you feel safe to express your feelings here now.
    I too still have many unanswered questions, unsaid words, if only…
    Our stories might be a little different, as my mother passed when I was young, but I do understand the ‘trying to stay strong’ bit. I was in the midst of a divorce with 4 young babes whilst caring for my father during his end of life. He was a humble man, not of many words, but he was my dad, and I miss him with every breath of my being.
    He’s still ‘your person’ so talk to him , about him, here out loud or in quiet reflection…
    There’s a post here in the forum under ‘grieving mothers’ that articulates my feelings so perfectly, I’m ceertain you will also relate xx

    #20252
    VM-Mancha1
    Participant

    Hello @Bexzie1085, I hope you’re doing okay since you posted here.

    I wonder if you connected to the post by @leila_v (linked here: https://griefline.org.au/online-forums/topic/my-fathers-passing/), it seems that you may have some common ground in terms of what you are going through.

    Reading your post I feel like it’s completely normal to be ‘not doing so well’, as you say others are telling you. This is such a huge loss, nobody should expect you to just pick up and carry on as if nothing has changed.

    Grief can be hard to carry on our own, and sharing a space with others who understand, and hold that space for you, is one way to help cope.

    Please let us know how you are doing, we’re here for you.

    #20103
    VM-Jade
    Participant

    Hi @Bexzie1085, thanks so much for your post. I just want to say how sorry I am for the loss of your best friend, your dad. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling, what a huge heavy loss to carry. Not having answers to questions must be so difficult, do you find yourself thinking about this a lot? Do you have a good relationship with any friends or family or even your GP?

    How are you supporting yourself when you do have nightmares or flashbacks? Sometimes our brain likes to remind us (often at the most inconvenient times) that we need to process the shock of losing someone irreplaceable like your dad, and that’s why it pops those thoughts into our head (flashbacks) or when we are sleeping (nightmares). These can be quite uncomfortable, maybe even frightening. When this happens, it’s good to practice a mantra like “I’m okay, I’m safe, this is just a thought/dream, I acknowledge that I’m feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable right now, but I will just take some deep breaths and stay in control”. The more we practice our breathing/rational thought process when we do have unprovoked thoughts pop in, the quicker we are to respond when it happens again. You may not be very good at it at the beginning, but stick at it 🙂 After we regain control, it may be helpful to do another check in to see how you felt physically when the thought happened and how you’re feeling now – hopefully you will notice an improvement.

    Grief is very much individual – no one can tell you where you “should” be at whatever point in the grief journey by now – that’s up to you to decide. Can I suggest a self check in – do you feel you have the capacity to give your energy to other people when holding onto the grief yourself? If the answer is no, then that is perfectly fine also. If you feel that Mum or anyone doesn’t have anyone to support them but you, there is always professional mental health people ready to help as they are trained in what to do in these situations.

    There’s no right or wrong thing to do when we have experienced such a loss like this. Often we don’t know what to do and that’s perfectly okay. Sometimes we do have to take it day by day, sometimes hour by hour. Can I suggest you think of your support network and make a list of people and resources you can check in with when you do want to talk.

    I have also done a bit of a check of resources that Griefline have done an amazing job of putting together and you may find these helpful:

    Mindfulness for Grief

    Experiences of Grief

    Coping with Grief

    Understanding Trauma

    Please do reach out if you’d like to continue the chat – we’re always here to listen and hold space for you while you move through your grief journey.

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