March 16, 2021 at 8:46 pm #14568
My father died last year and due to COVID I was unable to attend his funeral. I didn’t has the best childhood with him and I was working through this when he died. I didn’t get the chance to talk with his about this. The week he died I was meant to call him with my daughter but I decided that I’d leave it. Now it’s to late and the guilt/grief is killing me inside.
March 16, 2021 at 10:37 pm #14569GL friendParticipant
im sorry to hear about what you are going through.
that feeling of it being too late must be so tough. i can imagine your support and strength is so important for your daughter right now too.
when my mum died, i felt a huge amount of guilt. i grew up in an abusive and conservative household.
she wanted desperately to see me married off and with kids (my own happy family as she used to say), but i didnt want that. i wanted to do things in my own time.
we had a heated discussion on the phone. she was trying to convince me to do right by her and i was fighting for my independence.
two weeks later she died.
i wasnt there. sometimes i think that maybe if i had never engaged in that conversation, maybe if i had done what she wants, maybe if i had made light of it all, she would still be around.
but i know that’s not logical and i have no control over someones life and death. it still hurts to have lost her so young and so suddenly.
i wanted to apologize and i wanted to tell her i forgive her too, but i cant.
im sorry. this is about your story and not mine. what im trying to say is that i also feel guilty for things i said and didnt say and i think sometimes its a normal part of grief. but its still painful.
what helped me a little was that i wrote a letter to her and ripped it to pieces later as a symbolism of releasing her. seeing a psychologist helped aswell. it helped me make sense of the codependency issues and the abuse behaviour my family has normalized. but nothing has taken away the experience or the memory. ive just learnt to live with it and manage the feelings. i hope that you find a way to make things easier for yourselg. we are here to listen and support in ways that we can.March 17, 2021 at 1:38 pm #14582
I’ve been trying different things to keep calm and it’s not really worked so far. What do you suggest?March 17, 2021 at 6:01 pm #14583GL friendParticipant
have a look at the suggestions mentioned here that may help: https://griefline.org.au/resources/coping-with-grief
a psychologist said to me a long time ago, “you’re allowed to grieve” and that helped me immensely.
i hope you allow your self to grieve too.March 19, 2021 at 7:23 pm #14606onlinecommunityParticipant
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. 🌸March 19, 2021 at 8:51 pm #14611
These are all great but how do I control my anger?March 19, 2021 at 8:59 pm #14613onlinecommunityParticipant
It sounds like your anger is a real concern to you …do you think it could result in you harming yourself or anyone else?March 19, 2021 at 9:53 pm #14614
I’ll not harm anyone else, but I’ve been worried about myself. My partner is worried about me too.March 20, 2021 at 12:51 am #14615goodeedsParticipant
Sorry to hear about your loss Marc and feel for you that you didn’t get the chance to call your dad with your daughter. I like what GL Friend suggested about writing a letter. I wonder if that’s something you could do, maybe together with your daughter? It could possibly be a way of getting some of those feelings of anger and guilt that you’re feeling, onto paper or into a journal, like mentioned above? Hope you’re ok and reach out if you need help
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