To still be grieving?

(50 Posts)
Murdock Fri 23-Oct-15 09:42:10

My Dad died three years ago, very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was relatively young and in apparent good health, so his death came completely out of the blue.

When he died my DW was almost 8 months pregnant with DS2, so in the aftermath of his death I concentrated on looking after DW (the end of the pregnancy wasn't easy) and then, of course, DS2 when he was born.

But now, years later, I am finding that I am still preoccupied at times with the loss. I heard one of his favourite songs on the radio this morning and started crying while driving to work. I think a lot about how he could have met DS2 and has more time with DS1.

I feel really self-indulgent and like I'm wallowing. Should this have passed by now? Has anyone else had similar experiences?

catfordbetty Fri 23-Oct-15 09:48:45

I think you will have people lining up to tell you that three years is not very long at all.

diddl Fri 23-Oct-15 09:49:29

Is there a time limit on grief?

I think also that you were so busy at time you maybe didn't grieve enough at the time?

My mum died when my first was young & I was pregnant with second, so neither remember her.

It's just heartbreaking.

Typing that has made me cry-she died nearly 20yrs ago!

There'll always be something that'll set you off imo.

It gets more bearable & the reaction less extreme as time goes on though.

HicDraconis Fri 23-Oct-15 09:53:50

Three years is no time at all.

My mother died suddenly - very young and unexpectedly - 14 years ago. I still can't sing her favourite Christmas carol through to the end without tears. An advert for a cancer charity had a popular song at the time of her death, can't listen to that yet either. I miss her constantly - she never met my husband, or our children, and she'd have adored them and been so proud of them.

It doesn't get any easier. But the gaps in between feeling desperately sad get longer.

tilliebob Fri 23-Oct-15 09:53:54

Aw bless you. I'm only 2 months down the path since I lost my dad and I don't know if or when I'll ever get over this. Be kind to yourself - I've been told many times recently that people can be very good at hiding grief from themselves. My colleague buried her grief for over a decade before she finally had to face it.

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 23-Oct-15 09:55:08

Murdock, so sorry about your Dad. Three years is no time at all. I lost my Mum nearly 13 years ago and I still have days where I have a cry, even now. I felt it particularly when my brother had his first baby, who she will never meet and indeed when I had my second child. I think it is something you never quite "get over" but that you just somehow come to terms with. It doesn't matter how long it takes. If you feel that it starts to take over your life, then do see your GP as you might need some grief counselling. It sounds as if you had to put your grieving on the back burner as it were because of your DW's pregnancy and the birth of your little one. You're not being indulgent or wallowing at all. I hope you feel better soon flowers

tilliebob Fri 23-Oct-15 09:56:59

Aw bless you. I'm only 2 months down the path since I lost my dad and I don't know if or when I'll ever get over this. Be kind to yourself - I've been told many times recently that people can be very good at hiding grief from themselves. My colleague buried her grief for over a decade before she finally had to face it.

Owllady Fri 23-Oct-15 09:58:06

Of course you aren't wallowing. It sounds like you have delayed shock which is pretty normal. I second getting some counselling if you need some. I'm sorry about your father

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 23-Oct-15 09:59:11

As previously said. There is no time limit on grief, and let's not forget your dad was a young perfectly healthy man who was ripped away from you suddenly. I can't imagine how much of a shock that must have been.
It looks certain I'm going to loose my mum. I'm not really sad though ad I feel I lost her in spirit a long time ago,She's a shell of the vibrant fun loving women she once was. I feel like I'm already greiving for the person she once was. I count myself lucky that at least I allowed the opportunity to say goodbye to her. If your dad died suddenly then you would not have had that chance.
flowers

Tootsiepops Fri 23-Oct-15 10:00:19

I lost my dad two years ago. Sudden heart attack. I'm 8 months pregnant now and some days I howl over the fact that my daughter will never know her grandad. Grief / grieving is not a linear process - there will be times when you'll feel your loss more deeply and more sharply than others.

Bloomsberry Fri 23-Oct-15 10:00:40

I think what you describe is entirely natural and understandable, especially as you clearly didn't have the emotional space to grieve fully at the time. And you're certainly not being self-indulgent.

I do feel (assuming you are English) that there is a very private, 'keep it to yourself' culture of death and grieving in this country which may suit some but not others. I know I've been struck on a number of occasions that someone (in the Midlands village I live in) when I have crossed the road to condole with someone weeks or months after they were bereaved in a way that would be entirely normal in Ireland, and had that person break down and be terribly grateful, because hardly anyone was mentioning the death by then.

I was completely shocked by a recent thread in which someone had just returned to work after an immediate family member had died, and no one at their workplace mentioned it at all. Why are people here so embarrassed by grief?

Arfarfanarf Fri 23-Oct-15 10:00:58

thanks people who have never lost someone are the ones who talk about time frames for getting over it.

The truth is that you never get over it. You learn to live with it. You learn to live with their absence but the pain can still floor you years later.
I lost my grandparents several years ago. I saw someone recently and thought it was my grandad. It was like a stab in my heart. I was talking to my husband about it. He lost his dad, a brother and a sister over 25 years ago and he says that never goes away.
In time though, it becomes less raw and you can talk about them more, remember them, laugh remembering things but you need to be kind to yourself here. Three years, particularly when you pushed your grieving down at first, is no time at all.
It's normal, three years, 10 years, 20 years later to shed a tear for someone you love, particularly when you have a life event that you wish they could have shared.

CainInThePunting Fri 23-Oct-15 10:01:09

Sounds perfectly normal to me. I lost my Mum four years ago, quite suddenly too and I can still burst into tears at a thought of her.
It's not self indulgent it's just a fact of life that a loss can hit you like that.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 23-Oct-15 10:04:10

Tootsie. That's what breaks my heart. Is that my nephew will never remember his name (my mum).

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 23-Oct-15 10:07:37

I'm so sorry about your Dad. As others have said there is no time limit on grief. My Dad died 16 years ago and I still have bad days where I miss him so much it hurts. He loved cricket and F1 and even now I sometimes think I must tell him about something. I still can't listen to 'Take Me Home Country Roads' as we had that at his funeral. The thing that hurt the most though was when I got married 13 years after he died - I would have given anything for him to be there.

Be kind to yourself, treasure the happy memories of your Dad grieve in the way that is right for you thanks

MrsTedCrilly Fri 23-Oct-15 10:09:12

I'm sorry for your loss sad I'm 7 months in and still can't believe I'll never see my dad ever again. I have a toddler who will never know him. It's just awful! My dad died of cancer so it was expected, I can't imagine how it feels to lose someone suddenly. Like others have said, I think you are normal to feel this way.. Tears aren't a bad thing.. I think they will always appear at certain times. I feel close to my dad when I cry.. Like I'm thinking of him so strongly that he's here with me. I find talking about him helps a lot though x

ifonly4 Fri 23-Oct-15 10:09:25

So sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost mine 15 years ago and it wasn't easy at the time. Don't know whether it would be for you, but it might be worth speaking to the Doctor. In our area we can get free counselling - nothing pressurised, just a case of giving it a go to see if it helps.

Muckogy Fri 23-Oct-15 10:13:31

YANBU.
3 years is nothing.
the fact that he died suddenly makes it harder, i think.

have you considered counselling?

purplepandas Fri 23-Oct-15 10:15:28

I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. As the other have said, grief is not a linear process and there is no time line. My daughter died six years ago and I still wallow sometimes. It's often the small things that catch me in particular. My grief has changed but it is still there and will be a part of me always.

Grief made me question a lot of things but it is so individual. flowers

Greengardenpixie Fri 23-Oct-15 10:15:50

I still grieve the loss of my gran. She died about 15 years ago. There is no time limit. You miss that person. Its hard to come to terms with. its as simple as that.
As long as it isn't affecting your day to day life now, i would say its normal.
If you find its all consuming, i would say you may need to speak to a doctor .

Murdock Fri 23-Oct-15 10:18:31

Thanks so much for your responses (and many apologies to anyone who has found the thread upsetting).

After it happened I tried to keep my DW away from the worst of things as much as possible, as I didn't want her getting stressed from funeral arrangements, other grieving family members, etc. I'm convinced that was the right thing to do, and if I had the time again would do the same thing, but I think it did come at a cost.

I had tought about grief counselling but that service has been cut by our local council.

Bloomsberry - I'm Scottish, we're even worse ;)

Owllady Fri 23-Oct-15 10:22:20

www.cruse.org.uk/
Have you heard of cruse?

tilliebob Fri 23-Oct-15 10:23:18

Yeah Scottish men particularly! My dad wouldn't talk about dying or what his wishes were, which made everything so much worse when it all wrong suddenly in August. That feeling of "is this what he'd have wanted?" has been horrible to cope with on top of everything else.

TheLambShankRedemption Fri 23-Oct-15 10:24:01

YADNBU to be grieving, there is no fixed time, we are all different.

Finola1step Fri 23-Oct-15 10:25:47

I'm really sorry for your loss.

I wanted to echo what others have said - 3 years is still a very short space of time.

I lost my Dad in similar circumstances 2.5 years ago. I still cry at times. Seeing my ds wearing the new Arsenal shirt is lovely but painful too. Dad was a massive Gooner and I would buy him a new shirt each season. But I take comfort in the fact that my Dad would have been overjoyed to see his only grandson choosing to wear an Arsenal shirt. Such a shame he's not here to see it.

Hearing certain songs, seeing certain films all bring back memories of Dad. Lovely memories to be cherished. So I understand how hearing a favourite song can make you well up without realising.

Grief is so very, very personal. It does sound like you were so busy looking after your DW and dc that you forgot to look after yourself. So now its time to tell your DW that you are struggling a bit. Just a bit and you could do with talking about your Dad.

Or if you're not ready why not tell us. Tell us the 5 things he liked most in the world.

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