Delayed grief(8 Posts)
My Dad died just over a year ago in the place where I work, 8 weeks after my son was born. After the funeral my mum became very unwell requiring a long stay in hospital and surgery but is now fully recovered. At the time I just got on with everything; I had to as I was exclusively breastfeeding my son in a variety of hospitals while visiting my parents.
I went back to work part time a few months ago and was initially really enjoying it. However, everything seems to have hit me in the last month. I feel awful, really struggling to motivate myself to do anything. Some days at work I feel fine but other days I can't stop thinking about my Dad. It doesn't help that I see the room he died in and the staff who looked after him on an almost daily basis. I don't want to say anything to anyone at work because I don't want to make a big deal out of this and I don't want everyone to know. I'm not sure if everything is worse because we are going to scatter my Dad's ashes at the weekend. I would have said that previously I had a lot of emotional resiliance but this has just deserted me so that the slightest thing now makes me upset. Eg. last night I realised I'd made a mistake calculating my annual leave on coming back from mat leave so that I should have taken more than I have and this started me crying.
My husband is superb but he has a busy job so can't always be here to help me. My Mum is now doing really well and has to deal with my sister who has mental health problems. Mum wants me to help her with my sister but I find it really difficult as my sister can be violent so I become very anxious for myself and my son whenever I see her.
I've been to see GP who was really good and has referred me to psychology but it will be months before I can see anyone. Anyone have any ideas what I can do in the mean time? Anyone else suffered this sort of delayed grief? I expected to feel like this when Dad died but I was fine last year. Sorry for long post but wanted to put everything down in one place.
So sorry OP
Can you access counselling or speak to someone like Cruse?
That's a lot to deal with x
Hi kaff. Sorry to hear you're struggling and that you've been through so much in the last year.
I would agree that it sounds like a delayed reaction to losing your dad. At the time you had to be so strong - new baby, supporting your mum through her illness - so it's no wonder you're feeling the effects now.
I also agree that coming up to the scattering of the ashes can compound matters.
So some practical suggestions on what you could do:
- grief counseling as opposed to psychology (not sure what you mean by this) - could you afford to go private?
- focus on yourself at the present time - tell your mum that you can't help with your sister right now and don't feel guilty (easier said than done I know!)
- could you consider taking some time off work to 'recharge'
- do you have some physical reminders of your dad around eg photos, personal effects that you can use on a daily basis? I use a pen that belonged to my dad and his letter opener at work and have some of my mum's jewellery and ornaments at home. It helps to see reminders of them around the place. (Again, I know this isn't for everyone.)
Hope the above is of some help, keep posting on here, you will get a lot of support.
Yes, I've experienced delayed grief a number of times and I would say that the time lapse doesn't lessen the intensity or duration of the resulting grief at all. In fact, I think it makes it more severe because you have to also deal with the fact that you couldn't deal with it when you needed to iyswim?
If you're feeling very distressed on a daily basis, you may need help sooner than a few months time. Would you consider going back to GP and discussing option of antidepressants (I know you're grieving rather than 'depressed' but they can help regulate sleep and stop things feeling so overwhelming). Would the GP be able to accelerate your referral?
Otherwise, yes agree with pp about contacting Cruise or other bereavement organisations about help. I don't know if you are able to consider paying for counselling or therapy?
Don't minimise what you're going through though - the grief you describe is huge in addition to looking after young children and working, anyone would need help.
What exactly is involved in counseling? I don't just want someone empathetic to talk to as I have a husband and friends for that. The clinical psychology referral was because of the specific problem of working where my Dad was treated and died. I need strategies to deal with this so as I can continue working. Can counseling help with that?
CBT could be helpful for that. It would equip you with the skills to deal with the triggers and switch off the subsequent reactions and ruminating.
It depends on the type of counselling and the rapport you have with the counsellor. It may be that CBT will help you manage better on a day to day basis, but that you would also like the time and space to explore more underlying issues.
Did you GP mention CBT at all? Short-term CBT should have a shorter waiting list than a psychology referral, and can be very useful.
Kaff I'm sorry for your loss.
Please send me a pm, maybe we can support each other.
I also lost my dad last year when my baby was 2 weeks
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