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To not know how to cope with grief five years on

(23 Posts)
Pimmsoclocknow Thu 06-Nov-14 13:58:20

My father who I was very close to died suddenly and unexpectedly five years ago. I am an only child. My parents were divorced and never spoke of each other. My father didn't have a new partner.

I was pregnant with my first child when he died, and have since had a second child.

The anniversary of his death is coming up and I'm not coping. I am so consumed with missing him that I just want to curl up in a ball. However, I must continue to function for my children who are too young to understand.

Any advice for coping with grief?

mckenzie Thu 06-Nov-14 14:06:25

Oh Pimms, I can only begin to imagine how you are feeling. You need someone to talk to I think. Do you have a local family charity or Parent and Child organisation?
When I suddenly, over 40 yrs after my father died, became overcome with grief, my local Parents and Chidlren charitable organisation helped me enormously. I saw a counsellor who helped me to talk through my feelings and gave me permission in a way to be allowed to grieve. It didn't help make the dinner or do the school run but it gave me the confidence to allow me to grieve, to allow me to crumble if I needed to and not to worry that things wouldn't be quite as spick and span maybe that day if I'd spend 3 hours crying and looking at old photos rather then doing the hoovering and making a shepherds pie.
Can you confide in your husband and some good friends who can then support you through this time?

twinkletoedelephant Thu 06-Nov-14 14:34:29

My mum died nealy 3 years ago so much has happened and the whole world seems to have moved on except mesad

My dads remarried and has a life very simular to when my mum was alive ( excluding me and my children as new wife disnt like him spending time with us) my twins have no memory of my mum left dd only has a few.. Dh tries but didn't get it at all up until fairly recently he still had his grandparents as well.

I have a cupboard side in my kitchen with just photos of my mum on - it reminds me she was here - and she did love me.

I also meet up with my mums best friend every few weeks - she tells me stories of the thingsy mum use to get up to - it helps. But son times I do curl up in a ball and have a good sob then get on with my day.

Take care of yourself xx

austin2586 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:57:43

Hi I lost my mum this year it was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. We were very close bought houses next door to each other, dc would go round everyday after school and several visits would be made daily on weekends and school holidays. She would wave dear children off to school every morning as we were leaving. Out of the blue she became ill and was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 6-8 months to live. From diagnosis to death it was only 5 weeks. Me and my sisters cared for mum at home but whats worse than the grief for me is the guilt. I wasn't there when mum died even though I know it was going to happen has 2 of my dc were in hospital having operations and a couldn't/didn't want to leave them as they are both very young and we're frightened. Now my whole life is worrying that mum died thinking I didn't care and that is the furthest thing from the truth. I let her down when she needed me and just can't move on from that. I know I can never put this right and it's killing me.

heinztomatosoup Thu 06-Nov-14 15:21:49

Austin I can hear the anguish in your post. Just stop and think for a minute. Your lovely mum, would she have wanted you to be with her? Or would she have been so proud of her loving daughter caring for her own little ones, that she loved too, when they were defenceless in hospital. Of course she would have wanted you to be with them, she wouldn't have wanted it any other way, she would have felt guilty if you had chosen to leave them and be with her, believe me. You made the right choice, she knew that, and I'm sure she knew how much you loved her.

blanklook Thu 06-Nov-14 15:24:24

Pimms it's okay to grieve, it's a process and not everyone goes through all of the same stages. Some of us take longer than others and that's perfectly okay, just take it one day at a time and know in your heart he would love to see you being happy playing with his grandchildren.
My grief time is about 3 times longer than yours and I do still miss him, but now it doesn't hurt as much every day. Nothing will fill that aching loneliness, but it doesn't present itself so often nowadays. I found taking Rescue Remedy takes the edge off the pain of loss and a few drops of Frankincense Essential Oil in a vapouriser lightens the deepest darkest despair.

Austin Please don't beat yourself up, you have done nothing to feel guilty about. You did not let her down, she knew how much you loved her. There is nothing to put right because you have not done anything wrong.
Your Mum loved you too and if you had known what was going to happen and said you wanted to be with her, I'm sure she would have told you to go to the hospital and stay with your children.

MrsDeVere Thu 06-Nov-14 15:26:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blanklook Thu 06-Nov-14 15:33:22

Someone sent me this, I found it comforting at the time and still like it. It's very personal though, so please ignore it if it doesn't appeal to you.

mummylin2495 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:37:12

Pimms if you feel like it please come and join us on our thread. We are all at different stages going through the grief of the loss of a parent.
thread here

Badvoc123 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:42:45 dad collapsed and died every suddenly last July.
As you so eloquently express...time does not stand still and things happen and we want to share them with our lost loved ones.
My dad will never know my ds1 now plays football for the local team (as he did in his youth)
He never saw ds1 start school
Has missed their their birthdays, xmases...
It's hard.
I recommend "you'll get over it:the rage of bereavement" by Virginia ironside.
I found it very helpful.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 06-Nov-14 15:46:15

Do you know what I think there's too much made of the stages of grief. we all think we should be at a certain stage at a certain time but it's rubbish.

Some of us never get past the shock or ever really reach acceptance without the pain.

You are where you are and it's where you need to be.

But it doesn't do any harm to talk to someone outside of your family/friend circle.

Austin sweetheart your mum knew and still does know how much you loved her and loved you right back.

Badvoc123 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:46:22

I am very sorry for your loss.
What would your mum have said if you had been with her instead of your young children who needed you?
You mum had others to care for her who loved her.
I understand the guilt.
My Dh and I did CPR on my dad but we failed.
He died. Right there on the floor in front of me.
I will never forget it, or cease to feel guilty, BUT I know what my dad would say to those feelings so I try to get on with life the way he would have wanted me to.
Have you asked the gp about bereavement counselling? Some find it very helpful.

Lottapianos Thu 06-Nov-14 15:55:27

I'm so sorry OP. Grief is a very difficult thing to deal with. The darkness is so incredibly dark when it comes and the loneliness can be crippling. It honestly does get better but its totally normal to have periods of feeling stable, then suddenly feeling overwhelmed again.

I think the most important thing is to give yourself permission to grieve - try to let go of ideas you may have about where you 'should' be at with it, or what you 'should' be feeling. There is no 'should' when it comes to feelings. Give yourself permission to feel dreadful and accept there will be times when you just give the bare minimum to everyone else. Take care of yourself - eat as well as you can, try to get enough rest (even if sleep is a problem), try to do some exercise, even gentle walking outdoors. Allow yourself to feel it all, even the gut wrenching stuff. Its horrible, but its only by feeling it that you can move through it.

Its not everyone's cup of tea, but I cannot recommend counselling enough, not to help you to 'get over it' (there is no 'getting over it') but to help you to understand your feelings better.

Badvoc123 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:56:49

It's important to understand there is no "right" way to grieve.

Babyroobs Thu 06-Nov-14 16:03:37

My mum died 5 years ago very suddenly and I am still consumed with grief and guilt but have to carry on for the sake of my kids. the most helpful thing that someone said to me was that my mum would not have wanted me to feel like this, so I try to hang onto that, but every day is a struggle, especially as I have to deal with dying peoplr every day in my job. I always advise others to seek bereavement counselling but struggle to take that step myself.

Pimmsoclocknow Thu 06-Nov-14 17:10:26

Thank you very much everyone for your kind words

Echocave Thu 06-Nov-14 17:22:58

I just want to give you a gentle squeeze. My adored mum died 3 years ago when I was just about to have my first dc. She will never know I had another dc last year. I absolutely agree with the pp saying if you feel intense grief then that is a normal reaction and you mustn't feel bad for that.

It's never too late to ask for help dealing with it. It's so true that people who haven't gone through this really have no idea what it's like and cannot really say/do the right thing (in my own experience). Could you face counselling? It might really help.
After I had dc1 I had depression. I don't think it was PND per se but I had a serious dip and was referred to counselling. It did help me to process things and clear the emotional deck a bit so I could get on with the day to day stuff.

I still feel sad when I think of my Mum as I miss her so much. I suspect that I may well feel very sad about my Mum again at some future point when the dc are not quite so full on. I will have more counselling if necessary.
To everyone on this thread, I know what you're saying and send you support.

Chatty987 Thu 06-Nov-14 17:36:34

Pimms � so sorry for your loss. My dad collapsed suddenly and died unexpectedly 14 years ago. I was 20 at the time and we were very close. I can imagine the shock of losing him and being an only child, pregnant and him not being with your mum makes things harder.

For me, the grief for several years was all consuming. Even 5 years on, I�d find myself dashing to the toilets at work to have a good old cry. That�s passed now. I only have the happy memories of him. The physical pain of grief that lasted several years has now past. You�ll get there but if things do get too much, seek help.

Best wishes.

AesSedai Thu 06-Nov-14 17:40:31

My Dad died suddenly one Boxing Day. He was 52. Although it was many years ago now never a year goes past without a moment for silent reflection and sadness. But, it does get better I can promise you.

There is no right way to grieve and its understandable that anniversaries will remind you. Both my parents are dead and the one thing I would really echo from the posts above is that it is OK and normal to feel grief. Something may just trigger it off and it bubbles back to the surface for a bit.

Its also OK to have times when you don't grieve and you get on with your life. No loved one would want you to put your life on hold in their memory either. Remember that you are passing on what you learnt from your Dad to your DC so he is still part of their lives.

CPtart Thu 06-Nov-14 18:46:05

My dad died aged 54. He never saw me married or met his grandchildren. 13 years have now passed and there are still times when something poignant happens and I fall apart.
I don't think you ever really get over it. I don't think there is a right way to do so either but talking to a counsellor may help, or even writing a journal of your feelings and memories.

Mrscaindingle Thu 06-Nov-14 19:46:00

I also think there is no correct time scale for grief, my dad died over 20 years ago when I was 25, I would say it took me 10 years to feel like I was 'over it' that is to say I could talk about it to a stranger and not become tearful.

I still miss him today especially when something happens, good or bad. I've recently gone through a traumatic separation and have been wishing he was around for support as he always put his family first. My DC missed out on knowing a great GF and that always makes me sad. It does get much less raw as time goes by and I am so grateful that I had such a great dad for the time that I did as some ( including my DC sad ) don't even get that.

Slutbucket Thu 06-Nov-14 20:11:19

I lost my dad 13 years ago and my mum 8 years ago and I still have days where I am overcome with grief other days not at all. I have had counselling and the counsellor got me to look at what I missed about my dad and start putting things in place to help with the dad shaped hole. I found I am quite resourceful when I want to be.

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