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Coping (or not) several weeks on

(13 Posts)
costanostra Sat 22-Sep-12 22:47:55

Namechange. I lost my dad back in June. It was a horrible end and when it finally came I was numb from fighting the NHS for any care for him, let alone proper care.

I went in to coping mode - organised the funeral, sorted out all the immediate paperwork and money, supported my mum, helped the DC to come to terms with it, all of it while DH was abroad with work.

Here I am, nearly 3 months later and I can't remember the last time I smiled, let alone laughed.

I have what feels like a thousand obligations to my family, work, voluntary stuff and other things like my dad's will. I have cut out everything I can, but there is still this huge weight on my shoulders, and DH is still abroad.

Only two friends have supported me through all of this. The rest have cleared off because they can't be bothered or can't cope with hearing the awful details.

Is it the GP, Prozac and counselling (waiting months for that to happen), or is there another way to climb back up? sad

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:40:52

1stly sorry about your bereavement
what support do you have?who can cut you slack
3mth is so recent be kind to yourself. start with who can help you to get by

costanostra Sun 23-Sep-12 00:18:37

Thank you.

There is just no one else I can look to for support. I am spending so much time on just supporting my mum.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:33:26

so hard you've got a lot on plate
have you considered a carer assessment - you can ask
is your mum receiving any input from carers or local authority?

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Sun 23-Sep-12 00:48:20

oh love, three months is still so early, I cant give you answers because we all grieve differently. For me, it took a long time, I`m thirteen years since my parents died. The physical pain lessened after a while, but I think just talking about things can help, talk here whenever you need or pm me if needed.

Look. just talk on here if it helps, i`ll be here listening xxx

justbogoffnow Sun 23-Sep-12 01:02:33

3 months is no time at all. The difficulties you experienced in getting the right care for your Dad will have been totally energy sapping. Then his death and trying to support your Mum, your partner away through all this.....the way you are feeling sounds normal in the circumstances.

When will your dh be back? The two friends you mention who have stuck with you, how often are you getting to see/talk to them?

costanostra Sun 23-Sep-12 13:34:01

Thanks so much for the replies and kind thoughts.

Mum is physically well, so she doesn't need care help, but mentally she is still suffering very badly, and that is what I suppose I am finding hardest. Many of her own friends are dead and gone, so she is very dependent on me - I am an only child. She is of the generation that won't go near a counsellor, and she brushed that suggestion away immediately.

The two friends who stuck by me call or text every day, but I suppose in a way I am also grieving for the friends who weren't there when I needed them and I'm, worrying that I might somehow alienate the ones who are still around.

DH will be back at the end of October, so a few weeks to go yet. sad

Each day feels like such a battle, and there doesn't seem to be any progress or change. I feel as though I'm going to be like this forever.

justbogoffnow Mon 24-Sep-12 05:22:22

You won't be, although it feels like it now. Being the only child is tough, without siblings to share supporting your mum, supporting each other.

The friends who have stuck with you sound great and clearly want to help. Those who seem to have taken steps back - I think you somehow need to reserve your energies for everything else and try to tell yourself you'll give it some thought when you can. Some people find it really hard to deal with others grief, maybe through fear of it opening up wounds for them, or feel without experiences of their own to draw on they worry about saying or doing the wrong thing.

Are there some practical things the friends you are in contact with can do? You need to look after yourself and pace each day.

Numberlock Mon 24-Sep-12 09:25:53

Hi costa, another one offering support for you when it's needed.

I am also an only child and was in the same position as you when my dad died over 20 years ago. I was 22 and my mum was 63.

I know it can sound trite but time really will make a difference. It's still very early days yet so be kind on yourself and take it day by day.

she is very dependent on me

Something you could think about for the medium-term is how to increase your mum's independence. For example, perhaps your dad took care of all the household and financial stuff so you could help her learn to manage all that on her own. Does she drive? Does she have friends that you could help her build a social life with? I think the more independence your mum can have in the long-term, the less pressure on you ultimately. (It's good to hear that she is physically well, by the way.)

As I say, make some time for you, don't feel bad about having a night out with your good friends to say 'thank you' or just to forget about things for an evening.

And post on here whenever you want to, you will get a lot of support.

costanostra Mon 24-Sep-12 23:17:56

Oh,you are all so kind, and I am sorry to leave you hanging on for a reply. (Although I promise that I am not adding you to my guilt list!)

justbogoffnow, I have asked my friends to hunt for things that my mum can do to occupy herself, and they are on the case. A really good idea.

Yes, I am trying to pace each day, but it tends to fall apart at around 6/7pm. I get through tea and then WHAM! I imagine that is what my mum is feeling too. I should probably invite her over so we can watch TV or something, but I don't want to get into involved conversations and I also need time to try to do other things and forget it all.

Numberlock, thank you so much as well. Mum still drives, and she has a good, if basic social life. It is just that she is finding it so very hard to be alone at home for so many hours each day.

I need to persuade the DC to spend more time with her as well. The trouble is that it all gets added to my To Do list and not theirs. <cross>

Numberlock Tue 25-Sep-12 10:32:14

It sounds like you are doing really well after such a short time, costa. You sound level-headed and realistic and I know it will get easier with time. And of course the first year will always be especially difficult as you cope with the first Christmas, first birthdays without him etc etc.

I think it's good that you say this:

I should probably invite her over so we can watch TV or something, but I don't want to get into involved conversations and I also need time to try to do other things and forget it all

This will help your mum to get used to time on her own and, just as importantly, give you time to switch off and forget it all temporarily. It's positive that your mum can drive and has a social life, as time goes on you can encourage her to get into a routine with friends etc.

I need to persuade the DC to spend more time with her as well

This sounds like a good idea, how old are you children?

digerd Tue 25-Sep-12 19:28:22

I was 40 when my dad died just 11 weeks after I left to live abroad with DH. I was devastated and could not stop crying for months, but my worry was mum as she just shut down into her own little world to block out the hurt and would not go anywhere. For years after when I went to the funeral of a neighbour, I cried at the wake all the time as the grief in the families eyes reminded me of mine, and at the funeral of my father-in law too 5 years later, just broke down. But inbetween the funerals I was OK. 3 months is too soon as still raw for you, and your mother seems to be coping keeping busy and socialising. You must cope with your grief in your own way, I didn't need friends or my siblings, I did have my DH, but did not want to worry him, and I did cope, despite having other TTC problems and moving house and renovating it. I think that helped though to keep my mind off my dad and mum. If you are not coping big time, see GP for temporary low dosed "help" .
It will get better with time even if you are in overwhelmed at the moment. Hang in there, many of us older ladies have lost both parents and husbands.

costanostra Fri 28-Sep-12 00:39:42

Another tearful evening here. One simple act of kindness set it off.

I can't even reply to all your sensible questions at the moment.

Just "thank you".

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