Not sure I’m grieving “correctly”

(36 Posts)
mummarunner Sat 20-Feb-21 22:10:47

I lost my Dad four weeks ago. It wasn’t unexpected but still somewhat of a shock when we got the call. He had been in a care home for several years. I didn’t see him at all in 2020 due to the pandemic and this is something that will haunt me forever. We were close but have had zero contact for over a year apart from letters (which I’m not even sure were ever read out to him). He was immobile and unable to communicate. He had had enough. I can almost accept that he has gone as I feel so sad when I think about the “life” he led, but I can’t get my head around the fact that I’ll never see him again, nor that I hadn’t seen him for so long before he passed.

A couple of weeks before he died I took a video call with him organised by his carer. It was hard seeing him so poorly. An hour after we hung up he asked the carer to call me again, I swear he knew what was happening and he wanted to say goodbye as he tried to wave.

What I am really struggling with is the fact that I seem to have returned to “normal” life very easily. I am just getting on with work, family etc like nothing has happened. Yes I feel sad and might have a little cry when I think too hard about Dad or look at photos, but I am otherwise fine. Surely this is not normal? I feel like I should be crying all the time and unable to cope yet I feel ok. What is wrong with me? Surely I haven’t accepted his death already, it just doesn’t seem right?

OP’s posts: |
HeelsHandbagPerfumeCoffee Sat 20-Feb-21 22:15:45

There’s no right way. There’s your way.do what protects you,and is safe. The structure of work and keeping going can be a protective factor
So sorry for your loss.take care and don’t hold yourself to text book or expected norms

Robinonaspade Sat 20-Feb-21 22:19:43

So sorry your Dad died in those circumstances, it must be so hard to process.

Be kind to yourself. Please don't question yourself, or think there is a right way to grieve. Just take each hour and day as it comes, and if you need to talk about your Dad or your feelings do.

I hope you've got someone in real life to talk to if you need to...when you are ready. Don't think you need to explain your feelings or actions to others, or judge yourself against how others deal with death. Everyone deals with bereavement in their own way.

Thinking of you, take care.

TwirpingBird Sat 20-Feb-21 22:20:56

It is normal. Grief isnt formulaic. Everyone approaches it differently. Allow yourself to do it your way, and that way is completely ok. You may feel ok today, and awful next weekz and almost normal the week after. Death doesnt always have to be something that renders people unable to function. That's ok.

I am sorry for your loss flowers

OurChristmasMiracle Sat 20-Feb-21 22:22:33

You sound like I did. I was absolutely fine after my mum died. I cried when I told my closest friend that she had died and a few tears when people asked “how’s mum” (she had cancer) but otherwise I went on as normal- until her funeral. That’s when it really hit.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve or feel right now. Be kind to yourself flowers

gassylady Sat 20-Feb-21 22:25:42

Don’t be hard on yourself “ anticipatory grief” you knew that this was coming and had already been grieving for some of the stuff your dad and so you had already lost. I’m sure your dad knew how much he meant to you

thesandwich Sat 20-Feb-21 22:27:00

You have no doubt grieved earlier when he lost his mobility and his health.
There is no right way- and something unexpected may hit you out of the blue.
🌺🌺

Moondust001 Sat 20-Feb-21 22:28:43

You loved your dad. You knew what was best for him, even when that meant letting go. That is a rounded and balanced person! As others have said, there really isn't a right way or a wrong way, but would your dad actually want you to be immobilised by grief. I doubt he would. Cut yourself some slack. Buckets of tears don't prove love, and nor does being unable to cope with life. You are the person you are, and how you get through this time isn't measured by any rules about how you should act.

VienneseWhirligig Sat 20-Feb-21 22:30:39

Everyone grieves differently. It's not a handy diagram to follow, it's messy, complicated and non linear. I talk about bereavement a lot at work and what I've found is that some people cope by carrying on as normal almost because that's what their heart needs, it doesn't mean you aren't grieving, just that you are dealing with it in the right way for you. flowers

PermanentTemporary Sat 20-Feb-21 22:32:17

I've lost my husband and my dad in the past 3 years. My dad was 88 and died after a stroke, and I was relieved he died fairly quickly (about a month), in fact I pressed the medical team to take a very pragmatic approach from the start. I have not been devastated or cried often. He had come to the natural end of a long life. It is ok to carry the grief lightly - we are still carrying it, and remembering our loved ones, however we do it.

My husband's death was much more shocking, much more devastating, and I still don't grieve the way others seem to. I have stopped reading accounts of widowhood now as I am clearly not a very good widow. I know we loved each other when he was alive, I was far from the perfect wife but he wasn't the perfect husband either. I think I grieve in a more animal way; I don't believe in an afterlife and it is no disrespect to my husband or my father for me to carry on living and to be ok.

I find some of the rituals of death helpful - i like flowers and anniversaries and telling funny stories about the dead person. I love reading poetry about bereavement as it often expresses very dark or mixed feelings. I had a wonderful booklet called In Memoriam I ordered online from the Candlestick Press which I'd recommend. I don't like candles or graves. However you feel at any time, you have been bereaved and that will work itself out in a way that you don't get to control. It sounds as if your dad loved you and would want you to live and be happy.

Jasminesmellingcandles Sat 20-Feb-21 22:36:01

Grief is non-linear OP. Don’t be too hard on yourself or expect anything from yourself.
DF really hasn’t been gone that long 💙.

NeedToKnow101 Sat 20-Feb-21 22:36:53

Sorry about you dad. It's fine how you are feeling. We all grieve differently. I'm sure you've grieved while he was alive, and in a sense you know he wasn't really 'living life' anymore. I was the same when my mum died. I felt glad in a way that she wasn't suffering any more.
I also felt guilty that I didn't feel more devastated, but I can't fake that if it isn't how I feel.

Workinghardeveryday Sat 20-Feb-21 22:36:57

Just wanted to say so sorry to hear about your dad x. But you know, like others have said, there is no right or wrong way really. At the end of the day, you have a busy life and you don’t have much choice than to carry on for now. You are grieving but life has taken over you just having ‘time’ at the minute. Don’t analyse how you should be feeling, grief is different for absolutely everyone xxx

Floralnomad Sat 20-Feb-21 22:36:58

There is no correct way to grieve and it’s no reflection on how close / how much you loved the person who has died . My dad died in 1990 , I could still cry every day given the right circumstances , my mum died 2 yrs ago and I have not cried at all despite us being extremely close . Sorry for your loss .

Babdoc Sat 20-Feb-21 22:37:13

It is different for everyone, OP. Sometimes the overwhelming emotion is relief, rather than grief, especially if there has been a long drawn out illness.
As PPs have said, there is no prescribed format. Deal with it in whatever way you find helpful. Just be aware that grief is not linear, and you may have delayed reactions even months or years down the line.
Feelings of guilt are very common, and yours seem to have coalesced around not being able to see him during lockdown. That was certainly not your fault, so try not to let it get out of proportion. Just be in tune with your feelings and accept them, whatever they are.

MyNameForToday1980 Sat 20-Feb-21 22:37:49

I'm sorry for your loss.

The morning my father died in 2010 I just got ready, went to work, carried on as normal. For a good few days. I didn't know how else to react. He and my mother were long divorced, so I didn't even have her to consider/look after.

There were moments of actual blubbing sadness, there were moments of reflection.

There is no right way, there is no correct response, grief may shift and change, and grow and wane over weeks and months.

Read about he phases of grief, they're sometimes useful as a reference point.

mummarunner Sat 20-Feb-21 22:38:11

Thank you so much. I feel very reassured. It is true I did start grieving for him years ago when he lost his health. In fact every time I went home after visiting him over the last few years I would always say goodbye as if it were the last time, never really expecting it to be true. I wonder if maybe I’m finding it easier because I haven’t seen him for so long - in a sense nothing has changed in that respect.

I really appreciate your comments. I am certain he knew how loved he was, I just hope he understood why I couldn’t see him all year.

I do have people in RL to talk to but sometimes it is easier to talk anonymously whilst I process my feelings. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Mischance Sat 20-Feb-21 22:41:13

There truly is no normal. My OH died a year ago and yesterday was the anniversary of his funeral - I spent the whole day feeling very very angry! - just angry about everything to do with his life and death.

Totally unexpected and left field - but there it was - a random manifestation of grief.

There is no script for this. You will feel what you feel. Take care.

Ifonlyiweretaller Sat 20-Feb-21 22:45:09

I find I am not grieving as I expected to since my dad passed 6 months ago. But I am learning to accept that we all have our own way of coping with things. As a friend said to me " you don't deal with grief, it deals with you".

mummarunner Sat 20-Feb-21 22:46:30

Oh yes and to the person who mentioned telling funny stories, I have definitely found myself turning to humour, I seem to find a lot of strength in that. Perhaps it just reflects both my and my dad’s positivity, I don’t know.

Yes a lot of my sadness does centre around the last year, maybe I have already done a lot of grieving without realising.

I am so grateful for your responses, they are so reassuring and I will read and refer to them again. I am sorry also for everything you have had to go through in order to be able to give this advice. flowers

OP’s posts: |
TwirpingBird Sat 20-Feb-21 22:50:17

mummarunner

Oh yes and to the person who mentioned telling funny stories, I have definitely found myself turning to humour, I seem to find a lot of strength in that. Perhaps it just reflects both my and my dad’s positivity, I don’t know.

Yes a lot of my sadness does centre around the last year, maybe I have already done a lot of grieving without realising.

I am so grateful for your responses, they are so reassuring and I will read and refer to them again. I am sorry also for everything you have had to go through in order to be able to give this advice. flowers


I am irish. We believe in humour in grief. When my grandmother died my dad gave her eulogy at the funeral and we were all in fits of laughter. She was 85, lived a good life. The irish see death as part of life. Its something to be celebrated at a wake, with sandwiches and tea and laughter and stories and a large family who sit in a small kitchen together. Grief isnt always sobbing. Some of us accept death as being inevitable, and that's ok.

HeelsHandbagPerfumeCoffee Sat 20-Feb-21 22:53:17

Christ yea,a wake,the bevvy and eating, release of of pent up emotion emotion
Essentially after most funerals go back for a purvey and gathering

diamondsandrose Sat 20-Feb-21 22:56:22

Hi OP, I agree with some pp's. My dad died under similar circumstances to yours and I think you know it's coming so you've grieved a bit already. It was nice you had that nice moment with him to say what you felt was a goodbye. When it happens you don't feel the terrible pain you feel you "should" as you've probably been feeling sad about your Dads health situation for a while. I think it really normal. Be kind to yourself OP and I hope your Dad rests in peace. X

MindyStClaire Sat 20-Feb-21 23:28:53

I'm the same, my dad died from cancer last month and I'm not sure I've cried once since I came home a week later. I think it's a mix of a few things: this is actually much less stressful than his illness was, young kids and covid meaning nothing has changed inside our house and I need to keep going. I've had a previous bereavement after which I went to pieces - that was a person in her 20s, this is more of the natural order.

I figure I'll probably have a breakdown in six months or something, but in the meantime if I'm not feeling it that's ok.

The irish see death as part of life. Its something to be celebrated at a wake, with sandwiches and tea and laughter and stories and a large family who sit in a small kitchen together. Grief isnt always sobbing. Some of us accept death as being inevitable, and that's ok.

I'm Irish and I love this. The big family in the small kitchen, that brings back so many memories.

Lockdownbear Sat 20-Feb-21 23:40:03

Grief comes in waves with something triggering a moment of sadness, stupid things, i remember being in floods when I realised my family, no longer filled a car.

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