Bit sad, bit silly

(24 Posts)
NKfffffffffe9eeed2X12527085b0e Tue 24-Nov-09 16:38:12

My dad died 20 years ago. I didn't know him as was 18 months. This has never bothered me. Now it does which feels strange. Feel very sad and apathetic and confused why I feel this way. Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
zisforzebra Tue 24-Nov-09 22:11:18

Has something changed in your life recently to bring it to the forefront of your mind?

My dad died when I was 14 and, although I've always thought about him, it's definitely been on my mind more since I had my children. I wonder just about everyday if he would be proud of me etc.

WingedVictory Wed 25-Nov-09 17:54:04

Are you just becoming a parent, or thinking about it?

Even if not, you indicate that you are in your early twenties, so as you become an adult, you could be trying to "play out" your life and one of your touchstones, a parent, is gone, so you can't learn from his path. Also, part of becoming an adult might be needing to grieve as an adult, even if it is all over again for something that happened when you were very young. It does you credit that you want to understand your father in a way that you didn't when you were just a child. You've revived him in memory...

NKfffffffffe9 Wed 25-Nov-09 21:52:33

Nothing of particular note has changed in my life, I am in my 2nd year at university and not planning on becoming a parent just yet. (I asked on mumsnet because (a) I read a lot on here- plenty of amusing and interesting discussions, and (b) I thought parents might have helpful advice regarding lack of parent!)

Was feeling very low when I first posted, but more calm and rational now. I have been thinking of him more and more frequently over the past 6 months- what my life would have been like if he had lived? - what he would think of me? -am i like him? - would he be proud of me? etc.

The idea of needing to grieve sounds helpful, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about it practically. I'm currently trying not to think about everything too much, the thoughts just run around in circles....

WingedVictory Wed 25-Nov-09 22:32:31

Second years do feel more adult (come on, those freshers are babies, of course they are....), and so maybe you are defining yourself as an adult.

Even if you haven't been planning a family, it's not too early to revisit who you are and who you are going to be.

This is a long term, so it can be a hard slog. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. You're not going abroad, or for a placement, next year, by any chance?

NKfffffffffe9 Mon 30-Nov-09 02:06:58

No, no placements abroad etc. I'm intrigued as to why you asked?
I suppose it might be defining myself as an adult, although it definitely wasn't something I was consciously aware of!

Had a much better weekend- last week was awful, missing class, not sleeping, thinking about him a lot, but now again struggling to sleep.

Have Dr. appt on Fri, to schedule colonoscopy as due to Dad v early death am in v high risk group. Possibly that's why he's been in my mind? Generally just a bit of a muddle, and drifting behind in uni work as total lack of engagement last week.

MrsHiggins Mon 30-Nov-09 10:38:03

Message withdrawn

dejavuaswell Thu 03-Dec-09 15:34:44

Hello OP

How are you feeling? The loss of a parent stays with you for ever. You were unlucky in that it happened when you were young: with many people their parents die when they themselves have reached middle age and it usually not so upsetting.

Thinking of you.

WingedVictory Thu 03-Dec-09 21:45:35

Hi, again. I just asked about placements as that was a big change in my university experience which changed a lot of things for me.

I am terribly physically lazy, but did find at university that exercise helped, both with enforcing sleep and enforcing regular hours. There are a lot of opportunities to exercise, too: subsidised facilities, exercise partners available at odd times, the excuse of RAG/charity to force you to make a physical fool of yourself...

There's also always the bar, for the midnight deep-'n'-meaningfuls. Many people are thinking the same at various different points. Even if you happen upon an optimist, that perspective itself might be interesting, rather than being "evidence" that you are "alone" (you're not).

Good luck. I'll "watch" this thread to see how you get on. :-)

NKfffffffffe9 Fri 04-Dec-09 01:02:53

Thanks everyone. I still feel very selfconscious, if thats the right word, about feeling sad. zisforzebra, you lost a parent at such a critical age, for me , I feel that having no physical memories of mine, I somehow shouldn't be entitled to grieve.
Thank-you dejavuasweel, I suppose I feel that I ought to be considering myself lucky, if he had died later during my childhood (i was 18months) it might have been really traumatic. Even for those who lose their parents in middleage it is still a tangible loss.

How can you miss what you never had?

MrsHiggins is there anything you did or do that has helped you? What did you do at your wedding? I always used to wonder who would give me away, then (oh how cheesy) I saw Mamma Mia the movie and wept buckets when I realised I wanted my Mum to do it.

WingedVictory, you've been really helpful, especially with such proactive advice. I do exercise (I run (sporadically) and play uni tennis) but I find that as I am only free to do so in the evenings the endorphins keep me awake all night! I'm not too great and talking about my problems to others, and TBH the idea of heading off to the nearest pub alone is completely out of character.

I keep feeling I have sorted myself out and then having funny dreams (I keep dreaming my life with him alive and then being very confused when I wake up) and being all over the place again. I just want for this not to bother me, angry it was an interesting turn of events originally, but I"M BORED NOW!

WingedVictory Fri 04-Dec-09 09:26:53

I don't think you can just experiment with mourning and then stop. I'm not saying that to be flippant, and you yourself may not be meaning to treat this lightly - after all, you seemed to be saying to zisforzebra and dejavuaswell that you felt your mourning was make-believe, because so much of what you know of your father is reconstruction (I hope you don't feel this, MrsHiggins?). However, he was a real person, and people did mourn him, so why shouldn't you mourn him, now that you are old enough to have the capacity to do so?

My mother still dreams about her mother, and cries to wake up and find her gone... and it has been 15 years.

By the way, if it's a question of a pub rather than a student union bar... well, I don't blame you for not wanting to go alone!

NKfffffffffe9 Sat 05-Dec-09 04:29:19

I didn't mean to make out that I was experimenting with mourning for light entertainment, and I certainly didn't mean to treat grieving flippantly. When I said I was bored, it was more a expression of frustration than anything else.

Initially when I thought about my Dad and it felt more like invasive thoughts popping into my head than a conscious decision, I was intrigued as to why I was thinking of him. Equally when I started dreaming. Now that it is beginning to persistently bother me, and I see no way to resolve or understand how I am feeling, and the dreams persist I am increasingly frustrated with my lack of conscious control!!

Sorry if that's awfully waffly and confused- that rather describes exactly how I'm feeling!

I don't know if I should try and grieve the loss of someone I never knew, or try to put it out of my mind. I don't seem to have any success with either. And I need some sleep! And - forgive me as this sounds horrificly shallow- but I just don't have the time and energy not to be fine right now!

LoveBeingAMummyKissingSanta Sat 05-Dec-09 07:10:00

Did you have a father figure at all?

NKfffffffffe9 Sat 05-Dec-09 07:17:35

No. My mother has never dated, not particularly close to any uncles etc.
<<shrink face>> Do we think this spells trouble ahead? lol.
Have always been proudly defiant of stats regarding fatherless /single parent families etc.

dejavuaswell Sat 05-Dec-09 11:17:13

Hello again OP

This has been a really interesting thread but of course quite a sad one for you and for some of the other posters. I lurked on Mumsnet for ages before posting for the first time and I hope you think the world of Mumsnet has been theraputic.

Slightly off topic just for a minute. I'm pleased that there seem to be slightly more younger posters on Mumsnet than even 6 months ago. Other posters on other threads have felt that we collectively come over as rather unfriendly to youngsters and I would like to see both university students and men far better represented here.

A lack of a postive male role can be an issue and I think I recall a thread about just that not so long ago.

Insert thinks smiley here.

LoveBeingAMummyKissingSanta Sat 05-Dec-09 11:58:49

It could be more that than the person as such which is why it feels strange. It could be a combo of missing a father and missing out on getting to know your dad iyswim

WingedVictory Sat 05-Dec-09 21:32:17

Of course you weren't experimenting lightly. And emotions come at inconvenient times, often when (and because) we are vulnerable and under pressure. Even if you can't ease the pain of these new feelings, you should at least try to put away any self-consciousness or guilt (at "unworthiness"), as that, too, could weigh you down even more!

WingedVictory Mon 14-Dec-09 12:28:08

Hi, there, what's up?

ThumbleBells Mon 14-Dec-09 12:33:18

Would you say that it started pretty much on or after your 21st birthday then? It's such a coming of age birthday, imo more than 18, that it might have been that which kicked it off. I don't know, I'm only guessing - but there are funny things that set you off.

I only lost my mum 2 1/2 years ago, but it was before DS was born so she never saw him (although she knew I was pg and she saw his first scan, sadly not the second), and sometimes he does something or achieves something and it just reminds me again that she never will know any of this, which makes me sad all over again.

WingedVictory Mon 14-Dec-09 22:48:53

Poor ThumbleBells and ThumbleBells's little one. How do you feel about the idealised grandmother? Have you ever read The Princess and the Goblins? Little Irene has, effectively, a fairy grandmother whose intervention brings out some real wonders in her.

ThumbleBells Tue 15-Dec-09 03:15:33

WV, I have indeed got the Princess and the Goblins. So far as DS is only 2 we haven't really had to talk about it, but Dad still signs all his cards to DS from himself and my Mum as well, which is slightly odd but if it makes him happy I don't mind at all. DH's mum is still alive, but not his Dad - so DS has one grandma and one grandpa, on opposite sides of the world.

WingedVictory Thu 24-Dec-09 20:49:42

Happy Christmas, all!

Pantofino Thu 24-Dec-09 21:05:30

My mum died 36 years ago. I swear I miss her much more now than I ever did as a child. I couldn't even have really "known" her. It's like there is a void. She should have been here to fuss over her grandchildren and drive us all mad. DD doesn't even have her on her radar. It's not right really!

WingedVictory Sun 27-Dec-09 20:44:21

Hi, Pantofino, you're right to miss your mum. I'm sure she deserved to be missed, especially at Christmas.

Festive hugs to all....

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