anniversary of dad's death
It's coming up 7 years of dad's death this week. And leading up to it, I'm a mess. I'm depressed, sad, can't think straight some days. I bumped into a mate of his the other day, and the whole next day and several others, I just felt like shit. Do other people get this? Is it delayed grief? It's like this mental block in my mind telling me that something is bothering me.
I'm really sad to hear your dad died 7 years ago. That sounds like a huge loss and it's no surprise you are struggling as the date approaches.
I think it's quite normal, but that's not to say you have to just bear it. Have you spoken to anyone about this before, whether about your sadness or about how important he seems to have been to you?
It might be helpful to plan something around the day to make sure you have support around you, so you don't have to deal with all the difficult feelings alone.
I hope you are able to remember your dad with love this week.
I was just thinking about you today and wondering how things were going with you, I am sorry to hear that you are struggling somewhat at present. I can only comment on what happened to me with my first brother that passed away when I was 14. He was just 5 years older and was my familial soul mate, unfortunately I did not get any help and had no idea how to get over the loss. In my mid 30's, I tried to talk to my older brother (the one that died of cancer) but he just would not talk about it. In the end I got a copy of the coroners report, I read it alone, spent a lot of time crying and realised that is how I need to grieve. Something that leaves no doubt in the mind that the person is gone. I didn't see him after he passed, and there was an inquest so I had no real way to grasp that he was gone for good. It was different with the rest of the family, I saw both my father and brother very soon after they passed and sat with their bodies for some time to allow it to sink in. With my mother, I was holding her hand when she took her last breath.
I know you know your father is gone on one level but it seems like there is another part of you that has not yet accepted the loss, I assume this is because you were very close. If this is your first loss then maybe you just haven't yet figured out how you need to grieve, it is such a personal experience, there is no right or wrong way but sometimes it can take longer than you might expect, especially if there are strong bonds of love. I promise you there will come a day when you can face this anniversary without the emotional turbulence, but for now you are still in the process, so be kind to yourself, talk to your dad (I believe he is still around for you), don't fight the emotions that come up, let them be felt without judgement and let them pass. Find a way to honour him on this anniversary, wether that is as simple as lighting a candle or something more elaborate. You are in my thoughts.
Thanks. Gosh you've had your fair share of loss.. I tried speaking to my brother about it and he just dismissed my feelings. He's an atheist and doesn't believe dad lives on the after-life. "When you're dead you're dead". I just try and talk to mum about it. I built a bench for a saw out in the shed alongside one we did together many years ago. It's kind of fitting, now I have Dad and Dave standing alongside each other out in the garage! I know he's gone, but I know he's close too. Just miss him.
I'm sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you were close with your Dad, and this must have been a huge loss for you. Grief is a tricky thing. There is no one way that a person grieves and no timeframe.
I don't think it is unusual for you to feel the way you are. You mentioned you bumped into his mate; I am sure this would have brought up many memories for you, and with that comes all sorts of emotions. Have you spoken to someone about the way you feel? The mental block you mentioned could be a barrier you have put up to deal with the loss, and it is something that, with talk therapy, you may be able to unpack and understand better.
The important thing is that you allow yourself to feel your feelings. Perhaps even sitting with them and trying to understand them will help with the bother you are feeling.
As someone that has lost a parent, I hope that you found a special way to honour your Dad this week and were still able to feel some joy that you had him in your life. Take care.
Yeah I'm getting counselling. One of the things that came up is all the emotional stuff leading up to his death. How I'd check on him when he was sleeping or sit with him late at night. He aged about 10 years once the cancer went to his brain and in a funny kind of way, he became a bit less serious and a bit more human. We would have preferred to still have him but it was selfish when he had no quality of life in the end. We just had to trust that God knew best, and took him to avoid all the suffering. I still miss him though.
Of course, you do; you will always miss him. I really believe that grief doesn't go away; you just learn to live with it.
It sounds like you had a lot of role changes, too - from son to carer and now living in this "post dad" world that no one prepares you for. Humans have this funny way of pushing down our feelings and ignoring them, but they have to come out at some stage. It sounds like you are on the right track and getting support, which is so great!
When you mentioned your dad's change in character, it reminded me of my dad. He had a couple of mini strokes that left him with vascular dementia which at first just accentuated his short fuse temper and made him frustrated, but after a while that changed and he became the father I had wished he had been all along, loving and easy to talk to. He had no short term memory but he would remember things from his earlier life and tell me stories of his life at sea with the Merchant Marines. I only had the dad I wanted for about 18 months but it was the best 18 months and gave me some happy memories to recall.