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Still grieving six years later?

Community Member

Hello all, I hope you are doing okay. Right.. here we go.

In roughly 2011 I resigned (technically quit) my job of almost 10 years and I was living with my parents. During this time my mother got diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and later, a blood disease. My father who owned his own business found it helpful that I was there with her during the day while he was at work as she declined rather quickly. Before I could decide what to do about getting another job, my father got diagnosed with cancer. I became an at-home carer for the next six years until they passed away a month from each other six years ago.

I have a sibling who has lived overseas for many years now and who was not there for 99% of that time that I was there helping them and trying to find a way to stay in control of my own life as depression was already starting to become a part of my life. My sibling came down at the tail end (just after our mother passed away) and as my father was in his last weeks. We hadn't gotten to process my mother's passing by the time we were told by the doctors that my father was in his last days. So when my father passed away I felt completely lost at the time and although my sibling had a life to get back to, I had nothing. I had no choice but to let the feelings wash over me and to face it all head-on which led me to eventually see my GP where I did an assessment and she said it seemed like generalised anxiety disorder and depression. I didn't have the money for therapy so we did the ten free government sessions. I did two of those which weren't all that helpful being that they are too short to even begin to benefit from the therapy. I ended up doing a third session after realising I wasn't getting better and I went straight to my GP to discuss it.

It's been six years and it feels like everybody wants me to be healed and fully moved on with my life but it's not that easy. I have tried to do a lot of inner work on myself but people seem to be more interested in the material things like why I still don't have a job (I have an income that allows me to pay rent and food) but people don't understand how hard this has been for me including my sibling who has in all honesty, been rather detached from the whole situation being in another country. I feel pressure to be better than I am but the truth is I am still depressed and I have good days and bad days. I'm tired of putting the happy face on when sometimes I don't feel that happy.

33 Replies 33

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

"I am not in this world to live up to others expectations " a well known quote.

I have some important comments to make on this topic-

  • Grief is personal and unique to the individual in length to overcome and intensity
  • Comments from others in terms of their expectations that you should be working is Intrusive and rude. Their is sometimes a reason for such comments- like, if you're the type that shares a lot of information about your life they can feel free or obliged to influence you. If so, reduce mentioning the subject. Working part time could improve your quality of life however, in terms of distraction from personal challenges and self esteem
  • Both parents passing within a short time (after nursing them so long) likely compounded your grief
  • Try to surround yourself with empathetic people. If relatives aren't caring or understanding then drift somewhat
  • Google- beyondblue topic fortress of survival. Beyondblue topic distraction and variety. Beyondblue topic guilt the tormentor

I hope that helps. Repost anytime


Community Champion
Community Champion


Thanks for your honest and moving post.
white knight has given very helpful suggestions.
I am so sorry for your losses.

Grief has no use by date.

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.

while I don't have direct experience of what you are going through, I had many chats with some who lived near me. He looked after his own parents for 15+ years. In that time I would say that former connections were lost among other things. After both of his parents died, it seemed he was lost - the people he looked after were gone and a great hole in his life. Going back to the work is not an easy decision and that does not take into account the grief process. Going back to work may not fill in that hole either. I think in a similar way to you, his brother while geographically close appeared close was emotionally distant, or at least had that appearance.

In my own story, possibility exists in reaching out to old contacts.

I will say to you that you have been very kind in looking after your parents, perhaps putting your own the goasl and dreams aside to do this. The pain that you feel is real, and moving forward is possible. How long that takes I cannot answer. You might able to find a local grief support group?

For some whose parents have died, think if them in the present - their presence is still in the hearts and thoughts.

Some like to do something in memory of their parents - a letter, growing something, doing a walk they used to do.

A friend whose husband died a long time ago says she still has low days.

Sometimes getting through the day is enough.

If you want to chat more about this here... You story is worth telling and I am listening to you.

Thank you for the support and the information. You are right about not letting others have control and it's hard to explain but I went through a lot of other difficult things before my parents got sick and I guess I have spent most of my life feeling like I'm a huge disappointment. I guess that's why I try to people please and heal in the way people want me to or try to at least act like I'm respecting their thoughts and wishes even though they have no idea how it feels to be me.

Thank you for your kind words. I like that - grief has no use-by date.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and not just read but listen.

I can't even imagine what it must be like to have been going through that for over 15 years. Six felt like a lifetime to me. You're words let me know that I'm not alone in this situation so thank you.

Sadly my story doesn't just begin and end with my parents. I was heavily bullied at school not just by my peers but by the teachers as well. Constantly telling me that I was never going to be good enough for anything. You're all so kind here, back in my school days when I reached out on a self-help forum they told me I should.. well in order to not say their exact words.. "not be here" anymore.

After school, I was further bullied believe it or not at training school for something at the time I felt was my life's passion causing me to leave and feel like that failure I was told I was. Fast-forwarding to getting my first job where I was let go on weeks in because it was a family run business and they had a family member who decided they wanted their old job back and I got kicked to the curb to where I had to then tell my parents that I just got fired from my first job following the disappointment of the training school. I finally got a job in the same industry but a different position and was told by my boss on the very first day that she didn't like me and made my days thereafter a living hell. Fast forward to three bosses later and having them throw good feedback letters I was getting from clients in the bin only to bring me into the office every day to tell me that I was doing a bad job. Embarrassingly I also had an old teacher from my school days (high school), come into my place of work, see me running the show and leading my team and then in front of my staff and my boss said "wow I can't believe you got a job and made something of yourself the teachers back at the school will never believe it." I even got demoted for something I didn't do and had to earn my old position back. I eventually quit wanting to move on to something better and that's when my parents got sick and it all kept going downhill.


Dear Child@Heart

Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community.

We’d like to acknowledge the strength it took to reach out and share what is happening for you. We can hear that you’re going through a really difficult time, and we want you to know that we’re here for you.

We’re sorry to hear of the loss of your parents, and it’s completely understandable that you’re struggling to come to terms with all that has happened.

It’s important to give yourself time and permission to grieve, and to do so at your own pace. It’s also really important to acknowledge the loving and supportive son you were for your parents. Being there in their time of need would have provided immense comfort for them both.

It can make a real difference having someone to talk to, so we’d like to invite you to call our wonderful counsellors on 1300 22 4636, or jump onto a webchat here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/  Our counsellors are available 24/7 to provide care and support.

Our friends at Griefline offer counselling to help you cope with your loss. You can contact them on 1300 845 745 between 6am to 12am.

Thank you again for being part of this very supportive community.  

Warm regards
Sophie M

Thank you, Sophie, I made a comment previous about how kind and welcoming everybody is here.

Thank you for the information and your support. It really does mean a lot.

Community Member

hi Child@Heart

I just wanted to say that reading this line "It's been six years and it feels like everybody wants me to be healed and fully moved on with my life but it's not that easy. "
This was something I could resonate with. Quite a lot. I have felt that everybody wants me to be healed. That I must be moved on with my life. And yes - it's not that easy is it?

"I have tried to do a lot of inner work on myself but people seem to be more interested in the material things like why I still don't have a job"
Again this is a theme in my own world atm. I am 28 and have felt the pressure of modern hustle culture pushing me about.

There is tragedy in my world - both my own and also those close to me. My sister nearly died many years ago when she was 9 and has since had all sorts of health issues that keep piling on. I read a quote recently - "There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in…"

Maybe in my experience this moment came and hit me at 16. I guess what I'm saying is that I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of tragedy.

I sense a great sense of strength in you Child@Heart

TAke care of you and see you around