A whirl wind of emotions

Hi,
I lost my dad suddenly on 15th November. I am finding it so difficult to process this and am desperately trying to find ways to help me move forward out of this overwhelming feeling of sadness which is also accompanied by waves of anger.
My dads wife received a call the day before he died as he had fallen, she arrived home as he was losing consciousness, she called 999 and the paramedics arrived at 2:40pm, they were able to restart his heart and get him to ITU however it was 8:06pm before she alerted any of us despite knowing that my dad has sustained catastrophic damage to the brain and would not recover. He had a matter of hours left to live. We luckily were able to get to the hospital in time to spend time with him before he passed at 04:55am despite him never regaining consciousness it was comforting to be there during his last moments.
I cannot process how someone could be so selfless by not alerting other family members. We have not always agreed over the years but recently tried to make amends for my dads and our children’s sake.
Since his passing she has been increasingly difficult, telling me that I should pay to travel in a limousine to follow my dad in the hearse and that her grief is worst than mine as I still have my husband.
I have been remarkably pleasant considering and have since offered her a place in the limousine and an ongoing relationship in our lives in order to try to respect my dads wishes and shake off this feeling of bitterness and rage I have for her.
I completely get that she is grieving also and these emotions are considered ‘normal’ however I am finding it so difficult to allow it to not eat away at me

Hi Sarah,
Firstly, I am so sorry to read about your dad. No words I can offer right now will make you feel better.
The emotions you are experiencing right now I know will feel overwhelming, it’s a horrible storm in your head that won’t let up. It’s only been a week for you so absolutely no time at all and I know there are so many things you are having to deal with right now, not just your emotions but all the practicalities as well. It is a least some small comfort that you were there at the very end.
I am some weeks further along than you, 12 weeks for me and I’m still taking it one day at a time. I lost my mum suddenly while she was on holiday with my family. The last day of our holiday I discovered she had breathing difficulties while she was still in bed. Within the space of an hour or so, she was dead. I can’t begin to describe the incredible shock of going through that and having it all unfold right in front of me whilst I helplessly watched. The joy of being on holiday together was quickly replaced by despair. I have some small understanding of what you are now experiencing. I would never ever compare my grief to anyone else’s and you won’t find that happening on these forums either. Grief is horrible for everyone who is experiencing it in their own unique way. I didn’t think the method of travel behind the hearse was that important to me, I drove myself with family and that really wasn’t a big part of that day for me. If you feel a limo is appropriate then go for it, I’m certainly not telling you how to do it.
I hope you all manage to find a way to reduce the levels of anger as it appears they are not helping right now. I think times like this bring out the best and worst in people. Emotions are no doubt running extremely high and it’s a very kind gesture of yours to offer a place in the limousine. Your compassion is full of respect and will hopefully help your ongoing relationship. Give it time, it is still very early days.
You have taken a good step to join this forum. There are a number of very caring people chatting regularly in these groups and I’m sure they will offer their thoughts to you and help you get through this horrible mess.
Look after yourself and give it lots of time.
Shaun x

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Sarah965, I’m sorry for your loss.
Part of you story mirrors mine. My Mum had pneumonia and had a massive heart attack 7 weeks ago in hospital. She was brought back to life after 8.5 minutes, but the damage was done. She never regained consciousness. (There was some neglect by the hospital.)
In the first, two weeks I felt like I was hanging on by my nails. It is a mix of shock, raw pain, disbelief, anger and feeling totally lost.
I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with family issues too. There are a few of us who have recently lost a parent and it has been good to share and not feel quite so alone.
Take care and try and get plenty of rest. Rest is crucial at this point in time.

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Thank you both for replying. It helps to message others who have experienced the same emotions as me.
Everything feels like a blur, I can’t remember what happened yesterday and what happened keeps hitting me over and over again. I can’t believe it’s him that’s gone, I keep thinking of memories but that upsets me even more as it acknowledges that he is gone.
I’m resting a plenty but trying to get out of the house too in order to help to move forward.
How long did it take you to return to work? My Dr has signed me off for 2 weeks which takes me to the funeral. Yesterday I was thinking I could start a phased return but now I’m not sure.

I’m so sorry for the suddenness of losing your dad and family crap. It really does bring out the worst in some people. My lovely mum died suddenly 3 months ago from a cancer that was diagnosed as just a bad back. I’m so angry and in shock still. It’s so hard to come to terms with. I took a full 6 weeks off and I’m still not working a full week every week. I work for an agency so it helps I choose my hours. But the thought of doing my full hours gives me massive anxiety. I’m only comfortable being at home. Being at work is not for me. I work with children with behaviour problems. So I’m not the right person for this job at the moment. I’m not sure I ever will be again. A part of me has died along with the patience and skills I need to employ when working with the children.

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Please can I put another thought on this subjext. My husband had C for ten years but never told any of his family or friends and I was sworn to secrecy. When he was seriously ill ten years ago I sent for his daughters, one turned up once the other never contacted him although he was on a life support for a while. When he recently deteriorated he didn’t want his daughters or any other family member informed of his illness. I asked him daily to let me contact his daughters at least, as he was dying. He said that he didn’t want them to come because they had been summoned. They had not been to see him or answered his phone calls for a long time. If they had been in contact I would have gone against his wishes and told them their father was dying but as it was I did as he wished, although I would have liked some support from them. I eventually decided to let them know but he passed away early the morning I was to ring them. After they was informed of their father’s death they took three days to call me and I invited them to come and see me and hopefully they would be involved in his funeral. They showed absolutely no interest however but at the fiuneral they seemed to want it to be all about them and didn’t like the fact that moarners came to me at the end and not them. I was his wife for thirty years but they seemded to have the opinion that as his daughters they was the more important and I should have been in the background but afraid this was just not so. I wrote friendly letters to them as well as phone calls afterwards, and even apologised if they was upset about something and invited them to come and talk about things but they didn’t respond and I haven’t heard from them since. I gave them a funeral where they could moarn their father although it was not what he wanted, he wanted a simple one with just me and him. He didn’t want speaches or flowers but they had a massive one made for him which I know he would have hated. I don’t think they have any concept of the grief I am going through as his wife, he was my soulmate and I cared for him single handed until the end at home, they hadn’t seen him for a year or so. I invited them to grieve with me for the man we all loved but again I never heard another word from them. If their own father wanted nothing to do with them and he was a kind man that didn’t bear a grudge, I feel there was nothng more I could do. His daughters and I had never had a cross word in all those years and I thought we was friends, so I was a bit confused at their show of animosity at the funeral. They didn’t acknowledge me. Can you be certain that your father had not made his wishes known to his wife and as his wife it was her decision.
As a greiving wife her grief is terrible although I do sympathise with your grief also. I wanted to include Brian’s family in our grief but it was not to be. My own family who loved Brian as a father and a grandfather were no problem at all and accepted my decisions.
It’s a terrible time for all and his wifes head would have been all over the place, probably just on auto pilot and not thinking straight as her husband passed away, I know I was is a blur, I can’t even remember some of those days after his death. So please try to help his wife and look after each other, not fall out. I know you are trying and I certainly understand what you mean about rage. I started off being understanding towards his daughters and then it turned to that rage and hurt when I received my only contact from them four months after his death and one husband rang me and informed me that his wife (Brian’s youngest). Wanted an expensive item of her father’s and to get it ready for collectiom. I sold it immediately to someone else. So I have been there but it will only eat you up and you have your own grief to cope with. I would still open my home to his daughters if they wanted me for anything. They are his blood after all.
xxxx

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Hi there,

Thank you for your reply and putting another perspective on the situation. I had a close relationship with my dad, we were in regular contact and I am confident that he would of wanted me to know when he fell that day. My dad would tell us that he was the richest man on earth having 3 children and this was reinforced when I had my own. My gut instinct tells me that his wife wanted him all to herself on that day in order to spend his last moments with her, without having to share with anyone else. I completely understand that the pain she was experiencing at that time was overwhelming which probably made the decision not to tell us earlier not deliberate but I can’t help but feel disappointed particularly as she knew he had a matter of hours left to live.
As stated before I remain thankful that she did inform us in time and we were able to spend time with him before he passed despite him never regaining consciousness.

She doesn’t have any children of her own and I honestly feel that she has always struggled to understand the love he had for us which was unconditional and a bond that is so close it is difficult to put into Words.

She has wanted the funeral to be delayed for weeks & weeks and as a result paid for him to be embalmed so she can visit him daily. I did eventually by begging get her to agree to a funeral date in two weeks time.

Despite our differences over the years I have offered her an olive branch over these last 8 days since he passed and I feel she has snapped it into a million pieces. Telling me that her Grief is worse than mine as I still have my husband is inexcusable. I will, however, remain calm and civil to respect my dads memory and for my own wellbeing I don’t want to be overwhelmed by hatred.

Death brings out the the worst & the best! In people
So I understand your feelings
Dont be in a hurry to rush your grief , like life it takes time, & changes from day to day but it will get easier, not gone but easier
Your in my prayers I too have gone through losing my son suddenly & in the middle of grieving it made some friends BRILLIANT while others I just wondered what was wrong with them because it brought out their worse! In them!
Cha

In answer to your question I went back to work 3 weeks after the Monday following my mum’s death. The funeral was exactly two weeks after which at the time I thought was almost too quick for me to deal with but looking back I have no regrets over the timing. Going back to work was tough. I work at home most of the time so I didn’t find work a particular distraction from my thoughts while sat in front of a computer all day. My mind frequently wondered and I kept stopping for breaks. I was about zero effective in that first week back because I just couldn’t concentrate. Here I am about 9 weeks after that and I’m still not doing as well as I once was. I have bad days a lot of the time for no apparent reason and I have days where I can perform better but it’s still hard work finding the motivation that I once had. In all honesty like a lot of people I thoroughly considered giving it all up but of course that would have been very bad as that would not provide an income for me and my family! Still, the thoughts were there about my future and whether in fact there was any at all. I had an awful lot of bad thoughts. Plenty of rest is good as is getting out of the house. I had some offers from some good friends to simply go out for a walk with them in places I never associated with my mum. I can tell you, it was good to get out, get some fresh air and really talk about my feelings with people who really wanted to listen. They did had some personal experience of grief themselves so it was good to also listen to their experiences as we walked.
If you really feel like you need more time then go back to your doc and have a chat. Your mental health is very important and time spent working through your grief now I truly believe will help prevent some negative consequences later down the line in months to come. One thing is for sure, it will take some time. Personally I know I’m in this for the long haul.

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My employer are good at offering support and as much leave as I need, however I don’t want things to spiral. I’ve been in a dark dark place previously and couldn’t lift myself out. Medication was needed in the end which allowed me to apply the strategies to help me to take a positive outlook on life.
I cannot concentrate on much at the minute and keep finding myself staring into mid air whilst my thoughts are awol. Before this happened I secured a job working with children and families it is a temporary position that I can go to as a secondment from my current job. This is something I’ve always wanted to do and I don’t want to let the opportunity go. I know I need to be mentally ready to take on board new job role but I don’t want to be kicking myself if I let this one go.
I keep telling myself that my dad wouldn’t want me to be like this and would be proud that I had found a job I enjoyed and to go forth, but right now it feels like having to climb Mount Everest

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I think there is a balance to be achieved. Obviously rash decisions would be a bad idea. Some people fare better if they get back to some normality and some fare better if they give themselves more time away from work. There is no particular right or wrong answer. Just do what you feel is right and don’t feel pressured to do what you don’t want. It sounds like you have an opportunity so it would be good to pursue and of course your dad would want you to be happy. All our loved ones would want us to be happy. Doesn’t make it easy that’s for sure! You are right about Mount Everest, everything will seem like that at the moment and work is just one aspect of that. I’m glad you have a supporting employer, that goes a long way. I’ve read so many stories about employers not supporting their staff and that can lead to being signed off many months down the line. It doesn’t sound like you’ll have this problem with yours. I wish you all the best with easing yourself back into some sort of normality with work. Maybe as you suggest you could do a phased return if you don’t feel quite ready, that way you are not just jumping in the deep end. Keep an open discussion with your employer.

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Hi, I know that feeling of the Olive branch being snapped. I suppose I felt that way about my husbands daughters. I know I must have done something to upset them but honestly thought I had done everything right. Never having had to cope with anything like this before.
I would ask that you keep trying, as she has no children of her own and losing your father must be absolutely terrible for her. Perhaps she did want him to herself for a while before he passed away but she did contact you in the end. My one regret is that I obeyed my husbands wishes and didn’t inform his daughters. how ill he was. I worried for weeks before he died about this.
Please don’t hold a grudge about her comments about her grief being worse than yours. She see’s you with your husband who is giving you support and she has lost hers and alone. Keep trying with that olive branch she will need you. Please don’t even think about that word hatred, you are grieving and in early days. You might find that compassion will replace this feeling as many of us have noticed about ourselves. I felt nothing but disgust at the way his daughters had ignored him. Never once offering help or support to me or him either before or after he died. I cared for him single handed and felt that I didn’t deserve to be treated like this. I was worn out at the end. However now I would welcome them into my home if they ever bothered to visit. But won’t be holding my breath that this is going to happen. We learn as we go along in this grieving process.
xxx

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