Death of my Dad

I am 48 years old and I lost my Dad a week and a half ago. He had been battling MND for two years and I know that he is at peace now however I am supposed to return to work tomorrow and I don’t know if I can. How can life go on? I can’t just move on and sweep what has happened under the carpet. This man was my hero and I feel so disloyal.

Hi jools,

I’m sorry to read about the loss of your dad. Its such an awful time. I am also 48 and my mum died suddenly 20 weeks ago. She lived with us,was very funny and we were so so close. I feel like I have lost a big part of me. My work were very good and gave me till the day after the funeral as compassionate leave. However, I had a complete breakdown the morning after and was signed off work by my GP.i didnt go back to work until a month ago and I am now doing a phased return. Without this I would never have resumed work.
Every day is so hard and we miss mums much it physically hurts.
You are only a week along on your journey and still in shock.
See if work will give you some leave, if not get signed off. I hope all the arrangements for the funeral and the day itself go ok.
Cheryl x

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Hi Jooles71
I’m very sorry to hear about your dad. Less than two weeks ago, I can empathise that is a horrible time and no doubt a bit of a whirlwind with all the arrangements going on let alone making time and space for grieving. I lost my mum suddenly 9 weeks ago when in the space of an hour, my life went from being full of joy to what the hell is the point in me breathing anymore. Mum was very integrated into my family life so adapting to life without her has been and is still is being extremely hard.
I was lucky with work as they told me to take the time I needed. If I’d gone back to work after the funeral I would have just done nothing but stare at my screen all day feeling depressed. I took 3 weeks off and although I work at home, the week I started back I was probably less than 10% productive, mostly reading emails etc.
It’s impossible to sweep things like this under the carpet and I have no doubt that you won’t and you will in good time honour your dad by living for him.
As Cheryl has suggested, maybe your work will give you some extra time and if not and you know you will suffer by going back to work so soon then get yourself signed off. It’s in the interests of your employer that you are able to be effective and I would hope they would want the best for you.
I’m 9 weeks in and still trying to live day to day wondering how I’m doing this. It’s helped me by chatting here with people who really understand these times I find myself in. Times I never wanted to be in and never thought would happen within the next 10 years. I still can’t wrap my head around the whole, here one minute and gone the next. I’m sure our parents would want us to be happy and continue living. My mum would certainly wish me to be happy but I think it’ll be a long time before I can do that without feeling guilty.
Shaun x

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Morning Shaun,

I’ve had a terrible few days and everything you have just said rings so true for me too.
I really thought at 4 and a half months in I would be starting to feel brighter but I feel awful. I miss mum so much and it doesnt help that my 12 year old seems to be starting to grieve now as well. We have had a weekend of tears.
I think xmas round the corner is really not helping and in a few weeks I will be doing mums job of getting the xmas decorations out of the garage. This will be with such a heavy heart.
God, I hate life at times. I know we will all go through losing our mums, unless we go before them of course, but I was so ill prepared for this sudden shock and abrupt change to my life.
Cheryl x

I so know how u feel, lost mum 5 months ago, nursed her till the end. Miss her every min of every day.
Christmas is so hard lost my dad a week before Christmas 4 years ago
mums birthday would of been on
Christmas Eve, everyone says I
need to live my life now, but so hard. I do so much know how u feel x
I so know how u feel, hope for us both things w


Sorry for your losses. Its awful being an orphan isn’t it?
It doesnt matter how old we are the loss of both parents is having such an awful effect on my life and health.
I’m hardly contributing at work and I’m so down all the time at home.
I feel so sorry for my partner and daughter as I am a shadow of my former self.
Mum was only 74 and so spritely and such a big part of our life and home. She died of a sudden brain haemorrhage on the 14th june and I just can’t accept that she died.
I find myself shaking my head numerous times a day in disbelief.
How are you holding up?
Cheryl x

Morning Cheryl,
Sad to hear your weekend went like that.
I’ve had an up and down weekend where a couple of things hit me. I went round to mums to sort more stuff. I opened the wardrobe and pulled out a dress and then it hit me hard when I realised what I’d just done. I’ve mentioned before that I lost my mum on my 10th wedding anniversary. Well, this was the dress she wore to my wedding. Talk about a punch in the guts. I closed the door and had to stop. What is the loyal thing to do in this situation?
I’ve been trying to avoid the whole Christmas thing but that came up at the weekend. Another offer to spend the day, this time with my wife’s stepmother. My wife asked me what I wanted to do, I don’t know what the hell to do. How am I supposed to make a decision today when I haven’t a clue what I’ll be like. My daughter deserves to have a good time but it’s hard to force myself to have any enthusiasm. What I dread is not being able to escape on the big day at someone else’s house. It might be good to spend time somewhere else it might be a bad idea. I hate having to think about it! I can only think about last year which I remember saying afterwards was one of the best times ever. What a contrast to now.
Dare I ask, what’s everyone else doing to get through the next couple of months? My response would be, I haven’t a clue!
Shaun x

Sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time.
Yes you do need to live your life as do I. There, simple to say, bloody difficult to enact.
So hard as you say and just being complicated by the coming events surrounded by people having a great time. I always knew that there were people at Christmas suffering through grief, but they were always other people and I didn’t truly appreciate it. Well now I do! So stressful.

Hi shaun,

I made some very quick decisions in the shocking hours after we were told that mum wouldn’t survive. First of all I decided not to sit by the hospital bed and hold her hand in her final hours. This might seem shocking to some but mum was a bundle of positivity and laughter as I left her at the pre op room.
I could not face seeing her unresponsive with tubes when I was supposed to be bringing her home for a cup of tea as the hospital expected. Every now and then I have a wobble over this but I still feel I made the right decision for me. My last memory of mum is laughing about her having a glass of wine together. I dont have to think about the life support stuff because I chose not to see them.
Secondly the morning after she died I cleared out all if her clothes, shoes, coats and underwear. I knew I just couldn’t bear to open her wardrobes and drawers and se clothes that she would never wear again. My daughters coats, shoes and school uniform and now in them and I dont regret this. It might seem difficult to comprehend but again this was about self preservation.i dont have to come across a piece of mums clothing and feel the sickness that you have just done.
I have no idea how I am going to get through the next couple of months, all I know is that I have to as I have a child and she is getting excited for Christmas.
I feel sicker each day just thinking about it. Mums 75th is on the 24th November and I just can’t believe I’m not booking a table at a restaurant and ordering the bottle of perfume i gave her every year.
I feel like the last 20 weeks have been a blur of confusion, disbelief and sadness and I dont think it’s going to get better for a long time. That doesn’t mean you wont start feeling better in 11 weeks when you are at the 20 week stage. We are all different. I just know what I’m like.
Like you, I just cannot believe we are on this situation and I want to scream.
Cheryl x

It’s not shocking. You did what you thought best and that was the right thing for you. One thing I’ve tried to do right from the start is not create bad memories that I cannot shift. I have some very bad memories that are a constant cause of pain. I did avoid watching mum being taken out of the cottage we were staying in so at least I don’t have that memory. I’m trying to hold onto the good stuff but failing quite a bit at the moment.
I can understand what you did with your mum’s wardrobe and no doubt it was a good thing. It’s done now so that’s something. I’m now at the stage several weeks down the line where it now seems to be more difficult to do anything with these clothes. I may have to ask someone else to deal with them. I can deal with furniture, kitchen appliances, books etc but clothes are something else. As you say, I cannot bear the thought of her not wearing them again but I can remember a time when she did wear certain items, it kills me.
I would normally buy mum some flowers, narcissi , from Scilly for her birthday. They come from the same place from where just before her death, she sent flowers to her auntie which didn’t arrive until after. Maybe I should still do it and display them. Not really sure if that’ll make things worse or better for me. It’s on a Sunday this year so maybe if the weather allows it would be good to get out into the countryside rather than suffer indoors.
My grief has definitely changed over the last 9 weeks. The raw sharp brutal pain and shock of the days after have gone now but in their place is a deep sorrow which wells up now and then and drowns me. It’s so draining. Can’t say I feel any better over the last few weeks. I know it’s just a brief time so I’m not expecting much for a long time yet.
I think NYE is going to be hard too. I’ve just realised that come 1st January, all of this will be last year. Not sure if I like that as it’s just another way of putting distance from my previous happy existence.

I’m sorry for your loss Jools71. I lost my Mum just over a month ago, so I know how shocked a raw it all feels.

That should have said shocked and raw it all feels. It will be good when there is an edit button.

It’s that deep down sorrow which is so hard. I have completely withdrawn from society. I used to be outgoing and confident and loved going out for a drink or to see friends. I haven’t been out once apart from with my partner for meals and thats usually because I cant face cooking.
I’m just not me without my mum. She was such a big deal to me.
I remember when my dad died at home aged 53. The ambulance left and we just waited for the funeral directors. I remember sitting on the front door step and just staring when they carried his body out on a black stretcher. Neighbours were staring and I just remember thinking this cant bd happening. Then 21 years later I feel the same about mum. This cant be happening.
Me and mum ‘got’ each other. We had the same silly sense of humour. We only had to look at each other and laugh. My partner and daughter are great but they dont have that same understanding. Silly jokes or sayings that me and mum developed over the years have all gone.
It’s just so surreal.
In terms of her birthday I dont want to celebrate it. I would rather just say, its mums birthday today and then get on with our day. I saw a xmas advert today and a lump formed in my throat. Great I thought. 4th november. I’ve got almost 2 months of this.
New years eve wont bother me too much apart from the fact that I would choose to be in bed by 10pm but now mums gone j will have to stay up with my daughter. I used to go to bed and leave them to it.

I hope you are doing ok Jools71.
Just reading your post there Cheryl and it really hit home again. Every now and then I get hit by the ‘I can’t believe this’ thought. It’s really really weird and I can’t explain what it feels like. Reading your post made me think again, did this really happen? I look at her phone I now have and remember all the chats we used to have and remind myself that I won’t be having those chats ever again. Surreal.
I don’t think I’ll actually celebrate mums birthday as such, more like a commemoration. I’m still thinking about flowers but I’ll see.
I hated it in September when I first noticed Christmas stuff in my local shop. I swore at I walked past quickly.
I expect NYE will be a quiet one for us which is not much different from normal to be honest.
My wife and daughter have been great and have helped me a lot too but they don’t really truly understand me deep down. Nobody can. The closest I can get to people understanding are on this forum so that’s something to be thankful for.

Glad we can be of support shaun x