Delayed bereavement for my dad

My dad passed away 11 months ago today and I am only recently starting to really process and even accept what happened. I bought a journal today and writing is that has helped already but I just feel so alone with my grief.

Dad was diagnosed with cancer in June 2022 and died unexpectedly of a heart attack in September, one day before starting chemotherapy.

We obviously had no notice and as someone who has never experienced anything like that, I had no idea how to plan a funeral or sort out his finances etc… The day he died, we were celebrating my younger sister’s birthday. No one should have to come home from a hospital with the table set for 5, not 4 and balloons everywhere. I couldn’t eat, drink or anything. I just knew I had to get started with all of the work and phone calls as quickly as possible. I went to his house just 3 hours after he died to collect his paperwork etc… I was in shock and have been since.

I have a therapist now who helps me more than I ever thought I could be helped and she thinks I’m experiencing ‘delayed bereavement’ because I didn’t let myself grieve when he died, I just got to work with sorting everything out.

I wondered if there is anyone who feels similar? I feel like I’m going mad and I’m honestly deteriorating very quickly.


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Hello journaleverything,

I’m part of the Online Community team and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing how you are feeling. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful.

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,

Hi, sorry for the pain of grief for your Dad. When a death is sudden and unexpected like this it’s a huge shock. I experienced the same back in January with the death of my Mum. I went into practical auto pilot mode and spent weeks organising, clearing her house out etc. In some ways I feel I’m still stuck in this mode as I am gritting my teeth through the long process of getting her house sold. I am slowly adjusting to the absence of my Mum but I could never have imagined the impact it has had on me. I have struggled to regain an appetite for enjoyment and my motivation for planning occasions has suffered. I’m hoping that in time this will shift and I will be able to manage the grief without being weighed down by sadness. All we can do is keep moving forward with hope…xx

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Although I am 54 and I was 8 when my father died, I find myself now more angry than I have ever been, about my start in life. The day my father died, my mother never spoke of him ever again. He died twice and was not in his Childrens’ memories. Even now, as hard as I try, I cannot remember being born or living before the age of 9, when my mother married again and I was a bridesmaid for her wedding. I have never grieved him and believe I need to do this to be in better mental health now.
I understand delayed grieving because at 28 when my partner left me I fell into bed for months, stopped eating, left my university course and grieved the end of my relationship. It was through counselling that I realised I was grieving for my father, not my partner.

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Ah grief weaves a very complex web of emotions and memories. I’ve found that although every loss in your life differs, they all rise again in some form or other when you’re hit by a further episode. My grief for my Mum is deep and painful, it has also reminded me of my relationship with my Dad whose loss did not affect me so badly. In the grief for my Mum I feel there’s an element of sadness that I didn’t have the relationship I wanted with my Dad. No wonder grief is so exhausting! Best wishes xx

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