Feeling nothing

Hi I lost my father October 2017 and have still not shed a single tear. I feel so detached and guilty, almost like I am watching someone else’s family go through it. My dad was such a big strong independent man, who travelled the world, was a brilliantly talented artist, was hard working and I loved listening to his stories. I saw him every day maybe twice a day and I watched him get sick and become so frail. I was with him the night he passed, I sat with him, I called the doctor to record his death, I called the undertaker to remove his body, I walked him to the hearse in a body bag, I comforted my sister who was hysterical. I arranged his entire funeral, I had his reamains in my home up until last week before I had them put into a sanctum… nothing, not a bit of emotion! I feel sad that I can’t cry, my head knows he has died but my heart refuses to deal with it. I feel so abnormal.

Hi Cooney,

I very sorry that you lost your father in October 2017. It is quite common to feel abnormal in how you’re grieving. Everyone of us handles our grief in a different way, which can make us feel as though we’re not grieving properly or normally. I want to reassure you that you’re not the only one who has felt this way and feeling of numbness are often talked about in this community.

There’s a really good website called What’s Your Grief and they have an article about the feelings that you’ve described. Perhaps there’s something in there that will help: https://whatsyourgrief.com/feeling-nothing-during-grief/

Keep talking to us as long as it helps and take care.


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Hello there
Oh yes I can totally relate to this. I cared for my mum with picks dementia she had it 9 years. We were very best friends. After an initial 5 minutes of hysterical crying I sort of shut down and totally switched off. Like you I coped with the whole thing the funeral watching mum die the lot. I actually saw my GP and said “I feel nothing. Numb. Zombie state” it worries me a lot as I want to cry but it won’t come. I’m sure you know what I mean. I get a tight throat a lot unshed tears but for the whole first year it was all stuck. I’m actually afraid of the intensity of my grief. When I saw other people crying at the funeral etc I felt like saying you’re lucky - I’m too bad for tears I’m totally shut off. This went on - like you- for over a year. This is my second year (mums Anniv tomorrow) and in some ways it feels worse as my emotions are beginning to thaw. I do have sudden outbursts of tears usually in the middle of M&S or somewhere inconvenient and then I can’t stop! I am angry like you wouldn’t believe I am livid!! But I’m sure this is all my grief too. What I’m saying is it will come out you’ve had a massive shock and it’s natures way of protecting you. You will find you break down and cry one day and again and again. It’s all normal apparently but I know just how you feel - it is awful as it feels abnormal. In a word. It’s shock. My heart goes out to you. Keep coming on this forum it’s brilliant. Hugs x