Help please

Hello everyone,

I lost my grandad who was ill, and not long after, my young amazing dad, unexpectedly. My mum got diagnosed with cancer after 2 weeks of dad’s passing. She’s better now but I fear to lose her too. All this has happened over 1 year and a half. I myself got diagnosed with depression, complicated grief, mood disorders and so on. Mum&dad were my rocks and we were the happiest small family, I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m lost now, before death and illness came to us, life was heaven and now it’s hell. My world completely ended when my dad passed away.

I wasn’t ready to go back to work but my employer put pressure on me despite being in long term sickness, so last week I went back to work on a phased return. I’m now back to square one. Grief, panic attacks, tears, hopelessness of this life with no sense without dad (and a mum that’s not herself anymore, as me). Is this the rollercoaster and the waves of grief?

Has anyone felt the same?
Should I carry on with work or give up as I’ll never heal? Some people seem to move forward but I don’t. Antidepressants and counselling are not helping anymore so I thought going back to work could bring some kind of normality but it clearly isn’t, it’s thrown me back to the reality of my meaningful life without dad.

I thought I was better when I started eating regularly and did some yoga classes which helperd, so hoped I was able to go back to work but now I fear if I go back to the doctor’s I’ll get signed off again and they may fire me.

They say time is a healer but it’s not working for me, I don’t know what else I could do.

Please can you help me.

Thanks,
G.

Hello G.

I read your story and dearly hope someone can offer you some words of wisdom as another bereaved daughter/granddaughter and who will be better able to identify with you.

We seem to have a few things in common however and I truly empathize with you. I too have complicated grief’, panic, depression and anxiety since my loss. Nothing feels right, as if I’m in a limbo state between past, present, future and what could/should have been rather than what is. I can understand your Mum’s change of demeanour as well and how worried you must be. I also tried counselling and it was stopped as I was not in a fit state. I was given anti-deps but didn’t take them. I was bereaved in October 2016 and feel worse in a different way now, so I can agree with you when you say you don’t feel time is a healer.

I don’t really know what your employment rights are but they have a duty of care and they don’t exactly sound very supportive towards you, I can imagine the strain that places on your emotional reserves.

Although you have experienced this tragic loss do you feel you have actually “confronted” it. I think that is my problem, and now I panic when I’m forced to think long and hard about what’s happened. It’s said that grief’ is patient and will sit and wait for you until you’ve dealt with it. I’m finding that to be true in my case.

You’ve tried really hard and that’s a credit to you. It would have been easy to just give up but you’ve tried different things to help you. I really hope you get past this setback/relapse.

Can I just recommend the AfterTallk website. There is a section called Ask “Dr Nieymer” and I believe he is a grief’ counsellor/psychiatrist and he has a vast collection of letters he has answered and you may find a few that echo your own situation, it’s just a thought. You may already be aware but there is also a brilliant website called What’s Your Grief’, this has helped me.

If things still worry you, you could try ringing/emailing The Samaritans. You don’t have to be suicidal - I have done this.

I wish you well and send compassionate thoughts.

Hello G-I am so sorry to hear of all you are going through. I agree that time does not always heal, and for me the passing of time (less than 3 months since losing my younger and closest sister) has made it worse because each day without my loved one is, as you say, “hell.” I returned to work too soon, and have not been doing well there, however I think I would just curl up in a ball and give up if I had long hours at home. You must decide if you are able to remain at work, or if it is proving too much right now. Do not let any one pressure you, you must do what is best for you and for your well being. I have trouble with the people at work who insist on telling me how “strong” I am, and how well I am doing. They have no idea how broken I am inside, and putting on the “work face” is exhausting. Yes G, grief is a roller coaster, and the feelings come in waves, sometimes knocking the breath out of us. I fully understand how quickly life can change and our sense of security can be taken away. I wish I could be of more help to you, but remember that you are not alone. I and others on this site are feeling much as you describe. One step at a time, and keep sharing your feelings. This is a wonderful place to vent and receive feedback. Let us know how you and your Mum are doing. Take care.

Hello Tina19
Thanks so much for your reply, sorry for your loss. And sorry for the delay in responding, I had a terrible week, with work etc.
Maybe you’re right, I don’t think I have actually confronted my loss completely and I find myself trying to avoid the reality that my dad is not here anymore. The moment of distractions from pain had helped me surviving so far but deep inside me I’m not actually living.
Thanks for the websites, I wasn’t aware of them and I’ll definitely look into them.
I wish you all the best as much as it can be for us, and I’m here if you’d like to talk.
Thanks a lot again,
G.

Hello Sister2,
I’m sorry for your loss.
Thanks for your reply and sorry for the late reply I had a tough with at work.
You’re absolutely right and I must try to be stronger and do not let them put pressure on me. Colleagues also tell me that I look fine except for my weight loss that of course is a daily topic and reminds me of how people are insensitive to what grieving can cause.
I’m not sure what to do right now so I’d rather force myself to persevere with work as financially it would be an issue and, as you can imagine, I wouldn’t be able to find another job starting with an interview and all that.
I regret returning back to work though but now it’s too late to reverse that and I do hope to feel better in time, or that this wrong choice would bring me to something better ahead, it can’t be real that in nearly 2 years almost everything went bad?
It’s indeed so important sharing our feelings with who can understand like people on this website, I find in my everyday life that friends or people in general are not supportive, I mean they do try but as most of them have never experienced losses (I’m the first one to have lost a parent) they cannot relate and often their words hurt more; conversations sound so silly and meaningless to me right now that I’d rather be on my own.
You’re of help and I really appreciate your words.
I’m here if you want to talk.
Thanks again,
G.

Glad to hear again from you G. I understand about the work situation, as I often wish I had more time to take care of myself before jumping right back into a stressful job.
I find some of the co-workers either avoid the subject, or say something less than helpful. And I am in the mental health field, so one would expect more insight into the grief process. Amazing how people expect us to be “moving on” when we have barely begun to deal with the shock of losing our loved ones. I do on the other hand find staying busy does help, if even for awhile. From everything I learned about grief, it is said not to make any major life changes in the first year (if possible). So perhaps sticking it out in your job for now might be the better choice. I agree that avoiding certain people, and those superficial conversations is a good idea. I can relate to what Tina said that “nothing feels right,” and I sense you are going through that too. Grief is a lonely journey, but people here understand. Please vent anytime, I find it helps me to help others in any way I can. take care.

Thanks for your reply G. Look after yourself.

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