How can I help my kids when I'm lost myself

About 8 months ago my dad died suddenly of a massive heart attack he was only 75. My dad was my kids and my world. He was more than just a grandad to my children he was the only male role model they had, he was there when their abusive dad finally left helping me to pick up the pieces and move on. He was my rock always helping me in our time of need never ever to busy to be there for us. From decorating my house, to helping me with my car, to teaching the kids how to ride a bike, to building lego models, fixing my garden, on and on the list went, nothing was ever to much trouble. Most of all though just being with him, his crazy sense of humour, his stories, his knowledge was what we enjoyed and needed the most and now he’s gone and we are all struggling to stay a float. I’m doing my best to hold it together for my kids as they need me to especially my youngest who’s grief has manifested in some serious concerns requiring professional help but deep down I’m not doing so good myself. I’m still crying most days and if I could I’d never leave my bed but as a single parent I know that’s not fair to my kids. I just dont know how to get through this and I’m now so scared of something happening to my children that i find myself having terrible panic attacks especially as my eldest son has decided to now leave England. I just dont know how to get through it all anymore I really dont.

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Hello @Val74, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. It sounds like you’re coping with so much right now. I think many of members will relate to how hard it can be to support our children through bereavement when we are grieving ourselves.

I’m not sure how old your children are, but Winston’s Wish offer advice and support to bereaved children and their families. They’re on 08088 020 021 and http://www.winstonswish.org.uk/

It does sound like you could use some support yourself and a space for your own feelings. You matter and deserve support. I wanted to share a few options with you you might want to explore. We offer free online bereavement counselling. This is done via video chat from home and you can find out more here: https://www.sueryder.org/online-bereavement-counselling

We also have this page about the physical symptoms of grief from our Grief Guide. You can read it here: https://griefguide.sueryder.org/support/physical-symptoms-grief/ It may be a good idea to discuss your panic attacks with your GP, too.

Please do think about getting a little more support for yourself. We are all here for you too - you are not alone.

Take care
Seaneen

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Hello, I can relate in a way to your post. I lost my Mum in June at age 71. Although it doesn’t sound as though we were quite as dependent on her as you were your Dad, she was the world to me, my wife, two kids, my brother, my Dad, her sister and brother (the list goes on). She never wavered in her love, support, and encouragement, and was great fun to be with. I feel lost without her at the moment. I don’t know how time will heal as I will always feel robbed of many more years (she died of cancer after 18 months). My only comfort is that we wouldn’t be who we are today without her. I still cry most days. Do you have other people in your life that you can turn to for help or support? All the best to you.

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Thank you for replying and giving me so many places to look at and get help. I really appreciate it. Your right I think I need to get some help as all I’m doing is functioning for the children and not really dealing with my own grief. My children’s ages range from 21, 17, 15 and 13. They are all dealing with the loss of their grandad, their father figure, in different ways but as I said it’s my youngest who it has manifested in some serious issues and I got her help quickly so maybe it’s time I did the same. I’m so fearful of death and losing my kids now that it’s not a good way to live and if I’m not careful I will project these fears onto the children as well. I will have a look at all the links and hopefully it will help me to start dealing with the loss of my dad and subsequent fears. Thank you again

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Hi Phil-73

It’s really hard to see a way through this especially like you say when you feel that you have been Robbed of many years. My dad was always very active and was even still working so I really did not think we would be without him for many more years. He always promised my daughter he would be around for her 21st but she was only 13 when he died. I also carry some guilt as that day we were due to see him but the kids were all busy so I put him off till the weekend and that night he died. I have two sisters but we dont get on so no I’ve no one to talk to about this so that in its self is hard. The only thing i hang on to is how close the kids and i were to my dad and whilst it makes it harder to come to terms with him no longer being here, no longer hearing his laugh, i have no regrets about our relationship. He knew what he meant to us and we knew what we meant to him. I hope in time I can think about him without feeling so lost but like you I’m not sure how time will heal that gaping hole he has left. My thoughts are with you and everyone who has lost a loved one.

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