How do you cope with losing your dad when they weren't ill?

Hi, my name is Josie, I’m 19. I lost my dad in October 2017. He wasn’t ill and his death was sudden. A few months before he passed away he had passed out in his car when he was parked in a car park. Someone phoned the ambulance and he was taken to hospital. They carried out test and said he had an irregular heart beat. He was a lorry driver so they signed him off of work for 2 and a half months, with tablets to help his heart beat and blood pressure. He went to regular check ups with his G.P. in this time, by the end of the two months the doctor had said he could go back to work. On the day he was meant to go back to work I messaged him to see how he was, he read the message but didn’t reply. This was strange because i always heard back from him. I left it for a few hours. Then I had a message for his close friend, who hadn’t heard from him either. I tried to call him and it kept ringing and ringing. I could feel something was wrong. He had passed away of a heart attack. I really don’t know how to cope.

Hello Josie,

I’m so very sorry that you lost your Dad so suddenly and you’re now having a hard time coping. Losing someone we love is incredibly painful and when we have no warning it can feel even more of a shock.

Do you have a close friend or relative that you can talk to for support. It’s really important that we can share how we’re feeling. You’re not alone, there are lots of wonderful supportive people in the community who will understand what you’re going through.

My Mum died 4 years ago and it took me a long time to come to terms with it. I was a lot older than you although grief affects us all in very different ways. I felt overwhelmed at times & unable to cope. I had bereavement counselling which definitely helped me accept & adjust to what happened. It might be worth you considering some, you can ask your gp for support.

Please keep talking to us & take care for now. Trudy x

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Hi Trudy,
Thank you so much for replying. It nice to have advice from someone who doesn’t know you directly. I live with my partner and his family who are all very supportive and I couldn’t ask for much more. It’s just I can seem to accept that he had died. I was thinking about going to see a couciler. I have a g.p appointment next week. I was just wondering if there was anything I could try to do to help myself if that makes sense. X

Yes it does make sense. Things I’ve tried in the past are : exercise (preferably outdoors) healthy diet, limiting alcohol/ sugar/caffeine, yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

The most useful I’ve found is journalling - this is where you have a book & you just write down whatever you want. Thoughts, feelings, emotions absolutely anything you feel like writing. The rules are if you’re thinking it you write it down without any self-censoring. It’s a great way to get things out of your head and it almost feels like you’ve been speaking to someone. It’s your private journal where you’re free to write anything you want.

The thing is you need to try some things to find what will work for you. By doing this you’re also focusing positively on yourself and your wellbeing which is all good to do x

Hi Josie,

I am so sorry to hear that your dad passed away so suddenly. This must have been a huge shock and it’s completely understandable that you don’t know how to cope with what’s happened. It’s good that you’re in a supportive environment at home and that you’ve found this community, which I hope will bring some comfort.

I think Trudy’s suggestions are brilliant - writing down your thoughts and practicing mindfulness can be really helpful at such a difficult time. I would also like to suggest having a look at our ‘Coping with grief: what got me through’ booklet, which includes tips we gathered together from this community. You can order a copy through our website here:

Take care of yourself,