I don’t know how to be ok.

I’m really not doing ok at the moment and I don’t know how to be, either.
It’ll be 6 months on Sunday since I lost my Dad and I can’t believe where the times gone and how I managed to make it this far. How much he has missed already, how much more is yet to come. How is it possible that it’s been 6 months tomorrow, that I last seen him? Just a flying visit too because I had so much coursework to do. I let myself into his house, filled the fridge with scallops and other groceries. Popped my head into the living room, seen he had his apprentice Paul with him so said ‘ah, I’m glad you’ve got company. I’ve filled your fridge, I canna bide cause I’ve got homework but I’ll see you on Sunday! Love you’ he said ‘Nae worries toots, thank you for my messages. Love you’. I didn’t even give him a hug. Just blew a kiss and left. I should’ve gave him a cuddle. I kick myself over the small details all the time, I just can’t help it. Tomorrow marks 6 months since I last heard from him, I’ll never forget the last message, ‘Feeling good, scallops were delicious😃 xx’ 19:12. That doesn’t sound like someone who would die a day or two later. It still hurts my heart to say those words together.

This week I have felt so overwhelmed, it feels like it’s just happened. It doesn’t help that I’ve barely been able to sleep this week either. I’ve had so much crying outbursts during the day - even when I’m trying to put a little makeup on it all just comes pouring out and then I wonder what the point in even trying is. Every time I look at myself I see my Dad and whilst others would say it’s comforting, it rips my heart to pieces sometimes.
I keep having small tiffs with my boyfriend too because he is just so clueless! I mean I know deep down I can’t really blame him because he’s never been through a loss like this… but sometimes it’s like he struggles with basic empathy. Sometimes I have to ask him for a hug and I don’t feel like that should ever have to happen. Is it because I’m just quite crap to be around just now? Is he just fed up dealing with my grief? I try to keep upbeat around others but sometimes the ‘happy mask’ can’t stay on all the time. I’m not happy and I can’t pretend.

My Dad was the best there was. I know everyone says that, but he really was, still is, will always be. He was the most active listener I’ve ever met - if I needed to talk to him about anything, it was TV on mute, turned 180 to be facing me. Full attention. Half the time when I try speak to my partner it’s like speaking to a brick wall that’s just zoned out to their phone. I just find it so sad that I have to come onto a website to talk about my feelings and situations with strangers when I live with my partner and my flatmate. Why can’t I talk to them? I’m not physically alone but I feel so so alone. I know grief is lonely, I just long for someone to share it with. Usually when people lose someone important, they have a mum/ dad/ sibling/ aunts/ uncles/ cousins etc… I have no one. Dad was my everything all in one. No one to joke about old stories with Dad. No one to listen to his music with and appreciate it too. No one I can connect with. It’s not that I haven’t tried, I’ve reached out to a couple people to be pretty much ignored.

It’ll be 6 months on Sunday, and I struggle to see how I will survive another 6 months of this especially with lockdown. Everything is just so hard at the moment. Positivity doesn’t exist in me anymore and I’m just feeling more numb as the days progress.
Sometimes my mind goes to really dark places, and I’ve not had to deal with those feelings for years. Like, would it really be such a bad thing to catch this virus and be with Dad again? What if I just disappear so I don’t need to cope with any more disappointments?
Sorry to be so down but I’m just so low and don’t know how to change it.

Any suggestions are so welcome.
Hope everyone is having a better time than me.
Best wishes,
Steph.

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hi Steph
this damn lockdown isnt helping,told you I took Jayne best female friend and her partner plus my mate Dave and his wife and son for a meal an took one of Jaynes bottles of prosecco to do a toast to my baby Jaynes,maybe get some nice food maybe your Dads favourite and enjoy it with your boyfriend ,have a nice bottle of wine or a couple of cans of beer and toast your Dad.Just know your dad will be watching over you,and just try be yourself as thats who your Dad loved.and stay safe.
best wishes
ian

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Hi. Steph. Your post raises so many questions about bereavement. So many, like you, suffer almost endless pain, with others it does ease gradually. I don’t believe in distractions. Whatever you do you have to come back to reality at some time, and so often after a distraction it can feel worse. Yes, I agree you do need mental breaks from thoughts, but in my view that can only come about by accepting how you feel and seeing it for what it is, a process that we all go through.
The next six months? You will cope and you will survive as we all do. You use the word ‘struggle’ and there lies the key to some easement. Fighting and struggling with emotions is a very negative action. It make things worse, because, as in any anxiety, it creates more of the fear hormones and perpetuates the pain.
I am not for one moment minimizing the pain. But pain can be helped by the realization that it will pass. It will you know Steph. Honest it will. Six months is so little time and time can be an enemy or a blessing depending on our attitude. You won’t have so called ‘positive’ thoughts yet, that is to come. But try and accept how you feel without any kind of struggle.
Your mind will go to dark places. Again it’s symptomatic of bereavement. We want to be with our lost ones. But are they ever lost?
Take care of yourself. Eating and sleeping are almost certain to be affected. Most of us suffer PTSD without realizing it. You have been through the worst life trauma any human has to face. Be kind to yourself as well as others. We are all still here for you to talk to. It does help I know. Bless you. John.

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Steph, don’t be hard on yourself because honestly life is to short. The pain is very real and yes I think we do learn to live with it because either there is no other way or it’s what our mind says we have to for a while until we realise that we can’t change what has happened. Had we known that we would be left to bear this pain we may have done things differently but we haven’t got a crystal ball. You feel better sometimes and not at others and this virus is making everything worse. All we can do is think tomorrow will be different, may not be much better but a little bit is better than nothing. Believe me 6 months is nothing but unfortunately we are lead to believe that we should be ‘over it’ and that’s not how it is in reality. There’s a thing I read every now and then which talks about the sea and grief about the tide coming in and sometimes you can run back up the beach so the tide doesn’t get you and yes it’s true sometimes you can run back up the beach. One day that will be you but please hold out your hand so I can catch it and we will run back up that beach together. Take care and don’t be hard on yourself Blessings S

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And if you hold out the other hand we can all run up the beach together. Thanks for a lovely post Susie. Blessings.

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@Jianye Thanks for your reply. You’re right, lockdown is making everything worse as it takes away any chance at ‘normality’. That’s a nice idea. I’ll definitely be having a lot of drinks on Sunday. Take care.

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@jonathan123 Hi Jonathan. I do feel such a warm response when I see you have replied to a post as you speak so much sense and wisdom. Thanks for your reply. I have to take breaks otherwise I would stay in a state of tears and despair all the time. It is just so consuming, and scary to have such intense feelings - the panic attacks this week have been awful. When I use the word ‘struggle’ I don’t mean that I’m struggling away from the emotion or struggling to fight it… I’m struggling coping with all the emotion. As I said, it is consuming. I don’t recognise the person I am anymore - really, a shell like zombie Steph that doesn’t know how to manage or try to be ‘normal’. You’re very right about timeframes and your attitude towards it. That I do struggle with - that I never managed to go back to any routine before lockdown and I fear how much longer I will have to wait. Human contact isn’t something I used to long for but now I’d love to go sit in a busy pub and watch the world go by. I can’t see the pain ever ‘passing’ but hopefully with time and some understanding, I can learn to cope with it. Like you say, it’s still early doors and I must remember to be kind to myself. PTSD is an interesting idea that I’d not considered I might fall into that group. Usually when I hear that I think of our war heroes - but it does come from watching anyone we care about pass away.
Many thanks for your kind words and reassurance. I appreciate it so much. Have a beautiful evening. Best wishes.

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Hi @Susie123 thank you so much for a beautiful reply. You are so very right, I do need to remember to be kind to myself. I probably am expecting too much from myself and those around me. I don’t minimise the pain but perhaps I’m letting it take over too much - but with lockdown, there isn’t much else I can do about it. I try to do everything right but sometimes the pain is just so intense that I sit crying so hard I get panic attacks still. I had one today. I suppose society is also to blame for making me think that I should be any kind of ‘normal’ yet. I called my granny today in a bubble and she told me to ‘let your Dad go, he isn’t coming back’. Why anyone would find that helpful, or think it is, I don’t know. But I promise to always come on here and see who’s hand can pull me away from the tide.
Thank you Susie what a beautiful analogy. Best wishes. X

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Hello. Watt,
Will you take the advice of a heartbroken,old lady?
Your heartbreak is so apparent, I feel so sorry for your suffering, however, so that our loved ones may Rest in Peace, we have to let them go. They will always be within our hearts and souls, beautiful memories can never be taken away. I am a flrm believer in fate/kismet, which word we use does not matter. I used to dread Stan passing away, especially as we grew older, as I have said before in an earlier post, we were in each others’ lives for 63 years and loved each other dearly. By not letting them go and I don’t mean forgetting our loved ones, we are stopping them from their peace.
Take care of yourself, stay safe for the sake of your beloved Pops.
Blessings,
MaryL

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So sorry for your loss Watt92. 6 months is such a short time in this grief journey. The emotional roller coaster of grief takes on a whirlwind ride, and it is hard to feel our feet on the ground. Allow your feelings to flow. Being close to someone who has not directly experienced the loss, can cause tiffs and rows. I have found that in “some” cases, they just do not know how to react. They fear saying or doing the wrong thing, so they hold back. Grief is so misunderstood in our society, and many people are terribly uncomfortable with it. On this forum we can hear each other’s searing pain and soon we are no longer “strangers.” It can be easier to talk to anonymous people on a chat sometimes. The people on this site are the kindest, and most caring you will find.
The dark thoughts will come. I have them often myself. Sunday will be the second anniversary of my beloved Sister’s death. I agree that the lockdown is making it so much harder. Like you & your Dad, we shared a close, loving, bond. No one in my life will ever know me like she did. I am lost without her.
Take your time, allow the myriad of emotions. Tell your partner what you need, and help him to help you. Keep talking about your Dad, even here. No worries about sounding low or down. We are here to support you through the worst of it. There is nothing we have not heard, or experienced ourselves. Please post again as the day approaches. I will be thinking of you on Sunday too.
Wishing you strength to carry on. Xxxx Sister2

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Sister2
Your post is beautiful, thank you x

@MaryL Hello Mary, good to see you back. I’ve missed your name last time I was online, I hope you are feeling a little better. Thank you for a beautiful reply. I too believe in something I’m just unsure what. I don’t understand the term, or actions of ‘letting him go’. How does one do that? Is it different to the way I have been grieving now? I feel with this step, I’d need to be more accepting than I am just now. I’m still doing a lot of searching and second guessing myself that I’m doing the right thing. As you can see by my scattered posts, I’m extremely lost without my Dad’s guidance. Being a little younger and away from my closest people has been so unsettling. I hope we regain some normal soon. Best wishes and take care xx

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@Sister2 lovely to hear from you, thank you for replying to me. You speak with so much wisdom and reassurance. You’re right about my partner, he doesn’t know what to do or say without upsetting me. At the beginning he used to cry with me but now I go to cry on my own. You’re also very right about society’s reactions to grief, and the way we are because of that. I used to think people were just pretty morbid for talking about death but I understand it’s a part of life. A shitty one at that. I’m sorry if you took offence to my use of the word ‘strangers’, it’s just what I mean for people who haven’t actually met in person nor will ever. We may be strangers in life but are connected by our experiences of grief and the way it makes us feel. I have connected with a few users on this site and come on almost daily. It really is one thing I can count on for a little rest bite of the mind.
I hope the lockdown hasn’t been too terrible for you and I will be thinking of you and your Sister on Sunday as well. Thanks again for a really lovely supportive reply that has really comforted me.
Best wishes and take very good care of yourself.
Xx

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Hello, again, Watt,
I have found that it is one of the most difficult things to do, to let your loved ones go. I talk to Stan’s photo every morning and every night, before I go to bed I just sense that he is at peace. I have 2 friends, brothers, who are very spiritual, when my brother died 4 years ago, I was heart- broken. little did I know that there was worst to come. I had a very dear best friend, with whom I shared everything and she with me we had been friends for nearly 72 years she was I loved her more than I loved my sister ( who has abandoned me). She died suddenly from a stroke, I was heart-broken again. then worst of all 3 years later I found Stan on our bedroom floor, he had died. I am more than heart-broken to have lost him. Honestly, Steph, I don’t believe that I have tru ly “lost” them, your dearly loved Pops will know how much you are grieving for him, as all our loved ones will know. Your Pops must have bssn a very special dad and man, for you to be grieving so much and you are so young too.
May I suggest that you write him a friendly chatty letter, without divulging your terrible grief and heart-break, he will know how much you love him and always will know.
This would be a start, love, I do not want to sound patronising in any way, I am concerned for you.
I hope this helps,
Blessings,
MaryL x x x x

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Thank you Mary. I look forward to your insightful posts as well. X

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No offence Watt92, Sorry if it came across as such. I sense your depth of pain. Your Dad sounded like he was your world. My Sister was mine. Xxx

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Hello Watt … I can feel your despair and pain. Other people don’t know how you feel … for you this is the worst loss of your life so far and it hurts! It hurts unbearably. You can only take one day at a time … remember the person your dad was … what would he want for you. Sounds like he didn’t suffer and when he died he had recently enjoyed the scallops you took him! He would have been thinking of you.

I have lost my entire family … my two sons aged 33 and 36 nearly three years and nearly eight years ago… I thought my life would end but me and my husband got through it together and the sun did shine again. One year ago on 29th April my husband died from cancer … he was diagnosed and died in less than a month … three weeks in hospital and six days in the hospice. It’s so hard but I know that all he was worried about was leaving me alone. I told him I would be alright so I have to be. It’s hard…, it’s devastating and it’s unbearable but there are some small glimmers of light. We were married 43 1/2 happy years together. If I can do this please believe anyone can … you can too …, one day one hour at a time. You have to allow the tears and the sorrow … but you have to keep on keeping on. Don’t expect others to understand what they don’t know … you have to either accept that they don’t Understand because they haven’t experienced what you have … or try to tell them how you feel … sending you love and strength :two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts::butterfly::two_hearts:

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Hi @Pedro52, thank you for your reply and support. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your family, what a terrible thing to go through so close to each other. I don’t know what beliefs you have, but I believe your family isn’t necessarily lost, they are all together and looking out for you.
You’re very right in what you say. We can’t expect others that haven’t gone through it to know how it feels and what it’s like. I just keep thinking that well, my partner sees the hell im in - never sleeping, always crying and being so so sad. I have days when I can laugh a little easier and smile too, but those days feel few and far between. My partner is great at looking after me when I’m sick yet when I’m so upset doesn’t seem to know what to do. I tell him to treat it the same if I were sick - check in, lots of comfort and just ask.
I do things for my Dad all the time. Biggest one being to quit the fags 4 months ago. Just wish I could see him and hear how proud he is. I know we all have those feelings.

Sending you lots of love :heartbeat:

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Susie
My wife died in my arms on Friday May 1st, 40 years to the day from when we first met. The pain is too much for me to bear right now, I have read that grief is the price of love. I love her so much. Please help me.

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Hi AlexSasha,

I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your wife. It sounds as though things are very tough and you are feeling really overwhelmed.

I think you could really do with some support and I’m glad that you’ve been able to talk about how you’re feeling here. There is lots of other support out there, and I would really encourage you to reach out and speak to someone about how you are feeling.

The Samaritans are always there 24/7 if you need to talk about anything that’s bothering you (116 123, or jo@samaritans.org).

Sue Ryder offers an online bereavement counselling service. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this service here: www.sueryder.org/counselling

You can also make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to counselling or other support services in your area. Please be aware that GPs and support services are not currently offering face-to-face appointments, but will usually be offering telephone or online alternatives.

You deserve care and support so please, AlexSasha, get in touch with one of these services.

Take care,
Michelle
Online Community Team.