My father died 5 years ago and it’s been a horrible experience, I want to be sad. I feel guilty for being the only one in the house who wasn’t crying when I got the news that he had passed away in his sleep. I’ve heard that these feelings are normal and that they only last a few weeks but I’ve been feeling like this ever since he died- 5 years ago. I did love him. Well, I can’t describe it.
We can’t feel things to order and there is no set way of reacting to grief whether it is “a few weeks” or 5 years. I did not cry when my mother passed away and have not for her since and that was over 10 years ago. But when my wife died I cried every day for the first 5 months and the first day I didn’t cry I felt incredibly guilty, as though I no longer cared. If you haven’t tried it already have you tried counselling? It might be especially helpful if how you are feeling is affecting your day to day life. I can’t help but feel that your father would know that you care and want you to be kinder on yourself.
All the best
John, your father did know that you loved him and still does, guilt is a horrible emotion, I know because I have felt for 28 years that I let my dad down. The reason is so silly, I went and saw him every day, he was bed fast, he would only allow me to give him his medication, which caused some resentment from my mum (she was a lovely lady). I tried to persuade him to eat something, and he told me that he fancied some toast with jam on it. I did the toast and was just about to add the jam, when some visitors came to see him, I forgot the jam. I have felt guilty since 1989, one small request and I failed him, yet, having said this, I used to sit and talk to him when we were alone, he even asked me to put my hand on his stomach, where the cancer was, it was like a building brick. So you see, Jon, we can feel guilty at some things, that other people would laugh at and say “Don’t be so stupid”. I do believe that caring people always find something, however, big, small, trivial to hang their guilt on, it is part of the grieving process. Mary