I’m not coping with the loss of my Dad.

I lost my Dad who was my best friend 2 and a 1/2 years ago after a 4 week battle with undiagnosed metastatic melanoma.
He was undergoing 3 monthly melanoma checkups for the 3 and a half years prior to this due to having a melanoma removed previously. The hospital completely missed the fact that his body was riddled with melanoma and actually extended his checkups to 6 monthly in September 2015. Another department found the metastasis when he was admitted for a chest infection in October and was dead 4 weeks later on his 73rd birthday. I nursed him at home (I’m a qualified paediatric nurse) for the final 8 days of his life.
However, I am no closer to coping with or accepting his death now than I was when it happened. My Dad was my rock and I am the definition of the term ‘Daddy’s girl’ I just can’t move on. I’m still sobbing my heart out daily, I’m always waiting for him to come through the door. I can’t cope with not seeing his face, hearing his voice etc. I thought that grief slowly got easier to deal with but I just seem to be getting worse! It’s affecting my whole life which I know he would not want and would be making him so unhappy but I just can’t seem to live my life.
I’m happily married with children and I still have my mom but I can’t seem to appreciate the good things in my life.
Dads death also triggered the onset of Fibromyalgia which affects me severely on a daily basis so I am trying to deal with this too but that seems to add to the grief as it was always my Dad who kept me strong and he was all I ever wanted if I was ever really ill.
I’ve tried counselling and also antidepressants but nothing is making a difference.
I just want my Dad back. I cannot accept that he is gone.

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Hi I’m really sorry to hear you are still not coping well after 2 and a half years, I know exactly how you feel. I lost my Dad 4 years ago and I’m not coping either. I like you have had counselling and am still on anti depressants also sleeping tablets some nights. I have 2 grown up children and 3 grand children but my Dad was my whole world. He was ill and within 3 weeks was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was gone, the shock and heartache was devastating, his 1st time in hospital at 78! I just cannot get my head around it and miss him every single hour of every day. My heart is broken and I feel so empty and lonely. Also like you I went to my Dad for everything and I was his little girl even at 50. If you need to talk I honestly know how you are feeling and I’m here for you. Some days I really feel I don’t want to go on. Sending strength to you

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It interesting to read…I’m just 5 monthis into my loss and every few days how I feel switches. Last week I was wildly livid. From the little learning and reading I have done it seems that grief is different for everyone. I walk around and appear to function for the most part but inside I’m saying “my Dad had a fit and died”. I replay the trauma of that night. I’m still using sleeping tablets and I’m eternally selling stuff on eBay to clear out my house-planning for my own demise.
Losing my Dad is so inconceivable for me that I didn’t have a funeral. It would have been intolerable for me to endure it but I carry a little guilt about that decision. I wish I could offer you some wisdom and help. I think I’d say be kind to yourself x

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It’s true that we all grieve differently Tracey and I don’t want to burden you with the worry that your experience will be like mine.
I too replay his death over and over from the minute he woke that morning to the minute he died at 22:43 at night. I was laying on the bed with him, my head on his shoulder as he passed. I hadn’t been home to my children for 9 days but when I left at 3am the next morning I took the pillow he had been laying on and wore the jumper he had last worn. I still sleep with that pillow every single night and can’t even contemplate washing it. I just put an additional clean pillow case over the top and change that. The original pillowcase remains untouched. I also have a photograph of the two of us under my pillow.
Julie I have contemplated just giving up so many times and I know that it is selfish to think that way as I have my husband, children and mom whom it would devastate. I only wake each morning because of my children. I feel so guilty as they idolised their grandad and having to tell my twin girls ages 4 and md my son 17 that he’d gone was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do. Obviously my son was there all the way but my daughters just thought grandad was poorly. They are still grieving him badly and I feel as though I’m adding to that grief by being the way I am as it’s though they have lost their mom too. I just can’t be any other way though. I keep thinking back to my screams echoing around the hospital when they told us he wouldn’t see Christmas and my dad telling me he was sorry. We all lived four weeks just waiting for that dreadful day. There was no hope no nothing just the certainty that I was about to lose my dad at any time. Tracey, my dad would be going mad at me if he could as no way would he want me to be like this. He made me promise that I would carry on and that adds more guilt and pain as I know I’m breaking my promise but I just can’t carry on. I just exist. My husband has since told me that his worst nightmare for me was losing my dad as he knew it would destroy me. He needs his wife back, my children need their mother back but I need my dad back and that overrules every other need of any other person.
I sob and sob and naturally tell him I want him back but I also just keep repeating “you left me?” as if it’s somehow my dads fault which I know it isn’t as he would never ever have left me unless he had no choice.
I just feel myself spiralling more and more. Being a nurse doesn’t help as I couldn’t switch off my knowledge. I cared for him in those last days as his daughter not a nurse but I still noticed every little change, every clinical sign. I sat all day that day watching his body shut down bit by bit body system by body system and I struggle with that as no one else had that added to their experience, it’s true what they say. Ignorance is bliss but for me due to my background It was like rubbing salt into a very raw wound.
I struggle visiting his grave as one day I just see a gravestone - my dad isn’t their just a body, the next I see it from a scientific point which horrified and traumatises me but then on the other hand if I haven’t been for a while I get myself stressed and anxious because he hasn’t got any flowers and people will think no one loves him! I’m just a constant whirlwind of conflicting emotions, pain, anger, betrayal (by the hospital) and most of all hopelessness.
I don’t sleep, I haven’t slept properly since I went to stay with him 24/7. I can’t even visit my mom, she has to come to my house as the thought of going into my childhood home and not seeing him makes me physically vomit. Then of course I feel as though I’m letting my mom down!
I don’t want to feel this way, my dad wouldn’t want me to feel this way but I feel as if I’m slowly suffocating with hurt and grief and that I’m slowly dying too. My only silver lining when I think this way is that at least I’ll be with him but of course that brings on another round of grief as what mother would think like that when she has children??
I’m just a broken mess and I have no idea whatsoever as to how to even begin thinking about putting the pieces back together. How do you even try and put yourself back together when you no longer know who you are?
I am so sorry for both of your losses even though to me that isn’t the right terminology as ‘lost’ things can be found but please know that I care and I understand. I’m here for both of you anytime. Leanne xxxx

Dear Leanne. I wept reading your story. I also nodded at some parts like the conflicting emotions. My line is “none of this is good”. Going to your Fads grave isn’t good/not being there isn’t good but, of course, those are the only two options.

Sleep is a horrendous problem. I’ve been on pills for five months now to help.

The GP can be a source of different kinds of support. Might you think about having a chat with them?

Nothing, of course, will help with the loss of Dad really but I think of it as smoothing some of the edges.

I’m bereft really as I want to say “hey this will help” but I’m lost too. Love and care definitely helps though. I live alone. I wish I didn’t all the time. I would say to please try to hold on through your husband and kids. This is a violent storm. They are the coastline. Reach out x

Dear Tracey, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for my story to upset you. You are living your own nightmare and don’t need me adding to your tears. However, writing that is the first time that I’ve been able to be completely honest about how I am feeling.
My husband and my children are most definitely my lifeboat, without them I would have drowned a long time ago.
I’ve tried bereavement counselling and was on antidepressants but I was commenced on a new drug for Fibromyalgia and unfortunately it conflicts with any antidepressant so I can’t take them. They only served to make me drowsy anyway, my emotions and state of mind remained the same. I also take medication to help me sleep but even that isn’t highly effective. I stay awake all night some nights just sitting in the dark breaking my heart and asking that ultimate question - ‘why?’ Why my Dad? Why didn’t the hospital do their job properly? Why was it too late for treatment? Why didn’t I see that something was wrong? I’m a nurse for goodness sake! It’s just why? Why? Why? When I do sleep I have nightmares and my husband says that I shout out the same words out whenever I do mid off, “NO! Don’t you dare take him”
I blame myself constantly and feel that I failed him badly. Although deep down when I’m in a logical state of mind I know he wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms. It was only discovered due to a chest infection and I know that it’s not my fault and that I wasn’t expected to see what I wasn’t looking for.
In my head the hospital killed him! It was their job during all of his check ups to pick up on any reoccurrence of melanoma quickly. The diagnosis wasn’t just slightly late it was too late!!
It breaks my heart that he will never see the granddaughters he adored grow or the grandsons he idolised pass his driving test (he used to take him to practice and he passed just 4 days following his death) or reach his 18th birthday, graduate… the list goes on.
I know that I have so much that is positive and good in my life but that makes me want to tell my dad all about the good things that happen. I lost my dad and my best friend in one fell swoop.
Yes I know I’m lucky, I have people around me whom I love and who love me back but please don’t feel that you are truly on your own. I’m here if you need to chat, moan, rant, cry etc literally whatever you need. I know what it’s like to be caught up in this hell with no escape route and I will support you the best that I can. Big hugs. Leanne xx

Dear Leanne, please don’t apologise at all! I joined this group last night to see if anyone else was out at sea in a storm too. It’s oddly comforting to know I am not alone.

I too tried counselling but it didn’t sit well with me. One of them offered me colouring pencils! How the look I gave her didn’t make her fall backwards I don’t know!

I have some fabulous sleeping pills which I know i can’t be on forever, of course, but it’s worth asking your GP again? Being tired exaggerates everything that we feel.

I emailed my boss this morning to share that I was having a bad ‘episode’. She just comes out with the right things sometimes (well a lot actually) and I wanted to share some of her words with you. They comforted me a little…

"I don’t think it is a battle Tracey. You are coming to terms with the most dreadful thing and you are doing incredibly well. It’s not a fight and its not something you can win. It’s just what happened. "

I think I have seen this as a battle that I must somehow ‘fight’ but my boss is right…it’s not a battle is it?

Thank you to Sue Ryder for giving us this space to share and see we are not alone.

On my PC I have a post-it note that reads ‘One Day At A Time’. It’s an obvious one but a good one. Let’s just deal with today :slight_smile:

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Hi Tracey, one day at a time is all we can do and your boss is right it isn’t a battle it’s more learning to cope with and accept how our lives have changed. I read a something quite a while back which said that grief doesn’t go away it’s something we learn to live with and I think this is so true. I don’t think grief ever leaves you it’s more that you find a way to incorporate it into daily life so that it becomes part of who you are rather than the violent intruder that we are facing right now.
It is comforting to know that we are not alone in our struggles. I think that’s why I joined this community just the other day. It gives us opportunity to connect with and talk to people who are experiencing the same and who get what we are feeling without you having to struggle trying to explain yourself especially to those who haven’t experience it. I don’t think it matters how old we are, the loss of a parent is a major milestone that we all have to face eventually and the trauma that it leaves in its wake is incomprehensible. I didn’t get on with counselling either. I found it such a struggle trying to talk to someone who just repeated everything I said straight back at me. I got sick of the generic cliches that they came out with one after the other!
Hopefully by being able to connect with others on here we may not feel so alone and so isolated xx

Hi it makes me cry reading your story, your words are heart breaking and so true. Your feelings sound very much like mine, I wish I could say something to make you feel a bit better but I agree and understand everything you have said. My husbands worst nightmare was me losing my Dad aswell he has even said he wishes he had gone instead of my Dad and do you know what I wish he had aswell, something i know i shouldnt say but its the truth.My Dad died in my arms i was laying on the bed next to him and i wouldbt let my mum or 2 brothers hold him. I know he was their Dad and husband but I wanted him to myself i was his little girl, his daughter, he was my hero, my best friend, my soul mate, my DAD!! I don’t think our husband’s will ever get their wives back or our children their mum, I think that what we are feeling now will never go away and I don’t believe we are selfish, we have lost our first and last loves and the pain will never ease. Please please don’t blame yourself because it is not your fault you Dad would be very upset thinking you are doing that to yourself. He will be watching over you all the time and will not want to see you upset. I know it’s easier said than done but a physychic once told me to reverse the roles and would I want to see my Dad crying and sad every day? No I definitely wouldn’t and I know neither would you, I’ve tried thinking this a few times, maybe this may help you a tiny bit. Our lives will never be the same and I’m so glad I joined this site so I can speak to people who completely understand and feel like I do. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better but please know you are never alone. Sending love xx

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Just reading your posts both comforts me and makes me cry. Mum died 1 and a half years ago. From Picks dementia. I cared 10 Year’s at home and in Carehome for her. The first year she died I completely switched off all emotion and shut off all feelings. I felt numb. Finished. Broken. I worried about it as I hadn’t imagined myself to act this way I thought I’d sob 24/7. I did have odd outbursts of uncontrollable sobbing but once “the lid came off” I knew it went on and on and I would end up with a migraine. So I avoided these awful moments. Almost became afraid of my grief. I still am. I’m desperate not to slip into a black hole of depression. So I rush about at 100 mph scared to stop in case I fall apart.
I have no children but I’m married and now I’m paranoid my husband will die and I will be alone. I have terrible anxiety and panic over every little thing. Today I’m in bed with yet another awful migraine (I’m a lifelong sufferer) but so was my mum and only she truly understands the awfulness of it. Mum was so gentle so kind so “mine” we were best ever friends. I feel I want to scream and have hysterics and yell for mum like a child. But something stops me. dad died 9 Year’s ago and that’s another horror story. Life feels a struggle and I feel I made a mess of mine. Thanks for listening feel very sorry for myself today just want my mum.

Hello Pen, I’m so glad we are able to put our feelings on this page as I’m sure it does help in some way knowing others feel the same and we are not alone. It’s awful isn’t it just wanting to scream and shout out for the one we love, myself it’s my darling Dad, for you it’s your Mum. They are with us still, we may not be able to see them physically but they are here with us and we need to try be strong for them. It’s easy for me to say this to you as I don’t want you hurting but I must admit I can’t cope either. It’s hard isn’t it so heart breaking and even though we have to carry on I really don’t want to some days. Please know you are not alone x

Hi Juliamary. So kind of you to reply. I’m actually grieving dad too. He died suddenly 9 years ago and I became a carer overnight for mum with bad dementia. My husband left me and I was alone and felt at rock bottom. Luckily I met my now husband who was amazing. But now I worry he too will be taken away from me. I have an older brother who is estranged and has all but cut me off for some reason. He had a jealous wife and things were never easy so I feel I have no family. I carry on and try to cope as I know mum and dad would want this. But as you say it’s so so hard. And it’s constant. Like a bad pain that never goes away. Thank god we can support each other. I hope you’re ok and hope I can help you as much as you’ve helped me. Hugs xx

Hi Pen sorry for late reply, you’ve been through so much. You probably didn’t have time to grieve for your Dad at the time as you went straight into looking after your mum and so now it’s hitting you smack in the face and I feel for you so much. I’m glad you’ve now met someone who cares and looks after you and I’m sure he will not leave you so please try not to worry about that happening. Your brother and his family should have been in touch and tied to help you but as they haven’t it’s probably best you try to forget your brother for now but let him know your door is always open for him if he changed his mind and wants to see you. Please do not feel you are on your own as I said before I for one will always read your comment and reply. I used to have quite a few friends but I can honestly say they all got fed up of me crying and saying I didn’t want to go out the house so they don’t bother with me anymore. I think in their minds they think I should be back to normal after 4 years but no I will never ever be normal again! I miss my Dad so so much the pain never goes and I too feel lonely and empty, a feeling you can’t explain but I know you understand. I’m here whenever you need a chat always remember you are never in your own xx

Hi there reading this has made me feel not so Alone for the first time in almost 2 years my dad passed away the night it happened I told him to go asleep and he didn’t wake up I live with that everyday I replay that day over and over in my mind I cant sleep I’ve lost the person I once was it’s like I’ve giving up on life I make out like I’m OK but in side in dieing I feel like if I talk about him people roll their eyes as if to say get over it I’m so angry can’t remember what it like to be happy anymore I no he wouldn’t want me to be like this but it’s how I feel my mum is lost so I have to put on a brave face for her 60 years married the day he went he took half of me it helps to talk to people out side the family that’s why I’ve joined on here thanks for letting me talk x much lie to all Christina x