Hi, I recently lost my Dad to a sudden heart attack 5 weeks ago and am heartbroken. It’s a pain I’ve never felt before in my life: just completely lost. The grief is unbearable at times and the anxiety and panic attacks that have followed have been truly awful. I’m really struggling being around others, especially at this time of year. I feel much better being at home but I’m getting so frustrated at feeling like I could faint at the thought of going to the shops. My Dad has COPD and Emphysema since I was 18, and since then I became like a carer for him: bringing him groceries, meals, paying bills for him etc. I’m just struggling to see a future without him in it. Sometimes I just pretend it hasn’t happened for a second, but then I go to his place to finish up and I break down. People keep telling me I’m ‘strong’ and ‘doing amazing’ but I don’t see it if I’ve taken the year off and can’t even get to the shops.
Any stories familiar or advice is so appreciated just now. Missing my Dad a lot as he was my best friend, confidant and heart.
Hi Watt92, I’m sorry for your loss.
I lost my Dad nearly twenty years ago and my Mum 9 weeks ago from pneumonia and a massive heart attack in hospital. With regard to my Mum it is a pain and grief like i have never experienced. In the first week and a half I had shaking fits. I too have been mostly in hibernation. I’ve wanted to keep away from people. I was also Mums carer for over 23 years, so like you I’ve lost my role.
My only advice is on the rough days take it hour by hour. It’s a difficult time of year also with it being Christmas. We should eventually adjust to our loss. It might take time.
My dad died of a sudden heart attack 21 years ago when I was 27. It was a very difficult time for me but I had my mum. Unfortunately my mum died of a sudden brain haemorrhage almost 6 months ago and the pain of losing them both is indescribable.
I have little advice other than to take things one day at a time and look after yourself. Get out for walks and est and drink well.
You are not alone and there are a group of us who post most days to discuss our feelings or just our day
Thanks for the quick replies, it’s always comforting talking through feelings with others that have been through similar. Unfortunately my Dad was my everything, my Mum is around but we don’t see eye to eye much and tbh I can’t remember the last time she asked me to do something - this is what I’m struggling with most I think. That my Dad was the balance, he put the world to right, my ying to my yang.
I actually found my Dad… he’d had a heart attack at home alone… I think I must have found him the day after. An image that will never leave me, the day that will never leave me. I don’t know how people go on. It’s all so traumatic, 4 weeks before my birthday… it’s all the firsts coming up at once too. First Birthday, first Christmas, first New Year.
Did anyone else feel themselves move through the 5 stages of grief?
Dont pay too much attention to the supposed stages of grief. You will go through those emotions but its accepted now that there is no order to them and not everyone experiences all of them. They went originally designed for people experiencing the death of a loved one.
Be prepared to be in denial, angry, upset etc. for as long as it takes.
I’m still going back to denial 6 months down the line. I also revert to anger often. What I havent yet experienced is acceptance or moving on but I don’t think I ever will.
Just expect anything and take each day as it comes that’s my advice x
When you experience denial, how does it look for you? I know it’s still so raw, but part of me can’t help feeling like one day I’ll wake up and this nightmare will be over. I know it won’t though because of the signs I’ve been getting from Dad. They are inexplainable.
Sometimes it feels like I’m watching a movie - really disconnected from my body to my mind. Sometimes it feels like I’m going crazy! Can’t fall asleep as easy as I used to, keep being haunted by his face.
This just sucks and I wish there was an easy pill to take sometimes, to numb these feelings.
I think for me, I still open the front door sometimes and I expect to see her indoors. I know she isnt there but I still look, if you know what I mean.
Also, I imagine her face or hands or body and csnt believe she no longer exists.
Dont forget it’s been 6 months tomorrow for me so I am further down the road than you. I will think of something I have done in the last 6 months and think, god mum died before that and that event seems ages ago. For example I took my daughter to Harry Potter world in july a month after mum died and it seems so long ago, yet only recently that I last chatted with mum and watched tv with her.
Its so weird. Time passing is just creating a bigger gap and that’s very upsetting. X
Yes I can empathise with everything you’re saying.
How long did it take for you to ‘return to normal’ routine? And did you have intense anxiety after?
It’s just all very overwhelming. I can’t bare to be out in public.
I’ve made an appointment today with a counsellor so hopefully I can talk about it for the first time with someone unbiased. I’m still getting over the shock and the busy-ness of everything - still in the midst of going through his things
I would go as far as to say that I’m still not in a ‘normal’ routine. I’ve only started back at work full time from this week ( and mum died 6 months tomorrow), I still cant handle crowds, I have only been out for dinner twice with a friend, I’ve avoided all social activities etc.
I’m doing no xmas drinks,attending no festive events either.
I am literally working and being at home. I even avoid the neighbours because I still cry at the drop of a hat!
So absolutely nothing near normal!
I do suffer anxiety including claustrophobia, night terrors and often choke on nothing but to be honest these issues were affecting me before my mum died. They may be linked to my age/hormones/menopause etc. I’m nearly 49.
One of the main things I have struggled with is forward planning. Even now I struggle thinking further than the next day or two. When I go food shopping I tend to get what I need for the next day only.
So as you can see, I’m still struggling with normal life half a year later. You are so early on with your grief try not to put pressure on yourself x
I can empathise with the avoiding busy crowds too. It’s just this time of the year that’s the cruelest as you’re surrounded by so much ‘cheer’ when you feel the opposite. It’s very hard, I’ve not had a day where I’ve not broke down in tears like ‘fuck this has really happened’!
How much things did you keep when your mum passed? I’m literally surrounded by boxes of Dads things and everything seems too precious to throw out or give away yet.
I’ve read that it’s best not to hasty in getting rid of any processions after a loved on has passed away. The recommendation is wait at least a year if you can. I’m surrounded by my Mum’s stuff. I hope in time it brings me comfort.