My elderly father died peacefully with my sister and I with him a week ago. His death follows that of my mother in November '16. We worked hard to hopefully give them both the end of life experience they told us they wanted. The past 3 years have been full of constant worry about my parents wellbeing and care. At this time, I feel a huge sense of relief, accompanied by guilt for feeling like this. After my mother died, I had physical symptoms of grief such as acne(at 56!) and severe pain in my neck and shoulders which has responded to osteopathy. The worry for my father meant it felt hard to find the space to grieve for Mum. Now I worry I’m not grieving at all!
I’m so sorry to hear that both of your parents have died. It sounds as though you did a lot to care for your parents and make sure that their wishes were respected. People feel a very wide range of emotions when someone dies, and it is quite normal for relief to be one of them when someone’s heath has been poor for a while.
It has only been a week since your father died, so you may find that it takes a while for it to sink in, and that you may feel more emotional later on. But grief is different for everyone, so try not to beat yourself up for not responding in a certain way. The important thing is not to bottle up the emotions that you do feel - try to find outlets such as talking to other family members or friends, or just writing things down here on this online community.
If you do struggle with feel numb or cut off from your emotions, some people have found it helpful to do things that trigger memories, such as looking through old photos or reminiscing with family.
I found I wasn’t upset (after the initial upset and funeral) for the first 4-6 weeks after dad died. I was extremely close to him. I could go to his house, look at photos and talk about him ok. I was concerned about this as I was confused. He was just the best dad ever so why wasn’t I upset ?
This was end October. But since New Year it’s hit me big time. I get to the end of his road and dread walking to his door knowing I have to let myself in and know he won’t be looking out the window for me.
I now find it hard to think of him or look at photos and I’m now off work.
I think from reading online it’s quite normal. X