Losing a parent in your 20’s

Two months ago I lost my dad suddenly and unexpectedly. I’ve just turned 28, and I hadn’t even considered that this would be a possibility until I was, at the very least, in my 40’s. I’m not sure I know how to deal with losing a parent so young, everyone I know still has their parents, so I’m not sure they know what to say to me.
Father’s Day is coming up, and his birthday, which is stirring up a lot of emotions. I don’t have anyone to talk to about it, my only close friend also died in January so I’m taking a double hit of grief without a close friend to confide in.
My colleagues are at the point where they expect me to be over it, so I put on a face at work and pretend it’s all ok, to the point that they tell me they can ‘see real change in me’ and ‘I’m doing so much better’… but I get home every evening and sob until I fall asleep, which has been my reality since the end of January.
I want to be better, and I want to be ‘over it’ but as soon as I’m alone I’m right back in the ICU, seeing him and hearing the doctors and the machines, or reliving the final conversations I had with both my dad and my best friend.
I feel like these losses have permanently altered me, like there’s no coming back from it and I’ll always feel this pit of sadness inside me. And I wish I had someone close to me that I could be honest with.

Sorry this is long and feels kind of jumbled like the inside of my head right now… but any advice or similar stories/perspectives would be comforting and appreciated


So sorry @Alicx

So much of what you say resonates with me, although I’m 11 years older than you. Yet I, too, feel far too young to experience this.

I’m sorry about your colleagues. I took 3.5 months off sick and then had phased return for 12-14 weeks. So, they really are being very premature with their comments.

You’re right, this loss is massive, and I also know that I’ll feel it forever.

Take care, and keep posting :yellow_heart:.


@Alicx so sorry for your loss, especially as you also lost your spurce of comfort in your best friend too.
I lost my mum when I was 53, she was 71 and was too young to go so soon. Alzheimers robbed us of the last few years of her life and its still hard, 18 months down the line.
Grief has no time line, regardless of ehat people say. You take the time you need, shed the tears that you want and mourn in your own way. At some point, the tears will stop. The good memories will always be there for you, you will tune in to these when youre good and ready.
Posting on here helps too, plenty of us in the same boat offering a listening ear.
I hope this helps in some small way.

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My heart goes out to you @Alicx - I lost my Dad when i was 27, completely unexpectedly- i just had a phone call to say he’d had a heart attack and he’d gone. I lived some distance from the family home so didnt get a chance to say goodbye. It was devastating- i had assumed he’d been around for many years to come and he was just ripped away. :broken_heart: Like you, none of my friends had lost their parents so there was no one to relate to.

That was over 20 years ago and now im faced afresh with the grief of losing my darling Mum :cry:

I know how unbearable the grief must feel right now, because im back in that dark place, but i also know looking back that at some point my grief for my Dad did become bearable, because i can think of him now without that excruciating pain. I dont know when it happened but i think it took a few years, plus i sought the support of a counsellor so that i had someone to talk to. That may be something worth considering, especially as you’re also dealing with the loss of your close friend - thats a heck of a lot for anyone to have to deal with alone :people_hugging:

What has proved helpful for me this time around has been finding a support group ran by my local hospice, which means you can connect with people in similar situations and you dont have to pretend you’re fine! So its worth checking whats in your area. Also listening to podcasts - theres one called Good Mourning run by two women in their 20s/30s who both lost their mothers, and the comedian Cariad Lloyd lost her Dad and has a podcast called Griefcast. Just listening to other people voice their experiences helped me feel less alone.

Two months is really early in terms of grief, despite what the outside world may think! As you say, grief does alter you, you dont ever get “over it” because you’ll never stop loving your Dad or missing your friend. For me the grief became less intense and less frequent, and less overwhelming. But that takes time. Now im back in that dark place grieving my Mum and i cant imagine ever getting out of it. For now, just focus on getting through one day at a time - dont look any further ahead than that. And find the things that help you feel just a tiny bit better - it might be exercise, going to a support group, journalling, time outdoors, music - everyone is different. And posting here, you’ll always find people that understand what you’re going through. Sending hugs and strength :heart::people_hugging::heart: