Losing a parent

My Dad died in September and I’m really struggling. It’s been hard. Really hard. This week’s been hard and little things are really getting to me. I’m also finding this lockdown incredibly tough (as many people are), but the main thing is I miss him so much. I felt like the grief got slightly better but now it seems bad again. Like I’m crying a lot and I’m still so angry that he is dead.
The first time I even knew my Dad was ill was when we got a text from my uncle saying my Dad was in ICU, so it was an awful shock. My brother and I then rushed up to see my Dad and I was called up on the day he died (which was also my birthday). I feel like the shock of seeing him in ICU and the colour literally draining out of his face before he died has been traumatic for me. It’s hard to get this across to my family and I find watching the news triggering when they show inside an ICU.
We’ve also had an email from the solicitor updating us on when we can sell the house etc and I just don’t feel ready. His stuff is still there, my brother doesn’t want to help and my sister lives abroad. But everyone wants to get the house on the market in the spring and I was even asked “why isn’t the house on the market yet?” by my brother in law a few weeks ago, as if I should have done it already. I have suggested we wait until my sister is home next but she doesn’t want to do this. So everything falls on me. And I can’t seem to do it. And the oil for the heating almost ran out the other day, to which my sister and brother said to leave it run out, so again I had to pay for this. My parents were divorced too so Dad dying was a horrific learning curve into organising his funeral as it was up to us. He had made my uncle medical next of kin so I don’t think he’d have wanted to put this stress on us. I don’t know what to do. I am really struggling with the weight of this grief.

Dear AnnieD,

My heart goes out to you. At a tine when you most need the support of your family, not just practically but also emotionally, it sounds like they are all letting you down. Losing your dad (as I know from experience) is very hard and changes your life. Grief does not follow a straight line, it comes and goes in waves and at times it can feel overwhelming. I have 4 siblings and we all supported each other when first my dad and a year later my mum died.

I can understand that you would find it difficult to sort out your dad’s belongings. I found it quite emotional and was glad I could do it together with my sisters. It took us a long time, because there were so many things that had memories attached and we did not want to rush it. My husband has recently lost his mum, so we will have to go though the whole process again fairly soon.

It is good that you have come to this site. I hope you will find it helpful to read other people’s posts and replies. Please feel free to post as often as you want.


You mention a sollicitor, so I assume your dad had made a will. If you and your siblings are equal heirs of his estate, than I would think you have equal shares and therefore equal responsibilities? I find it strange that they are expecting you to pay for expenses. Maybe you could get some free advice from a Ciitizen’s Advice Bureau if there is one in your area?
What about your uncle? If your dad trusted him for medical decisions, would he be ale to offer his help with sorting out your dad’s affairs?

Thank you Jo. I’m so sorry for your loss too. I’m glad you had your siblings around to support each other.
I feel that my grief is so overwhelming and it doesn’t seem to be as bad for my siblings. I don’t know this for sure of course but it feels that way.
It definitely has changed my life. I knew that instantly. It’s strange, because I hadn’t lived with him since I was 7 and honestly didn’t expect it to hit me this hard, but I’ve been told that it sometimes does hit this hard even if we didn’t have the closest relationship.
I keep thinking about how I’d go to him for advice. There’s been a lot of stuff to deal with work wise and he’d be the one to give me practical advice and it just feels a bit unfair that I have to go through it all alone when I just want him to tell me what to do.
Thank you for your advice about going to my uncle. That is really helpful and I will try it. I’ll look into getting advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau too.
I haven’t spoken to my siblings about their input since last week as it seems to cause arguments. I think, however, because I am the one doing the clearing up of the house, I’ll put my foot down and not rush it. I don’t think I can rush it, I feel like I need lots of time to process it.
This site is incredibly useful. I have already found it has helped me loads.


Dear Annie,

I am pleased to hear that you are finding this site useful and that my reply was helpful too. I hope that your uncle will be supportive and that as time goes on your brother and sister will offer their help as well but even if not, I am sure you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. Just keep in mind that you are doing this for your father. not for them.

It s easy for your brother in law to ask why the house is not yet on the market, because to him it is probably just a house and for him there is no emotional value attached to it. For you it is different as it was your father’s home and contains his personal belongings. When my sisters and I sorted out our parents house (we only had 6 weeks because it was rented property) it was the end of a chapter in our lives.

We knew we would no longer have a parental home to go to for family gatherings and special occasions. We knew what our parents would have liked us to do with most of the things in their house and we felt that this was something we could do for them. We found a good ‘home’ for almost everything. I filled quite a few boxes with things that I wanted to keep, but it took almost a year before I felt ready to open the boxes again. My youngest sister preferred not to be involved in sorting the belongings, buts she helped in other ways. My brother did not get involved either, but we made sure that he was given items that had belonged to him. Everything was done i good harmony. I have already discovered that in my husband;s family things are quite different and that was quite a shock to me but just something I will have to accept and try not to get upset about.

You are wise in trying to avoid arguments, but also in standing up for yourself and doing things on your terms and in your time. Your brother and sister should understand and respect that.