Losing my dad to COVID-19

Hi guys.
I guess I’m just looking for some advice/solace on how to process my dad’s death. My dad was my best friend in the whole world, he understood me like nobody else, and we were very inseparable. Even when I moved away to uni we would talk/text every single day. My dad was an older man, he was 80 when he passed away, with me being only 22. His death was something I worried about my whole life, so much so that when it actually did happen I was like WHAT. He was always in and out of hospital when I was growing up - he had many health problems. But he was always okay. It got to the point where I had to almost desensitise myself to worrying about it, because it became an OCD worry of mine and really effected my mental health - and I couldn’t spend my whole life worrying about it. But now it’s actually happened. And it actually seemed quite sudden. I was quarantining in a different city, and got a sudden phone call from my step-mother saying she thought my dad was going to die. I was able to see him before he passed, but I had to speak to him through a window because of COVID. The next morning I was told he had passed away during the night.

I just can’t get my head around it, and the fact that there is nothing I can do to solve what’s happened and how I am feeling. That it’s something that’s never going away. I feel like there’s this massive void where my best friend used to be. It’s horrible.

So, yeah, if anyone has any words that might help, that’d be amazing. Thank you for taking the time to read this and reach out to me.

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Hi. sophmloaf. Welcome. I am so sorry to hear of such an awful loss and the pain must be great. Everyone here knows and understands. We have all been there, believe me. You use the word ‘process’ and that’s good because it is a process we have to go through. You will never forget, of course not, but the pain does ease, given time, or at least that’s what I have found. But we need to allow grief to happen. Emotions must be expressed and not ‘bottled up’. It’s all part of this oh so painful process. It may seem, to some, that process is not a good word. Perhaps ‘experience’ would be better. Either way ‘going through it’ rather than ‘getting over it’ is the best way. Go with the pain. Trying to distract yourself will only work for a short time. At first, with so much to do, it may not seem so bad, then, as you say, WHAT!!!? OCD can very easily set in when we are subject to extreme stress. Worrying can become a habit and over spill into our emotional life. It’s not true to say there is nothing you can do about it. Of course, nothing will bring him back, but would he have wanted you to be miserable over his passing? I very much doubt it. A ‘void’ just about sums it up. A big hole in your heart. It may well remain there for some time, but I have found it does ease after a while. It will be two years soon since my wife went into a care home and died shortly after. The pain has lessened. It’s still there and always will be, but not so very painful as it was.
Take care of yourself. Try and eat properly and sleep if you can. It’s so easy to neglect ourselves in grief. Best wishes. John.

Dear @sophmloaf, I am so sorry you only got one reply to your post when you wanted advice and people reaching out to you. Bless @jonathan123, he always makes sure no post goes unanswered.

My dear dad also got Covid-19 and died. Like you, I was always very worried about him dying as he had health problems - when I was 16, I used to break down in tears outside thinking he might die. Not exactly what a lad wants to be doing outside, as at that age you care a lot about what others think, but the thought of my dad dying would make me so upset. Over the years, like you, I took action to try and stop this constant worry - I left home a few times, but always ended back with my parents. I left again in 2013 for good, hoping to get married and have my own life, but it didn’t happen, and dad became terminally ill in 2018.

He was my best friend and I really miss him. I tell you all of this to let you know I can understand how you feel. It makes me incredibly sad that you are only 22 and he has gone - at least I got more time with my dad than you did with yours.

I don’t have any advice on how to process this as I don’t know myself. As Jonathan says, just give it time, that’s what I am doing. And talk about him - TALK TALK TALK. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you should be grateful he lived to a “good age”, and people die younger and blah blah blah. He was your dad, the most important person in your life, and his loss has devastated you. Should you ever want to talk a bit about his life, I am always here.