Losing my Dad to suicide

Hi there,

I was hoping to get some advice as I have recently been struggling a lot with anxiety and depression.

In March last year, I lost my Dad to suicide. The events leading up to and after his death triggered my anxiety and depression and after he passed, I worried about finding joy again.

However with some time, I began to feel like my normal self, I went back to studying at the start of this year and went back to work.

Over the last 2 months however, I have been struggling a lot with my mental health again and don’t know if it’s the trauma and grief returning. This September was supposed to be my year abroad and it was something I was really looking forward to. However, my doctor has advised against this due to my mental health and feels I need to be with my support network.

I thought I would be ready for this opportunity but feel it’s not the best timing to be away from my friends and family and I need to wait till I’m feeling stronger and more mentally ready to take on this opportunity.

I have been advised to postpone this till next year which would mean taking a year away from my studies. I’m just feeling really disappointed in myself and hope I’m not letting myself down by doing this. I have already had to suspend my studies before and feel I can’t keep hitting pause anytime I struggle. I know I need to put my mental health first and I know I can go abroad next year if I feel ready. I just feel really lost just now and I feel guilty for taking more time away from my studies. I feel like my family are a lot better at coping with grief than I am and I just want to get back to being my usual self so I can be there for them again. I’m just feeling frustrated as it felt like I was moving forwards in my life and now it feels like I’m going backwards again.

If anyone has any advice on this, I would really appreciate it :blush:

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Grief in different forms will effect you forever, sometimes sharp, sometimes a dull ache, sometimes just a sadness.

Nothing will change a bereavement, whether your at home or abroad you’ll still be grieving, so that being said I think you should carry on with your existing plans.

Life is short, none of us know what will happen in the future, so go for it, it will be a distraction & help you to move forward, I think your dad would want you to go & you will take him with you, do it for him.

In respect of your support network, there on the end of the phone to talk to, you can video call etc… if you need support, we’re lucky nowadays that there is all manners of technology to stay in touch.

Grab this opportunity​:slightly_smiling_face::clap:

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I’m sorry you’ve lost your Dad.
If you doctor has suggested you postpone you plans, then it might be best to do so.
These seems to be a mindset in society where one has got to be achieving and pushing on.
There is a time to pause and rest. It better to press pause than end up anxious, stressed and over-whelmed.

You can always do fun stuff closer to home with your friends. A festival perhaps? Or a mini break with friends. Just to test how you feel.
Yes, embrace distracting yourself and having enjoyable days, but know when to pause and nurture yourself too.
Take care

Hi Joy - losing your dad is a big deal, from what you say you are doing as good as anyone could in your situation. You can’t change what happened, but you also have to grieve. Everyone does it differently and whatever way you do it is right for you. Sounds a bit of a stretch but you say you feel lost, is this the right time for long travel and all the stress that involves right now with airlines etc? Only you know the answer to that. Whatever you decide is the right decision. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect to be living life 100% as you did before your dad died. You will know that grief comes and bangs on your door when you least expect it or want it. If you look back at all the feelings and emotions you have been going through since your dad died, you may be able to see that you are coping better than you did at first. It’s a slow path with boulders often thrown in your path, one way or another. Be kind and gentle with yourself, you deserve that. Don’t beat yourself up over plans you had in mind before all this happened. If you decide to go ahead with your travel that’s fine. If you decide to take a bit more time to decide or decide to wait a while before you decide that’s fine too. Only you can decide but there’s no right or wrong answer to your dilemma about travelling. I don’t suppose that answers your question really but hope there’s something in here that makes sense. Sending you a hug xxxx

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Dear @Joy1,

I like the user name you have chosen. To me that shows that even in the midst of your struggles you have hope of finding joy again.

Depression and anxiety are two words that are often mentioned in posts. Many people on here who have lost a love one have experienced it, so it is far from unusual. The death of your Dad and the way it happened must have been very traumatic for you. You did well to be able to return to work and study after a while.

In recent months you have been thorugh the first anniversary of his death and your second Father’s Day without him. Maybe that has brought it all back and effected your mental health again? Plus you have to make an important decision about going abroad for a year in Seprember or delaying it. It is good that you sought help from your doctor. Apart from advice, has he prescribed you medication and/or mentioned bereavement counseling? If he has given medication, has he told you how long it may take before that will take effect? If he has not mentioned counseling, do you think that would be something you would find helpful? HAs your doctor mentioned that there iare support groups for people bereaved due to suicide? If not, you can find more information about that here: Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – Overcoming the isolation of people bereaved by suicide (uksobs.org)

I don’t think you should feel like you are letting yourself down, or are moving backwards. Grief is a journey, and if you think of it as climbing a mountain, sometime we reach a plateau where we need time to pause and chose from different paths in front of us. When we look back, we can see how far we have come from where we started.

I am assuming that your work and your studies are related, and that the year abroad would be arranged either by your employer or your study provider. It sounds like they have given you the option of delaying your year abroad and I think it is nive that you have that option. Do you have a deadline before you have to decide? Are they able to provide you with mental health support and would that also be available abroad?

Only you can decide what is the best way forward for you. Others can give their opinion or advice, and it is good to listen, but you are the one who will have to walk this path. Personally, when faced with choices, I find it helpful to make lists of pros and cons for each options and once I have made a decision in my mind wait a while before action on it to make sure it feels right. Comparing ourselves with others is often not helpful. Everyone’s journey is different, and we all cope with things in different ways.

I hope you are finding this site helpful. Feel free to post and respond to posts as often as you like. We are all on here to support each other. xx Jo

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I feel for you.

Our family lost my elder sister to suicide, several years ago now.

Mental illness runs in my family, it seems to be hereditary - multiple immediate family members of mine have made attempts over the years. I’m not unaffected by the “family curse”, though not as severely as some of my siblings and one parent.

Take care of yourself, OK?


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