Lost my Dad suddenly , Covid & grieving

I lost my closest aunt in January 2021 who had a 20 year battle with MS, she was only 55 and was in a hospice for 10 years, my mum had cared for her before that it was a heartbreaking loss to us all. I took only took 3 days off work but I was floored by it because we couldn’t be with her daughter, my cousin and other aunt due to Covid, couldn’t hug at her funeral or even sit together. It was so grim.
Then my wee cat died in February 2021, took a half day off but felt like I’d lost my best friend.

Then the big one- on March 11th my brother called me to see if I’d heard from Dad as he didn’t answer his phone since the day before. I called, no answer At 9pm during lockdown something wasn’t right. He’d just moved back to Glasgow and was redecorating, so I called My aunt who lived upstairs from him & she tried his door, the key was in it. I felt sick, I knew something was terribly wrong. I called the police and jumped in my car with my Mum (I’d moved back before lockdown ). I got there and they asked who the next of kin was before breaking the door. They came out and said ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ I just collapsed to the floor in tears… I’d not even had the chance to see his flat yet due to Covid restrictions , and the first time I was there I had to identify his body.

He was in bed, and actually looked really peaceful, like he was sleeping but went out like a light. I can’t get the image out of my head since.

He had just turned 70 in January was very active, and was in the middle of laying a new floor & putting a new bathroom in. Saw still plugged in. I feel so robbed of time with him- we couldn’t celebrate his birthday , it was too cold for outside & we hadn’t seen each other since Christmas. And only a couple of time in the year before. He moved abroad when I was 10 and moved back when I was 23 when my brother’s son was born so it was complicated but we had a good relationship but didn’t see each other loads - I’m so full of regret about that.

They had to do a post mortum and due to Covid backlogs this took until April 12th- 4 weeks!!! We finally got a date for his funeral April 26th- will be 7 weeks after his death.
he didn’t have a plan or anything, I don’t have much money & debt so it’s been so stressful and I’ve had to clear out his flat without help due to Covid. It’s been horrible & exhausting.
Worst of all has been as I can’t share my loss with people who knew and loved him. My friends are doing their best but I feel so alone & overwhelmed with it all.
Covid restrictions and grief are so cruel, how have you coped?
I’m off work until after the funeral, I’ll have been off 7 weeks but feel like I need a couple of weeks to heal after it - is that normal?

Thanks for letting me get this out x

Dear Kezzabella,
What a difficult few months you have had, I can totally understand that you are finding it hard to cope and that you feel you will need some more time off after the funeral. Hopefully, if you talk with your GP and/or your employer you will be able to arrange this.
You write that you you ‘don’t have much money & debts’. That must be an added worry, so do try and get some help and advice, from a free debt advice service such as Stepchange or from a local citizen’s advice bureau.
Having seen the Queen sit on her own at the funeral service this weekend, a lot more people will now understand how hard it has been for people like yourself to not be able to be with those closest to you at times of grief when you want to comfort each other.
There are some helpful articles on how to cope with grieving in isolation, such as this one from Cruse: https://www.cruse.org.uk/coronavirus/grieving-and-isolation
It must have been so hard for you to be the person to identify your dad’s body. He sounds like a very fit and active man and 70 is still relatively young, I hope it brings you some comfort that he was in bed and looked peaceful, so maybe he never knew what happened and did not suffer.
7 weeks is a long time to wait for a funeral. Grieving is exhausting. Do try to look after yourself. It is good that you have come to this site. When you read through other people’s stories you will find that you are not alone in what you are going through.

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Welcome to the site :slight_smile:

Loosing someone during these COVID restrictions has been especially hard… I lost my dad last June and lost out on 2 months of his life because he was admitted to hospital, which of course was no visiting.

After he left us, I took just over 3 months off from work in the end & looking back on it now, I still don’t really know how I coped in those 2 months he was in hospital & still managed to work.

In terms of going back to work, you will just know when the time is right. Even if that is after the funeral.
Go back when you are ready not when you think you should. I kept thinking that I should be going back & when I thought about it & spoke to managers, they even said that they didn’t think I was ready to go back as I still had a lot of anger & frustration.

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Hi Kezzabella,

I am so sorry and so sad reading your story. This is so unfair and so cruel, I wish I could say something to take some of your pain away.

I lost my Dad very suddenly and totally unexpectedly as well, and like you hadn’t seen much of him during lockdown. I was determined to keep him safe and now feel like I wasted a whole year of our life together.

My Dad passed in his sleep as well, and I think eventually this fact will bring both you and I some peace. But right now it’s just too new and too painful to try to process.

All I can say is that you will be ok, and if you can find something to help you deal with it then cling on to that. Now that pools have opened up again I have been going swimming a lot, it keeps me busy and also tires me out to help me sleep. And you can cry as you swim and nobody can tell!

I’m sorry about your wee cat too, that’s a tough enough loss on its own to deal with.

Sending you love x

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