Lost my father and husband within hours of each other

My husband died of lung cancer 2 weeks ago followed by my father hours later. I am paralysed by grief. I can hardly function, I have no appetite. Constantly crying. My poor mum is broken too. They say time is a great healer but I cant see any hope at the moment . I would welcome any advice you can offer.

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I’m so very sorry to hear of your double blow. I also had a double blow over Christmas/January losing my stepdad, then my mum 17 days later. Nothing can prepare you for this, and I believe you are currently in the shock stage, so please handle your mum and yourself with extreme kindness. Do exactly what you feel is right at this time, as the first month or so was a hazy blur for me. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and everything you feel is absolutely right for you. If you don’t feel like eating, maybe give meal replacement milkshakes a whirl, or nibble breakfast bars, anything to sustain your poor body and what it’s going through. Grief is draining mentally and physically.

If you can rely on online shopping for essentials this is less draining than physically going out, potentially seeing people, or in my case driving somewhere I didn’t mean to go then having a meltdown in a certain supermarket aisle.

After a few weeks I rang a bereavement helpline, and the lady I spoke to was absolutely lovely and really very helpful. Sometimes it helps just to say the words out loud to another human. My words were essentially “how do I feel better, nothing else I’ve ever experienced has hit me so deeply like this and I just don’t want to feel this way any more, I’m so exhausted” and she helped. I didn’t “get better”, but she gave me some tips, and so much more importantly at that stage, sympathy and comfort. I highly recommend giving a bereavement line a call, but only if you feel up to it and want to.

Again, this is all about you. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, and no one with an ounce of humanity would expect you to be up to doing anything at this time. Just be kind to yourself and take everything hour by hour, and no more unless you want to. It’s an emotional path, and we’re all here with you on it. xx

Dear @BETTYBLUE,

Are you and your mum able to be together at this time?
Do you have friends and relatives who are able to help with practical things that need doing?
I agree with all the suggestions made by Gib79 and Tillwemeetagain.

It is good that you have joined this online community where we all try to support each other because we all know what it is like to grieve the loss of a loved one.

If you would like to talk with someone, here are some numbers you could phone:

Marie Curie Bereavement Support: 0800 090 2309

Cruse Bereavement Care: 0808 808 1677

Thinking of you at this sad time and sending you a big virtual hug.
Jo

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Am so sorry to hear the loss of your loved to you your mum and your family no matter what anyone says they dont know what your going through all i can say is dont bottle it up inside you it will only make you ill talk to someone get it off your chest its helping me cope with the loss of my wife we was together for 42 yrs and we would of been married for 38 yrs this july she fell asleep with me holding her hands 4th of February i hope this helps you and mum take x

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife . Grieving for our loved ones is desperately hard. My husband’s funeral was on friday and I am struggling through each hour and my mother is equally finding it really hard. How are you managing? I miss my husband all the time . I feel really lost at the moment

Thank you for your kind response. My husband’s funeral was on friday and I agree that I am in a state of shock that I am never going to see him again. My mum too looks in pain and I just dont know how to get through this. We are trying to support each other but missing our husbands and best friends so much it hurts.

Thank you for your message of support. Grief is indeed a hard road to travel. Our husbands were both characters and leave a massive hole in our lives which quite simply is impossible to fill. I spend a lot of time in tears and I have to remind myself that me husband would have hated me to be sad but its human nature isn’t it? I hope with time, I will see a future but its desperate at the moment

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When did you lose your husband? I am sat doing paperwork and it feels so strange to see the death certificate. I will never see him again or hear his french accent. Cuts like a knife. I am keeping busy but just getting through each hour and going through the motions. I am going to do a vegetable plot to help keep the demons at bay.

I’m so sorry for your loss. My parents both died within weeks of each other in December/January and I have only recently started feeling like I can cope. I had time off work, for which I’m really grateful for as I would have struggled with grief, homeschooling and the winter lockdown.

I found that getting on the waiting list for counselling straight away helped and I used the local hospice. As you’ve suffered two losses, usually you can ask to be prioritised. I also started acupuncture after a couple of months as I found I was physically exhausted and this has certainly helped. I also had a blood test and found I had some vitamin deficiencies which I have now rectified. Give yourself time. It is going to be hard. Allow yourself that time. In recent weeks, now lockdown has eased I find the call of the sea really comforting and I would recommend being close to nature.

Time does help with the pain but allow yourself time to grieve. I’m so sorry.

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Thank you for your message and how sad to lose your parents in such a short space of time. My mum and I are taking one day at a time as we face the reality of our loss. I am managing to eat a bit more which is progress! The hospice are giving me grief counselling and I am going to the coast to stay with a friend. Nature, as you say, is very healing . I have spent my life with a strong, charismatic man and am left wondering ‘who am I’? How are you managing after the loss of your parents?