I lost my Dad nearly 4 weeks ago, suddenly and unexpected. He had a ‘chest infection’ for two weeks prior, which was diagnosed via a telephone consultation. He died in his sleep from congestive heart failure. My mum found him in the morning in bed, she thought he was sleeping late but found he wasn’t breathing when she tried to wake him. She called me at work absolutely hysterical to say she couldn’t wake Dad. I left work and went straight there, fortunately less than a 10 minute car journey, went straight to his room. I knew as soon as I saw him, before I even checked his breathing and pulse, that he had been gone for hours. My mum was on the phone to the Ambulance service, she was on the floor of the hallway between the two bedrooms as the phone wire wasn’t long enough for her to be in my Dad’s room. She was in shock, I had to tell her, and the ambulance service, that Dad was gone. Since then I have taken on the responsibility of sorting out my Dad’s estate. It helped, being practical and useful. Most of it is sorted now, and the last few days I have been feeling worse and worse, I still feel as heartbroken and devastated as that first day. I feel angry and keep going over ‘what if’ he’d seen a GP in person two weeks before, might they have diagnosed the heart failure and treated him, would he have still been here? I feel incredibly guilty that I hadn’t seen him for a week before he passed, and the last time I did see him we were just running errands in his car. I never got a chance to say goodbye. I am trying to continue working full time but by the end of the week I’m exhausted. I struggle to sleep because of so many thoughts. When I sleep I dream about how I found him and how he looked, I can’t get that final image out of my thoughts. I’m haunted by the thought that I missed a pulse or a breath when I checked him the first time, even though I know he was gone. Even though he most likely died in his sleep, I’m devastated to think maybe he didn’t, maybe he died in pain knowing he was alone. I’m trying to be strong for my family - my mum who lost her first and only love of 45 years, my sister who is currently 39 weeks pregnant with her first child and is devastated he’ll never meet the baby he was so excited about. My daughters who loved him so much. I feel like I have no support. My partner was great for a couple of days but now just gets annoyed when I’m sad and crying. He threatened to leave yesterday because I wasn’t really interested in the random, inconsequential conversation he was trying to have with me. I just have no interest in talking about things that don’t matter and seem so unimportant now. He has a habit of making everything about him and keeps accusing me of not being interested in him anymore. However many times I tell him I’m grieving and so, so tired he just doesn’t get it. He has never experienced grief so doesn’t understand. I feel so lost and so overwhelmingly sad, it feels sometimes like my heart is broken. There’s nowhere in my hometown that offers support and I don’t know who to talk to.
I just wanted to reply, your’s is a heartbreaking story.
Four weeks is such a short time, you must all be in shock still and grieving in your own different ways. It sounds like you are doing so much, trying to sort out your dads estate, wanting to make sure everyone in your family is ok, and still working full time. Could you talk to your employers, would they allow you to a few days compassionate leave or come to an arrangement that gives you some time to look after yourself as well as your family? Please accept any help anyone might offer, even if it’s just making you cups of tea.
I too have found there is very little face to face bereavement support, but there is the online service on this Sue Ryder site, also CRUSE. Being an oldie, I prefer face to face, but this message board is so supportive and kind. In the lack of local support I’ve found it’s a kind and useful place to come. Makes me feel less lonely.
Please look after yourself @ALI1980 and don’t feel guilty, you’ve done, and are doing the very best you can, all that anyone could possibly do in such stressful circumstances. It sounds like you did the very best for your dad too, maybe having a chat with your own GP (given that your worries are causing you sleepless nights and bad dreams) might help to put your mind at rest.
If you can, try and take some quiet time with each if your family, especially your mum, and by yourself too, just to reflect on happier moments with your dad. I think you’ll find they may be worrying about you too. Do allow yourself to grieve in the way you need, to be sad, cry if you need, grief is different for everyone, can’t be rushed or dictated to, you just have to allow it.
Thinking of you and sending you much love xx
I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. It sounds as though things are very tough at the moment and you are feeling overwhelmed.
I’m glad that you’ve been able to share how you are feeling here and I hope that you find the community a good source of support. Everyone here has experienced the loss of a loved one and will understand some of what you are going through.
Sue Ryder also offers the following online bereavement support which might be of interest to you:
- An online bereavement counselling service. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. If you feel some one-to-one support may be useful, you can find more information about the service here: www.sueryder.org/counselling
- A recently launched Grief Self-Help Service which provides articles and interactive tools to help you cope with grief. If you’re interested in understanding more about grief and how you can manage it, visit selfhelp.sueryder.org.
Take care - keep reaching out,
Online Community team