MIxed emotions and feeling like you should be moving on

I lost my dad 3 months ago, 9 weeks after he was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer.
I was living in New Zealand when my mum called me to tell me that he had been rushed into A&E because he had lost the use of his legs; Once there they found that he had cancer and it had spread to his liver and spine which was what has stopped the use of his legs. They were operating that night to remove the mass from his spine and hoped this would give him use of his legs back. I got on a plane and flew back leaving everything in NZ.
He did get some movement back in his legs and 3 weeks later he was released from hospital and sent to a rehab unit, where he deteriorated quite quickly and then 3 weeks later was home (With a bedsore that developed into a stage 4 and caused him a huge amount of pain).
It all happened so quickly and it wasn’t until the nurses started talking about End of Life drugs that I realised he was so close to the end. He never wanted to hear a prognosis so right up until the end believed he was going to recover which we indulged as I’m not sure he would have coped with knowing differently and we also ensured that none of the nursing team, doctors or carers told him differently.

Recently I have been really struggling with he mixture of emotions (Some day’s I feel quite happy and almost at peace with it then others I just feel lonely, sad and angry). I am not only moaning the loss of my father but the loss of my life in NZ, I got a new job in the UK which I started a week after he passed as I thought the distraction would be good but I have now left that after 3 months as I thought I just needed some time to take in the changes. I feel like my friends have started to think I should be on my way to recovery now and don’t bring it up or talk to me about it much. I have been to the doctor and I am on anti depressants and been referred to counselling but the waiting list is very long.

Does anyone have any similar experiences?

Grieving will last for the rest of our lives. The expressions and intensity of grief will shift over time. Anybody who hasn’t experienced this can’t understand what we are going through, and nobody should be dictating how long we should be grieving and when they think we should get over it. You will find out who your real friends (including your family) are, which is a good thing in the long run.

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad six months ago, and it still hurts so much.

1 Like

Hello to both of you,

Losing a parent is describable I think. I am sorry that both of you have lost your Dads, it is very hard and a real feeling that you have to be a grown up when that happens. You don’t have to be! Three and six months are no time at all when you have had a wonderful relationship with your parents.

I honestly don’t think you can ever truly get over a great loss, all that can be done is to adjust to what has happened. Some days will be awful and others better where there is a feeling of peace and acceptance.

I have lost both my parents, my Dad over 20 years ago and Mum just over 2 years ago. I never thought I would get over losing Dad but I had my Mum to help and support me. She must have been going through hell herself but was selfless and supportive throughout. Losing her was the pits as I did not have that unswerving kindness to help me through but I am slowly getting on with my life.

Time is a great healer people say and I think the first part of that is most important. Taking time for yourself to reflect and remember the person you have lost. Even a few minutes each day to remember them and memories of happier times can help. I think of my parents when they were young and healthy. My Dad passed away very suddenly at a fairly young age so I didn’t see him decline fortunately. My Mum was elderly and I discovered terminally ill. I don’t want to remember seeing her going downhill but as the bright witty person she was before.

Jemima, I see you are having to wait for counselling which is miserable. If it gets to be too much there is the online service Sue Ryder provide. See the box to the right of this. I haven’t tried this myself but it is worth considering. The best thing is you can do it from your home, no need to struggle out feeling rotten.

All best wishes to you both

1 Like

Hi Jemima,

I lost my Dad 11 months ago. I’m shocked that it has nearly been a year and I’m no closer to believing it. I know he’s gone, but I can’t fully comprehend it still. It’s really weird.

I really feel for you. Have you approached a hospice for counselling? I didn’t have to wait long (about 2 weeks) and I had a year’s counselling which really helped.

Three months is still incredibly raw. 11 months on and I still feel numb. Your friends can’t even begin to understand what you’re going through. I have found my friends to be next to useless to be honest.

Grief is such a rollercoaster. One minute I’m fine, next I’m on the floor, inconsolable. My counsellor said to be patient with your emotions, to feel what you’re feeling, and tolerate the uncomfortable emotions. The more patient you are with yourself, the better. Never try to stuff things down.

Sending you all lots of love x