My grief for my Dad feels at a weird stage

my grief has reached a weird stage where I feel very disorganised and depressed I feel like most people don’t really understand nor do I really want to bring it up.
My dad single parented me, I was a traumatised kid when he took me on as my mum was too unwell to look after me (addiction) for years it has been my greatest fear to lose him - but I’m 37 now and had worked through a lot of my anxieties around losing him. I have my own son who is a toddler and dads only grandchild - dad got diagnosed with leukaemia when lockdown 1 started and went into remission after the 3 pronged chemo/inhibitor drug and transplant approach.
He got diagnosed again last Feb but didn’t tell any of us (he has 6 kids and a wife) I think the reason was his drive to beat it and also to protect himself from stress as well as us, also he didn’t want to share that a return of the disease after the first approach creates a fairly bleak prognosis. by 2 weeks into March he had to be admitted into hospital bc of an infection and then had to tell us, he died two weeks later. It was horrific and shocking - all I remember is bombing back and forth over the west way to see him at the UCH not quite processing that that we were getting to see him during the lockdown meant that things were really really bad. The first time I entered his room he was awake but quite medicated - he told the nurse no priests but a humanist or Imam, even then I refused to see that he was accepting that he would die that night - perhaps it is natural to not accept that eventuality until you absolutely have to. I feel like I’ve hardly processed it, I’m still not used to it, it’s almost a year now and I feel disorganised and depressed and find it hard to carry out tasks that used to be easy. I still forget that I can’t call him and cathartic crying doesn’t always help, I just feel useless and wonder if it is going to get worse. It doesn’t necessarily affect my ability to look after my son but it’s hard, I suppose deep down I just expect it to go away. I struggle with chain smoking and have spent the whole year stopping and starting. When I don’t smoke cigarettes I feel more. it’s all so exhausting - I keep trying to find like bereavements groups, but I’m not sure they exist. i don’t drink and am on anti depressants already, I kinda don’t want to talk to my support network and sibling about it anymore because it’s like we just talk in circles - I get tired of peoples “he’s looking down on you” comments, it doesn’t help and while I am a woman of faith I have never thought to comfort myself with afterlife theories. I am haunted by the last night of his life, and how on the third visit we were told he was going to die and it was time to say goodbye and my brother and I missed him by 2 minutes - I know he wouldn’t have wanted to go in front of us, but I lost my footing and was just a ball on the floor. My dad was the fittest healthiest hardest working person I’ve ever met, it seems so not right to have lost him at 62. He looked about 50 and worked out every day and ate well didn’t drink or smoke, I kind of felt like how dare it be him, he was a beautiful man, a feminist, a darling dedicated and hardworking parent and grandparent, a good person, and an adventurer and he died of infections in a damn London hospital. I don’t know how to feel the amount of pain this brings up, it’s as exhausting feeling it as it is not feeling it.


Hi Caroline,

I just wanted to send my love and support.

I lost my partner just before Christmas at the age of 47. He too was fit, healthy with no underlying conditions until he picked up Covid.

I think like you it was the shock of it all happening so quickly. I have no routine at the moment, I’m disorganised and all over the place, desperately trying to find my why.

I have two grown up daughters who have their own lives now.

Just know that you’re not alone feeling like this. My diet and basically looking after myself has gone out the window for now.

Do what you can say by day and don’t beat yourself up for not being able to abstain from smoking etc. one step at a time. x x


Thank you so much for your reply, I am so sad for your loss, it must be so so painful to lose your person the person you chose to be with - I always think of this with regards to my stepmum, you sound very brave. I think I put restrictions on myself because despite it feeling premature, we all lose our parents eventually. Thank you for reaching out Xx

1 Like