My Grief

My name is Bella and I am 24.
Yesterday my dad passed away, and as expected, I have feelings of immense loss and sadness. I have never lost someone I am close to before (no grandparents etc).
I have spent the last few years as a secondary carer to my dad, who had Parkinson’s disease (amongst other things) and he was very unwell at the end of July. He pulled through, but then unexpectedly passed away in a nursing home by himself just yesterday and I can’t comprehend as to why it happened.

I am a nurse, so I know death. I worked during covid in intensive care and it was awful. I have worked in hospices and on wards but nothing has prepared me for this feeling.
I am a very sensitive and empathetic person, I take on a lot of negative and difficult emotions that often manifest and spiral out of my control. I’m so scared that I will spiral in this grief.
My background as his carer is complicated and provided a lot of emotions that led up to this.

I feel lost and devastated, and in so much distress.

As I am only 24, I don’t know anyone who has been through this sort of situation, all of my friends still have their parents.


Dear Bella2
I am so sorry that your dad has died. There are many other fellow travellers on here who will no doubt respond to you but I just wanted to hold my hand out across the ether…as a nurse you have come across death before but to lose one of our own is a different encounter entirely. Take deep breaths and try to be kind to yourself…it never goes away but it does eventually get more bearable. Take care x

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Thank you for your reply

I find myself on here a lot through the day as I’m desperately seeking to find some comfort through all of the tears. I miss him so much, everything about him.
I know it will get better, I know it, I just don’t know how it’s going to happen. Part of me feels like I can never resume a future that doesn’t include him, with all the things he is going to miss in my life.
I feel so sad for him, he was someone who was suffering a lot in the last few years, I just feel like I wish I could have taken that pain, even in the last few moments

Thank you for your support, I’m glad I have found this in all the sadness

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Just because you feel like you will spiral. Doesn’t mean you will. Grief is frightening. Focus on surviving a bit at a time and try not to look too far ahead. Talk about it as much as you need to. I think your own strength might surprise you.

Hi Bella,

I’m so sorry for your loss.
Just over a year ago I lost my husband.I have 2 sons who at the time were 19 and 16.
I am 51and fortunately still have both my parents.I feel guilty for this as my boys don’t have their Dad anymore.
To lose a parent at a young age causes pain that nobody can understand unless they have experienced this pain themselves.
Like your Dad my husband was very ill and we had to watch him suffer.
Part of me felt relieved that he was no longer suffering but losing him totally broke us.
I know what you mean about the milestones he will miss.
As a mum I feel over protective as I’m now all my sons have.It’s so hard to try and be a Mum and a Dad at the same time when I’m totally heartbroken myself.
I thought we would grow old together ,retire and have grandchildren to look forward to.
We were a family and now we’ve no Father figure.No one to go to for advice about the car or anything else that needs repairing.The boys are making career choices and only have me to advise them.
Just know that your Dad loved you and never meant to cause you to feel this pain.He must have been so proud of you being a nurse and helping others who are suffering.
A year on we are still grieving and to be honest I think we always will It’s the price we pay for loving someone.
Take care and I hope you have family and friends supporting you.

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Hello @Bella2,

Thank you for starting this thread and for bravely reaching out for support so close to the death of your Dad (I was really sorry to read about this) - I’m pleased to see you have received a number of supportive messages and are finding the community helpful. I also wanted to reach out to you to let you know about a couple of charities who might be able to offer you some support for your specific situation/age - I’d encourage you to reach out to them if you feel that would help.

The Mix has an online community for anyone aged 16-25 to talk about any issues that are on their minds.

On the Hope Again website you will find information about the services they offer, a listening ear from other young people as well as advice for young people dealing with the loss of a loved one.

We are also going to be adding some new content to our website soon for young people dealing with grief & bereavement - I can send you the link to that once it is live.

You have seen and experienced such a lot in a short space of time, caring for your Dad and working within intensive care during covid - how you are feeling is completely understandable.

Thank you again for reaching out - please know you are not alone.

Take care,

Thank you for those, and also the responses above, they were seen and felt and appreciated.
Its nearly been 2 weeks since he passed and it feels like both the longest and shortest time ever. The days seem to go both slow and fast and there are so many things I have been wanting to tell him.
I made the difficult decision to visit his body yesterday, as we have not yet had a funeral. It was a very strange experience for me. Of course, it was horrific at first and I was beside myself with all of that initial grief flooding back. After the first few awful minutes things changed a little and I was able to look at his face.
The thing is, over the last week, I have been talking to my dad out loud, after my prayers and on the side sometimes. It’s been giving me some comfort (although makes me cry all the time I’m talking) and when it came to it, the body in front of my didn’t really seem like him. And when I was talking to “my dad”, I felt that he was above me rather than in front of me.
It made me feel quite sad because I love his human form so much, and it is still him, I just felt horribly disconnected from it. Through that though, I think it was good to feel he was still there but in the form that I will have him in, in the future. I said what I needed to say and left.
I’m sure someone has had a similar experience?

My initial post was my initial grief and that was truly so so awful. Things have changed a bit and I am ok. I still worry that I am not processing things and that I’m trying to move forward too quickly. When is normal to go back to routine? Do you have to just do it slowly?

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In your own time.Baby steps.You’ll have ups and downs.Everyone deals with it differently .You’ll have bad days and better days.Some people need the routine.My youngest son started college 2weeks after his Dad died.He found it comforting to be with his friends.and in a routine.I took 6 weeks off work as I couldn’t function.I work in a call centre and did not feel strong enough to take calls all day.Just take your time and you’ll know when you feel ready to resume routine.Make sure you look after yourself.Try and get rest and make sure you’re eating.It’s ok to not feel ok.Sending hugs

I returned to work for a bit this week and it passed some hours but I was very unproductive (as a nurse that’s pretty bad) but I have good colleagues who did all the work whilst I just existed there. It was all I could do.

Today was the day of my dads funeral, yesterday was 3 weeks since he passed. Today was the hardest day of my life and a pain that I will never ever forget. But even now I know that he’s watching me, probably either looking fondly at me writing this message or laughing about my flare for making things dramatic. I am so sad nevertheless and could barely believe that the whole funeral was for him, was for my dad. Sometimes it’s ok to go through the motions, and then it suddenly clicks realising it’s for your dad and the world crashes down again.
My uncle, my dads brother, is a priest, and performed the whole mass for my dad- I can’t believe the strength it must have taken him to do that, I would be in pieces.
My faith has never been very strong, but I know my dad always fought to make sure I knew our religion was something I could always turn to. If it was important to him, then it will be important to me.
My uncles look a lot like my dad, and as I watched them there it was beautiful to have that physical reminder of the people my dad gifted to me when I was born. That sounds silly I know but I am blessed with so many siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and by giving me life, he gave me those people as well.
So even though today has been the hardest day, it wasn’t the worst day of my life. It got better