No time to grieve...

I lost my dad in July 2022 after a turbulent 8 months prior to that. He had a major heart attack in Dec 2021 where I flew back to Australia to be with the family. Three weeks of quarantine for 9 days with him before I had to fly back was a very stressful time away from my own family here in the UK. Then, after what seemed to be a good recovery, he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in April 2022. He went downhill fast from the middle of June so I flew back over. I spent the last 2.5 weeks of his life being his full-time carer at the family home because he wanted to die at home. Administering medication, tending to his toileting needs, washing, feeding, keeping him company at all hours when he was at his most vulnerable. It was the most difficult 2.5 weeks of my entire life.

Now, 6 months later, I’m still suffering from the bereavement. I have “flashbacks” from those 2.5 weeks, seeing his face drained of life by the cancer and not looking like the father I grew up with. I’ve never been one to stare at myself in the mirror but now it’s especially difficult even glancing because I see so much of him in me (only a negative thing because of the drawn, ill look that he had on his face in the end).

I have a whole cocktail of emotions and thoughts going on on a daily basis which has led me to seeking help from this community.

I work around 60hrs a week as a teacher, we have a full-house at home (although two of our kids stay half of their time with their Mum and Stepdad… ) and my wife is struggling with the menopause… so I feel like I’m giving all of my time and energy to everyone else without being able to take time for myself. I have barely had time to write this post (started this process of seeking help over a month ago!).

Is anyone else struggling to find time to grieve or seek help to address some of the issues?

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I’m just giving this a gentle “bump” for you, @ScottOz - I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. It can be so hard to find the mental space to grieve when there is so much going on. Hopefully someone will be along with some advice soon.

You’ve mentioned seeking help - can I ask, is that counselling? Having bereavement counselling may be helpful in finding the time and space to work through your grief. Your feelings are important and you deserve support. We offer free online bereavement counselling which is held via video chat if you would like to explore this. Cruse also offer counselling across most of the UK.

Thank you for reaching out - you are not alone.

Take care,
Seaneen

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