Shock/numbness

My son aged 50 died just before Xmas 2023 19 days after being diagnosed with advanced cancer. His wife died nearly 7 years earlier so now his 2 children have lost both parents. I was with him 24 hours a day while he was ill and now I feel nothing - I wish I felt numb, that would be some feeling.

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But you do feel other wise you would not be looking this site up. There will be times when you will be out and see something he would have liked . Take things slowly, try to think of the good times, and maybe put things together maybe his children would like to remember him by. My son died aged 47 last July after being diagnosed with secondary bone cancer three months before . God bless and take care

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Hello @Joann

You’re in shock and this is still very raw. You will feel something when the shock wears off. Your blood is full of cortisol and adrenalin right now. Grief is a horrendous journey of many emotions.

I am so sorry about your son and your grandchildren. Life is so unfair. Sending a virtual hug :people_hugging: x

Thank you Pest, I’m sure you are right. I see my family and his friends all grief stricken and cannot understand why I don’t feel the same. My son and I were so close and I hate the idea that my apparent lack of feeling is perceived as not caring.

Thank you Rob, I hope you are right about shock and the hormones that cause such reactions. I just feel such sadness at what my son and my grandchildren have lost.

I can’t imagine how you feel. To lose a son is shocking and unfair. Not only are you grieving, I think there is an extra layer of complex feelings as a parent about why and what next.

You won’t ‘get over’ your son as people will assume. Why would you because you never stop loving and missing them. You’ll go through to a different stage of grief where you can function and not feel the raw pain you feel now (so I’m told). Grief is feel unbearable - I’m new to this myself so don’t have advice.

Sending love and strengthen as the next few months will be especially hard. Lean into any support you have. Thinking of you and your family. X

Again, thank you again Rob for your thoughtful words. Time doesn’t heal but perhaps tempers the pain a little. Each loss in life causes a different pain but this time my emotional response seems abnormal to me. Having had such a close bond with my son I expected to feel distraught and heartbroken but instead I feel just sorrowful.
Would you tell me a little of what you are going through? Reading between the lines you also sound sad. I don’t wish to pry so don’t feel obligated but both your messages have been so kind and thoughtful, so if it helps ….

Hello @Joann

Thanks for reaching out and asking. I lost my mum in Nov 23. She had cancer and died 12 weeks from falling. The care journey was traumatic and I supported Dad to provide care for her. It was a privilege to be with her. Then dad died suddenly 5 weeks ago (9 weeks after mum). He was healthly but died of a ramdon clot. Both parents in 9 weeks has been hard. Now I’m playing mum to my austic brother. I love him dearly so I don’t mind. But worry as I can’t and shouldn’t replace them.

So I’m feeling very sad, scared, and loney in grief. I have 3 brothers and my husband, but they were my world. I’m lost without my dad as my north star.

I was lucky to have them until I’m in my 40s though. Lucky we were close and I felt loved. Lucky to have my brothers. But it does hurt ever so much. I’m heartbroken.

But it doesn’t compare to losing a child. I was sick as a child for a spell and I remember listening to mum talk about how she couldn’t lose me which has stuck. She told me how hard it was. Losing parents is the usual order of things.

Grief is awful but the price we pay for love. I would always rather love than not.

I was thinking about you. I hope you can find some comfort. I’m here is yiu want to talk. X

Hello Joann - I am so sorry to hear what has happened to your boy and you. I think one of the things that very often happens when we lose our own child, of whatever age, is that on top of the awful grief and pain we are experiencing trauma. So we have an absolute tsunami of feelings we have never experienced before. Sometimes it might feel that we should be feeling a particular way but our emotions are so overloaded that a kind of primal instinct takes over and we feel what we think are abnormal or inappropriate or simply no feelings. I don’t think we have much control at all over this and our conscious brain is trying to make sense of something that seems senseless. We can’t do anything to make matters better and we’re overwhelmed and our brains can’t take it in. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve such a huge loss. I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t breathe and I was out of control. Other people feel nothing at first and in some way detached. Both extremes are sadly common and all the ones in between. Whatever your feelings they are ‘normal’ in an extremely abnormal situation. No one can plan for those feelings, even if we know someone is going to die. So maybe your brain is simply too overwhelmed by loss and pain and you need time and a bit of space to begin to grieve in the way society demands and more importantly in your own way. You will find a way to grieve and face the unthinkable life without your son. It takes its own time. Grief comes in many ways and they are all personal to each of us, and none of them are wrong or right. It’s a bit like searching in the dark and it certainly helps a bit if others around us have the wisdom to support us and just accept we are searching in the dark and we’re frightened and in utter pain. We don’t need judgement from others who haven’t felt a similiar loss and whatever way we grieve is good enough. It’s really a life long and often really lonely journey to even begin to accept what’s happened. You have made a good decision for yourself by coming on this website and you will get support from people on that same journey. We all ‘get it’ cos it’s happened to us. You aren’t alone and you aren’t doing grief wrong. There’s no right way. It’s unchartered territory and we are all floundering and lost and I’ve not heard of a single person ‘getting over it’. What we can do, over time and at our own pace, not someone else’s, is to begin to learn to learn to ‘live with it’. When you are ready, in your own time. I send you hugs xxxx

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Thank you Nell2.
That is the clearest and wisest explanation I have read about grief and grieving. I can’t tell you how much your words have helped. Detached, floundering, searching - I experience all those feelings and more. I have not felt “normal” with my seeming lack of emotion since my son died when all around me friends and family have been distraught with grief. I expected my reaction to my son dying to be more like them and have felt embarrassed and guilty not to have been.
I hope you have someone just as supportive as you are to help you in your grief.
Thank you so very much for your words and taking the time to write to me.