Shocked by my lack of emotion

My dad died 5 days ago. He had been immobile for 3 years and throughout his illness, my mum was his main carer. She was with him when he died.
Her grief and the grief of my sister really upset me. I know she has lost her soulmate. They did everything together.
The thing I’m struggling with is when I’m not with them, I don’t feel upset, in fact I don’t feel anything that I would associate with grieving. I mainly feel relief that he is not in pain anymore.
Is this normal?

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Hi Rooroo,
Just read your post.To be honest I am not sure what normal is anymore
Everyone deals with grief differently so there is no right or wrong way or normal or not normal. You may experience a delayed crying grief later on Maybe you will not.
It is normal to feel relief that a person is not on pain any more and I am sure almost everyone feels that whatever their stage of grief or however they react. It also depends on the type of relationship you had with your father also I guess.
I personally was not close to my father for all sorts of reasons so when he passed over 30 yrs ago I honestlly felt totally different to how I feel now after recently losing my mum. Can’t even compare it.
Do whatever feels right for you. That is all that matters now.Givevyour mum and sister whatever support they need and of course help them with their grief in whatever way you can.They need your support now regardless of how you are feeling
Thinking of you
Deborah x

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Thank you for replying.
I was close to my dad and have many happy memories. When he got poorly he became a different man and the toll it took on my mum caring for him 24 hrs a day made me slightly resentful. He became very selfish. Nothing my mum did for him was good enough. I feel very guilty because I had a huge arguement with him when my mum had to go into hospital for a heart condition and he went into respite, which he was very angry about.
My mum is almost 80 and was very active before dad’s illness.
The relief I feel is probably for both of them. I haven’t told my mum or sister how I feel. I’m considering speaking to a professional so I can get everything I want to say off my chest without upsetting them.

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Hello i lost my dad two weeks ago i find when your keeping busy n doing posative things it helps.xx

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I’m a great believer in “every cloud has a silver lining” @Rooroo.
I’d say that you are currently focusing on the silver bit and your Mum and sister are looking at the cloud.
The fact that you’re upset when with your Mum and sister should reassure you that you’re not un-feeling or un-caring - you’re moved by their obvious grief, but away from them you can find peace and comfort knowing that Dad is at peace - no more illness, suffering and bad tempered frustration at his loss of independence.
My own father died a lifetime ago - a fit, healthy, active man, aged 52 - he had a brain haemorrhage (a stroke).
That didn’t kill him - he survived that, but it left him profoundly disabled.
He was immobile, unable to feed himself, mentally confused etc.
3 months later, he had another huge stroke and never regained consciousness and subsequently died.
I felt exactly as you describe.
I could see that, had he lived, he would be looking at an awful quality of life - containing very little in the way of quality, but that death had brought him some peace and reunited him with my Mum - who’d died suddenly 2 years earlier.
I think your idea of sharing your thoughts with a professional, rather than Mum and sis, is spot on - and further evidence that you aren’t an unfeeling robot.
Good luck and be kind to yourself - you are entitled to feel as you feel.

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I lost my mother to cancer when I was 21, I’m 38 now and last Wednesday I lost my partner of 17 years. Wnen my mother died I was upset of course but she had no quality of life in the months before she died. She was scared, in pain and almost housebound. When she died I too felt a sense of relief that it was over. When my partner died completely unexpectedly that was a whole other story. He was fit, active and happy, this loss is a killer because it’s so sudden and senseless. I think it’s normal to feel differently when the death ends a person’s suffering, it doesn’t mean you are uncaring I think you just know he wouldn’t have had any quality of life had he survived.

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Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry that you have lost your partner. It must have been a huge shock. I understand what you mean by preparing for the death of a loved one who is terminally ill. The man that had been lay in the bed for 6 months almost permanently sleeping, wasn’t the man I remembered when he was fit and healthy and some days I felt like I’d lost him already. My sister also suddenly lost her partner in his mid 30s. My sis and her partner, myself and my partner went out every weekend together and we were all close. My sister was heartbroken as she found him dead at home when she returned from work. She became very reclusive for a long time but has since been through therapy and her life is back on track. I can’t offer any advice on how to get through the shock as we all cope with grief differently. Be kind to yourself. Sending much love and strength.

It is the worst loss I’ve ever experienced in life. I don’t know how I’m ever going to get over it. You love someone for seventeen years then suddenly they are gone completely out of the blue and they are just a memory. I’m just so unbelievably lost. He always said he would rather die quickly and not have to suffer through cancer or illness when his time came so in some ways I’m greatful but it’s so hard to get your head around a young, fit and physically strong man just going like that. Life is cruel :broken_heart:

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So true what you are saying i lost my husband to cancer 5 months ago he battled with it for a year and a half and then was told the chemo was not working and only had 6 months he he went through a lot of pain and was in and out of hospital near the end he had colon and liver cancer and the cancer had started to eat his liver away in the end his liver shut down and he passed away Oct last year

Sorry to hear that, how are you five months on? x
Cancer is a horrendous disease and I wouldn’t want to see anyone go that way ever again. I always say the best death is to just go to bed and pass away during your sleep. Sadly in this horrible world of suffering and pain not many people get that ending.

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Finding it so hard as i lost my Mum Oct 2019 to the same cancer as my husband had and i had to watch her suffer to she passed away 4 months after being told she had cancer

Oh I’m so sorry. There’s nothing worse than watching someone you love suffering and not being able to do anything about it :sob: I felt so helpless when my mam was ill, watching her wasting away slowly. She had pancreatic cancer, she was just 42. She’d had tummy trouble for a while but got prescribed antacids, they thought she had a stomach ulcer,pancreatic cancer is extremely rare in someone so young but she smoked heavily so that didn’t help. It took a long time for them to do an ultrasound scan so her diagnosis was delayed a lot. They planned to do an operation called the Whipple but when they opened her up they could see the cancer had spread so they couldn’t operate. She went from being a strong independent woman to a woman who needed help to go to the toilet within months. Towards the end she was hallucinating and seeing things and her personality changed so much. She wasn’t the same person she had always been. It’s horrendous. I’m so sorry you had to go through it twice x

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So sorry for what you have been through my Mum was also hallucinating and seeing things she would ask me why there was a big car in her bedroom she also use to ask where my dad was he passed away 20 years ago and when i told her she started to cry and said i want to be with him please let me go i had to get my brother to sit with her as i broke down and wanted to cry but did not want her to see me like that x

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Oh that’s terrible :sob: I was 21 when my mam went, I wasn’t living at home I was living with a friend at the time. I’d gone up to see her as I would most days and after I’d been there about five minutes she gave me a row and told me I needed to be more careful because I’d started a fire upstairs in her house the night before and she had to call the fire bridge. I was completely shocked, what do you even answer to that? That was the first time she’d said anything like that so at first I was like mam I don’t live here anymore but she was getting agitated so then I just said it’s ok mam, there’s no damage and she forgot about it. Seeing her that way scared me tbh :broken_heart: The last few months of her life is what I always think of when I think of her :sob: I am greatful that I’ll never have to watch my partner suffer like that and that he was happy and well right up until he died. It doesn’t make it any easier losing him though but I couldn’t bear to see him suffer :broken_heart::sob:

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My dad had hallucinations too. Some of them were quite comical and made us laugh then he’d laugh too. Others got him very angry and one day whilst visiting him, as I got through the front door, he asked me why I was here again after keeping him awake all night. Apparently, me and my sister had had a party and were drinking and dancing around his bed with all our mates. I know he wasn’t actually angry at me, but having to stand there and get a roasting for something I hadn’t done was upsetting. My dad was a very easy going guy and this anger was out of character for him. For a while I thought he had dementia on top of the cancer but seeing others post about loved ones dying from cancer and hallucinating, it sounds like it’s another side effect of the illness.

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My Mum would also get angry with me and would say get out of my house i do love you i think it was because she had a stoma bag and did not like having it changed as she was so unwell and only weighed about 5 stone near the end

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I think it’s quite common in advanced cancer. I knew the cancer had started to spread when they tried to operate so I’m not entirely sure if the cancer had spread to her brain or if it was all the medication she was on or something else. Looking back I was 21 and didn’t know a lot about cancer, my mother was the first person in my family to die of it so I didn’t ask the questions that I would ask today. My mam had a fit or seizure right at the end and that’s why she was admitted to hospital, she died the next day so her brain must have been involved somehow :cry:

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