Struggling to cope

My dad died June 17 after suffering from dementia. I was always very close to my dad but I have a strained relationship with my mum…there’s been no big row we’re just very different. I have wonderful friends but when he died they stayed away I guess because they didn’t want to intrude on family grief. Unfortunately due to the situation with my mum this meant that I spent the two weeks between his death and funeral on my own (I live on my own) and went back to work 2 days later. I was not invited to the scattering of his ashes as she said it didn’t cross her mind to tell me when it was happening although I’d told her I wanted to be included. I don’t think I grieved properly at the time and these last couple of weeks it’s just hit me hard. I keep bursting into tears and waking up the middle of the night with panic attacks. Is it normal to have a delayed response like this? I just feel like I’m not coping. Sorry for the long post.

Hello Missing my dad,

Welcome to this community. I’m very sorry to hear that your dad died after suffering with dementia. This must have been a very difficult thing to go through and it sounds as though you didn’t necessarily get the support you needed at the time.

It is not unusual to have a delayed reaction to a significant loss and that is something that has come up before in this community. Are you feeling supported at the moment? Having a close friend, family member, or perhaps even a counsellor to talk to can make such a difference.

Whilst you’re waiting for some supportive replies from other community members you may find it helpful to have a look at some of the posts in the losing a parent category. If you feel comfortable doing so you could join in on some of those conversations.

If there’s anything I can do to support you, please do get in touch.

Take care,

Hi.There. Anxiety attacks are sometimes to be expected when we lose someone close. My wife of many years died two months ago. Panic attacks are the result of anxiety. I was a counsellor for many years until retirement and I met many people who suffered from anxiety after a loss. You need to remember that your nerves are in a state and when that happens your body may well show all sorts of symptoms. A panic attack is the result of your mind signalling ‘danger’ and your body goes into the fight/flight mode. Adrenaline flows and you have the feelings of impending doom and fear of you now not what. It always passes. There is a limit to the amount of adrenaline that can be released at any one time. If you feel panic coming take a few deep breaths. Breathe out slowly and try and accept the feelings which are harmless but frightening. You will be OK. Your GP can help with short term medication so don’t be afraid to go. Managing on your own is not wise. Take it easy.

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Hi. Sorry that you lost your dad and that you are having panic attacks and other unpleasant feelings. It is all really like nothing we have ever experienced before. Really tough isn’t it? Also, these times do seem to highlight where there are flaws in relationships.
When I lost my daughter 18 weeks many people said ‘if there is anything we can do’. I always asked them to please don’t stay away even if i am not the best company. This does seem to have paid off with those that meant it. I do hope you are seeing your friends now and that you begin to feel less anxious. I think it is just part and parcel of grief.
Sending you hugs x