Struggling with the ‘New Year’

Until you’re in this situation and dealing with grief - you can’t ask anyone else to understand it. It’s the thing I keep reminding myself but yet I just want to scream at people ‘DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT IM GOING THROUGH?’. It’s coming up to 10 weeks since I lost my Dad, and with each week I can’t help but count them. With it being the new year now, I can’t help but reflect that it’s no longer the year I last seen Dad, last talked to him, last gave him a cuddle goodbye… it’s not the year I lost him anymore. Sometimes I feel people get awkward whenever I bring him up, but that’s just because they don’t know what to say that won’t upset me. Truth is, everything still upsets me and I’ve not had a day off tears in this whole time. Being only 27, and in the middle of my Diploma at university, I don’t feel people older can relate. If you’ve had your parent around for graduation, having babies, getting married, settling down, first house etc then you have no idea how I feel. Empathise? Yes. Understand? No. I’m so sick of hearing ‘I know exactly how you feel’ or ‘things are going to get better’ because they aren’t, he’s gone.
How are we supposed to cope with this? I only had 26 years with my favourite person on the planet and I cringe at people crying how they had ‘40’ years with someone. I wish I had that with Dad. The one person I could be myself with, say what I wanted to, act how I wanted to. How the hell are we supposed to cope with the anxiety?! It’s been two months and I still can’t go to busy places. I’ve not been back to work, infact I just keep getting signed off! If ‘time’ is supposed to be a healer, then why am I still feeling like it’s just happened? Still carrying around this permanent weight in my chest. It used to be worry for him, and now it’s just heartbreak. When am I supposed to try force myself into situations?!
The whole topic of grief is too open, how am I supposed to know when the time is right?
Sorry if what I’ve said upsets anyone, it’s just how I feel. This is the one place I can just get it out without having to deal with that look on people’s face.

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Hi I think that no matter how long we spend with someone you love you will feel that it wasn’t long enough. After 43 years with my alan that was no where near long enough. We should have grown old together and i suppose a lot of people will say we were old. Alan 77 and me 67 but we never felt old. We were very active. We both loved life and now everything has been taken away. My world turned upside down and no one for support. Even the counselling i have comes to an end next time. My mum died when i was 23. I had 2 very young children at the time and was in a bad relationship with someone who was 23 years older than me. I felt like my world had ended then as i had no one else to turn to. You say its 10 weeks since you lost dad. Its 8 months since i lost my alan and things seem to get worse instead of better. It was the best thing in the world ever when i met him. Time may never heal. Not everyone can heal or even want to, but we have to manage our lives as best we can in this god damn awful situation we are in. I just find the lonliness and the anxiety of it all so much too bear. Don’t be hard on yourself and take each day as it comes. It all sounds so patronising really but its what we keep getting told. Take care. Janet x

Hi. Watt. I agree, platitudes and cliches are of little value. Grief is a very personal business, but I do think that age, time together and so on makes very little difference to the pain. If you loved someone deeply perhaps only for a few months the pain can be as great as if it were two years or twenty. Some may disagree, but the depth of love is the important factor not the length of time or age. You obviously loved your Dad deeply.
10 weeks is no time at all. Your emotions are still raw. Suggesting anything to you at this stage is very difficult because your emotions are so upset. You don’t ever ‘force yourself’ to do anything. If I may suggest time can be a healer, that you take it one day at a time. I know, I know that may have been said to you already and you may have thought it pointless. But it still remains a truth. Looking ahead as you are doing and flogging yourself with ‘what ifs’ and what may have been does not help one bit. I am not minimising your pain. God knows we have all been there. I very much doubt you would ever upset anyone here because your post is so typical of the initial pain we all suffer after bereavement. It is a process; natures way of seeing us through such awful times. Anything I say will seem totally inadequate. I wish I had that magic wand to make you feel better. Alas, there is no ‘fix all’ in grief. Time must be allowed to pass. Yes, once again a cliche but true. Please don’t misunderstand, but you are expecting too much after only 10 weeks. Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and try not to feel too bad about what people say. Most mean well but have no words to describe how they feel so resort to often silly irrelevant remarks. Blessings and take care.

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I’m so sorry. I lost my dad when i was 28 and I’m 54 now and just lost my mum. It’s sad because your dad wont aee you grow up and see what you achieve throughout your life. I too feel like that. Mine missed out on everything I’ve done since. I still think about him so much and really wish he could have luved longer. It seemed such a waste. I hope it gets better for you xx

Hi watt92,

I’m sorry you are feeling so bad right now.
I was also 27 when I lost my dad. He was 53 and missed out on seeing me get into my chosen profession, and have my daughter who is 12.
I lost my mum in june. I am now 48.
Mum did see me do all of those things but in still struggling with the loss of her. She was my best friend. People do make stupid comments.god knows avoiding people because I’m fed up of insensitive and unhelpful advice.
The good news is that everyone on this site understands and is suffering grief and loss. You can always come and talk here.

Cheryl x

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Thanks to all for the replies.
You are all so understanding and really just get it, it’s awful that something like this brings people together but it does bring hope that there are still good people out there. Dad and I were always very skeptical.
I keep describing how I’m feeling as being in an ‘acid trip’, albeit I have tried it so it’s relevant, but it’s like this trip of memories both happy and sad, that just flash in my mind out of nowhere. I can be away in the bathroom and then I get a horrible flash of the last sight I seen which was Dad on his bathroom floor following a heart attack the day before. I know I need to not dwell on those facts. I know I need to take it day by day. I know I need to not put too much pressure on myself, but being such a natural busy person. Working, going to University and caring for Dad… I’m not used to all this time I have just now. I don’t know if it’s actually doing good, getting to try process or reflect, but then I think am I FK going back to work and having to deal with that look on people’s face. The anxiety is just so raw… I hear that so much with people in our sensitive situations. For me, I get these uncontrollable shakes, really sweaty palms, and it actually feels like I’ll pass out! It’s so daunting. Usually I feel better after a good cry, but the thought of that happening in social situations are still a no go. I was praying it’d be easier after the festivities but the thought is still as daunting as ever.

If you experienced going back to work yet, can you please share how it went?

Much love to us all, and I hope we wake up feeling more ourselves tomorrow.

I lost my dad last Thursday and I’m absolutely heartbroken, I’ve just had a baby in November and I’m struggling to cope I’m so numb

Hi. nataliemaria. You may have heard it many times already, but I’m so so sorry about your loss. What can any of us say that will help at this moment. You are in the right place and among friends. There is not one of us on here who does not know how you feel. It may not be any consolation at the moment, but if you look at the posts about losing parents you may derive a little comfort. It will only be a little at first. The feeling of numbness is like an after shock. Our minds kind of shut off to avoid too much pain. It’s natural and OK but can be frightening. You dad has moved on but is still with you and always will be. Nothing can replace him, but given time, the pain does subside. Honest!! Your baby needs you. A new life is so very precious. Please come back and talk whenever you want. We are all here for you. There may be some women who have experienced similar situations to yours. Take care and be kind to yourself.

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2 years after my dad passed I developed anxiety and panic attacks which I have suggested with ever since. I’m 54 now. So 24 years now Maybe connected I dont know. All I know is the death of a patent at any age us do painful and devastating. I think the pain and despair go on for ever. My mumnpassedc6 months ago and after being on sick leave when she was diagnosed with cancer to her passing 3 weeks later. I struggled on but have just gone on sick leave again. with my companies support. I’m sure people who have e not been through it think I’m brong pathetic but please know I understand your pain and I guess we all just have to give in to our pain . I’ve never been one to cry but I’ve cried buckets. I feel so stupid but we shouldn’t feel like that as we’ve lost such an important person in our life. We need to cry and grieve in our own time and ignore the ones who font understand xxxx

Watt92, apparently shaking is the bodies way of protecting itself for too much tension/stress. The shaking releases it away, so it does not damage the body.
In the first 2 weeks I had on-off shaking attacks and I googled it.

Hi Watt. My circumstances and my age are different from yours. But, the grief journey is the same!

When I went back to work, I stayed away for just 3 weeks after my husband died, (that doesn’t necessarily mean I am a strong person it simply means I daren’t stay away much longer as I didn’t believe I would ever go back at all if I extended my time off)! I made the effort, and it was an effort, to show my face a few days before my real return to work date. I did that because it substantially reduced the drama and upset I anticipated when seeing everyone for the first time and basically it took the pressure off on the day I returned proper.

I suggest you consider doing the same whenever you feel the time is, as right as it will ever be, for you to return. It really did make the day just a little bit easier. At least it did for me!

Don’t forget either, you can return and if you find that you’re unable to cope you can always take more time off. At least you will have tried.

The work hasn’t really been the big issue for me to be honest, (the respite from the grief, and the heartache that it brings), is probably beneficial I guess, the hardest part for me was, and still is, returning home to an empty house. If you didn’t live with your Dad, I’m not sure if you did or not, then you won’t have that feeling.

Only do what feels right for you in every decision you make and try not to forget your lovely Dad will be with you every step of the way now, and for always.

Love to you x

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I understand now that time isn’t supposed to be important, but for me it still is. Its the things that we miss that’s the hardest for me. My Dad was very involved in my life, more so than any family member. Then on my 18th birthday, Dad was rushed into hospital and later diagnosed with Emphysema and COPD. I spent the whole day sitting on his bed with him, not believing what was happening or even the severity of it all. I had no idea what it even was, never heard of it, I had no idea what to expect. Over the years, he just got worse and worse and it was heartbreaking to watch him fade away from the scruffy able biker, to a skinny man a prisoner in his own home. That’s where he loved to be though.

I didn’t live with Dad, as I’m 27 and have my own flat. The reason I chose my flat was because it reminded me so much of Dad’s place, the fire place, the ‘backy’, the views of the church and the trees out my window. The quiet. He’d have loved it but unfortunately never made it round. He was too ill and was housebound the last few years. He depended on me to bring him groceries, supplies and I went round to his for visits at least 3/4 times a week. In the last few weeks of his life, it had reduced down to 2/3 as I was up to my eyes in Uni work and working too. He didn’t even get to meet my partner, which was the next thing we were planning. He’d have loved him, he treats me with the same love and respect Dad did. Dad held me so high in his opinions, constant showers of love and pride. I’m missing that more than anything, just hearing him tell me how much I mean to him. He was so appreciative of me, and I to him, I looked up to him, he was my hero. The strongest man I’ve ever known, to have lived with his illness for nearly 10 years is so inspiring. He had bad days and lots of breathing attacks, yet he tried his best to never worry me. Despite seeing him being resuscitated a handful of times, calling the ambulance a few times too when he was struggling to breathe for hours. He never wanted to bother anyone, Doctors and Nurses included. Whenever he was in hospital, the nurses all spoke so highly of their best patient.

In terms of work, I had this thought too. I already had anxiety and panic attacks with the worry I had for him, and now I have it for my sadness and fear of life now. Like you, I didn’t want to stay off too long but I work in an extremely busy pub (Brewdog if you’ve heard of it) and that seems to be harder than if it was something a little quieter. I might try going in for a drink soon with my partner, it’s a good idea to try ‘face it’ and just to show face. Something I’ve not done in 3 months.

For me, it’s the loneliness just now. My Mum and Dad weren’t together, his mother is hospital bound now, his sister is grieving the loss of her husband and my cousin is taking care of her husband who’s newly been in a serious car accident. I have no one to grieve with. Sometimes I think if I had someone to cry with, someone who knows what it’s like, someone who even knew Dad that feels the loss with me.

Love to you x

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Watt, I was so sad to read your post, your words about painful thoughts jumping into your mind resonated with me. My sister died in July last year after 14 months of treatment for cancer. I was with her for every treatment, every appointment and every day, good and bad. My mind now plays it all, almost in a loop, from beginning to end, over and over and over. I torture myself at certain parts of the loop with ‘if only’ I’d done this here, asked that there, it may have helped her.’ After 6 months I am starting to manage the thoughts a little, turn them around (occasionally) to better days, I really hope in time you may be able to do the same. XXXX

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