The reality has suddenly hit me

Hi everyone…
My first time in an online chat room and it’s because I’m struggling and don’t know where to turn. Four years ago I lost my husband in a car crash leaving me with four lovely daughters to bring up. I’ve coped with that. Then two months ago I walked into my 15year old daughters bedroom to find her dead in bed…seems she’d had a massive seizure and her heart just stopped. I buried her next to her daddy only last Tuesday. For two months I thought I was coping, thought I had the skills, the experience, to deal with bereavement, but since the funeral I’ve found myself falling apart. I’m suffering anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and physical problems which may be totally unrelated. I feel so alone as I’ve no one else to help me with the girls if I can’t cope. Everything feels like such an effort and I’m struggling to get through each day. Anyone got any words of wisdom?

Hi there, it’s my first time too. I only joined tonight and your message really struck a chord with me. I’m so sorry to hear of your terribly sad losses.

I lost my mum at the end of 2015 and it’s only just hit me. I’d spent so long being strong for my dad that I hadn’t come to terms with it myself. It’s impossible to believe she’s gone so I know what you’re going through as I’ve had all the same emotions and problems.

I wish I could offer some words of wisdom but I’m not sure they’d do any good. What I will say is it’s important to let all the emotion flow. Don’t bottle it up. Cry, scream, shout, do whatever you can to release all the pent up emotions.

I’d also suggest seeing your gp to talk it through, or see a bereavement counsellor. My dad got some amazing help from the local Sue Ryder bereavement team. Without them I don’t think he’d still be here and I totally recommended them.

Just remember you’re not alone.

Sending hugs x

Hi so sorry for your loss, and thank you for your message, understand everything your going though the sleepless nights depression and the anxiety have all hit me, especially the loneliness even when I have a house full of grandchildren, there are great for me as there always talk about nanny and aunty, and I look back at the weeks that have passed and think how did I get this far, some days I don’t won’t to do anything but curl up and cry which I do suppose I’m on auto pilot most of the time day by day, plus my 2 other daughters need my support and there are finding it hard as well, plus there have to keep an eye on me, and this site is a great help I just take each day as it comes don’t look to far ahead, do you have any counselling plus keep seeing your gp, and keep posting on here just let it rant look after yourself micky.

So, so sorry. It doesn’t seem to make sense for loved ones to be taken leaving behind such pain. I’m 8 months on from losing my lovely husband very suddenly yet feel at a complete loss still; the only thing I do is give myself a task for the day and focus on that. I’m always asking him what to do about things and have conversations all the time. I keep him close in my thoughts and his love in my heart and try to take him along with me through the day. I am getting used to him not being with me but I don’t like it and never will - but what can we do? These chats have made me realise though that I’m not on my own and my feelings are shared by many. Bless you all. Be kind to yourselves.

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Hi Depleted,

I’m so sorry to hear about the recent loss of your lovely daughter, as well as your husband four years ago. That is two devastating losses to come to terms with, and it is understandable that you don’t feel like you are coping.

I’m glad that you have found this site and I hope that you find some support here. We have other bereaved parents here - here are two conversations where you can find a number of them:

https://support.sueryder.org/community/coping-death-loved-one/losing-my-20-year-old-son-month-ago-0

https://support.sueryder.org/community/coping-death-loved-one/loss-our-son-aged-27

Do have a read and feel free to post a reply if you would like to join in.

The Compassionate Friends is an organisation that provides lots of support to bereaved parents, with local support groups, online support and a telephone helpline.

If there is anything I can help with, or you have any questions about this community, just let me know.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Isn’t it weird how your brain can hold onto something for so long before actually processing it. I have made an appointment with my gp and approached a counsellor. Having major anxiety about my health too, maybe made worse by this. It just feels so hard not being the me I used to be. I’m frightened of not being able to look after my other children.
I hope you find some peace about the loss of your mother. When we lose someone close it makes us have to redefine who we think we are, and that is a painful process sometimes! X

Yes I understand about wanting to curl up into a ball. I’ve started feeling like I can’t provide properly for my other kids, my youngest is 7 and I’m just not the mum I wanted to be for her, she needs fun and activity and I’m just tired and scared the whole time. I sometimes feel hat that is worse for her than losing her sister. If I could just feel strong but I’ve got all these physical symptoms probably all from my slipped disc but I can’t help in the sleepless nights worrying that I’ve got some nasty condition and will end up paralysed or something.
Thanks for getting in touch, I hope you are able to cherish the times with your grandchildren. Take care

Hi Billie
When I lost my husband four years ago it was the worst pain I’d ever felt… now, comparing it to losing my daughter, I’ve realised that it’s true that every loss is different. Losing my husband, the grief was full of loneliness and fear, you truly have lost half of yourself and you don’t know how to be any more, like you’ve physically lost a leg and can’t balance any more. I learned the importance of acceptance, gratitude for what I still had (my 4 kids), and I felt that he is still here somehow, just not in the house, but still a part of the family. The fear I think was about facing the resonsibility of bringing the girls up on my own. Anyway I learned to function pretty normally… but this time losing my daughter is different, apart from the sheer pain of loss I feel like I’ve failed as a mother, I feel guilty for every time I told her off in the past, guilty for every experience I failed to give her because I thought there was plenty of time for that… And I think it has brought back the fear from four years ago because I’m finding the anxiety crippling. I just don’t know if I can be a good enough mum any more. I guess it might be depression.
Anyway on the positive side I wanted to tell you that you can learn to balance again on that one leg. You are a whole enough person even on your own. Try to remember who you were before you even met him, that person is still in there. And you can do all that without letting go of how much you love him. X

Depleted, I’m not able to comprehend how you feel! Just facing the responsibility of looking after your children while in such pain from your and their loss and then another tragedy. Your children are so young too and you know you are being the best Mum to them that you can and your love is what they need most. You certainly haven’t failed. Depleted may be how you feel now but together with them you will replenish yourself. What you said about acceptance is true it is not possible to change any of this - for you or for me and I am trying hard to balance in this life that I didn’t ever dream I would be living. We become anxious and fearful when unexpected and unwanted things happen I suppose. I go to a Yoga class it is good for both mind and body it would be good if you could try it - concentration on slow deep breathing can calm us down. I hope you have support to give you a little respite from you responsibilities sometimes. You must take good care of yourself. Best wishes x

I’m so, so sorry to hear about your losses. Life is so cruel sometimes and having coped so courageously with the loss of your husband, it doesn’t seem possible that you could be dealt another body blow like this. Three weeks ago I too lost my husband unexpectedly - not suddenly, but over a period of 12 of the worst days of my life when he was in hospital and the news just kept getting worse every day. I used to think I could empathise with people who were in this situation but now I know I was wrong - unless you’ve experienced loss like this you have no idea how it feels.

Dealing with the loss of a child must be incredibly hard - you don’t expect to survive your children and I would guess that there are all sorts of different emotions tied up in your grief. Can I ask how old your other daughters are ? Can they help get you through ? Do you have any other relatives close to hand - if so ask for help. You need as much support as you can get and please do go and see your GP. Anxiety and depression are a natural follow on after such awful loss and I can tell you from my own recent loss that sleep deprivation is an ongoing problem with it’s own knock on effects. When you can’t sleep it affects your mood and makes the natural depression you feel, worse. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much patience with anyone or anything at the moment, and being tired makes the irritability worse. If you drive, it’ll affect your ability to concentrate and as you’ve already said you feel that everything is an effort. Please do see your GP, because he or she can refer you for counselling and probably prescribe something to help with sleep. I don’t advocate relying on drugs to get through grief, because experiencing the pain is the only way to get through it and come out the other side - but a little help with sleep and something to take the edge of is no bad thing. Please seek help and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need to talk - private message me if you like.

I’m really sorry about the loss of your husband. You sound a really brave and strong person…though to be honest I get a bit tired of being told that when I don’t really know what it means! Three weeks is so recent. I can’t even remember that time after losing mine, it’s all a bit of a blur, but I know I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and I’m guessing you’re doing the same. It’s never a case of getting over it, just becoming accustomed to the change.
My other children are 19, 17 and 7. My youngest was only 2 when her dad died. The eldest is away at Uni now and I miss her like crazy, and the second will be off in September…then it’ll just be me and my little one. Yet I still think of myself as mum in a family of six! It’s going to be tough to adjust to that too.
I went to the gp and he’s prescribed propranolol for my anxiety. Only taken one so far and I was scared of that too. I’m trying to avoid sleeping pills (not a drug taking type of person!) and spend long stretches of the night with my headphones on listening to inspirational stuff on YouTube trying to silence my thoughts. How have you been coping? I just watched that BBC documentary about sleep with dr. Moseley, great timing!
Take care and thanks for your message.

I don’t seem to be able to get through the night without leaving on the TV in the corner of the room and occasionally putting on the headphones - mainly old films and American comedy programmes we used to enjoy together. I know what you mean about trying to silence the thoughts. My brain doesn’t seem to switch off at all and I’m not sure whether I’m just trying to blot things out with other things.

Yes I know what you mean, I guess it is blotting things out but if that’s what it takes right now then that’s ok. There’s plenty of time for ‘facing it’. You’ll know when you’re ready to let things filter through. Or rather, it’ll just start happening.

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