Hi - I’m a little older than you (46), but found myself in much the same position in 2015. My Dad had suffered a brain injury as a result of treatment he had for cancer 12 years previously. He very nearly died twice back then. My mum was his carer. Then, on her birthday in April 2015, my Mum was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma (caused by asbestos). She lasted just 4 months. The care of my Dad was left to me (I’m an only child), which was tough as I have a young family and a demanding job. My Dad really couldn’t cope on his own even with the help I was providing, and I’d reached the point where I was going to have to force him to go into care. It was heart wrenching. I had an appointment for social services to assess him. He had no idea about it but, mercifully in some ways, he died the previous day from a massive heart attack.
I was very close to my parents and, as you might imagine from your own experience, I was in quite a mess after all that!
I had some counselling after my Mum died. It helped. I haven’t revisited it following losing my Dad and, if I’m being honest with myself, I am struggling to come to terms with it I think. My career suffered as a result and there are times when I well up at the slightest thing (writing this being just one!), but if its any reassurance to you, those moments are becoming further apart. The other thing is that its taught me what is important in life. I used to focus on my job. Now I focus on my family much more and I am planning to retire much earlier than I was.
So, there are certainly some positives that are starting to emerge. The important thing is not to feel guilty when they do. Accept that there will be moments when you struggle, even years afterwards. Filling as much as you can of your life with positive experiences will help to rebalance you. The feeling of loss I don’t think will ever go away; its a question of balancing that with some happiness, which will come.