first of all thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post and sharing your experience. it has given me such comfort (in a very strange morbid kind of way) knowing that I am NOT the only one feeling this way about the “triggers”.
i don’t think you sound pathetic at all…you’re 52 and i’m 42, but i’d sob like a child when i’m hit by any of the triggers.
avoidance is one of the tactics we all seem to adopt into our daily lives, especially at this very early stage…my father passed away last month, in January so just like you…i am still feeling rather “raw”.
i live in the UK but my father (and my whole family) is in Malaysia…so I am spared the pain of being geographically close to familiar places…and his grave, but I still carry with me a lot of memories and I am still reminded of him by all those things i mentioned in my original post…
and dreams! you mentioned dreams and i do have dreams of him too…seeing him and him not seeing me, or looking for him and i can’t see him in a crowd of people and i’d always wake up crying…sometimes these dreams make sense and other times they don’t at all, and i’d spend hours or days obsessing over them.
i refuse to take anti-depressants as I was suicidal when I was on them 2 years ago. so i decided to improve my diet, take supplements, practice mindfulness meditation, do some yoga/pilates and surround myself with good people.
like you said talking about things absolutely helps…and i’m giving this online community a go as well…as sometimes, i feel like i’m taking too much of other people’s time and it can be awkward for other people to know what to say when you’re talking to them face to face on “real time”. so i think having a “rant” on here could be just as therapeutic.
i have seen a therapist last year while my father was very ill and also for other trauma/loss issue. and the therapist said something which i found very liberating - she said you just NEED to grieve, don’t fight it, don’t deny yourself the pain/hurt/tears and it IS normal and if you don’t grieve properly…it will rear it’s ugly head at some point in your life. there is no time limit, no right or wrong way to grieve and it is personal. my mantra (if i can manage it after the sobbing) is “THIS is what grieving feels like” and i give myself a hug or get a hug from someone else.
and my therapist also told me about the “Models of Grieving” - the PRE-loss and POST-loss. perhaps it’s something i need to revisit and i’d suggest you do too
hang in there…everything is going to be okay…