Trying to celebrate my son's birthday

My son turned 18 today. What should have been something to celebrate has left me feeling very sad and deflated as my dad is no longer here to join in with wishing him happy returns.

Lastnight I sobbed uncontrollably (a lot lot more than usual). Over this past weekend I’ve found more and more displeasure with EVERYTHING. Today I thought I would make an effort but struggled in the restaurant as all I wanted to do was go home. I still feel like half my body is missing since he left us. My favourite pastime is to sleep. I sleep so much that I end up effectively with a sleep hangover. I would rather sleep as I can escape the crap reality of what is my life.

My friends have stopped calling or messaging and they are evidently busy with their own lives. My sister just keeps telling me she is still in shock and as for the wider family calling in or calling up hahaha don’t make me laugh!. They had their day of sausage rolls and cups of tea and getting their petty remarks in. My dad is gone and I find myself wishing I could be with him (I have no active wish to end my life but I can’t bear being without him). I wish I had a time machine …don’t we all!!!. I’m considering going to the doctor but they aren’t much help, they had a helping hand in not prescribing correct meds for my dad so I don’t hold up much luck with them. I’ve tried other support groups but was patronised into being told losing my dad was like winning the lottery.

I just feel this life I have now is so different from before my dad left me and I don’t like it. I have work, part time uni and other interests to keep me busy but can’t help but think. Is this really it??? I’ve reached out to my friends but nobody is forthcoming in getting in touch. I feel like I have the plague or something.

I just wondered how everyone else copes, it’s been 4 (strangely long) months since my dad left us. I’m fed up hearing the “it’s early days” clichés and such like. If this is early days then what the heck happens from here on in. All I know is, I hate feeling this way

Hi Gayle,

I feel exactly the same as you. My mum,daughter and partner were my world and it was crushed when my mum died suddenly of a catastrophic brain hemorrhage on 14th june.
I simply cannot believe that a spritely and happy 74 year old can be taken in the blink of an eye.
We all lived together and the house was great, either I was with mum here or my partner was with mum or my daughter was with mum.sometimes we were all here together and it was a lovely life. Mum had company when she wanted and her own living room when she wanted her own space.
My life has changed forever in the last 15 weeks. I am permanently sad and cannot enjoy anything which is a shame as my daughter is only 12 and I’m trying for her but end up in tears many times a day.
I have no idea how long it will take for me to pick up a semblance of my former life and I constantly ask myself how mum can have been taken so suddenly, why I didn’t see signs that a massive stroke was on the way, how can I never see or speak to her again.
I look forward to nothing and rarely raise a smile. Hearing cliches like…your mum wouldn’t want you to be so sad…your mum would want you to live your life…its rubbish. Mum would want to be here living with us and laughing with her beloved granddaughter…
I have every sympathy with you Gayle. I cant know exactly what you feel as your relationship with your dad was unique to you but I can get pretty close.

Cheryl x

Thanks Cheryl for your message. I keep going over in my mind why I couldn’t see that my dad was losing his fight to live. He kept telling me that his body was shutting down. I’m really not sure how much more obvious he could be. A sudden cardiac arrest took him from us. I would give everything just to hear his voice and I can’t even remember what he sounds like. I know he wouldn’t want me to be sitting here crying into my phone as I type this reply but it’s really painful. I understand exactly what you are saying as my dad wanted to live to see my son start his first ever job and turn 18 and he was robbed of it and there is nothing I could do to change that. Its so hard to try and reassemble a different life without him in it as he was such a big part of it

Hi Gayle,

Not quite the same but I do understand how you feel - my mum has been gone 6 months and her birthday is on Wednesday, it is also my sons 10th birthday on the same day. Whilst he is so excited and I have to pretend to be excited too, deep down I see it a cruel reminder that there are no shared birthday parties this year and no mum to buy presents for.

People say it’s still early days and yes it may be, but this was your sons first birthday without your dad and so the feelings must be very raw for you and it is a change from his previous birthdays so of course you are bound to be upset…I do hope you manage to enjoy his birthday as much as you could though xxxx

Hi Gayle

I know it’s so painful.
My mum did all my childcare, had dinner ready for whoever was around at teatime and in return we took her everywhere we went, days out, holidays etc
She was so funny and I have no idea why something would decide that she had to be taken from us. I imagined she would ge with us for 15 to 20 more years as she had managed to escape cancer and any other awful diseases. Our lives are destroyed by her absence and this is the 2nd parent that has just disappeared from my life with my dad dying of a heart attack when he was 53.
I should be enjoying my life instead I am so miserable and just cannot see another 30 years of life ever being good again.
The only thing I will say, and it sounds the same for your dad, is that they went quickly and didnt suffer. Mum had no idea she was dying. She fell asleep during a local anaesthetic for a routine operation and never woke up. I was expecting to bring her home the following day.
I’m sorry that we have to go through this. People say to me, soon you will remember your mum and smile at the memories. No, I wont.she has been taken far too soon and was so desperate to live. I thinking all the elderly people who are wanting to die that wake every day (my uncle was one who just wanted to be released from life but his death dragged on for weeks) and then my mum who was making everyone laugh on the day she died thinking she was going home after an outpatient appointment. Life is very unfair but I’m trying to keep life normal for my daughter who has been through enough sadness these last 3 months.
I hope you get some better days soon x

Hi tasha,

They are so young to be without their grandparents. I lost my last grandparent when I was 26. My daughter has none now.
I hope your soon has a good day. Luckily their day and their presents is what they focus on at this age.
Cheryl x

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Hello Gayle,

I’m so sorry to hear about all that you are going through. It sounds as though things are very tough at the moment and you are feeling overwhelmed.

I’m glad that you’ve been able to share how you are feeling here, and I hope that you find the community a good source of support. Everyone here is coping with the loss of a loved one and will understand some of what you are going through.

We also offer online bereavement counselling to members of this community. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this service here:

Take care,


Online Community team