Will I ever cry?

My Dad was my best friend and at the end of November he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which turned out to be a very rare, very aggressive type and after a short time spent in hospital (with no visitors allowed) he passed away within 34 days just before Christmas, aged 73. Luckily he’d been allowed home so at least spent his final two days with my Mum.
As the eldest of 3 siblings, I took on the role of supporter, organiser, communicator and went into overdrive before he died trying to get any medical information I possibly could that might help him. I was scared and cried in these few weeks but since then I’ve internalised all of my grief after what have been a very difficult few months since he died suddenly from a cardiac arrest.
My Mum has been totally broken, and so my two young boys and I moved in with her for 3 months (I’m a single Mum with a demanding, full time job) I honestly don’t know what was worse, the pain of losing my Dad or seeing my Mum so utterly heartbroken, he was her childhood sweetheart and they’d been together for over 50 years.
To make things even harder, we all came down with COVID (most likely from the hospital) on Christmas Day, so that alongside the shock and grief was almost unbearable.
It’s now 4 months later and we are all still going through the painful journey of coming to terms with life without my Dad, but I have somehow buried the grief and haven’t cried once since the day he died, not even at his funeral! My body seems to be dealing with it in other ways, I don’t sleep, I have terrible muscle pain, I’m anxious, I’ve started to have panic attacks, I can’t concentrate at work, I have such a short fuse with my kids…I just wish somehow I could release this enormous knot of grief inside me but I don’t know how. Is this normal? I feel so confused and worried this will never end!

Hello Amy,

I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. It sounds as though it has been very tough to process the loss of your father and best friend while supporting your mum and the rest of your family.

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 has experienced the loss of a loved one and will understand some of what you are going through.

Sue Ryder offers an online bereavement counselling service. 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: www.sueryder.org/counselling

Take care,
Online Community team

Hello Hazel
I’m so relieved to read your post. I thought it was just me. I am exactly the same. Mum was my best friend. I cared for her when she got dementia. She had to eventually go in a home. The guilt was immense. I visited daily for at least 2/3 hours. When she died I was with her the whole time. I dreaded it. I had an initial cry and once after the funeral (not during as I was acting as if I wasn’t involved at all?) and since then I felt numb. Blank. Like you, I wish I could sob and let out all the horrific grief. I have had a few cries but it’s not enough but it’s sort of “stuck” I feel the tight throat the immense sadness but tears will not come out properly and it’s now gone 3 years. Unfortunately it seems to have manifested itself in me suffering terrible anxiety and panic attacks. I have seen GP who just wanted to give me pills which I was reluctant to take - nobody ever mentioned this is part of the grief reaction. It was only when I went to counselling someone told me anxiety is part of grief and very normal… I envy people who have tears welling and streaming out but my theory is that the shock and grief is so immense we kind of bury it and pretend nothing happened and I almost feel it’s too bad to even cry if you know what I mean. . I always thought grief was floods of uncontrollable tears - I’ve since learnt it’s so much more. It’s physical. I’m so glad you posted. This forum is fab a real source of comfort and support and I hope you find this too. Take care of yourself. X