Will it ever get easier?


My father passed away two days ago due to leukaemia that we only found out he had on Thursday. I’m struggling to comprehend that he had cancer and none of us knew including him, let alone the fact that he has now passed away. I feel like this is not real and my chest constantly feels tight, I don’t really know what to do with myself or how to process these feelings. So any help or advice or just thoughts I guess on dealing with unexpected loss, is chest tightness normal? Does it eventually get easier? What was helpful for you?

I just feel numb at the moment

Hi shazcu
I’m sorry you lost your dad so suddenly. It is such a shock isnt it.
I can assure you that the chest tightness and horror of the early days does pass. However you could still be feeling all sorts of emotions for some time.
I lost both parents very suddenly. Most recently my mum. She went into hospital for a day operation and I was picking her up the following morning. For a reason I will never know my mum suffered a severe bleed on the brain in the recovery room and died a few hours later.
I couldnt function properly for months. Even now almost 12 months on, I am permanently sad, dont want to enjoy anything, think about her from morning to night and still cannot believe it.
So, yes the chest pain and initial anxiety will go but the pain of losing them may take years.
I cope by getting through one day at a time.
cheryl x

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Hi. shazcu. Chest tightness is so often a symptom of anxiety which I suggest we all have after such a loss. It happens to so many of us and is normal in the circumstances. The chest muscles tighten up and we may feel we have some illness. If it worries you see your GP and get some reassurance. They can help with advice even if you don’t need medication.
‘How to process these feelings’. Yes, it is a process and allowing it to happen is essential. No ‘bottling up’ emotions. Unexpected loss can be so painful. When everything seems fine and suddenly it’s not is traumatic. Dealing with such loss as yours is not easy and it’s far to early to even to begin to understand your emotions.
If you have anyone close you can talk to then it can ease emotions just a little. Sharing is very important, and you can do that here in the certainty that everyone of the kind folk here knows. Take it as easy as you can. One day at a time at the moment. Blessings.


Thank you for your responses! They are so helpful and its comforting knowing I’m not the only one that feels like this. I’m just struggling to fully feel all the emotions as it’s a lot to process and to feel I guess. I think I’m subconsciously pretending it hasn’t happened. But just taking it one day at a time

You are right, just take one day at a time, even hour at a time. Those first few weeks/months you will keep having thoughts and feelings. Life will get better but you will always have that loving feeling. Take care of yourself. S

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Hi just to let you know. I know how you feel. Sorry for your loss. My mum died two days after we found out she had cancer. The shock is unreal. It’s been 9 months since mum died. The pain is not as intense. The shock is slowly wearing off. But I still have days where I go “I can’t believe that happened”. I’m more focused. Less haunted by flashbacks . The Bad dreams are less. But the ache in my heart is there all the time. I still cry most days. But I have ok days. And then not so ok days. I smile. I laugh. I can move forward a little bit. Then I might go back a few steps. But it’s not as awful as those first few dark months. It is a slow painful process. But those first few months are by far the worst and those dark clouds do lift slowly but surely.

My chest tightness is still there but that’s heartache I think. I read lots of books now which help keep my occupied. I took my time going back to work. I’ve started dieting and exercising. All of that has helped but has taken me a long time to get to that place as I used to overeat and drink too much. But I now want to feel better about myself whereas before I didn’t care.

Just don’t expect too much of yourself. Be kind to yourself and know that it’s all normal parts of grief

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Thank you <3 @SusieM


Yeah, we also found out he had cancer then he died the next day so I’m still processing the cancer let alone the death. I’m just shocked and feel like I’m currently in a bubble where I’m pretending it hasn’t actually happened and waiting for that bubble to pop.

I was thinking about exercising more to take my mind off it and to stop me from eating a lot of junk which is what I’ve currently been doing but thank you, I definitely need to be patient with myself


Hi, yes the excise thing is fantastic and if you can do it and keep doing it I applaud you because I used to run and now find it hard to get outside that door but I do other stuff, inside. I know what I should be doing but I also know what I find difficult. The junk food and too much alcohol is all part of grieving and with lockdown we are not alone but the outcome is increase in weight. I do know a number of people who have taken up running due to bereavement and finish doing marathons, if you can, just do it, you will feel much better. The results are worth it, so just do it. xxx

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