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Sudden loss, how can I accept it?


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I lost my grandad very suddenly 3 weeks ago. I am 34 and he was 75, fit, healthy and full of life. He had a brain haemorrhage at home and was taken to hospital but never recovered consciousness, passing away 12 hours later. I managed to get to the hospital before he died and was with him, along with my mum and Gran. Although he was unconscious in the hospital, I felt he could hear us talking to him and although I didn't get to say everything I wanted whilst he was conscious, I'm glad I could say that to him in the hospital before he died, and that we were all holding his hand/cuddling him as he took his last breath and also playing his favourite country music track, which will stay with me forever. 

My grandad was a father to me, and words cannot describe how close we were and how much we loved each other. I am his only granddaughter, and I know how lucky I was to be so adored by him. I am very close to both my grandparents and my mum was their only daughter, so we were a small, close family. Grandad was very much involved in my life into adulthood, and that of my two children aged 11 and 9, both of whom have autism and are unsure how to deal with their own grief.

I am absolutely heartbroken and feel so confused as to how this could have happened to my hero. I woke up that morning with a grandad, and by the evening he had died. My whole life is shattered and I don't know how I can go on. 

I spent the first week in a total daze and hysterical tears. These now come in waves, but I don't feel at all that I have accepted that he is dead. I feel like subconsciously I am avoiding 'going there' and I know I need to face it to help me grieve, but I don't know how? I am prone to depression and anxiety, but before this I was in a good place. Now I feel well and truly depressed, no enjoyment in anything, constant anxiety and a heavy, yet empty sinking feeling. 

Along with my own grief, I am now beside myself with worry and heartbreak for my Gran who has lost her soulmate and best friend; husband for 56 years and together since the age of 15. I feel sick at the thought of what she must be feeling in comparison to my own grief and can't bear to think of her alone at night once I have left her house. Her whole, wonderfully happy life has been changed in an instant. She is strong on the outside and putting on a brave face, I guess avoiding facing up to it, but I know that once she breaks she will be a mess... but she will do it alone and I want to be with her! She is so independent and I don't want to smother her but at the same time I need to be there for her (and selfishly, I need her presence to help me grieve). I made a promise to my grandad last year that I would look after her should anything happen to him. I'm also beside myself with worry that something will happen to her and she will be alone and unable to get help. This thought is keeping me awake at night and tearing me apart.

Then there is also my mum to consider, who also lost her father in law the day after her own dad, and my children... also my husband who my grandad treated like his own son...There is just so much grief going on and I don't know how to cope with life. I want to face it but I don't know how to accept I've lost him and that I will never see him again. I hoped the funeral would help with my acceptance, but it just left me numb. I have wonderful wonderful memories to cherish and hundreds of photos that I can't stop looking at, plus 5 years of iMessages between us where we told each other we loved one another... and these are a comfort but it's still not my grandad, here and alive.

Please help me xx

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I am so sorry for your loss, I know it is great and he will continue to be missed.  While grief may be forever, it evolves and does not stay in the same intensity.  It takes time to process it, it's hard to absorb something of this magnitude.

There are books to help children with grief. 
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/11/using-childrens-books-to-help-with.html 

There are a lot of links here dealing with children/teens in grief. 
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/p/blog-page.html 

These in general, helping others in grief. 
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/p/blog-page.html 
http://griefhelp.webs.com/know-someone-grieving

Although this one is helping a parent in grief, it is applicable in your grandmother's situation, I believe.
http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/10/helping-grieving-parent.html 

I hope you will continue to come here and post, it helps to know there is a place that is safe and understanding where you are heard. 

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Lemonie, my dear, I too am so sorry to learn of the sudden, unexpected death of your grandfather. Clearly you loved him dearly, and I can only imagine the magnitude of your loss. I hope you will find your way to some of the resources Kay has offered in her post, above.

I understand your concern for your Gran and your mum as well as your children, but I think the best way you can help them in their grief is to take care of your own grief first. The more you learn about what is normal (and therefore to be expected) in grief, the better prepared you are to understand and cope with your reactions. I see that you live in the UK, but a quick Google search (I used the words "grief support in cheshire england") indicates that there are a number of bereavement support services available to you there, so I encourage you to reach out to one or more of them.You might consider finding an in-person grief support group in your community, and asking your mum and Gran to accompany you to a few sessions. These groups can be so helpful and informative. See, for example, Grief Support Groups: What Are The Benefits?  

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Thank you both so much for your replies. I will look into those links and hopefully the information will help in some way. My boss mentioned referring me for some counselling when it first happened and I think it would probably be beneficial to me so I will look into that or source it myself. Thank you, it has helped a little to get it off my chest and hear from someone who are not directly related to my current situation. 

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I am glad to hear you may get some grief counseling.  You are on my prayer list, I am just so sorry, it's hard.

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