Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Feel like I'm not allowed to grieve

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone.   I don't know if this is the right place to post this but I have to get it off my chest. 

My mom (my best friend) recently passed very suddenly from a blood clot in her lungs in the beginning of January. She was not ill, none of us ever thought she'd pass away first. She was healthy and a vibrant soul.  My dad is/was the sicker of the two with multiple heart attacks and chronic health issues. 

My parent's relationship was never good.  They didn't know how to communicate,  didn't really like each other most of the time. Definitely not what you'd classify as a storybook romance.  My mom did a lot of the day to day business of the household.  She cooked, cleaned,  paid bills, kept the house running.  My dad didn't really let her participate in decisions, didn't tell her what he was doing or where he was going, once that I know of he was physically abusive.  

Anyway,  my dad has been a wreck since she died. It seems like he can't make a decision on his own.  He is constantly calling me crying or just being generally negative.  He says he misses her so much but then on the other hand talks negatively about her as well.  Nothing is good,  he has nothing...negative negative negative.  I promised him when my mom died that I would call him as many times as I called before which was about 5 days a week (but most of those times it was because I wanted to talk to my mom and I loved talking to her because she was such a wonderful person,  loving,  funny, caring, just a really special person). 

I feel like I'm having to constantly appease and cater to my dad and his greif. Due to this it is making it harder to accept and process my own greif.  It's stressing me out talking to him multiple times a day. I am at a point where I feel like I'm developing an ulcer due to the stress.  Never once since my mom died has he asked me how I'm doing with her loss.  It is just him and his negativity all the time.  

I need a break from him to process, but feel guilty because of his emotional fragility... though I sometimes question if it is real greif or him just feeling the loss of a housekeeper and maybe guilt due to the poor relationship they had.  

I just don't know what steps to take to be able to process my own stuff yet allow him his greif as well.  

Thank you all for reading and allowing me to vent.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've found the right place to post.  I am sorry for the loss of your mother.  It seems a mother is the glue that holds the family together, often the family historian, the person who has always been there for us and it is a profound loss that can leave us feeling like we're floundering.  

As you are discovering, relationships can be complex as your parents' relationship attests.  You can love a person and not necessarily always like them.  Just as you can be lacking in good communicative skills or application, but still have love for the person.  When we're married a long time we also become interdependent and I reckon your dad is feeling pretty lost without her.

You mentioned that your dad hasn't considered YOUR loss.  I'm sorry.  I have lost my spouse and I know when I was in early grief especially, it was so encompassing it obliterated everything else and everyone else around me...we can be rather self-centered in early grief by necessity...it takes literally everything within us just to barely survive this.  Losing a spouse is a different loss from losing a parent.  I've lost both, they were vastly different.  I want to add that comparisons don't benefit anyone, that to each person, their loss is the greatest.

This will be a good place for you to express your grief and know you are heard.  Many of us here have lost our moms, and I'm sorry you lost yours so young.  Unexpected death differs from death due to a long illness as you are totally blindsided and it can leave you reeling and in shock.

I want to leave you with this link that might help you with your dad...he needs to find his own way through grief and you can't be all to him, you are being a wonderful daughter as it is.  It might help you to have some limitations or boundaries with what you do for him.  A professional grief counselor could benefit him but not everyone will consider that. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom, and I hope you will find some comfort here, where you are among kindred spirits.

While it's good of you to be concerned about your father, as Kay has said, "your dad needs to find his own way through grief and you can't be all to him."

It's okay to let your dad know your own needs and limitations ~ reminding him that you're both mourning the loss of this person who meant so much to each of you, and while you understand his need for support, you are grieving too, and right now his needs may exceed your capacity to help.

It's okay to establish with your dad what you would consider to be an acceptable number of telephone contacts in a given day or week. You can explain to him that you have work to do during the day and you cannot be taking phone calls throughout the day. Decide what time is best for both of you, agree on what will be your phone time together and do your best to stick with that schedule. I don't know whether you live near each other, but either you can encourage your dad to learn what grief support services are available in his community or you can offer to do that research for him.  

Still, as stated in my article Consoling A Bereaved Parent, From A Distance,  you cannot “make” your dad do whatever you think is best for him. This is his loss and his grief, and he must find his own way through it. All you can do is find the best resources available to him and then gently encourage him to use them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...