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I can’t feel my dad anymore


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i lost my dad months before my 18th birthday, very suddenly. he died from a heart attack and i could have never seen it coming. i always feared death, dealt with my own suicidal thoughts due to depression, so death was on my mind often. i thought about the pain of losing a parent never being able to fathom the idea of that pain, never thinking i could ever go through that and make it out the same. this is the most painful thing i’ve ever experienced and my whole life has been painful. i have a lot of thoughts when i think about him, how i held resentment towards him for believing he wasn’t there enough for me, for not understanding me through my roughest patches, for rejecting his love because i have forever been incapable of accepting love. i think about how i took him for granted so much, i didn’t call him enough, i didn’t listen to his advice because i believed it was coming from a condescending place. why is it, that when someone dies you understand their words so much clearer? i just turned 18, it was the first birthday he wasn’t there for. i am growing and his advice has given me clarity but i can’t help but think about how he isn’t going to be there to see me use any of it, or to be proud of me. i can’t help but think about how he only saw me struggling and will never get to see me succeed. i thought there would be levels to grieving, stages, but sometimes i am numb to it. not necessarily in denial but just numb. then, i want to feel it because i feel like something’s wrong with me, but when i feel it fully it’s the most painful thing. i know there’s no guideline for these types of things, no experts, i just need advice. this just feels so, idk there’s no words to describe it. people also told me they feel their loved ones after they’re gone, they dream about them, they think about how they’re looking down on them. why don’t i feel that? i feel like i can’t pray when everyone is telling me to because it doesn’t feel real. he just feels gone and the god they’re speaking of just feels like someone who took him away. 

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I am so sorry for the premature loss of your father.  I lost my dad when I was 29, I can't imagine at 18, that was hard enough.  What you are feeling is normal in grief.  It is such an overload, we can feel shock or numb in the earlier time, and we can have what they call grief fog or grief brain, meaning our brain doesn't focus right for a while.  I didn't have a dream about my husband for about a year after he died, and we were so close and always together when not working, so not everyone gets dreams right away.  One thing I've learned, I can't make my dreams be what I'd like, I am sure there's someone who has studied dreams that might understand it better, but this I know:  it's not representative of how much you love him and miss him or whether he is thinking of you.  We don't all respond the same in grief.  

Our loved ones' physical bodies gave out, that's what happened, they didn't stop loving us or us them.  That love continues even after their spirits left their bodies.

 

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  • 9 months later...

When my brother died, I felt like I could feel him everywhere. I had dreams about him and could imagine him perfectly - what it felt like to hug him, what his voice sounded like....

But then when my father passed, I felt very much like you describe. I felt totally cut off and numb. I still haven't dreamt about him yet. I don't know why some deaths affect us differently but they do.

I also understand your feelings about prayer. After my dad died, I didn't feel like praying at all.  I used to feel something after going to church but I don't now. I still go and still try though - I am just hoping that it comes back someday. In the meantime, I just try to use that time to think about my family who passed away and recall good memories.

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I am so sorry for your loss, but glad you found your way here.  You don't say how long it's been since your brother died.  I didn't have a dream about my husband after he passed for probably a year, I couldn't understand why everyone else seemed to be having "visitations" but not me since we were so close and together all the time when not working.  We were each other's world!  But I've learned in the years since that it's not simple or cut and dried...some people have dreams, some do not.  Some people cry tears of release, some can't cry if their life depended on it, I have a friend who was married over 50 years, she lost her husband three years ago and has not cried.  She's not trying to hold it in.  I told her not to worry about it, it's not tears that are the measure of our grief.  We all handle things differently.  Some have studied how to redirect their dreams, not everyone is good at trying to do that, I haven't done that.  I figure it is what it is and my dreams are not a measure of our love or my grief.  I've instead learned to coexist with my grief, knowing this will be part of me the rest of my life...also knowing we'll be together again someday.  I look forward to that with a hope I'm glad I have.  

I felt God was a million miles away with George died.  I realized about a year later He was with me all the time, carrying me when I was dazed, shocked, anxious, didn't know what to do.  It was my grief obliterating God, and not God Himself.  My grief was so palpable I could not see anything beyond the end of my nose.  I was in a fog.  I could not watch t.v. for five years, could not focus to read a book for enjoyment for TEN years!  My ability to focus and be a good worker was never quite 100% again, good but no longer exceptional.  (Throw old age into the mix and it hasn't helped any!)

Please don't worry about your prayers, it will emerge okay...just continue believing and having faith...feelings never were a good barometer of anything to go by.  ;)

Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace...hopes for the good memories to bring you a smile and outshine the loss you live with.  They are our lasting heritage from them.

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