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I am not finding resources that fit my experience. I’m not hit by overwhelming waves of sadness. My dad lived far away so I don’t daily have reminders in my routine that he isn’t there. He had been declining for years and so I am not feeling shock. However, I *am* irritated at people, I don’t want to put in the effort to prepare myself food, and I will cry at seemingly random times. Books and articles don’t seem to describe me— except that everyone grieves differently and there is no one right way too grieve.  Even with that, I would like to find someone who has felt like I do. Whatever that is. 

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I can assure you that although our grief journeys are as unique as we are, there is likely someone who has experienced what you are.  Random crying is very normal/common in early grief!  I broke out in tears w/o warning the first year and beyond following the loss of my husband.  Weird things hit us, things you wouldn't expect.  I remember having my car worked on and riding the shuttle bus back to work...all of a sudden the thought hit me that my husband had been on this same shuttle!  And I burst into tears!  As if that didn't turn everyone quiet on the shuttle!

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The fact that your dad lived far away indicates that on some level, you've grown accustomed to not having his physical presence in your daily life, so you're less likely to bump into reminders of his absence. And since his physical health has been poor for quite some time, again on some level you may have been anticipating and even preparing for his eventual death. I hope that, whatever you experience in the wake of his death, you'll refrain from judging yourself in how you are reacting to this loss. There simply is no right or wrong way to grieve ~ there is only your way, which you will  discover as you go along. It may help for you to try journaling ~ that is, writing down whatever reactions you're having, so you'll have a record of your own personal journey through this loss and a way to recognize your own progress. See, for example, Writing As A Healing Tool in Grief for some ideas.

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Thank you both so much! Although I intellectually knew this, these  very reassuring responses. It amazes me how grief is such a common human experience, and yet it feels so isolating. I found that page on journaling and all the related links there very helpful !

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  • 1 month later...

Hello @Cinderella, you are absolutely right there is no one way to grieve.  Everyone grieves differently.  Even one grieves differently at each passing of a loved one.  Now that I've lost both parents I sometimes look back at my experiences.  When my dad died 14 years ago, I was absolutely inconsolable.  Being that he was the first parent to go; that it was a stroke so completely sudden and unexpected, and at least I had my mom there and we could grieve together and she was my support.  With my mom's passing about a month and a half ago, I've noticed my grieving has been a little more subdued for a lack of a better word.  There are moments when I'm an absolute mess, but I've surprisingly been doing fairly well.  Maybe it's because I had months to prepare for this as she was fighting a losing battle with cancer; I don't truly know.  But as some nurses told me during the process that the moment she was diagnosed I was already starting the grieving process.  Grieving for her loss of independence, and grieving for the lives we had before she became sick.  And I also realize I have an estate process I need to deal with so I need to be of right mind during this time.  I also wonder if because I'm keeping her ashes and I haven't had a chance to plan any kind of service because of COVID that I'm putting off my full grief.  I don't know.  But to get back to your point, the grieving process is different for all of us, and don't let anyone tell ever you that how you're doing it is wrong.

 

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