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Still in shock after two months


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My dad was my rock and I miss him so much it hurts.  He died in a vehicle accident while traveling out of town.  Since he died at the scene and was out of town, notification was delayed several hours.  He was wearing dog tags for identification with my name and phone number and his wallet had my name and contact information as well.  The State Trooper and Coroner didn't use the obvious information because 'it wasn't appropriate to go through his wallet'.  No explanation for the oversight on the dog tags around his neck.   The phone call happened nearly six hours after he was declared dead at 7:44 am.  It was a shocking phone call and I had to call back after several minutes since I needed time to process the coroner's notification.  I thought it was a sick joke, but this is my second notification from authorities (my mother's death).  I missed calling him that morning because of an early conference call at work.  I forever regret not calling him when he left home at 6:30 am for his trip.  We talked multiple times a day and texted always.  My dad and sister texted all the time.  It was like the world stopped when he died.

After his death, my sister and I (both single) struggled with family notifications and arranging the funeral.  After the funeral, I wrote our 'Thank You' notes and completed all that was expected of my sister and me.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were heartbreaking, so we passed on celebrating.  Family moved on within days of the funeral and since they've never been close to me or my sister, I expected this.  My sister and I just slog through the days compartmentalizing so we can function.  I've read about the stages of grief, but my sister is stuck in anger and denial.  Friends just want to talk about something else or not talk at all.  With COVID it's easy for people to just stay away and not even call.  I've reached out, but no response from most of my 'friends'.  I'm putting it in quotes since they have been absent.  My dad's family are struggling in their personal lives (uncle died Jan 2020 and cousin's fiancé died 3 days ago).  People tell me that we shouldn't have gone to the scene of the accident.  The shock and lack of details required driving there given the colossal failure to notify in a timely manner.  I was told by the coroner that she had to go to a meeting so she would get in touch with me to complete the paperwork another day.  

People are distant or they ask me details of 'how could it happen?', 'did he die instantly?' or my least favorite 'you're the strong one and things will get better.'  I'm sick of remembering a vehicle that has his blood on the drivers seat and an engine that's crushed in from the impact.  I don't want to remember the towing service attendants telling me they arrived 15 minutes after the accident and he was 'gone'.  I'm crushed when people ask what killed him.  I wasn't there and discussing the details isn't going to happen. 

Not only do I have a hole in my heart, but now I have to keep pushing through to sort his personal belongings.  He's had 30 years in his home (no wife).  It's a daunting task to do this alone because my sister hasn't stepped foot in the house since we picked his suit for the funeral.  I've tried the 2-4 hours approach for sorting his personal belongings, but this is killing me.  It feels like it will never end. I just want this to end.  I talk to him several times a day, say 'good morning/good night' to his urn and then just want to curl up and stop the pain.   People seem to expect me to 'move on', but he was everything - my dad who was also our dad & mom as a single parent, best friend, coach and the man I looked up to my whole life.  I feel empty and lost.  I can't keep doing everything alone - I miss him and hate sorting, packing and disposing of his things.

I feel like a part of me died with him.

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14 hours ago, KenzieTX said:

I've read about the stages of grief, but my sister is stuck in anger and denial.

I am so sorry you are missing your dad and for the sudden and early death that has once again hit you.  I lost my dad when I was 29 and expecting my first child, he never got to meet any of his grandchildren other than one that died and one he adopted.  I felt like he missed out on my whole life, and theirs.  I hate that anyone else has to go through this, I miss him even though it's been nearly 39 years.

Stages of Grief and Other Lies That Don't Help Anyone | HuffPost Life
The Five Stages of Grief debunked
People handle grief differently as you can see in your sister and you.  Also, our grief journey is not stagnant, it evolves and changes and can even be back and forth in our going through it.
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/10/how-we-mourn-understanding-our.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html

Here are some other articles I thought you might find helpful:

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/04/in-grief-coping-with-multiple-losses.html

Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song

It helps to express your grief, to process it, so I'm glad you found this place and are able to voice yourself.  It helps to have a place of understanding where others "get it."  You mentioned that family/friends seem to have moved on or aren't responding, that has been many of our experience.  People are uncomfortable with death as it signifies mortality and that's not something they want to think about.  Not like WE like it any better but it's thrust upon us when we experience loss!  I've found grief forums and counseling helpful for that reason.  Grief can have a way of rewriting our address book...I wouldn't be hasty to write them off, maybe leave the door open for later but if you're not up to listening to them going on about mundane things, just let them know you can't right now.  Right now you and your sister are top priority as you make your way through this!  Be understanding and patient with yourself.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2015/11/in-grief-feeling-let-down-by-closest.html
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/friendship-why-i-not-longer-hold-onto-relationships-that-no-longer-serve-me_b_8027096

We will be here to listen and care when you want to come here. :wub:

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