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Still Healing and Sometimes Hurting


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My 88 year old father died suddenly from Covid-19 at the end of December, just hours after being diagnosed and sent home from the hospital with a "mild case." He died on the floor of his bathroom, left there for several hours by his spouse, who said she "thought he was sleeping." In the immediate aftermath of his passing, I shed some tears, but thought I'd gotten over it. Then the other night I was going through a box of cards and found all the ones that my father had sent me over the years. I read his words and it made me sad. He was never one to offer praise in person or over the phone. Last night it hit me really hard, which led me to this site because I was a bit surprised at my reaction. As the eldest child in my mid-60s, I thought I had held it together pretty well, there to support my younger siblings and coming to terms with our loss. Something set me off last night and I found myself just weeping. I was a mess. My wife found me crying in my study, and as we talked I said it was difficult for me to be vulnerable with her. I don't know why. Maybe it's a guy thing? We went for a walk and I opened up a bit, telling her that I was alternately sad and angry, not so much that he's gone, but sad for what could have been. A difficult situation with our "step-mother" has made things all the more tragic as she has cut us out of any kind of service to honor our Marine veteran father. He was cremated and she won't give us any of his ashes for our own service in a military cemetery near where he lived, so there will likely be no "closure."

Right now I'm just a mix of emotions. I've turned to writing in a journal, just to get my thoughts down, thinking it might help get rid of some of the anger and sadness I feel. It's almost like all the things I wish I could have said to my father, but never did. This is all so new to me, and suddenly it feels just overwhelming at times. 

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23 hours ago, PhotoGuy said:

she has cut us out of any kind of service to honor our Marine veteran father.

I am so sorry for your loss...I lost my mom 6 1/2 years ago but my dad when I was young.  I relate when you say you grieve what could have been as my mom was difficult all her life.  I do find myself missing her and wishing I could see her again but I also know if I did she'd probably be driving me crazy with her inappropriateness.  Still, I wish it.

Have a service with your siblings, any close friends of his.  She alone is not in charge of honoring him.   Your writing in a journal, opening up to your wife (being vulnerable is good for a marriage, and yes, it could be a "guy thing." ;) I'm sorry you have a less than desirable situation with your stepmother.  

It's okay to feel angry, it can be part of our early grief, we feel gypped.  And to learn she didn't check on him when she found him lying on the floor like that!  That would be very hard to get past.  
I just read and posted this for someone else, I think it was meant to be that I read it this morning.  It's for us, not for them. 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692

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When my dad died, my siblings and I started a group text (there are four of us in all) and it was a good way to quickly share info. Last night I decided to do a check-in with them, in part because Sundays were the days when our father used to make his round of calls. I know one of my sisters in particular has mentioned that Sundays are hard for her as she misses those calls. I started a thread with a simple "How was everyone's weekend?" It went from there, and while there was little talk about grief, it was a way of connecting in a shared space. At the end I mentioned doing it again on a Sunday night and they all thought it would be helpful. They got the connection to my dad and Sunday calls. A positive step.

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That is such a great idea!  I have two sisters w/o texting and one doesn't have a computer (doesn't want one) so we can't connect that way but we do our best to connect through FB and phone calls.

 

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12 minutes ago, kayc said:

That is such a great idea!  I have two sisters w/o texting and one doesn't have a computer (doesn't want one) so we can't connect that way but we do our best to connect through FB and phone calls.

 

The other thing we've done a few times is a conference call via phone. Works well and so easy to establish.

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That is so cool, I hadn't thought of that.

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