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Lost my beloved Dad suddenly. Feeling gloomy and helpless.


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At the age of 66, my dad was a charming happy man. Never worried, always helped people and loved talking to them. He had many friends, loved his wife, children and grandchildren a lot. He would do anything for his dear ones. Always a friend to me, ready to help me selflessly, a pillar to the entire family, he worked so hard to keep us at comfort. He loved eating, watching sports and comedy movies. I used to visit my parents with my husband and 2 kids once in 2 weeks and spent the weekend with them.

One night, he surprised us all, by just not responding to our voices. My dad went to bed after coming back home from a party his friends threw. Within 5 mins, my mom heard snoring loud voices from the bedroom. She rushed to the bed only to find him unconscious and did not respond to her. She was alone at home and called for help. Our neighbors barged in and called a nearby doctor and an ambulance. The doctor did CPR on my dad, he responded a little but again he started turning cold. Ambulance appeared and took him to the hospital. He was gone by the time they reached the hospital. Such a dreadful night. I live 10 km away from my parent's house. Got a call from my mom who was helplessly crying and asked me to reach the hospital. Me and my husband rushed to the hospital, me praying relentlessly for his health. On the way, one of the friend called me to say that 'he was no more'. I still feel like banging the speaker of my car that gave me this news. He had a massive heart attack. All in 10 mins, God did not give us a chance to try saving my father. God did not give a prior notice that he is going to snatch him away from us. He was all healthy and never complained of any symptoms even 5 mins before he passed out. Didn't believe until then that life can be so uncertain and unfair. Or are we the unfortunate ones? One chance or few more minutes would have given me a sense of satisfaction.

Unbearable loss. I am unable to imagine life without him. I feel very guilty for not spending more time with my dad. On the other hand my mom is devastated. She cries so much. I am always around her to take care of her. I am now worried about her health too. With COVID around I am unable to take her to a check up.

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I am so sorry for your loss, it's been 39 years since I lost my own and I feel he missed so much of my life, he was 62...my husband barely 51 when he also passed away, suddenly/unexpectedly.  Grief does tend to make me realize the uncertainty of life and how quickly things can change, it's like we're innocent before, never to be again.  

Your mom is going through the hardest things she's ever been called upon to do, there IS no preparing for the finality of death and losing your partner.  She will find her way.  I hope this helps you some...
Helping a Grieving Parent
Grief Process

Losing a husband is different from losing a spouse, she feels her life is shattered and it is.  She feels she has nothing to live for and that is natural right now, but this is a journey that is ever evolving.  I lost my husband nearly 16 years ago, at about ten years I wrote this article of the things I'd found helpful over the years, no particular order and not everything resonates with everyone, but I hope you'll give her this to print/keep as what helps on down the road may stand out to her more than it does right now.  I hope she will give it time, as we begin to adjust and learn to cope things can look differently to her, to you too.
 

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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Sorry about your loss Sheetal. I lost my dad April 19. I'm still comprehending the fact that I won't talk to him in this lifetime anymore. I did dream about him last night. He was in great shape in my dream. No more physical limitations. I hugged him as long as I could. He smiled at me. Not too tight he said. This is the first time I've dreamt about him since he passed away. I'm not equip to make suggestion on your grief. I know everyone grieve in their own way. All I can do is tell my own story. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sheetal, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My father also died suddenly, only a week ago, and because it could possibly have been prevented (we'll never know for sure) it feels unbearable. I had not seen him in over a year and a half due to Covid, which of course makes it worse as you mentioned. My dad was gone in a matter of minutes and I too feel like this is incredibly unfair. As far as your mom, it sounds like you are being really supportive but also at a loss as far as what to do to help. I can only say that continuing to check in and offering her a place to stay at your house. Perhaps she will come around when she is not so acutely grieving and ready to be around others.

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Eav, Sorry to hear about your Dad. It feels terrible to lose someone very dear without any notice. Few minutes is too unfair. Atleast they did not suffer too much. Hope we can get through this as soon as possible. Thanks for your support. Take care.

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