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First experience with true grief


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Hello, 

Apologies if this post is long and rambling......this is my first post here and first ever experience reaching out for true help in any way from strangers. 

My father passed away 3 days ago. He was my best friend and the single most important person in the world to me. I have lost grandparents who I was close with, aunts and uncles, pets.....all of which were tough......but this is crippling. During all those other times of grief my father was the one to get me through it. I still have a big family - 3 brothers, a sister, a mom, a great and supportive work family. But it is nowhere near the same. Not even close. 

 

I had a very good relationship with my father. We all did. We were never the overly affectionate types, but always greeted with a hug and always told each other i love you. He knows more about me than anyone, a lot of deep secrets, some of which i feel like i burdened him with now - although he always denied this. There were periods when i was distant and mean in my high school / college years. I'm now 36 years old now and tried to cherish him as best i could in the last decade or so. 

Yet here I am, overwhelmed with regret and guilt. I couldve called so much more. I couldve visited so much more. I couldve tried to have more special and intimate moments. His last 2 weeks were spent in the hospital where i was lucky to spend almost every minute with him. Held his hand a lot and got to say a lot of meaningful things. Got to tell him i love him a lot. Never got a formal "goodbye" because it ended suddenly, but i got more than most. None of this is any consolation to me right now. I am physically crippled. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I have lost 8 pounds in 3 days. I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing. I feel guilty doing ANYTHING. It feels like I am dishonoring him even though he was so proud of me. 

I'm sure these are all "normal" feelings during grieving.....but I cant fathom getting out of this. I cant fathom how anyone gets out of this. 

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I am so sorry. My dad died a little over a year ago now and I was completely overwhelmed by grief and undone by how physically painful it was. I felt crazy. I felt so guilty, I blamed myself, it felt wretched. The intense feelings you are having are a very normal response to the pain of losing someone you love, and those feelings will becomes less intense. The guilt and regret is also normal but please be kind to yourself because you are going through something really, really hard.

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Thank you so much. I have been reaching out to anyone and everyone who has experienced this for help. I tried to mentally prepare myself for it many times and simply couldn't. We always think we have more time than we do. 

The part about being kind to myself made me tear up. For some reason I don't think I deserve the kindness. I can't even look at my father's dog right now. 

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I had the same experience—not feeling like I deserved kindness. Or it made me feel guilty or even more sad. Maybe it’s just that it’s a reminder that something terrible happened. It helped me to say ‘this is really hard’ or when I felt guilty, ‘it’s really hard to feel guilty on top of feeling sad’. 
I’m glad to hear you have others to reach out to and I hope you are able to get some rest and take care of yourself ❤️ 

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Thank you. This whole experience is making me value the kindness of others like never before.  

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They are very normal feelings you are experiencing, and I know that might sound insincere because it's your pain and yours only. We all grieve uniquely. I remember driving home from the hospital after my mom died and I was stopped at a red light. I was just looking around at the pedestrians walking, at all the cars driving. People all around going about their daily lives. I just couldn't understand how the world was just continuing as though nothing had happened when the person that meant the world to me was just... gone. As time went on I remember the first time I felt okay, and immediately I felt guilt as though I wasn't allowed to be happy. I had just buried my mom, how could I feel any sense of happiness? It was the most confusing time of my life. I would have dreams she was still alive and healthy, then I would wake up feeling awful, like I was grieving her all over again.

It's hard to see now, and there will be times where the grief just weighs you down out of nowhere. For me it was like the huge waves of the ocean crashing down and taking my very breath as I tried to keep my head above water. But those waves will stop being as frequent and overtime they won't be as aggressive. I still get hit with a wave from time to time, and it's been over 10 years now since my mom passed away. But it's those moments that assure me she will never be forgotten and remind me to think of the better times. 

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thank you so much for that sweet story and reply. it means a lot to know that there is some light at the end of this seemingly infinite dark tunnel 

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11 hours ago, benf995 said:

although he always denied this.

We parents never feel burdened with our kids, we love/care about them and there is no end to our love, so I can imagine your dad truly meant it when he denied you were a burden!  We'd give our lives for our kids, w/o hesitation!

I am so sorry for your loss!  My hardest losses were my husband 17 years ago, all too young, and my Arlie (soulmate in a dog), they were very much in my everyday life, and now my sister...she was disabled and had dementia and I took care of her since her husband died, we told each other everything, were there for each other emotionally...I feel so alone now and no one to talk to. :(  It's that person we were closest to, she also knew everything about me, she'd known me all my life and we'd lived 10 miles apart for the last 45 years.  

She died 3/28 and for the first month or so I was in shock, my brain wasn't operating on full deck, as friends agreed! :)   It's been hard as she didn't have things in order, her will was 27 years old, she had my XH on as executor, we'd been divorced 22 years!  No POA, no signer on bank account.  Left everything split evenly between 9 nieces/nephews.  Super hard to deal with...I got my will updated last month as I don't want to put my kids through what the mess we're dealing with....so important!  Got Living will, medical directive, POA, signer on my account...done!

10 hours ago, benf995 said:

The part about being kind to myself made me tear up. For some reason I don't think I deserve the kindness.

One of the things I learned through my grief journey/s is to be my own best friend, now that my own died.  I learned to be patient with myself, understanding, kind...to ME!  We have to be our own best friend now that ours is gone.

Grief has a beginning but not an ending, instead we learn to live with the changes it means for our lives, little by little we adjust.  We are all different in our adaptability, it can depend on a lot of variables, such as the grief work we put in,  getting counseling, reading articles/books on grief, I'd guess even our family placement factors in! ;)  We can't expect a certain timeline as we're all unique.  I learned to take it as it comes, one day at a time.  I've lost most everyone close to me, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, niece, nephew, cousin, 24 dogs/cats, birds, two sisters, countless friends.  It seems the older we get, the more we've accumulated loss/grief. It doesn't end, it just changes form.

Grief Process
Words of Comfort
Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song

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Thank you for the kind words.....it was all very special. You've been through a lot, reading the story of your losses was heartbreaking. It's all very fresh to me right now.......it's making me question almost every life decision I have ever made. I don't want to be me at the moment. 

 

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Try not to overthink right now, you have a lot to deal with on your plate...just get through today, do today, then get up and do it all over again. 
Tips to Make Your Way through Grief

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