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Lost Mom In May, Dad In October - I Am Lost


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This is my first post and I honest don't know where to start. My mom died in May '06 and my dad one day short of five months later in October '06. They would have been married 63 years one week after my mom passed. I am hoping perhaps someone has words of wisdom to offer.

I am the youngest child (adopted) and my parents lived in Nebraska with my older sister. I was the black sheep of the family and had to go do my own thing beginning at a young age. There were several years when my parents did not even know where I was.

I am now 40 and a successful paralegal, but I certainly took the long way to get here and put my parents through so much pain. Now that they are gone all I can think of is all the time I wasted when I was younger that could have been spent with them.

I have been burying my grief for months, and had not even began to deal with my mom's unexpected death from cancer (which we did not even know she had) when dad died, also unexpectedly. Although he had been battling cancer for a few years, they had always told us the cancer would not kill him (at least for a long time.

Both of my parents were basically incoherent when I got the two separate

calls that I needed to go to Nebraska if I wanted to see them before they died. In both cases, I stayed in the hospital with each of them almost 24 hours a day. Mom died in 9 days, dad in 3. Neither one wanted any sort of service so there were none.

When I said my goodbyes to mom, she did open her eyes so I do believe she knew I was there. Dad was coherent a couple of times so I hope he also heard my goodbyes. I was at dad's side when he took his last breath. I will never forget that sight and his dead face is in my dreams often.

I am a totally type A personality, classic overachiever and used to being at my best. Now, I feel completely lost. I can't concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes, my work is suffering, although no one other than me would probably notice. I stuff the tears back down when they come. I have always been the one that takes care of everything in my marriage. My husband is Air Force Bomb Squad and has been in Iraq two times and will probably go back in a couple of months. He has his own demons. For some reason I don't feel like I can share my grief with him as I have always been the one that takes care of everything so he does not have to worry about it while he is gone. I don't want him to see me this way, so I don't show it on the outside.

But, it is all starting to become so unbearably overwhelming. I sleep even less than I did before (which was not much). The frustration from the lack of concentration is almost as bad as the lack of concentration. The tears start at the most inopportune moments, but I am very good at stopping them.

My stomach hurts, my head hurts. Unlike most people, instead of not eating, I stuff myself.

I miss my parents so much, and did not appreciate them enough while they were here. The guilt is almost unbearable.

For being a normally very strong person, I feel so fragile and that is entirely foreign to me. I just feel like I have been hit by a truck.

I know this is long and rambling and it's a good example of my state of mind. No cohesion, no direction, jumping all over the place. I have so many feelings, but cannot voice them. I feel as though I am a shell of the person I used to be, that who I am died with my parents. I miss them terribly. Does this ever stop? Will I ever be normal again? This is eating me alive.

I just want them back, I want to be able to tell them how much I love them, that I am sorry I was such a rebellious, pain the ass when I was younger, to tell them thank you for adopting me and showing me a good life. But now its too late and I can never say those words, I cannot have that interaction and I feel horrible for not having said that when they were alive to hear me.

Thank you for listening to the ramblings of a crazy, disconnected daughter.

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Annette,

First of all, you aren't crazy. Everything you're feeling is completely normal. I would say that if you WEREN'T feeling all these things, THAT would be crazy! The not sleeping, stuffing yourself, crying, guilt...it's all classic grief. You've also had a double whammy, with your parents dying so close together. It will get "easier" as time passes. But I have to say it takes a lot of time, so don't push yourself or feel you're not progressing.

I know the "feeling lost" feeling, like you don't know who you are anymore. The only thing that occassionally helps me in that area is to look into the past (sometimes literally, as in pictures, diaries, whatever) and other times just thinking in my mind of things that happened and people I knew, etc. Just thinking about who you were. I don't think any of us will ever be the exact same person we were before our losses, but eventually, you will regain some balance.

I'm so sorry for your losses and I'm glad you found our board. I hope you come often to vent and tell us about what you're feeling. It really does help. You might even think of joining a support group where you live or going to a grief counselor. Just letting out your feelings completely is so important, and it's hard when you are the "in control" type (I know, I'm the same way somewhat). Welcome to the board, which we all feel is like a family.

Hugs,

Shell

Edited by shell
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Annette,

I am so sorry for both of your losses. When we are grieving we feel like a part of us is lost as well because our lives have changed so dramatically since the loss of our loved ones.

Like Shell said, you're not crazy and everything you are feeling is normal. I just found these boards yesterday and it's amazing how I don't feel so alone in all this insanity.

You sound like you have held in your tears because they come at the wrong times. Have you had a chance to cry when it's been a better time? I have been crying a lot lately and I hate it, but I guess it's natures way of healing the pain (I hope that's what it's for!).

Maybe a councelor one on one would be good for you. Also writing in a journal seems to help me. I keep a small spiral notebook in my purse and it comes in handy when I want to clear my head.

Take care...Lori

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Crying is so important. It's very healing. Try listening to some songs that make you cry. I find that music usually does the trick. If you can "trigger" your crying, it will probably give you a really good, long crying spell. I know it sounds weird, but you will probably feel better afterwards. Just get by yourself and let loose.

Hugs to all,

Shell

Edited by shell
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Hi Annette,

I am so sorry you are feeling so much pain right now, I lost my parents close together as well... My mom died in April of 2005, and my dad died in August of 2005... My mom died while we were in Las Vegas on vacation, She went into a diabetic coma and never woke up... My dad died on Non-hodgkin's lymphoma and died of complications of it.... But that certainly does not make any easier about yours or mine grief journey. I will say a prayer for you and ask God to help you get through your grief journey Take care Shelley

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Shell, Lori and Shelley, thank you all so much for your responses to my post. I do think it is helpful to hear how others are dealing with their Grief. I am hoping it will also prove helpful to be able to talk about how I am feeling as most of my friends seem uncomfortable with it and it's not something I have been able to share with my husband.

In response to some of your comments, I don't think that I am so much holding my tears in because they come at inopportune times as much as I am just not permitting myself to shed them. They come, and even if I am by myself, I stop them almost immediately. For some reason I am not permitting myself to process all of this. I am not sure if perhaps I feel as if I allow myself to grieve, I will lose what I have of my parents. Sounds kinda kooky but is all I can think of at the moment.

I did purchase a journal this week as I have heard it can be beneficial. I have made a couple of entries so far. I am hoping that it helps. I was thinking maybe if I can get some of the thoughts out of my head right before I go to bed perhaps I can sleep better.

On a positive note, I did take a shower this weekend. :) Last week it was four days before I figured out I had not even taken a shower or brushed my teeth. Gross!! Somehow, I just could not find the energy.

I know that you all are on this discussion group because you have also lost someone you love. Please accept my condolences to you all and my gratitude for your willingness to share your experiences with others in order to help us through our grief. Just knowing you are all there really does help.

Annette

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Annette,

I'm glad you took a shower and brushed your teeth! And, please, believe me when I say I'm not making fun! I think we all missed doing some basic things in the beginning, so you're not alone. But, seriously, it is a good sign. Just small things like that can begin to make us "live" again. At least do our daily routine stuff. In grief, any step, no matter how big or how tiny is a good thing.

I think I understand what you mean about not crying. Or if you cry then you're accepting it totally and having to face it. It makes it more real. It's hard, but you will cry when you're ready.

I'm glad you are sharing your feelings here. It helps so much, and the journal is a good step too. Things will gradually move along, so just take it one day at a time and be easy on yourself.

Hugs,

Shell

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Annette,

I am so sorry that you are going through this. Have you talked to a counselor or even your doctor? I think all of here can relate to these feelings that you are having. I agree with Shell when she says that if you cry that you will feel like you have to face it head on and that would make it more real; more final. When you are ready, you'll figure out what to do. There was a period of time when I was crying so much and so hard that my facial muscles actually started to hurt for days! It's certainly not fun and it can feel scary, but I think it's totally normal...especially reading these boards. I'm so glad I found these boards. I really do feel supported. And we are all here to support you, Annette.

Take care...Lori

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  • 2 months later...

Annette, i know how you feel, i lost my dad in August of 2005, my brother in law in september of 2005 and my mom in November of 2005. I have a brother and sister , sister in law and nephew and his wife. We knew that my dad had cancer and was dying, but we had no idea that my brother in law and my mother had cancer also. My brother in law and my mom must have been sick before my dad died but neither of them said that they did not feel good. When they finally told us that mom had cancer she lasted 9 days while my dad had it for over 2 years.I am the youngest of the 3 of us and took care of my parents because i was the only one not married. My parents were married for 55 years. I was 49 when they died. I would take care of them if i could have them back. My mom could not take care of my dad alone so i quit my job that i had had for 15 years. Cindy

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Annette,

Showering is good; I find it is the best place to cry. I wash away my tears and come out not feeling like I have been crying.

I am sure your husband has many demons to deal with; war is a constant reminder of death. My husband has had to deal with his father’s death and his grandmothers most recently. I have found myself just snuggling on the couch with him and I just start crying, we hold each other and suddenly we are talking about our losses and what we miss about he people we love. This group is amazing, but finding that one person you can hold and sharing with them is so good too.

Keep coming back and read as much as you can. It is all comforting. Write when you get the urge to share. It is a release of pain each time I share.

Janine

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Annette,

I too have spent many a baths and showers crying for the loved ones that I have lost... I find it is a place that is comfortable for me to cry and I know no one will here me there.... My one hope would be that everyone who is suffering from losing a loved one finds peace and hope for the future.... Take care and I will continue to pray for you Shelley

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