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Guys, I can't do anything. It took me forever to unpack stuff from when my school break started on December 16th. I just got my room clean yesterday.

And guys...I write stories, and for a while, somehow even through my sadness, I was writing. Every half hour after working on a final, I would write. But once winter break settled in, the writing slowed, and now it's at this total standstill. I know I shouldn't be putting pressure on myself, but writing is what I LOVE to do! I'm hoping to make a living out of it someday. It's my dream, and it's a dream that my father very much encouraged me in. I think he would be sad to see that he (through dying, I guess) is stopping me from writing.

And I mean, I know everyone has "block" things every once in a while with creative stuff or otherwise, and I've had them before...but this seems to be different. I just...I'll say, "I'm going to watch _______ movie today," and it just never happens.

I spend hours on this website. Hours sleeping. Just sitting in my room staring at my dad's smiling, beautiful picture, and then I listen to my recording from him at least once a day. Every time I listen to it, I cry. That time of my day is the "grief" time, put aside specifically to grieve. But maybe I should be doing something else during grief time (there it is again, that dangerous word "should), like....actual grief work, instead of just listening to my dad's voice and bawling my eyes out and using thousands of tissues.

I think if I had my story-writing to do, I would feel a bit better, or maybe my grief would come through in my writing...I want to write, at LEAST, if not have the ability to set out to do something and do it. But I can't seem to write. The other day I wrote a page.

Am I being too hard on myself? I'm going to go look at the "Doing projects and staying motivated" thread.

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Chai, I'm going to try to address points from this post and your other post entitled The “me” Focus.

While I am not an expert on the topic of grief, I have had a good bit of experience with it. Unlike you, I am an old guy who lost his parents after they had reached old age, but I did lose my wife six months ago after a 3 year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59 years old, a little older than your dad, and we had been married nearly 29 years. At the time you came home on winter break I believe you were about one month out from your dad's death. If you are anything like me and most others here, you were probably in shock for that first month and it wasn't until later that the cold reality of your dad's death hit you full force. I was able to do more things shortly after my wife's death than I have been in subsequent months. I am only now starting to see little hints that I may be making progress toward healing. Your listlessness pretty much describes the way I felt for months, so if I am normal (and that may be a stretch – just ask people who know me) then so are you.

I have 2 sons who both had graduated from college at the time of their mom's death, but the younger son was still in school when she was diagnosed with cancer. She initially had a very good response to the treatment. The cancer was in remission for a short while, but it returned when my younger son was in his senior year in an engineering program. He stayed in school, but had a very difficult time, failing a class that had to be retaken in summer school so he could graduate. I also teach at a small college and have witnessed the difficulties encountered by students who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The next months will be very hard for you, Chai. I would suggest sitting out a term, or at least taking a limited schedule, so you can have time to deal with the loss of your father. You need to focus on yourself as you indicate in The “me” Focus. Your friends have not suffered the horrible loss you have, so you cannot expect them to understand your pain, but you've found some good people here who do get it. I am personally thankful to many here who've helped me more than they know.

I've rambled a little bit, but what I am trying to say is that I think you are normal and handling the situation that has been thrust on you as well as anybody would. Your passion for writing will return – and you are a very talented writer, by the way - just give it time. You are in my thoughts.


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Maybe Mike is right, that you may want to drop a couple of classes so you don't have so much stress unless you feel that would make you feel worse.

Just want to say that if at some point you change your mind about wanting writing as a career that your dad would not be disappointed because as a parent you only want what is best for your child and for someone so young you realize that they may not truly know what path they want to take.

When I first joined this website I probably checked it every hour. I think I was just looking for some validation in my feelings, but sometimes would be sad if no one had responded, like they should be on here looking for my problems. Now I usually just check it 3 times a day and I'm sure someday it will be less. But hopefully I can help someone, like people helped me.

Take care my young friend.

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Chai - I do believe that no one is harder on us then ourselves! I think we have all gone through, and continue to go through, the feelings you describe so well. If you had a physical injury, you wouldn't think twice about tending to that injury. A psychic and emotional injury also needs tending. What you're doing is your way of grieving, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it! In the first few months after Joe's death I beat myself up because I felt I should be "doing" more; I've come to realize, just a little, that I'm listening to my gut. I try to do as much or as little as I want to.

One more thing - I'm a correspondent for a newspaper, and was on a weekly deadline during the worst of Joe's sickness. I got those stories out, I have no clue how - then it dried up. It frightened me, because writing is my passion and my creative outlet. My editor was very understanding, and I took a couple of weeks' hiatus. In the interim, after Joe's death, I started a journal. Sometimes I could only write a paragraph. Sometimes pages of thoughts poured out. It was just that I had to express, even to no one by myself, what I was feeling and going through. It helped - and I hope this helps you, even a little bit! Peace, Marsha

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