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I was browsing the net to look for some kind of help to cope with losing my Dad unexpectedly on Easter, and decided on this forum because there is a Pet Loss section which has weighed heavily on me in the past, though not right now.

Its only been a day, but I am sort of standing around not knowing what to do with myself. I cant concentrate on work of course and seem just generally confused. Thanks.

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Oh Cricket... you lost your Dad on Sunday?? I'm so very sorry. Of course you will be feeling all kinds of emotions right now. We all know what you mean by lack of concentration and confusion prevailing.... We have all been there. So please know you are not alone by far.

(In fact I lost my father on Easter Sunday a few years ago.)

We're here for you and just go very easy with yourself. But as far as feelings are concerned... pretty much anything goes. So allow yourself to express whatever you are feeling.

We are all here for you. So when you can or want to... please let us know how you are doing.



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Thank you Leeann.

Some of the times I feel the worst is when I have to deal with my sister, who is making a social event out of my dad's death and making an ass of herself also. I realize she's grieving also but it makes my pain and anger much worse when Im in the same room as her. When Im alone in my parents house, I feel good, and feel like my dad is stading right next to me. But my sister's hectic, melodramatic energy throws all that off. She and I have never gotten along and I couldve predicted this happening when one of my parents died.

Because of this I'm dreading the memorial service on Friday, I wish it was already over, I dont want to watch my sister bring further indignities to my family. Has anyone had sibling problems like this?

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My sis was great through the loss of both of my parents. So I'm quite blessed there. But I have seen other extended family members dealing with something like you are now.

I will tell you what I told them...

Your grief is your own and theirs is theirs. Everyone is different because your inidividual relationships to the one who passed are different. No use comparing.... just focus on your own grief, feelings and expressing those and experience the final rituals in a way that you need.

Just remember... everyone processes & expresses their grief & feelings differently. And that's ok. Just try real hard not to compare your grief to anyone else's or anyone else's grief to yours. I found comparing my grief with others' to be counterproductive and made me feel worse. (And that is still true today.. I still must guard against that.)

My grief is mine. I don't expect my sis or anyone else to feel the same as I do and I don't expect them to feel exactly as I do.

Focus on you and your Dad and the love you shared while he was here and the love he still feels for you and you for him.

Your sister's actions or behaviors are not yours and will only impact you as much as you let them. Sure she may not do things in a way that you would.. but.. that is NO reflection on you or your parents. Her behaviors and grief are ALL hers and yours are yours.

If you need to ask a cousin, close friend or someone else to do some of the things with your sis that you find difficult... that's fine. And when you are with her... just try to think.. "what would Dad want?" And if the need arises... gently remind her of that.

And of course.. come here and vent all you want.

(((((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))))))) I'll be thinking of you as we get closer to Friday and know.. that day, I'll be holding you especially tight.


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LeeAnn, Today is the memorial service and your post really made me see things differently- I realized (and need to keep in mind) that my sister's actions arent mine, and wont be associated with me. I keep a good distance between us because if we have to interact she is chomping at the bit for a fight over anything she can think of. I need to practice taking her with a grain of salt and moving on to the next thing instead of dwelling on how angry she's made me. There's no point in it and it ruins me anyway. She is really venemous and spiteful and is acting as if my dad's death is a chance for her to be in some kind of spotlight. But thanks again, your post did help me get a better perspective on things. And thank you emptyinside for your thoughts.

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Cricket hope you fared ok during the Memorial Service. I know it can be a real rough day. Now maybe ... take some time to rest... pamper yourself a bit. The rituals are now over... and so the grieving begins.

We are here for you.



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the memorial service and the afterwards-coffee at my parents house was overwhelming. I hope most of the people that offered to help my mom in the future actually come through. At least I had the luxury of stepping out of the focus of all those people- my mom had to talk to every one and say the same things to every one- it looked exhausting. I think people should visit the family one by one, one person per day, instead of in a wave within 3 hours. It's impossible to manage emotionally.

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Oh Cricket I know.. it's just exhausting and what's worse is one is usually feeling very exhausted before those 3 hours even start!

I remember not having my butt hit a chair at all for hours after my Mom passed. Kept thinking "Why did I wear these shoes?!"

Just utterly weary once it was over.. like way beyond tired.

So make sure your Mom is catching a nap at least for a few days or hitting the sack early.

3 hours is crazy really. I kinda like the Jewish traditions more. Sitting shiva is a bit more reasonable. It's spread out over days and one can go lay down for a bit without feeling totally guilty about it.

The Thank Yous can wait a bit... don't push it now. You're all exhausted. Plenty of time for that. Plus when you do start them... just do a few at a time until the next day. I found spreading that job out makes it more tolerable.

And by all means... if folks offered help... definitely call them or urge Mom to call them when she needs some help. If she doesn't have anyone yet to take care of the lawn.... look into that for her.. at least temporarily. I mean she may want to do that herself.. but for right now.. it would be nice if someone else could do it for her for the 1st couple mows etc... At least til she recovers a bit.

And YOU.... go as easy as you can. I know you are concerned about Mom and probably will be helping her... but keep yourself as well rested as you can. Don't forget to eat... go to bed early... and just let your feelings be whatever they are. Don't judge them. If you have some emotions wellling up.....let the tears rip because they themselves are healing.

As far as helping Mom... kinda let her take the lead on what she wants to do & when. And just be around to help with whatever she wants help with. Some things my Mom wanted to do on her own and with others she preferred some help. So keep your communication lines as open as you can and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. (((((Hugs)))))


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Yesterday was my first day back at work and I felt like I was just barely there, just going through the motions. I dont want to deal with anyone, friends or otherwise, at all. The worst part is that I think I should be visiting my mom more but dont want to leave my apt. at all. She's very understanding but she still wants me around, I can tell. This emotional process is much less in my control than I thought originally.


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Oh Cricket I know. The getting back into the regular daily routine after losing someone so near & dear is horrendous. And our society expects it to happen in 3-5 days. Please! I don't think ANY of us are "ready" in such a short time. But...??? We have to do what we have to do. But I also don't think it is good to isolate too much afterwards either. Cricket.. I have learned.. it's a balance that I must shoot for. Some alone & down time mixed with interaction with and helping others.

I know about the tendency to want to stay away from others and isolate a bit. I did that too after I lost both of my parents. When we lost Dad... I wanted to help my Mom but I also wanted to crawl up in a ball and lick my wounds.. by MYself. I didn't get too much of an opportunity to do that at first though. (Later on?? Sure.. I did get that time.)

I think the fact that I was a wife and Mom helped & hurt me. I had to get moving back into the kid's activities etc virtually the next day. And I still had to do the mundane but necessary laundry and grocery shopping... etc. So I was busy but limping badly through it all.

Yeah.. it wasn't pretty.. but I got the stuff done that absolutely needed to be done.

Then.. there was Mom. The first weeks.. we talked on the phone.. everyday.. sometimes more than once. She had questions.. or she would ask if I could do some phone calls or other things for her. And some of those I could have done from home for sure.

The week after we buried Dad was busy. I went down to Mom's house probably... 3 out of the 5 days. But mostly that was so we could kinda "organize" what needed to be done. Thinking back... I could have done much of that over the phone if I had to. And I ended up taking some of the Thank You's home with me. We split the remaining ones up between the two of us. (Sis had taken some also to do when she returned back to her home out of state as well). That first week I think I went down so much because I was concerned for Mom and how she was. She didn't balk at me coming down... and she normally would have told me I was doing too much running around. But that week?? She let me pamper her a bit.

The next week though??? I got the "You are doing too much running around." LOL So.. I think I only went down once during the week and then on the weekend. From there on out... it was mostly only on the weekends that we went down to her.

And then I got more wound licking time to myself.

So.. Cricket ... we are all different. But if you sense Mom is wanting you to come down... why not flat out ask her what she needs... when she would like to see you.. what she is concerned about etc. And then work out something that works for the two of you.

If she has NO idea when you are coming.. she may end up feeling worse. But if she knows.. you will be down on the weekend or any other definite time.. she may feel reassured. And call her... sometimes a call is almost as good as a visit.

But establishing when you will go down to see her might make things easier for both of you. You will know that you have "x" amount of time to yourself and also that you can be around Mom for a bit to help her along. It is definite then.. and things being firm may allow you to relax knowing your need to be alone is balanced with helping Mom and being out with others for a bit.

Also after the first week... I was thinking it might be good for Mom to get out of her own house.... So.. I invited her up to our house and she did come and I could tell it was good for her. She enjoyed it I think as much as anyone can "enjoy" things that soon after losing someone. But I think our kids & getting out from her own four walls were a decent distraction & good break for her. (And having her up and just having a day of NOT thinking about death or funerals or estate business for a day at least.. was a good and sorely needed break for me too.) So in the back of your mind maybe think of some light and simple thing you two can do out.. like get her out of her house for a bit. Not long now... just a quick walk or a lunch out at a simple place or have her to your place.. etc. And then when you sense she may need that... you can go ahead and present your invitation.

We settled into a semi routine after the first couple weeks after Dad passed. But it took lots of good & clear communication on both of our parts. I had to tell her when I wasn't up to coming down and then choose a time when I thought I would be able to. (I have a chronic illness and really at times need to watch how I expend my energy. And more than once I showed up at her house only to be met with a wagging finger and "You should get more rest." LOL Course... she was probably right. LOL)

But.. it was hard for her too to get that "balance" too. She had to be able to tell me what she needed and any help she needed as well. If it was up to her.. she thought she could do EVERYthing herself. Which.. really wasn't realistic or even possible. (Mom asking for help... ha ha ... THAT was difficult for her and I had to gently prod her a bit over that. It was tough for Mom to accept that she needed help with some things... but she ended up letting me know after MUCH reassurance from me (and my hub) that it was OK to need and ask for our help.)

So it just took some clear communication... making little to no assumptions about each other..and some patience and we managed ok.

I remember once after one of my cousins lost their wife.... His adult daughters kinda moved in with him for the week after their Mom passed and right through the funeral. A day or two after the funeral he out and out told them, "Girls.. you are loving me TOO much. I love you too... but you need to go home." LOL The girls then laughed and saw that he just needed some alone time.. and packed up their stuff and left.

Everyone is different. None of us have "done" this before.. so we make mistakes. But it really isn't making mistakes so much as making adjustments. And I'm sure you will in time find the balance between alone time and time spent with Mom or others.

I will admit though.... in the very beginning... I mostly spent time with my family and my Mom. I really didn't want too much contact with anyone I wasn't very close to. And that I think was true for quite a while... likes weeks & months. I think that's kinda normal. We are vulnerable and hurting.... so we kinda just want to spend time with those we trust & love the most.

Go easy.. you will find a balance Cricket.... And of course we're here to help too.



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Thank you LeeAnn for all your effort. Your posts do help. One of the worst feelings I have right now is that I feel like a layer has been stripped off of me, and that I'm incredibly fatigued and a shell of my former self. I feel reduced in every way. I don't even know what to do to make myself feel better. I feel like Im forcing myself to do simple tasks and would rather lay face down on the floor and sigh. haha.

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Yup.. unfortunately.... feeling absolutely raw in every way is "normal" for now. And yup.... wanting to just lay down.. and forget the whole thing is kinda "normal" too.

In two words?? It stinks.

And it is supposed to... unfortunately...

It's the nature of this grief beast.

It won't feel THIS bad forever hon... hold on to that.



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Thanks. Im taking a couple days off work tomorrow and friday, but last night at work couldnt even concentrate, wasnt doing nearly the job I normally do. Ive read a few sites that list the stages of grief and they say that the stages might not come in that order for you. It makes me doubly sad to see my mom trying to be super-bouyant for her kids when I know she wants to collapse like the rest of us have been allowed to do. My lease in my apt. was coming to a close and I wanted to move but cant fathom it right now, so Ill stay here a while longer while I get my head together.

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Cricket great idea to take some time off of work. It's wonderful to be able to do that... so I agree.. if you can... definitely do that.

Lack of concentration.... that's typical too. Heck I still have some of that... but to be fair.. some of it could just be from being a woman of a 'certain' age or a Mom of teenagers. lol

But I know in the beginning... I had to write down everything.... literally. (And I still do that!)

Yeah I don't think there is a "particular" order for any of the stages. We are all different and believe it or not... how we go through them can change with each loss we experience.

I'm glad your Mom is "bouyant" at the moment. Don't assume though that she just wants to collapse. (Remember what I told ya before.. watch making assumptions). Sometimes initially survivors may experience a "relief" that the dying process has come to an end. But for whatever reason she is feeling that way.... you won't really know until you ask. Her wanting to "collapse" may not come til later.. or at all. Just depends on the person.

And I also think you are very wise to go ahead and renew that lease. Moving is stressful.. and looks like your plate is a teensy full in that department right now. So if you can hold off on that for a bit... probably a good idea.

Try to get some decent rest in on your days off.



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Hi LeeAnn

Yes these days off from work have been a god send, Im a teacher and need to be constantly turned on mentally, theres no room for even sitting back to relax a minute. The worst part is that I know what I should be doing but dont have the energy to do it, I just want to lay down somewhere soft!

Today is my dad's birthday, he wouldve been 75. I have miniature breakdowns about every 2 days. I feel ok in the mornings when I naturally have more energy but at night I am very vulnerable to that sinking feeling. I keep checking "The 7 stages of grief" to see where I am and if I have moved into a different stage, I want this emotional drain to be over.

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Mini breakdowns??? Every 2 days??? Are you saying you are having a decent cry then?

Because .. that's pretty darn good if you ask me! LOL

I wouldn't worry too much about the "stages" if I were you. We don't always do them in order and we can revisit certain stages many times throughout this process. We don't necessarily do them in any particular order either. We kind of flow over them and through them innumerable times as we go along. And all of us are different.

Everyone one of us wants the emotional drain to be done. But the emotional drain is the pain of the loss. That takes some time to adjust to. The intensity of the pain may change.. but on some level we will feel the pain of missing them.. always. Sure right now you are feeling raw but that won't last forever.

Today is a hard day too because it was Dad's birthday. So... I'd "breakdown" (mini or not) .. all you want.

And the "I should be doings"

Yah.. that's familiar to me too. I kinda had to let go of those and just do what was absolutely necessary and then know.. really know..I was doing the best I could. I had to understand that was enough... on any given day or time. I knew beating myself up wasn't gong to help me. So I chose to let go of that.

We all do what we can when we can. So give yourself permission to be human and let the shoulds, woulds & coulds be for a bit. Do what you absolutely have to and then maybe pamper you a bit.

We're soul wounded and I think we need to heal up just like we would with a physical injury. So use your energy wisely and when you have exhausted your supply for the day.... rest.

I sincerely hope you are having the weather we are having today. Nice and warm and sunny. If you are... let those rays kiss your cheeks.

If you aren't find another way to ease your pain and find something to do to help yourself heal a bit. A nap would count... :) So would a bubble bath... or your own personal relaxing music concert.... etc.



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Cricket, dear, I agree with Leeann's suggestion "not to worry too much" about which stage of grief you are in. Many authors have written about the so-called "Stages of Grief" ~ you mentioned seven stages, and most of us have heard about the five stages of dying originally described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her still popular book, On Death and Dying. Since that book was first published (in 1969), many people have taken her findings much too literally, expecting the dying process to occur in neatly ordered stages, one following the other.

The stages of dying originally described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross are:

1) Denial and Isolation

2) Anger

3) Depression

4) Bargaining

5) Acceptance

As wonderful as her groundbreaking work in death and dying was, Kubler-Ross's "stages" model was never meant to apply to those who are in mourning. Her studies were focused on patients who were terminally ill and dying. That is a common mistake you will find repeatedly in the literature still today. But there has been a wealth of research done since Kubler-Ross' pioneering work that focuses specifically on bereavement, loss and grief.

We now know that grief is the normal response to the death of a loved one, and it doesn't happen in neatly ordered "stages" as such.

Most of us who specialize in grief counseling prefer to think of grief as the personal experience of the loss, and mourning as a process (not a single event) that can affect us in every dimension of our lives: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and financial.

Everyone's grief journey is unique, and there is no specific time-frame for it. Although grief is different for each individual, finding a way through it successfully requires some knowledge and understanding of the normal grief experience and the work of mourning. That is one reason why you'll find this site so helpful, because so many of the posts here are packed with useful information that comes from the hearts and minds of people who have walked this grief journey before you, learned some very valuable lessons, and are willing to share their hard-won experience with those who come after them.

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Thanks for clearning that up- the internet can so easily twist information and then twist and re-twist it.

Some of the worst episodes I have involve watching my sister take control of my mothers life and give her no say in the matter or any common respect. Shes bulldozing through my moms life and its sickening to watch. She does it under the guise of "helping" when in fact she wont even let my mom finish a sentence or voice an opinion. She has always been like this but now its worse. I cant stand to watch it, but when I visit my mom tells me shes happy to have me there, just so she can have someone basically decent to talk to. It makes me imagine scenes of when my mom dies, which will be a huge, ugly deal.

So far I feel like mourning is like catching the flu plus an emotional component.

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Cricket.. yeah.. your sis sounds like a challenge...

However.. your Mom has choices too. She can allow this bulldozing or not. All you can do is just what you are doing... be there to just listen to her and provide her with your love and support. And it sounds like Mom really is appreciative... so you must be doing things real well with her. Good for you!

I wouldn't worry too much about when your Mom passes just yet. You will be able to take care of yourself with your sis. She will impact your well being about as much as you let her. You sound like you are empowered and aware of her tactics... so I wouldn't be too concerned about the future.... you have enough on your plate right now I would think.

Don't forget to take care of your own needs too... 'the flu with an emotional component'.. so rest up....get sleep etc>>>>


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Dealing with the after effects of my Dad dying has been awful. I had jury duty yesterday, but got sick with a flu on the weekend and spent it in bed. I slogged through the jury duty and went to work at 6:00 after a long day of trying to get myself off a case. (I'm a teacher at night). At work, a problem student who has been testing me since the beginning of the semester, very immature guy, finally pushed my last button. (In addition to being sick, having jury duty, being an emotional wreck, my cat got a urinary tract infection and we nearly killed each other when I tried to unsuccessfully bring him to the vet last week. He's still sick.) So I lost my temper with the student and shouldnt have as a teacher, but as a human it was my last straw. I feel totally smashed down today, emotionally. Im sure the flu was a result of not eating right and all the stress. I cant see the light at the end of this particular tunnel.

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Oh, I forgot to mention my finances are in ruin because I havent been able to work as much. Theres no part of your life that goes untouched when someone dies. And truthfully, I'm delaying dealing with his death, just swallowing it until I can take it apart a piece at a time, but I know this isnt a healthy approach.

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And truthfully, I'm delaying dealing with his death, just swallowing it until I can take it apart a piece at a time, but I know this isnt a healthy approach.

Who says it isn't a healthy approach?? For you.. it might be the exact right thing for right now.

Cricket.. (((((hugs))))

We all do this at our own pace and in our own time and way. There are no "rules".

We all have enough to deal with in the beginning... I don't think we need to add self criticism onto the pile.

So...try to relax a bit about how you are doing. I truly think you are doing the best you can right now.

YES... you are human and I know you feel badly about it losing it with that student... but... just do what you think is best in regards to that student.. and then.. move on past it. You ARE only human. (And ya never know... you may be helping him in some way to mature a bit.. so please don't beat yourself up over that.)

I agree.. there IS no area of our lives that remains "untouched" by our losses. It gets into every nook and cranny. It's like fog... it whispers into everything.

You ARE "dealing" with your loss. Just remember dealing with it involves simply waking up each day and breathing. You are feeling it.


Maybe you might want to express it a bit more, is all.

And writing to us here is a good expression of it but perhaps you need to express your pain a bit more than you are. I know I found if I wasn't expressing it enough (for me.. tears mostly but sometimes music,, screaming in the shower.... etc) I began "losing it" in other areas of my life and people "caught" my lack of expression in outbursts etc....

If I didn't take time out to express what I was feeling... what I was feeling came out ALL on it's own when & where I least expected it and didn't want it to.

Then I'd have to apologzie and start to express it more on my own.

I had to learn... tears are healing...not a weakness.

I also expressed my pain in conversations with my loved one that passed. I'd tell them what was going on.... how I felt.... and tried to "listen" to hear what they would say. I had to "make" time for myself to just allow what I was feeling inside..... out.

So right now.... what would your Dad do if he was standing in front of you? What would he say? (I'm guessing.. but I bet a hug would be one of the 1st things...)

Let him do it and let him say it. He's still right there... just doesn't have that body that wasn't working anymore anyway, to walk around in. Otherwise... the rest of him is right there.

Let him help you Cricket.

This is a hard time no question. But I found being hard on myself, only made things worse. So try not to judge you or your grief. You are doing the best you can and that's all anyone can ask.

I promise you it won't feel this awful forever... better days are indeed coming. Hang on to that.


We're here for ya.


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