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Lost My Father Last Week

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I need some help. My father died last week and ever since then I have had this overwhelming sense of fear that gets worse as the sun goes down. It makes it so hard to sleep. And being alone is really difficult. I'm at my parents' house, but my mom is in the hospital, so I'm here alone. (She fell and fractured her hip while my dad was sick a couple of weeks ago.) I don't know what to do to make myself feel better. I've tried everything from visiting with family and neighbors, to talking to friends on the phone until I can't keep my eyes open, to leaving the lights and the television on all night. I feel better when morning comes, but that only lasts so long. And what little time has passed has only brought minimal relief. Has anyone out there had a similar experience? Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Sorry to hear about your Dad, this is the start of something you will never feel the same again. I lost my Mom May 21, 2009 and I am a strong person and this has taken me over the edge of my emotional existance as ahuman being. I won't tell you it is all roses, and as I am learning and writing things in this chat site, you will find that there are so many people who will listen to you, give any help they can and we can all relate. it is amazing how something so tragic can make so many people feel comfortable. I don't know how old you are, but my susggestion is talk to your DR about this, as they can possibly help y0ou out. I have been under tremendous stress in the last 5 mths and I was taking over the counter sleeps meds that didn;t do much, as they never kept me asleep. Get some books from the library or buy some, you will want to read a little insight to what to expect. Everyone deals withgrief very differently, and some not at all. I am trying to get on my road to feel better, with a little therapy and meds to help me survive everyday. You will find a way, if not, come here and I know that someone, like myself will respond to you. I hope that I didn't scare you, but this is a journey of how much lover you can have for a person, I know now, what that feels like...


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Hi Nyc and Sherr,

My best friend, who physically isn't alive ( who just passed away unexpectedly) but I I will always have the soul / the spirit to live on here on this earth with me. I will do whatever my friend would have wanted me to do. To be brave. To live and smile and be happy inside.



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Dear One,

I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your father, your mother's hospitalization and the fear and loneliness you are experiencing now, but I want to assure you that what you are feeling is common and normal in grief. In his wonderful book A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis notes that "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."

In hopes that it will help, I want to share with you an excerpt from my own book, Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year:

Confusion, Disorientation and Fear

As the fog of shock and denial begins to lift, you will find yourself headed into the very heart of grief, and you'll become painfully aware of how very much you have lost. An entire gamut of feelings washes over you in overwhelming waves of sorrow. You are flooded with intense, raw feelings of anguish, sadness and fear as you realize that life will never, ever be the same. You may be flooded with questions, too: Why did this happen to me? How will I be able to go on? How will I be able to face the future without this person? When will I get myself together? You may be flooded with bittersweet memories: all the things you would have, could have, or should have said and done, and now will never be able to say or do. You may have difficulty concentrating and remembering, and feel incapable of making the simplest decision. You may experience nightmares, dreams, and phobias; you may fear that you're going crazy, and may even want to die.

Suggestions for Coping with Confusion, Disorientation and Fear

  • Know that it's normal to ask such questions, and you need not expect to have all the answers. Asking such questions can be the beginning of dealing with loss.
  • When you feel anxious or afraid, recognize this as a natural part of the mourning process. Your confidence in yourself and your sense of safety in this world have been shaken by this death.
  • Be gentle with yourself; don't push yourself too hard, and don't expect too much. Remember that you are physically and emotionally vulnerable now.
  • Take some time off if you can.
  • Surround yourself with helpers. If there are others who can take care of details and help you get through the rituals of death, let them do so. If you prefer to be alone, say so.
  • Focus on your own survival, and take it one day at a time.

As for your difficulty with sleeping, I encourage you to read this thread, and be sure to follow the links mentioned in my post there: It's One A.m. And I Can't Sleep Blues

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