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My Dad Died Yesterday. I Don't Know What's Wrong With Me.

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This Friday I turn fifteen years old. Today my older sister turns 18. My father died yesterday in his hospital room. He was diagnosed with cancer around five years ago. Luckily my dad beat the cancer and got a bone-marrow transplant. He improved over time, but experienced several close encounters with death. My father's lungs were weakened and damaged greatly because the bone-marrow transplant caused his brother's blood to fight with his own (like it should). However, he got another disease of his lungs which covered his lungs in scar tissue. Unlike our lungs, which are elastic-like and stretch to fill with air, my father's became too stiff with scar tissue. In the last week of August, my mother rushed him to the hospital at midnight because he could no longer breath, but was rather gasping for air. The doctors put him on a ventilator. At first I didn't think too much of it. I thought it was just another one of his episodes, and he would recover within a week or two. I was wrong. They sent him via helicopter to his main, and preferred hospital, which is one of the best in the country. When I visited my dad and saw him on the ventilator, it really hit me that he might not come home. He was sedated with the ventilator breathing for him. Over eleven IVs were in him to sustain my father. I found it increasingly difficult. We thought he would recover, but the doctors told us there was nothing more to keep him alive in the long term because the steroids no longer controlled my father's GVHD (graft-versus-host disease). On Sunday, we visited my dad. He was not on sedation, but was so weak the most we could communicate through him was through his eye movement and head movement (of which was little). He nodded his head when we asked him if he wanted to come off the ventilator. We first planned he would come off the machine and be shipped to our home for hospice, where he would die. However, he was too weak and we waited with him through the night. I am please I was able to say goodbye, and tell my dad everything i've ever wanted to tell him. He died at age 57 yesterday in the late morning. I was not there.

Now I am in another dilemma. I know there are different stages of grief. I'm pretty sure I already experienced the shock. I felt numb, sad and lifeless. I cried harder than I had in years yesterday. I don't like to cry about emotion things in front of my family, so i hold in my sad feelings until I'm alone. Now I am in denial. I still think my dad is at work, or simply at the hospital still. Even though my mind knows what is true, my emotions do not fully match how I know I should feel. Instead, i feel confused. I cried yesterday when I was in my dad's car by myself, but since then I have barely shed a tear. I can't seem to process the fact that my dad is no longer going to talk to me on the phone, or take me to my soccer games. It's the worst feeling in the world to feel like you should be crying, and to WANT to cry, but not be able to because your mind is so confused over the recent events. Could someone please help me here?

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You will cry, trust me. Give it time. I did not even cry at my mom's funeral. And she was and still is the love of my life but sometimes i will be sitting here thinking of her and all of a sudden i can't stop crying. My mom died in Feb 2008. Don't try to rush the healing process, we all go through it differently.

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Dear One,

I'm so sorry to learn that your beloved dad has died, and you certainly have our deepest sympathy. I want to assure you that whatever you are feeling right now is perfectly normal for you.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and there is no way that you "should" or "should not" be feeling or thinking or acting. Grief can be very confusing, even for those who have some past experience with loss, and it can make you feel very crazy and alone.

I'm going to point you to a thread that was started by another young person whose father died, as I think you will relate to its content:

Am I Crazy? I Feel Like I'm Not Dealing with the Loss I Suffered, http://hovforum.ipbh...&showtopic=4288

As for not being able to cry, that too is not unusual. See, for example, these articles:

Sibling Loss: Unable to Cry, http://bit.ly/9rTjg6

Widow Asks, Why Can't I Cry? http://www.opentohope.com/2009/03/10/widow-asks-why-cant-i-cry/

Mother Whose Daughter Died: ‘Why Can’t I Cry?’ http://www.opentohope.com/2008/12/26/mother-whose-daughter-died-why-cant-i-cry/

Shedding Tears, Healing Waters, by Drs. Blair & Rita Justice, http://www.uthealthl...tears-0426.html

I also want to share with you these noted authors' insightful statements about crying and tears:

Whether they are the result of joy or sorrow, tears are a response to emotions for which we can find no words. They reveal our most vulnerable self. When we cry we are releasing the pain of the loss, not the memory of the one we cherish. The most dramatic rainbows seem to follow the most severe storms. Now when my eyes overflow, I use a guided imagery technique to visualize my tears washing away the pain that I carry inside my heart and soul. And when they finally stop, I look for the brilliant rainbow of love and hope.

– Nina Bennett, in Forgotten Tears: A Grandmother's Journey through Grief

I used to wonder if there would ever come a day when I would stop weeping for my dead child. I thought of tears as a reaction to my feelings of deep grief. Gradually I came to realize that the shedding of tears was part of my healing, like a cool salve on a wound. My tears are my gift to myself, a way of physically acknowledging the love I have for my child, a way of saying, "I love you to the innermost depth of my being." Tears have an almost spiritual healing power, an expression of deep love for the ones for whom we weep.

-- Ann Dawson, in A Season of Grief: A Comforting Companion for Difficult Days

But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.

-- Viktor E. Frankl, in Man's Search for Meaning

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

— Washington Irving

Above all, don't be shy about crying. Crying is coping. In fact, I suggest you don't miss an opportunity to cry – it will be good for your body and soul. Crying is at once an act of cleansing and releasing. Your tears will remove some of the toxic byproducts that have built up in your body due to the stress of grief. I promise . . . you will feel better.

– Lou LaGrand, in Love Lives On: Learning from the Extraordinary Encounters of the Bereaved

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I am sorry you lost your Dad at such an early age. I lost my Dad when I was 14 yrs old. At that time, I wasn't so mature in my feelings yet as you are with yours, losing your father at 15. So I would say, Your Dad did a great job raising you, giving you your independent identity, hoping you would take care of yourself and in time would be able to work your grief through your actions into something he would be proud of.



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Everything you are experiencing is normal. I am 22 years old, my dad died 3 months ago. I also couldn't cry for the first few weeks. I walked around all day in a daze and shock. That eventually subsided and turned into constant crying and sobbing. Give yourself time. You will get through this. Also, the first few days all I could think about were my dad's last few days. My mind was always filled with "Scary" images and sadness when I thought of him. However, I promise you that will also fade and you will begin to remember the good, the happy memories.

Be kind to yourself, don't push yourself. One day at a time. We can do this.

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Hi - I'm so sorry about your Dad. My Mom recently died and she had some of the same lung issues with scarring and other things. You sound incredibly intelligent and articulate at such a young age. Don't worry about whether or not what you're feeling is typical or normal. We each grieve different but you will feel all the different stages at some point, sometimes several times. Just focus on making sure you have enough support in your life so that when you feel like talking, you have people who will listen. Forums like this are a great place to find support too. I don't know what I would have done the past couple months without the friends I've found online who are also experiencing a loss like I am. You've been through a very traumatic experience so make sure you take care of yourself and reach out to the people you love and trust the most.


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Hi there dear one!

You are so focused for your age, but at the same time, you have the need to be a kid.

I used to be like you and without giving away my age, I have learned alot over the years.

Cry, and be the real you. Others will fill in, trust me.

Your Dad loved you and is with you still in your heart and soul.

I found that a memory journal worked. Every positive memory, Every question that I wanted to ask, every frustration that I had felt over the years.

Put it down on paper. Share it with your mom, she wants you to be a kid.

I hope that this all makes sense.

Blessings and prayer to you and the family, you will be yourself and be fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is Kath's daughter talking. I haven't ever written on this website but I would like to try. I am so sorry about your dad. He must have been great. I lost my dad about 2 years ago and I know how it is to feel that sort of pain. You just have to think about all the good times you had with him and the confusion should go away. If you want to cry but cant, do something else to show your emotions, in a non-violent way of course. There is nothing more you can really do. I will keep you in my prayers.

-someone like you

PS: Have fun playing soccer. ;)

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I am so so sorry for your loss. You and your sister are so young. My dad died when I was 21 and my boys just lost their father at 17 and 19 years of age. It just stinks and isn't fair. Give yourself some time. It is a long journey and just know that your dad is just watching you and guiding you from heaven. My boys would do just about anything to have him back here with them but they believe he is no longer in pain, at peace and still guiding them through what he had already taught them and will continue to. Your dad sounds like quite a wonderful man and he will live on in you and your sister.

God Bless and I am so sorry


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I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved father. The grieving process is unique to each individual. Be gentle on yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are feeling. I recently lost my boyfriend who was 53. He had five children ages 13 through 25. I have a lot of contact with them and I see that they are all grieving in a different manner. There is no right or wrong. Try to take care of yourself and talk with you family and friends as you feel you can. My prayers are with you as you walk this new journey.

Peace, love, and blessings,


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My dad died two months ago, so I am going through the same things u are. I am a teenager, and am so young to loose a father. It's so hard and I always cry every day. Don't worry, crying is good. If you didn't cry, that would mean you don't love him. Crying is love coming out from you. Remember to write down everything you remember about your dad so you never forget. I keep a journal, and it helps me a lot. Each day is harder, but I know everything will get better. Remember to let your friends and family take care of you.



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Hi young friend!

Please believe me, there is NOTHING WRONG with you. Everything you've written about is very normal. Crying is normal, and not crying is normal too. It's harder for some of us to cry than for others. I noticed that when things in my life got quiet and there weren't anymore people coming and going, that's when my tears began welling up. (Then the phone rang and my tears went away again). It's all ok though because God knows how much I love my mom and how much I'm going to miss her. If you feel you can't cry in front of others, then let it out when you are alone. Don't force it, but don't stop the tears either. If you need to write to any of us we are here for you. You'll be ok.

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