Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

New To Group And Have Questions


Recommended Posts

Re have lost both parents within 4 years, my dad just recently.

My Mom passed Mar 2, 2006. She had been diagnosed with cancer the year before and within 9 months was gone. My Dad passed June 2, 2010. I feel like I barely got used to Mom being gone before Dad got sick and started declining. Although he was declining for awhile (Alzheimers) his death was unexpected. One day I got a phone call saying he had a stroke and 3 weeks later he was gone. It took me by surprise. Now I find 2 months later

that I am not coping very well. However everyone else seems to have moved on.

1) One question I have is about sleeping. I don't sleep well and have not since Dad got sick. How long does this last? Is there anything I can do about this. I have a teenager at home who seems to like coming in and out at all hours and feels that my problem sleeping is my problem not hers. Perhaps she is right - any suggestions.

2) I have had a lot (a lot!) of people suggest to me, in different ways that I should just be over this. He had been sick for awhile, I should apparently have expected that he would die, and certainly I should not be feeling any grief now. Or if I am I should just put on my big girl pants and get over it. I stopped talking to anyone about this cause I am tired of hearing that I should be past this, or should be happy he is at peace, or should be happy because my life could be a lot worse.I guess all of these things are true. I just don't find them helpful right now. How should I be dealing with this? Are there methods for self healing? I am over 50! and am tired of being made to feel like a baby because I am grieving my father (and mother) - I don't think I am that needy, I mean the day my dad died ( I got the call at 5.13 a.m.) I got up as usual and went to work because there was no one to cover the office and then I came home and cooked supper and did the laundry the same as any other day.

3) We have had a complete family breakdown since the funeral. With my sister only wanting to deal with my brother and I thru the lawyers. Anyone else been thru this? My friend thinks she is doing this to get attention. Hubby thinks it won't last and she will be calling again in a couple of months. I can't get anyone to understand this is for real. She has gone thru periods of not speaking before but this is the first time she has officially announced thru a family friend that she wants no more contact. Its like a further loss. Any ideas how to cope or deal with this?

4) I have mood swings during the day. They don't really seem to be related to anything in particular. I will be fine and then all of sudden feel horribly sad and lonely for a couple of hours. I seem to be ultra sensitive to any slight or harsh comment. Most of the time (except for the not sleeping and the mood swings) I seem to be normal, so I don't think I am depressed. Is this normal?How long will this go on for?

Everything seems so different from when my mom passed. When mom died it was like my grief was acceptable because she was young (in her early 70's) and she was very dramatically ill. Some of the things people are saying about my dad, they never said when my mom died. And I feel differently too. Its not the same dramatic grief - I cried a lot when my mom died. Now I just soldier on every day like a little trooper, I feel like crap but I can't seem to let it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no time limit as to how long one can grieve! After all they are our parents! You are not acting like a baby and its not something we can just snap out of! I know people probably think I'm crazy too, but I lost my mom in June and I don't think I will get over it for a very long time, if ever. My whole life has changed! People on here understand though! Take it a day at a time and cry when you have to! As for sleeping,I finally had to get some med from the doctor. It does help. Maybe you can join a support group through hospice in your town or see a grief counselor! Sending hugs your way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi CherylAnn

I have also lost both my parents. My father two and a half years ago to cancer, and my mother six weeks ago. My mothers death was sudden and completly unexpected. You asked some questions, which I will answer from my own experience. But remember everyone is different, and NOBODY has the right to tell you how quickly you should be "getting over it". Many of these people will not have lost a parent, let alone both. It is only those of us who have, that can even imagine the emotions experienced.

OK. Now for your questions. But as I have already said, everyone is unique. There are no exacts. All I can do is tell you my own experience.

1) Sleeping. Like yourself, after my dad was diagnosed I had trouble sleeping. To be more exact, getting to sleep. It would take me anywhere between 1 to 2 hours to get to sleep. Then I would wake constantly throughout the night. After he died, for the first few weeks I hardly slept. Then I reverted to the patten I had when he was first diagnosed. It was a good six months after before it got to be anywhere near normal.

My mom passed six weeks ago, and for the first week afterwards I hardly slept. Surprisingly, by the second week I was sleeping much better, although again it was taking a good hour or two to fall asleep. For me, I have found the mornings when I first wake up to be the hardest. I get an intense feeling of loneliness, yearning and apprehension over the future.

2) My family and friends have been very supportive. But it has only been six weeks. I bet the people who are suggesting to you that you should be moving on by now have not lost both of their parents. Just because your father, like mine, had a long illness before passing, doesn’t make the pain any less when they do pass away. I’m 48 and I know it is going to take me a long time to get over the loss of the two people who loved me no matter what. As for methods of self healing, what would work for me, may not work for you. For me, I have found comfort in looking at a photo I have of my mom and dad taken just a year before dad was diagnosed, and talking out loud to them. Talking about anything from the type of day I had at work, what I think I may have for tea, though to how much I miss them. I also get comfort from this site, reading the posts, and communicating with others who do understand that this kind of loss is not something that just goes away after a set time limit.

3) I’m sorry to say that I can’t help you with this one. I am lucky in that my remaining family are supportive. I am sorry that you have this to handle, on top of your grief.

4) I have mood swings through the day as well. I always seem to wake in the morning feeling very down. After an hour or two, I tend to be ok. But at any time through the day I can suddenly go from fine to sad, lonely, tearful, or a host of other emotions. This can be set off by something tangible. For example I was shopping and passed a brand of biscuit my mother liked and had be pick up for her, and realised I no longer needed to put it in my shopping basket. While on other occasions my mood will suddenly change for no reason I can fathom.

There are no absolutes when it comes to grieving. Don’t let others tell you that now three months have gone, it’s time to move on. Remember there are good folks here always willing to listen.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


I too lost both parents, my father in 2002, and my mother in November of 2009. When my father passed, I somehow accepted it and 'moved on'. When my mother passed, now 9 months ago, grief swallowed me whole. I am still struggling.

1) About sleep, a lot of people here have had issues with sleep, including me. I couldn't keep a regular sleep schedule, I'd stay awake thinking, I'd sleep only about five hours, and then my energy would 'crash' in the afternoons, so I'd take naps. Never previously did I have the habit of taking afternoon naps, and I still occasionally do this. One thing did help with my sleep, and that was daily exercise. I started swimming at a local city pool, and I bike-ride up local hills. I figure it must burn off some of my nervous energy, because I am sleeping more soundly.

2) About the duration of grief, it seems to vary widely with different people and their situations. My physician told me that 6 months is a normal grieving period, after which most people 'move on'. I am at 9 months, and I am still grieving. I try not to share my grief with strangers. To friends I am more open about it. If they don't want to listen, then I don't talk. If they show concern, I'll tell them directly how I feel. But I try not to belabor the issue with too much talk. The only occasion I have to talk in depth about my grief is with a psychologist; I have been seeing this health professional for several months.

Yes, there are ways to heal. The support of family and friends can help greatly. Just having your feelings understood by another human being is definitely part of the cure. Verbalizing grief in other ways can help. In the first months I kept a journal, which helped me find expression for very complex and volatile emotions. Openly expressing emotion also seems to help, whether it be negative emotions like crying (sadness) and anger, or positive emotions like interest and joy. Love can heal, if you can find it. I read self-help literature, and it does fill my head with ideas about healing, but I must say it's difficult to find literature of good quality. Everybody on this site has different ways to go about healing; I only mention the things I do.

3) My entire family had some difficulty with each other during the illness and passing of my mother. I think this friction is a normal reaction to stress, but my family did come partially unglued. My sister gained control of my mother's estate, took a lawyer's advice as the word of God, locked us out of the family home, threw my possessions out of the house, got verbally abusive with me, and I think you know how this goes. It's horrible. My response, other than having a nervous breakdown, was to get professional help from a psychologist. I developed a coping strategy. I blew off my anger, repeatedly. I started reading literature on forgiveness. Now when I communicate with my sister, mostly through email, it's only about very positive things. My last communication with her was a gift, a cookbook I compiled of my mother's recipes. I am trying to bury the hatchet through acts of kindness. I do not know any other way to make progress.

4) Mood swings are completely normal for grief. Most of us are coping with sadness and despair, and sometimes these emotions overwhelm us. We call the more volatile mood-swings 'meltdowns', when we completely lose composure and are swept away by raw emotion. I had daily meltdowns in the first months, and now it happens less often, once every week or two. I still cry almost every day over the passing of my mother, and I am a grown man of 55. The idea that men are supposed to tough it out and show no emotion is, I think, not a healthy expectation. By the way, some level of depression is pretty common among people who are grieving. How long do the mood swings last? I really don't know; I am still in the thick of it.

I hope the people here can be of help to you. They have helped me.

Ron B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CherylAnn, dear ~ In addition to Ron's excellent suggestions about sleep, I want to point you to some earlier threads that you may find helpful. Be sure to read all the posts in each thread, where you will find links to other valuable resources:

Is It Normal Not to Sleep After a Death

It's One A.M. And I Can't Sleep Blues

Not Sleeping

Bach Flower Essences?

De-Stress Kit for the Changing Times

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...