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So glad i found a site like this... although I'm from South Africa I'm hoping to find people who have experienced something similar and learn better ways to cope with this.

My dad passed away 3 months ago - terrible car accident. The police are still finalising what happened and we have not even seen the report of the accident yet.

I am his eldest and have a 17 year old brother. My dad had a girlfriend and they had a child together - she is turning 3 this year.

I've been having to deal with so many "admin" issues and the court has insisted that I be made Executrix. Also my father had a lot of debt and the one and only policy he had was left to me.

Basically I am not coping with the stress of what is going on with my dads girlfriend, his family (Portuguese) and the estate.

Since the day I found out my dad died I've had to be strong and "keep it together" but I'm missing my dad so much and still havent been able to process what happened to him.

He wasnt even 50 and it really sucks that this is all happening - I feel like running away and do not know how to carry on?

I've never had anyone close to me die before and since this happened I've lost interest in everything in my life - it's almost like my existence doesn't have the same meaning anymore.

Is this being overboard? Too emotional or negative? How does one get through this?

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Squirrel,

Almost everybody here has been devastated by grief. The feelings of despair, shock, anger, and sadness are all real; you are not imagining any of it. The death of a parent is a staggering loss, and it takes time and effort to recover. I lost my Mom two years ago, and the grief is still with me. But I have healed and so will you.

You may need to make an assessment about your grief and your ability to function. If your grief has impaired your ability to meet your responsibilities and you feel close to break-down, then collect your wits and go get professional psychological counseling. I made the mistake of waiting until the 4th month before I got help. At month 4 I was wound up, highly emotional, and very angry. A half dozen sessions with a good psychologist somehow brought back some calm into my life, enough so I could manage my affairs.

Even basic things like eating, sleeping, and maintaining personal relationships can can be extraordinarily difficult during grief. I couldn't sleep normal hours, sometimes not at all. No interest in food. Personal relationships got stormy too. Many people here talk of taking things day by day, hour by hour, or even minute by minute in an effort to cope.

And it's not any easier when you've got responsibilities, such as managing your father's estate. I too ran into serious difficulties with my mother's estate. My sister was the executor, and she was just brutal. She locked me out of my mother's house, threw out my belongings, and got nasty and angry when I tried to participate in estate decisions. The whole thing was a nightmare. It took 18 months to settle the estate, and then I had to repair the relationship with my sister. Everything is OK now, but it was an ordeal.

I do have more general advice. Friends and family can be a lifeline through grief; consult with them and spend time with them when you can. Sometimes it's hard to know who will be there for you and who won't. Having some kind of structure to your day can also help, though it's easy just to crumple up and do nothing. A daily routine with some variety of activity is helpful; usually we can work toward modest goals when we plan forward just a bit. List-keeping was particularly helpful for me, otherwise things in my life wouldn't get done. I'd put stars by things that absolutely had to get done, and to my amazement, it worked. So long as i made an honest effort, I was able to cope with my responsibilities. One more thing that helps many of us is regular exercise. I did bike-riding and swimming, and found out that getting out and doing these things was the most uplifting part of my day.

I don't want to give you an overdose of advice, so I'll stop here. Just know that this community is always here for you.

Ron B.

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Thank you so much for that - really helps. Since posting this more has developed re: my dads estate and hearing about your experience helped a lot!

I definately need to see someone and made an appointment today.

It is encouraging to hear that others have gone through similar things and make it!

Thanks again! Blessings to all!

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hi Squirrel,

I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad and a BIG welcome to this site. You will definitely find lots of kind caring people here who can relate to what you are going through.

I lost my Dad suddenly in Dec 09, doesn't remotely feel like almost 2 years.

I'm sorry you have to deal with the additional stress of your Dad's estate. As Ron said at this point simple things like eating, getting out of bed are struggles enough besides all the paperwork. I am an only child so when it came to sorting things out I had to do quite a bit too for my Mom. Do you have anyone who can help you with the paperwork and those jobs that need to be done. When I had to be dealing with those things I would take my time with them, doing one thing at a time.........sometimes 1 thing is all I could do on a given day and I would do it and leave the next thing until another day. Although to the outside world these may be just "simple" things like making calls to get information, provide information, when you are in such shock it takes it's toll even trying to make a call. I would break down crying everytime I had to call the bank, phone company etc to do anything because I could barely utter the words about my Dad. Thankfully most people I dealt with were very gentle and understanding.

You are absolutely not going overboard with any of your feelings or emotions, there is nothing too emotion or negative when it comes to grief so I hope you know that every single thing you feel is perfectly "normal". It's not the normal you are used to but now given the loss of your Dad everything you say is ok. I've had people tell me that I need to be postive etc etc but at the end of the day you feel what you feel and you are perfectly entitled to feel it. Nobody has the right to tell you anything is too negative or emotional, you're entire world has just been ripped apart.

I can relate to you feeling like you dont know how to carry on. I often wonder how on earth I have survived the last 22 months, it was my worst nightmare and never did I expect to lose my Dad so so soon.

Again as Ron mentioned some people just take this minute by minute. Much of the time I try not to think ahead at all, the future without my Dad still scares me, life is WAY too long without him and I still don't know how to do it. So I do take it minute by minute and figure what's the point in thinking, stressing and worrying about tomorrow, next week or even sometimes this evening. Sometimes it is very hard to to do, to just exist and be in the very moment of "now", other times I can do it because I feel so overwhelmed when the tiniest thing goes wrong and I try to just put things out of my head and just get through the next 60 seconds.

Know that you deserve a big pat on the back for surviving this nightmare already for the last 3 months.

This site has been a lifeline to me, just knowing someone else in this world can relate and understands means so much. It doesn't make me any less sad but there is just the tiniest comfort to know that while sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world hurting as much as I do, in reality there is someone else out there who can relate.

Please keep sharing with us and my only "advice" is to be very gentle with yourself and don't try to force yourself to do anything you don't feel up to. Right now this is all about you and there is no right or wrong way to deal with any of this, all your feelings and emotions are ok. None of us knows exactly what the other is going through but as I said people will relate. Nobody here will ever tire of hearing how you are doing or ever judge what you are saying or feeling.

As I always say I only wish there were words of comfort but they just do not exist. Sending lots of love and a (((BIG HUG)) to you,

Niamh

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