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Loss Of Dad And Shortly After My Boyfriend Left Me


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Not sure if it's rapidly approaching the first anniversary of my dads death but I'm really struggling with my feelings and thought this forum may help me understand what I'm feeling a bit better.

I'm 23 and live at my parents home with my mum. My dad died end of November 2010 out of the blue from a rare form of cancer. He started ill about 3 months before diagnosis and was dead 3 days after diagnosis. Very confusing and scary time. Me and my dad had a very close relationship and I have managed to find my way through this first year... well I thought pretty well as far as grieving and suffering a loss like that goes. I have been active, been working full time, supporting my mum and even though the bad days are bad I have my ok days when I feel a bit less numb. Although I feel overall numb and very drained of emotion. My memories of my dad are becoming less of the ordeal and watching him die and more of the happy times.

My problem is...

My boyfriend of 6 1/2 years left me 3 months ago and I feel like i've been going through living hell since then. I'm getting mixed up with emotions of my dad and of him and everything seems too much at the moment.

My boyfriend moved in with me and my parents a month before my dads death. He was there by my dads side when he passed away and was very close to all my family, especially my dad.

Since the beginning of this year our relationship has been rocky. Communication wasn't great I was getting tired, upset and stressed over stupid little things but I put it down to grief. I tried to explain this to him but I never fully feel like he quite got how big a deal what I was going through was. Not only my dad had gone but a lot of responsibilities had been put on me and my mums shoulders.

My boyfriend willing helped at first, maybe I leaned on him too much but he never once said he'd had enough. Until we started spending less time together and more time worrying and stressing over keeping the house running and sorting out all my dads business and helping my mum. In July he walked out one day when we'd had an argument over something petty. He said he thought I was only with him because and that he gets no love from me anymore.... but what can I do I feel distraught and emotionally drained with everything, my life had been flipped.

After he walked out we had a talk, I told him I don't know how I feel about everything and he moved out.

He ended the relationship, he said he thinks by being with me that he has to deal with everything else and that i'm not myself at the moment we would end up hating each other.

I've tried meeting up and talking and trying to solve things, I love him so much and if he wanted a bit of space I would understand but its as though he wants the single life (but doesn't want to sleep around, just wants to go out biking and have no commitments) and me and my issues are too much for him. He says he loves me and that we haven't grown apart its just the stress of the circumstances and it would hurt him if we could never be friends.

I told him I can't be friends with him because its hurting me knowing I can't have him and he's being so cold with me.

I have now left him an email saying how I feel and that the ball is in his court.

I'm a person who wants to fix things and we have had an amazing relationship until everything got too heavy too fast. I can't get through to him that I can't help what happened and how I'm feeling... I can't explain the grief...

I hope not contacting him will maybe make him see in time. But for now I feel my only way to heal with everything is too move on and act as though it is the end. I can't keep chasing him and hurting myself. I've lost mutual friends through this too and he just seems to act like he's made a clean cut and its not effecting him.

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense.... I feel so heartbroken by everything.

How can he end a 6 1/2 year relationship when i've lost my dad so soon.... Oh I don't know.. this just sounds the opposite of many of the posts I've read on here where the person grieving pushes there partner away. My only conclusion is he's too immature to handle this (he's only 23 and has a large family and has never suffered grief) and he's taken the cowards way out.

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It sounds like your BF's breaking up with you triggered your feelings with the loss of your dad, stirring all that up again, plus the upcoming anv. of his death.

Boys do tend to grow up slower than girls, and as he's only 23, you're probably right, he's probably just too immature to handle all of this. It's hard for you because no one asked you if YOU could handle it, it was just thrust at you. How would he feel if he lost one of HIS parents and you walked out on HIM because it was "just too stressful". How nice that he can walk away and have a nice life, biking, etc., while you are dealing with all of this burden and stress! If I were you I would feel pretty angry about that.

You guys got together as teenagers, that's very young. Personally, I wouldn't find his treatment of you acceptable. It may be understandable given his age...but still not acceptable. When you have a life partner, you want someone who will stand by you through thick and thin, not one that will bail at the first upset in life. Eventually you may see that he has done you a favor by freeing you to be with someone (I know, that's the last thing on your mind right now, and that's as it should be) more suited for you, someone more deserving and dependable. But right now it doesn't FEEL like a favor, it just flat out hurts! I am so sorry you are going through this when you already have enough on your plate. You are doing the right thing by going no contact, that will give him a chance to miss you. I believe with time he may regret his actions but by that time you will have moved on and will have someone new in your life that will treat you well and you won't want him back. Believe me, all of this takes time. Anyone that loves and cares for someone can't just go off on a bike ride and forget the pain the other person is going through.

It may seem this is backwards from the other posts here, but really it has more in common...it is a breakup due to the ravages and stresses of grief, of which you are one more victim, not that different than the rest of us, except you are going through the double whammy of having lost your father, helping your mother, and losing your BF on top of it. My heart goes out to you. You will undoubtedly have a myriad of emotions, up and down, back and forth, want him, don't want him, miss him, angry with him...all of that is to be expected! Feel free to vent or express your feelings here, you will be heard. For what it's worth, I care. (((hugs))) And it will get better, I promise you.

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Thank you for your reply, it has made me feel a bit stronger inside.

Like you say I am feeling a lot of conflicting emotions, one day i'll be angry, the next want to just be back in his arms, the next i'll be so upset and feel so vulnerable and used. It's baffling, I don't even know why I feel like it sometimes. I don't know if my anger is because of the sudden loss of my dad or at how easy it was for him to walk out on his life and happily start a new one, with no worries or ties.

All I know now is I must see through this no contact thing. It was only dragging me further down with the texts and emails and I just need to heal. I feel like nobody will be so close to me and my family again and we got on so well as friends and lovers. It especially hurts me to think that my dad told me close to his death that he would have loved to have been at our wedding and it hurts so much to think no other man in my life will meet my amazing dad. He really was my rock and if I was going through this break up with him here it would be so much easier because he would have had some guidance to give. I really do miss him very much.

I just feel like my ex has hurt me too much and doesn't even understand the consequence of his actions. I thought he would because of how close he was to my family and how supportive he was at the time my dad passed away. Its like he has such a happy supportive exterior and he's taken on helping me and my family and he just thought "oh no" I can't hack it and he's bailed. And it hurts to see that hes a popular guy and other people will always see the good side of him and not the fact he's abandoned me when I needed to lean on him the most while the grief of losing my dad passed.

I hope one day he does realise but like you say it will probably be too late and I will have moved on. You are right, I can't have a life partner with someone who will bail when life gets tough. I never asked for this but I know I'm made of strong stuff and by acting like this with me he has lost my respect and i'll try so hard to lose that love I have for him.

I suppose this is life, some coast through with little drama and others get hit with wave and wave of drama for no reason.

It feels good to vent this in a place where people understand.

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Our emotions run rampant when we go through a trauma such as you have...I wouldn't try to figure them out or make sense of them because feelings don't always have a logical basis, they just are. It's good that you want to focus on healing and recognize your need for no contact, that it was just bringing you down and setting you back with each text, etc.

Your dad may not be there physically when you meet the man that is to be "the one" but he will be with you nonetheless and who knows if he can see you on your wedding day, there is so much we don't know or understand about the hereafter. Accept whatever beliefs bring you comfort and peace, you're the one living this experience after all.

I wish you the best...and don't be too quick to assume no one else will ever be as close to your family...you just haven't met him yet, but you will, hang on to that thought. Isn't it kind of exciting to know that you never know what day will be the day you will meet the man you've needed? It could be next month, next year, but eventually it will happen. My son has been waiting for the right girl to happen along and meanwhile has just been living his life to the fullest, he served his country, built a house, worked different places, had different adventures, enrolled in college, bought a home...and finally he met the girl he's been looking for all of his life. He's 27...there were times he felt discouraged, but he's gone about everything the right way and now he's finally getting his reward, she was everything he ever could have hoped or dreamed of, and perfect for him...and him for her. It happens. I'm so glad he didn't "settle" for the first cute one that laid eyes on him...in his heart of hearts, he knew what he wanted. In the months ahead, give thought to what you want in a partner...what is important to you? Honesty, character, a rock, a good sense of humor, someone fun, trustworthy, a person who'd make a good dad, someone who is a good provider...which of those things is high on the list and what is lower? Give thought to what you want and make note of it so you can see how the next one fits in with it...not a bad idea.

You will grow stronger every day, you'll see. Take care of yourself!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week would have been my fathers birthday. I was feeling down and it is a year since he passed away very soon. I had a text from my ex saying he was thinking of us all and my dad. He also wanted to meet up. I was a bit distant, but I thought I could really do with a hug and he was with me this time last year surely he couldn't forget all that.

So we arranged a date to just go for a quiet walk. The day came, I left him to organise it. I foolishly looked forward to it thinking it would help me through the next few weeks. He rung up early afternoon, his gran was in hospital and he had to take his grandad on but he'd be back soon so we could go. I left it, of course I understand how important family is. But time ticked on and he wasn't appearing. He suggested nipping to mine for a cup of tea on the way back, i said no i wasn't comfortable with him coming round to my house and in my space, we needed to meet somewhere neutral. Anyway he said maybe another time.

I wanted a clear answer from him but said ok, but I need to clear things up with you face to face. No reply.

I foolishly rung him that night. He spoke to me for a while, it felt good cos it was like we used to be, but then he just said he didn't want a relationship and wanted his freedom but he loved him and cared about what I was doing. Mixed signals! So I said if he cared he would make the effort to spend 30 mins to both tell each other clearly face to face what we felt and be serious about tying lose ends and moving on. No commitment to meeting.

I text him the following day, saying sorry for the late phone call. He proceeded to say he was with his grandad all day he was his top priority. HE said he would be with him 12-5, i suggested he meets me after dinner. He got really argumentative with me saying he can't commit and circumstances change and i haven't changed at all its either my way or no way!

That hurt me so much so I text him saying "I'm sorry" and i've left it. I just wanted an answer, I wanted him to take the time to tell me straight what is going on. I feel like I'm nothing to him. I feel so much regret for letting him be with me and my family at the vulnerable time when we lost my dad.... why did i let him be in the same room as my dad when he was dying! I know more than most people our age how important looking after family is, especially when they are in hospital care. I wasn't asking him to drop his grandad, I feel so bad but i shouldn't!

I feel angry i've let him back in and he's hurt me again, and now we've ended on bad terms.

I feel like saying to him, one day you will know how hopeless I feel.

I know we are over. But i just wanted him to give me the respect I deserve and let me have that face to face "its over" instead of the odd text messages and kind words. He doesn't know what he wants and i feel i'm trying to deal with enough with the anniversary of my dads death, never mind his mixed signals.

I know I must be strong and leave the contact now. I need to be myself and work through things alone.

I just feel bad I can't a message and say goodbye and I feel so desperately that we shouldn't leave on bad terms after what we've been through. He's made it impossible for me. But I just no that a message won't mean anything to him, I think he's beyond listening to me.

So sad but I hope one day he realises what he has done. Because it is a fact of life everyone dies in this world. He's lucky he's never lost anyone close to him.

Sorry I just needed to get his out.

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I'm sorry about the loss of your father...sometimes birthdays and anniversaries bring it all back like it just happened, it's tough, they're definite triggers.

I'm also sorry your XH stirred up more sense of loss...his contact seemed to set you back and it brought you all back to right when and where you were with him "before"...and all of the let downs that came with it. He is obviously not someone you can count on, for that I am truly sorry. Please don't let him degrade you by saying you haven't changed, etc., don't give him the time of day. You were right in wanting to meet him in a neutral place, your instincts that he can't be trusted are right. Not that he's a bad person, I don't know him, just that he doesn't want to come through for you...it's too bad he toyed with your emotions by leading you to believe, one more time, that he'd be there for you. It's amazing how their talk can get to us, but the end results are nada, I wish it weren't so.

They say the best predictor of future behavior is the past...you divorced for some reason, so I wouldn't bank a whole lot by him. Maybe you can meet up with a girlfriend or sibling or someone on your dad's day...someone who'd be more understanding and giving of themself?

I wish you the best in getting through it...


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  • 7 years later...


i know this this is an old conversation. But I was reading some material and came across this. Snap, everything that happened to you, happened to me. Except I am 30, he is 30. My dad passed away Unexpectedly just 7 weeks ago! I am still grieving and going through a lot of anxiety and had expected attention from him, more than usual. Thought it wasn’t a big ask, given that that’s what ppl in love do, lean against each other and help each other during tough times. 

He said he couldn’t endure this sad phase, and has started missing his family who lives in another country. We are mix race couple. He was willing to leave behind our 3 years relationship, a beautiful bond we built in a new city, his flourishing career, our plants and friends because he can’t face problems. He has always done this in the past. When the going gets tough, he leaves instead of facing the problem. I thought he was changing. I’m such a fool. 

But I truly loved him. He had many good aspects too. Loved his family and would have probably gone to live in his country later on in life. I just couldn’t leave my mum who lives 5 hours away (by flight) at this point. He was there during my dads funeral and said he promised my dad he’ll take care of me. But now he wants to leave without me. He says he is home sick. He used this as an excuse to leave me. 

I feel weak. I’ve always taken pride in being very independent and strong. I left home when I was 19 and moved to a whole new country by myself. Faced problems by myself and solved it without anyone’s help. Recently I’ve been feeling weak. Because I received no security in the relationship I built with the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It hurts. Feel lonely. I don’t have many friends here I can openly talk about this. I’m currently in a job I can’t leave and hoping to study more too. 

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@P33  I am sorry, sorry for your loss, sorry you couldn't count on your BF.  I have been through that letdown and I understand what you mean when you say he has many good aspect, you loved him, but now you are facing that you can't count on him and he doesn't come through when you need him most.  That doesn't make him a bad person, just not the one for you, you deserve to have someone you can count on through thick and thin, someone you can partner together with for life.

I'm sorry this is what is revealed...it's hard enough you lost your dad.  :(

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...


My situation is kind of the same. I met the woman of my dreams and fell deeply in love then unfortunately I was diagnosed with cancer. We faced it together and made the hard decisions together which would end up being heart breaking. After my chemo a second mass was found and I had to wait for further surgery. While waiting my mum became ill and I watched her pass away which had a massive effect on me. 1 month after the funeral I had my surgery and then 4 weeks after that the woman of my dreams told me it wasn't working that she was unhappy and I should leave. I tried everything to keep our relationship together because I had lost control of every thing else getting cancer, Losing my mum, not being able to have kids. I am not able to see her children now because she says it would confuse them which hurts so much. I lost my mum, my wife to be, children, home basically everything and have been so depressed. I to go days of different emotions rage, fear, sadness and regret and hope the feelings will stop. What upsets me the most is the one person I trusted and wanted in my life forever has come between me and the grief of my mum. My mums birthday is coming up soon and ill go to the place I chat to her and have a good old chat. My mum loved my ex and couldn't wait to see us married in a way I am glad she never saw any of this.

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I am so very sorry!  You are carrying so much more than a breakup, your loss of your mom, your loss of control over your life, with cancer, loss of your wife to be, children, and your hopes and dreams.  I really hope you are getting counseling!  I talk to my late husband all the time, and I'm glad you feel comfortable to chat with your mom.  I understand your being glad your mom wasn't around to see what happened, it undoubtedly would have broken her heart.

I wrote this at about ten years out from loss of my husband, and I hope something in it will be helpful to you...one of the biggest helps to me was to take one day at a time, live in the present, and embrace whatever good I could find, no matter how small...those things got me through this along with my beautiful sweet dog, Arlie, who just passed away.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.


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