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I've Never Felt So Alone And Empty After Losing Both Parents


RoRo

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I recently loss my mother a little over a month ago. Her loss came back to back with my father's passing. He had been ill with cancer for several years and passed away 1 year before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer too. I spent much of my time during his passing finding closure with him since he was absent most of my life. My relationship with my mother was very strained at the time seeing as how she and my father had not spoken in 28 years. I also had many separate issues with her. I transitioned from his loss immediately into caring for her and trying to prepare for her eventual loss seeing as how she was given only 3 months to live at the diagnosis. She held on for several year during which I spent most of time caring for her and finding closure to many unresolved issues with her as well.

I feel good about the choices I made in being there for them. I feel like I have found peace with myself and with them yet the rollercoaster of emotions I am feeling on a daily basis feels maddening. I feel anger, I feel sadness, I feel so empty, so alone. I am a natural extrovert and as much as I try to reach out to others is just doesn't seem like others are there or understand the loss. I cant seem to understand how the world keeps going round and round business as usual when I can barely function. I spent so much of my time focusing on them that my life now seems so undeveloped. I am not married, do not have children and so it seems like the loss is even more intense without that immediate support system around me. I keep feeling like maybe the grief would have been easier if my own life had been developed. I look around at my brothers and even folks who have lost thier parents at my place of employement and everyone seems to be functioning decently yet I feel like I am falling to peices most days. I feel like I just want to break with little energy to engage the world. I keep tyring to tell myself that this will pass and I will get to the other side of this but the truth is I just feel crazy a lot of the time and like I just keep trying to make it through each day without a good sense of where I am going. I feel so confused, scared and with little hope of building the life I want now. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?

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Hi RoRo

I am truly sorry for the loss of both your parents and in such a short time.you have definitely come to the right place here.I know I could have written much of what you feel.the one thing I can promise is that you are not crazy as much as it feels that way.Everything you feel is so so normal,I use the word normal lightly,of course it's not the normal you are used to but after all that you've had to deal with it is.

It's difficult for sure dealing with 1001 emotions at the same time.I am almost 2 years into the loss of my Dad and some days I still want and expect the world to stop,how can everyone just keep going on,how can everyone else forget so soon(it's still soon if you ask me). Although none of us knows exactly what we are going through you'll certainly find people who can relate to it and for me I have found the tiniest comfort just knowing someone else has a clue as to how I feel.friends and family try to understand but sometimes they just want to fix everything.of course it's out of love an kindness but they cannot fix anything.talking with others who are living this nightmare has helped me realise there's nothing at all wrong with me.that crazy feeling is petty horrible but right now I think you are probably still in complete shock.like you I also am not married and no kids.I do still have my Mom,no siblings and she's about all that really keeps me going.

I do find the loneliness one of the hardest things,it's just on a level I could never have imagined and I don't think anyone can take it away,some days it's just worse than others.

I just think you need to be gentle with yourself for now,allow yourself to feel whatever you feel,come read/write here when you want.just remember it's all about you right now.I try hard not to think ahead about the future,just try to get through it all minute by minute some days.

Sending hugs and love to you

Niamh

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Hi RoRo. Both of my parents are gone. Cancer got them both, my dad in 2002, and my mom in 2009. Like you, I spent a lot of time with them in their last months. I did not grieve so much after losing my father; I don't quite know why. But when I lost my mom 2 years ago, the grief became completely crushing. I don't quite know how I got through the first months. I just somehow survived each day, and felt just as lost and broken as you feel now.

Grief had to hit me like a truck before I did anything about it. To be honest about it, I did not cope so well in the first couple months. I too was beset with confusion, sadness, anger, impaired functionality, and lost sense of identity. It took a toll on me. I found these grief forums, which helped, but at month four I finally had to go in for professional psychological counseling. That helped a lot. At about month six I knew I'd be ok. It was like digging myself out of a hole.

I don't have 'words of wisdom' for you, only a few observations from my own passage through grief. The rage of emotions you endure each day is familiar to me and everybody else here. Unresolved and intense emotions were the most troublesome thing for me. I had to calm myself down. It helped when I lowered expectations of what I could do in time available. Some days just getting out of bed and getting anything at all done was an accomplishment. I realized I was in a 'time out' phase of life, where I had to find shelter from normal stresses. So, I advise you to be patient and kind to yourself in any way that you can! Otherwise the grief can tear you up and wear you down. And you are right that many people in your life will not understand your grief, even after explaining it to them. So find support from others whereever you can get it, here, with select friends, or perhaps in a bereavement group. Two years on and I am still trying to forge my own identity without my parents; I think everyone here rethinks their lives and identity after such loss.

From my perspective, you are pretty much in the normal orbit for grief. Nobody can expect to have normal days and good functioning in the first month after losing a parent. Somehow you/I/we learn to endure the difficulty of this time. And we grow and learn from our grief; it is not just negativity that we want to erase from our lives.

Welcome to these forums.

Ron B.

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Hi Niamh,

Thank you again for your encouragement. It's so helpful to hear from others who understand the emotions and the loss. It's one thing to "understand" it as many folks who have never lost their parents do and it's another thing to actually know how the loss feels once you have been through it. Your words give me hope which is what I really needed today.

Rosie

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Thank you Ron B. for reminding me that this is a "time out" phase of life. Often times as we cope with stressful events in life we are able to push past them, but grief is different of course and the loss of a parent in this case both parents really turns your life upside down. It's hard to imagine what life will be like on the other side and its even harder to imagine what our identities will be like. I have started going to counseling and also a bereavement group which is helping. I am glad that I found these forums to help with this process as I find my way day to day. One step at a time.

Rosie

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Hi Rosie. I am so very sorry for your losses. I can understand and relate. I don't have any words of wisdom, except to say, that I think a grief support group specific to care takers might be worth your while. As you share your experience, the easier the healing process will unfold. I lost my father on 9/28 and it is still very raw, but I try to cope in my own way. Coming to this forum, is one way. I wish you all the peace and support you need.

Mir

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Hi Rosie,

I've never posted here before, but read your words and wanted to offer some comfort.

I lost my mum when I was 16 in 1995, and my dad when I was 20 in 1999. I grieved in bits and pieces up until 2003, then was floored by panic and anxiety ( I didn't relate it to them...d'oh)...the truth for me came out in therapy, and it was a while before I felt 'normal' again...BUT

Grief, in that how you are feeling, can never be wrong...it's such a strange animal and can come out sideways masquerading as all sorts of peculiar emotions that seem utterly unrelated. When we lose our parents we lose something that can't be replaced, but that's not to say life can't be absolutely fulfilling and utterly wondrous again - it will be. I still struggle with the loneliness, that can't be filled with others how ever much I try to shove them in the parent-shaped hole I have, we have. The hole can be worked around, but it belongs to the part of us that is son/daughter I think. But we have this in common, all of us here in some capacity. We all are learning to live without certain people with us, and unless something magical happens and eternal life is discovered, everyone will at some time have a hole somewhere that they have to figure out.

Happiness will find you, and you may learn an awful lot about yourself. The main thing I figured out was how to love me...it's more challenging than I thought!

I hope this has been of some help...I feel for you and all of us who know loss.

With many best wishes,

Becci

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Very wise words, Becci, from one who obviously knows whereof she speaks. Thank you so much for sharing what you've learned with everyone here ~ and I'm so happy to know that you found your way to some (obviously very good) therapy as you found your way through your grief.

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  • 4 weeks later...

RoRo

So sorry for your loss. I don't come here, much anymore...but this site was a lifeline when I first lost my parents. My parents died 10 months apart, I was the main caregiver. I barely functioned the first 4 months, at that point I did start seeing a grief therapist. I honestly cannot remember much from that first year...I know I became totally withdrawn, even from my family. Slowly but surely I started to live again...to find joy again...to laugh..etc. I knew I would never be the same person I was before they died, and that I had to get used to my new "normal"...its a long journey but you will get to the other side. Take care of yourself.

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