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My father died suddenly the first day of this month... only 53.

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Ive encountered death two times in my life

The first one was my father-in-law (not by law, but may as well been). Ive been with L for almost 9 years, and from the beginning his family accepted me as one of their own – treating me more like family than my own family normally does. We would go semi-frequently to stay at Ls childhood home in his hometown on the weekends. He was very close to both his parents.

One November, four years ago, L was napping as I got ready for work. His cell phone rang, and, singing it was his brother, I woke him up and handed it to him.
Ls dad had had a heart attack at work, but was still alive. We immediately drove to meet his family in the city where theyd life-flighted him to. Turns out hed had the heart attack, and no one knew how long it was before someone found him. Long story short, they did what they could for him, but he was mentally gone and the plug was pulled. We all watched as he passed before our eyes, but he was already gone And shortly before he was supposed to retire and travel the country on motorcycle with his wife, Ls mother.

L was wrecked by this, and I wasnt much better. Id never encountered death up close before, so I had no learned ways to cope. I spiraled into a depression that I cant even describe. There was a lot of crying. I cant even describe it, like I said.


And then theres the second encounter.

L and I went to Indianapolis for Halloween, and for him to play some Magic: the Gathering. It was Sunday the 1st, and we were at the event hall as he sold some cards. My phone rang, and I saw it was my brother. “…Are you at work? I felt my stomach drop, but asked No. Whats up? Dads dead. He sobbed this out.

My father was 53 years old. He wasnt supposed to die for a while yet! I havent even turned 30.

Apparently, sometime between 1AM and the following morning, his heart had stopped. Thered been a history of drug abuse in his past, but he was relatively sober these days – especially compared to the past. He also had suffered the last few years from emphysema. He was always saying I never knew how long hed been around.

I didnt know it until after, but apparently he had found out a year or so ago that he had Congestive Heart Failure. The doctor had wanted him to get surgery, but he said no.

Truth be told, my fathers death was sad, but it wasnt tragic 

Growing up, I didnt really see him. I was always taught by my mom that he was a horrible person – basically a monster. According to her, he had been an alcoholic who abused her. The alcoholic part – that was true. But what I found out years later, from multiple sources, was that my mother and him had abused each other. Doesnt make it right, but it was a two-way thing. When I was around 21, he and I were able to reconcile and, over time, develop a bit of a relationship. For a long time, I didnt say I love you”… this man was a stranger, and I wasnt going to say it til I genuinely felt it, and felt right saying it. He also wasnt happy that I didnt called him Dad, but I had my reasons for that which had nothing to do with him. But he was my father, and I loved him. He made no excuses for his past, wanted to make up for it as best he could, and was the best person he could be. The fact that he made no excuses it meant so much to me.

In the last few years, his mother (my grandma), his sister (my aunt), his nephew (my cousin) had all died. His brother had previously died, too. His dad was dead.

Hed faced a lot of sadness, and he was at peace. He told a family member a month ago that he was ready to go. The thing that had meant most to him, especially since he came down with emphysema, was fixing the relationship with his kids. The only thing he really had left was seeing me get married my biggest regret is that he wont be there to walk me down the aisle. He was endlessly proud of me, of how I turned out, and Im just heartbroken that he left so soon.

The week after I found out, I took three bereavement days, came into work on Thursday, and took a sick day Friday. At work, I was barely functioning. It hurt so much to be there, and I couldnt distract myself my normal ways since – you know – work. Im a designer, building online ads. That Thursday, I went to my boss and told her I wouldnt be doing more than 5 mandatory overtime hours a week (for context, my department has been on mandatory overtime, working anywhere from 5-15 mandatory overtime hours a week this week was 16 hours mandatory with 8 of it having to be this weekend yeah). Ive sobbed a few times in the bathroom stall. My productivity is way down. My supervisor hasnt asked me once how Im doing, or even discussed it with me at all beyond me telling her the overtime thing. Very little in way of support at work, and it hurts like hell to be here. The stupidest things make me cry right now sometimes even nothing at all.

And an intense apathy with a feeling of deep, almost numbed anger under it has set in.

I last saw him on Memorial Day (he lived over two hours away, and with how much I work you know). L and I were leaving for Vegas the next day, and needed to finish our preparations. Still, I thought it would be nice to spend it with my brother and dad in fact, I think thats the only time since I was tiny that the three of us had been together on any holiday. We hung out, my brother grilled, L and I introduced them to a couple of fine beer types theyd never had – a lambic and a sour. We had fun. We played Wii Sports and my father got cranky when my brother beat him. I had L take a photo of the three of us, as I thought it would be nice – thats the only time since I was little that the three of us had been in a photo together. He was disappointed when it was time for us to go, but like I said, we had to finish preparations for a weeklong trip.

I feel so guilty now about that, but I know I shouldnt. I cant believe hell never text or call me again. Hell never hug me again. Hell never walk me down the aisle. Well never eat Thanksgiving together. Theres so many never agains and never wills that I tear up just thinking about it.

And my brother, hes worse off. All he can think of is death lately, and he doesnt want to talk.

My brother and I –neither of us are religious. Im a science-minded agnostic, but I like to say I may not have faith, but I have hope. Both of us just hope he didnt disappear. If hes still there, I hope/wish hed just give one or both of us some sign to let us know hes ok. Imagining that you disappear it just makes every bit of life thats not happy feel futile. I sometime miss when I was a religious little kid, knowing

It hurts so much. The sadness. The disbelief. The apathy. All of it. I cant bring myself to care about much else other than L and my brother right now. When at home, Im normally playing two games at once while Netflixing with L to distract myself. Im terrified of once these three weeks are up, since I know I have to go back to the standard overtime schedule and Im already exhausted.

I know itll get better. But it just isnt fair. It hurts.


Sorry for the long read.

PS: Anniversaries of Ls dads death and my fathers death are only a week apart. November sucks.



TLDR; my dad died suddenly at 53 this month and Im barely coping. Ive lost all father figures in my life.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your dad.  I lost my mom a year ago last August.  It's always hard to lose our parents...and you going through this shortly after losing your SO's father, that's doubly tough.  A lot of us had less than perfect childhoods by less than perfect people, but they were our parents and we loved them..  The fact that we went through all the other "stuff" with them just makes our grief all the more complicated.  

Being religious isn't a prerequisite for anything...most of us here have some form of spirituality, even if not religiosity.  It helps me to know that energy never dies, it just changes form, and as such, most of us believe in some form of life after death.  We may not have all the answers, but we "believe" we will see them again, somehow or another, and some here believe they are around us and even some that they attempt to communicate with us.  What you believe is up to you, just saying, there's varied belief systems here but we all respect one another's chosen beliefs, and a lot of us - our beliefs are a work in progress.

It can be hard to face work environment after loss...so many haven't a clue how to respond or what to expect from us.  I was fortunate when I lost my husband that I worked in a place where the owner had someone well versed in grief/loss to speak to my coworkers about what to expect and what is normal and how to best help me through it when I returned.  I'm very thankful for such a place, however, the company went under a few months later and I ended up in a work environment of no understanding or caring.

Going to the restroom to cry is not only normal, but sometimes the best way we can get through it.  Letting loose of "expectations" helps and giving yourself extra doses of understanding and patience is warranted.  Try and take good care of yourself by eating healthy, drinking water, avoiding alcohol (which is a depressant that you do not need!), going for walks, which relieves stress, something you COULD use.

Some days it's all we can muster just to get out of bed.  It helps to have someplace safe where you'll be understood and you can express yourself.  If you don't have such a place, this forum can be that to you.  Sometimes we need a professional grief counselor too.

As you already know November is going to be a time of remembrance, try to focus on today, rather that the whole of the month, let alone the rest of your life, as that can be just too much at once.  We have our hands full with today.  Staying in the present has helped me focus on what I do have rather than just on what I don't have, and has had the added blessing of appreciation.

Good luck to you, you will receive nothing but caring and support here.


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