My wonderful father passed away on May 14, 2012. Now that it has been over 5 months, I feel more overwhelmed with my grief than ever before. I miss him so much and it hurts badly. Dad fought a war with cancer for years, each time winning the battle and remaining strong.  Finally the cancer decided to overtake him and before we knew it, he was gone. I'm 26 and my dad had just turned 60.  He was an amazing father, and everyone who knew him knew how special he was. I feel cheated that I only got 26 years with my dad. It's becoming more difficult as I realize how permanent the loss is and how much more time I will spend without him than I got to spend with him.

I feel lost in the world. I feel as though everything is the same, but I'm different. I have isolated myself from my friends and it takes so much effort to go out into social situations. i find it nearly impossible to put a fake smile on and deal with it.  Life goes on and I'm not ready to to yet. I feel sad most of the time. I pass the days watching mindless television. Often I look at old pictures, read old emails from dad, listen to his favourite songs, just to feel connected to him still.  I worry about forgetting him, his voice, his laugh, his encouraging words, how he could always make me smile when I was sad. I know dad wouldn't want me to be like this, it always broke his heart when any of his girls (my mom and sister) were upset. I have problems sleeping and experience panic attacks. I feel so depressed all the time and disappointed in myself for not being able to keep up like my mom and sister are doing. I withdrew from my 3rd year of nursing school when dad got sick. I plan to go back in January, but I'm scared to face it. I work in a nursing home on call and when i do have scheduled shifts, i often call in sick from lack of sleep or fear of not being able to hold it together. It's hard to take care of people when you aren't taking care of yourself. I neglect my housework and my relationship with my boyfriend. I feel very useless.

I know that grief is so hard, but it feels unbearable. Some days I literally get through hour by hour. I've read lots on grief but everyone keeps telling me that in time it becomes easier.  For me, it seems that time has made things tougher. I feel so overwhelmed and I don't know what to do. My dad gave us so much love over the years and i know that is why it hurts so much. 

I guess I wanted to share my story in hopes that someone out there has some advice for me. Thanks for listening.

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Hi Julie,
I lost my dad on June 11, 2012 to frontotemporal dementia. He was 62 and i am 32. The disease robbed him from us so quickly. He was diagnosed in 2009 and each week he declined in health and it was very painful to watch. In a way i feel better knowing that he is not suffering anymore but than my feeligs turn to anger because i still want him here. Your feelings are so similar to mine because i had a very close relationship with my dad. He was an amazing father. He always made me laugh. He called me every day. He was a hard worker who took care of his family. I only have two sisters and they were also close to him. I talk to him every night and i cry. I dont want to forget his voice, his laughter, his smile. Like you, i also look at pictures or listen to his favorite song and i feel closer to him. I take it one step at a time and the first few weeks were the worst and i got into a habit of talking to him and its like i feel that he is with me. I have good days and bad days. It hurts me to know that i lost him so young and how can i go on with my life without him, that's what i struggle with alot.
Whenever you need to talk, im here.
I know exactly how you feel.
-Teresa

Hi Julie,

I lost my father to Leukemia in 2006 and know exactly how you feel since he was my best friend.  Everything you are experiencing is normal - I'm going through it again too because my Mom died a month ago.  You feel that no one understands and that everyone expects you to be "normal" (like you said, put on the fake smile, which is impossible).  One thing I can say is that you're never going to forget him and all the wonderful things you're worried you might forget.  I still can hear my Dad's laugh and everything else and it's been 6 years.

Have you thought about seeing a doctor for the depression/anxiety?  I was put on Zoloft a week ago - I don't know if it's helping but it would be good to see someone.

Do whatever feels right for YOU.  I feel the same way - that I should be as calm and collected as my brother has been but I'm not.  Everyone experiences this in their own way.  As for school - go back when you're ready and don't force yourself to return before then.  YOU are more important.  I'm supposed to be taking a class right now but have forgotten completely about it... school can wait.

I don't think I was anywhere close to normal for at least two years after I lost my Dad.  At five months, where you are, I felt exactly the same way.  Like WHEN is it going to get easier???  I felt worse then than right after he died.  I think that's because the shock has worn off, you've done all the stuff that needs to get done, and now you're alone with your thoughts.   That's where I am with my Mom.  Life looks the same but doesn't feel the same... it's sort of surreal.  I've been staying at her condo every now and then and my boyfriend doesn't understand but it gets me away from all this "normal stuff."  It lets me cry without feeling like I should be stronger.

I hope some of this helps?  I'm in the same spot you are so you aren't alone.  If you ever want to talk my e-mail is kathydaffy@charter.net

Kathy

Hi Julie,

You are not alone in feeling the way you do. My father died April 4th 2012. I was 27 and he was 53. It was an accident at his work. It was so sudden and horrible. We were talking on monday about when he and my mother would be coming to visit and wednesday he was gone. I have so many days where I " forget" what happened and go to pick up the phone and call my dad. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks again. Losing a parent is horrible no matter how it happens. Such a huge part of your life is suddenly gone.

What i have done to help me cope is write letters/a journal to my dad. Sometimes its just about my day sometimes its me talking about my feelings. I know he will never see these but its a way for me to get out my emotions. Otherwise they eat me up. Also every memory I have of him I am writing down. Also any time i have a dream about him as soon as i wake up i write down what it was. I also talk to my Dad. I believe in god, heaven, and hell and I am not sure if he hears me or not but I know his soul is in heaven and that also helps me. Without my faith I know my really bad days would be worse. God is an amazing comfort.

Also your family may not be handling it as well as you think they are. I put on a brave face for my family because i don't want to upset them more than they already are. But i cried every day for 4 months after my dad died. Also i am suffering from some insomnia. I have tired talking to my family more about how we are all feeling. It helps a little to communicate with each other about thing like that.

No one can say just the right thing to make it better and no one will ever know exactly how you are feeling. Because every relationship is different. However, reaching out to people is great to do. We have all lost a parent here so we understand. Don't feel alone because you are not.

Praying for you
Hugs
Elizabeth

I'm so sorry for your loss.

My wonderful dad passed away on July 3, 2010. Now, it has been almost 4 years and I just feel so overwhelemed at times. I miss my dad and it hurts so bad. My dad fought heart disease as he probably had it for years and also a esophagus problem. He had felt pretty good but, everything went down hill from there. He was 67-years-old when his heart disease to overtake him. He was an amazing father and I think most people that he came in contact with knew that. His disease took him suddenly. I only had 33-years with my dad.

It's so difficult dealing with it at times. I feel as if everything isn't the same which it isn't. I'm different and I know it. I'm able to be with my friends which I am sometimes. I'm able to smile but, at times I feel as if I have to fake it. I'm doing pretty well but, I have my hard times. Life does go on and I'm doing really well as I don't have a choice. I feel sad most of the time but, I'm able to smile. I pass the days by going to work as I have two volunteer jobs, watching T.V. and listening to music and reading. I sometimes look at old pictures and listen to his favorite songs and that makes me miss him more. I worry about forgetting him and his voice and his voice and how he cheered me on but, fortunately I have those things. He could make me smile when I was sad. I know that he wouldn't want me to be like this and it always broke his heart when my mom and my brothers and I were upset. I have problems sleeping sometimes and I get scared. I feel sad but, I'm able to get through it. I had a hard time working when my dad was sick but, I still kept it up. I plan to keep volunteering for now as that's what I'm supposed to be doing it for now. I volunteer at my local at my local spina bifida association and I have been for 8 years now and I also volunteer at Morgan's Wonderland which is a disabled-friendly amusement park and I'm a greeter and I love both jobs. I felt scared to go back but, I really looked forward going back to work. Now, my other job is an office job and I work in the morning. I felt as if I couldn't hold it together sometimes and I still do. It's hard to work sometimes but, I still do it. My relationship is really good with my mom and my brother.

 

I know all too well that grief is really hard. Some days I get through hour by hour. I haven't read a whole lot on grief but, I have read stories about people who have gone through it and I know that it does get easier. Now, I do have times where I don't know what to do.

 

I know that my dad loved me though.

Hi Julie,

I lost my dad too, cancer, in 2010. It was the worst pain I've ever felt. From there I wrote an audio about grief that will help you big time: It's called "How to Survive Grief" and really makes a difference: http://schampl578.audioacrobat.com/download/HowToSurviveGriefFreeDo...

Second, my father knew my stories about my journey questioning "is there life after death?" and I have some great info. He made me promise that I'd write a book. I finally wrote it and have a publisher. It won't be for sale for another couple of months but I want you to have it. It helps with grief as well. Please let me know if it makes a difference.

Your friend,

Sandra Champlain

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Hi Julie,

I lost my dad too, cancer, in 2010. It was the worst pain I've ever felt. From there I wrote an audio about grief that will help you big time: It's called "How to Survive Grief" and really makes a difference: http://schampl578.audioacrobat.com/download/HowToSurviveGriefFreeDo...

Second, my father knew my stories about my journey questioning "is there life after death?" and I have some great info. He made me promise that I'd write a book. I finally wrote it and have a publisher. It won't be for sale for another couple of months but I want you to have it. It helps with grief as well. Please let me know if it makes a difference.

Your friend,

Sandra Champlain

Attachments:



TammyDHU said:

To Julie:

You and I have somewhat similar stories.  I however, did not grow up with my father in my life.  Then he died, quite shockingly to me, at the age of 67 on the very day after your own father did.

I am still reeling from the grief, the shock of his death, the stark reality that I was never prevalent in his life, forever wondering about questions I have where I know I will not be answered as he is gone now...I only have my remaining family members to give me any information they can about the man.

I want you to know I feel for you in your time of grief, and I pray for your well-being.

Consider me a friend and talk to me anytime--

-Tammy

Julie,

Time does not heal. Love heals. The love you had for each other will soften the harsher memories, and especially when you cry, try to focus on good memories, ones that make you smile and laugh. It works.

Please look at the page I have for Bernie, my son who died fifteen months ago last Monday. He was a good person, never meant ill towards anyone. Please read 'God's Garden'. I hope it helps you as it still helps me. 

David.

P.S. If you have about eight or ten pics, not only of him but of the family, pets, hobbies and/or interests, ask Tami to do you a collage. She is kind, helpful and very talented. Her email:  atonsgirl@aol.com

D.

I sorry for your loss.  My mom died 3 months ago so I know what your feeling.  I also lost my husband to cancer 4 years ago.  I like you became what called anti social anxiety.  I stayed home didnot go anywhere didnot talk much  then my doctor gave me a anti depression it helped some and didnot over med me at all.  What your going thru and feeling is a normal grief thing donot worry about it being that wya.  Healing from grief takes time we need to learn to do tht for us .  At times the grief feeling does get worst before it get better.  One thing no two people go thru grief the same way ,  I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers we all have handle grief different even that it all the same mom.  hope you understand what I saying .  Have you read an of alan wofelt books he has a good one with a grief journal to write in it helping me and I gave one to a friend it helping her a lot.  For me I talk to my husband and my mom it seems to help me with m  feeling just a idel.   wishing you a good day and sending you God peace that passes all undrstanding huggskathyjo

Thank you to everyone who replied and for all your kind words. For me, it is difficult as I am agnostic and while I don't deny that God/heaven exist, I just don't know. So it has been hard for me because the bible stuff and the afterlife stuff doesn't really help me, because I believe that no one knows what happens until we die, and that's when we figure it out. So I don't know if my dad is looking over me, or if he is around me at all.  What i have realized from this is that I hope so much there is, because coming to the realization that i will never see or talk to my dad on earth again has been so difficult. I miss him so much and i feel this huge part of my life is gone and i struggle daily trying to figure out what that life is going to be. Right now i can only cry and cry because i feel so broken. I cant sleep, because whenever i lay down in bed I start to think about dad and get upset and I can't stop thinking so I take sleeping pills.  During the day i am wracked with sadness also.  

This time of the year is so hard, because in my family Christmas was always just such a happy time, we had so many traditions, baking, watching old movies, making food together. This christmas is going to suck so bad because our guy is gone.  All of us feel so empty and lost without him. It just gets harder each day.  He loved christmas, loved giving us presents and seeing our reactions to them. Loved to make us a big breakfast. We loved getting him presents, usually UK soccer things, books, etc. It's just going to be so hard this year. But then i think , this is how its going to be every year from now. And i just have no hope that I'll ever get over the huge hole in my heart. 

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