Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
I lost my mother a week ago. I lost my father back in Feb. It has been a really rough year on me,
especially the last week. The gut wrenching pain still comes and goes. I miss my mom and dad!
Douglas I was viewing a post for a friend I lost recently and saw yours and had to comment.... I lost my parents just 23 days apart in 2008 and want you to know that I'm pretty sure I know how you feel. Mine both died from cancer, my mother long term cancer that we were (sort of) prepared for and my father collapsed from an non diagnosed metastatic brain tumour the day we found out my mother would have to come off life support...he was paralyzed....They never got to say goodbye to each other and I had no one there with me as I shuffled from one Toronto hospital to another for the three weeks where this hell overlapped (except my loyal husband). I am an only child. My father never spoke again and died just a month later. I think I understood when I told him she had passed. My mother was so sedated I couldn't explain why my father wasn't there. I didn't know for sure he was terminal until the day after she was buried. They were 68 and 69 years old. I was 36. I'm not sure how old you are or the circumstances but I'm not sure it matters. Becoming an orphan at any age is soooo hard. There IS physical pain, right in your heart. There is physical weight, right on your shoulders, and for me, when I took steps down hospital corridors, through funeral homes, from the grave, I felt like an inner layer of my soul was peeled away from me and left behind like a snake leaving it's sheath behind. But it got better. It has been three years and we did a butterfly release at their grave on their mutual birthday in July. Six of us went with eight butterflies. When we released them six flew away and two landed in the flowers by the headstone and died there. My youngest son, who never met my parents, ran up to headstone and called 'Nana nana' (he was 1 at the time). It was beautiful symbolic and strange. But I didn't shed a tear. Somehow I have shed the weight on my shoulders and the pain in my gut. I think of them every single day, I know that their death has changed the course of my life in every way, it will be with me always but it is not destined to always make me miserable. Early on I reminded myself that even before I was born this was my destiny, I just have to accept it as the way my life was going to go, just like all the good things were meant to be. I want my mom and dad back more than anything too, I dream of them often and that is the best because they are real again. I don't have any specific advice except to grieve in the way you like, I liked to cry on the grave itself and leave the tears there. Later I liked to talk about them with anyone who would listen. Now I visit them and make sure they know I still love them and take my kids and tell them stories about them while we are there. It evolves. I wish you all the best and if you have any questions about what's next or where to go for support please feel free to share. If you just want to talk about your parents I will listen. I've been there and I know.
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