Augustgirl

I can't comprehend that Dad doesn't exist

40 posts in this topic

I lost my Dad last October very suddenly, but I still can't comprehend that he's really gone. To think that he's never coming back and that I'll never spend a second with him again is more than my brain can handle. I'm not religious or spiritual so I don't believe that we'll meet again one day and I don't believe that he's looking down on me. In some ways I wish I did believe this as it may make coping with his death easier.

I believe that when my Dad died that  was it for him. He ceased to exist. Yes, he exists in people's memories, but that is all. Physically, he's a pile of ashes buried under a few feet of soil. I can't comprehend that his body is no more, that his body isn't just 'somewhere else'. He has no idea what I'm now doing in life and never ever will, he does not think, breath or feel. The second he died he ceased to be.

How do other people who don't have religious or spiritual beliefs cope with the death of a parent or loved one? Does anyone have advice on coming to terms with the belief that the person who died is in fact now no more than particles in the soil? That their soul does not continue on existing somewhere else? 

 

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So sorry for your loss of your dad. You and your dad loved each other very much. He raised you, loved you with his heart, taught you. He was a role model in your life and is greatly missed. Words are inadequate I know and there is nothing anyone can say that will ease your pain. Grieving is a process and the journey is individual. Try to live your life the way you think your dad would want you to, with love and compassion.

 

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What my psychologist said to me and what I came to realise as well, is that my mother (who passed away inaugust) lives on through me. I have been living on my own for the last 6 years and I realised (even before she passed) that I subconsciously picked up on a lot of her household habits (such as cleaning the windows or doing the laundry in a specific way) or all the things she taught me when I still loved at home (all her cooking skills and tips and tricks and hacks). I have been living with roommates for a few years and I noticed how they do certain things differently, like making their bed and other, mundane and everyday things that you do automatically, and realised that I do them differently, like my mom used to. That always made me smile and thought of how I picked up on all of this stuff subconsciously. And I am even more aware of these things after her passing. So I see myself as her legacy, and try to live and to be the best version of myself that I can and how she brought me up. And one day, hopefully pass her legacy through me onto my children and teaching them everything my mom taught me. 

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Hi Augustgirl,

My dad died suddenly in May from a fall and brain injury.

I have a couple of non-spriritual things that have helped me deal with the loss of him recently. One is the realization that no one can ever take away the fact that he was my dad, he existed, my memories are real, and there's nothing anyone can ever do to change it. That to me made him permanent. When Christmas came I thought I'd never, ever be able to handle it, and I'd end up in a padded cell with a strait jacket or dead. No...what happened was memories of him and past Christmases, and how they are seared into my brain and NO ONE can remove them. He existed, and that is that. I find that really comforting, and it's something I never expected to feel/happen. The second thing happened just the other day as I was walking. I realized deeply that I would not be here if it weren't for him, and that is a fact that no one can change.

I know these things don't take away the pain, but they do seem (at least for me) to make him irretrievably PERMANENT. He was, and that will never change.

Peace to you.

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Thank you all for your replies. I think it will take me a long while yet to come to terms with my Dad's death, but your responses have helped. 

I've lost my teacher, my guide, and my leader, the person who knew the answer to all life's hiccups. At times I feel at peace knowing that my Dad, as simply 'ashes in the ground,' never has to feel a painful or sad emotion again, and at other times, I still can't quite believe that some who loved life so much can no longer feel the happiness and joy life can bring. I find that so incredibly sad and heartbreaking. He wasn't by any means ready to go. I often still can't quite comprehend that he's gone. 

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Dear Augustgirl,

I also lost my mom suddenly in October. She was not ready to go, I feel too young to lose her already. While I deal with so many different emotions right now, one thing is also that I cannot process how she does not exist anymore. I am not religious (even though I would like to have faith). I guess it will probably take my lifetime to come to terms she is really gone. Or I maybe I will never reach the state of acceptance that she is gone. At the moment I believe it is maybe ok and she does not need to be considered completely gone. But it is so awful to sit there and think that probably the whole life lies ahead of me without her in it. It is so unfair. 

We have to be good to ourselves while grieving. Take care. 

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I totally can relate. I felt as if you wrote the question for me. The only difference is that I lost my father in November 4 weeks after des did a scam for cancer. I feel a mix of anger and sorrow, he was my best friend. I cried every day for weeks and now its almost every day but I awake in tears because I dream of him every night.  

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Dear Augustgirl , 

I am so sorry about the passing of your dearly beloved father . My father died also , suddenly from what we learned was congestive heart failure . Even though it was many years ago , I miss him so much ! My mother died in 2015 and I am still mourning her death . 

The reason I decided to comment here is because you mentioned some things that I also agree with , in fact , it is even in agreement with the Bible . You mentioned that you feel a person who has died basically returned to the dust of the ground or ashes . The result of disobedience to God was foretold at Genesis 3:19 , " ... until you return to the ground , for out of it you were taken . For dust you are and to dust you will return . " Because Adam disobeyed God , he became sinful and passed on sin to his offspring . When Adam eventually died , it was just as God said . No part of Adam separated, no half returned to dust and the other part in another form . When humans die , they cease to exist , just as you said . 

The reason I feel confident in that thought is because of what is stated at Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 which states , " For the living know that they will die , but the dead know nothing at all , nor do they have any more reward, because all memory is forgotten . Also , their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun. " 

Did you know that Jesus himself said that death was like a deep sleep ? As we know , a person can be awakened from sleep , right ? Why did Jesus compare death to sleep ? If you would care to find out where that reference is , I'd be delighted to share it with you . 

Again, I am sincerely sorry for your loss . I hope you are comforted and have peace of mind and heart . 

Frances 

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I'm so sorry for all your loses. It really is true when people say that nothing can prepare you for the death of someone you love and the absolute, unnegotiable finality of it.

Comprehending that there's no solution, not even a minisucle one, to my Dad's death is more difficult than I knew possible. Rationally, I know nothing can bring him back to life, but comprehending that this is it, the absolute end, is beyond my grasp - that no matter what anyone says or does, in any way, shape or form will not change the fact that my Dad is dead and buried under several feet on soil and never, ever coming back. Even though I watched as my Dad's ashes were poured into the ground, I can't quite grasp that the grey dusty particles are literally the hands that my Dad held me with as a child, and that those particles are made up of his brain, the actual brain he used to think, feel and teach with. How can something so familiar to me, and something that did so much to help people, now be just dust?

 

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Dear  Augustgirl,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your cherished father. I'm so sorry. I can completely identify with everything you are saying. I too also lost my father last October. It is still a terrible shock. And you are right, how can we accept this? It just doesn't seem possible that someone that raised us and guided us is now in the ground. I'm with you. No matter what anyone says or how they try to frame his death for me, I just cannot accept it. I never understood the pain and sorrow till it happened to me. My dad's passing is the first major loss of my life. I know death is part of life, but I so badly wanted my dad to live to a 101, so I wouldn't have to face this new reality. I think all these questions we have is part of the journey of grief. In some ways, I guess I have to accept that there are no good answers and no acceptance, but that I must continue living. I do want to honor my dad by living a good life. By remembering him and visiting him at his grave site. I want him to know he raised a daughter that respected him and cherished him, even though I did not say it out loud while he was alive. I hope he knew.

 

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I lost my father a few weeks ago and have been thinking about this issue myself. While my dad was a Christian minister, I have a complicated, evolving idea of God which is pretty far from any organized religion.

I've been thinking these past few weeks in very scientific terms. Like you, I watched ashes be lowered into ground and have been trying to wrap my mind around that urn bring all that is physically left of the man who was my anchor from Day One. I have found comfort idea the scientific idea that energy doesn't disappear, it just changes form (like motion or light converting to heat). The combination of cells and energy that was my father was unique and is gone, and I am grieving that daily. But, the energy has not completely gone, it is continuing to shape the world in subtle ways, and less subtle ways. The latter include the ways that all those who knew my father, or yours, have been changed by knowing him. His colleagues' work for social justice which is fueled by decades of conversation with my dad; his friends' warmth and jokes that are informed by his friendship; the choices my brothers and I make because we were shaped by our father... All of those ways are ways he lives on and the effect of his life ripples outward even past his lifespan. 

And the more we share our memories, stories, and inspiration, the stronger we keep that energy alive.

 

I hope that helps you a bit, too.

 

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On 1/7/2017 at 4:28 AM, Augustgirl said:

First of all I am very sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. They say you shouldn't say that to someone because everyone's case is unique, but I "do" know how you feel as far as some of the things you mentioned. I too can't comprehend that my mother is gone forever. The concept doesn't register with me. I can't comprehend it nor understand it. I am miserable without her and depressed and very lonely. And like you, I am not religious so I don't believe I will see her in the 'afterlife". And like you, I wish I did believe in an afterlife but I just don't. And I am being honest. Losing my mother has been the most horrible thing in my life. She died in 2012 but it seems to have gotten worse and not better. As time unfolds I see how much I need her. And that's what I mean by getting worse. I am so sorry for you. I wish I could make things better for you. But I can't even make things better for myself. I have taken up meditation. I do it at home. It is a way of relaxing my body as I get so tense. But the meditation is by no means a cure all and there are days I don't even have the will or energy to do it. I only mention that because I have been seeking ways to cope with the stress I feel in my body from being so upset. I also joined the YMCA to use the pool and exercise facilities but I hate to go there as it is so family oriented and when I go, I am by myself. Please take care and know that even a stranger (me) can care about your feelings. Be well. I will think of you and hope good things happen to you.

 

 

 

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Augustgirl I agree with you 100% my mum died in December 2014 and I still am unable to comprehend I won't see her again. For me time is still not healed my loss but maybe 2 years is still a short time I don't know. I find it very difficult to change anything my mum knew about i couldn't change our TV because I knew my mum had watched it I'm unsure if this is a normal feeling but to me without my mum there is no normal. I do feel comfort here being with people who are going through the same and sharing feelings I wouldn't say to anyone else.

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It's coming up to the three month mark since my Dad's death, and although it is still early days, I'm no closer to comprehending that whatever remains of my Dad is literally buried under several feet of soil.

Similarly, at his funeral, I couldn't comprehend that in that dark, tiny space inside the wooden coffin was my Dad, so still and silent. As bizarre as it sounds, I couldn't help but think he'd be feeling claustraphobic and lonely in there. I sometimes have the same thought when I think about him buried under six feet of soil in the cemetery.

The past few months have been surreal. Almost as though it's someone else's Dad who has died and I'm watching from a far. 

The first month I was in such shock that I barely cried, not even at the funeral. At times I find it easy to put his death to the back of my mind as though it hasn't happened at all. I think this is part of still not being able to comprehend that he's gone forever and will never meet my future husband or his future grandkids.

I truly wonder how we are expected to live the rest of our lives without the most important person being there. It's a hugely overwhelming thought that I can only hope becomes easier to accept in time. 

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Hi Augustgirl, I am blown away by everything you have said because it is EXACTLY the same for me. Every single thought and feeling you have, I also have. What you said about this living, breathing person being reduced to a pile of dust and him being lonely in the coffin - I had the same thoughts. I lost my father nearly two years ago (it was a surprise he died when he did but not a shock as he was in bad health) and although I don't cry hysterically the way I did every day for the first year, I am still overcome with sadness on an almost daily basis and I am starting to think it will never go away even though I just want to get on with my life, stop being so nostalgic and living in the past.

Like you, I am not religious and do not believe I will ever see my dad again - an idea that devastates me - and absolutely nothing that anyone has said above or has said to me face to face can reconcile me with the fact he is gone forever and make me feel better. Some people have said that knowing their dad lives on through them helps them. Not me. I've been told he'll live on in my heart and head, as a way of making me feel better. But how can it?! I don't want his memory, I just want him, flesh and bone, in front of me! Perhaps I'm a negative person but none of the pieces of advice I've been given have helped in any way.

I can't offer any advice that will make you feel better but the one thing I will say is that time is a healer. I know it is a cliché but time is the only thing that will really ease your pain. Although I am still suffering, it is a lot better than it was in the first months after his death. I don't cry much anymore, not like in the beginning where I'd sob for hours. It is time that has done that for me, made it slightly easier to accept. I am hoping that in one, two, five years time, I will be able to think about him with happiness not sadness, and I do think that day will come one day. For me, there is really nothing else you can do except ride it out and wait for the pain to lessen. And it really will one day, however inconceivable that seems.

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Hello all,

My cherished mother passed away in September 2016.  I was extremely close to her, and stayed with her when her health started failing.  Even though her health was failing, she was extremely with it mentally until the very end. She loved reading biographies, watching all sports, politics, and cooking among other interests. While her mind was extremely sharp, her heart was failing.  It saddened me to watch her decline physically and at the same time be so mentally sharp.  She looked 20 years younger then she was, as all the doctors and nurses where we went commented on.  This was the absolute worse thing that could have happened to me , by far.  I also can not comprehend the fact that I wont see her again in this life. 

While I was never very religious, I did always believe in God.  Since this happened  I have more faith and have been going to church and learning more about the teachings.  I whole heartily believe in life after death for many reasons.  That is what the Christion religion teaches, that Jesus died for our sins, and those that believe in him will have eternal life.  Also I have read many books about people who have had near death experience, and even met someone that has.  All these people have similar experiences  that ensures me that they are real.  There are many thousands of people with these experiences, many of them doctors and scientists.  I have done A LOT of research on this. Some good books are: To Heaven and Back, by Mary Neal, Imagine Heaven, by John Burke, and God and the Afterlife, by Jeffery Long. 

           I also have had many signs from my mother that have comforted me.  I know it may sound “out there” to  a lot of people, you have to be opened minded enough to believe that there is more than what we can actually see.  And while I do still miss her terribly, this has all helped me knowing that she is okay and that she is with me. 

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Hello all,

I lost my Dad Oct 30, 2016.  I just joined this site as I am feeling very bad.  Thank you all for sharing, I too feel the same.  It is so hard to believe. I keep having dreams about him. I don't know how to cope. It is putting a strain on my relationships. I feel like half of myself is gone.

hope it gets better for us all

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Hi InADarkPlace,

Just wanted to say hello and I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. I lost my dad suddenly in May and what you said about feeling like half of yourself is gone resonates with me. I'm sure it's different for everyone but the waves of grief for me are coming further and further apart, though not any less intense each time. I suppose that's a kind of getting better, though it feels so lonely without him. My dad was the only one who loved me for who I am. 

Wishing you peace.

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Thanks Ribbonfest.  I am sorry for your loss too. Wishing you peace as well and for you to find others who love you for who you are.

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On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 1:38 AM, Ladybird1982 said:

Hi Augustgirl, I am blown away by everything you have said because it is EXACTLY the same for me. Every single thought and feeling you have, I also have. What you said about this living, breathing person being reduced to a pile of dust and him being lonely in the coffin - I had the same thoughts. I lost my father nearly two years ago (it was a surprise he died when he did but not a shock as he was in bad health) and although I don't cry hysterically the way I did every day for the first year, I am still overcome with sadness on an almost daily basis and I am starting to think it will never go away even though I just want to get on with my life, stop being so nostalgic and living in the past.

Like you, I am not religious and do not believe I will ever see my dad again - an idea that devastates me - and absolutely nothing that anyone has said above or has said to me face to face can reconcile me with the fact he is gone forever and make me feel better. Some people have said that knowing their dad lives on through them helps them. Not me. I've been told he'll live on in my heart and head, as a way of making me feel better. But how can it?! I don't want his memory, I just want him, flesh and bone, in front of me! Perhaps I'm a negative person but none of the pieces of advice I've been given have helped in any way.

I can't offer any advice that will make you feel better but the one thing I will say is that time is a healer. I know it is a cliché but time is the only thing that will really ease your pain. Although I am still suffering, it is a lot better than it was in the first months after his death. I don't cry much anymore, not like in the beginning where I'd sob for hours. It is time that has done that for me, made it slightly easier to accept. I am hoping that in one, two, five years time, I will be able to think about him with happiness not sadness, and I do think that day will come one day. For me, there is really nothing else you can do except ride it out and wait for the pain to lessen. And it really will one day, however inconceivable that seems.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ladybird1982. I, too, have found little confort when people have told me that my Dad lives on through me. I also just want him to be here in the flesh where I can see him, speak to him, listen to his words of wisdom.

I cannot comprehend that he literally does not know of the world he lived in anymore. He has no conscious so he does not know me, or my Mum or any other family member anymore. He's not in his grave, or anywhere else, thinking about us and wondering what we're up to. He has no thoughts or memory of his life. He does not know anymore that I am his daughter. 

For me, this is so difficult to accept.  It's heartbreaking. The only comfort I find in this is that it is not for enternity, but only until I die when I also won't know life.

I really wish I believed in some form of life after death, that at some point we'll be reunited with the people we love most in the world, but I don't - I just don't. 

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Augustgirl, again, what you said is exactly how I feel. I desperately wish I believed in the afterlife as this might give me some comfort - knowing the separation is only temporary But for me, he disappered when he died and is not looking over me or seeing what becomes of me. He isn't anywhere at all because he and his soul and crazy personality and everything that made him him, went away the second he died.

So if we can't find comfort in a future heavenly reunion, we need to find a way to cope and live with never seeing our dads again. There isn't any solution to that problem except wait it out and talk to others about it. I can't talk to anyone and feel very alone in my grief, which is why I came on this forum. There is some comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in my sadness, that millions of people all over the world are grieving someone right now. I think the key is to try not to let it overwhelm you. There was a time when I thought I might be teetering on the edge of some sort of depression but that feeling has long gone so I know things must be getting better.

Please believe me when I say that it WILL get better for you, however hard it is to believe. You will probably always be left with a sadness but not the devastation you're feeling right now. Before I couldn't talk about him or even say the word "dad". Now I can laugh about things he did and said without feeling like crying every time. I found that I started to feel a lot better after the one year anniversary of his death. I know that's still quite a way off for you but use that as a goal - once you reach one year and get the first anniversary out of the way,I do think you'll start to feel better.

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Dear Ladybird,

Thank you for your comforting and inspirational words. I always wonder how people can survive such a traumatic loss. Moment by moment. Day by day. I'm still waiting. The mere thought of my father still brings me to tears.

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Hello Reader,

 

I am glad that what I am saying is useful in some way. I really felt the need to share my experiences and feelings on the matter, as someone who cannot be comforted with the idea of heaven, and the idea that dad lives on through me and in my thoughts etc, as that is no comfort to me at all, when all I want is him in front of me.

 

I don’t feel I can talk to anyone about this so being able to speak on this forum is therapeutic for me. Hearing how you and other people who have recently lost a parent are feeling makes me remember that I felt the same in the beginning and it shows me how far I’ve come. In the beginning I concentrated on small things on a day to day or hour by hour basis. A nice sunny day, a rendez-vous with a friend, my niece...They all helped to make me forget for a while or feel a bit better, if only temporarily, because there are such beautiful things in this world, even during our grief.

 

I still get upset about dad very often, practically every day actually, and would literally do anything to have just one more hour with him to tell him all the things I never did. I don't want to say that your experience is the same as mine because everyone deals with it and copes in different ways. But as long as you don't let it pull you under, it really does get easier.

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Dear Ladybird,

Thank you again for your words of support and encouragement. I will try hard to keep myself a float. I'm like you, thinking of my dad daily. And what I didn't say to him before he passed. Life is so unfair. I'm with you. I too just want my dad to be alive. Just one more day even. I wanted so badly for  him to have all us around him when he passed, but he died alone. I know I have to remember my dad's whole life and not that one single moment. But it is the one that is burned inside my mind right now. I take comfort in your words. And will try to find the beauty in every day life. And that time will give me some peace.  Thank you again for your reply.

 

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I would recommend that you watch as many Near Death Experiences as you can from different cultures different parts of the world. I have gained a lot of peace from the stories. just type in NDEs n YouTube and watch a few...it will give u more facts to base what you consider to happen after death. Hope it helps good luck.

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