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Hey everyone, I'm new to this place and I've been reading some of other peoples posts and somehow it's easier to support someone else, but not yourself. Odd.

Anyway, I lost my father to prostate cancer about 5 months ago, after almost 2 years of struggling. The conclusions I can draw at this point is:

- At the beginning I mourned but it didn't affect me that much. I blocked out everything just to move on with my life. I was actually proud that I handled it so well, and was saying this to friends and family.

- Then boom, earlier this month it just hit me. Maybe it was triggered by my work situation, I don't know, but all of a sudden the depression hit me. It's a little better now, but I was truly surprised about it, it felt wierd that it came so long afterwards.

- Since then for some reason, I've isolated myself from my family, fighting with them and just not wanting to be part of it anymore. I don't know, is this normal? This is unknown territory for me, since I'm normally very close to my family. Maybe it's something I have to go through I don't know.

- Last but not least, I feel like a different person since he died. A more darker and cynical side of me has emerged and I don't really recognize myself. Is this also normal?

I guess time will tell how it develops, but I hope I return to my sunny and happy self soon.

 

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My sympathies on your loss.  It's hard to watch your parent struggle that long, and then losing them after that, it feels like they were cheated.  My perspective, at least.  My mom had a long illness as well.  It takes a lot out of you going through that for so long.

Everything you've described is normal.  Some people grieve hard right away while others have delayed grief.  Perhaps it's just whenever the shock wears off, whenever it starts feeling a little too real.  There are many aspects to grief most everyone shares, but we all process it in our own time. 

Anger, and irrational anger, is something that hits almost everyone.  I've read it's a reaction to going from the more "comfortable" (for lack of a better word) state of denial to the impossibly sad realization that it happened.  Family and friends end up in the line of fire, so we have to do our best to remember it's only redirected aggression and not actually them.  When the anger finally leaves you, you'll have a change of heart.  Isolation is normal too.  You just need time to grieve and adapt.  It's hard learning to cope with this experience being around others.  

I've always had a dark and cynical side, but I can say there's many things that now draw little to no emotion or care from me.  Losing a parent changes you.  Not in a good way, but in a manageable way.  I've had two major losses that have changed me.  My mom 3 months ago, which time will tell how that molds me, and a loss 7 years ago.  In my experience we pretty much fall back into our normal selves, but with a part missing.  It's like the happy parts of me were dulled, but not so much that I was unhappy.  Know what I mean?  Things just feel a little less bright than they once were, but it's not such a significant change that you don't get used to it.  

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Thank you so much for your kind words, it's exacltly how I'm feeling. There is still alot of turmoil in the family, and its really wierd because there wasn't much before. I feel as if the whole dynamic has changed, and... honestly I don't recognize myself or my own family. I don't know if it makes any sense...its just really hard to cope with that at the same time as grieving and at the same time as trying to keep up normal worklife, friends, social etc. its just hard.

Is this normal too? I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. I feel for example that some of my older siblings are much rougher on me and my mother doesn't seem to care or have energy to deal with the turbulence...  I dont know, this is completely new territory for me...

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

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Hi Luna1

I can relate so much to your post. Even though the way our dad’s left us are very different (my dad left unexpectedly after a stroke) I feel like the grieving process has been very similar. During the first month I felt like I was handling everything very well, after one month I even felt like the grieving was coming to an end and I could back to my “normal” life. So when suddenly one day I couldn’t get myself out of bed and started crying uncontrollably it took me entirely by surprise. During the first few weeks I also thought I had skipped the anger stage, well I was wrong..  it just hit me later.. all my anger and frustration was directed towards some members of my family. Similar to your brothers, I feel like my sister is much rougher on me, my opinions don’t matter and hurting my feelings is not a big deal for her. My family dynamic was always very peaceful and harmonic (with some ups and downs of course) but now it seems like it is all changing. There are some things I try to keep in mind, and they might be helpful for you too:

Each member of your family is going through their own grieving process which is very different than your own. Each one of you had a different relationship with your dad, therefore you have different memories, different regrets, and different griefs. I know my sister is acting this way because she had a couple of big fights with my dad so she feels guilty and is taking it out on us (it still doesn’t make it ok but at least I can understand where she is coming from, and I know she is acting this way because she is in pain). So maybe if you look at the way your family is dealing with their grief from their own perspective that will help you understand their behaviour. Also, I know some of my anger is also driven by my own grief so I try not to act out on that (even though it is really hard). Also, I think my dad would be so sad if he knew his passing could break the family apart. So whenever I feel I cannot take it anymore I try to get some space, I also try not to say anything I won’t be able to take back later (I have a big issue with confrontation so perhaps I am not being as assertive as I should, but for the moment this is what is working out for me).

I really wish I knew the best way to deal with this, it would make our lives easier, but at least know that you are not alone in this and I wish with all my heart we both can find a way to get through this.

Love,

M

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I'm new to this--first post.  I lost my dad on March 28 to lung cancer, two months to the day of diagnosis.  This horrible disease took him swiftly and ferociously; I think in many ways I'm still in shock.  

Grief hits me at different times; I never know when or where it will rear its ugly head.   Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony it struck as a bugler was playing Taps; last night I was blindsided by something on TV that reminded me of him.  Today it was a display of Father's Day cards at Target.  God, it hurts.

I'm extremely angry, at the doctors who didn't see cancer coming soon enough, at an aunt (my dad's sister) who failed to tell us she had beaten lung cancer SIX YEARS AGO, at my husband who, although was a total rock star when Dad was sick now is sending signals he wishes my grief would be over--you get the idea.  Anger is exhausting so yes, I'm of course worn out all the time, too.

Thank you to this forum and to those who have posted on this thread for making me feel a little less insane.  

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MilaMila - Thank you so much for your word: its truly relieving to have someone outside the family acknowledge that this is normal. Its a very good reminder to think of their pain, even thought its hard being kneedeep in my own. Its good advice. Ive though since decided to get some help with this issue, I need to talk to someone face2face, and not carry it on my own. It will be worht it in the long run.

Chrismikemom - I feel for you, its still very fresh for you. Even though things are hard, it is true that it does get better. I still believe that if you are sinking into a depression, get help like Im going to do. There is no need to suffer or carry it alone. Atleast where I live there is good support within the medical community, maybe its the same for you.

I loved an article i read that someone posted about nurturing the relationship, even if the person is gone. So im doing that now, I talk to him when Im at my lowest, im going to create a photobook with him, and I light a candle whenever I miss him. It sounds cheesy, but it helps. And we dont have all the answers today, we dont know what happens after we die, and therefor we cannot rule anything else out. Its a comforthing thought, atleast for me. Much strenght and love to you all

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