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Daughter lost dad at age 18

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Hi everyone,

first of all, I want to say this post is really long. I'm mostly writing it to get my feelings out, so I totally understand if you don't want to read it. In short: I'm 18, my father died suddenly yesterday, I'm scared to go to his wake/funeral, I feel like I need to grow up and be less dependent on my mom, and I don't know if doing stuff to take my mind off of his death (video games, tv, etc) is bad.

the past 3 weeks have been the hardest in my entire life. It started with my grandmother being hospitalized, my aunt breaking her leg and needing surgery (she's now staying with us), my uncle passing away (same aunt's husband), and now my father just passed away yesterday morning. I've been strong, much stronger than I imagined I'd be. Up until now I was going to school normally and being tough through all the grief and my uncles funeral. But since hearing of my father's death, everything has caught up to me. Like I said, I've been quite strong, but certain things are really affecting me.

Last night, a close family friend came over to see my family and me. I was still in shock and unable to cry after hearing of my fathers death, but I think she's what woke me up. That family friend had went through the exact same thing that I am now experiencing. She was only 8 when her father passed away. She told me things like "Holidays will be tough.. just call/text me if you need to talk.. if you need to leave during the wake/funeral I'll be there.. don't worry, your brother will walk you down the aisle when you get married." That last one is what killed me. And to make it even worse, my mothers friend came over today and showed us wedding pictures of her daughter, some being with her father.

I was able to fully cry tonight, alone in my room. I prefer crying to myself rather than in front of my mom or anyone else. I'm only 18 and I've been so dependent on my family my entire life. I struggled with anxiety in high school and only have one friend. Whenever I go shopping or to the movies I go with my mom. But with my fathers passing, I feel like it's a sign I need to start being my own person. I need to learn how to cook a few meals for my mom and brother. And maybe get my license so they don't have to drive me everywhere. 

I'm also not sure if keeping my mind occupied by playing video games and watching videos is ok. That's basically what I did today, but I feel like a jerk for laughing at YouTube videos the day after my poor father passed away. People have said not to dwell on his death too much, so maybe it's ok to smile/laugh?

I loved my father and i only got to visit him once in these 3 weeks. My brother and I didn't even know he was that sick, everything happened so fast. I'm terrified to go to his wake and funeral. I hate crying especially in front of people and I don't want the last time I see him to be in a coffin. I wish I had been less of a bitchy daughter to him these past few years. He went through hell most of his life, being sick, having 2 kidney transplants, and tons of surgeries. At the very least I wanted to let him know I'm sorry and love him. 

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Dear StevieC,

I'm so sorry for your loss.  Please know you are in shock and that shock lasts a while.  Weeks, in my case 3 months.  It is very hard to absorb losing a parent, its hard to process it.

There is no right or wrong thing to do.  There is nothing to do.  As the shock wears off, the real grief will begin and it has many layers.  Guilt, anger being a couple of the layers.  If you read a lot of the posts here you will begin to understand how difficult it is and how everyone is struggling deeply for weeks, months and sometimes years.  Don't minimise what has happened.  As time goes on you can make decisions along the way  about learning to drive, cook etc..  For now this period can be a combination of numb shock.  Cry when you want to cry and try not to keep it in.  talk if you want to, don't if you don't want to.  Funerals are very very hard.  I was kind of in a blur for my mothers.  It wasn't the worst day, the worst was yet to come, weeks and months of struggle thats still going on.  If you feel the need to talk later down the line think about  counselling.  It can help you process your emotions as they unfold.  So sorry for your loss.  We are listening to you and reading your words.

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Dear StevieC,

I'm very sorry for your loss. I know there is a lot on your young shoulders right now. Please don't feel like you have to be strong for your family right now.  Whatever your feelings are right now, they are ok. There is no right or wrong. Losing a father is terribly shocking. I'm sure it doesn't even feel real right now.

I know its hard going through the ritual of the wake and funeral service. I know no one wants to ever imagine this day. Do what you feel is best for you. But if you can, I would try and go and be there for your mother and brother.

Its a horribly painful and confusing time, but know you are not alone. Please know we are all here to listen and support you.

Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

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Thanks to everyone who's commented on this post. I attended my father's wake and funeral on Weds and Thurs and it was definitely tough. My family is starting to go back to our regular day to day routine but of course we are still in mourning. 

Im keeping all of your kind words in mind. Thank you again.

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