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Finally needed to share my thoughts


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Hello everyone, 

I will speak for to this later, but I was 17 when this happened. (now 18) 

Back in the latter half of the winter of 2017 my family went on a great tropical getaway to escape the gross cold Northeastern Winter. Less than a week after we got home my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack. During the week when we were home my dad came down with a cold/flu but it was the winter so why should we have been concerned. My dad was never in perfect health as long as I could remember but it was nothing life threatening or terrible (there would be days were he felt terrible, but for the most part it was a normal life). No-one in my family ever expected my dad to live to 100, thats for sure. In my dad's final days he progressively got sicker and sicker, but kept saying he was fine and had no need to go to the hospital. One thing I have never shared with anyone was one night when I was up late doing homework, he kept going to the washroom and looked terrible and I began to feel some concern. I asked my dad if he wanted to go to the hospital, and he kept saying no just as he had done all week. Later that night he went to the washroom again, and when I looked at him all I could see was suffering on the inside, and it felt as though I was staring at death. I picked up the phone dialled 911 to call an ambulance for my dad, paused and waited, and then put down the phone before hitting call. This is one thing that still haunts me to this day, but I know that I cannot blame myself for his death. 

Moving back to the story, I had the unfortunate experience of waking up the morning my father passed to the sound of my mother yelling his name because he had gone unconscious in his sleep. This is something that I flashback to in my mind when I think of that morning. I then remember the phone call to 9-1-1 and then the sound of sirens getting closer and closer until I could see there shining lights through my window. I chose to stay in my room instead of go out and see what was happening because I was too scared that morning, and my mother had health care experience so she was remaining decently calm and knew what she was doing to an extent. After the paramedics failed to revive him, they pronounced him dead at my house, and then his body laid there for a few hours before the funeral people came to pick him up. During that time my house was flooded with family and friends who offered tremendous support. 

Father's Day passed this weekend and I had this recurrent feeling inside that I am afraid to share with my mom and siblings because they are grieving very differently than me. The feeling is something I think would offend them and make them angry. I'm not sad, I'm not upset, I'm not all the "stereotypical grieving emotions", despite the fact that I loved my dad, had nothing wrong to say about him, and admired him my whole life. The rest of my family always wants to look at pictures and reminisce, when I prefer to move on and no longer talk about it. Unfortunately, I get dragged into these conversations or events or social media posts all of the time and I don't want to get upset with them because that is how they grieve and I want to be respectful to their feelings, but In reality what they're doing is going against my feelings. I hate when people tell me I'm "making my dad proud" like yeah I know that thank you. I don't need to be told by anyone that that is the case, I am fully aware of it, and I don't want you to keep brining it up. Even when he passed, I only cried twice throughout the whole ordeal. Being the only boy in my house (besides my dad) I don't know felt I needed to be the "strong man of the house now" or some bs like that or what, but it never really sunk in for me. The morning he passed I found I would just stare at things and look through them as though I couldn't comprehend what was happening and maybe I never truly accepted it or snapped out of that. 

It all feels real when I look to where he would sit, or that he won't be at graduation, or see me go to college next year, but I really don't know how I should feel. Im not one to share my emotions so Im surprised I wrote this. I loved my dad, and I'm obviously sad that he's gone, but I don't know what I should be feeling even though he passed away almost 7 months ago now. 


Thank you!

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Dear M1000,

Im sorry for your loss.  Reading your post I think from the shock of what happened perhaps you haven’t fully allowed your self to feel, you’ve gone numb from the trauma and shock.  This happened to a friend of mine 20 yrs ago when her mom died.  She didn’t cry.  She was angry at people.  Later though maybe a year she went through depression that went on for years.  She unconsciously suppressed the pain of loss because it was too much to handle.  Like you she could not look at pictures of her mom.  Reading your post reminded me of her and what she went through for many years.  Obviously I don’t know you and it may not be the case with you.  Maybe In some way perhaps you’ve switched some of the pain and loss off.  As you said we all deal with loss differently.  There is no right or wrong way.  Some of us are unable to cope crying all the time some of us get on with things, suppress the pain and some just adjust quicker than others.  7 months is very fresh.  My guess is you are only just beginning to absorb it.  This is normal.  Grief goes on for a long time.  Nothing you are doing or feeling is wrong.  Coming here and sharing your story is the beginning of coming to terms with loss, even if you don’t know what you feel.  In time you will.

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