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I’m 52 and an only child single with no children of my own. I lost my mom September 29, 2021. She had had dementia for years. It was hard but also a relief. But yesterday I found my father passed away. He had been declining but there was no reason to  think it would’ve been so sudden. I am very much in shock and need answers to some of the things in my head right now. For example the thought of turning on the TV frightens me because I think I’ll see something that reminds me of him or that I would want to talk to him about. I’m afraid to turn the lights out. I’m afraid to drive because my dad always maintained my vehicles for me and I don’t know what I will do if it breaks down. And that seems silly because I have AAA but it all comes down to this fear that I can’t get beyond. Has anyone else encountered it? How do you work through it? Is it not fear is it something else?

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Dear LGS,

I am so sorry for your loss. It is normal and natural to feel this way after losing both your parents. Part of the grief you are feeling. I think it would help to talk to a grief counsellor or therapist or seek out a support group in the community. I also found these websites helpful. Grief in Common. Grief Healing Blog. Grief Share. What's Your Grief.

I would also suggest this website Aging Care for additional supports.

Keep taking it day by day for now. Thinking of you.

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There is also a section on this site to talk about losing a parent, if you haven't already you might try posting this there.

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On 12/4/2021 at 9:23 PM, LGS said:

Is it not fear is it something else?

LGS, my deepest sympathies on your father's passing.

It depends on how you define 'fear', but I felt the same thing when my husband died, and for me it feels more like I'll end up being incompetent and feeling useless and helpless. Right now, I don't know what light bulb to buy for the bathroom fixture -- it took me forever to remove the burnt-out one, which ended up looking like what is called an 'R27-base' on Amazon, and I'm pretty sure it's 78mm, so that's what I ordered and we'll see if it's the right stupid thing and if I can install the stupid thing. At the same time, the old one is old and rated in watts, and all of the new bulbs are rated in bloody lumens, whatever those are. (I had to 'Google' to acquaint myself.) And it's the same for ALL the electronics in my house, so I really have a sense that I know how you're feeling. I have a new-to-me laptop that's been sitting over there for over a month, that I'm too afraid to even attempt to figure-out how to hook-up to this home WiFi thing that I'm now in charge of, and download the new software that I want, and other crap like that, and more crap like that. It's just not what I know how to do, and/but my late husband would have had it all done in less than 30 minutes. <sigh>.

And also everything else. My late husband was a tech genius and a handyman supreme and an auto-mechanic guru, and now I've got all of these tools that I don't even know what they are. (Hydraulic lift is one, that the guy who came to take away the old sofa told me about.) I've been looking at the auto flyers, and see if I can identify anything. So far, what I can see, is that these ones are quite expensive, but what the heck am *I* supposed to do with them? Keep them? Try to sell them? Where, and to whom???)   Everything just makes me feel inadequate and incompetent and stupid and pathetic. And sad.

We cannot go through life and not expect to get reminded of them. Either it will be some outer/external stimuli, or it will come from within our own memory. Smells and sounds and tastes and everything. So, that we just have to get used to will definitely happen to us. As the song sings, "always something there to remind [us]". Always and always, and most often uninvited, unbidden and not of our conscious volition.

As with you, when our mom died in June last year, my brother also had to avoid the radio for some time, because he and our mom used to listen to the same classical music station. But he is okay about that now.  So, it is fine to just give it some time.

For me, what I've realized is that I'll just need to hire people to do what I can't do. It feels kind of silly on one hand, but it's not, on the other. (I had a problem with a squirrel nest on my balcony for months and months and months, and, just last week, I finally got a guy in who took care of all of it for me. I'm still a bit, er, squirrelly <LOL> about going on the balcony, but at least I know it's clean.   Whereas, my husband would have had it all sorted out in 5 minutes flat. It sounds like your Dad was like that, too.)

I'm still working through it, LGS. I do what I can, when I can; and then, when I really need, I'll just get in the experts.

Love and hugs,   Ronni

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