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I feel shattered and can't cope

Jenny Wren

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Jenny Wren

My dad passed away February 7th, and I just cannot function. He was always my rock, and my favourite person in the whole world. I can't make sense of life without him in it. I'm 40 years old, but feel like a lost little girl who just wants her daddy! 

I've battled with depression my whole life, and I organised some of the funeral things while still in a haze of shock, but now I've sunk into a deep pit of depression. I need to function. My mother is also lost without him and devastated, she's elderly and diabetic and needs care and support, which I want to give -and it's what my dad would want and expect, and I love her too- but I'm finding it so hard to grieve and function, and my mind is still reeling. He was so good for his age (85) and I could never imagine being able to cope with him passing away. Any time he even mentioned him passing, I'd reel away from the thought and change the subject, convinced myself he'd live well into his 90s, through sheer stubborn-mindedness, if nothing else! He was a strong and very determined man.

He had an leaking aortic aneurysm. They said there was nothing they could do, he knew he would die, and he was so brave about it, it kills me. I loved him with my whole heart, and I know how much he adored me too. I wish I had even half his strength of character. I want to honour him, but how do I find the strength to arrange his funeral and cook in "his" kitchen, when I can't face that he's gone? When I can barely force myself out of bed?

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Valerie Lockhart

Dear Jenny Wren,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. Try to remember that there is no “correct” way to grieve. Some are able to move on with relative ease. Others cannot. In such cases, the process cannot be rushed, so do not feel compelled to meet some “deadline” at which point you think you should feel better. 

Try to recall happy memories of the times you shared with your father, perhaps by looking at photos. True, remembering those times might be painful at first. In time, though, these memories may help you to heal rather than cause you to hurt.

You might even try keeping a journal. In it, you could write about your pleasant memories and even include the things you wish you could have said to your father while he was still alive. It may be easier for you to put your feelings into perspective when you see them on paper. Writing might also provide you with a healthful outlet for your emotions.

I found comfort in reading the Bible and talking to God through prayer. Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22) I've found that prayer to God is not some sort of emotional crutch. It is real and vital communication with “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.”—2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

Challenging as it may be, working through grief will help you to move on with your life. Do not feel guilty, as if by moving on you would be betraying your loved one or forgetting him or her. The fact is that you will never forget your loved one. On certain occasions, memories may come flooding back, but gradually the distressing symptoms will ease.

May the God of comfort take hold of your hand and walk beside you during this difficult time. 

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