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Lost My Dad - Feeling Crazy


lamp

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Hello. I'm so glad to have found this group because otherwise, I'd be jumping off the roof by now. My dad died on January 17 after an awful battle w/emphysema, congestive heart failure and a host of other issues. He fell asleep that Wednesday night and never woke up. He was first diagnosed w/emphysema in January 2011. For that first year, he had some issues here and there. Then, starting in January of last year, his health really started to decline. He was hospitalized six times from the beginning of October until early January of this year. A few days after we moved him to a nursing home, he died. Although I knew in my mind his death was imminent, my heart hasn't come to grips w/it. He is the first of the parents to die and we've never experienced the death of a close relative. I did have two miscarriages years ago, but those losses are nothing compared to this. Everywhere I go, I'm reminded of him. I want to wear his clothes, his shoes that are too big for me, his jewelry. I have some regrets -- that he died by himself, that we weren't able to see him in last days because of a flu outbreak at the nursing home, that he and I never reconciled until a few months before his death. The family breakup stems from his physical and emotional abuse of me, my sister and my mom. I was able to finally forgive him, but I regret all that time lost. Just when I got my dad back, I lost him. Watching his struggle killed me because he was always so active. I'm also upset because it appears my mother has already finished her mourning and wants us to get over ours. In a way, I understand because my parents never had a happy marriage and she had watched my dad's struggle for years. So, I can understand her relief. However, my sister and I are just beginning our grieving and I'm irritated at her telling me how I should grieve. I'm also upset that she's so cheerful now. It's like she wants to dance on his grave -- which probably won't happen until the spring as we've decided to delay his burial due to the winter season. I feel like I'm burdening my friends - nobody has said anything though. I especially feel like I'm burdening my husband who I am really disappointed isn't more emotional and empathetic as his dad is dying as well and he'll be grieving in a short while too. Compounding all this is my friend's husband killed himself a few months ago and a family at our church suffered a tremendous loss a day after my dad died - the mother of four died suddenly from a stroke. My husband's brother died young too, leaving behind four little kids so I know the heartbreak they're feeling. All these emotions - I just want to go away and retreat. I'm trying to hang on to my faith, but I just feel so dead inside.

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I hopr you realise that even though you feel like you are doing crazy things and feeling crazy emotions, these are all normal for the things you are going through. We all go through this. I go into my daughter's room and smell her clothes that I know she wore alot.Any thing to feel close to her. At times I want to never leave my home. If I didn't have my 6 year old, I would probably not leave. Just work through them. don't care what other people think because they do not understand. Know that your Father is at peace and when you have finished your spiritual journey here you will get to see him again. But there will be no painful memories to go with it. Blessings, Debbie

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I can't imagine the back and forth of your emotions right now lamp. It sounds like your heart has been clean torn in two this time. It's like there's a new confusion now as we stare out a window into a different world now. I'm not sure if there's ever a 'why doesn't someone take me away from all of this?' or something else that goes along with it. The pain behind your thoughts...your words says it all and I can't even imagine deep within, the gnawing, the shakiness, the heaviness inside. It's like a kind of hopelessness sets in. Compared to before, will it ever be the same again? Your emotions must seem so different now and we want to feel like we used to don't we? I know I do. It's like if we want to we can still remember, it's like they're still in our lives and sometimes their memories are still fresh somehow. All the things they meant to us, sometimes when we were connected and even when we were apart before, how the love was there, all the time, naturally but sometimes conflicted....just that feeling of what was once shared between father and daughter, but unique to who you were in your own personalities. It's all still a part of us somehow and memories somehow can feel so much more powerful. It's finding how to not be afraid to feel the pleasant, subtle happiness of those memories, that connection. And remembering that it's always important to fight to remember this connection without clouding it because what may not be now, the closeness we once we felt is definitely different now. It's for all intents and purposes a challenge. And yet we cope...somehow. They are still special, they were never meant to be forgotten, maybe things have become rare but they are still here with us somehow. Can we ever move on? I'm not sure we ever have all the answers. We just have to cherish that relationship always and know that what once was has its own special meaning to us, for now, for always, for all time.

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blujohnny, you have described my reality exactly. I'm torn between my pre-Dad and post-Dad worlds. Everything I see reminds me of him. I have no desire to do anything. I can't sleep, can't eat and today and yesterday, I didn't get out of bed until after noon. Lucky for me today is a snow day; otherwise, I would've been forced out of bed to take my kid to school. I know I can't keep functioning like this as I have a family to raise. I feel so alone.

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It seems like you know exactly how to describe what your dealing with. The comparison between your dad then and your dad now really gets to the heart of it, especially with the conflicted sense of relationship and now the need to have some final judgment over it. It sounds like your mind is grabbing at everything and anything to try and gain some kind of comfort as if he's still here somewhere. And it sounds like a fight against how your emotions are pulling you down and not being able to grasp your motivations anymore and to know where they went. I mean where did all the normalcy go? Maybe somewhere there's a belief, there's a hope in something...but it sounds like there's a need somewhere to connect somehow, it seems like that need...it's so blatantly there...like some big light is shining right on it.

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Yes, yes, blujohnny, that is exactly it. I feel like I'm treading water, like I'm trying to decide whether to sink, float or swim to the side.

Today, I felt a little bit normal. Some of the things that made me chuckle did so again today. I could almost forget that my dad died nearly 2 weeks ago. Earlier in the week, I somehow managed to go to a bereavement support group at my church and the facilitator described me as an "open wound." That is exactly how I feel.

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I can't believe it's only been two weeks for you...it sounds so fresh. I'm sure it's wondering how to close that wound too. I mean how do we look at all our emotions without feeling overwhelmed, without the hurt that somehow latches itself to everything right now. I know when I see nostalgic things in mind and those feelings that come with it...those subtle reminders that must be joy, yet here comes the uncomfortable feelings and then the need to almost turn away, we feel that deep sigh...maybe a deep moan within and we try to squeeze back any essence of moisture from developing in our eyes. Am I doing my best? I often ask, I mean surely I should be able to look at memories...to feel and to be able to somehow manage the process better. Should we be that afraid of what's going on inside ourselves? I'm not sure if it's an easy answer or solution but sometimes I do feel like I need to come to terms with it better. I hate not being able to look at memories without some kind of edge to them.

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