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When does it get easier?


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I am forever a daddy's girl.


It's been just over seven months since I lost my dad to throat cancer and emphysema.  He was sick for three years and suffered so much...it was hard to see him as he got worse each year.  He was my rock...the one person that could always make me feel better.  


I moved away from home for law school when he was a year and a half into his battle.  I felt terrible for leaving, but he didn't want to be the reason for me not to pursue my future.  I was fortunate that I got to spend a week with him before he passed and was by his side when he took his last breath.  I will cherish those moments forever, but its not enough.  I just want him back...I would give anything just to hear his voice.


Dad was always the strong one in our family and I knew that I had to take over that role when he became too weak.  I had to be there for my mom and always tell her she was going to be ok.


But all the while, there was no one there to make sure I was going to be ok....


I have felt myself going through the different phases of grief....sadness, denial, anger...


Sometimes I feel like I might be on the road to the acceptance stage, but then I have a setback.  There's always a trigger that strikes up a memory of him and then I lose it.  Sometimes I cry for a few minutes and then I'm ok...other times I cry for hours.  Today is one of those days.  


I have no siblings, no husband and no children.  My dad was the most important man in my life and now that he's gone, there is a a huge hole in my heart that I am desperate to refill.   Never in my life have I wanted a husband, a partner, a companion so badly.  


I keep myself busy as much as possible so I don't have time to sit and think too much about being sad.  But I break down at least once a week....I feel like I'm grieving harder for him now than when he first passed.  I miss him every. single. day.


People said it gets easier with time....is that really true??  I'm trying so hard to stay strong, but don't know what else to do....I just feel lost, empty, heartbroken.  I keep hoping this is just a bad dream and I will eventually wake up and everything will be back to normal.  


When does it get easier????




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Ouch and confused

It does and it doesn't get easier.  I still get those "trigger" moments and it has been a long damn time for me.  There will be times that you so wish he were there or that you could talk to him, and there will be times where you are fine with it.  Acceptance is the final stage; and while you can accept reality, it doesn't mean that you won't miss him still. 


All the best and hang in there! 

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Hi Jmw,


I´m hitting the one year mark and although I can´t say it gets easier, I can say it changes and the pain starts to be felt differently.


During the first weeks, there´s that raw pain, you barely have any strength to get out of bed, you just feel empty, as time goes by you feel the need to do something so you don´t get stuck on that pain all day, then the pain stops being so raw but from time to time you have that feeling and ask yourself: "Did it really happened?" ... and the pain comes back again.


I think that it´s somewhere around that time that we have already developed some personal mechanisms to deal with it on our own way, I do have days when I don´t feel as bad, but others that I know I´m denying, delaying or avoiding the pain. Like you, every week I have a day, sometimes more, when I need to let it all out. I´m very anxious and prone to have panic attacks, so when I bottle up too much, it starts menafesting through my body, when this happens I know I need to let something out, even if I feel, it´s not the right time (I do this a lot). After crying for a while, I can´t say I feel better after, but on the next day I´ll feel lighter...


I don´t think the pain gets easier, we just adjust to it and the bigger the loss, the more time you need to adapt, but eventually we´ll do, some might take more time, but we do carry our "new" lifes.


Like you, my dad was my rock, I have no partner, children or lots of family and I lived with my dad. I feel like I´m still adjusting to the new me and the new life, I even think that´s why sometimes I feel so lost and lonely, but even on my darkest days, I try to keep going, even being afraid or unwilling, I do force myself to go and do what I´m supposed to do and cling to the hope that it´s just another stage and it will pass...


I´m really sorry for your loss and we´ll be here whenever you need us :)

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Dear JMW,


(and warm wishes to OaC and MD)


It is the hardest thing we have to do, continue living without someone who has been so important to us.  The experiences that people share in this forum and on this thread can help you to understand that what you are feeling is natural.  That every part of it, from the continued non-acceptance to the back and forth between emotions.


Before she died, Elizabeth Kubler Ross said that she never meant for the psychology community to structure grief in the manner of those stages.  And many years after teaching it that way, the psychology community finally started to understand... and they have now started to teach... there is no true passing from one stage to another.


We have the opportunity for the remainder of our lives to bounce from one to the other and back again.


So please know that what you're experiencing is not a bad thing.  We feel terrible pain and everything you've described: lost, empty, heartbroken and more because each time we are reminded that this piece of us that is not with us anymore, the totality of our relationship is open to us to feel.  Sometimes it can be insane love, sometimes insane grief, sometimes a feeling of comfort or gratitude.  But that person's affect on us never leaves and we, individually, learn to honour that relationship within ourselves.


I am finding that in its most basic capacity, grief is like birth.  When we are born, we do not know anything.  We only know that we want love.  When the person we love dies, we truly have to start this life again and learn anew what this world is all about and who we are.  And we sometimes have insane grief because we again only know that what we want is love but, this time, we already know where it should be coming from: the one person who isn't here to bundle us in their arms and take the hurt away.


We are raw then and we are raw now.  When you find a way to recognize the truth of what you're going through, it becomes easier to see that it is natural to have the great pain and confusion and mixed up everything that we have.


And to specifically answer your question, for myself, I have learned that it gets easier when I fully accepted my pain.  This did not take the pain away, but it made me accept myself and what I was going through even more, because I recognized that the strength of that pain was a reflection of the strength of my love.


Grief and mourning is not the enemy.  It is the process that needs to happen to allow us to continue living and holding that love we have for that person here in this world.  To do this, it is easiest if we are as gentle with ourselves as is possible.


When you lose someone who was a part of you, someone who was a constant connection between this life and your existence - and this does not have to be a parent - it is exactly like having a hole in ourselves.


And there is no filler.


Except ourselves and our continued love of that person, which didn't leave with them.


Give yourself the love that you know he would want you to give.  Be gentle with yourself during your times of tears.


One more thing I would like to share with you.  I understand about not having anyone to see if you were ok.  When my sister died, I, too, was the strong one and yet my sister's death took me to my knees for a year and a half.  But I didn't have anyone to share my pain with, to share my relationship with, because I was the strong one.  I have learned and experienced that sharing - mourning - is an important part of the process.  Mourning is an expression of your grief and the movement of your love; through tears, through artistic expression or through telling someone else how important your relationship is, and it is a healing activity.  It does not take the pain away.  But it allows you to express this most important relationship that deserves expression.  In that expression, through mourning, we get to be true to that relationship.


It is a very difficult time.  Hopefully you can find some peace by coming and sharing your relationship.  Stop by and chat in the chat area when people are there or post here.  Maybe you can even find a group in your area that you would feel comfortable within.


Nothing I've said will take the pain away but, in time, your love for your dad will be what finally takes the pain away.



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Sandra in Chile

Hey there

I too lost my Dad and I get it. It has been 6 months and I have days I feel so raw. Why don't you tell me about your Dad? He can live through you telling me about him.y Dad was sooo funny. Where was your dad born? What did he like to do?

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Dear jmw,

This is the question I am asking myself four months later. Thank you for everyone's response. I want to bump up this thread in hopes from hearing from more people. How do you feel now? How does it take to accept your new normal?

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Try to focus on good moments. I don't think things are static, is process and for everyone is different, some cope with it some refuse to accept it even after years have passed as it shows itself inexpertly  due to denial moments, be strong, that's life. Read some greek philosophy, stoicism it will help in hard times and when the grief comes back. Greif will not go way, no one understand what you feel until they loses some one, but life will do its course and it will affect in some way by "easing it" and how it depends on persona. There is no right or wrong way to deal with greif,  you dont  let others dictate your life, so dont put to much though on what they say for not many are in your position even, and even if they are, remember that people are individuals not static streamlined robots as society pressures to be, if you need help though read here and chat, there is always people that have gone through that will help.

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