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How to cope with losing a parent at a young age?


Kellyh0825

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Kellyh0825

I lost my father to lung cancer last year. I was only 16. I watched him take his last breath, I was there for it all. how do you cope with losing your parent? There's some days when I start thinking about him, & I feel like I cant breathe. Is that normal? I feel like I can't talk to my family about it because they seem like they're okay & I'm the only one still grieving. 

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I'm sorry you have to go through this at such a young age kellyh0825. I lost my Dad in February and the way you're feeling is 'normal.' You've had a massive trauma and now you've got to process it. Sounds like anxiety from what you're saying; some days I have to take deep breaths when I feel like I can't breathe. My Nan passed away at the end of May after a 4 week battle with cancer as well - seeing that deterioration is so hard for a family and I don't know about you with your Dad but sometimes I struggle to remember her as she was before the cancer.

Have you looked into counselling? If your Dad was in a hospice, they provide support for families. I think you should try and talk to your family too - you may be surprised by how the rest are feeling even if they appear ok!

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This is so hard, I wish I could speak from experience of losing a parent so young.  I lost my father when I was 26 and now, in my early 30's my mom's health is declining.  What you are experiencing is normal.  Grief feels like going crazy.  The roller coaster of feeling normal, then feeling devastated, guilty, angry..wash and repeat, definitely makes it feel like you are losing it. Grief can also be very isolating.  Young friends, especially as young as yours are, probably have never lost an immediate family member.  It may be a scary thing for them to think about and they probably won't know how to support you having never experienced it themselves.  

I am almost certain that your family is not over it.  Adults learn to hide their emotions so they can function at work etc.  Your adult family members may be trying to put on a brave face for you, not realizing that they are making you feel isolated...or, it may still be too difficult for them to talk about.  They may feel that discussing it brings up unwanted feelings that they have been able to suppress.  I would encourage you speak to the closest adult you have and ask them how they are doing.  Ask them if they are still bothered by the loss and what they do when they feel the grief creeping back.

Like the above poster it may be useful to see a grief counselor for a while, at the very least it would give you someone to talk to if the rest of your family is unable.  Also, come here if there is no one else!  We are here for you!  You can message me privately if you need to talk.  In the meantime try to go easy on yourself and know that even though it doesn't feel normal, it is and though we can't bring people back we can recover and enjoy the rest of our lives and loved ones.  That's what our loved ones would want for us.

Chelle

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