Author Topic: Trying to cope after the loss of my dad  (Read 66 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gayle81

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Trying to cope after the loss of my dad
« on: October 15, 2020, 09:18:17 PM »
Hi everyone,

This is my first post, and I guess my first step to trying to make some sense out of what's happened.

December 2019 I lost my dad very suddenly and unexpectedly.
My dad was my whole world, he was my hero, my protector and my best friend and it absolutely broke my heart into a million pieces when I lost him.

I do have days where I'm good, I can laugh and smile with the best of them, but even on those days, inside I still feel lost without him and I feel this emptiness without him and I doubt that I'll ever feel again, the way I did before I lost dad.
People at work, my friends, think I'm absolutely fine, but I put my "work mask" on. That's the way I am and have always been, work and duties first, private life second.
But inside? I'm empty and it's like a part of me is permanently missing. I feel as though the spark, that zest for life that I had has gone.

I struggle with not seeing him or talking to him and I have days where feelings of guilt crucify me.
I don't live in my hometown but I'm only a couple of hours away and although I'd speak to my dad loads and go home as much as I could, Sunday nights were the night where we would facetime each other and talk for absolutely ages about anything and everything.

The Friday before he died, I'd passed a training course at work and as soon as I got to my car I texted him to let him know because I was so excited and he was waiting to hear if I'd passed it. I'll never forget the message he replied with, "brilliant news pet. You'll have to tell me all about it on Sunday xxxx"
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance  :cry:

I replay the night he died over and over in my head, I can remember every single detail about that night.
Sunday evening came, I'd dropped my partner off at his work Christmas party, I came home did a couple of chores and then sat down to speak to dad. I facetimed him, got no answer so I rang his mobile, got no answer.
I gave it a few minutes thinking he might be on the loo or in the kitchen making his supper or something.
But then I rang him again, and again, and again, after about 20 minutes of this I just started to get this sick feeling in my stomach that something was wrong.
So I contacted friends of his to see if he was with them which he wasn't, I rang my brother to see if dad was with him, which he wasn't.

Cut a long story short, this was getting on for around 9.30pm, my brother went to dads with the spare key. The bedroom light was on, car on the driveway, blinds open downstairs (he never went to bed without closing the blinds) and his key was in the back of the door, as soon as I knew this I felt absolutely sick to my stomach because I knew that something was very wrong.
All the while I'm still ringing and texting him.
So I called the police to go to dads house and force entry as my brother couldn't get in.
I was sat with my phone in my hand, physically shaking waiting for news.
My brother called me within minutes of the police getting there and as soon as I answered the phone and my brothers voice cracked as he started to speak, I just knew and I collapsed to my knees on the floor.
Dad had passed away on his bedroom floor....  :cry:
I remember the police officer talking to me on the phone and I even said to her "don't tell me he's dead, please don't dare tell me dad's dead..."
The hardest bit was ringing my auntie (dads sister) in New Zealand to tell her that her only brother had passed away right before Christmas.
I remember that she had sent dads Christmas card and present a few days beforehand and it arrived the day of his funeral.

The bit that just rips me apart is that he died alone on his bedroom floor and he had been there since the Saturday afternoon.
My own dad. Lay there, dead, for over 24 hours. I feel like the most horrible, awful daughter in the world for that.
He was all alone without anyone knowing what had happened and it brings me to tears just thinking about it....I despise myself that I wasn't there for him and that he died all alone. Dad was there for me my entire life, through absolutely everything and I wasn't there for him when he needed me.  :cry:

He wasn't meant to die that way, me and my brother should have been with him at the end, holding his hand, telling him how much we loved and adored him, and saying our goodbyes.
He was taken too soon, there were so many things that he didn't get to do, that I didn't get to do with him......he'll never walk me down the aisle and that was the one thing he really wanted to do  :cry:
I feel robbed and cheated out of even saying goodbye to my own dad....
It just feels so unfair because he was such a wonderful, decent, hardworking, loving, honourable man.

Thing is, had it been the following weekend, I was going home for my Christmas visit and I'd have been there.
It was a massive stroke and a brain haemorrhage that killed him, and I know that there's nothing I could have done to save him, the best doctors in the world couldn't have saved him if they'd been right next to him at the time, but I just feel like scum that I wasn't at least there to try and help him or hold him as he died so he wasn't alone and that he would have died knowing how much I loved him.

I torture myself thinking about his last moments....How quickly did it happen? Did he know what was happening? Was he lay there crying out for help in an empty house and nobody came? The mere thought that dad knew what was going on.....I don't know how to describe how downright awful that makes me feel.

I just cannot get rid of the guilt I feel that he died all alone and that I didn't even know about it for over 24 hours! I should have been calling and messaging him every single day!
I feel guilty for moving away from home in the first place, I feel guilty for all the times I could have gone back home even for the day, and I didn't because I wanted to have some rest on my days off from work or to do overtime at work to progress in my career and earn extra money, all the birthdays, Christmas eves/days and new years eves that I worked that I should have been with dad....all those missed opportunities just crucify me, and for what? To fulfil my own selfish needs and have some time to relax on my days off? For my career? Extra money?
And I can't change it now.

He was in hospital a couple of years ago for heart surgery and I didn't see him in hospital, why? Because I was working!! Dad said it was a routine operation and that there was nothing to worry about and, (I've only just admitted this to myself in the last couple of months), it scared the living daylights out of me the thought of him being in hospital for anything and I didn't want to see him that way. Yep, I didn't go and see my own dad in hospital.
So I deserve to feel bad and guilty and all the negative emotions I feel, because I was selfish.
My dad, who was absolutely everything for me my entire life, including after when our mum left us when we were young, the one man who I could always trust, rely on, the most loving, loyal, reliable man in the entire world.....his own daughter didn't go and see him in hospital because she put her own selfish feelings before her dads.

The ironic thing is, I've been fortunate that through this covid pandemic, I'm in a very secure and stable job and I've thrown myself into my work. That's what I do. Work, work, work, work, work. And then work some more on my days off.
It's so hypocritical of me. But the way I look at it now is that if I'm at work (and I absolutely love my job, I really do) it keeps me busy and my mind occupied. It gives me something else to focus on and for a while I can forget about what a awful daughter I was and I forget about the guilt for a while.

I have no idea how to get rid of this guilt, I want to but I don't know how. People tell me I shouldn't feel guilty but I can't just switch it off and I should feel guilty about it all and I deserve it because I let my dad down.

I miss my dad so much my heart hurts  :cry: I talk to him all the time but he can never reply, he can never put his arms around me again and tell me he loves me and everything will be alright....he's the only person who could make me feel better but he's the one person who can't do that.

I have his ashes at home with me (my brother, understandably couldn't face having part of dad at home with him as he found it too hard) and I won't scatter them, I want to keep dad home with me because if he's at home with me, I'm always with him and he's not alone anymore.
Almost like I'm trying to make up for not being there more for him.....

I saw a bereavement counsellor early this year and she was amazing, but the guilt I feel now wasn't anywhere near as prevalent as it is now and that counselling was more to do with dealing with the actual loss itself and the shock of it all.

I can accept now that dad has gone, it's hard and as much as it's like a stake through my heart and I do feel so empty without him, I know and accept he isn't coming back, but it's this guilt, the feelings of regret, the feelings of loss and the desperation I feel from wanting so desperately to be forgiven by dad for not being there when he needed me most in the world.

Has anyone else felt guilt like this and how on earth did you cope with it?
I wonder if the time has come again to seek out some more counselling....

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I do apologise for going on and on.

Gayle xx
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 09:35:10 PM by Gayle81 »

Offline Emz2014

  • Administrator
  • VIP Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
  • Karma: +128/-0
Re: Trying to cope after the loss of my dad
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 09:38:15 PM »
Sending you a hug  :hug:  i lost my dad many years ago, he too died alone. I had spent the day trying to get hold of him and early eve my sister went over and found he had passed away
Its truly hard and is a rollercoaster. It seems guilt and thougnts of 'should have' are part of the journey. I had lots, but in reality we can only do what we can with the knowledge we have at the time, and along with that our loved ones know we always intended the best

In time I was able to let to of the should haves, i know i did the best I could at the time. The journey for me definitely took a few years to come to a more settled place. I still think of my dad daily but the pain has eased (it still flares now and again, but I've learned to cope)

My only advice is to remember you did all you could. And I'm sure if you could speak with your dad now he would acknowledge you did too. When you have a bond like that they knew they were loved :hearts:
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline Gayle81

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Trying to cope after the loss of my dad
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 10:11:08 PM »
Thank you  :hearts:

Now that the shock of dads passing has worn off, I find myself missing him more and more every day. I keep asking myself "when does this get easier?" but I guess, how long is a piece of string?

I remember going back to work 2 weeks after his funeral, what a mistake that was! I ended up having a complete meltdown and having even more time off work. Thankfully my supervision were absolutely brilliant.
But I'm terrified that will happen again because of everything I'm feeling.

Honestly, my friends at work would be shocked beyond all belief if they knew I felt this way because I'm so good at pretending that I'm absolutely fine.
I do have days where I feel good and I can feel the joy and happiness and see the good in things but I just feel so hollow inside, I find myself with less patience for things as well which is weird because I was always a very patient person, I'm cut from the same cloth as my dad in that way but since I lost dad, I just find myself unable to take any interest in other people's problems (which sounds awful I know!).

At dads funeral, friends of his were telling me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me (god it makes me cry just thinking about it) and how he was so happy seeing me settle down doing my dream job, settling down with my partner (who he regarded as his second son) and he was so happy seeing me happy.

I know, I know in my heart of hearts that dad would thump me on the arm and say " come on lass, buck up, dry your eyes and stop it. There's no need" but my heart just aches for him.

As I sit here I can see his pictures and his smiling, handsome face is beaming back at me and I just feel really really sorry for him that his life was taken away when he was happy with his lot in life.
He had two lovely grandsons from my brother, he had a great group of friends, he was going on holidays with them, I'd settled down with my partner, he was happy I got a new role at work. His life was good and it was just all stolen away in the blink of an eye.

It just breaks my heart and I think because it's getting close to the first anniversary it's bringing back lots of feelings.
Things like "this time last year....." not knowing that in about 8 weeks, his life would be no more and the worlds of me and my brother would never be the same again.

I'd never really experienced bereavement before this so all of these feelings are a very big shock.

Offline Emz2014

  • Administrator
  • VIP Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
  • Karma: +128/-0
Re: Trying to cope after the loss of my dad
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 08:16:06 PM »
I remember near the beginning I'd be sat at work and randomly burst into tears. Luckily i was able to work from home a bit more. And I did find I became very short tempered, an agitation and often didnt recognise myself in my reactions. In my 2nd year I felt it took time to try and find 'me' again, and regain confidence

Coming up to anniversaries is always hard, brings up lots of memories. We often find the actual day is not as hard as feared. I find it helps me to be kind/gentle with myself around those times.  Give yourself the space/time you need, plan to do something which has meaning to you - whether thats needing time with others, or time alone to remember.

I've done a few different things over the years, whatever has felt right at the time.  Some I would spend time at my dads stone, another year I wrote a message on a pebble then threw it into the sea, then watched/listened to the waves

From my experience the rollercoaster takes time but it does get easier  :hug:
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 08:19:15 PM by Emz2014 »
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx