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Topic: Does the grief and guilt ever go away?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Ekoi
    Ekoi avatar
    1 posts
    7 November 2019

    Late in 2018 I lost two family members very close to me. First, at the end of August someone who is like a second father, who has cared for me since I was 6 months old finally passed away after a long hard battle with cancer. I had received messages from my 'sister' days earlier telling me that his health was rapidly declining and that I should come visit him as they didn't know how long he had left. I was so busy with work shifts all over the place that it took a bit before I could organise a time, and I finally planned a day I would go and visit. A couple of nights before the day I had planned to visit, I get a phone call from my niece saying I should come urgently as he was getting even worse. I was prepared to head over there and then, but because it was late at night, we both agreed I would come early the next day.

    The next day, as I'm getting ready to head out there I get a phone call from my niece again... in tears telling me he was gone. I'd never experienced the death of someone so close, so I didn't know how to react and my instinct was to be the strong one, and I held it together, suppressing my emotions through everything so that everyone else had someone to lean on.

    Fast forward a couple of weeks, I had a holiday I had booked for months to go to Japan. But I don't look at that holiday as a good holiday. As the day after I returned home, my grandfather passed away. A little over a month after my 'Dad' had passed away. I had so much suppressed emotion from his passing that when I found out about my Poppy I broke. I was an emotional shell for months afterward, and I could not sleep.

    I didn't catch up with my Poppy (grandfather) right before we left for Japan, even though he wanted to catch up for dinner the night before we went away. He rang me, but I was so busy packing and when I checked the message I had already eaten dinner. So I didn't ring him back even though I had spare time for going out with him, and told myself I would contact him when I get back. I never could. I still have the messages on my phone, saved, so that I could hear his voice.

    It's now been a little over a year since they both passed away and I still have dreams and nightmares. I still have so much grief and guilt about losing them both, I feel so guilty about all the times I didn't catch up with them and how distant I was. I don't know what I can do, but I've been so lost since.

    I have never experienced this, I don't know what I can do.

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    4632 posts
    7 November 2019 in reply to Ekoi
    Hi and welcome to beyond blue. Sorry to hear about the losses you have had to deal with. Grieving is something we all have to deal with and until we experience it won't really know what to expect. How long it takes is unique to each of us. It also helps if you have someone you can talk to if you want support. There is also no shame in looking for professional help. And sometimes it may occur some time after the event.

    There are many things I could say, and none of these will make you feel any better. Perhaps the best thing I could do at this point in time is to sit beside you and let you tell your story of how you felt, your thoughts. I am listening to you.

    Peace to you,

  3. White Rose
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6326 posts
    7 November 2019 in reply to Ekoi

    Dear Ekoi

    Welcome to the forum. So pleased you found your way here. I am so sorry about your loss of father and grandfather. It is so hard to lose those who are close to you no matter what the circumstances. Both my parents died in the UK without me being able to get there. I did manage to get to mom's funeral which helped a little.

    Grief, as Tim has said, is very individual. My elder sister died15 years ago and I could only truly grieve for her in the last couple of years. She had cancer and her life was cut short. Yet she was so precious to me and I have never really understood why it took so long to feel the pain. Truly we are all so different. I hope it helps to know that others have felt as you do and mourned so much.

    It is normal to feel regret and beat ourselves up so to speak because we did or did not do something that may have changed to the circumstances. There is little point in telling you to put it behind as this is not an easy thing to do. Grief has to run its course. If we try to push it down, 'forget it' or any other reaction I have found it makes the whole thing so much more difficult.

    Tim has commented that it can help to talk to others and I most whole heartedly agree. This is what this forum is about, helping each other through the bad times and rejoicing in the good bits. So tell us about your feelings and we will sit with you and listen. Imagine a metaphorical hand reaching through the computer to hold your hand and hopefully to give some comfort.

    None of us know what to expect until it happens. Tim has suggested it may help to see a professional person. How do you feel about that? It can give you some respite and help you on your journey.

    We are here to listen.


  4. Sammy3934
    Sammy3934 avatar
    4 posts
    13 November 2019 in reply to Ekoi

    Hi Ekoi, loss of a loved one bites deep and hard, and you have two close passings to deal with. You have stated that you worry about all the times you were not there, what about all the times you were there. We can’t all be there when a loved one passes. It is not what we did the week before or day of their passing, but what we did during our time with them whilst they were here with us. You sound like you had very special relationships with both your dad and grand-dad, and they thought so too, or they wouldn’t have rung you. Please stop beating yourself up, and remember the positive, great times you shared with them and know they loved you warts and all.

    Peace, Sean

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