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Topic: Unexpected loss of my dad, my best friend. Feel I should have done more.

  1. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    13 October 2020

    Hello, I feel vulnerable typing this but the words seem to be flowing as fast as my tears.

    A few weeks ago I found my father passed away in his bed at only 69. He was always early to rise and seize the day, yet that day I rose from my slumber before him, it immediately felt wrong, and as I knocked on his door reality hit me like a brick. There, before my eyes I saw my father, a man who's strength, patience and generosity made him 11 foot tall and bulletproof to me, laying on his back in bed, so still, so still... far too still.

    I immediately tried to wake him by shaking him, then breathed into his mouth before beginning CPR, but as I compressed his chest I heard one of his ribs or bones make a sound which terrified me and caused me to panic, knocking over his table before running outside to call the police.

    I have been in denial, and keeping busy has kept a lot at bay, but in the past 6 or so days it has felt as if my entire body has caved in, I have broken down multiple times per day drenching myself in tears and searching for reasons to stay on this plane.

    His death was such a shock, I still recall his final words 'I'm off to bed, goodnight' I never thought in a million years, that goodnight would turn out to be goodbye.

    I have felt so much guilt owing to my circumstances for the past few years.

    See as an adult I had to go back to him for help in rebuilding my life, so he was my beacon in the dark world, raised me as a single father from a child, and now too as a man.

    I cannot repay what I owe to him, he sacrificed everything for me, yet only ever asked of me to be happy and live a good life.

    Other guilt stems from the thought that I did not provide CPR for long enough, once I heard his rib I felt as if I were hurting him and fell apart, I know that I did not hurt him, yet I cannot shake that remorse, I also regret the few days before he passed as he was so tired and lethargic, he was recently recovering from a bout of shingles and a slight chest infection so we both assumed that was the reason for his tiredness, but I feel I should have done something, forced him to go to the GP or something...I never thought he would go to bed Monday night and never wake up, I don't think he did either.

    I have been talking to his photo and recording myself on his phone, have asked him to take me away too, yet I know he gave too much of himself for me to throw it all away.

    I put on a brave face for others but his phone holds my truth, miss you man, I am trying dad.

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3684 posts
    13 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    Hey pl515p1, welcome to the Beyond Blue forum. Thank you so much for having the strength to share your story with us tonight, we understand this isn't always easy to do. We are so sorry to hear about the unexpected loss of your father. We can't imagine the shock and pain you must be going through right now. We can hear how important he is to you and the admiration and love you have for him. Please know that our community is here to support you through this difficult time. Hopefully, a few of them will pop by and offer you some words of kindness and advice.  We hope you know that there is always help available to you, whether it's from our professional mental health counsellors Beyond Blue (available 24/7/365 on 1300 22 4636) or our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467). We'd also recommend getting in touch with Griefline - 1300 845 745. GriefLine provides counselling support services free of charge to individuals who are experiencing loss. Thank you again for reaching out to our community. We hope we can be of some comfort. 
    1 person found this helpful
  3. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13477 posts
    14 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hello Pl515p1, the love for your dad is well and truly shown by the words you have told us, and we are so deeply sorry and our utmost sympathy for the loss you are trying to cope with.

    There are no words that can possibly fill this hole left by your father passing away, all we can do is try and support you by holding you up and we are definitely here for you.

    At times we put on a brave face, but it's when you are by yourself, reality, unfortunately, sets in, and this is the time to know that there are so many other people wanting to help you through this.

    Our most sincere condolences.

    Geoff. x

    1 person found this helpful
  4. White Rose
    Community Champion
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    White Rose avatar
    6322 posts
    14 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Dear pl515p1

    Hello and welcome to the forum. Thank you for telling us about your wonderful dad and how much he meant to you. Words cannot take away your pain but we are here to give a listening ear and words of comfort as much as we can. I can only imagine how dreadful it must have been to find your dad had passed away in his sleep at such an early age. Please accept my sincere condolences.

    I can understand the regret you feel about not insisting he see a doctor or all the other ways to help you have been wondering about. Please try to remember no matter how long you tried to give CPR it would have made no difference. It was not for lack of trying that your dad passed away. You did try but it would have made no difference.

    My mom died unexpectedly 20 years ago. She was in the UK and I was in Australia. No chance to say goodbye though I did manage to get to her funeral. Like you I cried buckets and would dissolve into tears with every memory. It was so very hard. You will manage and your grief will get less but you will always remember him with love for everything he meant to you and some sadness that he has gone.

    I see Sophie has listed some resources for you to contact. Please try to talk to someone whenever you need. It is by talking that you will adjust to a life without dad. It is natural that you feel you cannot manage without him. Can you do your best in his memory? Talk to his photo or write your words of grief, it will help.

    The loss of someone so close to you is hard. It's a natural reaction to push away the sadness. No one wants to accept the person they love has gone. Crying is a good way to grieve. It's OK to do this and the natural way to feel. I suggest you do fill all your time with activity but allow yourself to cry and mourn for some part of each day.

    Please continue to write in here if you find it helpful.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  5. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    14 October 2020

    Thanks Sophie_M, I have contacted grief support who have arranged to call me, I hope it will at least help place my thoughts into some sort of structure.

    Thank you too geoff.

    Thank you White Rose, I am sorry for your loss also.
    I have been talking to his photo for many hours each night, in fact last night may have been the best and worst so far, for some reason I just went back into childhood and read aloud all of my childhood memories, recalling all of the wonderful places we had been, people we had seen, and moments we had cherished, I even began to laugh as I felt the joy and warmth fill my soul.
    First time in weeks I truly slept in peace, I even dreamed a vivid wonderland of dad, I was talking to him again, it was so real, it was...until this morning, when I woke and all the memories melted away into a deep mourning that rocked me to the core, I have never felt such a deep sense of emptiness as today, backed myself into a corner and began to shake, I could feel myself almost faint..

    I guess it is the duality of existence, are those small moments of joy worth the many hours of heartbreak that follow. It was truly beautiful to see and hear him again, if only in a dream.

    I know that life is precious, and we never know what the future may bring, I have tortured myself and agonised over every little thing, every argument we may have had, every time I caused him worry or stress growing up, and the fact that I can never repay him, see now it is my time to work for him, do all the things for him that he once did for me, I so wanted to shelter and nourish him now into retirement, have him see the grand-kids he so wanted to see, it was an honour and a privilege to be the son of such a beautiful man, and I could only imagine how much love, wisdom, knowledge and protection he would have given my children.

    Now, if I ever have kids, I can only hope to be a tenth of the man, and father, he is, not was, he still is, he is still in my heart, spirit, mind and soul. I just hope my future wife doesn't mind if we give even a daughter his name too ha ha.

    I also know my current circumstances, (still living in the home he passed) are not helpful to my trauma, everyday I have to see him in every corner, I have closed the entry to the bedrooms to avoid his, and have settled into the living room, hopefully I can arrange to move soon as reliving that day over and over has taken it's toll.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and the support. I might stick around here for awhile.


  6. di_yo
    di_yo avatar
    7 posts
    14 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    hi pl515p1,

    I'm so sorry about the passing of your father, from what you've said, he sounds like an amazing dad/human being! I can't say I understand your situtation, but I'd like to think I can relate to how you're feeling. My dad passed just a bit more than a month ago unexpectantly, and the same type of thoughts ran through my head. Looking in retrospect and having guilt about not seeing it coming, or maybe if I just did this or that, his passing would never have happened etc. I think it's natural to have these thoughts, but it becomes unhealthy when you dwell on them for too long or start to blame yourself.
    The fact that you attempted CPR is such a courageous thing, CPR done properly can actually fracture ribs (that's the extent you have to push down to mimic the beating of a heart), so you actually did great.
    If you are comfortable with it, I would suggest seeking a psychologist (or whatever mental health professional you prefer). I think since it has only been a few weeks for you, shock/thoughts/memories/emotions are still running havoc inside your head. I found the psychologist was somewhat able to provide a form of guidance for everything that I was thinking and feeling, and also it kind of feels good talking to a third party with no relation to myself or my dad (I'm not sure why to be honest...)
    The way you talk about your dad and look up to him is a testament of how great of a man he was, and your positive attitude in wanting to follow in his footsteps is admirable!
    Thankyou for sharing your story :)

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    9204 posts
    15 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    Dear pl515p1~

    In all your grief you seem to have have very naturally not realized that for a parent to help and be the mainstay of a child, even an adult one in poor times, is a source of pride, of feeling useful and having accomplishment

    Add to that the pleasure of having your love around him until he passed away.

    It is a way I would not mind going myself.

    You have done more good than you think

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  8. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    16 October 2020

    Thank you di_yo,

    I am sorry for your loss also, I am trying to go easy on myself and come to terms with, and also to understand more, that I did try, and I know that dad would have seen me trying and crying...he would be proud of how much I cared about him, and how much I love him, proud seeing me somehow doing everything that needed to be done in the last weeks, still going on, I have fallen many times, but I feel him pick me up each time. I know he would say to me that I did everything I could, not to worry, and I reckon he would be more worried about my well-being now to be honest.

    It is hard, I still am filled with regret, and still feel blame for the what ifs, as you say. I know though that dad is proud, and feels the deep love, and respect I hold in my heart and soul. In time I think I need to love myself, and respect myself as my dad does.

    Thank you Croix.

    A few people have told me that to go to sleep in one's own bed, with the most important person in their world just there in the next room would be a most serene slumber.

    I know he was dreaming pleasant dreams over the last few nights, he told me of them, the final words he said to me were goodnight, so calmly, so I know he did not retire with anything but relaxation in his mind.

    I know it may seem funny, but I like to believe that dad went to sleep, and while he was dreaming, drifted away. Now he is free to live in his dreams where he can be or do anything he could ever imagine.

    He is probably up there with his daughters teaching them all about life and imparting the knowledge he so wonderfully shared with me to them.

  9. di_yo
    di_yo avatar
    7 posts
    16 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    pl515p1,
    It brings me a lot of comfort to hear you talk the way you do about your dad. With such love and pride and positivity. It honestly reminds me a lot of my dad. As horrible and negative as we are feeling right now, it is such a blessing to be able to reflect on our dads with such positive thoughts because they were such genuine people.
    Know that you are not alone as you ride through these emotions, there's a whole community here riding along with you :)
    1 person found this helpful
  10. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13477 posts
    17 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hello Pl515p1, the love and affection you had for your dad was so strong, so your belief that he was dreaming can never be questioned and something you feel at peace with, no one can ever say otherwise.

    These are now your thoughts and treasured memories you hold close to you everytime you look at a photo of him.

    My best.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    17 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    As a fellow sensitive soul and as a parent (mum) and as a child to those I fear losing one day, I feel so incredibly deeply for you. I cried throughout all of your heartfelt soulful posts, wishing I was there to make a difference to you. You are a truly beautiful sensitive loving person, a fact your dad would have been easily aware of.

    This must have been a truly shocking experience for you. The shock factor alone would be challenging enough to deal with, let alone the added overwhelming experience of such a loss, reflected on daily. I'm glad you feel your father still with you in a number of ways. To imagine him guiding you through moments of inspiration or through dreams is a very soulful experience. I have heard it said before that when someone passes the person who loves them can find it almost impossible to get them out of their head. It's like they hear them all the time. While one person may say 'I don't know why I can't get the thought 'You need a fresh start, paint the house' out of my head', another person may say 'I can hear my father saying 'You need a fresh start, paint the house', so I'm going to listen to his advice'.

    Your future wife and kids will know your dad through you. When your wife or children say 'You are a great listener' or 'You're so sensitive to what I need', you will be able to say 'That's you father in law/grandfather'. In this largely insensitive world you have many of your father's teachings to pass on to others. From what your dad has taught you and from what you have learned from him, it would not surprise me if you were to become the sort of teacher (in life) that makes a significant difference to others. Can you imagine your father smiling at such a thought?

    I'm glad something or someone inspired you to come here. The greatest challenges in life can rarely ever be navigated without support.

    Take care :)

    1 person found this helpful
  12. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    19 October 2020

    Hey di_yo, thank you for your support, I agree that it is a beautiful thing, the relationship we have with our dads. I have been talking to a few people lately who have not been as fortunate to have had such special bonds with their parent/s.

    It highlights just how special they really were, and still are! I consider it an honour to be his son, and I find great happiness in the fact that you too had a special dad. I feel like giving you a high five or fist bump ha.

    Thank you geoff, I look at his photo and cry, but I also find it comforting to think that he is free to explore all of the wonder in the universe, that we in this plane do not know of.

    I will continue to think of him dreaming such beautiful scenes, and I too hope to dream of him for ever more, there we can be together once more, if only for the briefest, blissful moment.

    Hello therising, I am sorry for making you cry, but I am touched and honoured by your kind words and thoughts.

    I am feeling him more and more in my life, guiding me towards the right way, and I hope one day in the future to follow his footsteps into volunteering and giving back, I think helping others may provide great healing and warmth to myself as well.

    I can see him smile whenever I make myself or another smile, he had that special smile, where he smiles with his eyes. Just making eye contact with him felt like a big warm hug and you couldn't help but smile back.

    I will try to carry on in this strange, incredible thing we call life, with his warmth, kindness and patience. I can see him looking at me with pride, seeing all the hard work he put in to raise me, and knowing he did well, he did so well. I will try to be the man he raised me to be.

    Thank you for all of the support, knowing there are people out there that care truly make a difference, I have found out about so many wonderful people and organisations recently that I never knew existed.

    The world may be bombarded with negativity and doom and gloom, yet there are still beacons of hope in many places such as here, a wonderful reminder of the beauty of humanity. We are all in this journey together and it feels incredible to have a hand on your shoulder, knowing that someone, somewhere, has got your back, no matter how small the gesture.

    Thank you.

    Regards.

  13. di_yo
    di_yo avatar
    7 posts
    20 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    haha I accept your hi5s and fist bumps and send virtual ones right back! :)
    1 person found this helpful
  14. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    21 October 2020

    Hello, a lot has happened in the past week, there were times of joy and hope that were met full force by tremendous grief and loss.

    Firstly, last week I went to my GP to organise a Mental Health Plan, which allowed me to begin some counselling for my Bereavement and Trauma.

    I attended my session, I think I held back and put a brave face on, I almost broke down but I stopped myself, perhaps in time I will allow her to get closer to and feel secure enough to express myself fully, I don’t know though, I let everything out when The Police first attended, then to the Nurse at Hospital, and then when I saw some of dad’s friends. I think maybe I have put up a defensive mechanism to not have to open the wound again and again.

    Then on the same night I reconnected with some friends I had not seen in many years and we went out for night of fun, a great time that lasted well into the late hours.

    I was beaming on the way home, I wanted to tell dad all about the great night I had, I was so excited until I got back, see, I was having so much fun out that I had almost forgotten what had happened, I realised as I entered into the empty home, that dad was no longer there to share my joy with…

    The pain that hit me with that realisation was earth shattering, I felt my inner core shift as if I was no longer in my body, everything I had withheld from my counselling session erupted from me. I have never cried so hard or for so long, my breathing became rapid and my screams, once muffled, audibly announced my anguish to the world.

    I know I was talking to him constantly, I think I asked him to come back or to take me with him, don’t know how long I cried for, or how I fell asleep that night, but I woke around midday and my body ached, and still does. It feels as if I have run a marathon.

    Today I arranged to speak to another grief support via phone, she seems incredibly wise and generous as well as tolerant. She allowed me to tell what I wanted to, while subtly guiding the discussion.

    We had a great discourse, and I hope to continue to converse with her in the future, I made her laugh several times with stories of dad, and hearing another person also find such joy from my dad brought me much warmth, I find myself wanting to talk about dad a lot now, I want to share how amazing he is.

    The downside of such an illuminating discussion, was when we parted ways I felt the joy of talking of him slowly fade, as what had just made me laugh now made me miss him even more.

  15. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    I felt for you so much when you spoke of the overwhelming pain that came on your return home from your night out. Emotion is such a physical experience. The more intense the emotion, the more intense the vent. What emotion we exhaust from our body can lead us to feel pure emotional physical exhaustion.

    Possibly the hardest emotion to manage is 'heartache'. The degree of heartache often dictates just how much we have loved or still love a person. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what pure heartache feels like. You would easily understand this raw physical emotion. It hurts so much, the ache in your chest. To scream and cry, as opposed to remaining 'choked up' is an incredibly powerful form of venting. Such a vent can also release stored stress in the body.

    I'm wondering whether what may help you a little through your grief in some way could involve you speaking to your dad out loud or imagining him there in the room with you, wherever you are. Grief is such a sensory related experience: We miss seeing, hearing, smelling or touching someone. With such dismemberment (losing someone who was a significant 'part of us'), sensing them through re-membering them with our mind and heart can reconnect us with them in unique ways.

    Be kind to yourself after every significant painful vent. Get sleep, restore your energy in careful ways, including through the help of those inspiring energising friends. It sounds like you are forming a great circle of support with all those you have employed to help you make your way through this incredible challenge, one you have never faced before. It is a courageous person who seeks to navigate their way through the unknown.

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  16. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8368 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to therising
    Hi welcome

    I feel for you mate, so strongly.

    My dad at 64yo (my age now) passed away. He was wonderful. What my grief led to was using symbolism to nip in the bud all my grief.

    E.g. a poem I wrote-

    TO KISS HIS TEMPLE

    There were some things I knew as taboo

    to express my love but to question who?

    to touch the pale face of my dad back then

    when touching taboo...when "men were men"

    For boys were male and "you cant do that"

    jealous of my sister and that is that

    that man couldnt hug his son for how he was seen

    nowadays if you hugged your son- well, you'd be relieved.

    And so my dad the salt of the land

    wouldnt touch me even by hand

    he knew he loved me and I him

    with a wink of an eye from under his brim

    Then that day we all regret came along

    where watery eyes was met by song

    and there he lie with an eerie smile

    I be alone with him for just a while.

    As I stroked his forehead cool to touch

    I raised my head automatically as such

    to kiss his temple of which I dare

    I knew his mind was well aware.

    Of all the kisses I missed

    they gathered together in just one kiss

    finally as his spirit rose and went

    he left his love and hugs were spent

    I never craved again heart be blessed

    that tradition of males their love expressed

    a kiss on his forehead way back then

    ended an era when "men were men"....

    TRD

    So the symbol is- one kiss.
    - I'll continue next post shortly

    TonyWK
    1 person found this helpful
  17. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    8368 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to white knight
    Hi again

    So, the other message I'd like to share is carrying out his wishes that you'll continue on and enjoy a good life. This grief period will take as long as it takes, no rush, but as time goes by some grief periods will be replaced by life's experiences.

    DADS FEET

    Dad knew I wished to follow

    in his footsteps

    through my pride and boyish whim

    I dreamed I could follow him

    And as he slipped slowly away

    I kept following that day

    No wonder he used a broom to sweep

    My fathers footstep stencilled feet

    But every now and then I see a hole

    In the snow I see his soul

    Sadness follows in my inept

    its just something I must accept

    But I be eager the day my feet will greet

    my fathers footstep stencilled feet...

    TRD

    the message above is- yes, you want to follow him, but it isn't your time. Live life in his honour...youll stand taller and be a great asset to society by being his son.

    He would be so proud you wrote in here. And by the way...your efforts in revival were commendable, few would have been able to even try. I'm proud of you.

    TonyWK
    1 person found this helpful
  18. M00tis
    M00tis avatar
    2 posts
    23 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    Hello pl5155p1,

    I am sorry for your loss, I know the pain the grief and the loss. I lost my father a few years ago, and the pain it caused was horrific!

    BUT do not let this take over your life, do not lose this battle with grief! You are better and stronger than grief and so not let this overtake you!

    I hope to hear back from you - cheers!

    -Max
    1 person found this helpful
  19. di_yo
    di_yo avatar
    7 posts
    25 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hey pl515p,

    I wouldn't say what I'm about to say is advice, more just what I feel has worked for me, and since we're sort of in the same boat, if may be helpful to you.

    All my sessions have been over the phone, no video. Which to my own suprise, I found more helpful (at first I assumed it would be less helpful because it's less personal). I find I can open up more when I can't see the person I'm talking to (maybe similar to how confidence comes with anonymity? I don't know..) Also, I'm able to mute myself while my psych is talking, as I blow my nose and clean myself up from balling my eyes out lol. And lastly, I can sit in whatever crazy position I feel like while talking to her without it being unprofessional as it would've been in an office/video setting.
    I completely get the putting a brave face on. I got to the point where my physical eye balls hurt from crying and I just didn't have the energy to cry anymore.
    But I think of all places/people to break down to, your sessions would be the best place (as long as your are comfortable with it of course). They're trained professionals, and can help guide everything your feeling.
    It's great that you found the second grief councillor helpful! Definitely try and get her back if you can, the most important thing is that you feel safe to and not obliged to open up.

    It's a bit of a catch 22 isn't it? These memories that bring you such joy now also bring such sadness. I don't know if there's anything we can ever do that will get rid of the sadness, but I like to focus on the joy of the memories more so I don't spiral into the sadness portion.

    How is your eating and sleeping?

    2 people found this helpful
  20. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    28 October 2020

    Sorry I have not replied earlier. Past few days have taken almost everything I have.
    I thank everyone for their support.

    Friday I had contract work done, including my dad's room.

    As soon as I heard his door squeak I fell apart, I had to sit in a corner of my living room with my back to the workers, as if I were a child in trouble at school. Listening to them move his bed and furniture tore me apart, I felt as though they were desecrating his space, and invading his privacy.

    I had placed some of his writings and other items on a table, during the work they moved it, causing papers and his work jacket to fall on the floor, made me so angry, I know they were doing their job, and did not know the significance to me, they kept moving his stuff so I got into an argument with them and they left.

    I saw they had left dad's room open, I panicked and closed the doors to the hallway and have spent the days since near the front door. I canno close dad's door, I never wish to see his room again, just thinking about it brings me back to the day I found him in his bed, I can't... I can't do it.

    I have slept few hours since Friday, spend most of the days thinking or organising paper work.

    Most nights I talk to dad, either his photo, or on his phone, I ask him every night to take me away, I want to go to sleep and not wake up like him.
    I want to escape the pain and live in my dreams of him forever.

    Yet every morning I am still here, I struggle to push myself to do things and meet my responsibilities.

    I went to see my Counsellor on Monday. I am still hiding behind a facade, though it slipped a little when she helped me solve one of my problems. I have thought about letting her hear some of my recorded conversations, but listening to them myself makes me feel sick to my stomach with fear and worry. The amount of pain, sadness, and anger I have unleashed is terrifying.

    I think I am scared to let her listen, but I am so exhausted that I cannot maintain I am doing ok forever, I'm not going as well as people see, if they saw me alone at night they would see my true depths.

    Perhaps I am doing them, and myself, a disservice to hide, I'm so tired, they'll probably crack me soon enough.

    I have not been eating or sleeping much, I can feel my mind is not clear and my thoughts are slowing.

    A friend is coming over tomorrow to help me organise a few things. She will probably make me eat ha, she cares, so I will try.

    I offer everyone who is also suffering, my condolences.


  21. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3684 posts
    28 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1
    Hi pl515p1,

    We're so sorry to hear it's been an especially rough few days. We understand that you must be feeling so exhausted by all of the paperwork and responsibilities you've been doing as well as dealing with the depths of your emotions in this time of grief.

    We hope that in time you are able to let the facade slip with your counsellor. If you find it easier to open up through the written word, you may find some relief in chatting with a Lifeline counsellor via webchat. Their webchat service is available 7pm-midnight AEST here - https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat/

    You might find some tips for sleeping on our page "Sleeping well" - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/staying-well/sleeping-well

    It's good to hear that a friend will be visiting you tomorrow and that she will take care of you. Warmest wishes for the night - please reach out here any time you feel up to it.
    1 person found this helpful
  22. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    29 October 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    I so wish I was there with you as you go through this heartbreaking challenge. I feel for you so deeply.

    Do you feel you can trust your counselor? Has she proven herself to be trustworthy, in your opinion? Is it possible to be honest with her and say 'I'm not sure I can trust you to guide me through this in a way that won't break me'? She may appreciate the honesty. If you've come to trust her as being someone who is sensitive to your feelings, this is a good start.

    Not everyone is sensitive, as you well know, given the experience with the workers in your dad's room. Perhaps more sensitive people would have said, to begin with, 'Is there anything you'd like us to be careful with?' I'm wondering, if you can learn to trust yourself more. In the case where these people came into the house, is what came to mind beforehand 'I don't think I can manage this alone'? Do you have a couple of key people in your life you can trust to manage those kinds of moments with you?

    In recalling my mum speak about the loss of her mother, she said there were a lot of initial 'trigger moments' after her mum's passing. Perhaps this could be something you could speak to your counselor about, how to manage those moments. A couple my mum had difficulty with were 1) Christmas day and 2) whenever she felt compelled to share something exciting with her mum. With other trigger moments, you may not recognise them until they come. Grief can be cruel, in this way.

    If there's a part of you that is so desperate to vent, when you're with your counselor, could you consider trusting that part of you to help you manage through your grief? While I have not experienced a loss as enormous as yours, I have found that within the breakdowns in my life (that have led me to where I am), I look back to recognise them as the moments where everything was let out and broken down, so as to be fully understood and managed with great care. An overwhelming challenge has many facets, not all obvious.

    Be kind to your self

    1 person found this helpful
  23. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    3 November 2020

    I apologise for nor responding sooner, things are becoming more heavy now, I am having difficulty trying to focus.

    I had to go myself to pick up dad’s death certificate on Friday, because Services NSW are hopeless, once I had this paper in my hands I have lost much of my inner strength, I still try to do the many things I need to but seems like every little thing takes so much out of me.

    I constantly dream of dad, I guess that's why I have not slept since Friday, have spent the last few days trying to write a eulogy and put together a small collection of stories about dad, and some of his and my writings. Trying to edit a video as well, highlighting some important dates with some relevant imagery of the time.

    These memories serve only to kick me further down, a sharp reminder that I have lost something so special. A brief smile is met with a tsunami of sadness.

    I am weary of all the obligations, I feel as if I am being pulled apart, like a pack of Hyenas are salivating over my scraps. Having to explain my story each time I hit another roadblock is draining. I had to explain to Ambulance NSW, who sent me a bill, that I was taken to hospital for trauma and shock on the recommendation of the police after finding my father deceased, explaining that over the phone just took me back several weeks to that day all over again. Having to tell ISP providers, bill collectors, contractors etc.

    All of this is just stabbing at the sore that hasn’t even had the chance to scar.

    Thank you therising, I appreciate your compassion and concern, you radiate humanity and warmth.

    As for my counsellor, sadly, the last two sessions have been taken up with my immediate concerns, so we haven’t had the chance to share deeper yet.
    I listened to my recordings from last night and they are far more intense now, incoherent at times, just pure emotion flowing so much my shirt becomes drenched. I will see her Saturday, she deserves to see the real me.

    Funeral is on Monday, I have never been to, or organised one before, I feel like I am letting dad down because I haven’t contacted everyone yet, but so many calls all day take their toll.

    I am tired, but I must put on a good mask because everyone keeps telling me how strong I am, and going so well, people keep telling me that I am almost through it, as if somehow his funeral will close the chapter, they don’t understand that the chapter only concludes when both him and I do.

    I wonder when it is over how many people will stay around.









  24. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    3 November 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    It's so wrong you're having to manage so much on your own on top of having to repeat the same depressing things to people over and over. The world is filled with insane people who really don't like to make things too easy, hey.

    My mum never went to her mum's funeral. She knew it would be too overwhelming for her. Still, to this day, she doesn't care about what people think or thought of her not going. As she says 'Funerals are for the living (to mourn and pay their respects), why should the living have to suffer through them?' She mourned and payed her respects to her mum on her own terms.

    At the moment, I imagine you're near exhaustion, having vented so much emotion. Emotion is such a physical experience, sometimes incredibly draining. Even though you may be feeling so drained or numb at times to the point where you can't feel much, I'll suggest anyway considering how you feel about going to the funeral. When you think about going, what feelings do you experience? If you feel being there will be too overwhelming, make a decision to put yourself first. Send someone to represent you. Let go of the need to please others. The sensitive people will understand if you don't go. The insensitive ones...well...doesn't really matter about those sort of people. Of course, if you feel the need to attend, trust those feelings.

    Not sure if this will help but it may pay to write down a standard verse you recite to people who challenge you to explain yourself at length over the phone. Could go something like 'My father's passed away and I need to tend to his banking (for example). At the moment I am completely exhausted and deeply depressed, so I'm relying on you to make this easy. If you can't, let me know. If you can't, I need you to find me someone who can make this easy'. Yes, direct but sometimes you have to be direct when people just aren't listening. If they're not listening (it will be more than obvious), repeat 'You're not making this easy'. Say it as many times as you need to. Sometimes we need to manage people who can't manage to do their job efficiently or thoughtfully. You deserve respect and compassion. Anything less is not good enough.

    Wish there was something I could say that would make all the difference, I really do. Sometimes, a challenge can be so personal, so impacting that no one can make the difference we're seeking at first. Sometimes the difference is gradually found throughout the process we're going through.

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  25. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    5 November 2020

    Thank you therising, you are incredibly generous, caring and thoughtful.
    I appreciate your clarity of thought in the middle of this fog I find myself.

    I have shut off my phone fore the last few days, perhaps a temporary solution, but the relief has allowed my mind to focus on what truly matters, my father, and myself.

    I have been fortunate that my counsellor has spoken on my behalf, she solved one major financial burden for me, though the ambulance fee is still ongoing, hopefully we can sort out some hardship policy to defer or dissolve the fee, as after all that has happened with the funeral etc, I cannot afford it anyway.

    I have thought about not going to the funeral, however, because of the way dad passed suddenly forensics were involved, he has been alone far too long, for all he has ever done for me, he needs me now, and I need to be by him.

    I don't know how, but I managed to complete a book about dad including some stories I recalled, some poetry I wrote about him this week, and some of his photos he took of nature. I am so tired that I accidentally stapled the wrong way, but I feel this flaw gives it character ha.

    Some people have told me that I am almost over it, as if somehow the funeral makes it all go away, I tell them this analogy.

    Close your eyes and think deeply about the person you love the most.
    Can you see their face? hear their voice?

    Okay, now picture them and yourself on a desert island, beautiful blue seas, bright white sands, and lush green trees.

    Oh it is so wonderful hey?
    Okay, now keep the picture of the two of you in your mind, still have it? good.

    Now imagine yourselves both living on that island , only the two of you, for 10 y, 15 , 20 years.

    Just imagine the growth, challenges, changes you both have to go through.

    Now imagine one day you wake up and stare out to that beautiful sea, you sleepily get up rubbing your eyes, and you walk over to that special person who has been with you all this time, you tell them to 'wake up sleepy head' but the do not wake up.

    They pass away, leaving you alone on that island.

    Is that island still a paradise to your eyes?

    Imagine all that, and then think, how long, if ever, will it take to ever get over that loss.

    I told this analogy to someone who told me I should be moving on because it has been several weeks, after I told them that, they cried and finally began to understand that grief and loss are not under an off/on switch.

    I take it day by day, I'm still here, dad is still there.

  26. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    5 November 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    That is definitely a powerful analogy. The sadness and loneliness it conveys is powerful.

    Grief is such an intense process. Many people grieve in many different ways for many different reasons. It is the reason we grieve that relates to the intensity of our grief. I recall, about 17 years ago when my husband and I were looking forward to having our second child. Some weeks into the pregnancy, I experienced a miscarriage, which devastated me but I did not give up on that 2nd child. Again, pregnant some months later, the signs were there again. At around 12 weeks into the pregnancy, off to get an ultrasound we went. The technician looked at me with such compassion as she told me there was no heartbeat. The next pregnancy, an ectopic. Long story short, that 2nd child eventually came along. I have 2 amazing teenagers now, 2 truly incredible human beings.

    I can recall people telling me 'It's time to move on', after the miscarriages but I couldn't. I had to make sense of what had happened. I had to make sense of losing my dream, more than once. I had to make sense of the overall loss, a loss that no one could see but one I could feel, with such overwhelming emotion. It felt like people were telling me I was exceeding the time period for grieving over a loss, as though there is one, a time frame. It is a process unique to every individual. I believe it is not time that heals wounds, it is the process we move through that heals them. Finding the people who can help raise us and help us raise our self through this process is so important. Don't let time or people dictate your process. it is yours, not theirs.

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  27. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    10 November 2020

    I don't understand what I am doing anymore.
    I have been trying to find myself for several weeks now, feels as though I am treading water searching for land, land I thought I would have found yesterday, but I am still adrift at sea, struggling to stay afloat.

    See, we held dad's funeral yesterday and people told me that all this time of trauma, suffering, fear, anger, sorrow and regret I have endured has been for a purpose, I had to keep going for dad, I had to honour him, which I felt absolutely I must.

    The week leading up to the day I did not sleep, each moment I was fixated on writing every expression of emotion, every moment of love, every gesture of gratitude that I could think of.

    I tried my best, I managed to create a book in his honour, his face on the cover, containing stories of his life, moments of bliss between us, and writings of his and mine that I wished to share.

    I also managed to finish a video tribute trying to highlight how much dad achieved in his life, how much I admired him, and how proud I am of him, and how proud I am to be his son.

    As I was placing the wreath I placed my head upon his coffin and did not want to leave, I closed my eyes and truly felt as though nobody else existed in this world, we were both alone in the darkness, I felt at peace for a brief moment until I was tapped on the shoulder and told that the service was to begin.

    The service seemed so surreal as if an outside force was guiding my way, it also felt far too brief, it felt like the blink of an eye or the beat of a heart.

    After the service I nearly stumbled but held onto the wall, one by one dad's friends reached out to me to tell me that my father would be so proud of my words, both written and spoken. A few told me the video was beautiful.

    At that moment I felt a connection to them all and dad, finally, dad was not alone, I hope he felt the warmth and love of us all, and I hope he heard the music play, I hope he liked what I chose.

    After I came home I started to feel so empty, now the emptiness is becoming a yawning chasm in my chest.

    That moment of peace when my head was above dad's was the best I have felt since this happened, I wish so much that I could stay there with my eyes closed forever.

    These past two nights since the funeral I have just been sitting alone staring into the abyss, I have not answered the phone because I know that if I open my mouth only pain will depart it, pain that seems to grow with each heartbeat.

    Half my soul is gone.


  28. sunnyl20
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    sunnyl20 avatar
    56 posts
    11 November 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1,

    I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. From what you have described, it sounds like your dad was a wonderful man and it seems that you were really able to honour him at his funeral. You clearly put a lot of thought, care and love into it, I'm sure he feels that warmth and I am sure your dad's friends are right - he would be so proud.

    There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and there is no time limit. Grief can be so consuming and painful. Be kind to yourself, give yourself time. There is nothing that will fill the space in the same way that your dad did, and there are no words to describe the pain. Finding something to process and fill some of that gnawing emptiness you are experiencing may help. Do you feel that the counsellor you have been seeing has been helpful?

    Take care.

  29. pl515p1
    pl515p1 avatar
    27 posts
    11 November 2020

    Hello sunnyl20, thank you for your words.

    My counsellor has helped me a lot, but mostly with practical problems that require immediate attention, such as bills and other paperwork.

    I have written down some of my feelings and regrets and will bring them up during our next session. I will tell her that I have prayed to go to sleep and not wake up as dad did, I am no longer afraid to tell the truth, this is how I feel, and she will have to see that this is me right now, I am no longer whole, I want to be with dad, and this is the truth. She seems wise, she can see me and perhaps she can guide me.

    I am still living in the same home I found dad in, and this has been such a heavy burden upon my shoulders, I have finally finished all the paperwork to transfer the lease into my name, now I have to go through many more hoops before I can hopefully move away from one of the major sources of sadness I have had to survive in for several weeks,

    Being here is a prison, I am free to walk outside but I am imprisoned by walls that were once filled with love, but now filled with despair.

    Being constantly reminded of the worst day of my life, keeps me in the worst day of my life. Hopefully soon I can release myself from the restraint of this and actually try to come to terms with my loss.

    I cannot fill the void of dad because he was such an important, looming figure in my life, no matter what I do every time I think of him I cry, but I have felt the need to reconnect with the other half of my family recently.

    My Mother and Brother are separated from myself and dad, I have not seen them for years but I feel the need for family healing right now. I have begun the process of trying to initiate contact with my brother, I have heard that in recent times my father may have had contact with mum.

    As I do not have contact numbers this task seems monumental, but they say nothing worth doing in life is ever easy. This is occupying my mind a great deal recently, especially since the funeral, family is family, years and cities may put distance between us, but I believe that to see the two other people I share blood with will help me.

    I can only take it a day at a time, it is so hard, and it takes so much from me, I am tired, and I wish I could just close my eyes and the world would go away, but I still have things to do, I just have to put one foot in front of the other and march through each checkpoint that I need to cross off my list.

  30. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    12 November 2020 in reply to pl515p1

    Hi pl515p1

    In thinking of you, I decided to speak with my mum more in depth about her experience with having lost her mum. Although it was 46 years ago (I was 4 at the time), talking of the experience still brings a tear to my mum's eye.

    She described it as a truly surreal experience, mind altering, like reality changes. Like the reminder you experience (your dad's room), my mum had the bungalow in our back yard. Hanging out the washing in the back yard felt like a form of torture as did looking out the back window every day, facing that empty structure. Every time she imagined she could hear the buzzer that connected the bungalow to the house, she'd break down. I asked her how she moved through such overwhelming grief and she said that she was lucky that she didn't have a choice: She had us 3 kids, a husband and a household to manage. She had to occasionally shift her focus toward us. When I asked her 'Would you say that what feels intolerable at first becomes less intolerable?' She said 'I suppose you could say that'. She said that what got her through the most was imagining her mum telling her how to manage. For example, with her mum's funeral, she could hear her mum saying 'Sweetheart, I don't want you to go to my funeral if it's going to upset you'. This is why it was so easy for her not to go.

    It sounds like the shift in focus for you involves reconnecting with your family. it sounds like a soulful quest, beginning with finding those numbers. I wish you all the best on this quest. Imagining what your dad would say to help guide you through it may make it a very unique quest. If you imagine him saying at times 'You're being too hard on yourself, go easy'. Take this as good advice. Also, if you can imagine your dad saying in your counseling sessions 'Tell it like it is, be honest', go for it. Vent, tears included.

    While I try to teach my 15yo son and 18yo daughter the ways of returning to their natural self in this conditional judgemental world, at some stage I had the thought 'One of the most important things I need to teach them is how to live without me' (if something was to happen to me in the near future). It's never been a sad conversation. We even joke at times. I've set them up with a basic plan with which to begin moving through overwhelming grief, including directing them toward certain people who will make the difference they'll need. I believe, in every challenge I may have failed to address, they will still hear me guiding them.

    Take care

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