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Old 04-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Dad recently passed.. I need help.

My father battled with cirrhosis for about 10 years.. About 6 weeks ago I got a call that he was in Florida vacationing and had to be put in ICU.. a few days later we found out his cirrhosis had turned into liver cancer and gave him until the next day. While I always knew that he wouldn't live to be an old man (I am 23, he was 49) I didn't think it would be so soon. Because I have a young daughter, I could only fly down to see him for one day (I live in the Northeast) and by that time he was heavily sedated.. he could no longer talk or open his eyes but he could hear us. The day that I went was the day that he was moved to hospice. Saying goodbye to him knowing it would be the last time I saw him was the hardest thing I've ever done and it's going to haunt me forever.. I knew he could hear me and I had no idea what to say.. what can you say? I am so regretful that I didn't say more now. It was his wish not to have a wake or funeral so after he passed he was cremated. 2 days after I left I got the call that he passed... less then 2 weeks after he'd been admitted to ICU.

Since he died I have been a rollercoaster. Most of the time, especially during the day.. or if I am with friends I don't really think about it.. everything kind of gets blocked out. My friends actually must think I'm a freak, because as far as I can tell I act normal. But when I type something like this.. or am home alone at night (single mother) I get so depressed that it hurts. I feel empty and broken. I feel scared and angry and sad. Knowing that eventually over time I'm going to start to forget small things about him ..and then bigger things more and more makes me want to scream.. I feel cheated.

But I have a big dilemma. We are having a Mass for him next weekend and it was brought up that we should write a speech about him and read it or whatever. My problem is that since he's passed I can't remember anything. I can't remember any memories of him. And everytime I sit down to write, it's like my brain just shuts off and I go completely blank. I don't think I'm going to be able to write something and I am worried that people will think I am a horrible careless person.. unfortunately even my family on his side (moreso my aunt) is very judgmental behind closed doors.. and she's known to be two faced and talk to people about it. Ugh...

 
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

First, I know what you're going through, to a great extent. My Dad passed of thyroid cancer when I was 8. I wasn't allowed to be with him when he died, the sent me on ahead to my grandparents to wait and he passed 2 weeks later. I didn't get to say goodbye.

I'm 37 now and just writing that paragraph has brought tears to my eyes. I miss my Dad all the time, and the effects of losing him are with me every day. Don't get me wrong- I have a relatively normal life- but losing a parent stays with you.

What you've got right now is a mix of things, and they are all okay. You feel guilty. You don't deserve to feel guilty, and I'm betting your Dad wouldn't want you to, but you feel bad that you don't feel you spent enough time with him at the end and you feel you didn't say the right things. Guilt is a natural feeling that most of us have when someone we love passes.

You are also most likely in a certain amount of shock. It happened very quickly.

The memory problems are likely to do with the guilt and the grief you are experiencing. I believe that the mind, when overwhelmed with emotion, will sometimes shut down in order to process the emotion at a pace it can handle. Stress also can cause memory problems.

You are not a bad person because of this. Have you ever journaled? You could pull some memories from a journal to talk about. Or take a photograph that you love of your Dad, and talk about the memories you have associated with it (assuming the photo triggers a memory for you). You could also ask a close friend or non-judgmental relative to talk to you about what they remember about you and your Dad together and if that triggers something you could write about that.

Otherwise you could simply say, "It's too painful right now" and demure to do the speech. If someone wants to judge you negatively for that, that's not fair and it reflects on them, not on you. Grief is individual and only you know how to grieve for your loss. No one else can tell you what you should do or be feeling.

 
Old 04-30-2010, 12:47 AM   #3
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Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

Thank you for your response.. its weirdly comfortable to know that what I feel is normal.. because it feels so far from it. I went from being perfectly ok tonight to being perfectly miserable. I've been crying now for over 4 hours and I feel so angry and alone. Yet tomorrow morning I will wake up and probably feel as if nothings ever happened.

 
Old 04-30-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missingyoudad View Post
Thank you for your response.. its weirdly comfortable to know that what I feel is normal.. because it feels so far from it. I went from being perfectly ok tonight to being perfectly miserable. I've been crying now for over 4 hours and I feel so angry and alone. Yet tomorrow morning I will wake up and probably feel as if nothings ever happened.
That, too, is normal. When I am in deep shock and grief, I can alternate between crying and feeling utterly emotionally numb. Sometimes I even laugh. And boy, does that make me feel guilty. But it's just the way your mind is processing all this emotion.

A grief counselor might be able to help you, I'm not sure. They really didn't have much of that when my Dad died. I remember my mom taking me to a counselor when I was 8 and the only thing I remember at all is that the counselor had a big safe in his office and how terrified I was that I could get locked inside it. I mean, that makes no sense, but that's the only thing I can recall. Trauma can do weird things to memory.

 
Old 05-01-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missingyoudad View Post
My father battled with cirrhosis for about 10 years.. About 6 weeks ago I got a call that he was in Florida vacationing and had to be put in ICU.. a few days later we found out his cirrhosis had turned into liver cancer and gave him until the next day. While I always knew that he wouldn't live to be an old man (I am 23, he was 49) I didn't think it would be so soon. Because I have a young daughter, I could only fly down to see him for one day (I live in the Northeast) and by that time he was heavily sedated.. he could no longer talk or open his eyes but he could hear us. The day that I went was the day that he was moved to hospice. Saying goodbye to him knowing it would be the last time I saw him was the hardest thing I've ever done and it's going to haunt me forever.. I knew he could hear me and I had no idea what to say.. what can you say? I am so regretful that I didn't say more now. It was his wish not to have a wake or funeral so after he passed he was cremated. 2 days after I left I got the call that he passed... less then 2 weeks after he'd been admitted to ICU.

Since he died I have been a rollercoaster. Most of the time, especially during the day.. or if I am with friends I don't really think about it.. everything kind of gets blocked out. My friends actually must think I'm a freak, because as far as I can tell I act normal. But when I type something like this.. or am home alone at night (single mother) I get so depressed that it hurts. I feel empty and broken. I feel scared and angry and sad. Knowing that eventually over time I'm going to start to forget small things about him ..and then bigger things more and more makes me want to scream.. I feel cheated.

But I have a big dilemma. We are having a Mass for him next weekend and it was brought up that we should write a speech about him and read it or whatever. My problem is that since he's passed I can't remember anything. I can't remember any memories of him. And everytime I sit down to write, it's like my brain just shuts off and I go completely blank. I don't think I'm going to be able to write something and I am worried that people will think I am a horrible careless person.. unfortunately even my family on his side (moreso my aunt) is very judgmental behind closed doors.. and she's known to be two faced and talk to people about it. Ugh...
So? Honestly, so? Screw what other people think. Everyone deals with grief in their own way. Don't care about what other people think. Forgive my language but they can all go and f themslves. They dont know what we go through. I lost my father and wife in a span of two weeks. I wasnt close to my father but my wife...I had to learn the hard way that one should always follow their heart. If it offends anyone, that is their problem. Not yours.

 
Old 09-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #6
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Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

I've never posted in this section, but my Ex died of cirrhosis 2 days ago and I'm still trying to deal with it and help my 25-year old son through it.

The first thing that hit me is that you have NO obligation to make any statements at the funeral. Some bereaved family members want to talk; others just aren't up to it. It sounds like it would hurt rather than help you. There is no one right way to mourn the death of a loved one. I agree with Junior49. Don't let people pressure you into something you feel you can't do.

 
Old 09-15-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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Hello321 HB User
Re: Dad recently passed.. I need help.

Hey,
I know exactly what u mean and im glad to read im not abnormal!! My dad died recently when i was 20 (iv just turned 21) and I have two younger brothers 16 and 7. And most days I tend to forget and pretend it hasnt happened and just act normal which I hate and it makes me feel bad and it doesnt seem right. Sometimes though, I can sit and cry for hours and sometimes be so angry at everyone and hate everyone because I dont like the way people around me dont have any sympathy and are acting towards me

 
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