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being a parent after losing a parent

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
wow... never thought i'd be here like this or at this point in life. i know death is part of life and comes to us all... but i lost my dad a week ago, today... and yesterday was the funeral. i think i'm just coming down from the shock. during the arrangements i handled everything...most everything...and kept busy busy busy avoiding the pain i suppose. i'd cry at night, in the morning or even in the car. my husband has his tears also. but now it feels so much worse today. my dad was never absent from my daily life in my whole life so everything reminds me of him - especially my own parenting. i know the positive and the opptimism side of grief but the low points on the rollar coaster are so hard. my husband might stay home again tomorrow but when monday comes i'm just scared... scared of being depressed and sad all day... afraid of how long i will be feeling like this... it's so odd... as i said i never imagined i'd be here...now...
post #2 of 17
I'm so very sorry-
post #3 of 17
That's so hard. All I can think is, you were so blessed to have a great parent, and that wonderful parenting is now inside of and part of you! You are the same wonderful parent now yourself. That part of your dad will live forever and positively affect generations forever. That is huge.

But the grief part, it is so hard. I lost my dad way back when....yep, I still miss him sometimes, and he and I were not even as close as you guys were. But I always crave that Daddy presence in my life. Always. And you always will too. Nothing will be able to replace him. You'll find your way through the grief though, with tears and long naps and more tears, and memorial services, and journaling, or whatever helps bring you closure. Well, not closure, but peace.

Don't fear Monday, don't worry about being with the grief. As anyone here can tell you, being WITH the grief is the only way of getting through and past the grief. It's when we refuse to live with and feel the pain, that we get stuck. Cry as much as you can. Scale back your activities. Don't try to be superwoman. Just keep things simple, basic and pure, and let your emotions be felt, all day and night. I know it is normal to sometimes feel totally numb, too. It is confusing, because we wonder where our emotions are? I think it is a self-protective mechanism, to keep us from feeling more grief than our brains can handle.

My miscarriage last week, at the end of the first trimester, has taught me more about grief and its weird stages, than I ever wanted to know. Sometimes the pain is so sharp and sudden and awful, other times I just feel numb. I feel so damned empty. I do not feel happy yet. Except when I'm holding my other kids, or nursing my toddler. Just loving your kids, that will help you feel better, less empty, I think. I know it helps me, it fills me up. Loving them cannot replace your dad, nothing can, but it makes life seem more purposeful.

My heart goes out to you. You will survive this, you will find sunshine again in time.
post #4 of 17
I am so sorry for your loss. My father died his past July of cancer, and I miss him every day. Sometimes I forget that he is dead, and think to myself, "I have to call daddy and tell him *this* or *that*" And then I remember.

The geatest gift for me was that I was able to be with him and hold him as he died. I know that he knew I was there, and that he could hear me.

It was very hard to explain and be with my children, but I would cry in front of them, and tell them that I was crying because I missed "Pop C".

I think I am most greatful for the fact that we had a great relationship in the past few years. He was a fantastic Grandpa, and he was a great listener. He was sick, so he had a lot of time to listen to me ramble on about problems with husband, mom, girlfriends, whatever! He never judged. I miss him so much.

I think that if a parent dies, and you have unresolved conflict with that parent it is very difficult. I think your healing process will be healthier because you had a great relationship with your dad.

Peace to you.
post #5 of 17
I'm sorry about your loss. My father died two months ago, right after New Year's, when I was 8 months pregnant. I'm still not sure how I feel about it really. But just tonight I was going through some papers and saw his signature on something and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a tough night for me too. Sending you comforting vibes as much as I can.
post #6 of 17
I am so sorrry about the loss of your dad. My dad passed away Nov 21. Went in for heart surgery on Nov 8 and came out of the surgery fine. That night his blood sugar shot to over 600 (he was not diabetic) and went into cardiac arrest. He survived but was completely brain dead. We removed life support on the 21st. He was not only my dad but my best friend and like your dad, was a daily part of my life. Him and my dd had a very strong bond (he watched her be born and they were forever bonded from that point forward). At first, all I did was cry and I walked around as a zombie. I couldn't tell you anything that happened from Nov 8 up until a couple weeks ago. I am just starting to feel a little better but I still have really hard days. What has helped me is I read a ton of books on grief - all kinds of perspectives. I prayed like crazy. I kept myself busy with work, dd and internet. But the best thing I did, was allow myself to be sad. I cried and cried and cried. It really does help release all of the grief and anger or whatever feelings you may have. Hang in there.
post #7 of 17
My thoughts are with all of you guys. I lost my dad almost 14 months ago. It has been a very rough year. He was only 57. Just like the OP, I never saw myself here at this point in my life. We were so much alike & just great buddies. He too was a part of our everyday life. I told my mom a few days afterwards - Things will never be normal again, we will just have to find a new normal. I can tell you that after the year anniversary things seemed to get better. I still think of him almost constantly. But more in a reminiscint way instead of being depressed about it. My daughters have had a really rough time & that has been awful. It's hard not to think about it when a 4 yo is crying but i want papaw, doesn't God know that we need him here!! I still think of him everytime we do something fun, or eat something I know he would like. Kin dof in a "oh, I wish he was here for this" way. But time really will heal. I cried every night for weeks, after everyone was asleep-I'm stubborn that way. Getting out of the house helped too. I probably put that off for too long. It's not that you don't think about it, or aren't upset about while you are out. But sometimes acting like everything is OK actually is good for you for a few hours. It makes you feel semi-normal again. Movies are hard. They make so many irreverent comments. You will just feel "different" for quite a while, but you will get to a place where you can just be thankful for what you had. I guess how long that takes is different for everyone. I know wome people who thought I grieved for too long, but I don't think they have a realtionship with their dad like I did. My mom moved in with us, so I have a constant reminder. I kind of feel like my brother who lives in another town gets to "get away" from it all a little more, but I guess the grass is never greener. Just be strong & go with your feelings. If you want to talk let me know. Just remember that we all made it through this & you will too. I know it doesn't feel like it sometimes though. But how lucky were we to have a dad like ours! Very few women have that honor.
post #8 of 17
I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad.

My dad died four years ago and I still miss him a lot. Yes, sometimes I still cry. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear. BUT, it is better now. My dad died on a friday, and for a long time I was certain that for the rest of my life I'd dread fridays. I don't. Ds was 22 months old when my dad died, and parenting him through my grief was a curse and a blessing. Sometimes I was so damned resentful to have to get out of bed and make breakfast for him, instead of being able to hide under the covers. But I was also glad for the distraction he created. As he nursed I'd tell him about his grandpa, and somehow his little arms around me when I cried helped my heart.

Grief really is a roller coaster, and the ups and downs are exhausting. I found that joining an online grief support chat board (It was actually a chat board as opposed to a message board) helped tons. Having somone who's been there was very healing. I also read books about grief, in particular about losing a parent. Reading has always been how I cope, so that was a natural thing for me to turn to. It was also helpful for me to buy a special journal where I would write to him. Nobody has ever read the entries except me. It's a private conversation between me and my daddy.

I can't take your pain away, but I can promise that when you've ridden the grief roller coaster, REALLY given attention to your grief and not stuffed it down, it does lessen in intensity with time. And I will say to you something that wasn't told to me but I wish had been early on: Moments where you laugh, moments where you smile and feel content, or moments where you realize that you haven't cried for an hour...Those moments ARE NOT a betrayal. The amount of tears you shed, the number of hours in a day that you spend hurting are not a reflection of your love for your father. Grief is exhausting, psychologically, emotionally and physically. Those moments are there to give yourself a little break from the pain, pressure and enormity of your grief. Please be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel the love you have for your family
post #9 of 17
post #10 of 17
thanks for this thread.
I am up at 2 a.m, having barely slept or eaten for two days. My dad, aka, my best friend, has liver cancer, BAD. I'm a wreck, dd has been so so so sweet though, she is my saving grace.
She says "mommy are you sad? oh! Do you need a snuggle?"
god, this is hard
post #11 of 17

my dad passed away on Wednesday morning, and I know it hurts like hell> I've been trying to feel the pain as much as I can, and cry as much as possible too. I lost my mother at the age of 16 so this is all coming pouring back.
post #12 of 17
One of the worst things about losing my parents at a young age is that I do not have my parents' guidance as I raise my own family, and my children will never be able to have a relationship with my parents. I know my folks would have loved being grandparents, and my kids would have benefited from knowing them.

My mom died when I was 11, so I always knew she wouldn't be around when I started a family. However, I never counted on being without my dad, who died in a freak accident when I was 29 (before I had kids).

A book I highly recommend for anyone who is bereaved is A Time to Grieve, by Carol Staudacher. It's a series of meditations, all a page or two long. You don't have to read the book cover to cover. You can pick it up for a couple of minutes at a time.

I think that there are bound to be some meditations in that book that will give you comfort.
post #13 of 17
I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad.
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by Enudely View Post

my dad passed away on Wednesday morning, and I know it hurts like hell> I've been trying to feel the pain as much as I can, and cry as much as possible too. I lost my mother at the age of 16 so this is all coming pouring back.
Hugs to you, mama.
post #15 of 17
post #16 of 17
I am so sorry.
My mom just died a little over a month ago. It will have great affect on how I am parenting my children. I need to sort it out. It hurts. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. So much pain. How do we even breathe?
post #17 of 17
:cand le
I lost both my parents before I became a parent, and feel rather handicapped by it. I am so jealous of those who have their parents as backup, to help with the kids financially or baby sittting. I get upset when I hear about other kids getting great present from the grandparents, which I know is not good for anyone. I am sad that I can't ask my mom how long she breastfed me or when I started teething, or when I got my first big teeth, etc.

Anyway, I don't want to hijack this post. I really just wanted to post my support and to say that it is possible, just more difficult, to parent when one has lost one's parents.
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