Is this normal? What now?
I've been sitting at this computer, absolutely lost. I have no idea where or how to begin this. My father died suddenly the week after Spring finals in 1999. I was 21, and a senior in college. With graduation approaching in December, life was good.
I remember the day's events vividly. I walked into my home after my part-time job at an after-school program...My mother was standing there. Not unusual. My younger brother was doing dishes. Definitely unusual. Then it happened. The worst day of my life unfolded. My mother took hold of my arm and dropped the bomb on me...My father had died earlier that morning of a massive heart attack. They found him in the restroom. At 57, my father was in no condition to die. He was one of the healthiest people I'd ever met in my life. But it was true. I wanted desperately for it to be a dream, but there was no way to escape this. The denial took hold. My brain couldn't conceptualize it. I thought FOR SURE my dad would be there when I got off the plane in Colorado. Of course, he wasn't.
I "functioned" on absolute auto-pilot for probably a year. Looking back at photographs, I sometimes didn't recognize myself or why I was in a particular photo. What was I doing there? I really didn't remember. I do remember finding myself suddenly driving on the wrong freeway, things like that.
Being that I was only 21, none of my friends could help me. They tried to be supportive, but simply couldn't relate to my situation and didn't know how to handle me. Many people just acted like nothing had happened. I would break down uncontrollably at times, and I wasn't much fun for other 21-year-olds to be around.
Almost immediately, I began seeking the help of a psychologist. I honestly don't remember how long I saw her for. In retrospect, I really just think she must have thought I was crazy. I would totally freak out in her office. She had wanted to place my in a support group, but felt I wouldn't fit in, because the participants were so much older than me. There wasn't a group for people like me. Other than her, I was pretty much on my own. You're probably wondering about my family. Well, they ignored the subject more than anyone else. When I would bring up my dad, the conversation wouldn't continue if you know what I mean. I don't think they want to accept or recognize how much this has imacted my life. I really don't know.
At this point, it's been five years, and I still struggle with "this". Sometimes daily, sometimes weekly. I cannot talk about him without tearing up or crying outright. I've prayed for him to come to me and give comfort or answers. I have so many questions surrounding his death, and feel extremely saddened that he didn't see me graduate from college and won't be physically attending my wedding. I feel robbed, and I would really like to simply get on with my life and try to turn this negative into a positive...someway. Often times, I just don't know how. I've read all sorts of grief and afterlife books, but...........I've still not come to terms.