Lost my dad, just need to talk (or write)

confusedanddazedOctober 31, 2007

My dad passed away at the end of this past May of a heart attack. He was only 54 and it was completely unexpected. I spoke with him on the phone about 2 hours before it happened...he was on a job interview. The only reason I was home was because it was 3 days before my law school graduation, something that meant so much to him and he will never see. I feel like things should be easing a bit by now, but if anything they are getting worse. I miss him everyday and most of the time I still don't believe that it actually happened. I just keep waiting for him to come him and to wake up for a horrible dream. Now, I am at a point in my life where I need and have so many questions to ask him and I feel utterly lost. He gave me confidence and now I dont know where to get it from.

I am the middle child of 5. Three of my siblings have their own families and they seem to be very busy and I feel guilty because I envy them. After I graduated, I moved to my parents house in a state where I know no one to help my mom. I have been there with her and my high school sister trying to help, but I can get a grip on things. MY mom is so sad and there is nothing i can do to ease it. And it makes me even sadder to think of her pain.

I always felt that I would be surrounded by people if I needed them, but I feel abandoned. My friends have long ago stopped asking about things, and that is when I hear from them. I dont even really know what I want from them but I just feel like there is a huge whole in my life and I just wish there was someone to lean on. I just feel so alone and I cannot share this with anyone cause I am trying to support my mom and my sister but I miss him so much. Everything reminds me of him and I just want to talk to him. It upsets me so much that should i ever get married my husband and kids will never know him. Who will I ever talk about him to? The more time that passes, the more it bothers me because I feel like each day I lose him more. How in the world do you ever let go? I realize that this is not a question easily answered, but any advice helps.

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I can relate to how you feel. I lost my dad on Nov 16 2005 very unexpectedly to a stroke. He was 68 he got sick in the morning and died in the ER alone. None of us were with him. We are a very close family. It hurts to see my mom hurt and be alone now. Its coming up on 2 years. I didnt get over the pain i just hid it deep inside my heart. It comes out every now and then. You are probably going to miss your dad the rest of your life, like anyone else who lost someone they really loved. There are no easy answers for you. The only thing you can do is take it day by day. I understand about friends. I think they dont come around anymore because they dont want to be around doom and gloom and they really dont know what to say anymore. Its just our human nature to stay away its just easier that way. You can lean on your family for support you arent in it alone. I talk to God and my Dad all the time. One day when you get married you said that your husband and children wont know your dad.....they will know everything about him if you tell them how wonderful he was. There spirits are still alive. We are a part of them and they are in our hearts. I dont know if this helped you. My mom still talks about my dad all the time and it hurts to see the pain in her eyes. I dont have an easy fix in that department, only thing we can do as children is to listen to them and give them a shoulder to cry on.
Each day there gone is actually a day closer to them that we get. There is always 2 ways of looking at life. I would like to look at mine in the positive way and appreciate everyday that I have with my loved ones. You said your dad gave you confidence...then you already know the answers to your questions because your dad already told you the answers..look inside your heart, hes still there. Good Luck and God Bless

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 1:36PM
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my husband would have been 53 last saturday. he passed away on feb. 22 of this year. i have a son who turned 24 in late may and a daughter who turned 19 and is in her second year in university and is also thinking of being a lawyer. my husband had a massive stroke and was on life support i had them turn off the machines at 5:30 pm and he passed away a little before 9 pm that same night, i went home -- a five minute drive to get a migrane pill and got a call from the hospital just as i went into the house to come back, i did not make it in time, but our son was with his dad, i felt so bad when he said dad opened his eyes looked over for me and then turned and looked at our Matthew and then closed his eyes forever, the nurse explained to me that sometimes the person waits until you have left before they go to heaven. my son had to take a leave from work for a month,-- i saw him this afternoon and he told me he had a terrible dream last night and couldn't sleep last night. he almost breaks down and cries when people still tell him how sorry they are to hear about Al. our daughter was just in her last month of her first year at university, she was originally supposed to go out of town to go to school and in august i told her she should probably stay here in case something happened to her dad and she had to come home. i should also tell you that my husband was bedridden for 10 years and i kept him at home with us instead of long term care, i think this is why he lived longer staying at home. before my husband was mr. volunteer he coached sports and kids and parents loved him, to him there was no bad player and each child played equally, he worked at the college -- and was an instructor for academic upgrading -- i guess in the states this would be like GED's and his students loved him. nt daughter tells me that her friends never have said anything about her dad's passing and that this year is hard -- seems that in her canadian poetry class all there is is death, she is on full scholarship because of her marks, but i think things are starting to sink in. we were a close family and did everything together. i go and visit Al everyday, our son everyother day since he does not drive and our daughter is not ready to go there yet. we went as a family and order his monument.
people are funny, they just don't know what to say for the fear of saying the wrong thing.
your dad is here probably watching you and is smiling and is proud of what you have accomplished. we have just started talking about Al and i can't believe that he has left me, we after 25 years of marriage where still like we just got married, i think we were true loves.
they say the first year is harder and that it gets better, i don't know how. i do wish you all the best, i do wish there were grief cousellors where i live, but there isn't.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 3:29PM
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I so appreciate the responses, sometimes it is comforting to know that they are other people out there that can relate to what I am feeling. To nikkiandjacksmom, I wanted to say that my dad died alone as well, we got the call that he was rushed to the hospital, but they said that he never made it there. My mom got the news by herself because I was picking up my younger sister from school. For a long time, I asked myself questions that I think are inevitable which were whether he knew what was happpening and if he was scared. I think that is the one that bothers me the most because he was alone. I want to talk to my dad and God but I am having difficulty finding them both. I feel like I should feel something from them, a sign that he is ok, but I guess that is what we all want. Like you, I think that i kinda keep things inside. This is really the only time I've talked much about it.
To deborah, I would imagine that you probably understand what my mom is going through more than anyone else, and if there is anything that you think of that helps you, I would love to know cause I cannot imagine what she feels. I feel lost and alone and this was my mom's partner and companion for 33 years, so I'm sure she feels, well i dont even know, i cant imagine. She keeps telling me that she has never lived alone and I have no idea how to respond. Its so cliche, but I just never imagined that something like this could happen to me, to my family

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:34PM
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Sorry, I just have another question that I could use some advice on. My parents moved for my dads job and have been living far from the rest of my family. Now that my dad is gone, my mom plans on eventually moving back to where the rest of the family is, but she wants my little sister to finish high school first. I have been staying with my mom since my dad died becuase I was the one that could given that i hadnt gotten a job yet after school. My mom tells me that she wants me to find a job and i think alot of that is that she knows that I am not super happy here. But the thing is, I dont think i should leave her here by herself. My little sister and her have a very er...difficult relationship and there are lots of problems. My mom is amazing and dedicated her life to us kids so i dont mind spending a year of mine with her, but im not sure if thats whats right to do because she will just worry about me not having found a job. I don't know whether her insisting that she will be fine is all just an act of sorts for my sake (I took a bar in a different state so cant work in this one) Stay or go, what do I do???

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 11:38PM
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Hello Dazed,

I am so sorry for all you are going through. Deborah also. Death is such a thief and we are never prepared I think. Not wether it's a long drawn out illness or totally out of the blue unexpected. It's not easier one way or the other because hope is always present and we don't see our loved ones gone. Can't.

My mom died in 1991, Fourth of July weekend. She had baby sat her granddaughters for the weekend and was tired. They were small, 4 and 6 and kept grandma running. :) She told my dad she was going to take a nap to be up to watch t.v. with him later that evening. He went to bed later and thought she was just going to sleep through the night and when he woke for work at 4:00a.m. she was gone. No look of pain or strain. Just, stopped. For my dad especially, it was devastating. My mom and I were close, I was an only child and was close to both of my parents. However, they were each others best friend. My dad was a railroad man for 36 years, my mom worked in a factory for Milton Bradley toys. She was happiest as a 'homemaker', loved her little apartment, to cook and have company over for dinner. She prized what she had because she grew up so poor. My dad passed nine years later and thankfully now rests next to my mother. It's all he ever wanted and unfortunately drank himself there. Just couldn't cope. Find peace.

What I was wondering is what beliefs you may have that you find comforting? Do you have questions about death? Do you look to scripture for comfort? It's there. Everything you may wonder about. Where your loved ones are. What they're doing. What they're not doing. What is in their future and yours. I would be so happy to help you through your own bibles find these answers. It's nothing mystical or magical. It is what has always been available free of charge for any who look to it for help.

It's what gets me through day to day. There is sure hope of seeing them again. As far as doing as your mom said, Dazed, I would take a job if she says she is fine. Busyness is best right now. If she has to keep busy, even if its dealing with a somewhat difficult younger sister...it's good for her. We all need to feel we're in control. Your mom too. She knows you're there and willing and simple words of encouragement and complement on each step she takes is going to work wonders.

My mom never let my dad use the washer or dryer when she was alive. "I have my own system". she'd say. When she died I kept close contact with my dad and helped with meals and such, but, cleaning and laundry...simple mundane little things I left for him and to my great surprise he accomplished it. He also shrunk a few items but it provided some good laughs between us.

Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman. What she needs is space and hope. You too. You and Deborah both. Feel free to ask anything anytime, here or at rottenlivia@yahoo.com My name is Kim

I'm a mom myself, a school bus driver and still a daughter. Always.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 4:46PM
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Hi last night and this morning it was SNOWING! -- i never liked winter. on tuesday, it would have been our 26th anniversary, as always i went to the cemetary with our son and brought roses. i am so lost. i too am like Al only not as much as a volunteer as he was, i only do hockey jerserys for a hockey league and this is year 19 of doing this. our son wants to move back home -- it is ok with me, but he does not drive and the city bus is dangerous to take here, also there is jelousy with our son and daughter, one is a jock and the other a scholar.
to start things off we got big plastic bins and Matthew wanted his dad clothese put in these-- matthew is 6ft 3 and Al when he had legs was 5ft 11, so nothing will fit so these are in the garage. matthew got me a bfi bin for mothers day to through things out, which i still have. carley and i re-painted the whole house, we put liminite flooring in -- i even bought a little table saw, and started replacing furniture slowly. 2 weeks ago i got a new mattress, since i wasn't sleeping well, --i think because it was "ours", i am sleeping abit better. i was a big reader and have only read 3 books in 8 months, i am also a knitter and quilter, i have made only 2 scarves and am working on the backing of the quilt, so i have slowed down. perhaps after the first year is over, i will get back into the swing of things. i have not worked in 19 years and will not get a good job like i had at the university here, and Al thought of us --for when his time came. our mom will also notice that people will come out of the woodwork, and ask for this that and the other thing that our dad owned and also for money -- that he "owed" my husband was Finnish so i know that he didn't owe anyone anything. so tell these people to put this in writing and that you will had it over to the lawyer for when the distribution of the estate takes place, chances are this will never happen. Also tell her to hang onto her home for atleast a year, and not to do anything quickly, she may regret it. i have also got a newdeabolt on the doors. do not let anyone you don't know that there is not a male in the home.
my daughter makes me get up and dressed everyday and makes me put on makeup, she also sends me to the store for one thing or another, just to get out.
your mom will also notice that friends will drop off the face of the earth, i read that this is normal, and i can see who our true friends are.
i have to take the puppy out now, so take care!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 3:51PM
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I am so very sorry for your loses. I too know the pain of losing one whom you love so very much. I have not lost my husband, but I have lost my only daughter who was only 19 and also my mom whom I also love dearly. I know that I will be losing my dad, as he has cancer now.
The only thing that keeps me going without my mom and daughter is the thought of when I see them again. I have to believe that that day will come and that for now, they are in a wonderful place surrounded by love, happiness, and beauty. Life is only a blink of an eye compared to the eternity that we will have with our loved ones when the time comes. I know that not everyone believes this, but this is what keeps me going.
Try to live each day as your dad would want you to and talk to him as if he were standing next to you. This will also help with the lonliness. I believe they listen to us "talk" to them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Website

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:19AM
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Dear Dazed and confused,
I am very sorry for your loss. I just lost my Dad in July. He had just turned 64. About this time last year, Dad wasn't feeling very good...by Christmas he felt as if he was getting pneumonia and by January 11 he was in the hospital with a diagnosis of leukemia.
I never once thought that my Dad would not beat this disease. He was such a trooper through all the transfusions and chemotherapy. One minute he was here, vibrant and young and the next he was sick..7 months later he died in my arms.
It is a very difficult thing that we are going through. I feel the need to talk it out but my "friends" aren't around and as you or someone said, they don't want to be around the "doom and gloom." With the holiday season coming up I am not sure how I will get through. I want to force myself to carry on, to do fun things becasue that is what he would want. But at the same time I think that it is important to grieve however feels right for you.
I lost my Dad in July and one month later I was in school teaching without having fully grieved. I think that I will plan a grieving over my holiday break. Out of us kids, I was the closest to my Dad. I was with him everyday for 7 months while he was in and briefly out of the hospital. I understand that hole that you feel.
I miss my Dad so much that it hurts...I don't just grieve for my loss but for my children's loss as they loved their Grandpa immensely. One thing that has been helpful is to set up some memorial. My Dad was an entertainer. I have set up a scholarship in his name for a graduating senior in his hometown who persues music in college. While it doesn't take his place it keeps me somewhat busy and helps to keep his memory alive.
I think that reaching out is important...to "pretend" that all is well is definately not ok. May you find the strength you need to move ahead.



    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:51PM
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