Lost my father yesterday...he was only 38 years old

Kathleen1986October 23, 2005

Yesterday my father died suddenly. One moment he was fine and the next he had fallen over on my mom in our living room and the paramedics said he died instantly. We have no clue what could have caused his death to occur so suddenly. The issue I am having is how can i deal with his death when I dont know the cause. I am 19 years old. My dad was only 38. I have 3 other siblings all younger than me. A 17 year old and 16 year old brother. And a 14 year old sister. My mom is having a terrible time dealing with this also. I had to be the one to tell my sister and my brothers found out from our aunt. I dont know how to help her and my siblings because my family is expecting me to be their rock. I am a full time college student who works full time also. This stress is overwhelming but i dont want to let my family down. I love them far to much. Does anyone have any advice on how I can help my family while helping myself?

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You've had a shocking, tragic loss, Kathleen. I am so sorry, and I am concerned that the burden of helping your family is totally on you. This is an overwhelming assignment. You are grief-stricken and will need support from friends and family also, even if you are the strongest person in your family.

Please see your family as a group helping each other. You'll have times when you are doing pretty well but another family member is falling apart and vice versa, so you need to be there for each other as needed.

Take care. My heart aches for you.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 11:48AM
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I am so sorry for your loss,

You are in the EXACT same situation I was in except it was my mom who passed away. She died suddenly and very unexpectedly. I was 19 (am now 26). I had 3 younger sisters that were 17, 14, and 13. We did not know how my mom died for awhile either, which made it really difficult. I was also in college full time and working full time. I ended up taking the rest of the quarter off school to get everything figured out. I also quit my job, and took a few weeks off before finding another.

You will find that everyone in your family will have different ways of grieving. Some will want to talk about it, some won't want to talk about it at all. Everyone has their own ways of coping. We tried family counseling a few times but we didn't really like it. It might be something helpful for your family though. I suggest you take time for yourself because you can't help others if you don't help yourself.

Be there for them, but don't put so much pressure on yourself and become overwhelmed. It is an overwhelming situation as it is. Please feel free to come here as much as you want. I wish I would have had a place like this right when my mom died. You can also email me through my member page if you want to. Take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 5:45PM
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I feel so badly for you. I don't think any one person has to be the strong one all the time. In our family when one of us is having a bad day the others support them. It seems as if we all switch the supporting roles from time to time. I hope you feel free to check this site often, we're here for you.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 6:27PM
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First let me say that I am so very sorry you suffered the loss of your father, especially so unexpectedly and at such a young age. If an autopsy was not performed to clarify the cause of death, it may remain a mystery. But if your father was never diagnosed with heart disease, and appeared to be quite healthy, my guess was that it may have been sudden cardiac death. This isn't actually a heart attack, because arteries are not blocked and the heart muscle may be very strong. But the "electrical" part of our hearts must work properly in order to co-ordinate the pumping of the heart. Sudden cardiac death is what has occurred when you hear of a young athlete or young person in seemingly perfect health who suddenly falls over and dies. It means that the electrical system of the heart suffered a disturbance (kind of like when a wire is short circuiting) that put it into a fatal rhythm, which causes the heart to stop short. That, or a sudden brain aneurism (a weakened artery in the brain suddenly bursts, causing a massive stroke) are the only two conditions I can think of that cause death so suddenly that there is virtually no warning and thankfully no pain or awareness beforehand. Of course only a physician or pathologist could shed more light on the topic. But more importantly, as other posters mentioned, it is imperative that you find support at this time, for both you and your mother and siblings. This was an incredible shock and there are two options to help you cope. Group therapy exists for those who have lost a loved one, and wish to talk to others in the same situation, but sometimes feel it is too painful to always confide with a family member who is also trying to deal with the same pain. There is also grief councelling, which may be one on one with a therapist who can help someone deal with their grief until they are able to cope with their loss. Your physician, church or social service group listed in your local yellow pages can give you direction for outside help. My heart goes out to you and your family, and please know our thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 10:39PM
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PickyShopper they did do an autopsy and the results should be in today. They believe its one of the two reasons you gave also as to what caused his death. Just to clarify the reason most of the burden is on me is because my mother is a severe epileptic and she doesnt handle stress very well. What makes it worse is that she was scheduled November 16th for brain surgery to help stop the progression of the epilepsy (shes had it from birth but its gotten worse over these past few years and shes now having mini strokes) so that is heavily weighing on my heart also. I go in tomorrow to help with the funeral plans. Hopefully I can be strong and there for her and my siblings because they are taking it so hard. At least I can try to hold in my emotions so they have somewhere to release theirs. Thank you for all your support and reassuring comments.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 12:30AM
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I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Kathleen. I can sympathize with you although I am not exactly in your shoes. I just lost my mother 2 months ago and even though it wasn't exactly a shock, it was and still is, very very hard.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. And don't think you always have to be strong. Let yourself grieve. It's all part of the healing process.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 12:06PM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss. It's so tough to lose someone totally out of the blue. There's no preparing yourself for the shock you feel. I lost my mom on May 12th. She was 57. She went to sleep and never woke up and to this day we have no idea what happened. The pain of not knowing is horrible, so I can sympathize with what you're going through. The pain will never go away, but it will subside eventually and one day you'll be able to smile, instead of cry, at your father's memory. Please take care!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 5:49PM
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Kathleen, I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. I can relate to how you feel as far as not being sure what killed your father. Maybe you have the autopsy results in by now. My mom died on June 3, 2004 and although she had Alzheimer's, she died suddenly of something else. I think it was a brain hemmorhage, but I'll never know for sure what it was or what caused it. I even wonder if we killed her with the medicine that she was taking that we gave to her so religiously.
Anyway, you and your family will all have to just lean on each other through this. You will all grieve in different ways and on different time tables. Keep your communication open and be patient with each other.
Again, I am so very sorry.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 6:28PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. Stay strong.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:51PM
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I am sorry that this has happened to you and your family. Do you belong to any church? Some denomations have excellent support groups for members and non-members. I suggest strongly you all find a good grief support group and attend. Many times outsiders are truly a support and blessing. There may even be help thur your college and many high schools have special help. DON'T be afraid to ask for help, listen, talk and decide together as a family what will help. Remember, it will take at least a year to even begin to start to recover. There will be many ups and downs, especially at holidays, birthdays, and aniversaries. Again, look to a grief support group that you and your family can to go for awhile, and even when you feel you might not need it as often, there will be someone else in the group who you in turn can help.
Even the medical staff your family are associated with shoud be able to help. Also you need to talk to a good lawyer to make sure finances will be handled properly, because of your Mom needing medical help, be sure and get someone to make sure the bills are paid, insurance is obtained for the family. A good estate/family lawyer will guide you and help you and protect the family. Talk to the bank's manager to make sure the bank accounts are protected. This will come later, but at least do something to protect the financial part of the family. Sometimes instead of family, (Uncles, Aunts etc), it is better to obtain a outside financial advisor. Again, talk to the bank your parents use, etc.
I know you won't remember even half of this, print it out, and refer to it later when things start to settle down.
Just sending hugs and tears for you and your family.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 4:39PM
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I'm sorry about your loss also. I lost my parents last year. I am sure it is harder for someone your age. I think one of the strongest things you can do is let yourself feel the pain, and share that with your family. I think if you can all draw closer in your loss, then no one person has to be the strong one.

Think of the willow tree that bends with the wind. A hard, tough oak tree can break in the wind.

You may be assuming that people expect you to be the strong one. Maybe they just want you to be with them in weakness and in strength. Bless your heart.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 9:17PM
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Hugs and kisses to you. Your dad died too too young. Life can be so cruel sometimes.
I lost my beloved dad on 27/10/05 after a long battle with liver disease aged 68. This is personally the first time my sisters and I have experienced losing someone close to us and it's hit us like a sledgehammer. The devastation and pain for mum and us is overwhelming. Right now I just feel so flat and empty. I don't feel like doing anything other than sleeping. It seems like nothing matters anymore. Everywhere I turn memories of dad comes flooding back. The regrets of not doing this and not doing that when dad was still around are whirling around in my head. Please tell me this will get less painful as time passes.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 4:32AM
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Teo, I'm sorry to hear about your very recent loss. It has been a year since I lost my dad, and I can say I feel like I have regained a degree of optimism, security, and well-being. But the loss of my parents hit me very hard and made me feel very vulnerable and that life is tragic.

I think the only way it can get better is to feel all the pain, and embrace what comfort and joy you can. It helps me to know that a parent's dearest hope would be for us to be ok, to go on, to be happy. All this year I have been overcome with sadness at unpredictable times, but it is much less constant than at first.

I just got a note today from the hospice who was involved with my dad, and they wished me well in my grief work. I think it is a work, a transition, and can be an important part of our lives and growth. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 3:02PM
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I am so very sorry to read of your loss.

I lost my darling, wonderful Dad on 24th November 2005 aged only 62, just nine weeks after we discovered he had cancer. We are all completely devastated as he suffered so very much in those few weeks. He was always so big, strong, happy, full of life, reliable, dependable and everyone who ever met him thought he was a lovely man. He was a genuine and kind gentleman who was always smiling and joking.

He was my rock and my best friend and was a brillant role model to my two boys whose own father walked out on us 6 years ago when they were only 2 and a half and 12 weeks old respectively. I really don't know what tomorrow will bring and live a day at a time but hope my children will help me through.

My poor Mum is a shadow of her former self and seems so lost. She and Dad would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary next year which makes it all so unbearable really. They were so happy together, bless them, and I guess so lucky to have found each other when they were young. Although, why couldn't they have had twenty more years together? Life can be so cruel.

I guess we can call hope to look back and remember happy times rather than the shock, numbness and grief we all feel when we lose parents, particularly if we were very close to them as I was to my lovely, lovely Dad.

My thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:46AM
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I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I just lost my dad on Nov. 16 2005 the worst day of my life. The doc said it was a brain bleed. No one was with my dad when he went to the hospital. By the time we got there he was already on a ventilator. Not knowing what happened is the worst feeling in the world. I called the EMT that was with him last just to ask what my dad was saying. But all he told me was that my dad was in pain and moaning. So now I carry this around with me. My mom and dad were married for 39 yrs. It is very hard to see her alone now. I dont think you ever get over it. My dad was Christmas and everything good in our family. This year I dont even want to celebrate holidays. I know how you feel when it seems you have to help pick up the pieces for your mom now. I will pray for your family and I hope you can find strength. Life,(I hope) does go on...so they say. At times I feel like a part of me died with him that day. I know he would be upset with me for saying that...but I cant help it, thats how I feel. I am angry at the doctors and the whole world. Me, my sister and my mom have been crying, laughing and talking. We just try to be there for each other. Thats all you can do. My sister is in college too. We encourage her to stick with it because dad would be mad if she quit. They say time will heal all wounds. I know I will see him on the other side and that helps me.
Try to go on and be strong I am sure your dad would want you to. Good luck and God bless you and your family

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:00PM
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I lost my father when I was also very young. I was only 17 and my mom had five of us. My youngest brother was only 11. I really can't remember how I got through it but I know my mom did a wonderful job raising us. She passed away unexpectedly in August and I can't tell you how bad it has been. She was my best friend and I am still struggling with the hours. I have been seeing a christian psychologist to help me through this. It has helped to talk to her but I know I have a very long way to go. My prayers to all of you who are in the same boat as I am.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 5:17PM
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I know Kathleen its a very hard time for you. but i can understand it because i had gone through all this......
I was only 16 when i lost my father, my mummy was not educated. and i have 2 younger brothers. that time one was studying in 9th class and another one was in 6th class.
u know nobody will help u in this hard time of your. first of i need to tell this relative basturds will give you so much of advises but they wont help you.
I started job thing with a little salary and now its been 5 years am working.....
today i am the only earning person in my family. but am proud that my brothers are doing good now. the one is just about to finish his graduation and second one in 11th standard.
i have done all this things for my family. i couldnt completed my studies because of my responsibilites. but am happy my brothers are studying.
i have few advises for you, one dont expect anyone for anything, you have to make your ways for yourself and your family.
second, dont trust people so easily. if they found that ur with your responsibities, they might can try to use you for their selfish motive.
third, listen everyone, and do whatever your heart and brain say to you.
four, in this whole world only your family loves you unconditionally. nobody can give the same love and support what your family and give you.
you can find friends, you can find lovers but in this whole world you wont find loving mother and loving brother and sister.
you have to be very strong.
dont ever think that you have any burden, or ur favoring ur family, all you will do its your responsibility.
your mother and father gave you this life and this life is for them only.
and you have to make them smile.
and after that you will find that eternal happiness.
God will always help you.
He is watching that his child is doing the good job what he set for herself.
He will help you whenever you will need him.
My blessing are always with you............
Take care
God Bless you........

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 1:45AM
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I am sorry for the lost of your father.

I lost my first husband 11 yrs ago. He was 38yrs old. We have 2 sons ages 12 & 17 (at the time of his death). He died suddenly due to a massive heart attack. He was never sick a day in his life The drs told me that he was gone before he even fell over. I did cpr until the paramedics arrived.

My sons now are 23 & 27. They have come to terms of their dads passing over the last 11 yrs. Of course it took along time to get we they are now in their life. But with great family and friends they have learned how to cope.

One thing people at the time would tell my sons when they would come to our house was (to my oldest son) Your the man of the house now. They also told both the boys that they need to take care of their mom. This drove me nuts. After the fact I started telling people that it is not my sons that are to take care of me. It was my job to take care of them. By people telling children of deceased parents that they have to take care of things is horrible. It does not give the child the time they need to grieve. It can have a horrible effect on the child later in their life.

I am sorry that you were expected to do the things you had to do. I hope over the last few years you have learned to cope with the lost of you dad. You never get over with this you just learn how to cope with it.

I wish you all the best in your life.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:57AM
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i am 14, my dad died unexpectadly too about three weeks ago, my birthday was three days preceeding the funeral. i have five siblings and a little sister who is eleven. i am my familys stronghold too. you can talk to me because i know what you are going through, honestly, and its really rough. but your dad wants you to be strong for your family. He loves you and is very proud of you for taking this sacrafice for him as a subsutite of his absence. He is your gaurdian angel, if ever you feel like just collapsing, dont collapse in on yourself, please just facebook message me, i can honesly relate to what your feeling. if ever you feel lost or hopeless, just pray to your gaurdian angel, and he will be there for you even when you feel completely independent and you are enduring burden all by yourself, he is right by your side, tracing every step you take and picking up the pieces you dropped or just couldnt handle anymore, and he takes care of them for you, because he loves you and wants you to be happy, if he is with you in flesh or not doesn't matter anymore, now he is with you always, looking down from heaven with a smile, pointing you out to all the saints that pass HEY LOOK THATS MY DAUGHTER!! he is so proud, and he loves you more than you will ever comprehend, and he just wants to let you know that he is there for you, even when you think you don't need him, he is still there, holding your hand walking you all the way through pace by pace, taking baby steps all the way, not excluding any single miniscule detail and leading you through every obsticle you encounter with ease. if ever you feel hopeless, alone, frusturated lost, or worthless, just give your daddy a call, and he'll be right over, before you even ask. this is how i talk to my dad, this is the first prayer he learned, and he taught this prayer to me and my siblings before we even knew how to pray, and thats where our faith started. i suggest you pray it to your dad, it will really be useful during your grieving process and throughout life in general. Just know that your daddy is on your side, and all he wants to do is guide you though what you can't get through alone. You will never be alone again, your dad will always be with you, just recite this prayer while thinking of your dad, and he will listen, and he wants you to talk to him, because he loves you and misses you. Ask him for advice anytime, or just talk to him and tell him how your life has been or something exciting that has happened recently. Nothing with your relationship has to change from what it was like when he was in flesh, except now he can help you with everything you need assistance with, and he will share his expierence with you. He is very proud of you and he loves you, and if you ever want to talk to him and plea for help or just catch up and say hi, just say this prayer, and he will listen and guide you and protect you and ease your burden, afterall, that is what gaurdian angels do! its his new job, and he couldn't he happier with it! Now you have someone to talk to Jesus for you and ease up God when you make a mistake or sin. He will listen, remeber he will always listen and he really does care.
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
to whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard and rule and guide.

*if you ever want to talk to someone with expierence, im here for you.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 4:27AM
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