March 04, 2011,
E.D. asks from Leawood, KS on November 22, 2008
Adult Daughter Grieving for Lost Parent
Hi Everyone! This request may sound a bit odd for a "Mamma's" page, but you all are such good and caring listeners that I thought someone might be able to help..... I am the youngest child of 6, and the closest to my father. Dad and I always had a special bond because I am his only daughter and "the baby". He and I knew what each other was feeling and knew just the right thing to say when life was hard. He was my rock and best friend. I spoke to him everyday and shared all life's joys and sorrows - the big and little.
Dad passed away last June. I was with him, holding his hand and looking into his eyes as he took his last breath. I miss him every day. 6 months have passed and I miss him more with each passing day. I miss his voice, his laugh, his excitement when I'd tell him tales of his beautiful granddaughter, his advice, his calm.... I can't seem to stop hurting. I can't seem to stop crying.
I guess my question for you is... what do I do? How can I stop the pain? Some days are better than others. My job, my husband and daughter all keep me busy. But even though my life is full, It almost makes it harder - I want to tell Dad all about "it" and he's not here. He'll never be here again. I probably sound ridiculous to you - I'm a grown woman who can't stop being sad over her father's death. Dad lived a long and happy life (he was 88), I was going to face this one day, so why can't I just get over it? I guess I never thought it would hurt this much.... any suggestions?
So What Happened?™
I want to thank you all for your loving responses. I felt your genuine support and caring during this incredibly hard time.
Just to update you.... My mother, who had been lost without my father for the last 6 months, passed away on December 30th. She died quickly and painlessly from a heart attack. An amazing thing about her passing was that she and Dad were together on their 49th anniversary on December 31st! Knowing that neither one of them had to be without their love on their anniversary has brought me great comfort. I will miss both of them more than I could ever say, but I know they are at peace and TOGETHER. Now it's time for me to heal. I have decided to talk to someone professionally. I think losing both parents in 6 months is a bit beyond "doing it yourself". I'd love suggestions of counselors/therapists in the Overland Park area!
Thank you, again, for caring so much!!! Bless you all!
J.P. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
My brother died a year ago June. He was only 25 and we did not get to say our goodbyes. I really struggled with the loss, until a friend pointed out to me that my love for him did not die with him. I could love him any time I wanted. I can't say that the pain goes away, but when it comes I just acknowledge it and then say (sometimes outloud) "I love you, Chris, and I really miss you." I know in my heart that he hears. Blessings to you.
K.S. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
I can so relate! November 17th was the 11th anniversary of my dad's death. He had a sudden heart attack at age 71 and it was on a Monday. I re-lived the day on the 17th. I still miss him and because I was in an abusive marriage at the time, dad was my unconditional love and we were very close! I thought I would never smile again, I wondered why the sun was shining and people were going about their lives when I was in so much emotional pain. Please trust me when I say that it does get easier to bear. Six months is still too fresh. You haven't lived through a year of birthdays and anniversaries yet. Give yourself time. It helps to journal. Write letters to your dad, have the kids draw pictures and put them in an album. I could not have gotten through it without immersing myself in God's word. Let God be your father and rest in His arms. Grief will come in waves and when you least expect it. Don't try to stop it. Today is my mother's birthday and when I saw her on Saturday, my college age daughter asked her about when grandad proposed and she brought out pictures of when they were dating. Most of all, talk about your dad. Don't keep your love for him and your grief to yourself. Hope this helps in some way; I will pray for you.
A.P. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
I think it's beautiful that you and your dad had such a close bond. I never did with my dad, and most of my sorrow after he died was/is wishing we had a better relationship. So I think your pain is normal, healthy, and crying is cathartic. I think the sorrow and grief you feel even 5 months later is merely a testament to how much he means to you.
So cry, and know it's okay to be sad for a long time. But I have a feeling he is still listening if you want to tell him about his grandkids.
K.S. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a special bond you had. I don't have any great ideas altho I will say time does help. Sounds trite but my mom died 6 years ago and I still moss her daily. Juat not with such a searing pain. blessings to you.
K.B. answers from Austin on November 22, 2008
Oh I'm so sorry for your loss and your grief. Your grief doesn't sound ridiculous at all! I don't think you should feel bad about it and I'm not sure there's really much you can do about it but grieve and work through the pain and loss. Its a natural process and usually time makes it easier. I doubt your grief will ever go away but it will lessen and then you can remember him fondly and not feel so much pain at his memory. Its normal with the holidays coming up that you'll miss him even more so be prepared to have some mood swings over the holidays. If it starts interfering with your life and you feel like you're depressed all the time, then by all means seek counseling. Maybe even a grief support group might help you at this point too. It may help you feel more normal about what pain you're feeling if you talk to others who are going through it as well. Again, I'm sorry about your loss.
K.J. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
My parents are both gone. They died in 1985 and 1993. I am still grieving. Sounds like you had a sweet relationship. Some of the things I did: I made a photo album with pictures and stories for my children I have some of my favorite pictures around. I did not want to forget. I wanted my children to know them. I had a really hard time and sometimes I am mad and sad still. It gets easier but I think it is always there. One thing I do know is you can't will yourself to get over it. It is a process. Is there anyone you can adopt to listen to your wonderful life, it may not help but it may. Allow yourself time. Celebrate the beautiful man that your father was. Do what you need to do and be the kind of mommy to your little girl that your daddy was to you. God grant you peace. From a mommy and daddy little girl also....
A.S. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
Hi E. -
First I wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your loss. Like many of the other women have said, you are so lucky to have had a close bond with your dad.
I just wanted to say to you not to limit yourself with a time frame to be "over" this. Grief can't tell time. You hurt, you need to get it out. Talk about him, smile about the memories, and cry once a day for the rest of your life if you need to!!
I lost my brother 9yrs ago, and I can promise you eventually the pain won't be so sharp, but the loss will always there.
T.W. answers from Kansas City on November 25, 2008
Start keeping a journal dedicated to "your dad" and tell him about your day in it? Also, talk to your doctor about some anti-depressant medication just to get you through these tough times. It doesn't mean you will need the medication for the rest of your life. You could also try joining a chat group of people that are facing the same situations. Take care and God Bless :)
K.D. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
You might consider setting aside time on a regular basis to write down the things you would tell your dad, as if he were still here. Then in the future your family would have a wonderful record of your lives, thoughts and emotions and in the present you'd be communicating with your dad.
In many cultures the dead are honored far more than we do here. There are shrines to the ancestors and people go and seek solace and guidance from the spirits of those gone before. At special times, such as at the end of October places are set at the table for those who have gone on. In Mexico on the Day of the Dead families go have picnics in graveyards.
You might consider seeing a grief counselor and talking about these issues.
L.H. answers from Dallas on March 04, 2011
I just read your post and am so glad, I am not alone, I am still grieving for my mother after 24 years and my daddy after 34. I am an only child and lost dad at 10, after a very long illness, we were prepared, but you can never be too prepped to lose a parent. Momma died after leaving work, we worked together, lived together, I came in to relieve her and we were going to have our normal Saturday routine (breakfast at McDonalds) and my head kept telling me something was wrong, when I got home two hours later, she was gone, she had a heart attack and was laying across her bed still in her work clothes. I had no time to process or prepare for this, my best friend was gone, she was my everything. Shortly after that I had my first child, I never told my mother I was expecting, I was 20 and had my first boyfriend and didn't want her to be ashamed of me, but I know she would have never thought any less of me. It would have brought us closer together, I still grieve everyday, I still want to pick up the phone and call her and just "gossip" like some old hens LOL,. I still see things in the store that I know she would love and I want to buy them for her, the pain will never stop, there is no statute of limitations on "grieving". Everyone morns there own way and in their own time, I am married, happily, and have 4 children, and I keep my circle very small, because my husband has taken her place as my best friend, my older kids have "outgrown" me and don't want mom hanging around. I have two small children who still think mom and dad are the greatest thing since sliced bread. All I can say is cherish your children and your husband, they are all you have, and never stop grieving and paying homage to your dad, it gets easier, but just know he is in a better place, really. I think about how vital and full of life my parents were and how they would be if they were still alive, confined to wheelchairs, or not able to get around on their own, depending on other people to care for them. They would be miserable and their quality of life would be next to nothing, so part of me is so glad that they are not here to be a shell of the people they once were, but I still miss them just the same. Just know you are not alone, there are a lot of us adult "orphans" out here, who still need their mommy's and daddy's.
M.W. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
Hi E., I am so sorry for your loss. I too had a wonderful father, and a great relationship (he is the one who had the birds and the bees talk with me, if that says anything :). He passed away just over 8 years ago. He was 57. I am not sure how your dad passed, but mine was sick with cancer for sseveral years prior to passing. Anyway some of the things that helped me was when I'd get sad I'd remember that he was no longer in pain, and try to be happy for him, although I was sad for me. The hardest part was the first of everything, first holidays, first birthday, first fathers day, first anniversary of his death, etc. I can say it will get easier, not to say that I don't have sad days, but they are fewer and farther between. I also bought a symbol of him for me to have around. I bought "Graceland" from Dept. 56's Snow Village. My dad was a huge Elvis fan, and never got to go there. So every year around the holidays, I open it, I have my moment with my Dad, and remember all the good times. I don't know about your Mom, but one thing that happened when my Dad passed, is now my Mom and I are really close, and I can't say that was the case before.
I guess what I'm trying to say is to allow yourself to grieve, allow yourself time to heal, and it will slowly get easier. And then when the moment strikes you, and you find yourself feeling sad, try to remember the good times, not just how much you miss him, or how sad you are.
A.D. answers from Washington DC on February 13, 2011
I need help myself my dad was killed in a car accident 22 years ago I never got to say goodbye he was 42 years old he was vacationing in gulf shores ala when it happened talking about your dad may help it helps a little for me but when I bring him up to friends/family they dont know what to say so they change the subject so if you want to email me my email is ____@____.com maybe we could help each other.
S.W. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
E., I am sorry to hear about your loss. I get what you are saying. I can relate to it. I too lost a parent, my mom over 6 years ago. I am now 35 and still have hard days. There are not as many as I used to have but I do find myself still getting sad around my kids birthdays, holidays, etc.
E., it has only been 5 months. I think you should give yourself more time to grieve and be ok with it. I wish there was a way to tell you how to get over it quickly. There just isn't. I thought the same thing and would get mad at myself for not being able to move on.
The thing that worked best for me was finding something else to focus on when I felt I was getting upset. I hooe this helps you.
J.H. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
My advice is 2 fold: trust in medicine. Go to your doctor and get a happy pill. That helps the surface. There's nothing wrong with some help from a doctor. Then, my next advice will take some work. Trust in God. Your dad is watching over you now. He's able to help you more than you ever will be able to understand. So talk to him! Talk to him in your prayers, while you're driving, etc. And if you listen really hard, you will hear him talking back. I lost my mother-in-law who I was very close to. These are the 2 things that worked for me. And if you realize that he's in a better place, it should bring you happiness. You are so lucky that you had the chance to say goodbye. Anyway, these things helped me. I hope they will help you.
S.M. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
I too lost my daddy 2 years ago and I am 46 and I am the baby of 5 living kids.It is hard, but my daughter who is almost 13 now had a brilliant idea.I dont know if you pray but she said we can tell Jesus to tell him everything we want to say to Dad as we cant talk to dad but he can hear it from God Now there is no sorrow in heaven so tell him all the good things you are doing He will be proud!!God Bless u and yours.
A.J. answers from New York on February 26, 2010
I really don't know what to tell you to do,but it's nice to know someone feels the same way I do...it's been 4 months since my mom's been gone but everyday after work I want to tell her about my day!! I hate that I can't call her when I want. I got engaged on Valentine's day, and I can't even share it with her.Just like you I try to stay busy by working and living my life. It's just hard without her support. just a hug would make me feel better!!
C.M. answers from Kansas City on November 23, 2008
My grandmother passed away about a year ago and my mother has had a really hard time with it as well. It was not a surprise and like your dad, she had lived a very full life. Here are some things that I know my mother did. First, she gave herself a full year to grieve. She knew the every anniversary would bring up a memory that she would have to deal with for the first time so she let herself have that first year to get over each one. Second, she writes letters to her mother on a regular basis. Even though she can't actually talk to her, she can still get out all of those feelings, whether good or bad, through the letters to her mother. Also, just because he is physically gone, does not mean that he isn't there. His spirit is still very much alive and I'm sure that there are times where you can feel him near. Trust those instincts. There have been times in my life that I have literally felt arms around me even though I could not see them. I do not believe in ghosts, but I do believe in angels and I hope you know that your dad will ALWAYS be with you and that you will see him again in the life after death. Don't rush your grief. It will get easier as time goes on.
A.P. answers from Kansas City on November 24, 2008
I am extremely sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. My dad died 14 years ago. I had just turned 11. I remember because it was 15 days after my birthday. My dad and I were very close. We'd go fishing together, go to pawn shops, swap meets, and whatever else you could think of. I totally miss him too. I still love him and remember him quite often. We have a family home video from 1989 when I was in Kindgergarten and 1st grade. I watch it to see how goofy I was as a kid and to remember him. He was so cool!
Later in College it really hit me. Don't know why, but it did. I would write letters to him. Sometimes I'd lock my dorm room and I would put a chair in front of me and act like he was there and talk to him that way. Or if I was in my car I would talk to him that way. Here lately it has hit me more. I'm 25, going out with this awesome guy who loves me and he won't be there for my wedding and when I have kids.
I know how you feel sweetheart. It hurts. Give yourself the time to grieve. My mom has a hard time with it pretty much around Christmas time every year. Time will heal. It'll be ok. Remember he's lookin down at you just smiling knowing that you miss him.
God Bless You,