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Where I'm At


Leslie

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On Friday it will be 10 weeks and 2 days since my dad died. I am in such a bad place right now. I feel so much anguish, so much sadness, and so much despair. On the one hand, I have moments where I feel still shocked. Like this whole thing is pretty unreal. And at other times, the reality hits and it is just overwhelming. It's like missing a body part. Or being punched in the gut. And I feel like I spend so much time trying to hold it together....and it doesn't feel sustainable. Because this situation is going to continue--that is, my dad is not coming back--and I don't know how much longer I can hold it together and not completely lose it.

My dad and I spoke everyday. He was the one who helped me keep things lighter. When I was depressed, he was the one who could say just the right thing to make things feel a little more manageable. And normally, he would be the one to make me see the light in this situation....

Everything just feels hard. I am trying to help and support my mom as she settles everything financially. I am trying to be a good partner in my marriage (which is still pretty new--my husband and I have only been married a year). I am trying to adjust to living in a new city and I am trying to find a new job (because I hate the one I'm in right now.)

But I feel like my foundation is gone and I am in free fall. And I don't know when I am going to hit bottom. And I am scared. Because I feel like I am being swallowed by my grief.

I have not connected with a therapist yet. Which I know I need to do.

I think it just feels good to write it all down and at least "own" and acknowledge these feelings. I know that losing a parent isn't like losing a spouse...but my dad had a such a strong role in my life that the void is enormous.

Thanks for listening to me.

Best,

Leslie

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(((Leslie)))

I do understand completely. And you described it perfectly, it is a free-fall...you don't have your footing yet, not sure how to live this life without your dad in it....It's so new.

I don't have any magic words, it just takes time and you just take it a minute at a time....

When my dad died of LC, I concentrated on my mom...and work and kids, etc...I kept really busy and that seemed to help me fall into a routine and gain a little more power over my life again.

Take it slow, and set small goals. I hope things begin to feel settled and life becomes gentle again.

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Oh, man, do I understand. Seven months later, and there are still times I feel that way. I can tell you that it does get...not easier, but maybe more managable. I remember when I couldn't take a breath without feeling the crushing grief. Then I could go moments, then maybe hours. I can sometimes get through a whole day, not without thinking about it, but without being crippled by it.

Your love for your dad is (not was) so strong, that of course your grief is equally strong. He helped you build a strong foundation in your life, and you WILL be OK. I think going to a counsellor is a great idea, if you are comfortable with that. I get a great deal of help from a grief group aimed at my kids, but the adult portion helps me, too. Also, 'letting it all out' here has been very therapeutic for me as well. We are here for you, and we do get it.

Kelly

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Katie, Kelly, and Leslie,

Thank you so much for your kind replies. I have literally been in a fog these past few days---my sadness has just felt like it was crushing me. Tonight, for the first time in four days, it feels like the fog is lifting a little. Not that I don't feel sad--it just feels a little more manageable.

Is this just how grief works? These cycles of going so very low and then coming back up again? And is there any way to manage these lows so that it doesn't feel like everything is falling apart?

Thanks again for listening.

Leslie

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Leslie, it is hard. I've been trying to respond by thinking back to that ten week timeframe...which for me was right in between the holidays. I remember how hard it was.

The talking every day SO resonates with me. Mom and I shared every little stupid thing that happened...I hear ya.

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Leslie,

I think we all totally get where you are coming from. Like you with your dad, I talked to my mom almost every day, and she was touchstone, my rock - a huge part of me and my everyday life. We said I love you every time we hung up the phone. She was completely wrapped up in my kids, and they adored her. Losing that is just mindblowing, it rocks your world beyond all reason. "Free fall" is exactly the right phrase to describe it.

I read your follow-up post and I'm glad you are doing a little better. In answer to your question...I think it IS a total rollercoaster. And as Kelly mentioned, it becomes more "managable". I wish I could say it gets a lot easier and the pain fades into only happy memories (you know, like all those stupid sympathy cards say...), but I haven't found it to be that simple. Just hang on to your loved ones and don't be afraid to lean on them when you need to. Let your husband know you'll continue to need him and his empathy and love, and that he'll never be able to predict when you will need it the most. It's a very tough thing for a newly married couple to go through (my mother-in-law passed away ten days after our wedding). And as far as dealing with it when your really on the low side - I can't really think of any great or helpful advice. You just have to let it flow, as agonizing as it is. I really believe you have to go through through that to get to higher ground in the future....

Just want you to know I am thinking of you and feeling your pain...I wish I could make it better. Take care of yourself, let yourself grieve freely when you need to. Many hugs,

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Leslie,

((((Leslie))))

I understand what you are going through, too. Its been over 3 months for me without my dad. I sat down and had some chips and salsa just now in his memory. He had this everyday around 5:00 p.m. That's all I know to do to make me feel closer to him. Maybe something similar could help you...maybe not. Grief is different for everyone.

I do think a therapist or a grief support group will help you. Blessings!

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Leslie,

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I think you live in the Los Angeles area? If so, you might consider checking out this grief councelling place. They have two locations. One in Woodland Hills (where I live) and one in West L.A. I'm posting it publically, because there may be others in the area who are looking for grief support.

http://www.ourhouse-grief.org/

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Nick, Michele, Tina, and Teri--

Thank you very much for your thoughtful posts. There are few things that actually help when you are having dark days--but knowing that others have traveled this path before, and managed to find some peace, certainly does help.

I suppose this is just a learning process....learning how to deal with grief, learning about who I am without my dad in this world, learning how to be strong enough to feel my emotions without letting them completely take over...

Sure wish that none of us had to go through this.

Thanks again,

Leslie

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