Does anybody actually understand?

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by Amyhopps, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Amyhopps

    Amyhopps New Member

    My dad died on Feb 13th of this year. It hasn't even been a month. People around me have already forgotten. If I suddenly burst into tears, people look at me all confused and ask, "are you ok? What's going on?" I want to yell, at the top of my lungs, "MY DAD DIED!!!" Yes, he was 77, and I am 41, but I feel like a lost child now, almost like I am floating, not tethered to anything. Yes, my mom is still alive, but my dad was almost like my moral compass. I have no compassion for other people, and their "little" problems. I have always been an incredibly patient person, but now I find myself snapping and getting angry at the smallest of things. How do I get someone, who hasn't experienced this incredibly painful loss, to truly understand what I am feeling?
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  2. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Amyhopps, As we move through life, there will be events we are faced with that will test our inner strength. I know you seek answers for why, and perhaps how I can overcome this time in your life that seems too hard to face.

    While the passing of your father is still new, days might be hard to get through, and nights will sometimes seem so unbearingly long. All you now face is the reality of your new situation, and how to cope with this tremendous loss of the one you loved so much.

    Please don’t lose focus, it is you who are crying out for help, trying to manage your way forward each day. Other people's reactions may seem shallow, but just remember this is your loss, and loss can be so very hard to get beyond.

    By opening up as you are now doing, it allows others to see how the passing of your dad has affected you. As I read, as will others, we can feel your words, they have a strong impact on those that read.

    One thing I have learned in life is it is not good to hold the hurt inside us. Feelings inside you can eat you up if you don’t release them. By posting you have taken that first step, though it may not be easy to talk about, it is helping you to learn how to resolve your feelings.

    Please don’t ever fault yourself for the way you are reacting to others. It is natural, to recoil from others, and think they are unable to understand you. Your current view on life is a very normal reaction to where you now are.

    Never be afraid to cry, whenever, wherever and just take each day as slowly as you can. Keep talking, keep reaching out, and others will listen.

    When my dad died of lung cancer I was going to college. I tried to tell others how I felt, but the only one who can truly feel your pain the most is you. It is as though you are walking with tacks in your feet. You wish to remove them and make the pain go away, but even after the tack is gone the pain still remains.

    Loss is hard, it is even harder to face. You are no longer alone with that burden, you are now here among those who also have suffered loss. Please don’t be afraid to openly talk about how you feel, and most of all, slowly release those feelings you have inside.

    It will take time. Peace be with you tonight and the days forward. Keep posting.


    This song is especially for you.

    Karyl likes this.
  3. Kate~

    Kate~ New Member

    Hi Amyhopps. I don't have advice for you, just wanted to validate how you're feeling and say that I 200% relate. My dad died in January, and my brother 3 years ago. One of the absolute hardest parts for me has been people not understanding and/or not trying to understand what I'm going through, and feeling bitter toward people moving forward with their happy and full lives and forgetting that I'm going through hell. Most people just seem to assume that after a certain amount of time passes, you must be doing better? I'm not, they're still dead, my world is still upside down and permanently changed, I don't know who I am anymore or what I believe or what my life means etc. (I completely know that untethered feeling, and feel like a child in many ways at 33), and every day is a battle. I also always used to be the calmest, most peaceful and patient person ever, and I scare myself with how easily I lose it now. It feels impossible to be sympathetic to minor issues people are dealing with, and I'm afraid it's costing me friendships because I just don't have the energy. I don't have a good relationship to begin with with my other family members (my brother was my best friend), and I haven't found it helpful to talk to friends about any of it, either because they ignore it completely and never acknowledge what I going through, they're too uncomfortable and I end up having to take care of them emotionally, or they just say all the wrong things and try to be positive (there's no silver lining to death, it's purely terrible), and offer advice when I just need someone to listen and to be honest with about how I'm feeling and to sit with me in it. I have needed to direct my energy toward mental health resources and support groups, because I'm just too frustrated and exhausted from trying and failing to be understood elsewhere. It absolutely, entirely, completely sucks to say the least when people don't understand. Personally I've just been too emotionally raw and devastated to spend much time trying to make them too, and am trying to focus my energy on people and things that bring comfort without effort on my part, and hope that in time I'll be able to reconnect with relationships that have been strained by this. Maybe explaining what you're going through and what you need to people who truly want to understand will get through to some, and if it doesn't there are lots of strangers out there who do understand what you're going through even if it's not an ideal demographic to confide in with deeply personal pain. Lots of thoughts and solidarity your way, I'm struggling with all this right alongside you for whatever that's worth.
    BarbaraMX likes this.
  4. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Why I talk about loss and offer insight-

    I will elaborate some on my own dad. On Valentine’s day he asked me to drive him to the doctors, I did and waited outside. After a while he came out, got into the car and sat silent for what seemed like ten minutes.

    He then asked me to drive him to the lake. When we got there and parked, dad looked at me, and said the doctor told him he had less than a week to live from lung cancer. He implored me to take care of mom after he died which I agreed to of course.

    At the time, I was married, going to college, I had two sons, an older brother, an older sister and a younger sister. Our kinship was our service. He had fought in World War 2 as a naval sailor, he was a hero to me. I had served in the Army for 12 plus years with two tours in Vietnam. I don’t know it was going to be a strain, but I looked at dad and just could not refuse him ever.

    Two days later, I came into the house, dad was on the phone making his own funeral arrangement. He had been a 6 time past president of the local Masons and so he asked them to perform the ceremony. After we talked some more I had to go home, do my homework, eat, make sure the kids were ok and get some sleep for the night.

    The hospice nurse with dad called me, I entered the room and she said his heart was slowly stopping. Less than minutes later, with mom standing beside me with my arm around her, dad slowly passed into the night. Honestly, mom was emotional, as was I, but I had to keep all that stuff inside me for the longest time.

    Each day I came to mom’s house, took her to dialysis in the morning, picked her up in the afternoon, and then made sure Meal on Wheels came with her food. I would then feed her cats, too many to count, and this became an endless routine for two years until mom had to be taken to a special hospital near my older brother.

    I finally had some relief. I had already flunked one class, name doesn't matter because of classes missed. I did try to withdraw but missed the date. I finished my second degree college, and was so relieved to have some more free time. But family responsibilities always came first for me, I had no time to think of my own needs, my own feelings, they would have to wait for someday in the future.

    My wife also had a blossoming career in Taxation so she was always on the go. I always needed to fill in the gaps. I did have some free time as I looked for work, but jobs were not plenty when I graduated.

    One weekend we visited my sister, 45 minutes away in the dead of winter, all four of us. On our way home it hit me, all of the sudden I believed I could not breath. So I opened the window as we drove and hoped the ice cold air would help me catch my breath - it did not. I told my wife to stop and pull over. I got out, unbuckled my belt and tried to breathe better.

    Let’s just say it went downhill from there. I was eating and started choking and my wife performed the heimlich maneuver on me, it worked. It would happen twice more and again each time she saved me. However as a result I developed panic attacks. Where I believed I did not know how to breathe anymore, so I would go to a room, and then sit in a corner, all the while my wife and two sons were scared as heck.

    Well I finally made it to the doctor. I unloaded on him. He brought a psychiatrist in the room and they asked me so many questions. I only remember one answer he gave me, “No you can not catch your dad's cancer?” Dumb I know, but seriously I did not know what they asked or what I answered. I was oblivious to it all. So they prescribed me antidepressants.

    I was on them for five months, and slowly I was given my life back. It was a time that I will never forget. It is crazy what we all can go through and still make it out alive. Thanks to my late wife and the doctors who saw my dilemma.

    So when I offer advice to others, it is only from actual insight. I have been there, done it, and seen so many deaths in my life I would not wish upon another person ever.

    Sweetcole and @APPY like this.
  5. TJones

    TJones Active Member

  6. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Sorry Amyhopps - I’m new here and it is showing.

    My dad passed away March 17 and I find myself to be much like you. My mom is alive and I love her but I was so close to my dad. It seems people want to set a time limit on grieving. Someone told me just last night, “you need to think about what was best for him and get yourself together and move on with your life.” This man, my dad...was the only person I could really count on in life. I can accept his passing and I can accept he is in a better place - I can tell my brain this all day long but my heart doesn’t seem to accept it the same. I believe I truly know how you feel. I just wanted to comment and say hello!
  7. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. When I lost my Dad, I was sure I couldn’t live a minute without him. Like you I was very close to my Dad, I’d do anything for him. He passed over 20 years ago but I know exactly how you’re feeling. He passed from non-Hodgkins disease lymphoma, by the time he was diagnosed it was too late to help him. On one occasion my Mom was going to be out of the house most the day and she asked me to check on him. I decided I wanted to take my Dad for lunch, he told me he couldn’t go, too weak looks awful and can’t even button his pants. I said, we’re staying in the car, let’s get you out of the house. My Dad, the strongest man I knew needed to lean on me to get him to my car, he hated that but it was necessary. We took a drive and got lunch at a drive thru restaurant. He barely ate, but I could tell he was happy to get out. While having lunch he looked over at me and pretty much acknowledged he knew the end was coming soon, and said he’s worried about Mom, how will she manage who will care for her. And asked if I’d look after her. I told him he didn’t need to ask, of coarse I’d take care of her. I learned later he asked 3 of his 4 children to look after our Mom. He passed very shortly after that, and my life came crashing down.
    I’m on this site now because I lost my husband suddenly to a massive heart attack. Beginning to end was two hours! Again my life came crashing down, this time even harder. Together 44 years married 41. My life has become something I don’t even recognize. No warnings no previous signs, nothing.
    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with people saying the worst things. I’ve had many people say such hurtful things, at 5 months my cousin asked how I was doing, I answered I’m living day to day, and trying to manage. She said, still?! I don’t think people are trying to be hurtful they just don’t understand. If they haven’t suffered such a loss they can’t understand what it feels like.
    This site has been a great help to me and I believe it will help you too. Keep posting and sharing your story and reading other stories. It’s so helpful, and everyone here knows the pain, understands what you’re feeling, because we’re feeling it too.
    We all know our loved ones don’t want us hurting so much. I use husband as my inspiration to keep pushing, I don’t want to let him down.
    Let the tears fall, that’s helpful too. This takes time
    Thinking of you and your Mom
    BarbaraMX likes this.
  8. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Robin,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am sorry to hear about your husband. I can’t even begin to comprehend that one. You are certainly a strong woman.

    In a sense, I was given time to prepare which I am very thankful for. I was able to care for my dad through his illness. But, now, it’s over. My work was finished in that chapter of my life.

    Aren't you so happy you took your dad to eat that day? He didn’t feel well but it is something you have to hold on to, a precious memory! That is what I have from my father’s illness and ultimate death.

    I know when people make comments, they usually aren’t being mean but sometimes they may just not think. I try not to let people get me too bogged down but sometimes the smallest things trigger the tears.

    I pray that you (and I) achieve the peace that this life requires. I say it that way because now we are having to combat this virus, my area was devastated by tornados on Easter Sunday - seems like I can’t even steal a moment to mourn without other stressors.

    44 years, 41 married - that speaks volumes! No doubt there was an amazing bond.

    Thank you so much for responding to me. Your kind words and shared story is much appreciated!

  9. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I certainly don’t feel strong, there are times I feel weak as a baby, but I try.
    And yes, I am so happy I took my Dad for lunch. I have so many wonderful memories growing up and all the things we did together and as a family and my Dad embracing Ron and teaching him things. I pretty much carried him in to many appointments. This was a 6’ tall man, who had cancer eating away at him. But that one lunch, I think of it often, makes me cry still to this day. I told him, Dad, you’ve taken care of me all my life, I want to take care you, let’s get you some fresh air. So happy I pushed him.
    It feels good to give back to our parents, like you did caring for your dad. We don’t want them sick and to need caring for, but it is a good feeling. I also cared for my Mom, she suffered from dementia, I was lucky that she membered me the longest of everyone. She used to tell me, she gave me the wrong name, I should have named you Faith because you’re so faithful. How sweet!
    I imagine you caring for your dad during his illness brought you closer then you already were. And now, the loss is exaggerated even more because of the time you spent caring for him is now empty. What do I do now? You were and are such a good daughter, and he knew that.
    My daughter has been my biggest support, she stayed with me for a long time after Ron passed, she worked from my house to be with me. She misses her dad very much, they were very close too, I’m lucky I have her. My son lives in Florida and he gives me support too but he’s not here so it’s different. For a week after Ron passed my kids and I slept in the living room together. Using couches and an air mattress, we supported each other all night long, who ever was crying which sometimes was all of us, we all supported.
    I agree that as evening approaches that seems to be the hardest part of the day, I haven’t slept well since Ron passed. It’s all too hard. Ron and I owned a business together, we were together 24/7. I had to close our business, and empty our shop, talk about crying, some days all I did was walk in, cry and leave I wasn’t up to going through everything. We loved working together. Now I have no schedule or routine and I hate it.
    I think I read that you had to empty your dads house, it’s all so difficult and we have to do things we’re just not up to.
    I’m so sorry you had tornadoes on Easter Sunday, I hope you and your loved ones are all safe. It’s just too much, this pandemic we’re living through is so unknown, tornadoes, on top of losing your Dad. It’s like our life is crashing down on us.
    Thank you, for your caring and kind words.
    There’s better days ahead we just need to work towards them.
  10. TJones

    TJones Active Member

    Hi Robin,

    You know, we never realized how truly strong we are until being strong is our only option. During my dad’s sickness many of my family members (his siblings) commented on my strength and my unwavering faith. I saw it just as getting by but they saw it totally different.

    I truly like your encouragement...”there are better days ahead we just need to work toward them.” You are so right and what a wonderful perspective. Thank you for your kindness and care!

  11. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Hi TJones,
    I think you’re right, the need to be strong makes us do whatever we have to. That I. Itself makes strong.
    I use Ron as my inspiration, he wouldn’t want me in this much pain. We even had these discussions. We only live this life once, if something happens to one of us, the other needs to push on. Easier said then done. Ugh I wouldn’t want to let Ron down ever, so he continues to be my inspiration to get up every morning and try to move forward, even if it’s baby steps.
    I can tell by what you’ve shared that your Dad wouldn’t want you suffering in pain. Of coarse you need to have the grieving process that’s a given. But use your Dad as your inspiration to do your best to keep trying each and every day. I know you can hear him in your head thanking you for taking care of him and all the loving things you shared together. And can hear him encouraging you to be strong. I know because I hear Ron’s encouragement. I hear my Mom and Dad also.
    Thank you again.
    And, Here’s to better days ahead!
  12. JesFiveHealth

    JesFiveHealth Member

    That is a tough question
    I think if a person has not felt the loss of true love felt from a loving parent they are unable to understand without the same or simular experience
    I find insensitivty to be normalized in everyday life
    This my harden an emotional callus under the surface

    The beauty of true LOVE is nothing else matters nothing else compares to true LOVE nothing takes away the feeling of true LOVE

    Once you have true LOVE true LOVE is there forever
    Some may not understand the loss of true LOVE
    You understand true LOVE
    In time you will begin to feel this LOVE again

    Here is my story an a place where I feel TRUE LOVE
    I hope you LOVE inside your heart always an forever every true LOVE you shared with your father

    Sorry to hear of your loss
    Loosing my father Carl I felt in some ways the same as you
    I had a lot of time not being able to commuicate with my father due to a disease he had
    When Carl pasted away I was shocked at how much I was unprepared to deal with Carl's death
    I to wonder how I make it day to day without Carl in my life I ignored my feelings about Carl's death for years now I am thinking of Carl in a very special way
    When Carl would hug me he would always squeeze real hard and would not let go always a kiss after the hug an he would say I love you
    Carl said I love you every day
    I said I love you to Carl every day
    Carl an I's Love is the only love I have ever known a father's love for his son an a son's love for his father
    When I think of Carl today I love him my eyes leak water an I feel more aware of what is important in life
    Thank you for sharing your life
    I hope sharing my life with you has sent some feelings of love your way I hope you feel the love of your mother remember the love with your mother an heal your heart
    You are loved by many people in this world
    You Sharing your life is sharing your love
    I want you to know how much love you have shared with your story has helped me share my life an thus sharing my love

    Thank you

    With true love shared

  13. JesFiveHealth

    JesFiveHealth Member

    I wrote this to Abgela who's moyher passed away I hope sharing TRUE LOVE brings you LOVE
    To you
    Your family
    Your loved ones
    Your friends

    With TRUE LOVE sharred
  14. JesFiveHealth

    JesFiveHealth Member

    I also lost my father Carl years ago

    I was adopted

    This man Carl my father was the only person who showed me how to an shared with me care love respect patience time with me this man Carl and I shared true love

    When this man Carl my father hugged me he would squeeze very hard and would not let go

    He told me every day he loved me I told him every day I loved him

    I miss his love as I have not felt any other love in life

    I am deeply sorry for your loss of your dad

    I listen with kindness respect and care

    If you would like to write your feelings I am here to listen

    All the best health to you your family and friends

    Take care with love time patience


  15. @APPY

    @APPY Well-Known Member

    Hello @ Amyhopps my father passed away at 69 6 days ago and I am 31. You still got your father 8 handy years more with you. Blessed u are. My father was the world to me though I love my mother equally but my dad was my world. I hv absolutely no clue how will I stand back on my feet. Still trying and I sincerely hope you will find solace aswell.
  16. Sweetcole

    Sweetcole Well-Known Member

    People can be so in sensitive. The healing process of losing someone close to you is different for everybody. Time doesn't heal the pain ot just makes it easier to deal with sometimes. It's gone take time for your heart to accept that a piece of it is gone. Pray for strength the Lord will guide you through.
  17. stephanie177

    stephanie177 New Member

    I am experiencing the same thing. I was not closest to my Mom who passed fast after denying cancer treatment, BUT her church friends were not there, her husband encouraged her to deny the treatment and abused her, my dad said he already grieved her after their divorce, she had alienated all extended family, and my sister never shows emotion, never cried... and will never, ever, ever open up emotionally.
    When trying to talk to her about our mom (she was CLOSE to her) she told me she isn't my therapist and she is not a safe place to dump all my emotions....
    ANYWAY, to your question:

    NO... no one really understands. No words will help and even though people offer to, "do anything", you can't ask them to do anything because there is nothing they can do.

    I think the best you can do to find others who understand are those who have a similar experience or at least the same current feelings as you do on a chat board or group.... I am looking to do the same.
  18. Jenni H

    Jenni H New Member

    I'm sorry for your loss and I understand completely how you feel. There isn't a day that goes by that my heart doesn't break for the loss of my grandma, she raised me and I see a lot of her in myself, which ,makes it that much harder. I don't think it's possible to fully get over the loss of someone, and it is hard to deal with others not understanding the emotions that tend to burst out sometimes. I can be at work and completely lose it just thinking of how much I miss her, I hope you get some relief from the pain you feel, I'll pray that you do.
    Karyl and Sweetcole like this.
  19. Mrsgray34

    Mrsgray34 New Member

    I feel like you’ve just written it exactly what I’m feeling. It’s awful. I want to crawl into a hole. No one seems to get it or care.

    Karyl likes this.
  20. Karyl

    Karyl Member