Need To Resolve Grief Before I Have A Heart Attack

Discussion in 'Loss of Both Parents' started by ItsMissMarigold, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. ItsMissMarigold

    ItsMissMarigold New Member

    This post is very hard to make, and I'm sure it'll take me a few attempts to be able to get it all typed out. I'm gonna try to keep it short, because it hurts to go into lots of detail.

    In 2015 my dad was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. 6 months later my mom was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I was 22, had just graduated college and had my first job, and everything just stopped. Their diagnoses was completely shocking. My dad was a little overweight, but had been in the military 20+ years with physical requirements to meet. My mom was constantly reading labels and cutting out anything she perceived as toxic. No plastic water bottles, nothing that wasnt organic, etc. There was nothing about their lifestyle that made lent credence to them developing the cancers they did. The years passed, they lived trial to trial, experimental treatment to experimental treatment, and I watched them slowly shrivel away. One day the laughter died and never came back to our house. I dont remember how far into their treatments it happened. It just happened slowly. I watched the doctors cut bits and pieces of my parents away, but the cancer was always just a little ahead of them.

    My husband and I moved our wedding date up closer and closer with each new test result. We ended up getting married a whole year ahead of schedule just 3 days before christmas 2019. My mom died 8 days later in hospice. My dad wasn't there when she passed because he had to go to his cancer treatment trials 3 hours away. If he missed a single treatment he would be kicked out of the trials and left with no further options but to wait to die. It didnt matter in the end. He died 6 months later anyway.

    I tell you all of this because of the bittersweet feelings of being now pregnant with their first grandchild. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for about a year, and when we got the positive on Jan 26th this year we were overjoyed. The pregnancy itself has been rather easy as far as symptoms are concerned, just lots of fatigue. Except the last 3 weeks have gotten worse. I am experiencing a lot of heart pain and difficulty breathing at times. I have been to the ER twice and had all sorts of tests done. No blood clots, blood pressure is fine, all blood work is normal. The only thing that makes sense is that I am just oscillating too much between sadness and fury.

    Every new milestone in the pregnancy, every new ultrasound, every new preparation to the nursery...I just feel so far away from my mother. I can feel her around, but it feels like she's impossibly far away. The most recent ultrasound shows that our daughter has a cute little button nose just like my mother did. I wanted to tell my mom...but she isn't here.

    I lost all faith in God after they passed. They were strong in their faith, and he still let them die. So why pray? If he doesn't listen to his most devout, he won't listen to me. If he created all things, he created cancer too. And if he is all powerful, he chose to just let them rot to death in ubspeakable pain and levels of abandonment by God that I can only imagine.

    I don't know how to be a mom. I do, but I don't. I have no mother figure to speak to, and no remaining family I am close to besides my husband. I have since entered the beginnings of a legal battle with my brother due to his extremely shady handling of the estate and money unaccounted for.

    I am so thrilled for this baby, but so sad that I cannot tell my parents any of it. It feels like being on the other side of a thick pane of glass and no amount of pounding on it will be heard by them on the other side. I want so badly to talk to them, to show them pictures and tell them about their granddaughter who is coming in just a few months. But how? And why? If God isn't real, then that must mean religion is just something humans developed to ease the pain of life's questions. And if that's true, then when we die, we just die. Which means there's no parents to say anything to anymore. And that hurts. What hurts more is the knowledge that I will soon be holding my newborn daughter in my arms knowing she will lose me someday too. And how can I prepare her for that?

    I have recently begun to re-examine Buddhism loosely in an attempt to learn to cope with my anger and grief. I just have no energy for anything anymore. I used to use my calligraphy to write uplifting letters to strangers, but now I have nothing uplifting left to say, and trying to find the words just dredges up my own rotting corpses of pain. I used to enjoy writing poetry and songs, but same problem. I no longer find interest in anything. Before you ask, I am already seeing a psychiatrist and am medicated. I have resorted to anger for so long because it was better than feeling sad. But now my health and the health of my baby is being affected because of my anger I drink like a sweet poison. But what else is there to do? If I'm not angry, I'm sad. I feel like I need to do the sad things to work through this new grief I thought was pretty much laid to rest. But I am so utterly exhausted I just have nothing left to give. Is being unutterably broken hearted and ugly crying multiple times daily going to be better for my baby than just being tense and angry? How can I get through all this without resorting to either?
    Nicenin, ajbwalla and Lyn77 like this.
  2. Daisy171

    Daisy171 Well-Known Member

    Losing both parents at such a young age seems more than unfair and would make anyone feel great anger. It seems unbearable. Of course, such a tragedy would make you question everything you ever believed, but now is not the time to make any decisions about your faith or your life. You are still in shock and drowning in grief. I wish I could say something that would make it better. I lost my husband of 40 years, and the pain is unbearable, so I understand grief. As to anger, I felt that also. I was so angry that he passed away and I am left a widow alone without him. But, my husband had some Buddhist beliefs, and he had explained to me that life is samsara, an endless cycle of suffering, birth and death. After he passed, I thought about it and I realized that it is true, and all religions say it in their own way. Loss and grief are part of the human condition, and NO ONE escapes the pain and suffering associated with this. I felt less angry when I understood that I wasn't alone since no one escapes suffering. Being angry does nothing because this is just how life is for everyone. Of course, I still feel deep grief as you will because of your terrible loss.

    In short, it helped my anger to pass to realize that NO ONE escapes pain in this life. The grief is harder to deal with, but I do try to have gratitude for all he gave me, including our son. So, remember that your child is the living legacy of your beloved parents.
  3. Alexa21

    Alexa21 New Member

    I'm not sure if this is helpful to you, but reading your words reached me and in some ways I thought somebody had written my own story. My parents developed terminal conditions when I was 28 and a couple months from finishing my degree, when I was getting ready to go into a professional career instead of just a 'grown-up' job. I pushed back my studies to care for them, and at least my mom got to see me graduate. My parents were also dedicated in their faith, even in the end. But after watching their suffering, experiencing some other loosely related trauma, and developing painful health issues of my own all in less than two years, I lost faith too. Some deity that does nothing to intervene on that level of hurt clearly didn't care enough about me, so I stopped caring too. This came out of anger, which was new for me, because I internalized at a young age that it's better to be sad than angry. So I've always turned anger into sadness. Since facing the anger has allowed me to have more clarity on the rest of my feelings, maybe facing your sadness could help after all. If you chose to, I hope it does.

    With each new big decision or change in life (even just dating), I notice how much I still miss them because I don't feel like I know what I'm doing. I didn't always want their opinions, but at least I knew what they thought or how they felt. The risk of making the 'wrong' decision without the support is scary.
    My therapist encouraged still talking to them, but I argued the same point that I'm fairly certain I believe in death as an ending now. She told me that people still have energy, and reminded me that energy doesn't stop existing, it just converts. So, while I still have their ashes, sometimes I'll talk to them. I don't usually think they hear me, but sometimes it can feel like it. The important thing to know though, is that it's not for them, it's for us - and that's perfectly okay.