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Gone 6 months and I still feel empty 
Started by Embee
02 Dec 2013, 6:18 AM

Hi there, 
My dearest father passed away 6 months ago from a fragile failing heart. His heart condition and health were further compromised in 2009 when he suffered a massive stroke. It had been a year since I had seen him before he passed. The last time I saw him, we were in an airport and with his frail old arms he held my sister, brother and I while sobbing "I can't leave my children, I can't leave my children.." That was the last time I saw my father. I had spoken to him several times, often, since that moment, right up until 2 days before he passed away. I am sad for my loss constantly. To the people around me I am known for my positivity and enthusiasm (a trait I got from my dad), and despite my natural disposition falling on the optimistic end of the spectrum, on the inside there is a little sad girl who misses her dad so much and doesn't know who to talk to about it. I have a therapist, however she is away for a while. I have friends and family who are there for me, unfortunately I tend to care-take people I love in my life, so therefore I'd rather not talk about my sadness with them because I don't want to make them sad too. I'm going to start going to drop in group therapy sessions that are hosted by the hospice in my city, I think there I can talk about my sadness and not be too worried about making others sad because they are just as sad as I am. I just don't want to feel alone. I wonder if anyone feels like me, like they have to be alone with their sadness, as to not spread the melancholy. 
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Reply by marstin
02 Dec 2013, 10:48 PM

Hi Embee,

I am so glad that you have found us. On this site you will find that there is so much support and understanding. It is difficult to be a caretaker type because people expect you to be the strongest. It sounds like you are ready now to release some of the pain that you have bottled up inside. Most of us who are on here have suffered major losses or are involved in the medical care of patients and we are ready to listen.

For myself , I lost my partner to bladder cancer on what was to be our wedding day just over a year ago then the followind day my mom was hospitalized with heart and kidney problems and we lost her 7 1/2 weeks later. If I hadn't found this wonderful community I think I would have lost my mind or worse. There are no judges here only kind and loving people who are able to reach out and be the crutch that is needed through the grieving process. I think those of us in pain have trouble letting the outside world know because of fear of rejection or not wanting to appear weak. In reality we are very broken and it will take a lot of time to start to put the pieces of our lives back together.

Please continue to share with us. We're here and we care.

Hugs,
Tracie
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Reply by KathCull_admin
03 Dec 2013, 4:18 AM

Hello Embee 
Your father sounds like he was a wonderful man and father. It's good you have family and friends to support you. You have found a community of caring and supportive people here on Virtual Hospice like marstin and others. Some share experiences similar to your own. You might want to look at a thread started by Nikki99 My world will never be the same again    She recently lost a much loved parent.     NatR and lilbear have also experienced the loss of a parent and are talking on this thread  Will I ever really get my mojo back?

You are not alone Embee.

Marstin, as a fellow caretaker type, do you have any advice for Embee about allowing herself to be taken care of? Have you found a way to do it or a person that lets you?

Katherine 

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
05 Dec 2013, 3:01 AM

Hi Embee,

How are you doing?
Colleen 
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Reply by Embee
05 Dec 2013, 6:33 AM

Hi everyone, 

I am so moved by your compassion and understanding. I am deeply grateful that I have found you guys. How I found you, well one night last week I was feeling so overwhelmed with grief and feeling isolated in my grief that I knew I had to do something about it or else it would consume me. For most of my day to day life I put on the hat of "Optimistic Embee who mainly has got her stuff together," and this me caretakers everyone I surround myself with, by not sharing how difficult it actually is dealing with the loss of my father whom I adored. I was hiding the sad little girl who is devastated at the loss of her father, because bringing her out makes people uncomfortable, I think it's because people are naturally inclined to try "make things better." I just needed to feel like I was being heard, not a problem that needs to be fixed. I looked up group grief counseling sessions in my town because I thought that would be a safe place to just be sad, and not feel like I have to caretake those individuals in the group because the feel similarly low like I do, since they too have lost someone they love. I linked up with a group, and the lovey counselor also gave me this site as a source for further support. I went to my first meeting today, and already I feel relieved at being able to express myself without the fear of bringing others down. I also felt deeply understood and heard, like how I feel here in this forum. I felt like no one was trying to fix me, and we are here to support each other through our difficult times. 

Its not easy losing someone you love. I read a quote the other day, "the price of love is grief." It's really starting to ring true to me now. At least I'm starting to not feel alone with this heavy realization, thanks to all of you beautiful people and thanks to the grief group counseling members, and through that awareness my sadness is starting to not feel as heavy as yesterday. Thank you. 
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Reply by NatR
08 Dec 2013, 6:05 PM

Dear embee,

welcome to the forum. :)

I can relate.  Have lost both my parents, my dad a few years back, my mom this spring.  I am also a caregiver, retired but just finished 4 yrs of helping care for special needs family member, which just ended for me this past summer.  So I hear your pain and loss.  My family member was placed in day to day full time care awaiting a long term placement - so she is ok but it left a big hole in my life, but it needed to happen too.

anyway, enough about me, glad you found the forum.  It's good to share feelings here, with strangers, objective points of view, sometimes great insight and ideas about how to survive.

it sounds like you are finding people to share your feelings with.  I think it is very helpful to be able to bounce ideas off others, share the pain, be understood, and yes you are right, loving someone comes with a price - either one person or the other will be taken away, because we do not live forever.

i wish we lived in a different world where we all lived forever, but they say that is Heaven, so we will have to wait.

in the meantime, given the choice of being loved, feeling loved, having love in my life, I will Acceot it.

the alternative to love is - Lonliness.  I will take the chance and keep on loving, and I have a feeling that you will too!  As a caregiver, I can guarantee you will :) it's what careguvers do.

you need a bit of TLC which your group and this forum will help you with.  You are never alone, it's always a good time to write a post and wait for responses.

I wish you a good day and I send you a virtual hug,
best wishes,
NatR
 
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Reply by eKIM
10 Dec 2013, 2:34 AM

Hello Embee

I am sorry to hear of your loss.  I too am a “dearest” father of two sweet daughters.  They are grown women with children now.  But in my heart they will always be Dad’s little girls.

I know, that as a Dad, it always did, and always will cause me great sadness to see my “little girls” being sad.  I literally would do anything to put a smile on their faces and lift the burdens from their hearts.  I imagine that might describe your father too.

I hope what I say comes across the right way.  If not, then my error comes from trying to reach out compassionately.

Do you believe that when you are able to feel less sad that this would please your father? 

Everyone has different beliefs and I will not proselytize to you.  I will share my experience with you in hope that it gives you comfort.

In my case, I was extremely close to my Mother.  Even though she passed away many years ago,  I still feel her presence.  Whenever I think of her, or some wonderful shared experience, it is as though she is tapping me on the shoulder saying, “You haven’t thought about me in a while.”  I ALWAYS have happy thoughts of her, because I choose to think of only the good times.

I believe that we do exist in another form in another dimension after we die.  This allows me to feel happy that she no longer suffers, and that she is in a place of peace and joy.  Also, I look forward to being reunited with her one day.  I don’t fear my own eventual “passing”.

As far as feeling sad, this is normal and natural.  The trick is to learn how to be sad and yet not be overcome and overwhelmed by your sadness.  I posted “Coping with stress – one person’s point of view” in the “Reflections and Inspiration” section of this site.  You might want to check it out.  I developed these skills after learning how to deal with stress as a hospice volunteer.

When you said, that  you are a “little sad girl who misses her dad so much and doesn't know who to talk to about it.”, you keyed in on two important things: 

1)    Honour and cherish that “child within”, that precious little girl who was, but in many ways still is you.  If she was your daughter, what would you do?  EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to make her happy, right?  So bring her out to play, help her heal, love her.

2)    The other thing is, that you said, that you do not know who to talk to.  Actually you do, because you are talking to compassionate listeners, here at Virtual Hospice.  Also, you are wisely reaching out to the group therapy sessions at your local hospice.  I find that people who do attend group grief counseling, heal much quicker that those who do not.

So you see, Embee, you are moving in the right direction - just don’t expect quick results.  You will always have sad days, what happens with time is that the duration between the sad days becomes longer and longer.  Also. you will eventually be able to feel sad without it overwhelming you and incapacitating you.

You said, “, unfortunately I tend to care-take people I love in my life, so therefore I'd rather not talk about my sadness with them because I don't want to make them sad too.”  Two things,

1)    There is always someone to talk to – you just have to find the right person(s). 

2)    Reaching out to comfort others is one of my best coping techniques.  I find that it keeps me “outward reaching” instead of “inward seeking”.  Helping others who are hurting, takes my mind off of my own hurts.  You can’t do this, however, until you are ready.  You can’t put yourself too far “out there” to others, if it would “bring you down”.  Be careful of that pitfall.

3)    If you go to group therapy you will not “feel alone” as you mentioned, also it will allow you to reach out to others, thereby knowing that your feelings are experienced by others and also you will be able to help others heal.

I hope I did not come across as a “know it all, having all the answers”.  I am not trying to prescribe a course of action.  I am not a professional, only a compassionate listener.  I wish you well.  Keep us all updated regarding your progress, Embee.

-        Ekim

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Reply by KathCull_admin
16 Jun 2014, 1:58 PM

Hi Embee
It’s been a few months since we talked. I was thinking about you on Father’s Day – another ‘first’ without him.

Lilbear started the thread Will I ever really get my mojo back? back in August – after the death of her dad and mom.  I wondered if you had seen it.

Have you been able to continue with the grief support group and counsellor?
Take care Embee,


 


Katherine

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