In honesty, due to the circumstance of our Dad passing, we as a family still have not even come to terms with it, much less been able to accept it. Therefore, I do not feel that we have even begun to grieve. It has been two years since our Dad passed away, but for us, it still feels like yesterday.
Grieving for a lost loved one
Everyone’s situation is different. No two people are the same, however in grief or the loss of someone, complete strangers could be unified in their feelings.
We are learning that you must try to learn to adjust to living with the new you that you become after a significant loss. It really is a daily thing. It requires a lot of strength.
The feelings come in waves. One minute you are okay the next you are not. This is what you must learn to live with. With self-care, family, friends and a strong support network all help to get you through.
This has been, and still is one rollercoaster of a journey. Time almost doesn’t even mean anything sometimes. For example, something that happened just yesterday could feel as though it happened last week, or something that happened last year could feel like it happened yesterday.
To this day because of our overall experience we can still:
- Take things personally
- Take things the wrong way
- Take things to heart
- Get offended too easily sometimes
- Have an extreme lack of trust
- Feel anxious and overwhelmed frequently
- The simplest of tasks can seem so big at times. Sending us into a big panic with overwhelming anxiety.
We also quite often feel detached and disassociated with life.
It was extremely tough in the year that our Dad passed, as we also experienced:
- The first birthday not celebrating (it would have been his 80th birthday)
- The first Father’s Day not celebrating
- Christmas – the first Christmas us not being together as a family
- New Year’s Eve 2017 – this was an extremely difficult time for us all. Going into a New Year. This was very tough. It almost made us feel as though we didn’t want to enter it without our Dad.
Then there was 2018 and:
- The anniversary of our Dad passing
- The anniversary of the Funeral
- Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2018 and it was the first year we spent without our Dad in our lives. Very hard to reflect upon such a situation.
I have come to realise that my coping mechanism has been disassociation. This realisation occurred before my Dad even passed away, this is what I would do to get through each day of having to face returning to the hospital witnessing the various things and going through the experiences I did. I acted as though it wasn’t happening to me. It wasn’t until I might talk to someone about an occurrence at the hospital and hearing their reaction, it was like a reality check. This is you dealing with this.
I have carried this on through right up until this present day. I admit this might not be the best way. But it’s the only way I know to get through what we are dealing with.
My Mum, sister and I are on this journey together and we feel if we tap into our feelings too much and realise and take in what has happened, our mindset wouldn’t be in the right place for what we must achieve. Through this journey, we are learning that when going through something like this, it is just that a journey. The best advice we could give anyone going through it would be:
- Take your time with it
- Acknowledge your feelings and emotions
- It’s okay to not be okay
- Feelings and emotions can come on at any time
- Triggers that you might not be aware of can catapult you into feelings of emotions.
This is something that we would strongly advise. Even if you are a person that might find this difficult or may not be used to it. Support from family and friends during this time is truly invaluable.
When people found out our Dad had passed away, we had support in abundance in so many ways. It was overwhelming but so lovely at the same time. To date, we truly do appreciate the continued support, it really helps us to keep pushing forward.