Hi everyone. (Sorry to bring the mood down) Most of you know I posted another thread about a housing situation which I obviously doing really well with. Now I have a completely different situation and I need advice on how to cope. My mum died last night erm as you can obviously understand the family are in complete shock (as well as me) I've had some challenges before but this is the ultimate challenge. How do I deal with this?
That is very sad to hear. I hope you are coping ok. My dad died two months ago, so i'm a little ahead of you with this process. My situation was quite different as he had been ill for several years and i had been caring for him for the last few months, so it is a different kind of shock for you entirely. I think there is some excellent advice on this thread already.
I definitely had shock, fear, anger, sadness and despair. At first it was just constant and there seemed no escape from it and then after a few weeks it started coming and going. I couldn't cry at the very beginning but i did lots of writing to help process my thoughts which seemed to help a bit. I can barely remember that first week as i don't think i slept much and i just felt sick all the time. I'm still working through practical stuff with paperwork, which can be stressful but it does help to feel useful (as someone else said on here). But yes, one day and one task at a time otherwise it all gets too much.
Sometimes things that you think will make you feel better really don't and things that you think you will really find a struggle actually go ok. Grief is very unpredictable for me. One of the hardest things i found was telling people the news, because for a lot of them it is of course a horrible shock and it really feels great upsetting them as well! It's especially awkward when you bump into people that you aren't friends with (say at the supermarket) but they ask about them and you have to just get it out the way as quickly as possible!
My remaining family members are all experiencing this differently and that is fine. Some are struggling with panic attacks, some are crippled by sadness, some are doing ok and are able to focus more on the positive memories than what happened more recently. Personally i'm not there yet as i'm still having some nightmares and intrusive flashback type things (i assume because i was there at the end). There are just so many things that can trigger these thoughts when you have known someone your whole life. Some days it seems to be improving and then you find yourself back at square one, or so it feels. But this is not a linear process and i know i must be getting there slowly. I hope some of my experience is of use to you.
Hello ProtectorOf The Small. I'm sorry to hear of your experience. How are you doing? We seem to be in a similar position as my dad also died 2 months ago.Like you, I had been looking after him. I have been thinking about grief and have been a bit concerned about my own response to events. Or lack of. The only really strong emotion I've had is a sort of feeling of horror. I was with my dad when he passed away. I did all the right things, I've been a nurse and knew what was happening. But as to shock, fear, and anger - no. Sadness, for sure but no tears or show of emotion. I was wondering if this was because of my asd, but looking at this thread, I guess not. I suppose I'm a bit concerned that I might 'implode' in some unforeseeable way at a later date!
I do hope you won't mind my banging on about myself when things are doubtless difficult for you. I send my condolences.
Hello Fuchsia. Thank you for your message and condolences. The same to you. It's nice to hear from someone in the same situation. Please don't think that there is anything wrong or weird about your reaction! Of course i don't mind you talking about your situation, i think it really helps to hear other people's experiences.
I can only speak from personal experience, but i think the fear i felt was because i didn't understand what was happening. So perhaps your nursing experience helped with that. I had never seen someone die before and there were things about it that i didn't expect. I had to be brave afterwards and google them to get it straight in my head. That did help, so i think if i'd been better prepared i would have been less scared. The anger was at the way things had been handled over the whole process of his illness, from diagnosis to the end. So, again, that would be an avoidable emotion if things had gone more smoothly i suppose. I'm not sure why i felt shocked really as he'd been ill for over three years...but it's just so strange not having him around.
I don't really show my emotions much and when people have asked if i want to talk about it i've not taken them up on the offer. And actually i have only had one good cry about it, so i'm by no means properly getting it out of my system. Like you, i have also wondered if i might be storing up problems for a later date, but i do also have another theory. I wonder if because i had been with him throughout the whole process of his illness, that perhaps i had already gone through some of the emotions before he even died. I'm not sure if that makes sense to you, but since you had also been caring for your dad, that could apply to you too. I know there were times that i felt angry and scared along the way and when someone is ill and needs your help they sort of shift from their role as parent and i think maybe i grieved for him a little during the time i was looking after him without really understanding what i was feeling.
Hello Protector, I haven't been able to get on here for a while as I've been helping an elderly sick uncle out with hospital visits etc! Fortunately, he's much better so that's a relief on all levels.What a nice, empathetic message you sent. I'm so sorry to read that it was such a shocking experience for you, I think my nursing experience did help me. What you say about going through the emotions in advance does make sense. And I tend to 'rehearse' outcomes in my head, if you know what I mean. The shifting roles is so strange. I helped look after my mum too. It is tiring isn't it? But I am relieved that we, as a family, were able to do it all.
That's ok, don't worry. I'm glad that your uncle is feeling better, it's too soon for you to have another patient! I definitely go through different outcomes in my head too. Sorry to hear you've already had to do all of this with your mum as well. That's true, at least we know we did the best we could. I hope this year will be easier for both of us!