Posts tagged “Loss of parent”

To mark World Alzheimer’s Month, we’d like to acknowledge everyone who is living or has lived through their loved one’s decline from this disease. Our hearts go out to you. 
 
From the early signs, when you barely notice anything is wrong, to witnessing confusion, to the point where your loved one barely recognises you - all come with a layer of heartbreak and feelings of loss. Each appointment that brings another reminder of gradual decline can hit you like a tonne of bricks. 
Grieving the Living: Alzheimer's
Father’s Day can be a very triggering time for many of us especially if: 
 
your father has died, even if it was a long time ago 
the father of your children has died 
you didn’t get the chance to get to know your father and they were absent from your life 
you’re a father and your child has died 
you’re male and a child you conceived was never born, or was stillborn, or was born but lived for a short time 
you’ve experienced infertility and there’s never been a pregnancy, as we establish relationships to the child we want and have hopes and dreams about 
Father's Day is complicated
When someone you love, or are close to dies, it’s hard enough, but suddenly things have changed. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who are now not able to share last moments with their loved ones who have been hospitalised with COVID-19, who can’t see family for a hug, and instead have to self-isolate after a loss. 
 
The order of things has been turned upside-down. People can’t say goodbye in the way they would expect. There may be a ‘guilt’ element that your loved one has died alone, even though it’s out of your control. Lives and indeed relationships have suddenly been cut short. And then the funeral. Many friends and relatives have had the ritual of saying goodbye taken away from them; something that is part of the normal grieving process. 
When You Can't Say Goodbye

Dealing with unresolved grief 

When we usually talk about unresolved grief, it’s to do with things that have been left unsaid. However, this presents to us a new variant of unresolved grief; the inability to say goodbye, which may then limit grievers from becoming complete with their loss in the future. 
 
How can you get around this? As with many aspects of our lives, we’re having to recreate and reinvent what we already have. Using FaceTime, Zoom, House Party, WhatsApp and the good old-fashioned telephone all offer ways to connect you with your loved ones, so you’re not grieving in isolation. Keep talking and sharing with one another. Planning a memorial event can help those who are unable to attend a funeral have an opportunity to say goodbye. Lighting candles at a set time and sharing photos with one another also shows solidarity. You could even set up a Facebook group to share photos and memories that can later be used at a memorial service. 
 
If you’re struggling with a loss of someone from COVID-19, or you’ve lost a loved one during this time and can’t say goodbye, we have Grief Recovery Specialists you can speak to in real time via weblink. Click here for our online directory. 
For those who are having a hard time this Father’s Day, just remember: 
 
It’s okay to be sad. 
 
You don’t need to be strong for anyone else. 
 
All feelings are normal. 
 
You don’t need to grieve alone. 
 
You're entitled to feelings of sadness even if your father is still alive or you have children of your own. 
Father's Day for grievers
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
Father's Day when you're grieving sucks
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) 'he’s out of pain', I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
Father’s Day isn’t something I’ve given much thought to for many years – my Dad always forgot about it, he really didn’t see the point so quite often we didn’t bother. Somehow this year it’s different, so I’ve been pondering why. 
 
Timing is all – we’ve just had our first wedding anniversary – marking an event that Dad wasn’t around for because he sadly passed away quite some years ago which meant that he wasn’t there to give me away. In the run up to the wedding I’d noticed that I was thinking about Dad a lot and it took me a while to work out why I was suddenly missing him so much more than I had been. Then I realised. This was my first wedding without Dad there to give me away. 
Father’s Day
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