10 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing a Parent 208

losing a parent

Grief will vary from person to person, though there are certain emotions and circumstances that many of us will experience. It can often be a source of comfort to hear from someone who has experienced the emotional rollercoaster of losing a loved one and has come out on the other side. With this in mind, we present this guest post from Kiri Nowak, who blogs over at The Content Wolf. Kiri shares her experience of bereavement after losing a parent, and some things she’s learned along the way.

It’s hard to even put how it feels to lose a parent into words, but the key thing to keep in mind is there is no normal way of reacting. I haven’t just felt one emotion since my father passed, my experience has been more like travelling the world. Each stage of your journey will be completely different, and as you wander through your grief, emotions will come and go.

It’s been nearly 11 years since my father died (I was 18 when it happened), so I think I can safely say I’ve been through it all; the shock, the sadness, the anger, the guilt, and, eventually, the acceptance. There’s no universal manual to help you deal with the loss of a parent, so when it does happen, a lot of feelings, occurrences and interactions with other people can take you by surprise.


From my personal experience, I’ve put together some things which I experienced that you might not have thought about or expected to happen. As soon as you lose a parent it feels like your life has fallen apart and you are caught up in a whirlwind, but you do eventually get your feet back on the ground, I promise. The pain doesn’t go away, you just learn how to accept it, channel it and use it as a way of cherishing the person who was so cruelly taken from you.

Here are ten things nobody tells you about losing a parent.

  1. It doesn’t sink in for a while

Initially you might not feel anything. It may even seem like you are stuck in a dream, and everything that is going on isn’t really happening. I definitely went through the first month, if not the first year on autopilot, but eventually everything does catch up with you and you start to feel less numb.

It’s particularly hard when you lose a parent because initially you just can’t face the prospect of living your life without them, and the only way for some people to cope is to pretend like it’s not really happening.  Confronting and accepting that the pain is there is scary, but you need to do it to start the grieving process.

  1. You don’t have to be strong all the time

When my father died, I tried so hard to be strong for my mum and little sister, and show everybody how resilient and tough I was. But just remember you can only put on an act for so long. Pushing the pain below the surface so no one can see it is exhausting. It’s OK to lose your composure, to have an outburst of emotion in public or privately at home or to completely fall apart. We take a lot of strength from our parents, so when you lose one of them, it’s crushing.

  1. You will remember their best bits

One thing I’ve noticed is that you tend to idolise the parent you’ve lost. Why? Well, firstly, because they were your parent who you respected and loved, but also because you can’t bear to criticise them in any way when they aren’t around to defend themselves. It feels like the easiest way to remember them is in the best possible light. However, it’s important to keep in mind not everyone’s perfect, and it’s OK to have negative memories as well as positive ones.

  1. You will probably feel guilty in some way, but you need to let it go

I’ve gone through the day my father died a thousand times and thought about what I could have done differently. I wasn’t at home the last night he was alive, when he was in pain, for reasons I won’t go into. This kills me. But I can’t change it. I know if my dad was around he wouldn’t hold it against me.

I’ve also gone back and punished myself mentally for all the times that I wasn’t the perfect daughter, or when I was mean to my dad. My mum, sister and I used to gang up on him occasionally, because he was the only man in the house, but that’s nothing unusual and he took it in his stride. It’s not a reason for me to feel bad, because he knew exactly how much I loved him.

This isn’t helpful, and you are just being unnecessarily cruel to yourself. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t do or times where you messed up, remember the times you made your parent proud or happy.

  1. How lost you will feel

Your parents cared for you from the moment you entered this world, they nurtured you and showed you the way. So when you find yourself without one of your parents, you immediately feel lost. I think the hardest times for me have been when I’ve really needed to talk to my dad for advice.

When life has been tough, and I’ve needed his strength and his guidance, I’ve felt so lost and alone. But slowly I’ve learned to live with my father’s spirit inside me, and if I’m completely honest, I usually know what he would say or want me to do even though he’s not here to say it.

  1. Childhood memories fade faster than expected

My sister seems to have a much better memory than me, but one thing we both agree on is how hard it is to recall memories. It feels like he’s slipping out my fingers, and as the years pass, the memories fade a little more. However, the important, wonderful, powerful memories never leave you, they stay with you forever.

Like the time when he cried when we made him a photo memory book for Christmas, when his voice boomed at me when he cheered me on at races, and when we sang Bruce Springsteen Glory Days until our lungs gave out on car journeys to Spain. Don’t worry, even if you forget things over time, the best memories will never leave you.losing a parent

  1. After a year or so, other people won’t really care

People forget you are grieving. They offer their condolences in the first few weeks, sure, but not too long after that, they just get on with their lives, and it hurts. But don’t take it to heart too much, it’s just the way people are. It doesn’t take away from what you are experiencing at all.

Just remember there are others going through the same as you, and they will be much more likely to understand. They will be the only people who truly, wholeheartedly get what you are going through.

For other people life goes on, which is cruel and thoughtless and it will no doubt make you angry. But it shouldn’t, because they just don’t understand. They haven’t been through such a devastating loss. 11 years after my father’s death I still suffer, but my close friends don’t really see it. They can’t relate to the fact that on some days, the pain I feel is still as raw as the day it happened.

  1. How painful important milestones are

When you lose a parent, it’s the big milestones that really test you. The big birthdays, the achievements, the weddings and the thought of potentially having your own kids who will never know their grandad. However, there are ways to include your late parent in these milestones, and as time goes on, you see them as a chance to remember and celebrate their part in your life rather than simply suffering through these events all the time. For example, I’m getting married in eight months, and I’ve found some wonderfully touching and creative ways to make my father a part of the wedding, and these little things will no doubt help me get through the day and remember him with pride.

  1. How hard it is when you are unexpectedly reminded of your loss

Sometimes, you will be doing OK and managing your grief, when something catches you off guard. And then suddenly a surge of powerful emotion hits you like a tidal wave. For me I think the most challenging times have been when something has reminded me of my dad. When I watch a film and someone’s dad dies, or when a song comes on the radio that reminds me of him, or most recently, when I was at a wedding and the bride unexpectedly called for a father daughter dance. Ouch. That hurts, especially as my wedding is coming up. But these moments, even though they are hard, sometimes they are the perfect way to let go of some of that emotion you’ve tried so hard to keep from bursting, and after you’ve had a little cry, you feel a little bit better.

  1. How you eventually come to view your grief with love and appreciation

I’m not going to lie, like I mentioned, at times, the pain is just as raw as it’s ever been. But generally, I’ve entered a new stage of my grief. When I’m reminded of my dad, I use it as an opportunity to cherish his memory, and to dedicate a minute or two of my day to him, and someday, even if it doesn’t feel like it, you will be able to do the same. Now I live every day and my father is there no matter what I’m doing, and I’m grateful he touched my life in such a powerful and beautiful way.

If you’re struggling with a loss, head over to our help centre to see our resources on grief, loss and bereavement, or take a look at our article on coping with grief at Christmas.

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  1. Thank you for such an honest and touching account of losing your dad. I’m 25, and lost my dad 4 months ago now. This post is so relatable and made me feel less alone, thank you.

      1. I’m 21 and lost my dad 8 months ago. I definitely have good and bad days but it never really gets easier or the pain never goes away. The day just kinda relives in your head and doesn’t leave. I regret so many things and I guess that’s the worst of it… This really did help me though. I’m sorry for your loss ❤️

        1. I’m
          30 and I lost my dad 7 months ago through horrific circumstances. You’re right you do mask the pain through the first period but then it comes and hits you head on. It helped me reading what you have written as it gave me hope

          1. I lost my dad 4weeks ago tomorrow. I have been in the denial stage for sure and am just starting to feel the pain. It’s scary. Your post really helped. Thank you

        2. I lost my daddy unexpectedly 8 months ago at 24. I live with so much regret, he was my favorite person and the strongest man I’ll ever know. Thank you for sharing, it helps knowing I’m not alone. It’s hard for people to understand what I’m going through.

      2. I lost my dad last month due to failing in battling his sickness, died in his sleep. I share an birthday with him but that will be the saddest day of my life. Father’s day is coming up but that will make things worst now that he isnt here anymore. It’s hard not to think about him. But I’m going to stay strong.

          1. I lost my dad 4 years ago on Aug. 21st 2015. Just 10 days before his birthday. Father’s day is around the corner for me and that’s sooo hard to deal with. Stage 4 liver cancer took my dad and I still can’t get over how I feel lost. Thanks for sharing this its helpful but it still doesn’t matter. But I did have one question I’d like to ask. What r this ways u found to put ur dad in ur wedding? U never mentioned it and it’s one thing I’ve yet to figure out and it’s keeping me from even wanting a wedding. I’d appreciate it if u could get ahold if me somehow. My email: [email protected]

          2. I googled this cause I don’t know how to respond or process this. My mom just passed away tonight at 8:18. I understand that it’s universal to bury your parent. I’m trying to process it and I’m not sure how to. She told me she wanted to go months ago and I was angry at first, felt mad cause I felt like she was giving up. I accepted more and more but now I’m trying to hold it together. Wanting to go to sleep and hoping this is a dream. Hoping that she’ll speak to me in my sleep. My sister was with her she called me as it was happening. I told her how much I loved her, I’ll miss her. Thank you for posting this, thank you allowing me to share.

          3. I lost my beloved Mum on 8 May 2019. I looked after her after she suddenly suffered a Stroke on 9 January 2019. She became very weak and it was an infection that could not be treated that killed her. I had to watch her die over 5 days. I am heartbroken. I am still struggling with sadness and nobody seems to care. They think I should just get on with it. She was my best friend all my life. I went to a Counsellor for 3 sessions as that was all I was offered. It was a waste of time I just felt she could not be bothered with me.

          4. My dad passed away 10 months ago. I am 27 he was 52. The more time passes the more I realise he’s not coming back. I go through the anger stage quiet frequently at the minute. Your post has given me strength that I’m not going crazy. And that there is no normal way to grieve.

            All the best to everyone on his journey x

          1. Darryl, I have just lost my daddy too. I feel pain like I have never felt. I’m hoping time will make my pain ease x

      3. Thank u for sharing ur story. I lost both my parents a week after each other. It’s almost two years n I can’t move on. They are all I talk about all I think about and lately all I dream about. It hurts just as bad as the first time I was told I nolonger have them

        1. Thank you for your writing; everything is so touching to me ‘coz I lost my father last month. Am still struggling to believe that he is not around and this makes me so mad. I cry a lot whenever am alone and feel like fighting a lot with almighty for all the suffering he gave to my papa. Not sure how long it gonna take to get over this however, watching his pictures and videos helps me calm down a lil.

        2. I lost my mom unexpectedly 4 years ago yesterday, and it hurts just as much as when I got the phone call about her passing. I don’t think it ever gets better, you just learn to live with it.

          1. So sorry , Jackie . So very sorry .
            I lost my mom 4 months ago after being by her side thru her chemo & pain .
            I know the intense feeling of losing our moms . I wish I could tell you if & when we will heal , but I’m struggling myself . It’s a lonely , scary world without our moms . God bless you , Jackie & I do know that our mind are running around in heaven with no more pain … it’s us who are still here that feel this great loss . They are in the best place ever & one day we will all see one another again in heaven . Prayers to you .

        1. I also lost my father 9 months ago. He also died in my arms. I was 22 and about to graduate college. I’m sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing though, makes me feel less alone with my mourning.

          1. I am 21 and my father was a single Dad that raised me when since I was three, I’m even named after him. He died 6 months ago. Kept feeling like I was perfectly fine, and that he had given all the tools I need to succeed in life, but I’m starting to feel the grief creep up, and I’m scared. We just sold his house 2 weeks ago and I, a college student living month to month, have to find somewhere to store all his stuff and keep all our family photos. Both my grandparents have passed too. I feel like just a kid holding on to my families name and memories, loss it hard…

        2. I’m 13 and I lost my dad last June. He was in a car accident in Scotland. It’s been hard. He was a navy veteran. He died the day before Father’s Day, so it was very very hard. I tried to stay strong for everyone the first 2-3 weeks but then came the funeral. They played Jealous of the angels and I lost it. I did a speech about my dad at my schools Veterans Day program which had our whole gym full. The high school and our junior high have there’s together and most of our community comes too. We had about 300-500 people in our gym and I had the whole gym balling. I wanted to cry but I didn’t. The day my siblings and I were told, like ten minutes after we had our whole house full of people. It stayed like a zoo for about 2 months, everyone keeps saying “oh Becca is so tough. She always has a big smile on her face.” But on the inside I’m not ok. Just last week my family were going to get our passports done and the lady there said “the children’s father will need to be there too” and my mom said “ he’s deceased.” That really hurt to be reminded about that. Even listening to certain songs makes me cry like Hurt by Christina Aguilera. I always feel so alone because none of my friends understand what I’m going through.

          1. i’m 20 and i lost both of my grandparents in april 2017 and lost my dad in december 2018. my grandma was my world, everything i did was for her. i have so much regret now looking back at how terrible i treated her as a child. i wish forever that i could take it back and heal her pain.
            my dad was absent most of my life. but i do have memories that will stay with me forever. he battled with drug addiction and mental illnesses and in 2016 he approached me, homeless and hadn’t eaten in days so i let him stay for a week but something didn’t feel right and i told him to leave. now two years later, he gets into trouble and lost his life. it pains me so much. i feel like i failed him. if i could go back in time and help him lord knows i would over and over again. he deserved more even if he gave me close to nothing. i miss them so much.

        3. So many sad stories on here, and my heart goes out to you all. I lost my Daddy 19 years ago. Today would have been his 81st birthday and it’s been a strange day: a mixture of hard and joyful. I’m trying to focus on the joyful things. And we had many of those.
          I also take strength that he was such a fine and well loved man. We had our moments but his family adored him. Same with his brother, my uncle, who I loved just as much as Dad at times. The finality of death is hard. It’s the worst thing about the whole process: knowing you’ll never see those folks again, or spend time chatting to them, or arguing or having fun :).
          The sadness will be with me always, but my love for both him and my uncle will be so much stronger.

        4. It is comforting to realize I am not alone. My dad died 14 months ago and although I still have a mother and sibling. I still feel alone a lot. After my dad died, my mother and sister bonded and I was left all alone. It hurts so bad at this times, I do not know what to do. My mother has abandoned me emotionally.

          1. Darryl, I have just lost my daddy too. I feel pain like I have never felt. I’m hoping time will make my pain ease x

        5. It’s been five months and two weeks since the loss of my mom. It’s the hardest thing I have ever encountered. We were beyond close and sounded identical often. It’s something that is indescribable. I identify with this article in so many ways. It’s like it feels like it happened yesterday and this pain is unbearable.

          1. I feel the same way. I was very close to my Mum too. Nobody seems to care. You are just expected to be positive and get on with it when you are falling apart inside.

        6. I feel your pain, I’m just 18 now but I lost my dad at 17, I have thought random days where it hits me hard, especially when watching movies & the dad dies or listening to sad songs. I just want him back but I can’t 😪 …

          1. I lost my dad in April to cancer. I watched him take his last breath. Then on July 12th, 2 1/2 months after my dad died I witnessed my mom go into cardiac arrest and die right in front of me, my husband and my brother. Oh, and it was on her birthday. The pain and disbelief takes over me every day. How can this of happened, I ask myself every day. Has anyone lost their parents close together like that?

    1. Thank you for sharing with us. I lost my mom 14 yrs ago I remember it like it just happened. Following my moms death my life went into complete and utter meltdown. My wife and I got divorced I lost the house and everything I had built. I moved to another city for about a year working for my company. Life there just wasn’t the same as home. I moved back home met s wonderful woman and was re married. I was happy or so I thought and that day came when it all caught up with me. I have been in a deep depression for quite a few years now. Since then my father passed away 6 yrs ago. I have yet to grieve either one of them. Its like I’m stuck back in 2004 and 2011. I don’t know how to move on.

      1. Hey Doug, I’m sorry for a that’s happened to you. But don’t give up. Just keep reading more about this topic and I think it will helo you. Even though you’re a man, sometimes it’s okay to shed a few tears…after all, it’s your parents. Anyway, I wish you all the best and I believe you can pick yourself up.

      2. I love this post. I’m 31. Lost my mom (she was a semi absent parent) 8 years ago and my dad 2 years ago. I find myself still crying about him. Everyday I think of him. It’s nice to know that I’m not weird… or alone. Thank you guys.

          1. I lost my dad 15th december 2018,I’m lost hurt angry I can’t get through a day without falling to the floor in tears. My mum died 5yrs ago it killed me too but I had my dad to help get through it,but now I’m 52 but I feel like a child losing a parent. My heart is broken,unfixable to me anyway. I hope someone out there has an idea that might help me. Jo

          2. I lost my dad one year ago when I was 14 and my little sister was 8. It was my first moment in high school. I still remember he drove me to my school for the last time. I came here because right now I feel sad. I am sad because I got a bad scores. My dad knew me as a clever person when I was in Junior High, but I can’t imagine how sad he is if he know that I am not that clever. I feel so empty, a lil bit jealous bcs most of my friends celebrate their 17th birthday with their dad and I’m just gonna celebrate it with my mum and sister and no dad. My mum hv a new partner but they haven’t married yet, bcs my lil sister hate it when my mum luv someone new. Suddenly I got a strange direct message on instagram from people that I don’t know before, and it was mum partner‘s wife. She ask me to tell my mom to not bother their fam, and I haven’t tell her. I really don’t know what to do with this life. I got so many failure such as bad scores, mum partner‘s wife, my crush close to someone else, I am not able to join choir competition, and so many other things that stuck in my head. I am so dying with this life. I want to go with my dad, but I remember I still have mum and sist. *i am crying rn

          3. Briggitte
            I just lost my dad a few weeks ago. I am sad and empty and feel like I’ll never be back to normal again. I walk around crying, or walk around hollow. There is no in between right now. But I’m an adult. And I can tell you, as a mom of teenagers, that there’s NOTHING they could ever do that would disappoint me the way you think you’ve disappointed your dad. I KNOW that he’s watching you from heaven and loves you more than anything in this world. He knows you’re just a kid and he doesn’t expect you to be perfect and he knows you will make mistakes. And he STILL loves you. You are too young to be putting all of this pressure on yourself. Please find someone to talk to-a counselor at school, someone at church, any adult who can point you in the direction to get help. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through.

        1. I lost my father five months ago and I can’t seem to accept that he’s gone,nice to know that I am not the only one.

          1. I lost mom 2 months ago. She died on what was the 18 year of my fathers death. Dad died in his 40’s mom never woke up from surgery. I am scared with mom’s death so recently that memories of dad are fading. I have a 2 year old child but i still need my parents.

      3. Hi Doug
        I’d speak to a therapist abut PTSD, you have had rapid succession of loss and PTSD can hang around for years. I only recently lost my Mum (3 weeks) and am trying to push through.

        I wish you all the best.


      4. Douglas I feel you there with the depression. My father passed away on 1-5-17 when I was 19. After he passed I felt emotionless and then it hit me. I have had depression before all this but it hit rock bottom after he passed. I used to drink whiskey every night, I drank and drove all the time. I didn’t know how to deal with my depression because I was a daddy’s boy. He was the one person who would steer me right when I was in the wrong and always be the one I talked to when I needed advice. In a couple different drunken rages i attempted stupid things. What hurt the most is my baby brother lost him when he was 5 and he never got to get to know my dad like i did and it was always swelling on me i just wish i could switch places with him and I still feel that today. I know he always knew I loved him it just kills me I saw him in the hospital with my brother a couple days before he passed and he said “dont worry about me I’ll be fine I’ll see you when I get home.” My brother said I love you and I never did and I still feel that pain. Seeing him on a breathing machine ripped me apart and I just wish I could have switched places with my father for my baby brother so he could experience what I felt with my dad. Ever since he has passed I put on a fake smile when I’m depressed and i just feel like a part of my soul died with him and I can never recover. Even though i am surrounded by family and friends i still feel all alone like I’m on an endless road that leads nowhere like I have no purpose. Alot of days I’m good but somedays I feel like a boulder hit me. I’ve had a couple dreams where I’ve talked to him and It was like a regular day when i was a child and i grew up and showed him the tattoo i got in memory of him and I’ve told him how much I love and miss him and he said he had to go and i woke up and i immediately started bawling my eyes out and felt an overwhelming feeling of grief. I havent had any dreams with him in a long time and I just wish I could go back in time and change everything but I know I cant. I just wish I would have spent more time with him. Sometimes I close my eyes and all I see is him laying in that hospital bed with the breathing machine connected and air pumping into his lungs and his body move with each pump. At that time I just told myself he was going to be okay everything would end up all fine and he would come home. They had to make him really cold and slowly heat him back up to try to save him. When my mother said there was a low chance he would survive I immediately broke down and lost my faith and cursed God for doing this to me my baby brother and my sister. I though how could a caring and loving God do something so cruel to me and my family. I went home the night before he passed and I wanted to stay at the hospital with him but my mom said to go home and the next morning I got a random call from my cousin crying and telling me “I’m so sorry lane.” I threw my phone and punched three holes in the wall and sat there and cried. A few months after he passed I regained my faith and I believe God took my father away from me and my brother and sister to make me a more loving and caring person and to tell my brother about my father and memories with him. My baby brother is the reason why I’m still here. I just wish I could talk to him and hug him or dream about him again. I’m slowly accepting his death but It still tears me apart. If anyone wants to talk about their passed on loved ones or need help trying to deal with grief we can tell each other ways of how we heal.

        1. lane thank you for sharing your story..i lost my father 2 weeks ago.when i heard from my elder brother that my father passed away,I felt guilty and i wanted to kill myself. because i got into an argument with my father 3 years ago.I haven’t seen him or contacted with him since.
          when i went to hometown last year,i heard that he wants to meet me and he expects me to come over to house..but i didn’t..
          I should have met him last year…i shouldn’t have fought with him…
          i have been spending my time regretting..
          i still can’t accept my father’s death

        2. I’m so sorry .Keep any memories alive . I lost my father and witness it .we will all re United 1day.look for signs their are around

      5. Hi Doug,
        I can relate… I lost my dad 5 months ago and he was my soul mate. He was my safety net…. I felt so happy when he was alive but now I too don’t feel content…. it’s just not the same. That was my favourite part of the day, was calling him and hearing his voice on the phone.
        I was overseas when my dad died and was trying to come home to say good bye but my mom didn’t want me there which was doubly hard. I wish u well though.
        Love cindy

      6. Thank you all for sharing, I lost my mum and dad just over 3 years ago 4 month’s apart both age 65. My mum died in her sleep from a bleed on the brain very unexpected I was with my dad ever day after that and 4 months later when he suddenly had a massive heart attack and died after being completely healthy. I say he died of a broken heart. I still beat myself up about why I didn’t see the signs with both there deaths. I have 2 children who they thought the world of they have missed so much with them it hurts so much some times I feel I cant breath.

    2. I lost my Dad a few years ago, but everyday I pretend it never happened. We were a close family, all 4 sisters , mum and dad. since he has gone only the none of the sisters speak to each other. my mum has split us all up by saying that youngest will get any inheritance, and never invites , phones or wants to speak to me . I never wanted anything other than their love. Dad used to make us get together as a family . The worst part is after the funeral my mum has scattered the ashes and never told us where, so I can’t even go and talk to him. I wish I could hug him.

      1. Sorry that you have not only lost your Dad but also your Family have split this happens alot after a family member passes just to say my Brother has or had my Mums Ashes it made me Angry that he wouldnt scatter them we fell out and now I dont know where our Mums Ashes are ive now began to except that I may never be able to visit a Special place to talk to her so I just talk to her any time any where im not wasting my Life on Anger hope this helps.

      2. My dad died last year and my step mum cut us out of the funeral and won’t tell us where or if she has scattered the ashes. More heartache at such a sad time. I cry every day and still can’t believe he is gone. He died tragically and by an error in surgery that didn’t need to of happened. I still feel angry that he shouldn’t have died, he had more life ahead of him and I feel robbed of that time.
        People are cruel and do things like your mum has and my stepmom has at a time when people should stick together. Ours dad’s will be looking down on them with dismay. So sad. I hope you can find peace with knowing he is always with you and always will be. I try to remember this when I am sad that I will never get to see him again. X

      3. You must communicate with youre sisters Katie. Try youre best to keep all 4 sisters talking. maybe by going for a meal or something. hope it works out for you.

      4. You must communicate with youre sisters Katie. Try youre best to keep all 4 sisters talking. maybe by going for a meal or something. hope it works out for you.

      5. I lost my father 9 months ago. The last conversation I had with my dad was giving him the great news that his baby girl was pregnant. Now that my son is here, it pains me everyday knowing he will never have that relationship his cousins had with their granddad. My dad was such a strong and honorable man, he was a man of God and touched so many peoples lives young and old in our community. My dad and I would have many talks about everything, whenever I needed some advice he was my go to. Although I wish my father was still here or I could get a few more years with him; I know he endured so much through his sickness. He fought a great battle and I am forever proud to be his daughter.

      6. I lost my dad 10 days ago now I was sitting waiting in my room for him to text me back and pick me up to go for our planned meal and I kept checking his WhatsApp ‘last seen 00:00’ my sister rang him 90 times. I was at a party the night before and whilst all’s this was happening he was hanging in his kitchen 😞I feel disgusted and so guilty within my self I could’ve done more he moved back in with me my sister and mum and was living with us for months he’d gotten so much better with us and the one night he goes home he is gone forever because he couldn’t face the demons he was battling. I will never see him alive on earth again head his voice or be able to hug him😞I’m just telling myself it’s not real everyday otherwise I will kill my self I just don’t know what to do everytime I think to deep into it I just want to run infront of a car this can’t be real

    3. Blown away by this article. I had to step away and take breaths it was so intune and exacting to how I feel and probably always will about my dear mum forever.

      Thank you and God bless.

    4. I am now 32 and just lost my mom in April of 2018 so I’m close to the one year mark and this article was soo helpful for me as well. You are definitely right when you say it’s nice to know that your not alone. I think that during the first well up until this past month I had just hidden how I felt but it’s been eating me alive inside and I can no longer allow it to do this to me it is time for me to let go of some of this pain and guilt that I have and to learn that it’s okay for me to not be strong all the time. I think that even since day one because I’ve put on this face of “I am okay” that every one thinks that I’m doing great but deep inside I’m screaming for someone to realize that I’m hurting inside so bad that it’s tearing me apart but instead, they have no clue and I honestly can’t be angry at them for that but I also want to be like “really people how would I be okay she was the only person I had left in my life and only person who I knew I could count on no matter what and she also lived right in front of me and I see her home every day.” They just don’t seem to hVe a clue which I am having trouble wrapping my head around but I can’t be mad at them for this because every I know thinks I’m fine because I’ve allowed them to believe so so much that my own husband barley sees me upset and even then I’ll say I’m crying over something else but I think I am possibly angry with him and even might be holding it against him and I know that isn’t any good either because once again I have allowed him to think that I am okay when I am definitely not okay.
      Thank you for writing this because I am actually going to share it with some of those who do think I’m doing okay because it’s the only way I know to show them that I’m not. I truly appreciate it and knowing that I am definitely not alone in this journey through life.

    5. I lost both my parents 2.5 weeks apart it’s so difficult at times trying to be strong,it’s only been just over 4 months ago and I feel It’s hitting me know
      Thanks Liz x

    6. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m 68 years old and I just lost my dad 4 weeks ago. I have been working 7 day weeks and I felt like I was grieving but continuing on, until tonite. I was with him when he passed. It was just dad , God and I. It’s been a very long day. I wondered what triggered this grieving today. There was a tornado warning the night dad passed. Just as the warning came on tv for the tornado my dad took his last breath. Today at 2 Pm we had a tornado watch here in Fl. 6 hours later I now realize it wasn’t a song, a flower or anything else to remind me. It was this damn tornado watch. A tornado watch sent me into tears and anger. I guess I need to watch the sky’s, you never know what it may bring.

    7. I just lost my dad today I still can’t believe it I don’t feel mike he is gone I was just on the phone with him and making plans to come visit him then my mom tells me the worst possible news i could imagine I cried initially but now I don’t really feel anything I really want to hope he is still here I wanna have that realization every thing feels like a daze

    8. My dad passed away on Father’s Day, just over two weeks ago. He was a young 62 and was an active hiker who loved being outdoors, he had battled several cancers over the last eight years and those last few weeks were horrendous for him and now he’s not in pain anymore. But it doesn’t stop the hurt or fill the void that the loss has left. I know one day I will remember him without the sadness, but I know this will be a long journey.

    9. I’m 24 and I lost my Dad 5 years ago today. The anniversary is always a difficult day. You’re right about the rawness of it all. It doesn’t seem to get any easier, but I always make him apart of my daily life. It’s all I can do.
      Thank you for your sharing your story. Such a relatable message. Lovely to hear.

  2. Thank you for your honest experiences, I have lost just lost my mother at 31 and trying to process everything – appreciate your raw article

  3. My beautiful husband and daddy to our three boys passed away two weeks ago. Our eldest is 11 and has so much hurt that he is scared it’s not going to ‘go away’. Thankyou for your insight. I will send him your article and talk him through your points. ??

  4. Hi , i lost my dad 1 year ago .. right now i was feeling such a grief that i was searching online for related posts. Sometimes i feel Peace inside , i know he is in heaven but sometimes i miss him so much. Actually this article is so related that indeed you see that you are not alone .

    1. I can relate so much to your comment. It’s soon going to be 10 months since I lost my beloved dad at the age of 53, it was so sudden and unexpected – I still can’t believe it! This is the first time I searched for articles online and this one describes it all so well. It helps, even though only for a little bit. Life will never be the same anymore. It just can’t be, without him around…

  5. My dad has just gone into a hospice , I know I will loose him soon, I am 49 and he is 80 but a very active and clever mind and he so wants to live longer and its killing me the thought of loosing him , this was lovely thank you .

    1. I saw your response and had to reply to this. I flew to Arizona December 16th 2017 to help my brother rehabilitate my dad after a fall. He had broken his hip. He had been taking chemotherapy and was in remission we thought. While I was there trying to get him back to walking I noticed it wasnt working and he seemed to be weaker than the day i got there. We found out the cancer had spread everywhere, whole skeletal system, his whole body. Within one week he could not get up. We set up hospice and my flight to cone back home was January 8 2018. He died January 9th. That us not all. I had to put my mother on hospice the day that I returned home. My brother flew here to help my sister and I with mom. We stayed with her in her room for 3 weeks until she passed on May 5 2018. Thus is all so traumatic for me I feel so sad. I can’t bear this pain. It hurts so bad.

      1. Dear Colleen, I am so sorry for the passing of both your parents within months of each other. There is no getting over the pain, only a very very slow acceptance of the reality that life has changed and will not be the same again. I lost my parents a year apart, my Mom January 2017, my Dad January 2018. I am 55 and I still needed them. People say, well they had a good long life, but I don’t care how long they live or how old you are, it has no bearing on the depth of pain you experience in their loss. I still want my “Mommy &Daddy” and I had some wonderful parents. I miss my Mom’s hugs most! I think I am doing pretty well when all of a sudden, I am propelled back to the day of their death and I am as much of a mess as in the first weeks after. Recovery is not a steady or straight road, it’s rocky and winding and you fall off quite often, but I tell you everyday that passes brings me closer to the eternity that they now know. I rest in God’s promise of Jesus salvation for our souls if we just believe. God Bless all whose hearts are broken from losing a parent(s).

  6. I lost momma 2 years ago. Today a lady and I assumed her daughter walked into a restaurant I was at. The older lady looked just like my momma. I just began to cry. My dad and husband didnt know why. I excused myself and went to the restroom. Eph. 6: 1-3 came to me. I composed myself and went out and paid for their meal wrote that scripture on the ticket. And left
    Then I searched for how to handle loss of a parent. Found this and had an aha moment like never before. Thank you

    1. My mom pass in march it’s been hard I try to talk to friends but they seen to pull away telling me to go forward and move on but they don’t say how and I need to be put on meds what happen when wards off what do I do so I keep praying to God help.

  7. Thank you ❤
    I often sit and wonder if how i feel is normal i dont like to talk about how i feel as it is but the day my mun called on a saturday at 7 in the morning i knew something wasnt right, please dont come to see us today dad doesnt feel well, the doctor has been and doing some tests, ( 7 am they know more than there letting on) ok sure mum everything ok yes dads breathings not the best dont worry maybe a infections or could be more my dads always been a hard worker worked 6 long days a week to give his family everything needed.thats when it hit ok mum keep me updated, i remember the day passing me by in a blink of an eye i went out with my finace had drink tried to forget and enjoy myself, monday comes back to work. dont want to pester waiting for the next call.
    Hi love doctors results are back its lung cancer dads not been to well for a while but didnt want to worry anyone. ( why not all alone we could help) ok whats the next step how does he feel is he fit? Unfortunaly each step of the way through treatment my dad kept it all to himself he’s always been the head and strong one of the family he insisted he was ok no pain killer’s needed keep on hes fine, the hardest part was watching him go though chemo and all the treatments to find the tumors shrunk however 4 weeks later it grew bigger than ever before it was the most fastest strongest tumor and there wasnt anything they could do.
    I find out im pregnant happy and sad waited years of trying for this to happen now wrong time dads gonna miss out so confused.each milestone scan sex, was a big stage for dad shirink spread.
    Days pass by i give birth prematurly to my little boy perfect an beautiful.
    Unfortuantly he was poorly being 6 weeks early in a critical condition scarieay part of my life with my boy, dad wants to come and meet him, hes had radiotherapy best ro keep him away. Dad was devastayed to which i completly understand.
    After a week and half hes released from hospital all fit brill i went back to work after 7 week’s, in my eyes grandparents/ my dad got to spend all that extra time he will eventually miss out on.
    15th October 2016 dad takes a bad turn, cancer has spread all over not long left a couple of hours spending hours makeing sure hes comfy giving everything he wants the random meals ice lollies were his fave at this point, mcmillan advised to give morphine end of life care.
    21st octover 8 am still no food no water doctor confused how hes managing to stay alive maybe hes got some bad terms he wants to settle, i dwell on it realise its my little boys first birthdays 7th november i never forget suggesting to the nurse maybe hes holding on in guilt still to this day, i dont want him to suffer we will bring his presents round and pretend its his birthday 22nd October. Mum says to dad 11 at night on 21st freddies first birthday tomorrow dad say oh i thought it was soon have we got his present ready mum replies yes of course battery car all charged ready.
    22 October 6:00am dad says carol is freddie 1 today, to which mum answers yes its his birthday smiling he goes back to sleep, 45 minutes later passes away beautiful but sad however the more time goes on it gets so much harder i feel im alone and it i talk to someone what if i never stop crying xx

    1. Hi Emma,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. You mentioned at the end there that you’re finding things harder as time goes on. You might find it helpful to reach out to a bereavement charity – Cruse Bereavement Care offer a free 9.30-5 helpline for people who need support with grief. They can also help you find in-person bereavement support in your area, and help you broach the subject with friends and family. You can call Cruse on 0808 808 1677. Outside of office hours, there’s also the free Samaritans line: 116 123.

      In both cases, the person on the other end of the line will be trained to help you and listen without judgement: it’s always okay to cry. Anything you tell them is confidential.

      I hope this helps,

      Kirsty from Beyond

  8. Thank you for this article. I just lost my dad last night (I am 39, he was 68) and it helps to know I am not alone.

  9. …missing my best friend, my daddy, gone five weeks already. This week I’ve been a huge mess, it finally “hit” me and I’ve been crying from the sadness and heartbreak I feel…. He was only 72 🙁

    1. Just read this. Looking for advice or just anything. Lost my dad 4 was ago. He had a cardiac arrest at my house. Did CPR & he was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I have never hurt or had this pain in my life.

      1. I Lost my dad 6 days ago the same way – cardiac arrest did cpr until ambulance arrived but he died within the hour just after we got to the hospital I’m also 3 months pregnant and am not sure what’s normal to feel and what’s hormones he was only 63

  10. I lost my dad friday just gone (4th may 2018) just feel numb.Hasnt sunk in yet…I.miss him already x

    1. I am so very sorry for your loss. I want to share with you that I lost my Father 14 years ago, it still feels like yesterday. That is not what I want you to do, I want you to keep the love, the happiness. all the happiness he brought to you and talk to him all the time, tell him how you feel, all the happiness he gave to you and so much more. Tell him you LOVE and always will always tell him that when you talk to him. I hope this helps. If I have said anything you didn’t want to read I am so very sorry I did that.

  11. I lost my dad when I was 15 and my mum a year ago. It hurts like hell to know they’re gone and people around you will not understand which is why posts like this make us feel united in our grief. For anyone reading this, you may feel like you’re going out of your mind with grief but you will learn to live without those you lose. Not to say it is not incredibly painful, it is. And you’re entitled to feel all of your emotions fully – you must to heal. Don’t be afraid or to proud to reach out to people when you need help and try not to be too disappointed when they don’t get it. How could they?

    Focus on the good things life has to offer as much as possible, baby steps… x

    1. Im 50 years old. I lost my father a month ago. It’s a sudden death. No goodbyes. My heart is broken. I really don’t know how to go back to my normal life. I miss him so much! I have my son and my husband! And im so thankful to them for being there and understanding. My husband witnessing my suffering because of my dad’s passing. And it also breaks my heart seeing my aged mother to feel the pain of losing her husband. Im really lost! I really don’t know how will i cope. It feels like a part of me died. I wish it didn’t happened. I wish my father is still alive. So, my family will be complete and happy! But i know it’s impossible. It really hurts! It’s very difficult to move on… So God help me!

  12. Oh my. I’ve never seen something this relatable ever since I lost my grandma and grandpa. They raised me since I was a baby and I lost them 4 years ago, leaving me stuck with my biological mom and stepfather. It sucks since I always consider my grandparents as my parents, nothing is ever the same anymore. It’s like I’ve had my share of happy begginings and whats left are just the sorrow endings.. And i’m only 24 when they left, didnt even cry when they die, trying to be tough as duck. Eventually I cry as I dreamed of grandma, who I was so close with, wanted to call her when I woke up and realized I cant. And yesterday my friend sang an old song for fun, which turns out to be one of the songs that grandpa used to play every day in the morning… I burst to tears and I wish I could come home to them, but I cant.. Huge part of my life went buried with them leaving. I never stopped griefing, even if my friends dont care anymore. It never stopped hurting, everyday I’m just surviving..

  13. My Daddy has been in hospice for 1 week, but in and out of the hospital for over a year and a half. His kidneys stopped functioning last night. We are blessed that he has not been in any pain. My pain is awful. I treasure my last moments with him. I’m physically ill. I’m scared. I want him to be able to breathe again. It’s so hard.

    1. Praying for you Tammi. Please enjoy the time you have left with him. I feel your pain having lost my Mom end of May this year.

    2. My advice video as much as you can. Ask as many questions as possible. Say I love you and have them say it back. Talk about future what they’d tell their grandkids and what they’d tell you. Video holding hands and talking. My Dad
      Past away November 14th 2018 and I’m up 1 month at the time I got the call from nurse 1:00am trying to find help from the pain.
      So I wrote him a letter.
      1 month
      Today is 1 month since you have been gone. I find myself up at the time I got the call from the nurse that things weren’t going so good and that they were transporting you to the hospital. I find myself crying remembering how the doctor met me in the little room to say they couldn’t do no more and that you had passed away. I remember holding your hand and head until there was no more warmth left and crying more. This month has been a very sad and lonely month for me. The hardest part has been getting news or being upset or wanting to get advice and reaching for the phone to try and call you but then remembering that I can’t and man that really really Sucks!!!! I guess Dad I’m trying to say that I really truly love you and miss you so much!! I thank you for leaving me the scripture in the room, it means a lot. I’m so glad I was fortunate to be able to spend so much time with you your last few months and I’m so glad we both knew without a doubt that our love was for real. I thank you for being the best dad you could be and for the example your life ended with. I sure hope you got your answer of Why me Lord and that God said it was because you remembered him and He remembered you!! (James 4:8 come near to God and he’ll come near to you.) I’m so proud to say I’m Fred Jones’ Son!!! Say hello to everyone for me. And know we miss you so much!!!
      Love always,
      Your son Chris

      After writing my letter to dad this morning
      My scripture was psalm 34:18 and Philippians 4:7
      Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted, he saves those who are crushed in spirit”.
      What this scripture is highlighting the fact that God is close to us through our most difficult of times. He truly cares about our feelings and troubles. Phillipines 4:7 tells us that when we pray, “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guards our hearts and our mental powers”, so when we are suffering, and feel like our heart is broken and we are hurting inside and out, pray to God for this peace and he will be close to us. He will get us through our hard situations.

      Thank you God!!


    3. My advice video as much as you can. Ask as many questions as possible. Say I love you and have them say it back. Talk about future what they’d tell their grandkids and what they’d tell you. Video holding hands and talking. My Dad
      Past away November 14th 2018 and I’m up 1 month at the time I got the call from nurse 1:00am trying to find help from the pain.

  14. It will be 2 years this Friday since I lost my Dad. I feel suffocated at the loss many days. The struggle is real, and it changes you. At times I feel a lack of energy, and socialize very little. Many would not know how I really feel in the outside…I put a good front up, because of the lack of understanding by many.

    1. Went to see my father who had dementia. My mom called me on 07/17/2018 that he was not doing well from a fall. In a non-respomsive state. We left for right away at 8:00PM. Drove through the whole night until daylight started to appear, at 6:30AM on 07/18/2018 when my mom called while driving from the day before non stop to tell me my father has passed. Still 9 hours away. the tears came down my face driving in the dessert nothing but endless highway. Pulled over to a rest stop and fell apart helplessly. Kept driving arrived at 4:30PM. Feeling so empty. He kept asking for me. Knowing that I was not there tears me apart. The funeral was on 07/23/2018. I was counting the hours after he passed until all moved in such a pace I could not keep up. Before you could blink a eye the time is passing by now over two weeks since he passed. I feel alone, empty, and completely miss him. Finding myself driving by all the houses we grew up in remembering. What is wrong with me? I know I need to move forward. Its just I feel so lost in this world.

    2. Hi Evelyn,
      So sorry for your loss, you sound similar to me, I lost my Dad suddenly 2 years & 1 month ago.I still can’t come to terms with it happening. It’s been awful beyond belief like you say no one understands- and the worse still is no support has made me very depressed at times.We have to put up a front I find work a struggle as don’t really get on with them.

  15. Thank you for this article. I recently lost my father 3 weeks ago. He was only 59 and I was 16. We were vacationing and it was just so random and unexpected. I miss him so much and I just want to get a message from him saying “Good morning beautiful! How are you? You want to meet for dinner tonight?” But I’m not and the thought kills me. I miss him so much and the sadness is unbearable. The thing that gets to me is the fact that his dad lived to 100 and he always said how he will live to be really old too and I never worried about him passing at such a young age. We realized he had some health conditions, which he never told us about… He was just such an amazing person and I loved him to pieces. He was such a goofy and happy person. His smile was the most precious thing… really was the most pure and bright smile I’ve ever seen.

    1. Sammy I just lost my dad at age 59 unexpectedly just like you. It’s completely awful and devastating. It’s been a little over 2 weeks. It’s just now hitting me the reality of the situation and I’ve been a crying mess all day. He had heart disease which was unknown to anyone because he didn’t go to the doctor. Then one day that was it for him. I feel for you and just know you aren’t alone. Peace and love for you during this emotional time.

  16. Losing my father at this time. Hate watching him suffer. Can only be with him for a short while before I leave cause I can’t handle this.

  17. Thanks for this, lost my dad 7/12/18 one week exactly before his 70th Birthday on 7/19. It has been a whirlwind, a bad dream and when you wake up reality smack you back to hell. I doubt my faith, doubt our souls living on. Tomorrow is never promised and I too have gone over and over about what if? My heart is heavy and I’m exhausted here in this life. It is a natural order of the world but having him ripped from us is just unfair. Dad was supposed to be around for many more years since my mum was taken by Cancer just three years and six months earlier.

    I cannot do this, feel the guilt of smiling when I see my daughter and my parents are not here. I know that they want me to be happy, but I cannot stop feeling guilty without having them here.

    1. Its tough especially when the second parent was expected to be around for many years and I can feel the pain. I do not have a clear purpose of living.

  18. Thank you for this. I lost my dad last week. Still feels like a bad dream and I still can’t belive or accept it xx

  19. I guess I am weird to check it although I don’t know how serious my mum’s condition is. I beg to God my mum will live happily for many more years because she deserves and because I am egoistical. I want her longer by my side. God bless her.💛👼🤞👑👠👗🦌🐾🐺🍀🌲🍾🍉🍿🍟🎆🏊‍♀️🏖🏝🏥🌄🚇🚗🚣‍♀️🛳⚓🛌🚽🌒🌞🌩🌠🌬⚡🌈⛄💡💸📭♿🔝♐⚕♀️
    I love u mum 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗😙

  20. My father is gone, and I can’t believe it. He was the best father ever. Thank you for letting me know that it is alright that I have a few negative memories of him that this is normal because nobody is perfect! Truly most of my memories are positive. This has been very hard, and I think planning the funeral will be even more stressful. After reading this, I will need to find a nice funeral home that we can do a service at.

  21. It helps to know we are never alone, Thank you for sharing your story. Nearly three weeks, this is hard. No matter how prepared you think you are, its like being emotionally submerged. Just got to learn how to swim back to the top again.

  22. Lost my father.. It’s been 6 yrs now. Not gotten any easier. Havent passed a day without hurting and crying. About to loose my father in law now.. doctors have stopped all treatment just relieving pain now. If not for my son I don’t know how I would go on. I tend to keep things to myself and dislike doing to others what I dislike…asking every day how’s he doing..I try to be strong and one break down in private..don’t want to inflict more pain when everyone must be hurting this bad . I know God knows and I don’t need any one else to know.. but it does hurt in addition to all this when I overhear people, ma in law declare how hard hearted and indifferent I am.. doesn’t help with the guilt.. with the grief …with the burden of living.

  23. Last week, on 8/22/2018 I lost my dad, my best friend, my everything. He is the most important person in my life and that will never change. I feel that I can’t breathe without my dad and I don’t know how I will be able to survive without him. I wasn’t ready to lose him, I think no one is ever ready, but my dad wasn’t sick, although he was 89 years old, and in October he was going to turn 90 (I was really excited and already planning this big event). I’m 41 but I realized you are never old enough to deal with this kind of pain. I know I’ll think of my dad everyday but I deeply hope time smooth a little bit this pain. I’ve never felt this way. I feel so lonely, so out of place, like I don’t belong anywhere. I’m just breathing but the best of me is gone. I have never loved any one the way I love my daddy and at the same time I feel guilty because I have a good husband but the love to my dad is greater than anything.
    Dad I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!

  24. I lost my dad 5 weeks ago…my mum has t’s me today she doesn’t want anything else to do with me…I am devastated as I was very close to my dad and feel she has always resented me

    1. I am sorry Catherine for your loss. My dad passed Feb 27, 2018. My mom left a message telling me we can no longer speak to each other. It all really hurts. I am the only living child of theirs , as my brothers have also passed away. I miss my Dad. I miss his smile. I miss the sparkle in his eye.

  25. On this day i lost my dear mother this morning i received a phone telling me to come to the hospital ASAP, but I was too late she had already passed away. It’s strange how death can take hold over your senses and emotions when you hear those words ”your mother has just died.  I am now left with only the memories from my childhood and how great she was a loving mother, I knew she wasn’t going to see through 2018 her health had weakened over the last few months and I had to cope knowing that the end was near for her. So the message that we all need to learn is tell you’re loved how much you love them each and every day. 

  26. I lost my Mum today as well, her health was getting worse each day and we all knew she wasn’t going to make it she was 76. I am glad she’s now at peace and she knew how much we all loved her. God bless you Mum xxx

  27. I have recently just lost my mother as well. I am 18 and she was 44. The part that gets me is that she passed away on my graduation day. It felt like my world was crumbling. That day was supposed to be filled with happiness and excitement, yet i could barely walk down the stage to receive my diploma with breaking down in tears. She was my main motivation to do well in school, I jut wanted her to be happy and proud of the good work she put into me. Not having her there made it seem like everything was pointless. It has been couple months now and still have this constant sadness. I just wish to hear her voice or see her smile or to cuddle on the couch wit her as we always did. The pain I feel is exactly how you have described it. Thank you so much for this post.

  28. I lost my dad at the age of 9 to suicide and it just hits me sometimes, because I think about all the things he will miss, such as walking me down the aisle. This has been so relatable and I feel like I am no longer alone in this.

  29. Hi all its a tough road I tell you. It hurts like hell even now 4 years after a devastating loss, my anchor is not there and I wonder what I am living for ? I mean do I really have to do the same things ie get a job, buy my groceries and so without really a purpose?

    The grief is manageable to an extent but the purpose is still up there

  30. It was 32 yrs ago Sept 16th 1986.i was exactly 2 1/2 months from my 7th birthday when I walked outside with my dad.as I’d said to him “I’ve got a drawing for you let’me get it.i ran to the door soon as I had 1 foot in that’s when the 1st five shots rang out. I immediately turned round & ran back outside when I did The 6th & final bullet struck my forehead(i’ve still got the scar today.)as I reached my dad who’d been shot all 6 times in the back he was still alive,but fading away [email protected] that very moment I knew that my childhood had ended & I instantly knew what death & what horrible things can & do happen in this world.. I ran back inside to get my brother (he’d just turned 5 on July 1st (1981) exactly 2 1/2 months to the day prior to that.)I woke him up & said come with me now..we walked to his bedroom window & looked outside & saw our dad Layin face up still clinging & fighting to stay alive.he rolled his head towards the window & he saw us.he immediately became almost @ peace & looked as if he accepted he was dyin,but once he saw us both together safe & sound. He relaxed even though he was fighting for air & life.i ran outside told my brother stay inside I got to my dad in enough time to say & tell him “I love you daddy.we’re safe & sound.”He looked up @ me &tried to speak,but couldn’t. His normal body color has now turned from a suntanned light-dark brownish white to a lightened grey.his blood had left his body as I could clearly see the ever expanding pool for underneath him come out rapidly to me.he gasped a few times then he just stopped. It’s now Sept25th,2018.I’ll be 39 on Nov 28th.my was dad had turned 30 on April 1st (56-86).so he was alive for 30 yrs 5 months & 15 days.. My son just turned 6 on April 25th this yr.Same age as I was when dad died.it hit me hard. The worse part of this is that I lost both parents that day.my bio-mom had (along with her then bf & his brother in-law) orchestrated to kill dad for his life insurance policy.for $20,000 my dad lost his life so they could buy drugs.dad had switched the policy to his parents right b4 he’d died.growing up we weren’t (brother & I)allowed to talk, ask,mention, or say his name. I learned bout my dad from my friends parents.I’ve still yet to cry @ his grave.bio-mom has been out since Dec of 2014 along with ex-bf. The trigger man is up again in nov. I’m the only 1 that goes to the hearings.i don’t expect Tony (brother) not do I have any hard feelings for him he was there & lived it just as I had.but nobody else goes just me Thats it.my gf tells me I’ve never dealt with it prolly true. I’m just soo closed off & unable to let ppl in that it’s ended many relationships.i’m very detached from feelings & am quite cold to ppl.i do cry @ times while I’m alone.it doesn’t get any easier with time & age cuz I’ve lived beyond him by almost 9 yrs now.

  31. I lost my father just a few months after I turned 11. I remember always being in the hospital with him, never knowing what was going to happen. He was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and something else, which eventually spread to his brain. He was set to come home on his birthday, but he passed away the day before. I sometimes forget how to control myself and emotions and everything falls apart, but that’s a part of life. Best wishes -Lyd

  32. My dad passed away just over a week ago. Having been through other bereavements of both my in-laws and my brother in law, I knew dad was dying in the summertime. I recognised all the signs but it still hurt. The anticipation of what was to come was so sore inside of me. He declined very quickly and passed peacefully in hospital. Now I am grieving and fluctuate between all sorts of emotions. Thankfully I am well supported by family and friends. Reaching out to others has proved a life line. I genuinely feel for anyone who feels they have no one to talk to. Reach out if you can. Bottling things up never helps. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel. Hurt, pain, anger, frustration, love, hate even! All emotions are valid, even the ones we are traditionally taught to stay away from! Remember too how resilient you truly are. Give yourself a little bit of credit for getting this far! Know too that even though things are tough at the moment, it will get better. You will feel differently in time. You can learn to grieve a loss without being consumed by the grief. You are amazing and you deserve to be happy once more.

  33. I lost my dad two weeks ago. I feel guilty that I am not more outwardly upset. I loved my dad dearly. He was sick for several years so I am glad he is out of pain. Selfishly I want him back but know in my heart he is better off not being here in pain.

  34. Thank you for sharing. My father just passed away on Friday and even though my mom died 16 years go, I find myself still trying to process all of this loss.

  35. My mum has passed away on the 16th October and I got to the care Home 1 hour too late. The last two days I have been ok thinking that my life will be different from now on but then tonight I just long for Mum to be here. I know she was 92 but the pain is very much here and hurts so much. I long for her to just say hello again. The funeral is so final which is next week and I am dreading It for I am arranging it with my daughter and son. This article is so good for I don’t feel so alone

    1. I lost my dad very suddenly nearly two years ago. It’s him so much every single day, I feel guilty I wasn’t a better daughter, and I don’t know if he knew how much I love him. I feel so lost without him, it’s like nothing matters as much if he’s not there to hear about it. I don’t know if it will ever feel any better or any less like a nightmare 🙁

  36. I have been “living” without my daddy for 9 months now. Just don’t know how in this world I will ever feel normal again. I go theu the day with a smile… no one knows my heart is just in pieces.
    Also very angry with my mother. She was horrible to my dad before he passed. He had parkinsons and dementia. Still knew us which was good. But she was evil. I cant get passed that. She wants us (my sister and I) to be more involved with her but I cant brin myself to feel the way I used to about her. We used to be very close.
    I just should have done more to help him.
    My prayers are with you all who have lost a parent.
    Thank you for this article!

  37. Thank you for sharing, you are amazing even though I felt exactly the same stuff you have talked about but I was not able to put it into words like you have and being able to read what I feel has given me a sense of peace a little weight off my shoulders. even though I am at work and trying really hard for no one to notice my eyes getting watery. I should have read this when I was alone and I could have let my guard down. I hope you stay strong and happy, I will try to do the same 🙂

  38. I lost me beloved Dad last October 26th 2017 of an awful death with pancreatic cancer. His death still hits me at some point everyday. Anything can set me off, an Elvis Presley song, a memory or even someone that looks like him. I was so close to my dad & more than anything I miss his voice, his chuckle when he laughed & his very dry sense of humour. He always gave his honest opion about any problem or dilemma we had. My 3 boys always talk about him so fondly& tell me times they spent with dad & my mum. He was an amazing grandad, so loving & patient with them, always giving them hugs & telling them he loved them. On the 1st anniversary of his death on the 26th we had his headstone fitted & we all went up there as a family. It was incredibly hard & upsetting to see the words written on it as apposed to visiting a wooden stick. It made it so real & his death so final. I wish for anything I could have one more day with him to tell him what a beautiful person he was, loving, caring & always there for me no matter what & I know I will grieve for him for the rest of my life on Earth, I just really hope the pain gets a little easier as time goes by but for me even a year on it still feels so raw & painful but I am so thankful I was able to have him in my life for 48 very special years years as his very proud daughter.
    Sending love, care & special thoughts for anyone who is grieving a parent & struggling to come to terms with their loss & the grief they are feeling
    God bless you

  39. My father passed away October 18. We were extremely close and talked, texted or video chatted everyday. He meant everything to me. He is always on my mind and as much I want to keep busy. I still find myself starring off in space thinking about him, his voice, and the times we spent together.

  40. I lost my Mum suddenly nearly 5 years ago and lost Dad 5 weeks ago to an extremely aggressive cancer. He coped well with it but at the end he went from OK to dying in 24 hours. I wasn’t prepared. I am 49 he was 74. It’s my 50th on Monday and my grief is just building and building. I am single, have a son who has just had their 1st baby 3 weeks ago. Christmas is looming large. My son and his wife are spending Christmas with her Mum, Dad and siblings and I can’t help but feel hurt. I adore his wife and get on really well with her but I resent this, especially this 1st Christmas. My heart physically aches and I am on the verge of tears all the time at what basically feels like the loss of my family. I hide this from my Son as the last thing I want to do is guilt trip him in any way. I don’t drive so I will be alone on the day. I’ve never been alone on the day before. I won’t be able to visit friends (not that I would want to intrude on their family day) and there is no public transport where I live on that day.
    I feel selfish, needy, sad, depressed and so lonely. I just want my parents back.

  41. I lost my father 2 weeks ago and I just feel numb. I didn’t make it in time in the hospital either and couldn’t do anything but just say “Pa” when I saw him there. It was so difficult making decisions and funeral arrangements in behalf of my family. I also feel like I have not grieved yet as after his death and until now, we have to attend to our mother who has Stage 2 Angina. Hearing her cry for my father is a different heartache altogether. There are times I feel like crying and times where I feel like I am OK. Mostly, I feel empty. I’ve been thinking a lot lately mostly of the what’s ifs and the memories. I’ve really tried not to question God’s will but still find myself asking Him “Why my father?” I am back at work this week but will constantly worry about my mother who is beyond any reason right now. I understand her grief and her losing her half, it’s just making everything more difficult for everyone. They’ve been together everyday for the last 41 years. I want a lot of things right now and what I want the most I can’t get.

    Thank you for this article. My condolences and hugs to everyone who lost their parent/s.

  42. I am so sorry for all of your losses. I lost my father on November 14th and his funeral was yesterday. I am 42 years old and my father was 84 years old. Everything moved so fast that I am now realizing that he will not be here for Christmas, my birthday, his birthday, Father’s Day. I no longer have a dad. Someone to confide in or share any big news. My heart is broken. I also realized in this week in a half how so many people share my pain and had it for much longer – years. The pain will never go away and I need to learn to live the new normal. I was blessed to be with him when he passed. He looked up like he recognized a loved one then looked at me with such love and peace then looked away and passed. I will never forget that day and being there was very healing for me. I wish you all the best. We cannot feel bad for being human and losing a part of us for the remainder of our lives. Being a parent, I believe they want the best for us and will always be with us in our heart. Never let go of that and God bless.

  43. Thank you for this. My mum passed away very suddenly just 9 weeks ago. I am 42, she 58. I live on the other side of the world to the rest of my family & so had to rush back home & help sort everything out (I am the oldest of 5). Since I came back to where I now live I am so angry & I don’t really know why. I feel like no one even wants to understand what I am going through. No one here knew her, so they don’t know what she was like, or what it is like for me. I feel super alone & don’t really know what to do.

  44. My father passed away yesterday, at the age of 87. I haven’t seen him since June, because he lives in Canada and I moved to England many years ago. I didn’t expect to feel so much pain! He was weak and so tired, and wanted to die and be with my mom, who passed away 2 years ago, so for him it was a blessing. But oh my, I never knew I would feel like this. It’s been so helpful reading this article, and sharing so many stories and memories. Thank you – I was afraid that I was being weak and foolish to cry when I am 59 and supposedly grown up. I just never knew how hard it would be. Thank you all for sharing, and God’s blessings to you as we walk this road together.

  45. I lost my dear dad 3 weeks ago and this post was very comforting thank you for sharing. I like to think our loved ones will always be a part of us no matter what x

  46. I lost my dad 2 years ago. It was completely unexpected and I was across the country when it happened. All I can say is that the pain never goes away, but somehow your body gets stronger, so you learn to live with the pain. Your life will never be ok, it will be different.

    Just be thankful you had a parent or parents that loved you so much. You feel this pain because of their love, which is beautiful in itself.

  47. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer last May, I honestly didn’t see it coming. He was healthy and fit and then after battling cancer for under a year since his diagnosis, I watched my Dad slowly waste to nothing standing by him in his final hours of life. The day before was my wedding day, so lucky he managed to watch me and my Husband get married and see me in my wedding dress in the comfort of the hospice.

    I’ve actually suffered from PTSD and anxiety since my Dad passed away, hit me around 2 months after… I then fell pregnant with my first born 6 months later and found out I was carrying…a boy! My dad may have left physically but now I have my little prince who I am truly blessed to have as my son. He’s the reason I try my hardest to keep strong, even though I am still grieving for my Dad. He would of been the best Grandad ever!

    I’ve lived through the highest highs of life and the unfortunate lowest of the lows, but I wanted to share my story to show that even though we’ve lost these amazing people we’re so lucky to have as our parents, that there is positives in life, we’ve just got to wait and like they say… ”there has to be rain for there to be a rainbow”.

    Thank you for reading my story.


  48. All of this is very true. I lost my dad almost 5 years ago and I was only 17. My dad unexpectedly died of a fast growing cancerous brain tumor that neither him or us knew about. As time goes by I miss him even more.

  49. A beautiful post. I can relate to much of it. I lost my dad last in Sep 2017. Grief is a complex thing. I was numb last Christmas from the shock. This year the numbness is gone. I am more aware of my feelings now both good and bad. I live in Australia. My mum in Scotland. I think this Christmas might be a little tough. Like the original post I have developed an appreciation for all the good my father brought into my life. The grief brings our mortality from being on the edge to centre stage. That in itself can be a good thing. I find I am now getting on with what is important.

  50. I lost both of my parents 20 years ago. My mom had Alzheimer’s disease at a young age. My dad killed my mom and then killed himself. I have been through all of these emotions listed above. I was angry and sad for such a long time. But it has gotten better over the years. But after it happened I went into a deep depression and wanted to die too! I still suffer from anxiety and depression but it’s manageable now! I still miss my parents with all my heart! They were amazing people! It took me a while to let anger go but now I just think of fond memories. It has gotten less painful. I just wish I had that mother daughter relationship and the daddy daughter relationship too! I’m just glad to see I’m not alone in all this! Many prayers to all of you for losing your parents and all the pain you are going through!

  51. I lost my dad one year ago and I can’t get over it, however, reading people’s comments and experiences has made me understand that grieving process is actually painful and difficult to manage. Even though I am still grieving my dad,I understand that as humans we don’t live forever and it’s important to appreciate life.

  52. I lost my dad in the 13th December 2018, due to advance cancer and severe stomach ulcers, what hurts the most is, he’s passing is so sudden & it’s only been 2 and half months, he’s been sick and the doctor didn’t even know where is the primary cancer started..I’m trying to cope with everything since he’s passing, I have to be strong for my mum, brothers and sisters..I don’t have time to mourn because I have been busy with all the arrangement for his funeral and I even started working because I have lots of work to be done..after his funerals and and some of my work done..the sadness and the emptiness I fell were more stronger..I cried alone every night when I’m alone but I try to not cried that much in front of my family..I am so close to my dad, and knowing that he will never be around anymore is hurting so much.. sometimes I blame God for taking him away from us this soon eventhough how much we prayed,..I still remember my dad said if he has lots of money he wants to go to Jerusalem where Jesus was born but I know God has better plan for him, he stops his pain and suffering and even better he will go to heaven with Jesus by his side…
    Rest well now in heaven pa, no more pain and sickness , we will love you forever and pray for you everyday…till we meet again

  53. I’m not sure how I ended up on this website. I was feeling really sad. No real reason I should I suppose. It’s Christmas time. My children are happy and healthy. I have a good life. It’s just that I have this darkness that follows me. This sadness and emptiness that used to be filled with the love and joy my mother filled. I lost her 3 1/2 years ago to brain cancer. She was the center of our families universe. My best friend, my cheerleader, my confidant, my world. Then, suddenly she was gone. Nothing has filled the void. Not the books, the therapy, meditation, or anything else I’ve ever tried. I just haven’t ever been able to experience the same kind of happiness since she left. I’m afraid I never will. The world has moved on, but I have not. How does anyone really move on? I’d love to know.

    1. Savannah I am so sorry this happened to you, I can’t imagine how you felt, for your mom to pass on your graduation, you poor dear. I’m sure she raised you as a wonderful person and just be proud that your mom was part in you graduating that she loved you so much and cared that you would walk across the stage to receive your diploma and how proud she is of you. I know it is damn hard and very painful, I lost my mom in 2015 and I still feel the pain. I also lost my dad when I just turned 11 to a car accident, so all I had was my mom, and it tears you apart, just be kind to yourself through your grief, and go to someone that you know to hold you and that you can talk to and cry with, and get some grief counselling. At any age you still feel the grief I’m 56 and I still have days where I cry for my mom.

  54. Sadness and guilt affect me a lot , bouts of private crying overcome my feelings of loss for my father just 2 and half months ago.
    I hope it passes with time.

  55. It is a second day now,my friend told me, yesterday I wasn’t feeling anything, but now I’m breaking down every second, he was all alone, waiting for me every day, alone in another country.

  56. Thanks for this article. It’s been 3 months since my father passed away and it’s been tough. The first few weeks I was feeling strong mostly because I dedicated myself to taking care of my dad everyday during his last 4 months, so I had this feeling of comfort in knowing that I was there for him all the time and gave him my love and attention. But the pain comes and goes, not a day goes by where I don’t think of him at least for a moment, but some days I spend hours thinking and reliving his last day, thinking about my life and how it’s going to be without him and so on. It’s really hard losing a parent, and talking about it with other people sometimes feels like they just don’t care or don’t understand.

  57. Hi thankyou for your words, I am 37 years old and I lost my dad on the 20th November 18 so only month and a half ago, I have been keeping busy with work and housework, I have tried being open with my family about my feelings but I don’t get the reaction I hope for and it makes me hurt even more, this Xmas hurt a lot as it was the first Xmas I had invited my dad round for Xmas dinner with me, my husband & kids and unfortunately he didn’t make it, so my husband made a place up for him and we had a toast in honor of my dad which helped a little but what I would of given for him to be there! But the day went as well as could the kids had a great Xmas which is all I ever want.
    I don’t know if it’s because the new year is coming up and I’m anxious of what’s to come and worrying that one day I will forget him or I am finally accepting that he’s gone, but I am finding that it is getting harder every day, am I alone or is this normal I just don’t feel like anyone in my family understands how I feel, I can’t even talk to my brother about it all cos he just gets on with life and acts like nothing’s happened his attitude is you can’t change anything!

  58. My dad passed away about a week ago and I’m 16 going on 17 in a month or so, and I miss him so much, but just reading this really helps me…

  59. Reading the comments on here help me. I lost my lovely Dad two months ago and miss him so much. I’ll never be the person I was. I spend all my time thinking about him suffering in the last few weeks of his life. Why can’t I focus on the fun times we had? I feel like a huge part of me is missing. How do I move on and live my life when he’s not there to talk to or share things with? It’s hard but I carry on because I have to.

  60. Thank you for your page, its helped me. I lost my dad a year ago today. I honestly thought i was on top of my grief but tonight as it draws closer to the time of his death I cant help but feel so angry so short fused, snappy and full of sorrow all over again…. I was with him when he passed and cant believe how quick a year has gone without him… we was two peas in a pod, daddy little
    Girl, best friends … i miss him soo much x

  61. Thank you for sharing your journey. I lost my beautiful dad 17 days ago. I am number and don’t see how I will ever be happy again. I miss him so much. Your emotions resonate with me. I hope that with time my numbness fades.

  62. You’re brave to post this and everything you said is true. I lost my dad when I was 14, I am 16 right now. I know this is wierd to think about but I’ve been depressed lately because I think that he won’t be there to walk to down the isle when/ if I get married. I miss him so much it’s almost unbearable.

  63. My dad passed away at April 4th 2018. Two days befor I turned 15. He was my best friend and I miss him so so much. Reading your page and the comments showed me that I’m not alone with those feelings. Greeting from Switzerland.<3

  64. Thank You so much for sharing! I am 51 and I lost my dad 12/25/18–today is 1/22/19.. I am reaching the 1 month mark..I feel like at times I just won’t to stay in bed, where my mom is wanting to get things done and clear the house of his clothes..(seeing them hurts her) To me I feel like I am erasing him….everyday i go over there I come back with another box. 🙁 I was a daddy’s girl..Reading the comments and your emotions let’s me know Im going to make it eventually!

  65. Thank you. i feel exactly the same and i can relate to everything. I just have no interest in my life anymore. I feel like i dont have any purpose to live life with excitement..i just wake up as a zombie..its been 3 months since my Dad died. I have not cried since..we were the thickest in our family and i can never accept him to be not in this world.

    Thanks for ur article.

  66. A little over an hour ago, I received the phone call that my father had suddenly passed. I stumbled upon this post through a search on what to prepare for emotionally as I know this empty numb feeling will give way at some point but I haven’t even shed a single tear, and all I can respond to my husband’s questions is I’m ok, when I know I’m not in these moments. This post was comforting in this nightmare of an experience. The loss of my father is starting out a oddly differentexperience, compared to other loses I’ve been through.

    1. Dear Angel-Rose, we’re very sorry for your loss. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to grieving. It’s normal to go through various emotions and stages. You can read a bit more about what you might experience here:

      Our thoughts are with you. Take care of yourself.

  67. Mother’s Day in 2018 I watched my father die violently unexpectedly in front of me. I did everything I could to save his life. I was the only one with him. I can’t breathe sometimes. I go to counseling and see pastors. I am on anti anxiety medicine, I can’t sleep. My neck kills from the stress. I can’t accept this. I’m dying inside without my hero. I’m balling my eyes out just reading this. I don’t know how I’ll go on without him. Anytime something breaks in my house I burst out in tears because I would always call him. I am helpless and dead inside.

  68. Thank you for sharing your story. I have lost my sister, 2 brothers, my dad in 2013 and now my mother October 7 of last year. The first couple months I was in a fog. My doctor changed my antidepressant. Thanks giving day I almost had the meal complete then I realized 30 minutes before the meal was ready that I hadn’t unwrapped the ham and got it started. I was then I realized I hadn’t done it because my mother had called me starting early in the morning to let me know when to do what. I had a meltdown. Heading into Christmas I just didn’t want to deal with any of it or anyone. My husband just made things harder constantly reminding me of just how much I was failing at my life in his opinion. It seems as though it’s harder now that the holidays are over. I have felt so many different emotions I never thought I would feel. I thought since I had experienced death before this would be the same. It isn’t. I am the last one left. I had been in and out quickly at my parents house but 1 day I needed to clean out the fridge. I did and cleaned the bathroom. I sat for just a second then all of a sudden out of nowhere I realized that all of the sounds of my childhood is gone. The sound of when my dad came home for lunch through the carport door which wound cause the next door to rattle so we knew he was home. My brothers coming in and everyone sitting down at the table for lunch and it was a huge lunch Monday-Friday. The sounds were gone the smells were gone. Everyone and everything gone just like that. I feel as though my young life left with them all. Although I am 45 and I haven’t lived at home since I was 18 then briefly at 22 after my divorce. Since then I have remarried and bought several homes. Their home was my home. My first home, my no matter what home. They brought me home from the hospital in 1973 to that home. It was small, nothing too fancy but it was filled with so much life and love. My comfortable, safe place. Now it is empty although still full of material things. I haven’t been able to move her cigarette package or her water bottle by her chair. Her purse is still in the same place. I would get so frustrated with my mother because she kept the television on blaring 24 hours a day. I would say for her to turn it down. It was going to drive her crazy…..now I know why. The silence would drive her crazy. She already knew the sounds of life were gone. I know understand. My mother was diagnosed 2 years earlier with rectal cancer and decided to not seek treatment. I think my grieving began that day. I seen her declining and growing weaker everyday so I knew. I wouldn’t bring her back if I could. I have always been the strong one, the problem fixer the one that handled it all. Now I can’t fix myself. I never realized anyone could grieve this way. Some days I cry some days I’m angry. I don’t want to be around anyone. I stay busy cooking for my husband and kids but the slightest little thing can get me then those damn feels come. I haven’t burdened anyone with my struggles or grief. Why would I? I am a problem fixer and I should be able to fix myself right? I feel as though no one understands but your story let me know that you do somewhat. These feelings are so hard to explain and this is the only way I have been able to explain it to others in my life. It’s like an old barn in the pasture. Missing boards and they continue to fall off. Then one day a poke breaks and the entire thing falls. How could one pole keep it up and together although it was already damaged? I feel like my mother was the one that kept it all together for me. I hope that I’m not the only one that feels like this because that would me I was crazy right😜. Just wanted to share just in case someone needed to know that they aren’t alone or crazy.

  69. Hi I recently lost my dad in November 2018..and to top it off I lost my mom one week later so losing two parents in one week..I don’t know who to grieve for I seem to grieve for my dad more than my mom doe’s that make me selfish I did love my dad with all my heart and I miss him so much..I love my mom and miss her with all my heart but my dad was my life he understood me more plus I was a daddy girl sorry for ranting but I miss them so much sometimes I think life is pointless without them am I wrong..

    1. Hi Mary I am so sorry to hear about your parents. I lost both of mine but they died years apart. What you are going through must be beyond heartbreaking. But please don’t give up on yourself or your life. Your folks would want you to keep going. it seems you had a very close bond with both your Mum and Dad. Their lived their lives through you and so they continue to do so in spirit. Remember Mary your Mum and Dad have gone no further from you than to God; And God is very near! They are on the inside track now because they are with God but they are also with you. Your Mum and Dad are closer to you now than they ever were even if you don’t feel it. I will pray for you Mary and I will light two candles for you Mum and Dad. Keep the faith.

      Best regards
      Conor from Ireland

  70. I lost my mother Friday, 2/8/19, I’m only 15. My mother fought a long battle with severe medical issues and it’s so hard to think that she is gone. One second I’ll be fine and smiling then the next it’s as if the thought sinks in and it forces tears out of me. I remember talking to her that morning before I went to school.. when I came home.. I found her. I called the police and my father. I will forever have that image of my mom in my mind. Her death was so unexpected, we thought it was gonna be another normal day. I had planned to have my bestfriend over for a movie night… I never expected that I would lose her…

  71. Just found out that after my dad died from pancreatic cancer just over 6 months ago my mother has been living a complete lie. I get the attachment thing after 51 years but find it increadible she is lonely and has been being fleeced by African internet Romeo conmen. Turns out she has been having an internet romance with god knows who, 3 years before my father died and was fully terminally diagnosed. She has been fully conversing with these parasites, lying about all of us and saying how much we are a problem to her, and how much a waste of her life was married to my father. I can see now that the grief she was showing in my fathers final days was just guilt, my uncle is disowning her and I am soon to follow, RIP dad, I love you, sorry you were blinded by a complete bitch, you deserved better.

  72. I lost my dad and my sister a year ago and it still feels so new. I can’t believe that they are gone.We made such a wonderful family together but that pain…I think I will forever live with it.

  73. I’ve read every comment in this thread and just wanted to offer my condolences for all of you who have experienced loss or a bereavement however it may be. I lost my Dad in November 2018. He was ill for a while but on the road to recovery. Unfortunately he suffered a long line of strokes caused by the varicella virus that eventually affected his brain. As a family we were with him every day, for the entire 3 weeks of which it took until he met his unfortunate end in a hospice. It was really difficult, the entire period of him being in hospital for 2 weeks, suffering mutliple strokes, seeing signs of progress, then massive dips until the decision was made to withdraw treatment. We watched him go blind, then suffer an immense case of accelerated dementia. The nights were long being by his side in hospital, taking it in turns to be there if only to reassure him that we were there, or offer a family voice or touch of the hand in comfort. My Dad was 63, took early retirement in 2018 with plans to tour the world with my Mum. It’s just so sad how life can end so suddenly.

    Which brings me to the relativity of this thread. I knew my Dad was ill, but his death was very sudden and took us by suprise mainly because it was such a rare case of what he had. We’re still waiting on a post mortem report to determine what exactly happened. I sometimes struggle with my emotions, in the sense that i don’t feel anything?! During the time he was poorly and we were by his side until the end, i cried alot, i mean ALOT. I never wanted to see him pass away as knew it would have been a very traumatic experience but in the end, i saw him take his last breath. As a family we were all with him, as you can imagine it was incredibly traumatic. I’m 35, have a brother 18 months older and one 2 years younger. We were all with him when he died, to be there for him and my Mum who held his hand until he stopped breathing. It really was traumatic and one of the most traumatic things ive ever witnessed.

    Since then, i feel that i’ve changed. I don’t cry anymore. I sometimes get flashbacks of that moment like when i’m driving, or hear a song and have recently been waking up as if i’m in a dream of his last moments. I then try to shake it off and move on. I’m worried i’m suffering from PTSD, but have had counselling on CBT previously which has helped massively. Unfortunately following my Dads passing, my work place weren’t as supportive as i’d hoped and told me that i’d had too much time off. So i’m now currently job searching, while grieving but at the same time i feel like i’m keeping myself positive.

    I guess my question is, is this normal or should i expect to suddenly break down at the checkouts in Tesco one day, when i scan the wrong product?

    Sorry i don’t mean to make a joke of my situation and offend others, but sometimes that is what makes the situation more bearable.

    If anyone else has experienced the same feeling of “i’m ok, but worried i’m not ok” syndrome then please let me know how you’re getting on!

    I’m 35, young, single and no kids so i’m worried that at some point it’ll all catch up with me.

    Sending love to you all xx

  74. My name is kasten wallona i lost my dad november 8th of 2018 he had canser i would love to be back home to him again my mom and i arent getting along after his passing. He was a fisher back in the day he loved to go hunting he loved his kids. I loved him to death when he passed away i cried on his body im dealing with grief its hard to deal with. I miss him so much

  75. Thanks a lot for sharing this post, it really helping. I just lost my father about a few months ago, and i’m only 15 this year. I also lost my mom when i was 9. When i first lost my mom, my dad always be there for me. He used to entertain me everyday. And make me feel quite more better. And when i lost him, there is no other person that entertain me like he used to. My siblings aren’t live with me anymore, i live with my grandma. But, sometimes she can be a lil’ bit too hard for me. So, i’m all alone. I’m not ready yet to tell my friends about my true feelings, also other people.

  76. Thank you for sharing. I lost my father 3 months ago, and my emotions seem to differ day to day. Initially it was shock, and sadness. Now I really miss him.

  77. I lost my lovely Mum to cancer in 2001 she of course was my best friend as well as being a very supportive Mum I still have dad who is 86 and we get on really well

    I recently sadly lost my Aunty to stage 4 breast cancer she was one in a million and because I lost my own Mum who was her sister I am able to support my cousin who nursed her Mum right up to the end of her life

    As always when you loss a loved one you are still at the numb and at the disbelief stage and then planning the funeral as someone said you are in auto-pilot mode

    It’s only when the funeral is over and people greet you say to you how sorry they are for your loss then that’s when the loneless grips your suddenly left on your own with your memories

    I believe people should stick with that person till you know they are ok and strong enough to move on themselves I hate when some well meaning friend says to someone you are strong you’ll get through it these words are you worthless and very cruel

    I had a friend who decided to say to me this is not long after I lost Mum you will just have to get on with it and life goes on, how two faced can a person be, she lost her Mum long before me and I was supportive and kind to her I listened while she cried got her out the house, when I was going through the grieving process she wasn’t there for me, we are sadly no longer friends I left her in the past

    I have found friends at work and if someone has lost someone I am there to listen and help them I made two new friends at work and was there for both one losing a Mum and the other a favourite and much loved uncle that’s when you are strong when you are able to help someone eles through grief it works both ways

    I know the pain loneliness and wanting that person back each person is different and goes through the grieving process differently it’s not a thing that should be rushed

    Don’t say be strong, don’t say that’s life, it’s time you got on with your life, that person maybe going through depression and even thinking about sucide so don’t ignore it help them listen let them give them your shoulder

    You can’t be there 24/7 but you can keep in touch go for lunch I said to my cousin that I will go with her to the cemetery with her when her Mums stone is redone both her parents photos will be on the grave stone

    I am a caring person and hate to hear someone close to me is in pain its horrible and a lonely time

    1. Amen , Gillian !
      So sorry the world can be so cruel sometimes . Ppl can be cruel .
      I am 34 years old & thought I was full of wisdom , strong etc … then my dad got suddenly sick & passed within 6 days . While trying to deal w/that , my aunt passed . Loved her so much .
      My big brother & roomate passed of alcohol poisoning weeks later , only weeks !
      My mom who was always there for me was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer three months after the loss of my brother , her son . She is gone now , four weeks .
      I have no family here now & it’s isolating , lonely & scary . When ppl tell me to ‘ just move on ‘ … I want to scream ! If it were that easy , we wouldn’t be on this site . Prayers to all of you . God bless & help us all .

  78. Hey, I’m scared about this honestly. My father is quite a bit older than many other dads of friends and I know that. My dads health has slowly been deteriorating for the past 4 years and it’s getting to me. Sometimes I think about what would happen or how I would feel. It just gets worse and worse everyday and deep down I know that it’s going to happen but I dont want to admit it. Is there any advice I can accept to help me through this situation when it happens? I love my dad with all of my heart and I just want to know how to handle it. I would really appreciate the advice. Thank you.

  79. I want to use this opportunity to share my story. I lost my daughter four years ago she was six years old, she died from a fire outbreak in the kitchen. My heart was broken, I felt responsible for her death and the guilt was too much for me to bear. I met a spirit medium he helped me get closure, I was able to talk her, hear her voice once again it felt good. But it wasn’t enough, so he did reincarnation of my daughter. I gave birth late last year I could see the resemblance in my new baby girl. I am recommending him because he’s very effective and compassionate. If you need his services mail him ;
    You will not regret contacting him.

  80. I lost my dad last month and I lost my mom 4 years ago. I always felt I have fully grieved but at times there are tidal waves that comes without warning and afterwards I feel little bit better than before.

  81. I lost my dad when I was 16, my grandmother when I was 21 and my mother when I was 25. Basically, I am alone. I have no family anymore. It has been two years since my mother died and I sometimes feel like I want to die and join them. They have missed some very important milestones in my life and I couldn’t enjoy them fully because I kept thinking “how I wish they were here, they would be so proud of me, maybe they can see me from somewhere, I wish it were true”. The holidays are especially hard. Everyone celebrates with their families and I usually end up stuck alone in my apartment or working. I just want to confirm that every single thing in this article has been 100% true for me personally. It is difficult, but it helps to see and hear from other people sharing the same unfortunate experiences with death. Bless you all and stay strong!

  82. I lost my dad about a month ago and this article really helped. I hate that all of you are going through this pain, it’s not fair and I’m so sorry for all of your losses. It helps a little to know I’m not alone though. I feel less lonley, but I still feel so lost, like I took them being alive for granted. Even though I know it’s not true. I wish there is more I could have done.

  83. Lost my dad June 2018, I was his caregiver for the last five years while he battled a slow but tenacious type of cancer and I didn’t realize that my identity had become so defined by the desperate fight to cure him. Prior to his diagnosis we had a rough relationship but we became best friends over the last five years, we spent hours together every day. When he passed I like the rest of you felt undone. Now after six months I don’t hurt 100% of the time anymore and I don’t feel depressed. I just feel undefined and adrift like I as an individual don’t exist anymore. Everything that I feel I should care about seems trivial and meaningless. I truly don’t know what to do or how to get my motivation back.

  84. I lost my dad today and i cant stop crying there are moments when i focus on something else and after that it hits me again more powerfull. I still cant realize this happened and ii feel like his not home because he went to the Shop

  85. I feel you… I lost my dad 10 years ago! My life changed fully! After 10 years it is not a single day that I dont think about him. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety and cry for him. I miss him so much! I kept the pain in my heart for a long time, I pretended I was strong! For my mom!!! Everybody thought I was fine! And I wasn’t. I still deny that he’s gone! From the moment he died I started thinking he is just in another world! This helped me with the pain and fear of losing him! But after 10 years, I still cannot accept he is gone!!! Whenever it appears real to me, I panic and start crying!!! Oh God!!! It’s so painful…

  86. I lost my dad 6 weeks ago. I am devastated. I have tried so hard to be strong for my Mother and my brother and sister but I am not doing well at all. He was in ICU for 2 1/2 weeks slowly dying. I had to sit in the hospital for 8 hours on that last day, slowly watching him pass. Several times his blood pressure dropped to zero and we thought he had passed and suddenly it would start again. The nurse that day was very cold, she finally came in and said it would be any time now. I am very angry at my husband, he lost his father almost 2 years ago and I was there for him. I loose my Father and he has not been there for me at all. I told him about it and he just told me he isn’t that way. He makes comments about my family members, like I am soo sad (sarcastic). My feelings for him are changing. I feel like I am not being allowed to grieve because I have to take care of my family. I don’t know what to do.

  87. Hello, Today I has been one of those days for me. My father died 3 years ago and it hurts today just as much as it hurt the night he died in hospice. I miss him so much. Thanks for sharing.

  88. I just turned 18 in April. My dad passed January 25th and it’s a little scary how much I could relate to this. Thank you, this helped a lot

  89. Yep i am 12 and my dad died 11 days before my first birthday so i don’t remember him much.But i do have a whole chest full of things he had like his army uniform,watch,briefcase,and some of his rings.I just want to let you know that you are not the only one that has lost a loved one.

  90. I lost my dad when I was 16 I’m now 39 and I still live with pain of sadness. I always feel so alone and he doesn’t get to share and if my grown up life with me. I’m a single mom now if 2 and I think some how the lose if my father has gave me some type of life to were I feel every man leaves me at some point and never truly loves me. I know it sounds crazy but I feel like it’s all because I can’t grieve properly or I ever have right for my father.

  91. I lost my Stepfather 14 yrs ago (to me he is my Dad, the only one who loved me, took care of me, was always there for me and loved me with all his heart and so very much more) He was my Dad. It has been some time ago but it still feels like yesterday, I love him so very much, I miss not seeing him miss him talking to me, I miss the sound of his voice and I miss hearing him say “I love you honey”. I miss all his hugs and kisses. The pain I feel is so very strong so painful, every day. Daddy was the only one in my family who seemed to care for me at all. I had 4 sisters and 2 brothers (one brother passed in 1996 we had a great relationship) relationships with others were really not good. My relationship with Daddy was great. After I lost my Daddy my relationships with my other family members got very, very bad it was due to the loss of my Daddy. There is a very long story about that so I won’t go into it. They were very nasty to me most of all my mom and it just got to the point that I needed them out of my life even my mom and that is how it was, I told them all to leave me alone, they needed them no longer in my life. I wanted nothing to do with them any longer. That has been 14 years ago and still remains that way. I don’t miss them, I love the drama no longer in my life that we always had. My mom was the cause of a lot of bad things. I miss my Daddy he left me 14 years ago and the pain feels all the time is like yesterday. I don’t mind it at all. It is like he is all I have left and if that keeps him with me then I that is what I want so much. I look at his pictures, talk to him and just cry. The fact I lost him is so very painful. Some times I don’t know how to tell any one about the pain I feel. I love talking about my Daddy because he was such a wonderful man. Thank you for letting me share this.

  92. Today is my birthday and I’m surprised by how much I miss my parents. I was 19 when my father died and 31 when my mother died. It’s odd how hard and randomly it can hit you, that overwhelming sense of emptiness, even though I have my own wonderful family. I think as I get nearer to the ages they were when they died, it’s impossible not to feel guilty about outliving them and recognizing through my adult eyes how young they really were. I suppose grief never really goes away, it just changes shapes.

  93. I lost my dad just before christmas 2018 to cancer, It hurt like hell seeing him go in such a cruel and painful way.

    6 months later I am still struggling to come to terms that I will never see him again, or hear his contagious laugh anymore, or sit next to him and chat and watch movies. I can really relate to this article, including picking on him between me and mum as he was the only man in the house, and just like yours he took it all in his stride as he knew we loved him.

    Despite what I saw as strict rules when I was younger which made me a little rebelious in your younger teen years, looking back I definitely had a very loving dad who would do absolutely anything for me and the hole/void that’s left is still incredibly painful.

  94. my dad died today this afternoon around 2pm. ive been preparing myself for his death since he had his first stroke in 2007. i feel like ive gone through the gamut of losing him already (my mom died when i was 14 so i knew what to expect in a way). im not going to the wake or funeral because i want my last memory of him to be when he was alive. i thought id be pretty prepared for it but not so much. hes at peace now though so thats a good thing.

  95. It’s been 11 years since my mother died. I held her hand while she died. She had been in poor health (and attitude) for years. My grief was not really like anything described here. Mostly I was happy for her to finally be free of the emotional pain and physical struggles she’d been suffering with.

    My father had been in great health for decades until a few months ago. Tomorrow he may die. I can kinda feel it coming. My parents divorced when I was 17, but I really grew closer to my father the past 20+ years. His passing is going to be a lot harder on me, on several levels. But his strength and courage have been very inspiring to me. I will strive to put that inspiration to work the rest of my days, no matter what happens tomorrow.

    Dealing with my mother, and now my father, one mantra has really helped keep me anchored: THIS is the natural order of things. Our parents are supposed to die before us. The other way around is far sadder and more disturbing. It’s okay to be sad, and to miss them, and to go on. It is the way it’s supposed to be.

  96. I’m 17 years old, and I lost my dad on 7/17/19. So, not too long ago from the time I’m writing this. Our relationship is quite special. He was my father, but he was also my friend. I wasn’t expecting to lose him so soon. He had been in the hospital for the last month before he passed away. Our last talk was over text on the 7th of July. I’m really glad to know most of these feelings are normal. It definitely took a few days for reality to settle in for me. I try my best not to cry in front of others, but it’s hard. I still message his Facebook account sometimes. I know he’ll never answer, but I like to tell him that I’m thinking about him. My heart feels broken beyond repair. There was so many things left unsaid.. so many things we didn’t get to do together.

  97. I’m 30 and lost my pops 12/19/18. He was my best friend and was always there for me when I needed him.
    I agree 100% with everything you’ve stated. Nothing NEVER prepares you for a parent’s death, even if you see it coming.
    I’ve been experiencing hard emotions never felt. I NEVER had tension headaches until recently. Been having dreams about him telling me, he loves me and that whenever I need to get something off my chest,”just talk because I can hear you… ”
    I’ve been wondering if he still exists somewhere, wishing and hoping it’s true since i’ve never been a believer of the afterlife. But the thought that you’ll NEVER get to see or hear your father again is just…unbearable.
    I feel a part of me died ugh.
    I love and miss you Pop, always will…

  98. Wow thank you so much for sharing those powerful words, I lost my mom 1 year ago and altought we saw it coming (she had cancer) nothing never fully prepares you for that moment. I am extremely touched by everything you said and especially by the part where you wrote about when you’re ok and suddenly the feeling hits you. Nowdays I feel fine when I think of her, even if it hurts every once in a while. <3

  99. This article was posted 2 days after my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, when I was 18, like the author. After a friend’s wedding and the dreaded (for me, at least) father dance earlier today, I scoured the internet to look for ways to incorporate him into my wedding and came across this article. Of course, as a single 19 year old, I won’t be getting married any time soon, but I couldn’t help thinking about what will happen when the day comes that my father is supposed to hand me off to the man that will promise to love me forever. While this article doesn’t particularly address that, I’ve found helpful advice written in its whole. I can really vibe with a lot of the points in this article and feel like someone finally understands what it feels like to lose such an influential figure when it seems like you need him more than you ever have. It has given me confidence that one day, it will have been 11 years since he left this broken world and I can look back on the past 11 years, and nights like this where I’m sitting in bed crying about how he won’t be there with me walking down the aisle, to help those who are in the exact spot that I am now, just like you have for me, by writing this article. Thank you.

  100. I know this is for people who have already lost their parent but I just had to comment ..we found out my dad had cancer 3 months ago by the time we knew it was already spread to his bones we found out yesterday he’s got 3 months max left with us ..I can’t bare to think of my life without him it’s devastating and I don’t think I’m going to cope atall my life has fallen apart I just don’t want to go on ..how do I get through this

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How to Cope with the Sudden Death of a Spouse 0

Coping with the sudden and unexpected death of a husband

In our Your Stories series, people who have lost a loved one share their unique perspective through essays, poetry and artwork. This week, Sarah Keast shares her hard-won wisdom on coping after the sudden and unexpected death of a partner.

Sunlight danced through the cottage. Squeals of joy echoed from the lake as my five-year-old swam with my dad. The baby monitor hummed as my two-year-old napped in a pack and play covered in a mosquito net. Hot, sticky sweat rolled down my leg as I watched my mom answer the phone and quietly whisper, “Okay, I’ll tell her.”

The world continued to turn as mine was about to explode. My mom hung up the phone, walked towards me with tears welling in her eyes, and said: “He’s dead.”

The walls caved in, the floor fell away and the room went dark. Distantly, I heard someone screaming in sorrow. As my mom’s arms wrapped around me, I realised that the person screaming was me.

On August 7th 2016, my husband, my best friend and my partner in life died unexpectedly from an accidental heroin overdose. He had struggled with depression, anxiety and substance use disorder for half of our 16 years together. The life and love we had built was gone in an instant. Like a magician’s trick, he left this earth in a puff of smoke. He was here – and just like that, he was gone.


My advice for coping with the sudden death of a spouse

How do you go on when you get a phone call like that? My world ended in a split second. Yet somehow, I was supposed to pick myself (and my young kids) up and carry on? I could barely catch a breath, let alone cope with this sudden and devastating loss.

It wasn’t pretty, and I cried a lot. I screamed a lot. I laughed a lot. But somehow, I got through the early days of this unimaginable nightmare. And as I sit here now, 2.5 years later, I can see that there are a few things that I did that helped me cope and made those days a teeny tiny bit more bearable.


1) You will feel ALL the feelings

You are now on a roller-coaster ride called grief. You did not sign up for this ride, but you got thrown on it, so hang on tight.

I would find myself completely frozen and numb, and then five minutes later I would be sobbing. Half an hour later, I would be screaming, “Fuck you for dying” at my husband’s pictures. I’d find myself overwhelmed with relief that my nightmarish life living with and loving someone struggling with substance use disorder was over. Then the guilt over feeling relief at his death would crush me, and I would be frozen and numb again.

Whatever feeling(s) you feel are normal. Feeling them all in the space of five minutes is also normal. Be with whatever feeling comes. Lean into each feeling, let it move through you.

Early on, I’d beat myself up over most of these feelings. I thought I was only ‘supposed’ to be sad. I didn’t know that the other feelings were also normal. In fact, whatever feeling(s) you feel are normal. Feeling them all in the space of five minutes is also normal. Be with whatever feeling comes. Lean into each feeling, let it move through you.

The feelings are all there inside of you, and if you push them away or ignore them or stuff them down, they only *temporarily* go away. They need to come out, so give yourself grace and let them.


2) Ask for – and accept – help

I could barely think straight, let alone cope with the demands of daily life in the days, weeks and months after my husband died. I quickly realised I couldn’t do this alone. I had to accept help, as humbling as it was to do so. You simply cannot manage grief and daily life on your own.

Coping with the sudden loss of a partner

My friends and neighbours organised a meal train for me where people signed up to bring my family a meal each night. I accepted these meals every night for months with gratitude – and embarrassment, and shame. Why couldn’t I handle everything? I’d yell at myself.

But as the nights of delicious home cooked meals continued, I could feel the difference it was making in my days. I cried tears of relief after the first snowstorm that winter when I was struggling to get my kids out the door for school and I realised my neighbour had shovelled my driveway. I suddenly understood how much people wanted to help me.

Letting go of those useless feelings of embarrassment and weakness was so helpful. I embraced the help that people wanted to give me. Accepting their help meant that while others dealt with the day-to-day stuff of my life, I could focus on the things that mattered: coping with my grief and parenting my kids through this nightmare. So: let people help you. They want to help. You do not have to do this alone.


3) You are in charge of your grief journey

The world, and especially the western world, is terrible with how we approach grief. Everywhere you turn, there is pressure to ‘get over it’, ‘move on’, ‘find closure’. Ignore those messages. You are in charge of this journey. You do not have to get over this when someone else tells you to.

You may well grieve your entire life. The way you grieve and what you feel will change, but in some way, shape or form, your grief will always be with you. This is okay. You will find ways to integrate your grief into your life and to move forward in your life, but this takes time.  

It’s okay to cry, yell, laugh or say nothing. You are the only one who knows what is best for you. There is no right time to do any of these things and there is no wrong time. There is only the time that is best for you. Listen to yourself.

In the meantime, keep your house as is and don’t move a single thing of his/hers, if that’s what you want. Or do as I did, and get rid of everything in a grief fuelled rage and re-decorate immediately – if that’s what you want. Date whenever you want. Say no to invitations to family events or holiday celebrations if they seem too hard or too overwhelming. Or say yes to every invitation, if you want the company and distraction. It’s okay to cry, yell, laugh or say nothing. You are the only one who knows what is best for you.

There is no right time to do any of these things and there is no wrong time. There is only the time that is best for you. Listen to yourself.


4) Care for your basic needs

Eat. Drink water. Sleep. Move. Shower. Simple things, yet they can do wonders to help you through this nightmare. I couldn’t figure out why I was so thirsty for the first few weeks…and then it dawned on me: oh yeah – I’ve been crying for days, so I must be dehydrated! Upping my water intake helped immensely.

I also went to a lot of hot yoga classes early on. I felt like I was literally wringing the grief out of my body with every posture. I was sweating so much that no one could see all the crying I was doing! It was so cathartic.

Grief saps all of your energy, and I felt like I was moving through cement most days. Anything you can do to replenish your energy is so helpful. Treat your body and mind with loving kindness as you journey through this nightmare. And yes, that may include cookies and ice cream as needed.


5) Find your tribe

Coping with sudden death of spouseLosing your spouse suddenly is a completely life altering and isolating experience. My long-time girlfriends have shown up for me in spades since my husband died, but all of their partners are still alive. They want to understand what I’m going through, but they can’t. The truth is, you can’t truly understand unless you are going through it too.

Find your tribe, so you don’t have to navigate this nightmare alone. There are online groups for widows and widowers on Facebook. You can follow other widows and widowers on Instagram. Find a support group in your area. Use your networks to find others like you.

Once you do, it’s a beautiful thing. I would never wish for my husband to die, but because he did, I’ve met some amazing women who have been instrumental in my grief journey. I am so thankful that I found my tribe. I’m not sure I would still be standing today if I had not.

Losing your spouse suddenly is earth shattering, life altering and indescribably painful. But you will survive this. You will thrive again. I cannot tell you when, as it’s different for everyone. But you will. Until then, just breathe. It’s the only thing you have to do in this moment. Breathe. You can do this.


Sarah Keast is a writer and activist, raising awareness around addiction and mental health. You can hear more from Sarah on her TEDx talk here, and on her blog, Adventures in Widowed Parenting.

Laura’s Story: Meditation & Healing from Grief 1

In our Your Stories series, people who have lost a loved one share their unique perspective through essays, poetry and artwork. In this thoughtful piece, Laura Siegel describes how meditation helped her heal after the loss of her husband.

My husband died three years ago, shortly after his 74th birthday. We were together for 57 years. About a year before he died, a social worker recommended a meditation app called Insight Timer and the guided meditations seemed to help him immensely. So, the day he died, I began practicing them too.

The biggest challenge I faced was the ability to focus. My mind was in a constant state of fear and anxiety and thoughts wandered every which way. My heart hurt all the time.

My rabbi recommended that I try grief meditations. These were easier for me to follow. The one that helped the most was Guided Meditation for Grief, Anxiety, and Stress by Heather Stang. Her gentle voice is so soothing, and there’s lots of space in the meditation for silence. Other meditation teachers I’ve enjoyed on Insight Timer are Meg James, Tara Brach, Kristin Neff, and Lisa Machac. Pretty soon, I was meditating five times a day and getting much-needed relief.

After my husband died, the silence of his absence was devastating.


After my husband died, the silence of his absence was devastating. Sure, there were friends, movies, and TV, but for the most part there was this great void of human sound and closeness. Listening to guided meditations has helped to fill this void.

Along the same lines, listening to audiobooks also helped. I was no longer able to focus on reading: my grieving brain could not process the words. But I have always loved audiobooks, and I soon realized that they were becoming my companions as well. Simply listening to a vital living voice helped me through my grief and I did not feel as isolated and alone.

I found audiobooks by other widows and widowers to be extremely helpful. We all share the same struggle. Here are a few that have particularly moved me:

  • A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Unremarried Widow by Artis Henderson
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • A Widows Walk: A Memoir of 9/11 by Marian Fontana
  • The Widower’s Notebook: A Memoir by Jonathan Santlofer
  • A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

I also joined several online widow and widower groups via Facebook, Hope for Widows and Hot Young Widow’s Club (you don’t have to be young or hot). Speaking to the other widows was like having a circle of nurturing support surrounding me. We are even able to laugh with each other – another important component of healing from grief.

Meditation is giving me a foundation for living a calmer, more peaceful life.

I begin each day with a 30-45-minute guided meditation (three years ago I started with shorter ones). I don’t even get out of bed. This is the easiest time for me to follow my breath and nurture myself. I do the same in the late afternoon. Right before bed, I listen to a five-minute guided meditation and then fall asleep to soothing music. My favourites are Gentle Morning by Weston Brown and Devotion by Mary Maddux.

There are other ways that I meditate, like taking walks in nature and swimming. When I am swimming it’s impossible to feel anxious or worried. I am simply moving with my breath.

I am beginning to feel the same way when I do guided meditations. My breath is guiding me. It’s as if there is nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. This is carrying over into my daily life. Things that have caused me stress before no longer have the same power. A sense of calm and contentment that I have never known before sweeps through me. I can also rest more easily. I can more easily accept my difficult feelings. I am less angry. I appreciate silence more. I can be happy with what I have.

Meditation has changed me very gradually. In the beginning I could not follow my breath without a million thoughts encroaching. And yet I’ve learned that it is the nature of the mind to think. Meditation does not mean that you stop thinking. It means that you notice thinking and return to your breath. Meditation is about learning to stay with what is.

Meditation is giving me a foundation for living a calmer, more peaceful life. Meditation gives me a way to take care of myself in every moment.


Laura Siegel is a writer supporting other bereaved partners through her blog, Breathing Into Healing.  She is also the co-editor of the anthology Out of the Closet, Into Our Hearts: Celebrating Our Gay Family Members.

If you liked this piece, we’d like to invite you to donate to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of Laura’s husband Howard. You can pledge a donation here.

And for more information about meditating for grief, you can check out our beginner’s guide to bereavement meditation with Heather Stang here.