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ohmyitschelle 07-20-2012 07:48 AM

Grief and how to deal with it...
So I've hummed and harred about posting here, looking for advice on my current predicament.

Late last month, my Father was killed in a car accident. It's all still very raw and hard to deal with. I'm a "young" adult (26) and whilst my parents were separated and I continued to live with my Mum and younger adult brother, we still were very close with him.

I feel a great deal of pressure, as naturally a responsible person, I've held my family together through all the tough times. This however is nothing I've ever experienced before and I'm not sure how to handle it all. My family is all grieving in different ways and I'm helping the best I can... we've picked back up on daily things, such as I've returned to university for my new semester. My brother is now back at work etc.

It's just so difficult to focus at points. I'm a good student, my last semester I got A- on all my papers. However, I'm struggling to be interested. I'm stressing out more easily and don't really "care". My Dad would be really frustrated with me for giving up in a sense... we're both hard workers and I'm so similar to him, that I can feel myself scolding this behaviour as if I were my Dad at points.

I am going to the university counsellor, who has helped in the one session so far, but some days I just don't want to do anything, and following days I end up doing too much. I don't like not having a solid sense of direction, I'm quite particular in having schedules to stick to by nature. The horses thankfully are still my sanctuary and I love being there. To the point I skipped going to uni, just to spend more time with them the other day.

The other issue I have is that I'm slowly wearing thin from all the sympathy. I have experienced a lot of pity in life due to being partially damaged in my right leg and people looking at me struggling and taking pity... I naturally hate that... so its getting harder with situations when it keeps being the center of my life... I understand many are concerned, and I would be for those I care about too... I hope I'm making sense with this.

To top it all off, the day he was killed, he had just helped us shift into our new house, and my cat has gone missing. He's very special to me, and I just feel like "what is next to lose?" ... I've gone over the top in searching for him, flyers, letterbox messages, online adverts etc... but so far nothing. It's really rather getting all too much to deal with and right now as I write this, I feel like just staying in bed and not getting out of it for a long time... as I don't feel ready to face the world.

I know its early days and I'm going to experience many ups and downs... I just want to not lose who I am in amongst this, and be able to continue studying without stuffing up. I have too many expectations on myself, and I guess I'm not allowing myself to just deal with each day. Yet I can't be like my Mum who is constantly crying, or my brother who's really angry at the world. If I fall apart too, I don't know who will keep the wheels rolling so to speak.

This has kind of turned into a vent... if anything, I'm wondering how others have dealt with losing someone so close suddenly and tragically.

dbarabians 07-20-2012 08:41 AM

Yousound as if you have multiple things going on in your life.
Grief is something that will take time to heal.
There is no set time limit.
Allow yourself the time it takes to emotionally heal.
the 5 stages of the grieving process are
Perhaps you can find a local mental health professional for counseling or a support group.
You will overcome grief. If after 6 months you are still this distraught seek pofessional help.
Your life is not over. You will laugh and smile again.
How you deal with these losses is important to regaining peace in your life.

Joe4d 07-20-2012 09:02 AM

Life is for the living. The best way to honor your father is to go live it. Get into your routine, start each day with some physical training, then get into your dail routine. Even if you have to go on autopilot for a while. DONT just sit around and do nothing, dont drink alone.
Find some older relatives you havent seen for awhile and go see them NOW while they are still alive. Ever notice how many people go to funerals and are so sad someone is gone, yet they dont go see them when they are alive ? I lost my very close Grandfather I didnt make it to the home the week he was there, I made it to the funeral. I really hated myself over that. Swore I wouldnt let it happen again. I make an effort to see people while they are alive. Not saying you didnt with your dad sounds like you saw alot of eachother. But I bet you have people you love you havent seen in a long time. Go see them, bring a pie, or a bottle of wine, or a bucket of chicken.

kitten_Val 07-20-2012 09:44 AM

ohmyitschelle, I can't easy your grief (it takes time, sometime lots of time), but I'm sending deepest condolences your way. It's extremely hard when the death of the beloved relative hits you (especially so unexpectedly).

Cacowgirl 07-20-2012 12:33 PM

Grief can be quite overwhelming. But, we have to go on living. You are young-don't put the rest of your life in jeopardy.You need to get back in the routines of life. Schooling costs a lot-honor whoever is paying the bill by doing your best.You can set aside a time for greiving-whether daily or weekly-is your call & change it as you need, but don't wallow & lose yourself. Hope you find your cat,have you put the notices on CL? Don't want to sound harsh, but I've been through this kind of loss more than once-it's never easy. Good luck to you.

Chevaux 07-20-2012 12:49 PM

Yeah, I know life can really pile drive you into the ground sometimes. All I can say is remember your Dad fondly and without sadness, keep looking for your cat and follow your routines. The calmness and balance in your life you once had will eventually return. Take care.

Horsnaround64 07-20-2012 12:50 PM

sounds to me you know what your dad would want you to do Keep living and doing your best. He gave that gift to you now honor him by doing good at school and the rest of your life. It is never easy to say goodbye to the ones we love and to lose them so tragic makes it twice as hard.

I don't know how far you moved from you house But i would let the people that live in the home know a cat may show up They have great skills of getting back home. I sure hope you can find him This will not be a easy time.
It is okay to grieve you have to but then pick yourself back up and away you go

again so sorry for your loss sending hugs and prayers

Horse Poor 07-20-2012 02:35 PM

I can't say I know what you are going through. No one can. All I can do is tell you what it was like for me. When my dad died everyone went into consolation mode and all I was interested in was the answer to why he was dead. Like your dad, it was sudden, without warning and it was about a month before I began to feel the effect of what it meant to be without him and that I was never going to see him again. Up until then, I really didn't understand it, too many people around, too much to do, too many immediate things required my attention, but when I was alone, I felt it. I liked all the cards, flowers and well wishes…but not for me…it was nice to know that others cared about him enough to send them. But I wish there had been less live plants, I didn't have a green thumb and felt guilty when they died! I'd like to tell you time will heal the hurt… it won't…but it'll hurt less often. Life will be different. Not better, not worse, just different. You'll miss him more on holidays, birthdays, family get togethers and during life's future milestones where you wish he could be there and isn't. It's not your job to "hold the family together", so don't put that pressure on yourself. Just as you have to deal with this loss your way, they have to do the same thing. The best thing you can do is do whatever it takes to help yourself deal with your grief. People around me knew and cared, but I could tell they were uncomfortable and that made me uncomfortable. I also wanted to talk about him and found that doing so made others uncomfortable … choosing their words carefully. I spent a lot of time with my horses because I could be me with them. They didn't know, or care, about what happened. They were the one thing that was constant and had nothing to do with the situation. I could cry in their mane without pressure from people who wanted to try to "make things better". I could cry because I wanted and needed to.

dbarabians 07-20-2012 07:12 PM

Remember this just because someone is no longer present does not mean that you stop loving them. Shalom

tinyliny 07-20-2012 08:09 PM


I had no idea you were going through such a difficult change. NO idea. Thank you for letting us share your thoughts and feelings. It is an honor that you would trust us with that.

First of all, the thing that struck me the most was that because of the way your mother is grieving, you feel that you must hold yourself together. It should not be that, due to her being overtly expressive of her grief, that you do not feel entitled to cry or rage or scream or let loose in an expressive manner. That isn't fair to you. YOu may even find that if you do let it out and cry as much as needed, your mom will actually come away from her active grieving to help YOU. She will know that she is needed, that you are needy, too, and will reverse the situtation here, where you are almost mothering her. It will be good for her to mother you some, so if you can let yourself do that, I think it might be really helpful and healthful and restore some balance to the family.

when my big brother died of a drug overdose, my mom was grieving strongly all the time. Very dramatically. It made me feel that I could not really break down. It was like since she was doing it so loudly, I could not. And my not showing sadness visibly made her almost angry at me (and other siblings in the same boat) that we weren't greiving as much as she was. She just took up all the air in the room, so no one else could do anything but stand in observance of her greiving and comfort her.

Strange dymanmic, isnt it?

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