Response

Response #
11
Person who died
Parent
Category
Current experience of grief
Respondent details
55-64 | Female | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My Dad died in 2019. My Mum died 39 years ago.
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
I have been diagnosed with depression and an extreme grief reaction. I am currently on 2 lots of anti-depressants. I have had counselling, group therapy and I am currently having sessions with a wellbeing practitioner.
I never came to terms with the death of my Mum. Losing my Mum affected me very badly and I have never really accommodated my Mum's loss.
I don't know now how to cope with losing my Dad.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
I have 2 half sisters, one has cut off all contact with me. I was close to my other sister but due to disagreements over dealing with our Dad's estate our relationship is not as it was.
Both of my sister's share a different Dad to me.
My relationship with my partner has been impacted due to my depression and lack of interest in anything.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Cold, lonely, uncaring, bleak and without hope.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
I work full-time and returned to work 2 days after my Dad died. My work is very pressurised and time always has and does go very quickly.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
I think I just feel a lot more aches and pains but this is psychology.

I can't sleep and this has been a big issue for me in terms of wellbeing.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
I find it very hard to concentrate on tasks. My work takes me longer to do and I find it difficult to articulate myself.
Also my anxiety about work is off the scale.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
I am able to control my emotions better and hide how I am really feeling. However in terms of the loss I think it gets worse as it becomes more of a reality.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
Constantly, I often think I see my Dad when I am out in the places where we used to go or where I would see him.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
I find time with family very difficult. My niece had a baby a few months after my Dad died and I felt no joy just despair that my Dad was not with us.
I do not have any children but have always been closely involved with the family of the sister I am close to. I no longer want to be involved in family events and try to avoid being involved.
Q11: People who are grieving often report experiencing the presence of the person who died. Have you had any experiences that you would describe in those terms?
No, I don't think I have.
Q12: Do you still feel a sense of connection with the person? If so, could you say something about when you feel this and what the experience is like?
I feel a connection in terms of the fact I still love my parents, I think of them all the time.

I cannot say I feel a connection at more times than others but obviously anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and family time is very hard and this is when I miss them most.

I still have experiences and see things I want to share with them.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
I visit my Dad's favourite places and where we spent time together. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it makes me feel worse.
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
Avoiding family events, also avoiding certain places.

I take different routes when driving to avoid places I know I will find upsetting.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Finding a Counsellor who I was able to work with, this took a few attempts.
Joining the group bereavement sessions at the local hospice. I was able to attend for 9 months and this was a huge help.
Reading books on bereavement, using the Macmillan online forum.
Seeking help from my GP.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
Some people have been extremely supportive and helpful, others not so much.

I feel like as it is now 15 months since my Dad died there is an expectation to move on and get over it.

I found it really unhelpful in the early days when colleagues at work said 'have a nice weekend' I just wanted to explode at them.

The best piece of advice I was given was by a friend who said 'grief makes you feel like you are going mad' I think that summed it up for me.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
Sad all the time, depressed, no joy in anything, just want to shut the world out, lockdown suited me.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
I have been a daughter all my life, I am no longer a daughter, life is forever changed.
I have suffered redundancy after doing a job I loved for 30 years. I have been diagnosed with serious illness (breast cancer) nothing comes close to losing someone you love.
I am broken.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
The loneliness of grief, not being a daughter anymore.
Looking after my Dad the last few years was difficult, my Dad was not an easy person and he was often angry with me. I thought when he passed away there would be a sense of relief on some level but there wasn't other than he was not suffering anymore.
The guilt and the fact I blame myself for my Dad's death, for being powerless to stop it.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
I think not having any children and the fact it feels like there is nothing to fill the void in my life left by my Dad.