Response

Response #
2
Person who died
Father
Category
Current experience of grief
Respondent details
45-54 | Female | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My father
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
Initial extreme sadness, but also relief following end of pain and suffering. Anger at difficulties experienced to get my father the help he needed in the final weeks of his life during Covid crisis. Felt nostalgic looking back on happier times. Anxiety in dealing with all Dad's affairs. Lack of sleep some nights due to anxiety.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
Lot of love for siblings and family - missed siblings once had to return to own family to continue lockdown and still do 4 months on. Lack of patience with anything non family-related, i.e., work matters. Got cross easily! This has improved. Felt over-protective of my own children when back home.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Yes, there is the feeling that no one can understand what you are experiencing. Definitely a sense that you are sort of 'suspended' in time whist normality continues around you. Cannot understand why some people get wound up about things that are so trivial (in my opinion).
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Not really as I have been so busy with work.

I do feel a bit guilty when I forget what has happened because I'm enjoying something in the moment with my family. E.g., last night we were playing a family game and right in the middle of it my Dad's passing popped in to my head.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
Yes, some days I've felt really exhausted, but I had months prior to Dad's death of poor sleep and anxiety so this doesn't surprise me. I've made a concerted effort to exercise more and cycle. This has been good for my physical and mental health.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
At the start it was incredibly difficult to motivate myself to work. There were certain aspects of my work which took me a few weeks to pluck up courage to tackle because I felt so emotionally drained.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
It's still early days but I am feeling stronger emotionally to deal with all the aspects of grief and have surprised myself with what I've achieved practically. I've now dealt/am dealing with the death of both parents in last 5 years and it's been really tough. My father's death was very different to my Mum's so this is a very different experience again.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
I miss not speaking to my Dad every day on the phone. Although I found this caused me a great deal of anxiety too so it's a bit of a mixed emotion.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Going to our family home makes me feel sad as there were lots of happy family occasions there. Due to lockdown we've not been able to go to any other places so I can't reference this just now
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?
Strangely it's when I have heard certain pieces of music or seen something on TV.
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?
See above. It makes me smile mostly and is a comfort. I often dream about my Dad but again I find this is a reassuring experience, not sad or frightening.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
Nothing springs to mind
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
I find it hard to watch or listen to news items that cover the subject of cancer and death. It's been very hard during the pandemic.
I haven't taken part in online choir. On one of our last in-person rehearsals I had a call to say Dad had had a fall and somehow this has 'tainted' my safe space.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Being close to my husband and family has helped give me reassurance. Taking more time for myself and trying not to feel guilty about it. Exercising. Sleeping better. Appreciating siblings.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
People have been incredibly understanding both work and personal life. A lot of people understand how difficult the last 5 years have been for me.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
I do take things quite seriously sometimes. Worry about my own future health.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
I think grief of a loved one makes you appreciate what you have around you. It makes you reflect on your own life and what you have achieved. The feelings you go through are very personal and unique to each person.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
Grief can catch you unawares. It doesn't even have to something related to the person that can cause you to get upset.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
No