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My dad passed away and I think I am going to lose my mind


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Hi everyone, 

About 6 years ago, I ended up ceasing all contact with my family due to various reasons. About two years ago, they reached out to me for money and I didn't have the means to help, so I received a pretty rude email from one of my siblings in this regard. We stopped all contact again after this until I got a message on social media from a friend of my sibling saying something bad had happened and my sibling wanted to talk to me. 

My father passed away suddenly last week. He had a cardiac arrest. I really love my dad and I am in bits because he was the one parent who was very kind, level-headed and generous. He was a really good person. Now, all of the sudden, I find myself having to deal with just my mother on a daily basis all over again without having even had the time to think about how I could approach it. 

I find myself getting progressively hurt because of various things:

- It turns out my father went to the hospital for an entire week in September and no one reached out to tell me. It was his first time ever at a hospital and it was pretty serious. Yet, they all chose not to contact me. I could have visited him then, spent some time with him and said goodbye as he passed two months later. I was robbed of a chance to make peace with my dad as I know he really loved me. 

- My father had a cardiac arrest and no one knew how to perform CPR on him. My brother took him to the emergency by car which makes me think those precious minutes were lost and could have saved his life. Of course, my younger sibling just reacted the best he could, it's not his fault at all. I'm not blaming him, he's young and was just trying to save his dad. I just wish I had been there because I could have performed CPR and tried to save his life. 

- No one in my family is vaccinated except for one sibling. My father was not vaccinated either and had underlying health conditions. Therefore, it is safe to assume my father could have caught COVID right before his death without realizing since two children who live with them got COVID . When I got the call about my dad's death, I was told everyone was healthy at the time of death and my dad died of a cardiac arrest. Then, I found out both my siblings had COVID and the hospital later switched the cause of death to COVID. Everyone in the family claims it wasn't COVID and they claim the hospital falsely linked the death to COVID for their own agenda. I need to know the exact cause of death for me to make peace with it and right now, it's contradictory information. 

Now, I'm having to deal with coping with my father's death on top of trying to re-establish a harmonious relationship with my mother. I got really annoyed at her 10 minutes ago over something she said and I lashed out. I then felt really bad and I called to apologize because I know she's grieving too and she's not conscious of what she's saying. 

I'm in so much pain and I also don't want to fall into the old cycle where my mom and I used to fight over and over again and I feel guilty I got annoyed at her. We're all grieving and I don't want to fall into the old habits. I miss my dad and he wasn't the reason why I took my distance many years ago. He's crossed my mind every single day. I don't know what to do and I'm trying to be the best daughter and I sister I can be at this time, but I'm also very mad.

My dad's funeral took place in a third country (meaning not where I live or where my immediate family lives) and no one was able to travel because my immediate family is not vaccinated and I couldn't have traveled because I don't know anyone there, it is not overly safe and the funeral took place really fast after the death. On top of this, I now can't travel to visit my immediate family because they have COVID (I'm vaccinated, but obviously, it's not safe nonetheless). 

I've still decided to take bereavement leave because I can't cope with his death. I went out earlier to get some paperwork done and I almost started crying as I was walking down the street. I haven't had a meal since I had dinner on Thursday before the fated call. My head is spinning and I really feel like I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I can't help but think his death could have easily been prevented and I feel awful for not calling for years because of this grudge I had been carrying. My mother told me that whenever my dad saw a number that could resemble one from where I live, he'd always rush to pick up the phone hoping it's me and would feel really sad when he realized it wasn't. I feel really awful. 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my step dad a month ago . My mom is a complete mess. 
 

Just be kind with yourself and forgive yourself and them. Be kind to your mom she is missing her life partner and the person who was in her daily life. That is an enormous blow. My mom is very lost and contacts me a lot . Your mom is in shock as is mine. 
 

Be gentle and kind that is my best advice . 

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23 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Just be kind with yourself and forgive yourself and them. Be kind to your mom she is missing her life partner and the person who was in her daily life. That is an enormous blow.

Agreed. I'm so sorry that you lost your dad. I lost mine, too. It hit my mom hard, even though she had been divorced from him for decades. I had to handle her irrational lash outs at the same time as I processed the loss. The best thing to do in moments like that is wait a beat and don't react. Just a brief moment of strength. That way, you don't compound your grief with regret for hurting others. And this goes for your whole family. I know it's hard. Do you have anyone that you can talk to over there?

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My heart goes out to you, Ruede, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

Considering how badly you feel about the grudge that shut you down to communicating with your family, I would take a step back from compounding that problem by stoking anger and lashing out.

Anger is a natural part of grief, but it's not productive, it will set you up to behave in ways that you will further regret--and it won't bring your Dad back.

Speaking only for my own beliefs, I found it helpful to consider my Dad as being liberated from his body and now able to be with me in spirit in my times of need. This helped to strengthen me in dealing with irrational members of my family, because I wanted to behave in ways that would make my Dad proud of me.

I've considered myself a representative of my Dad ever since. I sometimes speak to him during private times. I've found my silver lining in my loss by making myself a better person rather than ruining the rest of my life with guilt and regret.

I started by asking myself what Dad would want for me from this point forward. I began considering in every circumstance how he would want me to behave.

Speak with your Dad as often as you wish, and relax into the love and forgiveness he would want you to feel in order to become generous with those who he also loved.

You will thank yourself sooner rather than later.

Big (((HUG))), honey. Write more if it helps.

 

 

 

Edited by catfeeder
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I am very sorry for the loss of your dad, RR. 

When things feel overwhelming remember this that you wrote: “I really love my dad and I am in bits because he was the one parent who was very kind, level-headed and generous. ” That was his legacy to you, things he imparted and gave to you that you know now and can pass on to others.


 

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I am so sorry to hear this.

As for guidance, well I lost my dad recently too. So what has helped me is my faith that brings me peace, taking it one day at a time and understanding that everyone around me is dealing with this in their own way as best as they can. You do whatever works for you. xx

 

 

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19 hours ago, Seraphim said:

I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my step dad a month ago . My mom is a complete mess. 
 

Just be kind with yourself and forgive yourself and them. Be kind to your mom she is missing her life partner and the person who was in her daily life. That is an enormous blow. My mom is very lost and contacts me a lot . Your mom is in shock as is mine. 
 

Be gentle and kind that is my best advice . 

I am really sorry for your loss, Seraphim. My condolences. 

You are right. I agree. 

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18 minutes ago, greendots said:

I am so sorry to hear this.

As for guidance, well I lost my dad recently too. So what has helped me is my faith that brings me peace, taking it one day at a time and understanding that everyone around me is dealing with this in their own way as best as they can. You do whatever works for you. xx

 

 

I am really sorry for your loss, greendots. 

Thank you very much for your words of wisdom. 

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18 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Agreed. I'm so sorry that you lost your dad. I lost mine, too. It hit my mom hard, even though she had been divorced from him for decades. I had to handle her irrational lash outs at the same time as I processed the loss. The best thing to do in moments like that is wait a beat and don't react. Just a brief moment of strength. That way, you don't compound your grief with regret for hurting others. And this goes for your whole family. I know it's hard. Do you have anyone that you can talk to over there?

I am sorry for your loss, Jibralta. Thank you so much for your kind advice. 

No, I don't have anyone to talk to, unfortunately. 

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

I echo the input.  I am posting to say I am very sorry for your loss.  May his memory be for a blessing.  Wishing you all the best under the circumstances.  

Thank you, Batya33. I really appreciate the kind words. 

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Thank you everyone for the kind words of wisdom. I truly appreciate all the help. 

I think the hardest for me to cope with is the fact that I had extracted myself from my family which was toxic and moving towards a really strict religious path, which completely differs from my personal opinion. Now, I am thrown into the deep end after I working so hard to build my own personal identity. 

I have seen a couple of my siblings and my mother via Facetime and they have become very very religious over the years of no-contact. Before I left, my sisters were regular teenagers and now, they're deep into strict religious practices. It's an additional shock to my system. I am very much afraid that now that they have my contact details and managed to trace me, they will eventually force me to abide by their principles / follow their path even if I currently live miles away. 

I know it is very selfish to think of this during such difficult time, but their new religious lifestyle which seems to have developed during the years of no-contact is a huge shock to me as I'm discovering it now. 

I honestly would have preferred to get sick myself and die instead because this is more than I could ever take. It is one thing to lose a parent, but seeing all your siblings and own mother suddenly wearing heavy religious attires and a complete change of lifestyle, it's too much at the same time. 

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4 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

Thank you everyone for the kind words of wisdom. I truly appreciate all the help. 

I think the hardest for me to cope with is the fact that I had extracted myself from my family which was toxic and moving towards a really strict religious path, which completely differs from my personal opinion. Now, I am thrown into the deep end after I working so hard to build my own personal identity. 

I have seen a couple of my siblings and my mother via Facetime and they have become very very religious over the years of no-contact. Before I left, my sisters were regular teenagers and now, they're deep into strict religious practices. It's an additional shock to my system. I am very much afraid that now that they have my contact details and managed to trace me, they will eventually force me to abide by their principles / follow their path even if I currently live miles away. 

I know it is very selfish to think of this during such difficult time, but their new religious lifestyle which seems to have developed during the years of no-contact is a huge shock to me as I'm discovering it now. 

I honestly would have preferred to get sick myself and die instead because this is more than I could ever take. It is one thing to lose a parent, but seeing all your siblings and own mother suddenly wearing heavy religious attires and a complete change of lifestyle, it's too much at the same time. 

Ok, you are STILL your own person you built, that can’t change. 
2. They can’t force you to do ANYTHING without your permission. You don’t even live in the same place so it is impossible. 
3. I understand, my own bio dad was highly abusive and I was mostly estranged from him for 30 years when he passed away last year. I did see him twice in the week that it took him to die and I am glad I did. Please don’t feel guilty for self preservation but don’t punish others for their beliefs either. ( different from my step dad who passed away very recently. He was my step dad for 30 years) 

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Posted (edited)

❤️ Thank you everyone for the kind advice. I need to learn to get over myself and reflect the values my father taught me. I have to stop shifting into "ego" mode and learn to be a bit more detached. 

I felt really bad for my mother after we spoke today because she says now that my sisters are back to school and my brother is taking care of my dad's affairs, she's left all alone in the house (she's had tons of visitors over the last few days but people have now gone back to work) and she can't stop thinking. She is completely helpless. 

I am the one making the effort to ring every single evening to check up on her. I think I will try to ring her every afternoon to have a 15 minutes chat with her to keep her company. She does not work, so it's not like she can distract herself with that. I really feel for her because she's just the shadow of herself. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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36 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

❤️ Thank you everyone for the kind advice. I need to learn to get over myself and reflect the values my father taught me. I have to stop shifting into "ego" mode and learn to be a bit more detached. 

I felt really bad for my mother after we spoke today because she says now that my sisters are back to school and my brother is taking care of my dad's affairs, she's left all alone in the house (she's had tons of visitors over the last few days but people have now gone back to work) and she can't stop thinking. She is completely helpless. 

I am the one making the effort to ring every single evening to check up on her. I think I will try to ring her every afternoon to have a 15 minutes chat with her to keep her company. She does not work, so it's not like she can distract herself with that. I really feel for her because she's just the shadow of herself. 

It is one of the worst things in the world to lose your life partner. Only other thing worse is to lose your child.

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