Lost my Dad last month
On June 15, I lost my 92-year-old father, and am really struggling with my grief. I was Dadís caregiver for several years, and we lived in the same house. Even though I knew his death was inevitable, and that I was lucky to have him for so long, it still came as a huge shock to me. He died suddenly at home of a massive heart attack.
It has only been three weeks since his passing, and I know I canít possibly expect to be over my grief in such a short time, but I am getting worried about my ability to function. All I want to do is sleep or watch TV. Iím anxious and depressed, and I have no appetite. I have to force myself to eat, and canít bear the thought of cooking a meal for just one person instead of two; Iíve been mostly eating out recently. I had to return to work last week, but itís very hard to focus or feel like I even care about what Iím doing.
The only thing I look forward to is bedtime when I can shut myself in my room, binge-watch shows on Netflix into the early hours of the morning, and then escape into the oblivion of sleep. I usually feel calmer and stronger in the evenings and at night. But when morning comes, I feel as bad as ever again. I have to really force myself to get up. As soon as I open my eyes and see that itís daylight, all I feel is a heavy sense of dread and despair at the thought of having to somehow get through another long, lonely, emotionally-exhausting day. I just want to stay in bed, go back to sleep, and never wake up.
A big part of my problem is that I am having to adjust to living alone for the first time in my life. I am 56, and have no partner or children. My mother died seven years ago, and the only family I have left is one sister, who lives 45 minutes away. I am lucky to have lots of support from friends, but they can only do so much. I feel so terribly alone right now and that is making my grief a lot worse. If there was someone else living in the house, I probably wouldnít be suffering as much. Itís getting so I donít want to be at home at all until itís time to go to bed. Being there just makes me feel like Iím suffocating or drowning, because everywhere I look there are reminders of Dad. I have lost all interest in my normal activities. In fact life just seems pointless at the moment, and more effort than itís worth.
I know that everyone loses parents and other close loved ones, and that grief is a universal human experience -- but these are just meaningless words right now. At least when Mom died, I wasnít alone, like I am now. The loneliness is just so horrible. I donít know what to do to get myself through this, and canít bear the thought that Iím going to continue feeling this bleak for months and months to come. Anyone else out there having to face living alone after a bereavement, whether youíve lost a partner or parent? How do you make it a little easier for yourself?