Alone in grief
I feel very alone right now. My father passed away on September 7, 2008. My relationship with my parents has always been complicated due to their limited mental functioning.
Both of my parents have some form of mental impairment. Although they were able to raise me successfully (I'm an only child), I eventually had to take care of them and "parent" them. I feel great responsibility for them, however they are their own people and almost 3 years ago they decided to move back to my father's home, 12 hours away from where I live. So now my dad is gone and I'm in the process of moving my mom back to the state that I live in.
Due to my mom's mental condition, I don't think she fully understands her loss or at least she cannot verbalize it. This makes me feel very alone. I'm married, I have a young child, but I don't feel that there is anyone that I can share my feelings with.
There's no one to tell that I feel guilty that the last time my dad called me--1 week before he died- that I didn't call him back. When I did call him, it was the day before he died and he didn't answer the phone, apparently he was not feeling well. I think what if I had tried calling again, maybe he would have answered, maybe I could have told my mom to make him eat. But instead he went into a diabetic coma.
When I went back for the funeral, I was struck at how there was evidence that my dad had not planned on dying anytime soon. In fact, he had only days before bought his month supply of medication and his only true vice, cigarettes!
My parents were both needy people and I got a sense from some of my family members that they were relieved that they didn't have to deal with my dad's needs anymore. I get the sense that people see my mom as "my problem" and that makes me angry. And although my dad's family was helpful during the last few weeks, I still get the sense that they see this as "my problem". Being an only child dealing with the loss of a parent is probably not any different from those who have siblings. During the last few weeks, I never felt like I was missing that bond of having a sibling, you can't miss what you've never had. But at times because I can't connect with my mom in a "healthy" way, I feel alone in my loss.
There is no one who can understand my pain. I get mad at myself sometimes because I just push away my sadness. Its easy to do that when you work full time, are in grad school and raising a child. I can find a lot to distract myself. I don't really like that about myself, but I don't want to talk about my pain with anyone, I don't want to express my feelings. I know that this is unhealthy but I'm at a loss for expressing my grief.
I think about my dad everyday. I miss him. I feel sad for my mom who lost her only friend. I think that also complicates my feelings also. Because my mom doesn't express her feelings, I feel sorry for her. I feel sadness for her. It's like I'm taking on her grief along with mine. And I don't know how to fix it.
For me, my faith is very important, yet I can't even express my feelings in prayer. Its like saying the things out loud make them real. If I keep it to myself they can stay hidden. I know how unhealthy this is, but I don't know how to not be this way. I don't think I thought losing my dad would hurt so bad. I guess I thought because I got used to the distance between us and because we have not had a true father-daughter relationship in a very long time that I thought it wouldn't be as painful.
This is so incredibly hard. There are so many things that I would have done differently. I wish I was more understanding and appreciative of them. I wish I had told him how proud I am of him as a father and how he did a good job of raising me. I wish he could be here to see my son grow up to be such a kind hearted and smart child. I wish my dad would have known the impact that he had on my life, how I appreciate how difficult it must have been being a parent despite their own limited abilities. What I would do to let him know these things.