I don't know what to do now

by Hollie
(Leicester, England)

My Grannie died three weeks ago, the funeral was last week.My Grannie and me were very close, I saw her every week and spoke to her most days and she has always been there for me and helped me through some difficult times. I realise now that she's gone that I relied on her a lot. She had terminal cancer but she kept it a secret from the family, we didn't find out until the day she died. I was there when she died and it was quite traumatic for everyone, it wasn't pretty and the doctor hadn't warned us. At first I felt angry that Grannie kept her illness to herself and that we didn't have more time with her. I think I was in shock and went straight back to work. My boss was very good and let me have the day gran died and the funeral off work paid. I thought that being strong and getting on with things was the best thing to do but now I think I went to work to avoid my family who have been behaving badly due to my Grannie not leaving a will. Also I didn't want to go to grannies house, I don't know why. I've been spending time with grandad, I am worried about him he is in shock and my gran used to manage their household, he seems overwhelmed. My mum has manic depression and is drinking a lot, she was abusive after drinking to me and my sister at grans funeral. My little sister found out she's pregnant the day gran died and she doesn't know what she's going to do yet, I am trying to be there for her. So I am really worried about grandad, mum and sister and I need my Grannie but she is not here and I am so sad and hurt. I want to be strong for my family but I work full time with a long commute, I can't afford time off and I am really really tired. I feel overwhelmed, this morning I didn't go to work because I just needed some peace, now I'm worried that my boss will be angry as they have been good to me. I don't know what to do now, I want to help my family but I don't feel that I have enough emotional energy at the moment.

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Jul 09, 2014
I don't know what to do now
by: Doreen UK

Hollie I am sorry for your loss of your grannie. You have a lot on your plate at the moment trying to look after everyone, holding down a full time job and feeling exhausted. Grief alone takes its toll on the body without having the full responsibility of caring for your grandpa, mother, and sister. If you find yourself or any family member struggling with grief, encourage them to talk to CRUSE Bereavement Services for support.
The best way forward is TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME. Otherwise everything will seem overwhelming and you won't be able to cope. You need to take care of yourself and build yourself up.
My husband died of terminal cancer 2yrs. ago so I know the cancer journey was so very difficult looking into the face of my husband and knowing he was going to die was so painful. Perhaps your grannie wanted to spare you and family this worry. So she kept it quiet.
I also know how bad families can behave after a death. They want to know when the WILL is going to be read, and what was left to them. etc. etc. It can be all out WAR. Many of us get surprises and this is the time you get to know who you can trust and who you want in your life and will stand by you.
I also know about manic depression having working in a counselling centre for 8yrs. doing voluntary work. I suffered depression myself but after counselling I got my life back and never suffered like this again. With manic depression it is complex and problematic for the family. Make sure you don't handle your mother's condition by yourself. You must get professional support and guidance. Let your mother know that when she drinks she is abusive towards You and your sister and it hurts you. You may have to put some distance between your mother if it causes you to lose your self esteem which could affect your job.
At the moment you need to Work and hold down a job, and in some ways this could be a blessing. But get grief counselling for yourself if you find things getting on top of you and you are unable to cope with the immense responsibilities. I have done this so I know how difficult a place you are in right now. You need to honour your grief and the way you feel and don't NEGLECT your own needs. Write back if you need to for more support/updates.

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