I lost my dad to ALS (lou Gherigs Disease) when i was 9

by Courtney
(Kelowna,B.C. Canada)

HEllo, My name is courtney and Im from Western Canada. My dad got sick when I was about 6 and slowly he started dying before my eyes. Anyone who has seen someone with ALS, knows it's a terrible way to die. your brain is not effected but all the muscles in you body slowly start to give way until you are immobolized and have to count on every on around you forevery thing. I remember my mom and hospice allowed my dad to stay at home until close to the end. I still hold a lot of anger that i as a small child was expected to deal with it all. I was not able to talk to anyone about how terrible it was for me though my mother tried to get me therapy, I just couldn't talk. any way it came out through depression, anxiety and addiction as I struggled to come to terms with my child hood. I would love any advice how to grieve properly and how others dealt with losing a parent while they were young

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Aug 23, 2012
I lost my dad to ALS when I was 9
by: Doreen U.K.

Courtney I am sorry for your loss of your dad, and also the loss of your childhood. My experience is of a lost childhood. having to carry so much responsibility. Feeling at the age of 14yrs. that I would have a breakdown. I got married instead and became a mother at 20yrs.
I was too busy looking after a family and all the time I was depressed but carried on till it got too much and I was at the point of ending my life. I managed to get the right psychotherapist and years of counselling which was so very painfull I started getting better. I GOT MY LIFE BACK. I had to do it the hard way. Being a wife and mother of 3 children and having to cope with a heavy load. Also carrying the load for my 4 sisters and one brother. My mother gave me this responsibility. I at 14yrs. went to school. Came home and worked till midnight doing all the jobs a mum would do and then bringing up my baby brother. I was very tired all the time. then off to school to get an education and do homework. I HAVE NEVER HAD A LIFE. I went straight into marriage and did it all for 44yrs. till my husband died 14 weeks ago. My husband went from working in his 20's working 47yrs. and got cancer and died. He didn't get to enjoy any retirement. So YES. I do feel cheated out of LIFE. Just when I get the chance to finally enjoy life. DEATH HAPPENS. And snatches my husband away. I have attempted to address about how you may be feeling having carried so much responsibility at such a young age. YOU ARE DAMAGED. You will need to find the right psychotherapist. Deal with the issues that trouble you most. There isn't a right or wrong way to grieve. You may not realise this but due to your depression. You have been grieving already. You would benefit from keeping a journal. Write all your thoughts and feelings down. As often as you need to. Then you may want to write letters to your Dad. One of my exercises was to write a letter to my Mum. Then write a separate letter to my dad, all in my journal. I expressed in my letter what they had done to me by giving me so much responsibility. It was too much. Write anything you want. It is up to you if you then want to destroy this. the exercise is for you to get it out of your system. See it for what it is. This too is all part of GRIEF WORK. I hope that something I have said helps you. If you want to talk you can email me at doreenelkington@aol.com

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