My father died 7 months ago. I continue to have nightmares, I cry (mostly in the shower), and I miss him very much. Is this natural or do I need to seek a counselor?

Asked by

He died after 8 months of suffering, because family members just did not want to honor his wishes and allow him the dignity of dying under his requests. I continue to have nightmares, I cry (mostly in the shower), and I miss him very much. I was the primary person who stayed with him in hospitals, learned how to deal with trachs and vents, and was the only family member with him when he died. Is this natural or do I need to seek a counselor?

Answers 1 to 10 of 14
First, my condolences on the loss of your father.
It has only been 7 months, so my instinct is to say that it is entirely normal to grieve. If you are beating yourself up for not being more involved in your father's care and the events that lead to his passing, I'd say no, it is not normal.
You did absolutely everything you could for your father. You cannot take on the burden of guilt for those who did not step up in his final days or did not respect his wishes.
Allow yourself enough time to feel sad. If you feel that this is inhibiting your daily life, a counselor may help. But, please do not feel guilty for not doing more. Seems to be the plight of all caregivers, isn't it?
Hi RLP, I, too, send condolences on the loss of your father. Having lost my father about 8 years ago, I understand how you feel and how much you miss him. It sounds like you have some anger, which I had, too.....All I can say is: focus on all that you DID do to help your dad, to bring him comfort, and to show him how much you loved him, etc. Over time, it doesn't hurt as much. It sounds like you really did so much to help him --- remember that he will always, always be a part of you -- may you be comforted by your memories of him always.
Top Answer
i understand exactly how u feel- a similar situation with my dad-
i send u huggs, its so hard, so frustrating-its traumatic.
my dad was a doctor-he was in his hospital for a short time and then in a rehab-supposedly one of the best- best of what?who rates these places? my dad was 95- but had fallen- heknew once he went in, that would be it. he also had prostate cancer , and many
problems that the elderly develope inthe end stages. I was surprised at how much i had to fight-not physically-for simple ,basic
care for him- the people that work there are so cold and nasty-
they talk to the patients like they were idiots- they dont do the things
u would expect- unless u make a lot of noise-and be very pushy and
ask questions. the care was just horrible-i was there almost all the time-every time i came,i always got nasty looks from all the nurses and aides,they hated me.they knew i was going to be complaining or asking about something-but really, who else is going to make sure he was being treated right?..me his daughter,his advocate.and it sounds like you were the same angel for your dad.
i was a pest to them-
i cried and was so angry at that time-i kept a journal-do or did u? -i still have notes i took
because at some point i need to write about it- its been 6 years, and i still feel raw inside- so i understand ,for me ,it didnt comfort me to say i did as much as i could, or anythinglike that-it was that my dad deserved to be treated with dignity-whether he was a doctor or
a pauper- it hurt me inside, that fact they treated him like he was a nothing.my mom is going thru her ending now- and i am going thru this torture again-the only difference is-my brother took her out of state and is doing his best to keep me out of her care-out of her apt-he changed the locks and refused to give me a key-so i try and put distance from thinking too much.Ive been fighting for years, and im so tired of fighting for my mom-
it is what it is- and things happen in ways that make us feel full of emotions-
the amazing thing is, and it might sound like a cliche-but it is true-
you will survive this, u will grow from this, u will feel like u will die from a broken heart- but u will get thru it. i send u so many huggs,and good strong positive energy. and let yourself cry,cry loud if u want, hit your pillows, rip up paper-let it out- your sadness
will be allowed to be released thru your tears- you will feel better.
i am so sorry u had to go thru this-but thats why we are here- to help eachother. I send you the biggest hug in the world.
karen
I took care of my mom for 13 years she passed Sept 6th 2010 at the age of 68 its been 8 months and I'm still griving I get up everyday put on this happy face go to work but deep down I feel like I 'm going to break, I hope this is normal because right now I dont know normal. My mom and I just bought I house Dec of 2009 and when I go passed her bedroom I always look in hoping to see her again is that crazy or what I pray everyday to get through another day I wonder how long this will last or do I need to go talk to someone?
Laura
Krnhersh I can not believe your brother-not letting you be involver in your Mom's care. Does he not realize you did what you had to do with your Dad-who else would have his best interest in mind. My husband was in rehab at least 16 times after being in the hopsital first and many times I had to complain to get him better care-once the nursing home closese to us refused him because they said the meds were too expensive and I found a much better nursing where the aids were trained to care for the residents so I continued to use that NH every time he needed one even the trip there was a lot longer. I am sure there will come a time your brother will want your help and that will be your decision to make not his-I am so sorry that you are being treated this way and anytime you want support just post on my wall-you know and God knows what a good job you did caring for your Dad.
RLP, krnhersh. and Laura, yes, I would say it is natural, and yes, I would say you deserve some counseling. Not that you are broken and you need some one to fix you, but that you are hurting and it can help to have an objective, sympathetic listener to talk to about the hurt. You took care of your parents when they needed it. Now take care of you.

,
I am 44 years old and my dad died 2 months ago at the age of 65 from a massive heart attack! My mother also passed away when I was 28! I feel so sad and I just want to feel like myself again this was such a big shock to our family with both of my parents. My mom was struck by a truck and was killed she was a school crossing guard and killed one morning as she was croosing the children. Now my dad is gone and he was my best friend. I am blessed to have my 3 sisters and brother but I just feel so lost and sad. I wasnt able to say goodby to either of them. I pray everyday for Gods strength. I almost feel guily because I am keeping myself busy so I dont have to feel the pain that is so deep! When I get sad I just focus on something else.
I put my mother in a facility for Respite for two weeks to give me a break, not much of a break I was there all day, really just so I could get some sleep at night for a few weeks. Literally, they killed her..!!!! This happened in September of 09, and my heart sinks daily when I get up and say "U awake yet?” Silent..!! Everyone grieves in their own time and own way. We ALL learn to pick our own battles within our own families in order to manage our daily lives. I am the youngest of 6 siblings and was the only one who managed both parents care and now I feel ALONE and orphaned. I have chosen to pick myself up and make a new career path in Health Care for myself and am now helping the City of Indianapolis, Indiana locating resources with At Home Wellness Group as a Marketing Director. I have lived the life of a the family member trying to work full time and take care of the loved one and walked away from the corporate world, however; I would have not had it any other way. I grieve for my parents every day, however; due to major PTSD due to the way my mother was killed in the facility I did seek counseling and it has helped me. YOU will grieve in YOUR own way and YOUR own time. Do not let anyone tell you when it is time to stop or time to move on, only YOU will know how you feel, they are YOUR feelings, do not rush yourself, allow yourself to feel.
Blessings,
Bridget.
Hi,
So sorry about your dad.
It is very normal they tell me as I lost my dad in April 2013.
I thought I was fine, not crying much, but realizing I was so sad without him, he was the last person I had that I could truley depend on though thick and thin.
Your stroy sounds like mine to some extent, I took care of my dad by myself, I mean he was in the hospital but I was the one who was with him all the time, I feel very lucky to have had that , I have no guilt and neither should you. You did the very best you could and I'm sure your dad knew that. please give yourself time to heal, and know that you loved and honored him. I have to take my own advise and do the same. I just started crying this past week and its been 4 months, its like all of the sudden a flood gate opened, I cry at the drop of a hat, I cannot control when it is going to happen it just does. I am not ashamed or embaressed, I dont care what people think, I just lost my dad, and I am his daughter, I loved him with all my heart and will continue that forever.
Peace to you
I am so sorry to hear about your enormous loss. Give yourself the time you need to say goodbye to your father. Dont get lost in or drown in sorrow. A professional is not who you need to seek, but seek God, himself. God is our refuge and strength, a ver present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support