My father passed away over a year ago. My husband and I were very much involved in his life for over four years. I'm haunted by memories of his final illness, and even though I know he's gone, I sometimes find myself speaking to him as if he were still living. Even seeing objects that used to belong to him makes me feel sad (I guess I should donate them to avoid the reminders). Is there anything I can do to quit feeling so sad and move forward?

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Ask yourself if your parent would want you to continue feeling the way you do. My mother (gone 6 yrs now) would not have wanted me to go forward mired in guilt. She would want me to move forward and live my life. Death is a natural part of living - it happens to all of us.

Our life is a gift from our parents- it’s up to us how to continue their legacy but I know for a fact my mother, if she could speak, would tell me to get myself together and move on.

If you still can’t get past it, please seek out a therapist that can help you sort your feelings and teach you tools to put things in perspective. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek help for ourselves.
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Reply to Shane1124

So sorry for your loss. Death is painful for those left behind. Hopefully in time you will feel better. Take care. Many, many hugs!!!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Many of the hospice organizations offer free grief counseling and often have grief groups. You might want to investigate that as a possibility. We all walk a different path in the grieving process. My Dad has been gone for 27 years and there are still some situations that can bring me to my knees in pain.
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Reply to Hedgie

I’m sorry for your loss. Death is hard for us to deal with. Grief is a personal thing. If you can, no harm in going to a grief counselor.
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Reply to Jannner

Talk to someone, go see a grief counselor and take it one day at a time.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000

My Mom had Dementia. It her last 3 yrs she declined monthly. She was 89. Had been a good Mom and a believer. It was hard to watch her decline, get old, and fragile. Losing her memories. But she would never have wanted to live her last years like that. It was her time and she is missed. I try to remember the good times. Its hard since her decline I saw daily. Had to deal with all the ER visits, Medicaid forms, etc. But she knew she was going to a better place. That's my comfort.

Everyone grieves in their own time. You are probably going to have bad days. Try the Churches in your area. She if they have a Grieving group. Mine does and everyone is welcome.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I am sorry for your loss. I was close to my dad as well and when he passed away it turn my world upside down. For me, the first 2 yrs were the hardest, however, it does get a little easier as the years push forward. It doesn't mean I don't have days that I miss him so much that it takes my breath away but I get through them and you will too. It takes time.

It is ok to talk to your dad, it is my belief that they hear us. I even wrote my dad a letter to help me say the things that I wasn't able to say when he was alive and it did me a lot of good. May I suggest you do the same. You may find as you write that somethings will come out that you didn't realize you were holding on to. Don't worry about spelling or grammer just write from the heart. As you write and find that the emotions are to much for you to handle then save your work and take a break, but let yourself feel it and have a good cry. Then at a later time go back to finishing your letter. Don't be surprise when you go back to writing that you may not cry as much. You just need to get your feelings out.

Please do not make any big decision about your dad's things right now. As someone stated "pack them up and wait a year." Remember there are no rules to how to grieve or how long you should grieve.

Again I am sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself. We are here for you.

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Reply to Shell38314

Grieving is Different for every individual but hardest for caregivers. Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace.

Give counseling a try.

Keep those items that remind you of your dad packed in a box before giving them away. You may change your mind. The items may bring you comfort in the future. If you still want to give them away in a year, they will be packed and ready to donate.

Try not to focus on the painful moments at the end of your dad’s life, but focus on the small victories, the camaraderie and the better of the hardest times. (We all have also been through those haunting times. It is rough).

If you feel like there weren’t any happy memories, remember that your husband was by your side helping out. That is amazing. Many of us don’t have that support.

Take a vacation or weekend away. If you don’t have a large travel budget, go camping or spend time in a National Park. If you want to focus on memories of your dad, go to a place he loved or wanted to visit. If you need a break from those memories, go somewhere opposite.

Live “for” your dad. He would want you to be happy.

Allow yourself to have fun. Get involved in the community as a volunteer. Find ways to “pay it forward.”

If you are feeling weepy, cry it out. When you need a break, treat yourself to a comedy.

Don’t expect to ever completely stop grieving his loss. You feel this way because he was so important to you. Take comfort in the good luck you had to have a wonderful relationship with your father.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter

My condolences on the loss of your father.

The only way forward is through and it sounds as if you're still going through losing your father. There are no rules on how long we should grieve but if you feel that your grief has given way to depression that might be something you need to look at. Maybe some sessions with a therapist would help you develop new coping skills and give you a place to talk about your dad and his death so you can move forward.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

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