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Dear Friends, I know its still early for me. But I wonder when did you find the grief getting better? When did you come to accept this new normal? I have certain friends tell me it never gets better. And some that said after one year, two years, four years. I know everyone is different. But I would like to get an idea when people started to feel stronger and more accepting of their loss. Even when people give me the right rights. Comforting words. I still struggle. I really do hope that I can make it through the first year without my father.

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Dear Midkid,

Thank you for your kind reply. I take a lot of comfort in your words. I know the grief journey is a long one. I have tried talking to a counselor, but maybe I'm just not ready to truly listen and move on.

I think this is the part that I struggle with the most. I saw him every day. My dad was always very independent. And then the stroke happened and it seemed nothing went right after that. A new year would start and I told myself it was my job to keep my dad alive. But I feel like a horrible failure because he died. It is a struggle to accept that death is a part of life's journey for all us.

Thank you again for your words.
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Time will heal this. You will always feel a sense of loss, but it gets easier and less painful.
I lost daddy 13 years ago. I am SO GLAD that I chose to be a part of his caregiving as his health declined. We spent many hours watching TV and just being together. I am a very spiritual person and I have felt my dad's loving presence MANY times in my life since he died. This is comforting to me.
I never had any huge moments of grief, I think that watching him die a slow death was when I grieved. His death made me happy--knowing he was out of pain, out of this horrible world and with so many others he loved.
No one can tell you how long, or how much grieving is "right". However, if you start to feel like you are never going to "feel better" seek a counselor or pastor or someone to talk with about this. Your dad would not want you to ruin your life by grieving him--he had a long life. He was obviously loved--two things many people are denied. You are lucky to have had a lovely relationship with dad. God bless you.
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You have more than that... Hang in there.....
You have compassion and love, and those are very strong attributes :)
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Thank you for your kindness IloveMom. I appreciate hearing your experiences. You are right, I do have to trust my gut feelings. Its all I have.
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Regretfully, I didn't stop. She past away from her injuries....
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My 3 year old wanted to stop and see our old neighbor. No, I was late...
Later I found out neighbor had fallen, and couldn't get up.. .She saw us slow down, and thought we would be right in. I ignored my child...Turned her caution away, and regret doing that to her and my neighbor... She has a gift, and I hope she follows her instincts... I really felt I squelched it. It's really the only real survival instinct we have our - gut feelings, .
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Actually you do know. Your dad is smiling at you now... It is fine... My family spiritual as far as I am concerned. When GMA was young, many moons ago, her throat was swelling shut. Her Mom had a dream. In the morning went out, found a plant in yard, made a pumice out of it, laid it on her neck, and she healed.
my cousin's dog passed. He was a big 200 lb part wolf breed. She would feel him, climbing onto her bed every evening, one giant paw at a time. When she got a new bed, he was gone too...If she knew that he would leave too, she would not have gotten rid of the bed...Soul imprints attached to material things...That is very sad....

My dad told me in my dream, he would be right here ( we used to walk at beach).

When GPA died, I hugged him in my dream. I told him I was surprised I could feel him.... Ghosts, I thought, were air... I was very young then...
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Thank you IloveMom. Happy to hear you have had contact with your dad. And he is helping you still. That would be a great comfort.

I can only share some a few things that happened, but I don't know if it was just a coincidence. Two months after he passed, I found a nickel by the car. One time I came home from work, I heard footsteps in his old bedroom. We do live in an old house, so I don't know what that really was. And then at the beginning of the year I had about 10 light bulbs go out in the house. I normally do change about 3 lights bulbs at the beginning of the year, but all these light bulbs needing to be changed seemed excessive. Again I thought it was because we lived in an old house and things just needed to be replace finally.

I go to the cemetery to visit my dad. Once this dog came running up to fence behind my dad's plot. The dog kept barking and barking at me till the owner called him away.

After my dad passed, I found his eye glasses in a spot I never have before.

Sometimes I feel so cynical and I don't allow myself to believe very much. Serious sort my whole life. I would really like to think my dad is in the spirit world restored to his former good health, enjoying coffee with friends. But I just don't know.
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It takes time. Do you ever hear your dad? My dad contacted me a lot when he passed.... It was weird, and this was a man who didn't believe in God.... I guess he changed his mind. Anyway, he talked to me a lot...He even convinced me to drive another route...Yup I avoided an encounter....
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Dear didntknow,

Thank you for your post. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad too. Sending you love and hugs during this difficult time. And my deepest sympathies and condolences.

I feel so naïve because I never knew how raw I would feel after the loss of my father. We did all this planning, financial planning, funeral planning but in my head nothing was ever going to happen. Even when my dad was getting weaker and weaker, I never thought I would ever have to say to anyone "my dad died." That somehow these happens to other people, but not to me. I know its foolish, but that was how my mind was working.

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother pressuring you to settle the estate. I'm also the executor of my dad's estate. There wasn't much money to settle, but I had a terrible experience the life insurance check. The stupid broker was so horrible. Holding my dad's life insurance check hostage in hopes of me leaving the money with him to invest, so he can make another commission. Where was this jerk? When my dad was sick? All he cares is about the money! I lost my mind. I never screamed like that at anyone in my life. But the raw agony of losing my dad was too much. I did get the check eventually, but it was just something else that never went right.

I'm so sorry we both have to go through this. I wish there was something I could do to help you. Take care my friend. And thank you again for your kindness and support.
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I'm right there with you cdn. I saw my Dad every day, most days both mid-morning and again mid-afternoon. My phone would ring at 3 am and I would panic, because it was Dad. He wouldn't talk, so I would dress and head to the AL facility. He of course told me it was someone sneaking in his room at night, using his phone. The same ones that were eating the doughnuts and stealing all the hard candy. When I told him that was something a dementia patient would say, he would admit it was him. It's just so hard to let go, because my life was completely reshaped by helping him. As I mentioned in another thread, we were talking about him coming home from the AL facility. It has been a month and the depression is consuming me. My brother is demanding I settle the estate, and I can't stop blubbering.
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Thank you again Gershun. And thank you for sharing more of your mom with me. I'm glad you had another year with your mom. You were a very devoted daughter.

I know you are right. I mustn't keep going over the same territory. I know its no good because nothing can bring my dad back. I can't change anything.

For some silly reason I thought I would have less regrets and guilt because I saw my dad almost every day. Instead it seems like those regrets weigh heavier on me because I DID see my dad every day. Why couldn't I see? Truly see?

I'm going to keep going. And try to let it all go.
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Cdnreader, it is the second guessing yourself that is hard. I did that a great deal right after my Mom died. The if I'd done this then maybe this might not have happened, etc. etc. But I think if you were to be honest with yourself you did what you thought was right at the time. That is all any of us can do. Hindsight is always twenty- twenty, right?

If you read my post above I said that I think God gave me another year with my Mom. The year previous to when she died I had begged my sister one night in an e-mail to go check on my Mom. I had been really worried about her and wanted a second pair of eyes and ears to evaluate her. She assured me she would go over the next day. So, the next day Hubs and I were driving past my Mom's place and I said I just want to check the parking lot and see if Sis's car is there. It was not so I said I'm going to run up there and make sure Mom is okay. I had a key to her place so I just let myself in. Well, long story short, good thing I did. My Mom was in very bad shape. She had sepsis from a prolonged urinary tract infection and we found out at the hospital later that she had suffered a heart attack. My Mom was one of these people who could have had her arm hanging by a thread but would assure you she was fine. Trust me, if I had any idea that she was that far gone she would never have been that sick. So, yeah it was great that I went that day and we ended up keeping her for another year but I believe if I had known she was that far gone at the time maybe she would not have gotten so sick and maybe we would have gotten even extra time with her. But what's the point in saying if I, could I, should I. Like I said Cndreader, we do what we think is best at the time. Maybe you are right, maybe your Dad just pulled it out himself cause he was ready to go. I know my Mom was unhappy the last few mths of her life. She was ready to go and there is nothing on God's green earth i could have done to change that.

So, hang in there and don't beat yourself up about things.
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Dear Gershun,

I will try. Another tearful night thinking about my dad. He was 84. I know I should be grateful my dad made it to his 80s. So many people lose their parents even earlier. But in my heart, I don't know if I did everything I really could have to save him. Many have played the devils advocate with me. I guess maybe even if I felt I did everything "right" and I could have had more time with him, eventually there would have been something else.

The day he died, the nurse discovered he had pulled his oxygen out and had leaned his head to the side of the railing. I wonder if he had it in his head, he just had enough. I know I'm supposed to take comfort that he is no longer suffering, but I just can't right now.

I don't know why this week has been tougher. I guess I will just have to learn to accept the ebbs and flows of this journey.

Thank you again for listening and your support.
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Thank-you Cndreader, give yourself time. It does get easier.Ebbs and flows just like Jeanne said.
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Dear Gershun and Jeanne,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful replies. I do find a lot of comfort in your words. I sincerely appreciate your support and kindness to me and sharing your experiences with me. This forum has been such a lifesaver for me. Makes me feel less alone in my thoughts and experiences.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart! (((hugs)))
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From time to time I think of my grandmother. I remember something she told me, or something I did not understand at the time but do now. I have regrets that I didn't visit her more in the nursing home. Mostly thoughts of her make me smile. She died 40 years ago.

My mother died 6 months ago. That and some other things in my life triggered a depressive episode. I've gotten treatment for that. I think I'm over the intense grieving. I think of Ma often, and smile.

My best friend is at the 8 month mark after her husband's death. She is at an intense place in her grief right now. It has ebbed and flowed.

My husband died four years ago, after a 10-year journey with dementia. My grief started while he was still alive. After his death I experienced intense grief intermittently. It came in waves, just as I see it happening for my friend. I'll never "get over" his loss, but I am at peace about it, and I remember him fondly.

I don't think grieving starts out intense and then gradually lessens until some magic point when it is gone. I think it is more sporadic. It comes and goes. It definitely lessens over time, but not in a steadily diminishing pattern.

We would have no grief if we had no one in our lives who mattered to us intently. And wouldn't that be a sad existence?

Be gentle with yourself!
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Aw cdnreader, I know what you are feeling. Well, actually I shouldn't say that. I'm not you and I hate it when people say that to me. Everyone is individual. It's so easy to give others advice. I see on here you helping others and supporting others, you've helped me just by listening.

I wish I could say it gets easier but here I am almost two years since Mom died and still mourning her loss. Reading articles online about life after death, hoping she can still see me and hear me when I talk to her. I don't think there are any easy answers dear friend. I think living in the moment helps. If you start picturing the next umpteen years without your beloved Dad it just overwhelms.

One thing that helps me is knowing that I did all I could for her when she was alive and that she was 92, her poor old body had had enough. As much as I wish she was still here I know the last year was a gift cause she nearly died a year before. I think God let me have her for one more year so that I could say all that there was to say.

From what you have revealed on this forum I believe you were there when your Father needed you and if you have faith then you know you will be reunited one day. Try to let that sustain you. I know it isn't easy but I don't know what else to say. ((((Hugs))))
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