Q&A - Coping with bereavement

  • Community Manager - Posts: 120
    Edited by: MarkWilkin - 23/03/2015 16:06

    Losing somebody close to a terminal illness affects everyone differently and there's no right or wrong way to grieve. So in this Q&A we hope we'll be able to answer your questions about what you're experiencing and offer some practical solutions to help.


    Our host Jane Murray will be answering your questions tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday (24th,25th and 26th of March) between 3-4pm each day. You can start posting them now and she'll start answering them tomorrow when she's online. Just scroll down to read her answers.


    "I really enjoy my role as it's varied and I can see the positive difference it makes, by enabling someone to build resilience and coping skills in the wake of loss."


    Jane has worked for Marie Curie for 24 years and heads up the adult bereavement & counselling service in our West Midlands hospice as part of the patient & family support team.


    Thanks

  • Posts: 1
    Edited by: Babs35 - 23/03/2015 20:17

    Hi, I lost my Dad in September. He was diagnosed February last year. The night he passed away my Mum was in shock so I tried my best to look after her. I didn't want to cry in front of her as I didn't want her to worry about me. I took a few days off work but went in for a couple of days before his funeral. I did a reading at his funeral and naturally I cried. But my grief keeps coming and going. I don't know if it was down to me bottling it up. I suffer from occasional nightmares and flash backs where I can see and hear everything in his final days. I worry if I was right to ask for him to be completely sedated as he started to haemorrhage . I know there's no set time for grief or answer to what is right for 1 person. I know life goes on but it feels surreal that he has gone. I try and stay strong as I have a 6 year old so force myself to get on with it but sometimes I feel like either hiding in bed all day or running away. I have asked for counselling (I wasn't allowed to be referred for bereavement counselling until 3 months after) I am still on a waiting list which is 22 weeks long. I can't afford to go privately, the hospice my Dad was in is too far away and by my Mum's. I also wouldn't want my mum knowing that I was having counselling. I hope this all makes sense? Thanks Babs35.

  • Posts: 5
    Edited by: MarkWilkin - 24/03/2015 15:20

    Question from Babs35: Hi, I lost my Dad in September. He was diagnosed February last year. The night he passed away my Mum was in shock so I tried my best to look after her. I didn't want to cry in front of her as I didn't want her to worry about me. I took a few days off work but went in for a couple of days before his funeral. I did a reading at his funeral and naturally I cried. But my grief keeps coming and going. I don't know if it was down to me bottling it up. I suffer from occasional nightmares and flash backs where I can see and hear everything in his final days. I worry if I was right to ask for him to be completely sedated as he started to haemorrhage . I know there's no set time for grief or answer to what is right for 1 person. I know life goes on but it feels surreal that he has gone. I try and stay strong as I have a 6 year old so force myself to get on with it but sometimes I feel like either hiding in bed all day or running away. I have asked for counselling (I wasn't allowed to be referred for bereavement counselling until 3 months after) I am still on a waiting list which is 22 weeks long. I can't afford to go privately, the hospice my Dad was in is too far away and by my Mum's. I also wouldn't want my mum knowing that I was having counselling. I hope this all makes sense? Thanks Babs35.

     

    Hello Babs

    I'm sorry to hear of the loss your dad & I can tell from reading your post how emotional  the whole experience has been & still is for you. As you realise grief is individual, there is no time frame for how long you grieve or how you grieve. You describe initially how important it was [& still is] for you to hide your own emotions from mum- to protect her- which is very natural to do. It is normal to put on 'a mask' to the outside world function as if you are coping well - which enables you to function on a practical level i.e. look after your 6 year old; go to work etc..., but underneath 'the mask' hides your emotional vulnerability- which I am pleased to hear you will be in the future able to access counselling to talk through your emotions.

    It is very normal to have flashbacks/nightmares, which can be very vivid when they occur & can appear out of the blue, and is your unconscious mind working to make sense of what happened. In time these will fade. You were witness to an awful experience of dad haemorrhaging. it is normal to relive experiences now, and question if the decisions you made were the right ones. In this situation- although you asked for dad to be sedated- the professionals would have done this, for dad's comfort, not just because you asked. Whilst your waiting to access counselling support, it might be helpful when these happen to write down in a journal what you experience & how they make you feel.

    Grief is not static or linear, as you yourself are experiencing- it ebbs & flows. You can expect to have bad days when you want to hide in bed & not feel the emotional pain and not so bad days, in time the bad days will lesson. The struggle for you right now is learning to live this very different life without dad physically being here- he will always live on in your heart & your memory's of him. 

     

    Thank you for getting in touch at this very difficult time and I hope knowing that what you are feeling- as painful as it is, is normal and you are not going mad! helps.

     

    Jane Murray

    Marie Curie Cancer Care

  • Posts: 1
    25/03/2015  15:06

    Hello my father has recently passed away and now we're faced with having to plan his funeral. I've not had to organise a funeral before and didn’t realise the just how much they cost, is there any help out there for people who are struggling? Thanks Angela.

  • Posts: 5
    Edited by: MarkWilkin - 25/03/2015 16:52

    Question from Angela: Hello my father has recently passed away and now we're faced with having to plan his funeral. I've not had to organise a funeral before and didn’t realise the just how much they cost, is there any help out there for people who are struggling? Thanks Angela.


    Hello Angela

     

    Thank you for getting in touch, & condolences on the loss of your father. This is a difficult time emotionally I am sure, and with the added stress of having to not only organise a funeral,  managing its cost can increase your anxiety.

     

    The funeral Directors you choose, will guide you through every aspect of organising the funeral & will provide costing's for everything. You will find the below link contains further information that may prove useful:

    https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/bereaved-family-friends/organising-funeral/funeral-payments

    I hope you find this helpful

     

    Jane Murray

    Marie Curie Cancer Care

  • Posts: 1
    26/03/2015  10:36

    Lost my mum yesterday. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in feb. 4 weeks ago. We were all with her during her final breaths. Felt prepared but it's her final few breaths I just can't forget. I remember every detail. Her what I thought was her last then when I held her face anotger short and quick breath. I just want to know she's safe and ok. That's all. Have lots of family support from my fiancée's family. My brother too. He's dealing with all the legal stuff. My little boy seems to be ok. I feel so weak and scared how I should feel and the future. I promised my mum is never give up and I won't. I just want to know she's ok. How do I know? When will I know she is ok? Aw mum I love you so much

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