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    • #14841
      Katie Bagshawe
      Participant

      As you all know my Father passed away over a year ago and to really sum up our relationship, all I can say is that he was (is) my best friend and soulmate. For the first few months everything was kind of numb and then the grief hit towards the end of last year, this all consuming feeling that kind of pins you down and eventually you just have learn to live with it. Some days are bad, some days are manageable.

      However, we’ve had a bit of bad luck in our family since he died. At the beginning of the year my Mum broke her leg quite badly which meant I had to care for her for just under three months. I coped at the time but in hindsight I think this really put me back in moving forward from Dads death. I managed to find a well paid short-term job to fix me until I was due to start University this September but I struggled to settle in. I’m a naturally quiet person anyhow and my manager and me probably clashed as she was the polar opposite, it always felt she was picking at me and never providing the support I needed. She was aware of my Dads death and having to work the first anniversary of it, there was never any empathy or compassion in that time period. It was also as we raised a complaint with our local Hospice for how they didn’t step up in Dads final days to help him be more settled (I think there’s a lot of trauma in there from the weekend he died). A few colleagues proferred support, but mostly I was dealing with this alone as I felt I was burdening friends and family by “going on” about Dad.

      It was all leading up to September when I was due to return to University to begin a course in Radiography as I’m keen to stay involved in research with pulmonary fibrosis. And then a few weeks before it all fell through and I now have to wait until next September before I begin. I’ve been desperately applying for jobs as although I saved funds whilst I worked, I was relying on student support to help me. Thankfully my Mum is brilliant and is happy for me to live at home rent free until I get things sorted, she’s always super there for me but it just fills me with so much guilt as I had to rely on my parents to financially support me through being a carer for Dad and afterwards as well. I was recently offered a job in a Radiography department, which was a total dream come true but as ever there are hoops to jump through and at the minute, everything good feels like it slips away before it comes to pass. Does anyone else feel like they got stuck in that headspace? I feel so sad because it’s as if I can’t get excited about anything anymore because I just expect it not to happen so this negativity lives around me, and when I try to change my attitude, too many things have fallen by the wayside and it’s like a knife stabbing deeper in my chest.

      I know deep down it all boils down to this tremendous overbearing grief and I guess my need to fight more for the things I want. It’s not as if everything feels pointless without Dad, but it sure is difficult mustering up the energy to keep bouncing back from each wave that hits me. Eventually when I can afford it I think I’ll seek out grief counselling, I’ve been reading a book by a woman who works in this area and it’s been super interesting and comforting to read her views on coping with grief.

      Anyway, I’m super sorry for rambling but I just needed to get all of this out of my head and really, ask for some advice. How do you all cope with uncertainty and how do you find it in you to keep on smiling through what feels an endless run of bad luck? I guess it’s a big question, but how do you stay positive when times feel really dark for you? What helps you snap out of it or how do you at least get by?

    • #14845
      Patricia Hayden
      Participant

      So sorry to hear of your pain that you are currently dealing with. My heart goes out to you. I remember the waves from 30 years ago when my Father passed at age 67. Way to early. Give yourself time. You will heal. You have a dear heart as I have witnessed in your posts. Thank you for sharing and participating on this forum. Your touch has been healing to me.

      • #14860
        Katie Bagshawe
        Participant

        Hello Patricia! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind response. It honestly helped cheer me up no end. Days are just up and down. It’s just difficult when you’re not working as you have less to distract you from the days that feel a real struggle. As for all us, it is just keeping busy and expressing the frustrations that can easily consume. Thanks again for your love, sending it all and more back to you!

    • #14865

      Thank you both for this beautiful interaction and reply! It sure reminds me of the kindness that can be found in complete “strangers” and I am so grateful for everyone on this forum, especially during all the darkness and negativity that can be found in the world right now. Sending love to you both!

      Charlene.

    • #14867

      Hi Katie,

      So sorry for the delay in getting back to you regarding this post. I so value and appreciate the risk you took in sharing it, as I know being vulnerable and voicing our struggles is not easy and it certainly takes courage. Thank you for that, and I wish I could jump through the screen and give you a big hug!

      I believe, based on my experience, the worst part about grief is that it is not linear and the “two (or 10) steps backwards” can hit at any given time. Sometimes it is triggered by a memory, other times the feeling of just how unfair life can be without someone we love in it and not wanting to move on without them. I’ve also supported families where they are grieving the physical loss of their loved one, compounded by anticipatory grief as well…. they’re envisioning/imagining milestone events in the future without their loved one, which is a whole new wave of grief. It is such a “messy” thing and thank goodness for literature to help us navigate it, but even then there are just things that never seem to make the pain go away from losing a loved one.

      I think my biggest piece of advice, and this is what I’ve tried to hold true amidst myself (though admittedly, not as easy as it sounds) is the importance of being gentle with ourselves. Letting the emotions wash through us in a safe environment so we don’t feel the need to hid or push them away, and just being kind to ourselves during a tough day – whatever it might be to lift your soul up a little bit, do that. While it isn’t the same, recently I’ve been trying so hard not to question or feel guilty with myself about needing a nap or having to cancel a social event because I am doing what my body needs. We feel certain things I think, be it emotional or social, as a means of our body communicating with us and being gentle with ourselves and doing what it needs in the moment is so important. I’m not the best at it, but it is a piece of advice I’ve received that has been very helpful when I can implement it.

      I think grief counselling is a good idea Katie, and definitely something that I wish more people sought out after such a tremendous loss. Are there any locations where you are that offer free counselling, even if it is just 1-2 sessions? There are some here at walk-in clinics, and it isn’t consistent support (that has to be paid for) but usually a couple of sessions are free, which often helps people feel even a little bit better. Or there are help lines too where you might be able to call and specifically ask to speak with someone trained in grief support. Not sure if any of these are an option for you?

      Hang in there, and feel free to write us any time. I sure hope your streak of luck changes soon, and that things turn around for you… you deserve it. Sending you a big hug from ‘across the pond’.

      Much love,
      Charlene.

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