Dealing with milestones after loss of father

posted 2 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

My father passed away almost a year ago. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to pick up the phone to tell him something small or funny or hear his voice. The first year without a loved one, wether a parent or a beloved dog, is the hardest. You don’t get over grief, you learn to live with it. It’s your own journey. My advice would be let the first year to by without making any huge decisions. Be gentle with yourself. Journal. Hug your boyfriend. 

Post # 3
Hostess
10345 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

I lost my father in 2011, so it’s been some time now. The first 2 years were the hardest, for sure. Then the milestones like my engagement, buying a home (and all the little surprises that come with that), getting my PhD, getting married… he missed all of it. Some days it would be so overwhelming I’d just cry. It still comes and goes in waves, and I don’t think I’ll ever really get over losing him. I’ve been in therapy for over a year now, which really I should have started back in 2011. Hearing his friends tell me how proud he’d be of me is really bitter sweet. I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone and feel free to PM me if you need to talk.

I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, too 🙁 

BIG HUGS

Post # 4
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee

First off, I am so sorry for your loss! I have not lost a parent, but I lost my sister suddenly in 2012. I was in the process of trying to buy my first home, which actually fell through right after she passed. I remember being devastated because she knew about that house, but in the end it worked out better that it fell through because I wasn’t able to move away from my parents at that time. I needed them, they needed me, and I never would have been able to move out. I spent the next 6 months focusing on buying a house and then when I found one, my parents helped me renovate it which was great. We got to throw ourselves into this project that took a lot of focus and energy to help distract us. So many other milestones have come and gone, like getting a puppy, getting engaged, getting 2 master’s degrees, getting married (and being in my wedding and at my bachelorette party), having my first baby. She LOVED kids and would have been the absolute best Aunt. Passing her in age is a milestone I had to sadly experience and I am now 3 years older than she ever was, my big sister. Every year, every new milestone, is another punch in the gut. 

As a PP said, death like this changes you. I hate to say this because everyone likes to sugar coat it and say it’ll all be okay, but the fact of the matter is it is not okay nor will it ever be. You will never be the person you were pre-event again. Your family dynamic, your personality, sour soul, will change and somehow learn to live a new life. It does get easier as time goes on though and the grief hits you less and less. You become a new person, a new family, and build a new life. 

My advice is to take it easy on yourself for a while. Sudden tragic death takes the wind out of you. You don’t know what day it is, if you changed your underwear or brushed your teeth, what planet you are on. And that’s okay! Don’t think about your wedding for a while, just let that be. Just try your best to cherish the family and friends you have around you, tell everyone how much you love them, and enjoy the earth and nature and all that this valuable life has to offer. 

*Hugs*

Post # 5
Member
740 posts
Busy bee

Echoing the sentiments of the other posters. My dad died in a car accident the day after my honeymoon. So he did get to walk me down the aisle, but the memory of the wedding day itself is ruined because that was the last time I ever saw him, and the memories of the honeymoon are ruined, because the happiness of the trip was overshadowed by this tragedy. My sister got married less than a year after he died, he never met her husband. she took comfort in the fact that she felt her husband was sent from heaven by our dad, and she is happy that she has someone who loves her. But the wedding day was sad for both of us, knowing that dad wasn’t there. Weddings in general are very hard for me now.  Hopefully you have a supportive boyfriend, it makes a difference. Sudden tragic death changes you as a person.  A lot of people who have not lost someone suddenly, do not realize this. You really do turn into a new person, I know that I will never be the same person I was before.  In some ways, I have learned how strong and resilient I really am. Don’t let anyone ever try to tell you that you should be acting a certain way or feeling a certain way about what you went through. Don’t let anyone pressure you to “move on” or get over your grief before your time. You’ll never move on from it but you will learn to live with it. Sometimes society expects us to put a timeline on our grief: do not buy into that.

I’m not even at the two year mark yet and it seems like yesterday. The first year was the worst. The second year has been horrible in a different way, as you reflect on the amount of times that has passed and different events that he missed (for me, purchasing my home, my sisters wedding, my new puppy)…things my dad would have loved. I understand what you’re going through and you’re not alone! If you need someone to talk to please feel free to message me. Sending you a big hug. 

Post # 6
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: Agoura, California

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@bluebonnetbee:  My sincerest condolences to you and your family. There are never any words that can truly offer peace and comfort during these difficult times. However, I will pray that the fond memories and wisdom of your father will continually guide you through life’s journey. 

When your wedding day does arrive, maybe you can honor his memory with a picture locket around your bouquet. It’ll be a small reminder that he’s always there with you.

Virtual hug, 

HamstersGirl

Post # 7
Member
2882 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’m so sorry about the loss of your father. My mother suddenly passed away in March. It was quite a shock. People will probably want to help you with stuff–let them! Friends and family came to help me go through my mom’s stuff. I generally don’t like to take help from people–I’m pretty fiercely independent. This time I let people do what they wanted to for me. It’s a really rough time and all your feelings are valid.

 

Post # 9
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee

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@bluebonnetbee:  I totally agree its a club you don’t understand until you’ve been there, and one we don’t wish anyone to join us in either. 

That’s so great your boyfriend is stepping up for you! When my sister passed, it was one of the defining moments when I realized I wanted to marry my boyfriend (we got married 4 years later lol). He lost his father tragically when he was a teenager, so he immediately understood what myself and my family needed and was incredible. He skipped class to come see me that day, cried and hugged my mom for a long time, and just sat there with us. He stayed the night before the funeral and sat up front with us, basically holding me up. I remember my cousins saying I needed to marry him. Thinking back, had I been with any of my exes at that time, it wouldn’t have lasted because I don’t think they would have known how to support me. That is SO great you have a good support system around you, as it makes all the difference. You’re going to have good days and bad, you’re going to lash out and yell and cry, and you need to be surrounded by people that let you do just that and not judge you for how you grieve. 

Post # 10
Member
4115 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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@bluebonnetbee:  I’m so sorry for your loss, Bee. It wasn’t a parent, but we lost my Nana unexpectedly when I was a teenager. Fifteen years later, I can still barely bring her up without getting emotional. There is something so innately cruel and unbearable about losing a loved one without warning. 

We found out this month that my dad has stage four pancreatic cancer. It came so unexpectedly without any warning signs. Prognosis isn’t great. I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant and I’m suddenly facing the reality that this future I envisioned for myself and my daughter is going to look drastically different. Though I haven’t yet lost my dad, I have already started grieving the loss of relationship he will have with my daughter. I was incredibly close to my grandfather growing up and I knew my dad was going to be like that with my kids. DH isn’t close to his dad, so it really feels like I am grieving both my loss and my daughter’s. She won’t know she missed out on, but I always will. 

Post # 11
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

They say that the gift of life is so great and that loss (of both people and furry friends) is just a part of it, we have to learn to accept it, etc.   Poppycock!  I’ve had plenty of loss just like everyone else, and it’s just plain awful.  And what bluebonnetbee is dealing with, and COVID on top of everything.  OMG I am so very sorry.  I have re-read the last few sentences of your post several times.  Every word so, so true.  Hugs to all, take care of yourselves and those you hold dear.  Squeeze as much joy out of every day that you can.  Waste no precious time. 

Post # 13
Member
492 posts
Helper bee

I’m so sorry for your loss, bee. My heart goes out to you. I lost my father very suddenly years ago and he never met my partner, so I understand how you feel about missed milestones.

I think waiting until the end of the year is a good idea. I got engaged while I was grieving (another family member, lost to COVID-19) thinking life is short, but I was not able to enjoy it or feel excited. My pain was too powerful, and so was my fear about the state of the world. I also didn’t feel like it was appropriate to announce an engagement while I was in mourning, so we told no one. My boyfriend is kindly going to “redo” our proposal, now over 5 months later, with a ring and happier feelings around it. Giving yourself time and space to focus on your grief and loss is the kindest thing you can do for yourself at this time. The engagement can wait. 

Post # 14
Member
4349 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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@bluebonnetbee:  wow I read your OP and I am so so sorry that you’ve had to deal with so much loss in such a short amount of time. I know what that’s like as I lost my father in law and my sister and had a miscarriage all within 8 months of each other. Sometimes it felt like we were just constantly being punched in the gut left and right and I would imagine that that’s how you must be feeling. And in the midst of an engagement and happy things that must be so hard to reconcile.

I will say that my Father-In-Law and sister have now been gone almost 2 years and all the good things that happen just have some sadness mixed in with them. I think of the future sometimes and realize that if I ever have children (currently undergoing fertility treatments, to add to all our heartache we’ve had to undergo IVF and it’s been really hard and a tough road) my sister and Father-In-Law will never know them. That makes me so sad. There are so many times where I want to call them both and tell them things and I can’t. Everything just seems to have a dark cloud over it and I have a feeling that will never change.

To answer your question about getting engaged, I don’t think there is a right answer to this, I think your idea of waiting a few months is a good one and then seeing how you feel. But I would recommend not wallowing for too long, take the time you need but don’t put off your life. I’ve learned through all the loss that life is so short and time is not on our side. Good luck to you OP, and congrats on the upcoming engagement. Wishing the best for you. 

Post # 15
Member
4349 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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@aeroforceone:  so sorry to read your story about the loss of your sister. I too lost my sister suddenly in Jan 2019 and it was the worst time of my life, and it’s still really hard. This is truly a club no one wants to be a part of and i’m sorry for what you went through. It truly fucking sucks. 

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