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Forums / Grief and loss / Grieving the loss of both my parents

Topic: Grieving the loss of both my parents

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. Til
    Til avatar
    1 posts
    6 July 2020

    Hi everyone,

    When I was 13, my Mum had a severe stroke that left her paralysed on one side of her body and with some memory loss.
    My Mum was basically my Dad's carer at the time, as he had a genetic illness and his mental health declined over the years.
    They both moved into nursing homes, as they needed extra care and considering I was young I couldn't look after them myself.

    Late 2018, my mum's health declined and in March 2019 she passed away.
    Fast forward 14 months later (last month) my Dad unfortunately passed away.

    My parent's Doctors both put them into palliative care. My mum was in it for 6 months, whereas my Dad passed away within 5 days.
    Mum lost so much weight and looked unrecognisable in the end and Dad was a shock as he went for a checkup for something else and the doctor said he had until the end of the week to live, due to fluid in his lungs.
    They seemed to be in a lot of pain in their final week.

    I'm 26 now and I've struggled a lot with depression and anxiety over the years, but I can't shake the regret, anger and sadness I have with myself. I feel like I was in a state of denial for so long about their declining health, that I didn't see them as much as I should've. I have so much regret about not spending their last day with them and not being there in their final hours. I really hope they knew how much I loved and appreciated them.
    I'm an only child aswell and even though I know I have a lot of supportive family members and friends, I still feel so alone during this time.
    I'm the only one in my friendship group that has lost a parent, let alone both.

    I will be returning to counselling at some point but can't physically speak about this face to face without breaking down. I find it hard to talk to my friends about this, because they haven't experienced something similar and I feel they have issues of their own and I don't want to burden them.

    I'm also stressed about their cemetery plaque, as I don't know what to write or do for it.
    Their funerals both seem like a blur to me, especially my Dad's which was only 3 weeks ago.

    I just wanted to know if there was a way to help manage feelings of regret and grief?
    If anyone reading this has attended a grief support group in person, was it helpful connecting with others compared to just a counsellor?

    Thank you!

  2. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2464 posts
    6 July 2020 in reply to Til


    I am so very sorry for your loss, I have no idea how hard it must be for you to have lost not one parent, but both, my heart goes out to you.

    I am proud that you have reached out here to get some comfort and some support and to chat and to get these feelings off your chest. I can relate somewhat to what you have shared about guilt and about doing things differently, I too have these feelings and have worked hard to come to a better place now with these regrets. I think some counselling would be a wonderful idea, it can really help to put these feelings into some sort of order and process if you like. I learnt so much about grief and about how to work my way through this process, as it is just that, a process and there is no right or wrong way to do it, there is no time frame and there is no expectations. You do it how you need to for as long as you need to.

    My loss was through suicide so I also was able to get some support about that too, to learn about suicide which also helped me to grieve. I am wondering if you can perhaps take some time to talk to the doctor of your father to understand more of his illness and this may release you of some of the guilt that you are carrying. Of course hindsight is a most wonderful thing and if we all knew that we were never going to be seeing this person again we would do things differently, however we don't have this luxury in life. I am sure, that like you, each day with your parents you did the best you could with what that day brought to you.

    Three weeks ago is not a very long time and I am sure that you are still very raw with emotion from the loss of your father and this has also brought up all the feelings of the loss of your mother so it is a really heavy and emotional time for you Til. Please try to take some time to be kind to yourself, to do something that makes you feel good, you have done nothing wrong here and do not need to punish yourself.

    As you mentioned also, you were a young person and could not have possibly taken on the role of caring for your parents so the best solution for them to be cared for was to have them in a nursing home. Maybe in this time some counselling might have helped you process this, but once again, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I too would be in denial about my parents health, it is a very hard thing I am sure to have to realize that your parents are not well and in palliative care.

    I hope to chat to you some more Til, we care so much about you.

    Huge hugs


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