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Really struggling mentally!

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stebizstebiz Forumite
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I lost my Sister in Law to suicide 9 months ago. My Dad died weeks ago with cancer after suffering since Summer. His last days I can't get out of my mind and neither will the funeral of 10 mourners sat 2 metres apart.  Today my Father in law 'it 'appears' also has been diagnosed with cancer and my wife is very upset. Add this to the pandemic we are all suffering from I'm really struggling. Not sleeping and have no energy left. I'm sure others have gone through difficult times. Any tips? xx
Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies


  • Kat78MFWKat78MFW Forumite
    137 posts
    100 Posts Third Anniversary
    Sorry to hear about your bereavements and the news about your father-in-law. I often have trouble sleeping and I have found yoga a wonderful tool to help to get into a more relaxed state so I am resting, even if I am not sleeping. I use yoga with adriene on YouTube. If you can manage to get out for a little exercise in the daytime that can help too. This may not work for you but I have taken to sleeping on my own on the sofa bed downstairs. It is sad not to be with my husband but I find that if I can't sleep, worrying about waking him up with my restlessness makes me even worse. It is also a lot cooler downstairs.
    Maybe you need to talk your feelings through with someone outside the family - here is the link for Cruse who provide bereavement counselling
    Best wishes 

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  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Nothing is going to make the tough stuff go away, but in a recent email Martin gave links to free apps (at least for a period) which might help: Calm and Headspace
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  • BobzizBobziz Forumite
    127 posts
    100 Posts
    Excellent advice above. I'm currently learning to live with the loss of my father, and would say that exercise, eating well, and meditation, are the main things that have helped me. I have good days and not so good days, but gradually the not so good are becoming less frequent. Time heals....
  • edited 28 May at 10:21AM
    xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    edited 28 May at 10:21AM
    I lost my Sister in Law to suicide 9 months ago. My Dad died weeks ago with cancer after suffering since Summer. His last days I can't get out of my mind and neither will the funeral of 10 mourners sat 2 metres apart.

    Loss is bad enough but the sense of unfinished business and words left unspoken can be worse.

    Perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that you did all you could possibly do for your father - I am sure that he would have known that as his time came to an end.

    A funeral normally permits people to find consolation in being physically close - sadly, this is not possible at the moment and leaves behind yet more of a sense of emptiness and lack of closure.

    Add to the above the fresh anxiety about your father-in-law's health, your wife's distress and the national disquiet and it is no wonder that you are close to feeling overwhelmed.

    I had a letter of condolence from a very old gentleman - he said that grief is the price we pay for love and that is true - but the time comes when we have paid our dues and can remember with love and without pain.

    In the meanwhile, be kind to yourself and your wife - if you have a garden do use it.

    By the end of next month  it may be that we will all be  able to move around more freely and you will be able to do more to support your father in law - you may find that needing to  concern yourselves with this will keep your minds and hands busy - feeling usefully occupied can sometimes ease grief.

    "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" - let's all hope that Victor Hugo was right.

  • edited 28 May at 10:43AM
    bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    edited 28 May at 10:43AM
    Would it help to plan for a memorial service or some sort of get together in memory of your father after lockdown ends?  

    In the meantime you need to give yourself permission to mourn.  If these events had no effect on your mental well being you would be an awful human being.  We mourn because we are human and have the capacity to love.  It will take at least a year to get over this, probably longer as you are now dealing with another possible death.  But that’s a small price to pay for what must have been relationships, however complicated, that endured for decades.
  • Dymphna60Dymphna60 Forumite
    148 posts
    100 Posts First Anniversary
    So much loss without the addition of the strain of the virus. 
    Have you had any help ? 
    I know from experience that it is not always easy to find help that is actually helpful. For different people it’s different things . 
    Have you spoken to Macmillan bereavement for example? 
    I am not saying don’t try meditation but I would urge a note of caution. You say you can’t get your fathers last days and funeral out of your mind . It is possible that you have grief complicated by post traumatic stress and with this the emptying
    of the mind required for meditation can cause distressing images to come strongly into your mind ( I found my partner after he took his life ) . 
    2 years on and I feel I have dealt with it all - a 5 year run of death and serious illness. 
    I can only say what helped me . I made myself a project . set myself’ tasks ‘ not ones that would be difficult to keep. 
    Things like I will eat one good healthy meal a day but not scold myself if I eat cake . 
    Take a certain amount of exercise 
    get outside 
    make your sleeping place as comfortable as possible . 
    Anything that is going to make sleep more likely. 
    But for the longer term I know I needed help . 
    For me it was grief recovery that enabled me to be me again. For you it may be something else . 
    Wishing you and your wife all the best . 
  • edited 29 May at 3:28AM
    stebizstebiz Forumite
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    edited 29 May at 3:28AM
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts. My Mum seems to get solice from the fact herself and 2 sons were there at the end but it wasn't peaceful as she likes to remember it as. Somebody made a point of saying 'make your sleeping place as comfortable as possible'. I think it's time for a new mattress. I seem to have found every lump in our present one. Diet needs looking at and walks outside. It's finding the time as I work long hours but fortunately these are at home. I will look at Yoga and the memorial service is a great idea. Appreciate your thoughts. It seems the more you love somebody the harder it is. 

    Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies
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