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Guilt not visiting Dads final resting place?

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:17 pm
My Dad collapsed this year on Jan 1st from a massive heart........6 days later we had to let him go from his life support. The last time I spoke with my Dad was 31st Dec and I wished him a "Happy New Year" for the next day, he grinned and said it back to me and that was the last time I spoke to him.

Anyway fast forward 10mths, for some reason I can not go to visit Dad at his grave site....I lied to my Mum and said I went and saw him on his birthday when I had not and I felt bad and guilty for that. I have made 2 attempts at it, 1st attempt I got over the chain fence, they have around the boundary of the cemetery, and I took 6 steps and that's it I started blubbering and couldn't see a thing, the closer I got the worse I was, on the 2nd attempt it was Fathers Day and I took a card same thing happened and I managed to get right up this time and virtually chucked the card at him, stammered out "Hey Dad" and that was that, I was off, my visit lasted all of 5 seconds.

Now I just feel guilty for not visiting him more and with Christmas coming up I know Ive got to go with my family, and as I'm the strongest in my family my younger brothers and my Mum always look to me....so I'm not looking forward to this at all. Has anyone else gone through this? Is this normal? this is the first death I have experienced in my direct family.
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:36 pm
@KiwiChic,
Kiwi, you don't have to explain your behavior to anyone, even your family. Your reactions, your need for time before you visit his grave, are completely understandable.

What is this guilt you are wrapping around yourself? You are grieving in your own way and in your own time.

panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:38 pm
@KiwiChic,
I feel for you, chic. I dread the day when it happens to me.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:42 pm
@KiwiChic,
I'm certain that you care about your father, KC. And (even though you don't understand why) you're not ready to visit his grave yet. Maybe you found his death very painful & you're having difficulties coming to grips with it? I don't know you nearly well enough to know whether this is the case or not. But it sounds rather like it.
None of this means that you care any less for your father. You'll go when you're ready, you know that. I don't think there's any one acceptable version of experiencing grief. You're doing it the only way you can at the moment.
It also sounds like you'd like to take a break from your designated family role of being "the strong one". I did that in my family & well ... it can be a lonely position when that's expected of you, all the time. And a hard one, too, when you're feeling particularly vulnerable yourself. Like now, for you, by the sounds of it.
Do you think you might feel a bit better if you had a quiet talk with your mother & told you how you feel?

Another thought: I've never experienced grief counseling myself, but others I know who have, found it very helpful in coming to terms with loss & grief. Just something you might like to consider, OK?
0 Replies
 
KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:44 pm
@ossobuco,
I feel I should go at least once a month and sit and have a chat, but I cant and the reason I feel guilty is that he is my 'Dad' and every one else in my family seems to always stop in when they go past. Ive been twice...and failed miserably at it lol the second time I went I left my poor husband standing there as I clambered back over the fence into the car, I dunno whats wrong with me.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:45 pm
You needn't force yourself to visit there. Your heart is in the right place and everyone probably knows it. If you give it enough time, I believe you will one day be able to go there without breaking down; and that's the right time to start visiting him.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:47 pm
No advice, just sympathy. Hopefully when you do make it, there will be strength in numbers and you can lean on each other.
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mac11
 
  3  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:48 pm
There is no normal for this, KiwiChic. You have to do what you can handle. If you need to tell your mom and brothers that you're not up to visiting your dad's grave at the holidays, I hope they'll understand that. But even if they don't, you can only handle what you're capable of handling.

My mom passed away in March. My dad died 18 years ago. In some ways, mom's death has brought back some of the grief over losing my dad that I thought I was past. My siblings and I are making special efforts to be good to each other, but we're all still grieving in our own ways.

The holidays are especially hard when you've lost someone close to you. Be kind to yourself. And keep us posted on how you're doing.
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KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:48 pm
@panzade,
Yes I never thought it would happen to me, at least not for a few more years yet.
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Mame
 
  3  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:48 pm
@KiwiChic,
You can have a chat with him wherever you are - he's in your heart, not the graveyard.

No need to feel guilty. Just tell them how you feel. Some of them may feel the same way and it could be a cathartic experience for you all.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:50 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
You can have a chat with him wherever you are - he's in your heart, not the graveyard.


Yes.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:52 pm
Nothing is wrong with you.

Out of the ordinary, anyway. We all vary on beliefs about life and afterlife, understanding of death, family rituals, religion.

Having this as a quiet time is perfectly sane.
KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:00 pm
Thanks guys, I cant talk to my friends about it as they all have their parents still and they all say the same thing.....they don't know how they are going to handle it when its their turn? and we are all just at that age that its now our parents time to go. Its just my Mum I cant tell her that I don't go as it will break her heart and she is struggling still with her loss. So I gather its probably quite normal that I will go later to visit without all the tears? I hope.....maybe if I stand at the back of everyone at Christmas, I should be fine.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:00 pm
@ossobuco,
You know, kiwi, that I visited my own parents' grave on a trip just recently, as you posted on that thread. It was on the thread by Boomerang about touch, about running my hand along the top of the headstone shattering me. My father died in 1968 and my mother in 1979. Grief is still in my bones, though I don't take it out and look at it often.

This is all part of being human. You don't really have to follow rules.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:04 pm
@KiwiChic,
don't push yourself or punish yourself. You've made the effort and that place is not where you feel close to your dad. I agree with Mame, he's in your heart and you carry him with you always.

My sister once took my mother to the cemetery to see her mother's grave site. It had been many years since the funeral and sis thought mom would want to go (she didn't really). We stayed just a minute before my mother returned to the car. She never went to the grave site again. There was no disrespect because that was not where she connected/communicated with her mother.

I go outside and site on my patio when I need to talk to my mom. She's wherever I am, but I prefer the patio.

Explain what you feel you need to to your family, but don't push yourself to accept that that's the place where you can visit with your dad.
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TTH
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:08 pm
@KiwiChic,
KiwiChic
I have gone through and am still going through what you described. My dad died a little over 2 years ago and I have only been to his grave site 2 times. Once was with my sister, otherwise I wouldn't have gone. I don't have any plans on going to his grave site and don't know if I ever will again. Maybe it just takes more time, I don't know. At times I feel guilty for not going.

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in how you feel.
KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:13 pm
@TTH,
Im sorry for your loss......if I had my way I would not go at all, but this guilt thing which is all my own, forces me to go and I don't like it, its just too stressful.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:16 pm
@KiwiChic,
I see the problem is dealing with your mother. Can you talk straight with her?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:22 pm
@KiwiChic,
I take gram to visit my grandfather 3 or 4 times a year. she needs to go see him.

I am not comfortable there, but can deal with it.

cemetaries make me feel the loneliness and neglect infused there.

I connect with my grandfather while in the middle of a vast lake, or a wheat field.

everyone is different, and makes their own peace.

take your time, and trust your heart.
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KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:22 pm
@ossobuco,
No she's still too fragile at the moment and now struggling to make ends meet now that Dad has gone ie mortgage, I just think that 'what she doesn't know wont hurt her'.
0 Replies
 
 

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