How should you feel when someone dies?

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  • How should you feel when someone dies?
  • Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Firstly apologies if this is a bit rambling – its been a long day and I am reasonably drunk.

    Today was pretty much a normal Saturday until about 3pm when I got a phone call from my uncle who I haven’t spoken to in about 20 years saying he had some bad news. As grannybgoode is very ill and very old I assumed it would be to let me know death had finally defeated her after 15 years of trying.

    As it turned out my dad, who had been in pretty much good health and just about to turn 70, had collapsed in Paris (where he lives).

    3 hours later he was dead.

    Thing is I am not that bothered. He left my mum when I was 5 and moved to Australia when I was 10 and that **** me up pretty badly. In recent years we have been perfectly amicable but never really close – definitely not a ‘normal’ father / son relationship – I just feel there is an expectation for me to be devastated which I am not.

    Yes I am sad and I feel terribly sorry for his wife (remarried many years ago) and am particularly anxious about grannybgoode but am I bothered about my father’s passing? I don’t know.

    Is this normal? Will it hit me later on? What do I say to people (Mrs Danny for example) who say I am bottling stuff up?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    It’s about what you actually feel, not what you think you ought to be feeling. No rights or wrongs, you can’t (and shouldn’t) force it just to satisfy the expectations of other people, as long as you’re respectful to their feelings. By the sounds of it you do feel something, so you’re not completely neutral about it. Certainly don’t beat yourself up about it.

    I don’t know how I’ll react when my dad goes (we’re superficially, but not really, close).

    SBrock
    Member

    hey fella

    my relationship with my dad sounds very similar to yours

    I don’t love my dad, but I have thought about how I would feel many times when he does actually leave this mortal coil – and the way you feel is how I think I may feel.

    There is no shame in this, I can categorically say that my dad made my childhood miserable when he was about, he is the most uncaring socially inept bloke I know.

    I don’t him to come to any harm, but I really don’t give a shit about him especially the way he dismissed my little sisters suicide

    ricky1
    Member

    Everyone deals with death in a different way,everyone around you should respect that and let you deal with it in your own way, but you shouldn’t be bothered about what people are thinking you need to sort yourself out first,sorry to hear about your dad,like you said it might not have been a father son relationship but he was still your father and you might miss that part of your life at some point in the future.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    As above, so many variables but the key is, it’s a personal thing with no right or wrong answers. It was like water off a ducks back to my when my dad died. Totally different story when I lost my grandparents.

    No one has any right to impose their thoughts or feelings or your grief (or lack of).

    ontor
    Member

    Think what you think. Feel what you feel. Accept both and ignore the drama queens.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    I’ve no similar experience to pass on I’m afraid, but to be honest, I think you’ll deal with it ok, from what tiny amount of your persona it’s possible to glean from a few posts about CB radio and such like 😉

    Don’t feel bad though; whoever he was to you, is less relevant than to who you are to yourself.

    Best wishes to those affected.

    Cheers, Deathy B

    cfinnimore
    Member

    Bereavement is very individual and the feelings of loss and confusion are often compounded by the necessity to grieve in an “obvious” way.

    What is certain is that the immediate rush of all emotion often leads to a state of shock where we have difficulty putting into words exactly how we do, or do not , feel.

    “Going through the motions” is a phrase used alot. Look at Cruse for some other helpful resources. They are also wonderful to talk to. Both my Mum and I have worked with them in the past and it’s good to hear that there is no “right” way to be.

    soobalias
    Member

    if you are bottling it up, you will have to deal with it (and then some) in the future

    but you might genuinely not GAS

    grannybegoode will go on forever, women always do.

    why do men always die young?
    cos they want to.

    Midnighthour
    Member

    You cant control how you feel – they are emotions after all. Just accept the emotions you do or don’t have, just as they are.

    No point at all in going on a guilt trip or trying to force feelings you just dont have. To be honest, in many ways you are lucky as it can be utter hell if someone you deeply love and are close to dies – would not wish that grief on anyone.

    If you care about your gran, you clearly are not a cold hearted person. We cant care about everyone we are related to in exactly the same way. They are like anyone else that we meet as friends, some relatives we love, some we hate, some we feel comparatively indifferent too. Its just the way of the world.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Sounds fairly normal to me (but then I am a cold hearted bastard). No point in grieving over somebody you didn’t actually care for that much, just because you’re supposed to.

    johndoh
    Member

    After losing both parents (that I was very close to) in the last 5 years, I found myself quite resilient to emotional outbursts. Barely a day goes by that I don’t think about them but it wasn’t quite what I expected it would be like.

    As everyone above has said, you feel what you feel, no more, no less.

    Premier Icon Suggsey
    Subscriber

    I didn’t see my dad for 26 years and now I have a matter of fact relationship with him, bordering on absolutely no feelings for him as he doesn’t give any back. I honestly would not feel a thing if he was to die as he was never a feather to me and never will be in the true sense of the word. There are few family that I would grieve for, sad but true i know some would think but mine is just not a loving family and never really was.
    Main thing is you cannot help the way you may feel and no one can judge you as they have not lived your life or had the emotional detachment that your circumstance produced.

    Premier Icon tenfoot
    Subscriber

    There is no right or wrong way to feel. When my dad died, I alternated between feeling numb, angry, guilty and sad.
    He’d kind of given up on life in the last few years and nothing could be done to snap him out if it.

    A year on, I still think about him every day, but mainly think about how he used to be, rather than what he had become.

    Just go with how you feel in the here and now and forget about what others expect you to feel.

    aP
    Member

    You will feel what you feel. No one else can tell you what to think, or how you should publicly display that feeling (although there are certain public displays that are considered socially expected).

    robbo
    Member

    Only thing to add is don’t do (or not do) anything you’ll regret later on. Took me five years to cry over my dad passing and I missed him going because I had a job interview. Wished I’d been there.

    Danny. I’m another one with a distant but cordial relationship with my father and had 25 years without seeing him. I will feel very little When he goes I think. It really boils my piss when people tell me how I should feel or communicate. Feel what you feel. It’s ok. People with closer relationships won’t get it but that’s their problem.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    How should you feel when someone dies?

    If you liked them, you should feel sad
    If you loved them you should feel very sad
    If you didn’t like them you should feel mild happiness
    If you hated them you should feel a bit happy
    If you couldn’t care about them you should feel indifferent.

    Ok it’s probably a bit more complicated than that but in a nutshell….

    mattrgee
    Member

    There’s nothing at all wrong with how you’re feeling, similar experience to my own. Some advice, don’t be pressured into something because you’re told you ‘should’. I went to my Dads funeral and wished I hadn’t, I didn’t like the guy or respect the him and was very indifferent following his death. Having to speak to his family at the wake and share stories etc was all very hypocritical of me. I shouldn’t have gone.

    My dad had a heart attack a few years ago. He survived. I was disappointed.
    Fact is, you feel the way you feel and you shouldn’t need to justify it.
    When does go, I won’t be bothered and cerainly won’t be at any funerals.

    gonzy
    Member

    Danny – how you feel about your fathers death will really be a reflection of how you felt towards him when he was alive. as you said you werent particularly close and that there seemed to be some resentment over him leaving you as a small child it perfectly understandable that you feel indifferent now that he has died.
    there is no “right” way to feel when someone dies…people react differently to death and this is partly to do with how their coping mechanisms operate.
    if you feel no overwhelming grief then what can you do? you certainly shouldnt pretend to feel this way. dont feel guilty or bad about the way you now feel…no one can or should judge you on this. no-one else knows what went on on your relationship with him but you and your feelings will be based on those experiences.
    i was devastated when my parents died and it took me some time to come to terms with this…but this was due to me being their main carer during their final years…my brothers although just as devastated didnt show the same emotions…neither did my sister for that matter…but i’ve never thought anything of it. like i said people react and cope with death differently. i know where you’re coming from though….i havent spoken to 2 of my brothers for about 3 years…if either of them died at this point in time i’d probably feel the way you are feeling now.

    hooli
    Member

    Sorry for your loss, I hope you come to terms with your feelings.

    I saddens me that so many on this thread have or had such bad relationships with their fathers. I was robbed of a childhood with my father because his cancer and I hope beyond anything that I have a good relationship with my kids as they grow up and become more independent.

    johndoh
    Member

    People with closer relationships won’t get it but that’s their problem.

    It is nothing to do with the closeness of a relationship with someone that has died, it is all about the individual coping mechanisms. As I have already said on this thread, I have lost both parents in the last five years (and had a wonderful relationship with both of them) but I didn’t react how I imaged I would – no bawling or emotional outbursts, just a sad acceptance of their mortality.

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