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Jude's avatar

After a loved one has passed away, for how long did you say to yourself "did that really happen? I can't believe that they're gone"?

Asked by Jude (32112points) May 8th, 2010

It’ll be three years (in a few weeks) since my Mom died and I still say from time to time “I can’t believe she’s gone”.

How long was it like that for you? Does that still happen to you, as well?

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48 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My brother passed away in 2001 and I’d say it took well over 7 years. My father died in September of last year and I am not at the point yet where I can say ‘yes, he died’ and understand it.

ducky_dnl's avatar

My friend passed away a few months ago, and I’m still hoping that he’ll come into my room and just cheer me up when I’m crying my eyes. I keep trying to delude myself right now.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

My Dad died 2 days before my 50th birthday, six years ago, and Mom six months later. I still forget sometimes, and remembering makes me relive hearing the news.

It’s not like I want to give up having birthdays because I’m reminded anew each year now, but it does take some of the luster off.

I’m sorry for your loss, @jjmah.

Draconess25's avatar

My friend’s mom passed away 7 years ago. She’s still in disbelief.

wilma's avatar

My dad died five months ago.
When a subject comes up and I need advice, I keep thinking that I’ll ask him about it, and then I remember, ........... I can’t.
When will I be able to really believe it?
Who will advise me?
Who will answer all my questions?

Aster's avatar

My best friend died about ten yrs ago and I sometimes just want her to be here, talking with me, making me laugh hysterically and it’s hard to believe she is completely gone from my life for good and I miss her so much.

RareDenver's avatar

Yeah, I’m 33 now and my mother died when I was 18 but a couple times a year I kinda forget and something will happen or be said and I think to myself “I gotta tell my mum that” and then I realise and for a split second it’s like all that original pain floods into my heart for a moment and squeezes it real hard but then just as quick it’s gone and I’m just left with a confused empty feeling and it’s “oh yeah, I can’t” Not sure it will ever go away, I kinda don’t want it to, it’s what makes me know I knew her and she was real.

philosopher's avatar

My father passed in 2001. I still can’t believe he is gone sometimes.
My home is filled with his Art work. He lives on through it.

wilma's avatar

Wow, @RareDenver you really said what I feel, except, that heart squeezing is not gone so quick for me yet. Then I cry and I just hope I am alone so that I don’t embarrass myself.

It’s a good thing I’m alone right now

RareDenver's avatar

@wilma I got tears in my eyes, it does get better but it never goes away, but would you want it to? I know I don’t.

philosopher's avatar

@wilma
You are all making me cry.
Having human emotions is not something to be embarrassed of.
I still miss my Grandparents too.
Life is a struggle and goes by quickly.

faye's avatar

My brother died in1997 and every once in a while I still see something and think he’d like that for xmas. My mom died in feb 2007 and my very good friend in June. I often remind myself mom’s gone and every other day I think or see something my friend would laugh at. My dad died when I was 13 and I knew he was gone done in my very soul.

wilma's avatar

No, @RareDenver I wouldn’t want it to. I know I have to go through this before it gets better.

@philosopher thanks.

Jeruba's avatar

Twenty-seven years and counting.

I understood and accepted it at the time, so I can’t call it disbelief, but it still happens that I say “I can’t believe Dad’s gone. I wish I could call him up and talk to him right now.”

Draconess25's avatar

My Mom died when I was two. I don’t remember anything from before I was five, but I still miss her. I feel terrible that I can’t remember her!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

When my wife was killed six months ago, the reality of it hit me almost instantly. We were extremely dependent on each other, so there was no way I could deny the reality of Megs death. The hurt and loneliness will never go away, nor do I want it to.

mrentropy's avatar

It’s been a month since my wife died and it still seems pretty unreal. I keep waiting for her to call me.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The stages of grief their order and their duration are different for different people. All we can do is respect each person’s process and offer what support we can.

I really sympathize with all of you mourning friends and family members. I am so grateful that I still have all my close family members. I lost a good friend 40 years when we were only 16 and I still remember her and how her death affected me.

aprilsimnel's avatar

More often for the first year or so. Occasionally even now.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@mrentropy My profound sympathy on your loss.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A good year for me to not speak of them in present tense. I had a wonderful friend die very young and it’s strange to be going through so many life experiences now with people we knew in common and saying, “sure wish so and so could see this…”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Good point. Six months and I still think and speak in terms of “we”.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@mrentropy – My condolences to you. :(

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land
I can’t imagine in six months that I’d even feel like a single person yet, my heart goes out to you for all the love you write about.

shego's avatar

I am still in disbelief, that my mom passed away and it’s been a little over a year. I still cry, and at times, and I wait for her to call me. I forget every once in a while that she is gone. We talked about everything, and she helped me out a lot emotionally. Last year when she passed, my life went in a downhill spiral, and I didn’t know what to do. I was a wreck. My ex became became abusive, and I lost my job.
To this day, I am still trying to cope with the loss of her. But Mother’s day, and any holiday that my family would get together, is still very hard for me, because I still have pictures in my head of her smiling, laughing, and telling my dad off for something stupid. I miss her very much.

Draconess25's avatar

@shego Well, you at least got to know your mom. You’re lucky. I’m sure she wouldn’t want you to be sad.

shego's avatar

@Draconess25 She wouldn’t want me to be sad, she always told me that she wanted the people that knew to her to be happy when she passed. She always said that life and death is to be celebrated. But the death part is easier said than done.

Draconess25's avatar

@shego When people say “there in a better place” & stuff like that, they probably haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one. It’s not that we feel sorry for them; they’re probably better of than us. We just miss them. It’s like they moved to another country, but different. It’s because it’ll be a long time before we see them again.

I’ve lost a lot of people close to me. I feel for you.

Draconess25's avatar

@shego When people say “there in a better place” & stuff like that, they probably haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one. It’s not that we feel sorry for them; they’re probably better off than us. We just miss them. It’s like they moved to another country, but different. It’s because it’ll be a long time before we see them again.

I’ve lost a lot of people close to me. I feel for you.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The thing that keeps going through my head is “why her? why not me instead?”. Meg was a totally superior person to me in every way and had much more to offer the world.

lfino's avatar

Almost five years for me and I still occasionally think, “Oh, I’ve got to remember and tell mom that” when I hear of something news-worthy or funny. I still have a recurring dream that it’s just happened and I have to get rid of her clothes. I wake up with this huge heavy feeling. Just happened two nights ago again.

susanc's avatar

I guess we hold onto the pain so that it won’t catch us unawares, because like @RareDenver said, if we forget and have to remember again, it’s too horrible, it’s as if it had just happened all over again.
I hang onto my husband by feeling it instead of trying not to. I try, but I’m not really able to manage without him. So I talk to him a lot. He used to answer, but he must have gotten busy wherever he went because now he’s pretty quiet.
I can remember how he would have looked at me when I used to speak to him, though, so I think I know what he would be saying. He would be saying, “You can do this”. Well, of course I can. I just very sincerely don’t want to have to.

Sophief's avatar

My Grandma died in 1999. It hurt me so much, she was a fantastic lady. She was beautiful and she meant the world to me. I was the last person she saw before she died, and I didn’t want to leave her, but she told me to go home because she was “tired and she was ready to go to sleep”. I knew what that meant, but didn’t quite believe what that meant. I got a call less than an hour later. Although it was so long ago, I still think about her everyday. Think what advice she would give me. The people that touch us in this world are the people that never truly leave us. Sorry about your mum.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Draconess25 when people say “they’re in a better place”, I don’t think they have a clue in the world. I know they mean well, but I tune them out… rather than shout at them to shut the hell up if they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Now that we’re all talking about love and loss, I’m recalling a man who was introduced to me for the first time when I was in my teens. And because they thought I’d be freaked out by it, my parents told me before we met to not comment on the port-wine birthmark that covered most of one side of his face, and that he walked with a cane and a limp. (He was pretty old then.) He was my great-uncle, brother to my grandmother. I never did hear what the story was and why we hadn’t met him earlier, or even known of his existence. It wasn’t like he had been in prison or a mental institution; he was just “away”, but no one mentioned him to us kids.

He was a wonderful old guy. Five minutes after meeting him you’d forget all about the birthmark and anything else that was “different” about him. To this day I know almost nothing about his life. But I remember how he made me feel, and the conversations we had. He died nearly 40 years ago, too soon after I met him, and I still recall him with great fondness. Love? I suppose, though we only met a few times.

I can still hear his peculiar cackling (and infectious!) laugh when he pointed out something funny, made a joke… or appreciated one of mine. “That’s a good one, Colonel!” he’d slap his knee and tell me. I can hear him now.

Since then, of course, I’ve lost a lot of people in my life. It’s good to be reminded, even if it makes me miss them all over again.

perspicacious's avatar

I’m sure every experience is different. I lost someone late last year and still find myself trying to deal with the reality that she is nowhere on this earth.

tranquilsea's avatar

My mom died two years ago, suddenly, and I still have days when I just can’t believe she is gone.

Last night I had a dream about her. She was standing by our piano and I held up her wallet, that I still have, and said, “Look what I have still.” She got mad at me and shouted, “Why do you have my wallet?”. I said, “You’re dead.” And then I woke up crying. She was on my mind before I went to bed because it is Mother’s Day today.

The pain isn’t as bad now as it was a year ago, but I still miss her like crazy and I probably will all my life.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@tranquilsea I still have very vivid dreams about Meg. Sometimes she just talks to me as if nothing happened.

tranquilsea's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land :-) I know the dreams are just my subconsciousness reliving who she was, with all the emotions attached. But it does make me wonder, sometimes, if that is really her.

Thank goodness the urge to call her has gone away.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@tranquilsea It takes some pretty strong medication to overcome my desire to join her.

tranquilsea's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I have a lot of people die lately, but they have all been in the older generation. I could not imagine what I would do without my husband. You have my sympathy with how hard this must be for you.

Bellatrix's avatar

I can still imagine my dad is still in the UK and its been decades. I think that might be because I haven’t gone back and experienced him not being there. I know of course he isn’t there, but every now and then for a fleeting moment…

philosopher's avatar

@Bellatrix
I have a similar experience with my father. Memories are very strong and time goes more quickly every year.
I feel the same about my father in law who was always there for us.
We live in a cold cruel world.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Bellatrix I think most of us put my mom on vacation when she died. I was at my therapist’s office yesterday and I was talking about her, as tomorrow is her birthday, and he gently reminded me that I still refer to her in the present tense (she’s been gone now for 3½ years). That is because I put her on vacation.

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