Four months ago I was having my regular talk with my daddy before I went to sleep. He was telling me he found my husband and I a house and we would go to dinner the next night and go check the house out. This was nothing out of the ordinary, as I talk to my dad multiple times a day, every day.
In the morning, I woke up to get my oldest ready for school when I noticed that I had received a text from my dad in the middle of the night around 2am. It said "I hope you can forgive me, love you forever, dad." Naturally, I called instantly but there was no answer, so I rushed all my children into the car. I drove to my dad's, beat on the doors and windows but got no answer. I kicked the door in because I wanted to make sure my daddy was okay. I found him on his bed. At that moment, my world crumbled.
I keep myself together for my kids but I feel myself falling apart. I can't let him go - I'm not ready to live without my daddy. I'm constantly questioning everything leading to that day. Sometimes I wake up and I relive that whole day over and over again in my mind. The pain is unbearable. I wasn't supposed to lose my parent so young. Why would he leave me like this? Why can't I stop running everything through my mind. What do I do?
Gina my dear,
It hurts, doesn't it? Grief is the price of love. It is a real pain, and you are honoring him by feeling it. He deserves this pain of yours.
Just think how he would feel if you had died and left him. He'd feel worse, because he'd think, "Parents are supposed to die before their kids." And his last thought was his love for you.
He only died 4 months ago. When you suffer a serious loss like this, you can expect the grief to last 1 to 2 years (whatever people may tell you), although everyone is different. It is like a broken bone: it hurts, takes time to heal, and leaves you stronger if everything goes well. So, give yourself permission to feel this pain. From what you wrote, the day before it happened he had plans - he expected a future. We don't know what went on in his mind before he shot himself, except that he loved you, to the last moment.
How to cope? You still have children and a husband you need to care for and live with. If only your oldest goes to school, you have very young children to look after. You also still have a life to live. Here is something that has worked for other people I've counseled who suffered a major grief like this:
Set aside a certain amount of time each day, for focusing on your grief. At this early stage, a total of two hours a day would be good, but fit in whatever you can, in whatever way you can. Write these "appointments with daddy" down in your diary or on your calendar. They are important appointments.
During the time you have devoted to your grief, you give yourself permission to feel it to the full. Cry, look at photos, do all the grieving things you have been doing all the time until now. But during the rest of your day, every time a thought of grief comes, say within your mind, "Go away daddy, I have an appointment with you for 2 pm" (or whatever the time of your appointment is).
Because you have these special crying times, and keep the appointments, he will go. You will be able to get on with life in between.
Hugs to you and your kids,