I lost my dad the day after my first wedding anniversary my husbands 40th birthday last year in July, I can’t believe it’s nearly been 12 months. I’m finding it harder and harder to look at the calendar every day, we were very close and I had him living with us for the last 7 weeks of his life which I will cherish forever. Roughly 4 weeks ago we learnt my father in law that I have a very close bond with who is my husbands step dad who he adores and classes him as his dad (we have no relationship with his biological dad), has  found out he has bowel and brain cancer, they have stopped treatment, I feel I’m re-living last year all over again, it’s bringing my memories up so much and it’s taking a toll on me physically, I don’t know how to stay strong for my kids and my husband and my mother in law who I cherish as much as my mum.

Why is life so cruel, how do I protect my kids from such another big loss so close together, especially when we all still haven’t dealt with dad passing. All advice will be greatly appreciated.

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  • I kept focusing on all the happy memories in order to deal with the loss.

  • Yes I really feel for you I lost my Mum now coming up 4 years yes it’s hard especially Christmas as my mum loved Christmas and went to so much trouble cooking and baking sure everything was just perfect I really miss her

  • You can’t protect your kids from bad things. Bad things happen in life, it’s up to us as parents, to show them ways to deal with them and learn to cope

  • I hope all is well with you ((hugs))

  • Make sure you can take time to deal with the grief. Its best to show your kids that they don’t need to stay strong for eveyone. And its ok if you all really aren’t ok.

  • Take time to grieve and don’t hide it from your children. In that way you give the example that there is place for sadness and grieve and that expressing your feelings is ok. It can help to do symbolic things with the kids, planting a tree in the garden, make a photo book/collage or memory wall/cupboard, put messages to your loved one in a jar, read them out together & share and send them up to heaven, etc

  • I too have lost loved ones and have been rocked to my core. We all know we have a limited time on this earth, but it still hits hard when we lose someone we love so much. The sadness I feel is always there, but time has allowed me to manage that sadness a little better. I wish you peace mikiajai.

  • everyone handles grief differently … do what you need to do when you need to do it… time changes your perspective … let yourself grieve

  • Take each moment as it comes. Don’t put pressure on yourself not to grieve.

    Plant some beautiful flowers to grow as healing.

    Be kind to yourself

  • My heart goes out to you :( I lost my dad is 2002 from a heart attack, my favourite Uncle (my dad’s brother) a week later from cancer and then my 14 year old daughter from a fractured toe which caused a blood clot, as much as people say time heals, it really doesn’t. There isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think about my daughter and father. It’s really hard, especially when milestones pass and their not there to share them. I wish I could say something to make you feel better, I’ve found being open & honest and talking about them has been best. Unfortunately you cannot protect your kids from loss no matter what you try to do. Remember that you don’t always have to be STRONG. Find sometime to yourself so you can let the grief out without everyone there. I sometimes sob for 10 mins in the shower for relief or go to the cemetery and just sit and talk to them.

  • I am so sorry with what you and your family are going through. I dont think you can hide the truth from your children. I think its important to sit them down and tell them that their grandfather has cancer and is really ill, they dont need all the nitty gritty details, just the basics as they will see something is wrong and will feel it with the emotions from you, your husband and their grandmother. A priest or someone from a funeral parlour may be able to talk to the children and even be of help to you. You may wish to go and talk to a grief counsellor or talk to someone from the cancer council.
    There is also services available like lifeline where you can talk to someone over the phone. Even talking to a good friend may help. No one can take away your pain or change what you have been through and what you will be going through. Unfortunately its a horrible part of life for those who are left. It helps remembering all the good times and try and think of them with a smile and not always with tears. I hope you find some degree of comfort in what people may say to you. I hope your father in laws journey is as pain free as possible.

  • Firstly – HUGS! You have been through a great deal of pain and you have more ahead of you. I smashed into a brick wall commonly given the name post traumatic stress disorder, I went and sought help through a councillor and art therapy, they gave me tools to help me come to terms with my grief and an outlet to express it. Please seek help so that you can be the rock for your family that you want to be. You can’t shelter your children from loss, but you can be there for them and talk to them about it and help them understand any feelings they may be having. Please take care.

  • Just try and remember the good times you had with your dad,with your father in law make ever day now count, don’t leave anything unsaid and make sure there are no regrets.

  • Im sorry to hear about what you are going through. I see deaths daily, grim outcomes etc. I think we have to accept the fact that these things cannot be controlled, cannot be foreseen and more often than not happen to the nicest people. Death is not ageist.
    Remember that it is good to grieve. People that hold a strong spiritual sense/religion etc have been shown to cope better. I think we often get so caught up in life, work, daily happenings we forget that time on this earth is limited. Death is inevitable. In a way, see it as a reminder of what is really important in life and teach your kids that as they grow, when they get overwhelmed with things such as jobs, politics, the mortgage that those are small things and to remember to make time for those they love. It might be the start or a reminder of what is important in your life and where you plan to be after life here ends.

  • My heart goes out to you :( I lost my dad is 2011 after illness and as much as people say time heals, it really doesn’t. There isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think about my Dad and I still light a candle in his honour each week. It’s really hard, especially when milestones pass and he’s not their to share them. I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I’m still searching for that myself. My daughter was present when my dad passed away & now suffers anxiety. I’ve found being open & honest with my kids has been best, they can tell straight away if I’m not being honest with them.

  • Wow, you are really being tested. This sounds so much to take and sounds like it is taking its toll on you. Grief affects people in so many different ways. But, given that you have taken the step of posting a question here is a sign that you are aware of the huge impact these losses are having on you and that is such a hard fact to sometimes accept so good on you! Personally, I found one-on-one professional counselling very helpful when my father died. Might be something to consider. There are also loss and grief support groups. Perhaps a visit to your GP (if you have a good relationship with one, even better) might be helpful or they can offer suggestions of what to do, where to go, etc.
    I wish you all the best at what can be a very stressful and emotionally draining time.

  • Unfortunately, loss is something we all need to deal with. I think being honest with the children (age specific) and explaining what is happening or what might happen over time will prepare your children. And when things do get terrible, choosing what your children hear and see is crucial. Reminding them to remember the good times. Ask them to write or draw some of their fond memories with the FIL. It helps process the situation and also appreciate him. I would also consider counselling. It could help deal with things now rather than build up and become a really big problem in a year or even decade. We all want the best for our children. Good luck.

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