It had been 2 years to my father’s death and I wasn’t able to move on.
My father was my role model. He meant everything to me. I lost him 2 years back in an accident. I couldn’t accept the fact that he was no longer with us. I strongly felt that nothing would ever be the same again.
Losing my father had changed everything. My life had fallen apart since he had gone. He was a loving husband, a wonderful son and the greatest father. He cared deeply for others. He always encouraged me and my younger sister to dream big, and inspired us to try different things. I missed having intellectual discussions with him. I missed irritating him with my lame jokes. I missed laughing with him. I missed him. Of course, we had disagreements because of difference of opinion but the best part was that these arguments did not prolong.
Since this incident, I had experienced a range of emotions from anger and sadness to unavoidable pain and numbness. I had been drowning myself in work so as to keep my mind off his thoughts. I had started remaining upset most of the time when I was alone. I did not feel like meeting my friends or going to a relative’s place or a party. As soon as I would reach home, I would get surrounded by the same thoughts and emotions, which I was afraid to face. I would dwell on the past from time to time. Every time my sister brought me food, I would not feel like eating. Ever since the news of his accident, I hadn’t been able to get sound sleep as I would have dreams of my father on and off. His continued appearance and disappearance in my dreams kept the wound open.
My family would try to console me but I would yell at them for being sympathetic towards me. Being the eldest child, I had to appear stronger in front of them otherwise who would take care of them. I would experience brief anger episodes, getting furious over why he went away just like this. I did not even get a chance to see him before he left us. I often found myself wondering if healing in this situation was ever possible.
Looking at my condition, my mother took me to a therapist. The therapist told me that the first step towards healing involved confronting and accepting the pain. She explained to me how unresolved grief could spiral into anxiety and depression. Not being able to say goodbye to my father contributed to my feelings of sadness and anger. The goal of therapy was to integrate the loss into my life and not hold on to the ghosts of the past.
The therapist made me understand that I did not have to pretend to be strong all the time in front of others. She reminded me that it was natural to feel the pain however intense it was, and that pushing the pain below the surface was exhausting. It was okay to lose my composure or to have an outburst. The therapist couldn’t take away my pain but she provided the much needed outlet while I was struggling to deal with my loss. When I was reminded of my father, she asked me to use it as an opportunity to cherish his memory by associating all his positive attributes with it. I think this was exactly what I needed now more than ever.