Dealing with the death of someone close

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Biscuitman
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28 Feb 2022, 2:44 pm

My dad is in a critical condition and is likely not going to make it. I don't feel how I assume I am meant to feel about this. I am just taking it as quite matter of fact. It just is what it is. And that then makes me feel a little worried that I am not reacting 'correctly'

How do you deal with death of someone close? does the above relate to anyone else?



Steve1963
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28 Feb 2022, 2:45 pm

Biscuitman wrote:
My dad is in a critical condition and is likely not going to make it. I don't feel how I assume I am meant to feel about this. I am just taking it as quite matter of fact. It just is what it is. And that then makes me feel a little worried that I am not reacting 'correctly'

How do you deal with death of someone close? does the above relate to anyone else?

I totally understand where you're coming from. When my mom died last December, I was more concerned with how little I responded to her death than I was with her actual death. I guess we all mourn in our own way...or so I've be told.



Joe90
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28 Feb 2022, 2:56 pm

I heard there is no right way to mourn. Men mourn more internally than women, NT or not. I've recently lost my mum due to cancer and although I'm functioning OK I still feel all sorts of emotions, but I am going through the disbelief stage.


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SharonB
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28 Feb 2022, 3:16 pm

If I think about those close to me, I have the options to feel nothing (which I generally take) or feel everything (which I generally avoid). Feeling nothing is great for getting on in life. It can be overapplied. My NT sister will text me about a hard situation: "I can't stop crying". My thought is: "I can't start". :| I know I am in trouble when my baseline agitation goes up. If your agitation is low, then I wouldn't worry about it. If one wants to, they can explain to others so they don't draw inappropriate conclusions. If I am not concerned and I am "supposed" to be, then I can say "I am processing it all." I once had to tell a co-worker: "I know I am smiling right now, but really it's an indication that I am extremely worried and concerned about this."

Tangent: Recently I have had dreams in which I feel overwhelming grief and that's been helpful. It's a "safe" way for me to process it. It's completely outside my conscious control, but effective nonetheless. I wonder that the EMDR I am doing in therapy helped with this dream "technique". In the past year I have dreamt strong emotional reactions to my aunt's death and some other highly emotional situations (but not all). I look forward to it.

I don't know the relationship you have with your father, but I hope you can truly make peace with his passing (the joys, the regrets, etc.).



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28 Feb 2022, 3:19 pm

I'm very sorry to hear your dad isn't well.
Grief will take you on its own journey, which will change over time.
There's no predicting or shaping how it will feel, or even if it will feel.
It's different for everyone because we all process emotions differently.


Thinking of you at this rough time.



jimmy m
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28 Feb 2022, 7:35 pm

I am sorry to hear about your dad. I will give the following advice.
1. Spend as much time with him as you are able.
2. Make any conversations with him about HIM and not YOU. How can you help him. Can you do anything for him. Be there for him.


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28 Feb 2022, 7:43 pm

Sorry this is happening. I lost my father after he had a very long illness. I never cried or mourned in the traditional way. I figured out later that I had done my grief homework during all those long years of his illness. On the days surrounding the funeral, last visits to the hospital, etc I was more worried about finding my way about, negotiating family issues (there are lots of them and I am often the target/focus). So It looked perhaps as if I was cold or did not care. It does not mean I was not hurting inside and had not been feeling those emotions. There is no rule about how we must act or react to a loss. Each of us is different. Not everybody shows our emotions openly, some of us even need lots of down and alone time to sort our emotions or to feel anything besides shock and numbness in the days right before and after a loss like this. Do your best self care and don't worry if you are doing it "right". You do what is right for you in order to get through it all.


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28 Feb 2022, 9:02 pm

Like I die along with them. It goes with loss of friendship and similar all the same.

Not many connections here, and they tend to be everything to me. I guess because not many people have been all that nice to me, and it's not all that easy for me to get to know others. How much I feel will be one reason I tend to hide from these things, so I don't feel that level of pain, as physical pain isn't much to me compared to emotional. I'd rather lose a limb, be stabbed, feel the trigeminal neuralgia, get shot at and catch a non-lethal round or similar. :|

I guess I'm emotionally sensitive.



Biscuitman
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01 Mar 2022, 3:27 am

My dad already lost consciousness and now its assumed he won't regain it. He had some moments of consciousness last week which flickered between being confused and talking nonsense, and being more with it and actually answering questions, but I had covid so I was not able to visit then.

He has been a difficult person over the years and i wouldn't say I ever formed a close emotional relationship with him, but he was a good person who worked hard and always provided for us, often putting himself in unhappy situations to make sure we didn't go hungry. Since my asperger diagnosis 5 years ago I realised he is likely on the spectrum too and that is why growing up I, along with everyone else, found him very hard to deal with. A bit of a loner, didn't like change, would explode into anger if things weren't how he thought they should be etc. I think he is much more like me than I realise. Sad that I will never get to bond with him on things in that father-son way many people do.



IsabellaLinton
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01 Mar 2022, 3:43 am

I hear so many autistic people say the same about their parents.
Not realising their parents were also autistic, until the end.
That realisation might bring you a sense of understanding or connection.
I hope you're able to visit him now, even if he's unconscious.
My dad was in a coma and I used to play his favourite music for him.

Hang in there.



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01 Mar 2022, 5:15 am

I’m sorry for this difficult time you are going through. It’s okay not to see grief now. It is part of life.

If he is still alive, but unconscious, he could still hear you, if you want to say anything to him. This from a former hospice nurse. If you choose, you can stay by his side - or not. It is up to you.

You’ll have plenty of time to process the grief of not being able to have the kind of father-son relationship that might have been.

I’ll hold you and your family in the Light.

Remember to take care of yourself, especially getting away, alone time, if you need it. When my mother was dying, I would escape to the hospital chapel. It was quiet and almost always empty.


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01 Mar 2022, 5:41 am

Biscuitman wrote:
My dad is in a critical condition and is likely not going to make it. I don't feel how I assume I am meant to feel about this. I am just taking it as quite matter of fact. It just is what it is. And that then makes me feel a little worried that I am not reacting 'correctly'

How do you deal with death of someone close? does the above relate to anyone else?


I relate to that. I think that can be a normal initial reaction, and probably isn't uncommon for people on the spectrum. My dad died two years ago, and my first reaction was just accepting it as fact. What else could I do? Then I started to feel numb and shaken, sad, angry, etc. I would worry less about the correct reaction and just go with your feelings. They will probably be all over the place, as time goes on. I find myself feeling much more over time than I did when he died. As my understanding deepens, I feel more.

Biscuitman wrote:
Since my asperger diagnosis 5 years ago I realised he is likely on the spectrum too and that is why growing up I, along with everyone else, found him very hard to deal with. A bit of a loner, didn't like change, would explode into anger if things weren't how he thought they should be etc. I think he is much more like me than I realise. Sad that I will never get to bond with him on things in that father-son way many people do.


My experience is very similar. I'm working on a diagnosis now, and my dad was undiagnosed, though the traits were a bit more obvious in him. He was the only person I know who was like me, growing up. And I think I was the only one like him, from his perspective. But, he was very difficult and we had no relationship. When he died it felt like losing the one person I shared an experience with, though we almost never acknowledged this. I feel more emotional over time, because of that, but recognizing this is very cathartic. I couldn't force him to be closer to me, but I can acknowledge our similarities.



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01 Mar 2022, 6:58 am

When my parents were ill and passed away I mostly acted the sorrow and grief that I thought I should be presenting.
My real feelings were kept supressed and inside and didn't come out until later, and then bit by bit.
Lots of nightmares, sudden outbursts of sorrow at random places/times... It still happens 20+ years after their passing.
My father was my best friend and my mentor. He knew everything about practical, handyman stuff.
I didn't connect too well (not awful, but could have been better) with my mom, I suspect her side is where the AS comes from.

/Mats


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03 Mar 2022, 12:48 am

Biscuitman sorry to hear about your dad.

There's no right or wrong way everyone grieves differently.
Sending best wishes for you.



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03 Mar 2022, 6:43 pm

some people expect you to react to your parents ' death a certain way.

When my old man and old woman dropped dead 2020 and 2015, almost everyone that found out said "I am so sorry", but they did not get convicted of murder.

My old woman got a stroke one day and was comatose for five months and then dropped dead

My old man got diagnosed and colon cancer 2015. He kept talking way too much about how he was "so sick" and how he wasted too much cash on me.

He knew about my autism diagnosis (2003 age 21), but he did not bother to read a book about it. He was pretty judgmental and made comments about my facial expressions and other involuntary reactions. They *came around* to my nonbinary status (2003), but they acted like that gave them the *moral high road*. However their *initial reaction* was borderline homophobic, and I do not feel like they ever made it up to me. Furthermore I am bad at everything, including *forgiveness*.

When I tried to say something, they refused to say "excuse me" instead of "ha?". That meant a lot to me, and, as a result of that, and numerous other factors, I never felt comfortable around them. I never felt like I could open up emotionally around them. (Trust versus mistrust; desensitization versus habituation; Reactive Attachment Disorder). While they acted so enthusiastic, like every thought and emotion that went through their heads were the latest greatest scientific inventions.

They put a lot of academic pressure on me and my sister. They made me memorize between 10 and 20 SAT words over the school year, weekly, between grades 3 and 7. And between 10 and 20 SAT words per day, over the summer, between grades 3 and 7. They made us take the SAT in 7th grade. They told me that my score not high enough. Meanwhile I went to the local public school, which was academically weak. Plenty of classmates gave me a hard time. Old man and old woman blamed me. ("Failure to attend to special education need," child protective services violation). They never sent me to get diagnosed. Instead they noticed my autism symptoms, and then ridiculed and blamed me

Just because they are dead, doesn't mean that I have to forgive them


"There's a thin line between love and hate"

"Chop wood and carry water"

"Mind over matter"

Sometimes something appears good and it ends up bad. And vice versa

However there is no *correct reaction* to the death of your parents, or any other event

Some reactions are natural, involuntary or subconscious



KMCIURA
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03 Mar 2022, 9:05 pm

There is no correct way of reacting. Do whatever you feel like.

When my mom has passed after dying for months from stage IV brain cancer, I've felt sorrow, but more of a relief and happiness that it was finally over. Her mind has been gone for months at that point and all that was left was sick, suffering body. Euthanasia is illegal where I live, so we were forced to watch all of this. And administering morphine injections. I was seriously considering suffocating her to death with a pillow at some point, just to get this over with.

When my grandfather from my mother's side died, I've felt a bit of a sorrow, but focused on good memories about him. Moved on pretty quickly.

When my second grandfather died suddenly, I was regretting that I haven't spent more time with him and never developed any kind of real connection. Still, I respected him as he was intelligent and decent man. Seeing that my family was devastated by his death, for the most part, I've helped with funeral arrangements and I was told that my level of calm was a good thing for them.

When my grandmother has been dying at the hospital, it wasn't emotional event for me at all. Similar thing as in case of grandpa, really, but this time I spoke with her few times before she passed away and felt like we understood each other. She knew that she is about to die and was frank about it, made peace with it - and so did I.

But when my wife was pregnant for the second time and we've learned at the start of sixth month that baby is dying I felt powerless, angry and cried a lot. It turned out that child had severe triploidy and it was rather uncommon for pregnancy to go as far as it did in such cases. I've felt like I've lost a part of myself. It was a hard thing to deal with, even though I was fully aware that it all boiled down to poor luck and we couldn't do anything.