My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013. Despite chemo treatment he only lasted 18 months. I was in my late 20's when he passed.
I think I've managed ok so far, what really hits me for 6 is every now and then I'll have a very vivid dream with my father in it. These dreams no matter what is happening, eventually will lead to me having to say good bye to him all over again.
It is very distressing, I wake up feeling lost and anxious. This feeling can last a day or two, but just deflates me and my day never goes well.
I'm wondering if other people have experienced this phenomena. If so, did it eventually pass? Is it something you needed to work with a counsellor to help shift? Do you have any strategies to help me either when I'm asleep or when I wake up in that acute phase of anxiety, distress and loss.
There's no real support groups out there for bereaved families (not that I've managed to find) and thought this an avenue that at least might help find others who have experienced this.
Love and Light,
Firstly, it is difficult to lose someone so quickly and I am wondering if you got to say all you wanted to him. Perhaps the dream is inviting you to find a ritual to commemorate him for yourself. Secondly, I suffer from nightmares and they can lead to feeling the whole day is affected negatively. Sometimes I find getting up straight away and reminding myself it was just a dream is better than giving it too much weight. I say aloud to myself "It was just a dream" and try to not get stuck in it. If the nightmare is in the middle of the night I might get up and go to bathroom and wash my face or get water just to get out of the horrible emotional space. Also moving can stop me rolling over and having another nightmare. I guess some dreams are telling us something we need to attend to but others are just upsetting without giving us anything useful is what I am trying to say.
If the dreams are worrying to you it could be useful to see a counsellor experienced in grief and loss especially traumatic loss. the Cancer Council can probably recommend someone. I hope something I have said has been a little useful.
I've experienced this too. The first vivid dream I had was about my grandfather, almost 10 years ago. He was my first loss and I wasn't coping very well. It was a happy dream...
The second dream was about a friend who was only a few years older than me when she died. I woke up with tears on my face (which then descended into a HUGE sobbing sesh)and yet I was happy that I'd seen her too.
These dreams weren't like other dreams I've had. They felt so real. It was like I'd really seen them... I don't think our loved ones ever truly leave us.
To both people who left a reply, thank you :)
Since putting this post up I've had no more dreams that have left me feeling lost and distressed upon waking.
My dad still visits me in my dreams but now the dreams are a whole lot nicer, and even though I do say goodbye at the end, I'm not distressed about it.
This is exactly what I was seeking, I love seeing him in my dreams, being able to hug him again, but when I return to the waking world it feels nice.
Maybe all I needed was to share my experience, and in doing so has released what was making me so distressed.
I hope everyone finds their way, whatever that way is.
Love and Light always.
I have nothing more to add than what has been offered. However the old adage of a burden shared is a burden halved rings true.
So often our grief, our hurt, our pain comes down to perspective. One far wiser once suggested that the things you look at change, when you change how you look at things.
Sometimes the dreams allow a connection that we ordinarily would be denied.
Whatever, I wish you the best. It's not easy to share, but I've found that when I do, people are always there to console and listen.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.