Dealing with numness and feelings of relief

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Last post on this subject I promise but would value your opinions. Basically funeral tomorrow and Tina one of my father's friends has asked if she can do a tribute. I know she will describe a man I never knew and am amazed how jealous and uncomfortable I feel. Yes, I do realise that I am mourning the loss of a relationship I never had and I guess that explains the ambivalence? In fairness to Tina, she was not there for my father the last few weeks because her husband had a heart attack and her daughter tried to kill herself so I do KNOW she needs to do this and I also know letting her is the right thing to do. Not sure why I am in pieces? I did even think of not going into the service and just sitting quietly in the grounds but I know this will offend people. I do know I will have to deal with buckets of NLP about how my father was only horrible to me in the last few weeks. Sadly this is not true - I always rubbed him up the wrong way and was never the daugther he wanted but the dementia did make this part of his personality worse and he was like a nasty angry little toddler the last few weeks.

I am also going in the car with an aunt and uncle I have not seen for 35 years so that too is bringing up strange emotions and i hope they will be ok with me. In fairness, my aunt has been great on the phone.

Husband not good to the point of me wishing he would stay at home! We have agreed a compromise where he comes to the funeral but then goes home and does not attend the reception. I think I am going to write a letter to my father saying how sorry I am that we did not have a better relationship and I am sure there were faults on both sides. Then I am going to move on.

Thanks for reading. It really helps to get my thoughts down in some sort of order. I have lovely friends - 2 offering to come to the funeral to support me tomorrow having never met my father. I also have lovely friends who have admitted they too had problems with one of their parents and this really helps me realise that I am not abnormal.
Helena, this time is like a washing machine of emotions. No one really wants to go to a funeral, but you have one chance. Do it reluctantly, but do it with decorum. Screw the lid down on all the past - it's gone, even be glad he's gone - but go. If anyone brings up anything you don't want to talk about, just say "Do you mind if I don't talk about it, this is all a bit difficult" or in the car "Would you mind if we just sat quietly while I collect my thoughts". You can do whatever you like because you are Chief Mourner. Your husband should be there for you - you don't know how you are going to feel, but if you can't rely on him at a time like this, that doesn't bode well for the relationship in the future, does it? When the service is over, start to think more positively. I bought a book called Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff, after my husband died. Maybe you should get a copy too, because it puts a focus on you and what you want for the future, now that your bad relationship with dad is finally over. Also have counselling looking at the same thing, looking at you, rather than the usual grieving for dad.
Dear Helena

I don't have any experience of this, but my gut feeling is that if you want to sit outside during the ceremony then that's what you should do. Funerals aren't for the dead, they are for the living, and if you don't feel that it would help you to be there then I think you should be free to do what feels right for you. If anyone makes any comment you could always make out that you were too overwhelmed. No one has any right to judge you as they were not there, they haven't walked in your shoes, they did not experience the relationship that you had with your father.

I know some people will disagree, but I have told all my loved ones that I have no intention off attending their funerals as I really don't think it would help me and I don't think I would be able to keep it together; and these are people I love. If your feelings towards your father are more ambivalent then even more reason for you to stay away if that what feels best for you. It won't make any difference to your father, but if it makes a difference for you then do what feels right for you.

Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Thanks good advice both. I am husbands carer and he is 76 with lupus/psoriasis/gout and kidney problems and I think he is on the verge of a flare up. Bottom line is what works for his lupus/psoriasis causes a drop in kidney function so we and the consultants are doing constant loss/gain analysis re kidney function against quality of life .He struggles to stand for long so whilst he wants to come with me, I would actually worry about him. But we shall see how he feels tomorrow.
Thinking of you today. (((Hug)))
I too mourned for a relationship I wish I could have had with a difficult parent. I loved this person but didn't like the difficult ways. After doing research with my sister we discovered reasons and it helped.
Today will come and go. Xx
Hi Helena
My main feeling is relief too, along with leaden limbs and a compulsion to avoid everything I can and shelve it at the moment if it isn't absolutely essential.
Tomorrow is Mum's funeral service. The next day I have to travel from Yorkshire to SW Wales for the internment on Friday. Double whammy. On Saturday I'm doing nothing I don't want to do. Maybe my own numbness will begin to wear off.
And my Mum was grateful for everything I did for her, stubborn and self willed but never abusive or even nasty, but I'm relieved too. I don't think it makes us bad people, just very tired.
Oh Elaine thinking of you too today - we will eventually start to heal. No one should judge us unless they have been through what we have been through. Stay strong and take care of yourself. xx

I think many feel as you do especially when the relationship was a difficult one. I was very close to my mum but I too saw the many tasks associated with someone dying as a "business project" (I was also an only child). I suppose it was my way of coping. Everyone copes with loss differently, possibly because every relationship is different. There is no right or wrong way of dealing with these things.

One small suggestion - if you have already removed any personal possessions you may wish to keep, why not ask a local charity to do the house clearance for you? I did this through my local hospice, paid a small fee for their "premium service" and was not even there on the day itself. A relative had the keys and let the people in. They even hoovered after themselves at the end.

Wishing you some calm days ahead once all is over. Anne x
Henrietta and Elaine
I hope you both got through today ok.
Please remember to be very very kind to yourselves over the next few days and weeks.