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Dad has passed - how long does the numbness last?
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021 3:59 PM
Joined: 12/16/2019
Posts: 15

Dad passed less than 2 weeks ago (4/28) - after less than 2 years with a dementia diagnosis.  The swiftness of this disease for him shocks me.  I've cried (lots) but at the same time feel still kind of numb most times - similar to the day when he passed.  I feel like life is still not quite real, if that makes sense to anyone?  How long does this last?
Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:13 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1328

Physicsmom, unlike some things, which we can quantify, or box in with some sort of logic, grief knows no limit, and has no boundaries . I can recall, after my dad died, my mom was filled with pain and emptiness for a year or more before she was able to find her path to living once again. For myself, there are times when it seems like Barbara has just passed yesterday, and other times when I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I believe that for each of us, the journey to being alive once more has many twists and turns in it that will require much thought, grit, and tears before there is any conclusion. You did not mention if you have any family or close friends, but if you do, they can be a major help in softening your current reality.

I had my Barbara for 38 years, and those years do not just disappear in a moment, nor would I want them to. With time, I expect my places of pain will begin to fill with all of the good memories, and those memories are what  will carry me on into my future.


Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 7:55 PM
Joined: 5/25/2020
Posts: 390

Hi physicsmom.  I'm so sorry for the loss of your father, and the feeling of it happening quickly.
My DH died on April 7th. I felt totally numb for 2.5 weeks. I had cried a lot a few days before he died, but, with the exception of when the funeral director took out his body, when I was tearful, I didn't even cry.  I had wished for relief for him, so I thought maybe I wasn't crying because I was pleased he was no longer living with the awful disease of dementia.  (Having said that, I'd give anything to have him back for a day, even if he was still in Stage 7.)

The funeral and celebration of life were good - I was very happy with the send off we gave him. When I woke up the next day, I thought "Was that really Michael's funeral? Did we just have a party that he couldn't attend?"  I got out and walked for miles every day, to get back into the exercise habit that I'd lost. I went back to work (from home) a few days after the services - all good. I'd been on family leave for 8 weeks and got right back into the swing of things.

Then, out of nowhere, one evening I started sobbing and couldn't stop. Since then it's been very up and down, moment to moment. Sometimes I feel OK-ish, other times I can barely breathe because of the pain. 

I really think each of us follows a unique journey that differs a little or a lot between individuals, and for each person you lose. My grief for my mum and dad was very different than what I'm experiencing now.

I keep saying to myself that whatever I'm feeling is probably "normal". I'm sure the same applies to you. I've no idea how my journey is going to unfold. The only thing I feel sure of is that I'll never get used to him being gone - and actually I don't want to get used to that.

Don't put any expectations on yourself; feel how you feel and don't push yourself into thinking you "should" be feeling a particular way.

Take care. 

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 11:08 AM
Joined: 5/19/2021
Posts: 1

I wish I knew. My dad passed away April 11. He had Alzheimer's  along with some other health conditions. I go back and forth from numbness to crying. I am so sorry for your loss. The disease progressed quickly with my dad, too. I first knew there was a problem about 4 years ago when he forgot my son's birthday.  He just never did that. He was not actually diagnosed until almost 3 years later. His father had also had Alzheimer's and it had progressed much more slowly.
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2021 3:38 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 5213

physicsmom, I am very sorry for the loss of your dear father. Losing your dad or mom is tough because the love shared is so deep rooted.

My mother has been gone a year and a half, but I still cry if I think too hard on the loss. I like to think she is with me in spirit and I have a little "memorial" set up to her in my living room. I kept fresh flowers there for a year, now I have live orchids there for her. She loved flowers.

 I think the numbness will leave at the proper time to be replaced with a sense of bitter sweetness for a love that will never die.Take good care of yourself and know you are not alone. We all care for you and for your father.