Mind plays tricks on you

I know this may sound silly but it's been 6 mos since my dad has passed away and lately at random times I think of him and actually have to remind myself he's not here. I don't know why this just started happening. I'll be driving and he'll pop into my mind and I have to remind myself that all that happened and he's gone. Or I'll wake up from a dream of him and think it was real or that he is here. So weird! Has this happened to anyone? And how long after your loss has this happened? I will have to actually stop, think, and say in my head I'm never going to talk/see him again and I don't know where he is right now.

16 Replies

  • I tried looking it up ....quite frankly could not find an answer. However I do know that the mind, when in stress will find a way to get relief. The body goes into a shock , the mind does as well. sort of part of the denial process? Help me with that Chloe. Your mind is sort of denying your dads death and allows a good feeling or memory to replace the lost feeling. Because you sound like you are embracing the grieving stages , you understand that this is not real, and get back to the "normal" though losing your loved one is not normal.....I just lost my husband.....I danced with him today....I felt as close to him as I have in the last 3 months. He died March 5....two weeks before he started becoming non responsive I did as much as I could to get him up and walking (PSP takes balance out of someones life very quickly and they lose their ability to walk as well as other things) Anyway, I lifted him from his chair and we stood close while I sang in my cat scratch voice a melody made up as I went along. It was good to hold him and he using everything he had to stay upright ....God bless him......That was back in February.

    There's a song by Etta James, At Last. It's a song I knew from years ago when I was a kid, but had no real connection with until I heard again earlier this year! And now when I hear it, it reminds me of my love . It played today. And My darling stood close to me and we danced, I swear he was holding me.......

    My mind was was relieving itself of its agony for just a moment....just like yours did.....

    So all I have is experience to say, I think it is a normal process of grief...we just can't get stuck there ; we have to let it sort of wash over us and get through it....I say this too much in the experience to know if this is how I'll feel next week but for today I can say it's ok


  • Thank you for responding. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I know what song you are talking about by Etta James. Everything you said makes sense and I agree with. I just wish I had more time with my dad. Thanks.

  • I don't think it is anything unnatural and personally think it is a good sign - you are starting to get to the point where you can remember him as he was when he was alive - and he will always be alive in your thoughts/memories.

    Did you have a close relationship with your dad and talk to him a lot?

  • Yes I think you are right. And I was with my dad A LOT the last few months of his life, as I had cared for him. We had a good relationship however I wish a lot of things could've been different (his struggle with alcoholism). Thank you for responding and I will remember the good times.

  • Lperica -- This is different than your experience, but I'd like to mention it in relation to memories of loved ones. I hadn't dreamed about my late husband, Fred, since he died eight years ago. In life, he liked to wear jeans and tee shirts and work on mechanical things in our garage. In the dream, he wore a formal dinner jacket and sat alone at a dining table. He said, "So you finally got here." I replied, "Yes, I finally got here." I don't know what the dream means, but I felt peaceful when I awoke.

  • Wow what a dream!! 8 years in a long time, I am so happy he was in your dream. My dad is often in my dreams and he is ALWAYS healthy in them, not like he was in his last mos. and I think that says something. Thank you.

  • I'm glad your dad is healthy in your dreams. I'm sure he would have wanted you to remember him that way. Now that you mention appearance, I realize that in my dream and in my daily thoughts, Fred doesn't show signs of the Parkinson's that afflicted him in daily life.

  • Its hard I cannot seem to remember my husband I mean I had that experience the other day but everything seems so empty even my memory....I remember that he was a good man a Christian, quiet strong stubborn and a wonderful dad....most of the time that suits me...last week all I could do was cry. Today though I feel good. we had a small memorial for him at my church yesterday and it was very cathartic....My family and me will get through this...and maybe even my memory will come back

  • This happened to me when my Mother died. Probably about 5 months later I was looking at the leaves on the trees change their colour and was thinking how beautiful they were. Then from nowhere came the thought that my Mother would never see them again. When I opened the front door to our home I was totally distraught. My husband and son thought I had been attacked because I was crying so much I couldn't talk! That was almost 31 years ago and it is as real as if it were yesterday. I dream of my husband but never remember the dream. He only died a couple if months ago though. I think thinks such as you describe happen later. Yes it is normal too! It will pass as all things do.

    Take care of yourself.

    Marie x

  • Thank you for replying and for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss of your husband. And yes I think you are right this is all a process of grieving, thank you for the reassurance.

  • Hi Lperica10

    It is such a short time ago that you lost your dear Dad that he is very likely to pop into your mind on random occasions. Some say that their loved one was very close by in the early stages. I believe you are experiencing acceptance of your Dad's passing and these 'moments' quite often happen in the early stages after you have got over the shock and denial of losing him.


  • Thank you Chloe. I think you are right. It's just weird how the mind processes everything. And how it takes time...

    I am 32 and this is my first major loss (I know that is fortunate) but grieving someone so close is all so new to me. Thanks again.

  • My mum, who I was close to, died in August 2014 and I often think and talk to her (in my mind) which enables me to feel that she's around me and close to me. I draw great comfort from this and hope this remains the case. I think I was in shock for a long while as I felt cushioned (if that's the right word) even though I would cry suddenly from time to time. My mum used to say that she would be on my shoulder after she died (she said this a couple of times during her life) so this is where I like to think of her. I still feel as close to her - perhaps even closer - than I did when she was alive. I like to think I keep her close to me in my heart.


  • Karen how nice! Your response made me feel good. Thank you. How long is "in shock for a long while"? because it's been 7 mos for me and sometimes I am still in shock! And yes sometimes my sisters and I would say what my dad would say (in a situation or in response to something) and it makes me feel like he's around somewhere. I wonder if he can see us. And I wonder if our loved ones miss us like we miss them.

  • I don't think there is a specific time limit - it's different for everyone. I have had added problems with my dad since mum died as he has lied to me and been seeing a woman whom he was seeing long before my mum died. He now has dementia and is in a Home so it's all taken its toll on me. However, I tend to still 'feel' mum when I 'speak' to her even after nearly 3 years. I think she is around me and loved ones can see us. I don't know about them missing us like we miss them as they can still be with us and know we will join them one day whereas we have to continue on with our life here for now. I know I worried for a while that I wasn't accepting mum's death because I felt this way as I have read that it's the mind's response to coping with something so shocking but I think we all have to get through such losses as best we can.


  • Thank you. I miss him so much. Still can't think I will never talk with him again hug him hear his voice. I do every once in a while play a voicemail.

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