British Liver Trust
13,694 members6,752 posts

Bereavement

Bereavement

Hi

I hope this is the right place to post and hope you don't mind me asking. But my dad died at 67 of end stage liver disease on 21 September we've had his funeral and it was a celebration of his life as it should be. Lots of people came to see him off and everyone said how he was such a kind caring guy,which I already knew.

I've been ok but now am left with the demons and questions as why didn't he stop sooner, why didn't he listen, was me and my brother not important enough to stop.

These thoughts are starting to drag me down that I wonder if anyone has had similar experiences and dealt with it so could offer advice or is there a bereavement service.. I know alcoholism is an illness but when he had to stop he did which almost makes me think he had a lot more choice in it..

Sorry if it's not appropriate but I thought I'd ask. Ive posted a pic of me my dad and brother so people see the people behind th e post and also if anyone is going through similar they might read this and think of the upset it caused if the fight is lost.

Thank you

Natalie

22 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi Nathalie,

That's a tough one to answer, really only your dad could answer that but some of your words resonate to me, having lost my mum last year, not to alcohol. I grieved for all the years she wasn't available as a mother for different reasons.

I think some of what you are feeling is part of grief, Cruse is worth a a call to, they are really helpful. I don't like saying it's a grieving process as that makes it sound as if there's a pattern and an end to it and I think we are all different so I don't think there is, it's just that time makes things easier to manage. Anger plays a part in grief.

I have had episodes of misusing alcohol and all I can say personally is my daughter is my love, my life, I'd be lost without her, I certainly don't love alcohol more than her, far from it.

Life is complex and as parents we are no more perfect, we make mistakes, we have regrets, we have our demons and we have our skeletons in the closets. As humans most of us think we are infallible, perhaps it's a safety mechanism in some way.

For me historic events, some from childhood and some in adulthood, were and are my root causes I believe but I've realised the help available now on every level wasn't there when I was young. I am 49. Even now it's hard to get proper help as you will see from others posts.

I hope this helps in some little way. Cruse are definitely a good place to seek impartial support.

Thinking of you,

Michelle

6 likes
Reply

Do you have the number for cruise?

2 likes
Reply
1 like
Reply

Sorry I spelt it wrong in my last post, link is here and there should be local ones to you

1 like
Reply

Hello. I do feel so sorry for you in your loss. You will continue to have good days and bad days for some time - but remember he was an adult and made his own decisions. My husband was also 67 when he passed away, - he had liver disease. It is still difficult. My husband had liver disease, and I have now got a different liver disease - I am end stage. Have you spoken to Macmillan - they are very good and caring. They look after people at times of loss. Thinking of you x

2 likes
Reply

Thank you for that.. I know my dad loved us and in fact he was a good dad.. He was always there for us but living in an area where there is pubs on every corner and when its all your social life is about people I appreciate how hard it is to give up..

4 likes
Reply

Hi Potter,

Please accept our sincere condolences and thank you for sharing such lovely photos.

As Michelle has already said, Cruse is very good to talk through bereavment with. Also, have you tried Al-Anon- For families & friends of alcoholics? they also have a helpline and may be good to talk to.

Here are their details;

al-anonuk.org.uk/

Take care,

Warm wishes,

BLT

3 likes
Reply

Hi Natalie,

I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss.

Losing a loved one is very difficult and grief is a journey that never really ends but does get easier (I lost my mum to cancer about 10 years ago), although it won't seem like it now.

I have a sister (48) who is an alcoholic and I have just found out that she has now developed to stage 3 liver disease and while looking for information I stumbled across this website and your post and I felt I had to reach out to you.

I volunteer at a charity called DrugFAM who are based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, but supports people across the UK and in Europe too. DrugFAM support friends and families of loved ones struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

They also offer Bereavement support and are having a Bereavement Conference this Saturday (14.10.17) in High Wycombe. They also run a Bereavement group every 3 months. If you are not able to go to the conference or it may be too soon, they offer telephone support.

Although I now volunteer there, I have been and still am a client while I continue to learn to deal with the impact of my sister's life choices/addiction.

DrugFAM are a wonderful charity, mostly run by volunteers who are either still learning to cope with a loved one’s addiction or who have lost someone. The founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips lost one of her twin boys through heroin addiction. She has written a book about it and there are various stories and testaments on the website too. She started the charity as she realised there was no support for family members and found that there was a huge need for it and over the years it has grown.

They are one of the only charities in the UK who offer bereavement support for family members who have lost a loved one through addiction. Losing a family member/loved one through any circumstance is awful, but losing them through addiction adds a layer of grief that only people who have experienced it can relate to.

Reaching out to DrugFAM was the best thing I did to help me cope with / deal with my sister's situation and learn how to look after myself. My father was also an alcoholic so I understand the feelings you have about the choices he made to drink instead of choosing to stay sober for you and your brother. Unfortunately, someone in addiction cannot stop for anyone else, except for themselves.

Please get in touch with the charity, I really believe they will be able to offer you and your brother support while you start this very long road. I've put the website and telephone number below for you.

drugfam.co.uk

Helpline: 0300 888 3853

Thinking of you.

Grier

Reply

Thank you I can't make this weekend but I'll have a look at it. Dad did stop drinking at the end for a year but it was too late.. He also didn't drink everyday towards the last 3 years and to be fair, as most alcoholics it's easy to hide how much you do drink isn't it, when you can just put it down to being social.

Thank you

1 like
Reply

Lovely pics of happier times. Sorry to hear of your loss. Hope things get easier for you

2 likes
Reply

I feel for you as my daughter feels that way as well about me. Im sorry for your loss and you are very brave coming on here I was terrified but I never new your father but there's a lot here that will help you with every emotion.god bless u

2 likes
Reply

Thank you for your comments and yes happier times in the pictures. I always like to put photos on to break the myth that alcoholics are your stereo typical brown paper bag drinkers.. When most are fathers, mothers and people holding down loving family relationships.

Take care

3 likes
Reply

Hi Natalie

Losing someone we love is hard. Understanding why someone does something is even harder. I can't answer those questions, no body can. Going to the group's for help is really a good idea. I am so sorry for your family's loss.

I have found the only way I can move forward in these situations, I'm 59 and have had to face loss a few times now, is to really treasure those who are still with me. I have had questions about why some of those who are no longer with me did what they did because it damaged the quality of their lives. I still don't know the answers.

Your question made me look at my life.

I have nafld, cirrhosis and an incomplete spinal cord injury. If I look back, I haven't drank alcohol for over 30 years, but I had issues to deal with in life that I found hard and I did a fair amount of comfort eating, rather than alcohol drinking. Until my mobility got really rough my weight gain was slow, I blamed it on middle age spread.

The real problem for me was I that wasn't and I still am not diabetic, so I didn't think about what damage sugar and fats could do. I showed cholesterol issues but they didn't mean anything to me. I therefore still kept eating a lot of the wrong foods. Ironically, the increase in weight got to me and I continued to eat comfort food. This weight gain got really bad when I had my injury 3 years ago. All the time I kept thinking to myself I can deal with it it's not a major problem. I kept thinking I just needed to deal with whatever issue it was first. Including following the injury, trying to learn to walk again. I did manage to learn to walk a bit.

Eventually, I got the call from my g.p. that my bloods had gone really sky high. I hadn't managed to get on with statins or similar tablets, so it really was a case of this is a true reading of your cholesterol levels. I saw the specialist in April this year and it looked like I had nafld. I thought ok, better start behaving to sort this out, I've still got time to help my liver sort itself out. August came and I got the cirrhosis diagnosis as well.

I'm trying to behave now with my diet, I have since April. I've lost some weight. I am making sure I only have an occasional treat, but not some of the things I really used to crave. I need to lose a lot more weight.

My friends and family could honestly say, if she can work at it now, why didn't she earlier. She didn't need to get this bad. They are right. But at the time I had other issues to deal with and the comfort food helped. I was always seeing tomorrow as being available to sort the diet out, after I sorted my other issues. The trouble was issues kept coming up. With the diagnosis of cirrhosis I ran out of tomorrow's. Not an excuse, but that was my thinking. In trying to sort out other issues I ignored my own personal issues that needed taking care of.

My liver is still functioning. I'm trying to be really good now with diet and exercise. I don't know how long I have, it could be a long-time it might not.

All I can do now is live my life as healthily as I can now and try and be there with my family and let them know I love them. If at any of those stages in the past I had really thought about potential consequences I might have changed my eating habits earlier. The potential long-term harm to my liver, just never entered my head, other issues always got in the way.

I hope that when my time comes, my son's and hubby remember how much I loved them. I hope they understand that I made some good choices in life and some poor ones, but whichever decision I made even the wrong ones, never took away how much I loved them. Just that as a human being I wasn't perfect.

Thank you for helping me to think about this really hard subject, I hope my thoughts help you and your family.

Gx

3 likes
Reply

Just to make it clear about the diabetes. My husband developed diabetes and it caused me to think about blood sugar levels. I was stupid and didn't think holistically. All I thought about was my blood sugar levels are ok what I'm doing is not a serious problem. My was I so wrong.

Gx

1 like
Reply

I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you at this difficult time. I lost my dad to end stage liver disease and it was just 1 year since his passing (he passed on 10-12-16). I would love to talk more with you as it seems we had similar experiences. My dad was 63, also quit drinking (but was too late) and declined in front of my eyes. I was his caregiver it was the hardest thing I ever did. Also my dad was a great person too! I miss him so much and it hasn't gotten easier. Love love love the pics! As far as help, I did seek a therapist for a few months after my dad passed as well as taking a month off work (to handle his estate), he lived alone. I also had all those questions that you are faced with. Take care of yourself right now you need to rest. It emotionally takes a lot out of you. Talk soon.

Reply

Dear Lperica, I am so sorry for your loss. Your post was so heartfelt. A kind word randomly does so much good. I hope a little support from me with a smile☺ helps. What a horrible burden you are carrying. You must be exhausted. The caring, the administration, I will not even allude to the grief. Just take time for yourself. You are important. Wishing you happiness and tranquility .

Reply

Thank you so much. My dad battled alcoholism for years and years and years. And we had many ups and downs, Many hospital trips and many near death experiences. I just miss him soooooo much. Thank you for your kind words.

Reply

Wow Lperica, just saw your post on bereavement page. I am not so skilled at all this techno stuff. My 16 old son does it for me.☺ I hope I am answering the correct person. Well, here we go. I still have not dealt with my mum's stuff and she died in 2014..There is just so much stuff😞 I get overwhelmed. Last week I found locks of her first haircut from like 70 years ago. Last month in the piano room I found a basket of old mouldy walnuts from the tree out the back. Went to shove in bin....lo and behold A gladbag...that is like a luncheon plastic thing that you put sandwiches in...an antique golden rolex watch inscribed to my great great grandmother from 1923!! It is just awful😢 My brothers are not living in Australia. One is nice. The other unimaginably horrible. I don't know what to keep? Is anyone ever going to look at the codachrome slides on the projector?? An entire life...do I ditch the tissue wrapped wedding dress from 1957? Oh it is a horrible process. I am doing it alone. But with really vile emails and letters from my younger brother . Gosh I hope you have support. Don't pressure yourself. Slowly, Slowly as you can. I am no expert so I have no idea what to advise . It is a tragedy but unfortunately a part of the life circle. There is nothing wrong with grieving or crying. With all the best wishes I can offer, Susan

Reply

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It means a lot. And yes slowly go through it (with breaks) as it is overwhelming and emotional. Not to mention working full time with my own family. Thanks again.

Reply

Also I belonged to this group when my dad was here (and after) posting and reading about this liver disease. I now joined bereavement care & share on here. Just wanted to let you know so when you are ready you can think about that group too Bc I didn't know about it til later on.

Reply

Hello Natalie, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a parent in any circumstances is horrible. You could not do more, as your father could not do more.....only my perspective.

I have never posted on this site (or any actually) but I am up on this sunny morning getting my 16 year old son ready for school. New term today here in South Australia.

All I would like to say, apart from offering my heartfelt condolences, is you were not to blame. As a professional musician for 25 plus years all over Europe.....it was buy the singer/ buy the piano player a glass of champagne.

I now have ESLD...decompensated cirrhosis. My poor son has seen me vomiting buckets of blood from burst varices. I have no answers, but I swear an oath to you. He has done nothing to deserve this. I have no idea the reasoning behind your Dad's choices as I don't mine. Suffice to say he absolutely would have loved you. You must understand you were loved and did everything correctly.

It is a strange, unpredictable illness. As you say it is not just the archetypical paper bag wino in the gutter. It is far more pervasive than that. Across all strata of people.

I hate myself for inflicting this on my poor innocent son. I then bury myself in the studio with head phones on and compose.

I wish you every happiness and hope people are being kind to you.

On a happier/stupid note...I am off to make toast and vegemite for him. End of school holidays ...yeah.🙂

Reply

Thank you all for your posts.. It's really helpful

Reply

You may also like...