Loss of a friend

by Andrew
(London Ontario)

Ok, hoping there's enough space here, question's kind of complicated. Basically my Dad, a few years ago moved in with a good friend of his who happened to be a meth addict. This is when my Mom, still currently living there, who eventually moved out, for obvious reasons, and then it was just the 2 of them. They seemed pretty good but he also got my Dad doing a fair bit of hard drugs, and most of the family attempted to intervene. But the 'friend' was a very competent sweet talker and also reminded my Dad of his dead brother (my uncle who died of cancer maybe 7 years ago). Anyway, after a year and half of living together, the friend was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (shitty coincidences) and ends up dying later that year. Now, also coincidentally I've been back in town and didn't know to what extent a drug addict entirely destroys a house, and my Dad has become almost solitary in his living. Now I think he's stopped with drugs, I think, but he's anti social, ungrateful, and straight up terrible to be around. This was a year and a half ago which is a bit of time, not a lot, but some. And he doesn't talk to anyone about, doesn't read about grief or listen, hasn't seen a grief counselor or psychiatrist. Nothing.

I've gotten most of the house looking a bit cleaner, but getting mixed results in whether that's actually helpful. And I cook a bunch of his food or sometimes bring him out to restaurants to, you know, get him a little social.

However at this point, I'm at a complete loss on what to do. This friend of his was less of a loss for me so I'm definitely better able to cope, but I also have people I can depend on, people who I socialize with and have life. I read and try to understand some of what I can do to help, books and videos and practice yoga just to keep my own mindset somewhat sound. Any suggestions would be helpful. He's always been distant, but this is something else, and as much as I'd like it to not be my problem, it's my Dad, so f**k my life, what to do? What to do?

Comments for Loss of a friend

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Sep 14, 2018
Getting help for your father and his grief
by: Betty from GriefandSympathy.com

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear that your father is leading such a solitary life style. You are facing a difficult situation but I am so pleased to hear that you are looking after your own health as it is important that you remain able to cope. Essentially you have taken on the role of full time carer. With taking on care of the home, cooking etc.

It would take a few sessions with a trained therapist to decide if your father is depressed or still in the stages of grieving for his friend and the loss of his wife leaving too.

He is very lucky to have you - such a caring son.
Many would have abandoned the situation you find yourself in.

Your father has adopted an introverted personality. Not knowing him it is difficult to measure how much a change this is. Is it drug withdrawal,loss of his friend or depression? Is it his choice or is he not motivated to do anything? He could have an illness.

If he is eating well, sleeping well and pain free then he has a sort of quality of life. It would be good if he would see his doctor for a check up. You could also have a chat with his doctor and discuss symptoms if he refuses to go.

Could you find a support group in your area? There are many that discuss problems related to alcohol or drug withdrawal situations for families. Talking to others coping with similar situations does help, often practical suggestions come up.

You are doing your best and often that is all we can do, though in certain situations it does not seem enough.

Your father may also want to change the situation he is in. It may be that he just hasn't the will or energy. Then he does need some sort of professional help.

Our best wishes and admiration to you for all your effort.


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