My grief feels unjustified​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ when so many have lost loved ones | Agony Aunt

Our agony aunt, Fiona Caine, answers your questions.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:20 am
Fiona Caine gives advice to a who is struggling to grieve for her father. Picture: PA

Question: At the beginning of December, my dad was admitted to hospital and tested positive for coronavirus. Like so many others, this virus sadly claimed my dad’s life just before Christmas.

I’ve been dealing with an overwhelming feeling of grief and sadness, but I’m incredibly aware of everyone’s struggles.

When so many people have sadly lost loved ones, I can’t help but feel like my grief isn’t unique, and therefore not justified.

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Am I the only person feeling this way?

Answer: Not only is your grief fully justified, but it is also necessary. Bottling up that grief can cause long term psychological damage. The fact that so many people have had a tough time over the past year does not reduce your loss and your need to grieve.

Could you connect with family – perhaps through an online memorial for your dad? Could you also share (remotely) your father’s favourite meal?

If you need help coping, call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309.


Question: I left my local doctor’s surgery fit to burst last week. I’d waited weeks to get a face to face appointment about the almost constant cramp in my legs. All I got was: ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. Why don’t you try diet and exercise? I’m so busy, I must get on.’

Before this pain started, I was out walking every day. Now I’m in almost constant pain, can hardly move, and am finding it hard to sleep at night.

Surely he could spare me some attention? I feel worse now than I did before seeing a doctor!

Answer: Remember this isn’t all the doctor’s fault. These are very difficult times for GP practices, and most doctors are under tremendous pressure to cope. Nonetheless, you do deserve to feel you’ve had a proper conversation about your symptoms – so make another appointment.

Don’t leave the surgery until you’ve fully explained your problem and got a satisfactory reply. You need medical advice, and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for asking for it.