Dad died on Tuesday. So much harder than I thought. - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My Dad was diagnosed with cancer November 11, 2009. He went from be a healthy and active 62 year old man to an old man within months. The cancer was everywhere, brain, lungs, thyroid, lymph nodes and bones. He did two forms of radiation and then was to start chemo about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, he just kept getting weaker and weaker to the point that he could not start chemo as scheduled.

He lost over 60 pounds in the last 4 months. It was a really drastic decline. The last 4 months were filled with doctor visits, caring for my dad, researching treatment options, hospital stays, hospice, and then sitting with him in his last 2 or 3 days. There was always so much going on.

I thought I was dealing with it well. Even at his funeral on Saturday, I thought I was OK. Yesterday was my first day back at my home. I'm trying to go back to my normal life, but it feels so empty. I keep waiting to wake up and realize that this is all a bad dream.

I'll forget about it for an hour or so and then it will hit me again that my Dad is no longer here. I'm so sad and I'm incredibly angry that my kids have been robbed of their Grandpa. My 3 year old keeps asking me when we're going back down to see him. I keep explaining it to him, but he doesn't understand.

I thought the funeral was going to be hard, but getting back to my life is so much harder. This is just awful.

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Oh, hugs to you.

My dad died five years ago this June. For me the first year was the hardest.
I thought about him all the time. One thing that happened is he showed up in dreams a few months after he died and I swear he was "there". Really. I knew he was in a better place after the dreams.

I hope that your dad comes through to you. For no other reasons than it gave me so much comfort and this weird little connection that we now have.

The other day I was really sick and I'm fairly young (50's) and I had this thought, "oh, my god, if I was sick like this when I was older it would be so hard on the body." I'm guessing he was probably in a lot of pain.

I wish I could hug you. But breathe, I promise it does get better.

big hugs

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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My deepest condolences. I lost my father to cancer last summer and it was so hard to see him go from a healthy, vibrant 74 year old that was doing multiple marathons every year, to a man who could barely walk to the toilet, in a matter of months. It still hits me in waves, that he is no longer here.

and healing to you, mama.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm so, so sorry. I am very close to my father & I can't even imagine your grief.

A big to you mama.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss.

My father died in 2008 after battling cancer for 2 years. For all that time, we knew it was coming. He had stage 4 esophageal cancer, and was lucky to go into remission twice, but we knew that he was on borrowed time.

And it was still very hard to deal with when he actually died. Even now, I sometimes have to remind myself that he's really gone. I had no idea how hard it was actually going to be. You can prepare yourself for the inevitable and it just doesn't make it any easier.

My son was 3 when my father died as well, and it saddens me that he probably won't remember his Papa and how much Papa loved him, though when he played with him it was mostly from the couch. I got pregnant with DD 2 months after my dad died, and it pains me that he will never know his only granddaughter.

It does get easier. But please take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you have. I found that a few therapy sessions really helped. Not just in processing the loss, but in dealing with the change of relationship dynamic with my mother.

I wish you much peace as you grieve and find a way to move on with your father forever in your heart.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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I am sorry for your loss.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I am sorry for your loss. Having lost my mother 6 years ago, what you are experiencing is what I went through. For me it was easy getting through the arrangements and service and helping my Dad take care of things. It was when I got home afterwards that it hit me, really that first year after her passing was rough. My advice is be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to grieve.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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I lost my dad a little over a year ago, and it happened faster than we expected. It takes awhile, but it does get easier. Not like it goes away for good, but it eases up slowly but surely.

I wish you peace as you work through your loss.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I am so sorry for your loss

ribbonpurple.gif  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
   
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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I am so incredibly sorry...

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago, right before she turned 51. She went from being able to take care of herself mostly (she also had a stroke in 06) to not being able to get to the bathroom this week. She is hospitalized right now... Again, I am so sorry.

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Old 03-09-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss, cancer took my dad too.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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I'm so sorry. I lost my mum in 2005 after a 7 year battle with cancer. None of my kids will ever meet or know her.

I totally remember the "getting your life back" effect. I came home after the funeral and sat down and realised the life i was going to "get back" was gone and the new life i had felt utterly unfamiliar and wrong. Like someone had stolen my reality and given me a new one which didn't smell or taste or feel right, and didn't fit me. It was very surreal and unpleasant, i remember waking up every day for a while and having the fact of her death crash down on me anew, and then going about my "normal" tasks feeling empty and hopeless and like nothing mattered anyway. It was really hard.

I can't tell you how long it took but eventually it began to feel less strange, i began to get used to it, to her absence, and to my feelings about her absence. Eventually i began to feel more normal in my new life. It happens, but can be a long, sad process.

I still miss her. I still wonder what she would say about a given thing, or make of a given situation. I don't know if she'd recognise me as a person now, i am the matriarch she once was, and i couldn't have been with her here. I think of her a lot and talk to her sometimes. I still have tears for her at odd moments, but i think to myself, it's only been 5 years, and there was 24 before that when she was always there, so it's going to be a while yet before i'm completely used to her being gone.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I've been there too. My dad went from diagnosed in August and he died in January, a few months before I graduated from college. I still have an empty space reserved for him and the ache knowing he never knew his grandson still hurts even all these years later.

But it does get better, slowly but surely. Acknowledge your grief now, allow yourself to feel it - I didn't at the time, I was too busy with school I think. Big hugs to you...

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Old 03-15-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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atobols, I've been there too. On Earth Day 2008, my brother at 61, died of lung cancer after a few short months of diagnosis. He never met his first grandson, who my niece had just conceived, when he was diagnosed with cancer. Then my Dad died, at 87, partly from COPD complications and partly from grief at losing his son before himself. It was the most traumatic time of my 43 years. There are few days that I don't think of them and I am weeping now as I read your post and the others. The father daughter bond is a great one.

I found talking to anyone who was "present" to be helpful. My other family are a bit in denial about most feelings and especially death, so I placed huge boundaries around what I would talk about with them and I don't see many of them to this day because it is too artificial for me to be with them as if neither event occurred. I really needed authenticity at that time (and still do) to mirror back to me that all of this life change was normal and that I would survive it. I have survived it!

My garden was my greatest solace, and just being with my kids in their always-in-the-present world. We took many spontaneous day trips, enjoyed friends, parks, beaches, the forest trails and our farm. I completely let what didn't truly help me, to fall by the wayside. That meant alot of housework and alot of other unnecessary commitments. I learned to say "no" alot, so that I could have my daily need for solitude and reflection time met. I became stronger at advocating for myself and my family, a very good thing.

It's important to be vigilant about figuring out what you need, as best you can while it's so raw and new, and to stand up for that with loved ones. I told my Dh what I needed and my boys, so that I could appreciate what they could manage to give while it was new for them too.

It gets brighter, just you hang in there. This is the difficult part, and you are not alone, friend.

ERIN, : simple living mama, on the path to simplicity with DH, Scott, Matthew, 8 Brendan, 5 : and a garden full of
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone who shared their stories and words of wisdom. It really helps to know that what I'm experiencing isn't unique and that it will get better. In my brain I know this, but the emotions sometimes get overwhelming and it's hard to see better times ahead.

It's been a week now and it's getting better every day. There is still a huge sense of loss, but the moments when it hits me now are at least tinged with the joy of the memory and being grateful for what I had. Hopefully as time goes on I will come to cherish those moments when I recall the good times with my father.

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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How awful. My heart goes out to you and your family.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I'm so sorry mama. I've been there, with my daughter. It does get easier - and I know that's such a cliche but, it's true. You'll still have moments where your heart goes into spasm, no matter how far out you are, but thankfully after a little while, they don't come every minute or every hour - the main pain kind of sinks in like...body lotion. The pangs then come at certain times only.

*HUGE hugs and comfort to you* XXX

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
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