Lost my adult son to esophageal cancer Sept 7, 2018

Discussion in 'Loss of Adult Child' started by Debra Brigham, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Debra Brigham

    Debra Brigham New Member

    My son fought a short fierce fight, and lost. He kept getting sicker and sicker, and the cancer was so aggressive, that he was gone before I knew it. I told him I would be okay, that his wife and I would take care of each other, that the military would take care of us (he was still active duty when he passed), and not to worry. I lied to him. I’m not okay!
    And I hate being asked “Are you okay?”, or better yet “How are you doing?” Two questions most feel obligated to lie to anyway, and me even more so now. The problem is I can’t think of a lie, and I don’t want to waste energy telling one if I could. So I just don’t answer.

    I don’t know if I am ever going to be right again. A friend who lost her son many moons ago recommended I get in contact with other parents here, so here I am.

    When it’s your adult child, it seems as if most of the outreach goes to the wife, and I agree, she needs it, but I feel as if others expect me just to carry on, because they can’t see the hole in my soul that is sucking the life and joy out of me.
  2. Lory

    Lory New Member

    Dear Debra,
    I'm so terribly sorry to hear that you lost your beloved son. This is my first day and my first post on this group. I understand the question quagmire. In the early days of my loss, I would tell people "I'm hanging in there." What I would like to have said is "Terrible, thank you for asking." Now when they ask me if I am okay, I tell the truth. If I am okay that day, I say "Yes." If I am not, I tell them so. When asked "How are you doing?" I reply, "I'm doing." I believe that most people have good intent, and in all fairness, if they have not suffered this depth of loss, we cannot expect them to "get it." At least they are not ignoring you and have the courtesy to ask about your welfare. So they try, and I give them credit. I have seen people see me at work and turn to go another direction. That is okay too.
    As to your comment about ever being "right" again. For me that is a foregone conclusion. The old me died on the floor when my son did. I am not the same person. The defining moments in my life have become "Before" and "After." I am becoming another person, and I am doing so with intention. I don't want to be bitter or hateful or angry--though I still do have those emotions. When he died, my son was engaged to be married in six months. His fiancee receives much support from her family and friends, but my heart still aches for her. She has endured comments about moving on, finding someone else, her friends wanting her back as she was before she lost the love of her life. The rest of the world turns even though ours has exploded, and that fact, at times, has outraged me. I have found the most solace in speaking to others who have suffered a profound loss of one whom they loved deeply. Sincerely, Lory
  3. Sciguy

    Sciguy Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about your son. The loss of a loved one is something we will never "get over". Hopefully, we can adapt. When people ask how you are or if you're okay, they may be doing so out of genuine concern or because they don't really know what else to say. I understand that it's easier just to say "I'm okay" then to go into detail about how you really feel. Whatever makes you feel comfortable in such situations is what you should do. Hopefully, you can connect with other parents here.