Grief Self-Study Now Available! Visit Online Support section for more information

Lost my dad

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by Chaslynn, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Chaslynn

    Chaslynn Member

    My dad passed on 7/30/20 after an almost year long battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer. He was 60 yrs old and two months shy of retirement after 40 yrs of working. He fought so hard, was so positive and hopeful he would beat the odds, but the treatments didn't work and the cancer unfortunately spread. He didn't look like your typical cancer patient because he never lost his hair, maintained his weight up until a month before his death where he became very thin and frail. I was as present for him throughout the past year as I could be. We were 3 hours apart but I would drive to sit with him during his treatments and we celebrated every holiday/event knowing it would be our last. If I didnt see him in person, I would call/text him every day. Thankfully, I was able to share everything I wanted prior to his death and was by his side the day he died. I watched my dad take his last breath and it was by far the most difficult day of my life.

    Fast forward two months and I am still in disbelief that he is really gone and I go over the day he died in my mind all of the time. I miss him more than I could ever imagine. I cry daily whether it be on my drive to work, on my lunch break, in the shower, while I am cooking, etc. I feel such an overwhelming sense of saddness and have such a short fuse now with people and situations. I feel he got robbed of a life that he deserved but didnt get to live. You know your parents are going to die one day but you never imagine it to be the way my dad did or at his young age. Im able to function in my day to day life but my heart is so sad. Not sure how I will cope with the upcoming holidays. Any advice?
  2. lostmom

    lostmom New Member

    Hi, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom 1.5 years ago, and believe me this phase is totally normal. You should count yourself lucky that you were with him when he passed, I was 2000 miles away and could come back home well after my mom died and had to see my mom breathe her last on skype! So in that sense, I think you are really fortunate to have spent that time with him. From what I can say, the first month goes by real fast, then 3-4 month it hits hard. Working becomes difficult and even at work I was crying. Please be kind on yourself. Crying is totally normal and is also essential. For me crying got better only after 8 months. Grief feels like this weight we carry along everywhere. It follows us like a shadow to restaurants, to work and everywhere. It is always with us. But trust me, the crying and pain will get better and you will slowly get used to the pain. I am not sure if the pain fades away, it has not for me. But at least we learn how to deal with the pain.
    Hope this helps, please feel free to share more details of your grief if you wish, I can totally relate to it.
  3. Chaslynn

    Chaslynn Member

    Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry for your loss too. It is nice to hear from someone who is further along in the grieving process and can relate to the pain. I'm sure in time it will get a little easier like you said but still always there. You're right about being there with my dad when he died. I feel for you being so many miles away and I am very grateful that I decided to be there for him even though his eyes werent open and he couldnt talk to me. I feel as if he knew I was there. I dont find much joy in most things anymore and it has really put life into perspective. Some days, I can't wait until I die so I can see him again. I know that sounds crazy but I just wish things would have turned out differently for him. As the holidays are approaching and then his birthday, it is going to be very difficult. I know he would want me to continue living my life and not dwelling on the loss of him but I feel like a part of me died the day he died. And another thing I am struggling with is sort of resenting my husbands family right now. His parents are both alive and thriving and it is hard for me to be around them. They have been able to enjoy their retirements and live life while my dad had a tough life, worked for everything he ever had, beat cancer once and then cancer killed him before he could retire and relax. I think if he was 95yrs old, I would still be in pain but for some reason I think it wouldnt be as difficult knowing he lived a long life but to lose my dad at 60 is hard to accept. Thank you for listening and for reassuring me that my feelings are normal.
  4. lostmom

    lostmom New Member

    Hi, I do know the feeling. In fact, 4th and 5th months, I barely went to work and ended up crying on my bed for the entire day. I took grief counselling during my 8th month, as I felt that I could not handle the weight of sadness by myself anymore, and then things became a bit easier to manage. I suggest that you take a few counselling sessions too if they offer any wherever you live. It just helps to talk about everything with another 3rd person who is not involved in your life. Believe me, even now when my husband talks to his parents and tells me he is so happy to be with them, it pinches me.. My mom was also 58 years old when she died, so I can completely fathom that you feel cheated. I feel cheated and angry too, all the time! The struggle through the illness of your father must have also taken such a toll on you right? It helped me to cry and describe all my emotions with a counsellor. Although I had very good friends and also a nice husband, talking with them took me only so far as I started feeling that they really don't understand what I am going through. It also helped me to write down three good things that happened to me every day and write what I am still fortunate about. Doing this exercise for 2 weeks already changed my mood. Please remember, this grief is not permanent and that this feeling sad and feeling that you will never be happy again is normal but it is permanent.

    I wanted to share this paragraph with you on grief from the book 'Dead Mom's Club': I am sure you can relate to it.

    "It’s a cliché to claim there are no words to describe the emotional acid
    trip that is grief. But anyone who’s been through it knows that words just
    don’t do it justice. Grief poisons every corner of your life, fogging up your
    brain with sadness so deep that just breathing can hurt. Even after my mom
    died, and I went back to living full-time with Anthony, found a fun, new
    job, went out with friends for sushi, jogged slowly along the Hudson River,
    it felt as if I were doing all these things while stoned. I was high on my
    sorrow and never quite fully present. It was a thick, hazy goo that covered
    every part of my life, like a cobweb that sticks to you no matter what you
    do to shake it loose. Grief is a sort of weird superpower: it paralyzes you,
    but you’re able to keep moving forward while simultaneously being eaten
    alive by your pain. It is also a cockroach: it can live through any apocalypse
    you throw its way..
  5. Leeann Kay

    Leeann Kay New Member

    I am so so sorry for your loss, Feel like I’m reading my story while reading yours, been 3 months today and still doesn’t seem real. My father passed 7/27 of this year from liver cancer that he was diagnosed with in February he did treatments at home because of the pandemic but they didnt work and he only got worse we almost lost him in June and thankfully he got to come home from the hospital and be at his home which he worked so hard for and loved and be with family for the last month of his life he was a fighter he fought till the very end it was very hard to watch but I was in awe of him everyday he was an amazing man the coolest guy I’ve ever met I’m so proud to be his daughter and 3 months later I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that he’s gone I’ll never get to hear his laugh again hear him makes stupid jokes or talk to him about how bad the Giants are doing this season some days are better than others in dealing with it but then follows the moments of wait how is this fair he’s really gone. Everyday just sucks without him
  6. Chaslynn

    Chaslynn Member

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and sharing that paragraph. You're so right when you say the our friends and family are supportive but they dont understand exactly the way we feel. I have been thinking about seeing a counselor and I think I will take that step. I have noticed that people go on with their lives and forget that you are grieving. My dads illness took a great toll on me and I never really took any downtime and now I find the emotional toll greater than imagined. I tried to prepare myself for his death and "get ahead" of the pain of losing him before he actually died but sadly nothing prepared me. I appreciate your advice and for sharing your story.
  7. Chaslynn

    Chaslynn Member

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to the void of losing a father. My dad will be gone 3 months next week and it doesnt seem real. Like you, we were very close and it is so hard to accept that we will never get to have another conversation with him. I cry every day especially when I think of all he is missing out on but I truly feel like he lives on within me. I talk to him every day and have dreams about him frequently. We learn how to move forward but not move on I believe. No one will ever replace him and just know that he would want you to live your life and not live in sorrow. If I have learned anything, its that life is so short and dont put off doing things because you never know how long you have. My dad was so close to retirement and he never got to enjoy it because of the cancer. It makes me so sad. Hang in there and dont be too hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can.