How?

I lost my dad in January from Stage 4 cancer. He was sick for over five years. I figured, people survive cancer all the time. My dad isn't going to die. It didn't seem possible. I remained in denial through his death, and am only now beginning to cope with what's happened. I feel guilty that I didn't acknowledge it sooner. Even despite tearful calls saying 'I'm dying, I'm dying' I just wouldn't believe it. Now I wonder what life might be like for me if I had to begun to cope with this years ago. I also wonder what our relationship would have been like if I could've been there for him the way I should have been. My best was always 'keep fighting, you will beat this', but i would give anything to just sit with him or hug him one more time without my useless persistence. He feels so close, but so far away at the same time. It just doesn't seem real that he isn't here. I listen to voicemails and hear his voice, and think that I must be able to just call him. I think of calling him every single day.

I feel like everyone around me has moved on. I'm 24 and most of my friends don't know what its like to lose a parent, so it makes them uncomfortable to talk about. It's situations like these that I wish I could call my dad because I know he would have the answer for me and know the exact right thing to say, I was his baby and only daughter after all. I'm so thankful that he isn't suffering, but I feel selfish at times because I am realizing more and more how much I need him here. The thought 'please just come back' is one that enters my mind every single day. I feel like he is alive in my head and nowhere else. I talk to a therapist, but I wish more than anything I had someone to talk to who I felt really related. My siblings are all married with children and have their own lives to attend to. I feel completely on my own as I tend to only cry about it when I'm alone. Reading this website has made me realize that I'm not. I just wish someone had the answer - how do I move past this? What will make me feel whole again? I miss you everyday Daddy, and I will never let you be forgotten.

Comments for How?

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Dec 06, 2013
How?
by: Doreen UK

I am sorry for your loss of your dad to cancer. My husband died 19 months ago of lung cancer with a tumour which took 40yrs. to develop from working with asbestos. One doesn't know what is going on inside their body, until it is too late. My husband's cancer was terminal. There was no hope but I still acted as if I did and refused to believe he was going to die. I refused to hear the nurse say "I think your husband is dying." I wanted to scream "NO YOU ARE WRONG." I nursed him for 3yrs.39days when he died in severe pain. I would have done anything to help him. WE just do our best and HOPE. But even Hope has it's limitations. Often we can't fight cancer. It is unrealistic. Talking to a counsellor or therapist is not a bad thing. They are highly skilled to get us where we need to be. Often it feels worse before it get's better. But the healing is such that you can't put into words how well you will feel. It is important to deal with grief so you can move forward from the pain and get your life back. We have no choice but to live the life we were given to the best of our ability. Your dad would be proud of you doing everything you could to become whole again. Hold onto Hope. This is all we have. You are not alone. We grieve with you even if it feels you are all alone. WE all go through this who has lost a loved one.

Dec 05, 2013
Losing your father
by: Candace McCutcheon

You lost your father too early in life. It's not fair. When I lost my father I felt like I was on a different planet than everyone else. You find you suddenly have nothing in common with most of your friends because you have experienced a loss that most of them probably can't relate to unless they had a similar event in their own lives. After my father died, he seemed to be "checking in" on me from time to time. He would show up in my dreams and we would talk. Pay attention to your dreams because we really don't know what is beyond this life, but my having been dead once (only briefly from an asthma attack in the middle of the night) I experienced something wonderful and I didn't want to come back, but I was told it wasn't my time. Perhaps your father has simply moved on to a different, more spiritual and better plane of existence and you will see him again. You are not alone and you will feel better with time, but there will be times when you're reminded of him in unexpected ways; that's all part of healing. It must be difficult for you now, but you'll be the one who understands the most when your friends inevitably go through the same thing that you've had to go so early in life in the years to come. Fathers and daughters have a special bond that is like no other. I hope this helps. Hang in there. -- Candace

Dec 04, 2013
How
by: Debra

I also lost my dad to Stage 4 lung cancer. It was a year ago this past November. I miss him terribly. I just recently started going to a therapist due to major depression. I don't believe we ever stop missing them and that emptiness is never quite filled again. I am able to think of him without crying, although I still have tearful moments. I do understand what you're going through. The guilt serves no purpose other than making your grief more unbearable. Be assured, your dad would not want you to beat yourself up over it. You were simply rooting for his recovery. God be with you as you recover from this difficult journey. I will be thinking of you.

Dec 03, 2013
How and Why?
by:

I know what you mean when you say that your friends don't know what it's like to lose a parent. The thought scares them, and your grief inconveniences them because of their own fear of loss. One day they too will know what that is like. I was 17 when I lost my dad; he also died in January. That doesn't make Christmas very easy, or trying to start a new year in a positive tone. I'm now 33 and I lost my mom to cancer in 2011. At 31 I was orphaned, and although I know age doesn't matter because it's never easy to lose someone, we've still been cheated out of many many more years of parental guidance and just time to have with them. I wasn't ready to become my own parent. I sit at work and listen to people I work with that are the same age as my parents talking about spending the holidays with their folks, and I resent their happiness because it feels like a personal attack. Then I feel guilty about it because I'm not a spiteful person. It's a very frustrating place to be.

I too am single with no children and I feel a terrible loneliness. I've dealt with grief alone since I was a kid. How and Why are two questions we often ask knowing very well there are no answers. Although I can't give you advice because I'm stuck in my own grief as well, I hope that just sharing these thoughts helps at least a little. You're not 'alone' with feeling the way you do.

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