So I Gave Him Another Hug

I am 27 and my Dad was diagnosed and died from colon cancer July 2013 three days after his 63rd birthday and just 15 days after being diagnosed. (Two months after my uncle died suddenly. Four months after my Grandma died. 9 months after my aunt tried to commit suicide. 14 months after a childhood friend committed suicide, and two years after my other uncle was successful in committing suicide just two more months after my Grandpa died. Before all this death, I had only ever been to one funeral.)

I remember getting a call at work from my Dad, and he said "Baby, I have some not good news. Your Mom and I are headed to the hospital, my liver is failing."

My first thought was hope or maybe I heard him wrong, and he's okay. I wish I understood.

My husband and I left right away to meet him, my Mom and siblings at the hospital. I'd never seen my Dad sick before. The only time I remember him ever being in pain was when he cut his hand on a broken glass. We arrived at the hospital and sat there waiting for more tests.

Since he was a pharmacist, he knew. He even told us, "I probably have two weeks." I just thought he was being his usual pragmatic self or placing himself in the shoes of so many cancer patients he'd met in his work. I wish I had understood, he'd never lied to me before.

We sat there all day, and the next. He was kept up for hours unable to eat or sleep because of tests that needed him to have an empty stomach. He went to be hungry, and woke up with promises of more tests the next day.

I had only been at a new job for 2 months. So I tried to split my time the next week unknowing that I would have so little time left with him. That first Saturday we went up, and played liars dice, my Mom and him celebrated their anniversary spooning cake to each others. Then it was Monday. Tuesday I worked. Wednesday I learned what chemo was and that my Dad would be starting it the next day -- his birthday.

My sister went on a planned trip, forced into going by my Dad who said he would only consider doing chemo if she went on her trip to South America. He didn't want to cause any lost dreams.

My sister left that day for her trip. I had to go to work the next day. Then it was Saturday, and my brother spent time with my parents that night. My husband and I went up to see my Dad on Sunday.

Between the time I saw him on Thursday to the time I saw him on Sunday he couldn't even walk. He had uncontrollable hiccups, couldn't sleep, couldn't keep down food. I took him for a walk, in his Mom's wheelchair. He loved to be outside, but I'd never realized how much people stare at a perfectly healthy looking man in a wheel chair. His voice was soft, it was hard to hear him. We went back to the house and watched Spongebob. Then I gave him a hug, having to work the next day, I had a thought "this could be your last hug from your Dad" so I gave him a second hug.

The next day he was gone. He went to the hospital, my brother met him and my mom for something small like "he threw up and there was some blood in his puke, but it could have been strawberries." Since I had to work the next day, my brother went. He called around 11 pm and said that we needed to get to the hospital right away.

I saw my Daddy die that morning.

His twin was there with us. My brother and I wept. For the first time, I know what the sounds of wailing feel like and sound like. My sister had to say goodbye on the phone, after rushing and trying so hard to get back, my Dad didn't last the 12 hours that she needed to get home. The nurses removed his wedding ring, and gave it to my Mom in a plastic bottle.

My Dad was an incredible man who loved everyone. Almost everyone in our small town knew him somehow as he had worked in the pharmacy for 40 years.

My Dad was one of my best friends, my husband and I are lonely without him. We used to hang out with him weekly for hours on end. We had planned to take Friday's off all summer so that we could hike and camp with him.

Comments for So I Gave Him Another Hug

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Feb 19, 2014
I Understand...and thank you!
by: Crystal

My daddy died a month ago today after a short stent with lung cancer that had metastasized to his liver before we even knew he had it. He passed away 10 days after we found out. Your story is much like mine. Your description of the wailing is something I still feel. It's the deepest pain anyone can imagine. When I saw the funeral home stretcher come to the hospital room to pick him up, my disbelief turned into a quick reality and I couldn't even stand. He was my rock and I thank God every day for my husband. Without him, I'm pretty sure I would be completely lost in this world since my daddy beat me to Heaven. I have comfort, though, in God's promises and I know I get to see him again.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Many prayers to you and your family.

Jan 04, 2014
So sorry
by: Anonymous

I lost my father suddenly in January 2013. I understand exactly what you are feeling. The pain and devastation are unbearable at times, but try to take one day at a time and be kind to yourself. I hope you are able to find some comfort and peace in this new year. You are not alone, Barb

Jan 03, 2014
Sorry for your loss
by: Anonymous

I am very sorry for the loss of your dear is difficult to comes to terms with sudden death and you are left totally bereft.I know how you are feeling my dad passed away suddenly from a stroke five years ago, it took me two years to get my head around losing him so suddenly.Grief is tough and it is an uphill battle but believe me it does get better in time albeit slowly. Unfortunately there is no quick fix we all have to live through it.Talk about your feelings with friends and family if you can as this definitely helps you to heal.Allow yourself to cry and don't expect too much of yourself. Tell people that you have lost your Dad recently and accept any support you get. I am thinking of you as I know it is tough coping with grief.Wishing you all the best.Katie

Jan 02, 2014
I feel your pain.
by: Anonymous

Wow. I'm so sorry. I really honestly do feel your pain. And I understand the wailing, the crying. I get the desperate feeling at the end. I lost my Dad in August, the most loving, giving, selfless, kind, amazing Dad who worked so hard all his life and with mom raised 12 kids! I know your heart is shattered, I do. I have nothing profound to offer, just that there are those, including me, that totally get it. It's a connection we have despite the fact we don't have any idea who the other is.

Jan 02, 2014
So I Gave Him Another Hug
by: Doreen UK

I am sorry for your loss of your Dad to cancer. This is one of the worst experiences of one's life. The days of illness and sitting around waiting whilst we try to process our thoughts and what is going on is so very difficult. I am in the same place as your mom. My husband was diagnosed in 2009 with MESOTHELIOMA (lung cancer caused by working with asbestos and is inoperable, incurable, aggressive, terminal). That day of diagnosis was the worst day of my life. Knowing I was going to lose the only man I loved and was married to for 44yrs. I nursed him for 3yrs.39days and he died 20 months ago. at the age of 65yrs. just 16 days before his 66th birthday. He was the love of my life and I miss him terribly. Cancer is such a horrendous disease that affects the whole family. We didn't want to know how long my husband had to live as I was in denial and waiting for my miracle of healing. After death I did the funeral and tied up all the admin and then took to the couch for 6 months and nurtured my way back from grief. I found the secret on this site. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. I still can only take one day at a time. I can't plan ahead. Advise your mom to only take ONE DAY AT A TIME. There is no pain like the pain of losing a close loved one. You hurt for months into years and wonder when it will end. I got through Christmas and glad it is over. The universe is claiming so many lives to cancer and our men folk are the one's who are losing out on their retirement that they have worked hard for and looking forward to. I hated sitting watching my husband die slowly in pain and wanting to hold each moment in time and make it last forever. I wanted to stretch the days to be longer than 24hrs. so we had more time. Even more time would never be enough time. My heart goes out to all your family and just hope that this New Year will help you all to heal from your loss and help you all find Peace to live without your father/husband.

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