I can only go by my experience. Please understand that everyone deals with this difficult situation differently. I lost my dad 5 years ago to congestive heart failure. I soon went into a deep depression which lasted for about 2 years. I ended up seeing a psychologist and went on meds (of which I am thankfully no longer on). I understand when you say that you "can barely type it." I could barely speak of it before and after I lost my dad. Things that helped me - 1. My faith, 2. Finally agreeing to see a doctor, 3. My wife, 4. Allowing myself to grieve, 5. Allowing myself to express anger (not directed at others), 6. I learned that grief does strange things to our minds and bodies, 7. There are many stages of grief that we should allow ourselves to go through (you are probably already experiencing some of this as you watch your dad's health decline), 8. I needed to go in "my cave" to lick my wounds often - my wife was good to have around to let me know when my cave time became too long. Anyway, what I am trying to say is - allow yourself the time to grieve in whatever way comes natural to you. But make sure you have someone close to help you through this. For me it was my wife. I am a man of faith, so I will be praying for you Max B.
thanks for the reply, also we appreciate when people keep Dad in their prayers.
We're coming up to the two year anniversary of when I lost my Dad to small cell lung cancer. He died a pretty slow, horrible death over the course of a couple years, and I understand how hard it is seeing it happen. If you're a Christian, you simply have to trust God and be faithful that he lets everything happen for a reason no matter how hard it is to understand. At this point in my life, I fully believe that it happened to draw me closer to God and to become a better person, as I've become a much stronger Christian and a COMPLETELY different person since having to move here after my parents both passed. Especially this time of year with Father's Day and his death date coming up, I really struggle with some depression still but that's going to happen no matter how well you handle it. All I can really say is cherish every moment with him. Don't waste a minute that you could be spending with him, and ask every question you have any urge to. Don't end up with regrets on your side, it just adds a lot of bad feelings about yourself after you do lose him. Treat him like gold, and make sure he knows that he means the world to you. If you need to talk, hit me up on here any time because I'm sure I've felt anything that you could be feeling about this. Stay strong.
Thanks, and I will keep your offer in mind.
Max I'm sorry that you are facing this. Like Roberto said, everyone deals with things differently. The important thing to remember is that you will get through it. There aren't any shortcuts or easy answers when you lose a loved one. Last August, my dad and my wife's mother passed away four days apart. We grieved, and continue to do so, in very different ways. I was 31 years old at the time and wasn't expecting to lose my dad that early. As an only child, I was left to take care of my mother who is in her 70's and as a husband, I wanted to be there for my wife during her time of need. For a while I didn't pay attention to my own grief by staying busy and ignoring it for the most part, but eventually it will catch up to you. I am still working through it and figure that I will be for a while to come. Three months ago, my mother suffered from a ruptured aortic aneurysm and has been in hospice care for the past two months. I had to quit work for a while and have been her primary caregiver for the past few months. During all of this, what has helped me the most is stopping to just breathe, collect myself and put one foot in front of the other. It's ok to feel the hurt but we can't stop living our lives because we lose our loved ones. We keep picking our feet up and setting them down and try to live a life and be the men that our dads would be proud of. I hope this helps and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
It seems so shallow and inadequate to say "my condolences" or "I'm sorry". I lost my mother when I was 13 (heart trouble)--thought I'd never get over that, and I lost my dad around 20 years ago (cancer), plus we've been through the passing of both of my wife's parents. So when I say "I understand what you're going through"---believe me, I do, and so do a lot of people who have gone through this. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in this--other people really do understand. I'm going to tell you what I think you need to keep in mind as you get through this--I hope it is a blessing and a help to you. Some of this is stuff I wished someone had told me---and some of it is stuff someone DID tell me, and I am glad they did:
1. Cry. Go ahead--you're entitled to. Don't try to keep a "stiff upper lip", and don't try to be strong for anybody. This is your dad, we're talking about--just let someone else be the tough guy for a while--
2. Go ahead and fall apart. Again, you're entitled to. Someone else can figure out when the lawn gets mowed, where the dishes go, or what time the garbage goes out. Let people help you. When you're done falling apart, you'll get yourself back together when you're good and ready to--and don't rush it.
3. Draw into your family, hold them, just be there for them---and let them be there for you. People who are just as grief-stricken as you are at the time just really need that. You already know it's "not all about you", personally, but it IS all about "you guys"---you're the ones going through it, who need support from others.
4. Overlook dumb things people say. A lot of people say careless things at a time like this...and they seem shockingly ignorant or outrageous because you're grief-stricken. People just don't know what to say---forgive them for that. When you hear stupid comments such as "it was for the best" or "must have been God's will", or even insensitive comments about your dad's appearance or what kind of a son you've been---tune it out.
5. Remember---"this too shall pass". You WILL be happy again, you're NOT going crazy, and life really does go on.
I wish you well, Max---you really will be in my prayers---and I'm not just saying that.
Thanks I appreciate the advice and the prayers.
No one knows how to handle it when it happens, Max. I sat and watched my father go down to lung cancer almost seventeen years ago, and it is still with me. I had time to prepare myself for the inevitable, but in the aftermath I realized my preparations were not enough. I was hit by the little things that I never thought of, the force of habit, the reflexes. I would be at work and hear a cowrorker tell a funny story or a joke, and I would think to myself: "I have to remember that one and tell it to Dad." Then I would remember that I couldn't tell that, or any other joke, to Dad again. I would come home to visit my mother, where you could always tell who was in by the cars in the driveway, and I would say to myself as I came in: "Brother's here, Dad's here, SIster's here..." and stop myself. It was these small things that hurt the most, and the longest.
I also felt a great amount of regret at his death. He was a hearty and healthy man until the cancer manifested itself, about four months before his death. I was in no hurry in those days to see him, or do things with him, for there was time. And then he was ill, and there was no more time. There were no last chances, no time for one last game of golf, or bowling, or fishing trip, for he was too ill. There wasn't even a chance for me to ask him to tell me his crazy stories, just one more time. I stayed with him as long as I could- on that last day, it was to the very end- and we spoke of the things we could. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to do for him, or in his name, after he was gone, and he told me to look after my family, take care of his grandchildren, and look after Mom whenever I could.
As cold as it sounds, you will handle it. We all deal with this in our own time, to the best of our abilities. Some of us live with a gaping hole, some of us learn a little wisdom, and to have a greater appreciation for what time we have. I have no words that can beguile away the sorrow you will feel as you lose a good man, perhaps the best you will ever know, but I can say that your cherished memories will remain. It may seem bitter for a time, to remember the things you have said and done together, knowing that you shall never do these things again, but in time you may learn to give thanks that you hae good memories of your father, and count your blessings that it was your fortune to know such a man for the time you did have.
I will remember you and your father in my prayers.
Thank you for your story and wisdom and the prayers of course.
Finding this post hit hard. I Iost my father June 27 last year. He was diagnosed with a genetic brain disease six years ago. He lived a couple of hours from my home, and it seemed each time I visited him, a little bit more of him had disappeared. When he finally passed, I took comfort in my family. I cried a lot. I fell apart once-- My son was there to hold me. I wrote a eulogy to read at my father's service and I think that helped me get through my loss better than anything else. It gave me chance to focus on my fathers life and not his death. Reading it was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I think it helped everyone who heard it. A week or two after the funeral, I was tired of grieving and made a concerted effort to enjoy life. It's not that I don't ever miss my father, but I'd dishonor him if I didn't live the life he gave me to its fullest.
Sorry to hear buddy, that's real tough. How old are you? I lost my father too, 2 weeks before I turned 19 to cancer. It was nasty, cancer is no joke. It wasn't fun to see him suffer through the years. It did help to know he wasn't in pain anymore.
Do you have a girlfriend? Or a really close friend? I would talk to them or even just hug and cry and let it out, nothing unmanly about that. Father's are our greatest influence. I know talking to my girlfriend helped, and talking with family about the good times. The pain won't go away and you will always miss him but it will get easier.