Loss of my Dad, my best friend.

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by Kathryn Louise, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. I lost my Dad a little over 6 months ago to a 10 month battle with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma. He was amazing, hilarious, goofy, an all around great person and one of the nicest human beings on the planet. He was 56, only 20 years older than me. We sort of grew up together in a sense. I was one of his caregivers. He was in the hospital for 2.5 months before getting to come home with hospice care. I drove 2.5 hours back and forth from home to that hospital over and over and never thought anything of it. I was there from the time he came home until the second he passed away. It was the most precious and vunerable time I could ever have with him. It just all seems so unfair. It's easy for people to tell me "he's in a better place now" "free from pain" "he's right there in your heart". I don't want to hear that. I want him back. Right here in front of me, healthy as a horse. I want to hug him and hear his laugh. I go through this every day all day. I've been searching for grief support groups online and really need to talk to someone that understands what I am going through to help me make sense of it I guess. I'm trying hard, I really am. Just need support.
     
  2. Braylee

    Braylee New Member

    Hi Kathryn. I know your post is a bit old but I just joined. I lost my dad May 4 to brain cancer. I spent a lot of time in the hospital with him as he was receiving surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. We had hope that he would get a miracle treatment. He died at home suddenly. We thought we had more time with him. We were supposed to at least have 6 more months with him. He was only 56. I am caught between feeling grateful he is no longer in pain and being incredibly angry that we have been robbed of the next 30 odd years without him. I don’t know when one ever finds peace. It has not even been 3 weeks but all I can think is what a long next 30 years it will be without him. He was a jokester. So sarcastic. Hardworking. Proud. And it felt as though we were finally able to connect as adults rather than as father and daughter. My heart and my families hearts are shattered.
     
  3. Hi Braylee,

    I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, I've had busy week. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. That feeling, of it being so fresh still is giving me flashbacks from last year. I'm not going to say all the things that everyone else is saying to you because, although it is kind of people to say, in my case, it made me angry. Not at the person but at the typical things to say to someone grieving. "He's in a better place" "He's not in pain anymore" "He is watching over you now". Pardon my French but in my head I was like, "fuck that, I want him back, right here next to me, alive and breathing, healthy as a horse." It just doesn't seem fair to take such a wonderful human being away, especially since he was so young. Not only that but it's my Daddy and it's all so surreal. I want you to know that you are not alone in your grief. If you need to talk or someone to just listen, I will be here, even if you don't know me. Talking to people that don't understand what you are going through can be frustrating and you don't want to take it out on them. Sometimes I just let out a really loud scream. I also went to counseling, which has helped a lot. I'm on depression/anxiety medication and it has gotten me through it so far. I listen to my Dad's voicemails and watch the snaps I took of him and it helps me have some peace. Nothing would be better than having him back though. Somehow you have to glue your heart back together after it has been ripped out. I'm here for you.
     
    bluebell likes this.
  4. Colleen H

    Colleen H New Member

     
  5. Colleen H

    Colleen H New Member

    Hi Kathryn Louise (and everyone else)~
    I feel your EXACT pain! I, too, lost my Dad and best friend on Aug. 1 of last year. He was 72 years old. He had a liver transplant on Nov. 7, 2016, in Pittsburgh, PA, and never came home. My family and I had just recently moved to Sarasota, FL. He & my Mom had a signed contract to buy the house next to us to “snowbird” in the winters. The transplant went perfect. But he ended up with a million complications afterwards: heart attack in ICU from a mucous plug blocking his airway (he went without oxygen for 8 minutes & male nurses did CPR on his 80 lb frail body to bring him back needless to say cracking his ribs); he was then trached so he wasn’t able to speak for 9 months; nasal feeding tube for 9 months so he never even had an ice chips or anything to eat by mouth for 9 months; his feeding tube “broke” & they couldn’t get the part they needed so he went without ANY nutrition for 5 days and dropped to 67 lbs; kidney failure which required dialysis 6 hrs a day 3 days/wk; MRSA; pneumonia 3x’s; and sepsis 4x’s (which is what he finally succumbed to). And the ENTIRE time, kept a smile on his face! I am a Physical Therapist and have had sooooo much guilt knowing I couldn’t do more for him. I flew back & forth so many times while trying to work, run a household with 2 small kids, all while my husband was in the Law Enforcement Acadamy training to be a Sheriff. And I forgot to mention that my retired nurse mom has short-term memory & dementia. So I was in charge of his healthcare over the phone. Luckily my plane got in a few hours before he passed, even though he was basically in a coma from the sepsis. But I know he knew I was there...
    Anyways, I have tried to deal with this all on my own, but my husband (great guy) feels I need to see a psychologist. I don’t think that is he route I need. I just need someone who has been through what I am going through...
     
  6. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    I'm hoping I can join on this group of support because I can relate to everything you are all saying so much. I lost my dad just a few days ago, June 1st. It is so new that it almost doesn't feel real. But then sometimes it is so real it is crushing and overwhelming. He had been battling stage 4 head/neck cancer for 5 months, but we were told we would have more time. His cancer didn't respond to treatment like people normally do, they said. They weren't sure why. He was fighting so hard. He told me he "wasn't ready to leave this Earth." I can't get that thought out of my head. He was only 55. He was such a funny guy, still had his sense of humor and fight even going through all of the treatments. I am almost paralyzed thinking of what went through his head the moment he passed - how scared he was. My brother lived with him and came running down to find dad struggling to breathe when he passed out and never came back after CPR. My brain and thoughts are so scattered I don't even know if I'm making sense, I don't feel like I can do normal things and go on. These past few mornings waking up I have a moment where I think it wasn't real it didn't happen, and then the realization hits me and I am paralyzed with sadness. My poor dad, he wasn't ready to go, we didn't get enough time with him. He was in so much pain and had a feeding tube and missed eating his favorite pizza and burgers and people will say things like "he isn't in pain anymore" and those things you all said. I understand they are trying to help but I also want to say no he isn't in pain because he's GONE and that's not fair! I don't know how to cope with this, I have moments where I completely break down and feel so panicked and so upset I don't know what to do. People tell me to try to focus on other things and live life but I just can't, every moment I'm thinking about my dad and if I find myself not thinking about him I feel guilty. I just can't imagine it getting easier. I think talking with others who understand will help, but I feel so lost right now. Dad's funeral service will be this coming Wednesday, the arrangements have basically fallen on me since my parents are divorced and my brother is younger. I am overwhelmed with having to make choices about some of these things, I hope dad would be ok with what we've chosen. The whole thing is just...not real and not fair. I will stop rambling now -- this is just the state of my brain at the moment.
     
  7. hello i just joined today after the loss of my mother/best friend. she was my world. i took care of her since i was old enough to understand. everything i see has reduced me to tears. it hurts and i feel like i can't breathe. "it will be okay." they say. even if it will be okay someday over the rainbow, it's not right now. my mom was in some pain yes but she wasn't giving up yet she body did. i saw her everyday and now i'll only see her one/two more times and then nothing but pictures and memories. she was only 58. people want decisions on things for the service and i can't even think more than two minutes without crying. what i wouldn't give to hug her and her to hug me back once more. i didn't even get to say goodbye.
     
  8. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    Hi Leela --
    I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. I completely understand how you are feeling. My dad was also in some pain and going through cancer treatment but still wasn't ready to leave, he wanted to keep fighting and get his life back. The thought that I won't get to see him again or hug him or hear him tell a silly joke is unbearable. My dad was only 55, very close in age to your mother, it is just too young and it isn't fair.

    It was difficult for me to make decisions for the service, especially since my dad didn't leave a will or any wishes, so I had to do my best to think what he would want, but it was such an unreal thing to think about -- his service is tomorrow morning, I don't know how I will handle it. When is your mother's service? Do you have any other family members who might be able to help? I know it helped me to have my brother and my aunt there. The idea of not getting to say goodbye I also understand, I think we just need to try to focus on the idea that they knew that we loved them, as hard as that is. I am still breaking down and sobbing hysterically about every hour -- I hope this all gets easier for both of us. Maybe being able to talk to each other will help.
     

  9. sunday is the viewing and monday is the . . . i can't write the word. yes i do have a family. some very tight knit like father, sister and brother in law. i told her everyone day i loved her more than life itself. having a good memory the house is painful. i remember where each thing was brought or given and her reaction to it. we were going to get blueberries and go to the dollar store. we made plans the night before and now . . . . it hurts to breathe or think. we are all wreaks and we already had a death a dew days before thanksgiving. grandma is still going through that and now her daughter. i just want to wake up for this dream but i can't. I can't stop myself from crying. how can i help the others.

    i'm sorry about your dad. i wish i had magic words but i don't. it's going to be one day at a time. i know either one of them wants us to be this sad but it doesn't help the fact we do. it means we cared deeply. i wish i could say anything else less depressing but i know one day i can tell a story about her and laugh. instead of cry. it's just it won't be tomarrow or the next day.

    p.s thank you. somehow though all this i finally got my breathing under control. i couldn't since 6AM no matter what i did.
     
  10. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    Although it seems impossible, try to take some comfort in knowing that you told your mom every day how much you loved her -- she knew that. I felt the same way about my dad, unfortunately the night before he passed I didn't get the chance to say it, but I'm trying to focus on the fact that every other day for a long time I had told him and he told me back. Only a few days ago I had a text from him that said "I love you more than you'll ever know." I'm trying to cherish that message. Hopefully someday soon it will bring me a smile instead of tears.

    It helped me yesterday during dad's service and after to be around family and hear the stories of dad. It was very sad to think we won't get any more, but I was surprised to find that talking about some of them made me feel a little better - if even just for a moment. I'm hoping the moments of feeling better get longer with time.

    I still have breakdown moments every day, but I'm trying my best to shift my thought process, rather than letting myself panic and breakdown I'm trying to think about happy memories, but it is very hard. I'm struggling with the idea of returning to "normal" life. All I kept telling my husband as I was crying last night was, I just miss my dad. No matter what everyone says to try to make it all "easier" or when people say "your dad loved you so much" it doesn't change the fact that he's not here and I miss him so much.

    I'm going to try to spend as much time with family as possible. When my dad was going through cancer I always told him not to worry he wasn't alone, and I'm trying to realize that's also true for us.
     
  11. it's good to know that breakdown like this is 'normal'. the service home called and said them needed a opening and closing fee paid. then the lady was like how you are doing. the stupidest question ever. I managed to not scream at her but i wanted to. if there wasn't a huge group for an another serive i'm not sure if i could have calmish. i settled for stabbing glare. i been total i had evil glares when in the right mind set. she jolted back and realize that wasn't a good thing to ask. i know she didn't mean anything but. , , , . . . i still shaking from that and the aftermath. she was the one i would go to if i got like this. i almost don't know how to let it go without her. i keep stareing at a picture, bug her to help me. i feel half crazy right now.
     
  12. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    I still have been having a lot of breakdowns, the day after the memorial service was harder for me than I thought it would be. I think it was hard to see other people going back to "normal" life and I just don't feel right doing that. I'm going to try to go back to work later today, people have told me having some routine or something else to think about might help, since I've just been thinking about my dad non-stop.

    I've also found it hard when people ask "how are you?", I know people mean well but I don't really know what to say. Even when it's just casually like at a gas station and they say "hello how are you" I feel like I just have to say "ok thanks" because I can't say how I really feel.

    We put out a bunch of pictures at Dad's service, it's weird bringing them all home and just looking at them all. It was hard yesterday too we had to try to figure out logistics with Dad's house and bills -- it's going to be complicated and hard to deal with, since we lost Dad so unexpectedly we don't have any will or anything to use. It's hard to try to figure that out when I just miss him.
     
    bluebell likes this.
  13. Lindsay, Leela and Colleen -

    Your stories all transported me back 11 months to that awful day. I'm in tears for you all. I appreciate you all sharing your stories so much. Coming up on Father's Day on Sunday and the 1 year mark that he passed (July 10) has been weighing on me like a ton of bricks. I have gained about 65 lbs since he was diagnosed in Sept 2016 to now. I have eaten so much crap and honestly, been drinking like a bottle red wine every night. Before he got sick, my Dad and I had been on this amazing weight loss journey together. He and I were both weighing around 196 lbs. I was running a lot and he was so proud of me and I of him. I lost 70 lbs in 20 months and he was down 30 lbs. We cheered each other on and updated each on our progress daily. After he got sick, I just didn't have it in me to keep track of what I was doing with myself because everything I had went to him, with good reason. I know that he wouldn't want me feeling like crap and not taking care of myself but I just couldn't get myself on track. Yesterday I woke up and just felt this amazing energy and really felt him somehow. I have finally hit my wall and started right then and there on a new weight loss journey and I am feeling good! No looking back, no more drinking every night to feel numb and make my pain go away! I'm doing this for he and I both. I also listen to his voicemails and hearing his voice helps a lot.

    The pain that you all are feeling, that wound that is open, fresh and bleeding, it won't go away anytime soon. That's unfortunately the truth. For months after he died, especially the weeks after, I kept saying this doesn't feel real, this doesn't feel real. It still doesn't. It seems so crazy and your mind is just blahhhhhhhhhh. You have to just endure that somehow, find something you can do that you and your Dad/Mom loved to make you feel close to him. And yes, cry your eyes out, it helps. A month after everything, my husband and I drove up to northern Michigan to Torch Lake and Traverse City on Lake Michigan. My Dad and I LOVE the beach and sunsets. He was always taking us on road trips to the beach (we lived in east central Indiana) and he instilled his love of the ocean, lakes, water, beaches, sunsets, shells.....everything about it, on my sister and I. That trip made me feel so much peace and love and it made me feel so close to him. It is hard to stay positive when you are feeling so much pain and loss but I swear, doing something that makes you feel close to your Dad/Mom helps so much. Please know I am here for you all and I am so grateful that you are sharing your stories and making a connection with me. I have went to counseling sessions and they definitely helped but I think talking to you ladies and having that support is really going to make a huge difference on coping with this journey we must take. Also, you can call me Katie. Kathryn Louise is my name and I made that my user name because my Dad would always call me by that, his term of endearment for me. Lots of love, Katie.
     
  14. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    Thanks for the message Katie, I agree that having support and knowing others going through something similar definitely helps cope. Although I currently am still feeling how raw this pain is. I'm still crying constantly and just exhausted. Another stressor is that dad didn't have a will so we are having to figure out a ton of legal things too which adds to the stress and pain. Just trying to take one day at a time. I went to my first counseling today...it was mostly just me re-explaining all the pain and emotions I've been having over the past week and a half.. I don't know that it was "helpful" necessarily but I'm going back again next week, I'm willing to try anything to help get through this heartbreak. I can also relate to your weight loss/gain experience. Last September I was in the best shape of my life for my wedding..after the wedding I kinda started letting things slide ("fat and happy" as they say) and then dad got his cancer diagnosis and it just kept getting worse. Lots of appointments and stress and finding time for myself just wasn't a priority. Lately I've been eating horribly and drinking almost every night, like you said, to "numb" the pain. I'm gonna try to get back to working out regularly over the next few days, maybe it will make me feel better. Dad kept saying that once he beat the cancer he wanted to run his first half-marathon and we would train together. I'm devastated he won't get the chance to do that.

    It's gonna be a rough weekend with Father's Day coming...it will be 2 weeks and 2 days since we lost dad :( My brother and I are going to go get a tattoo in his honor on Father's Day. I just feel...unsettled...numb sometimes...like nothing feels right. In the silences I am hyper-aware that Dad is gone...the sadness just consumes my every thought...I'm trying to shift to happy memories but the fact that they are memories and we won't get any more then makes me really sad. Cancer sucks. It isn't fair. I miss my dad.

    Thinking of you all.
     
  15. Lindsay, I think getting a tattoo is a great idea. My sister and I went in November around my birthday and got his birthday on our ribcage on the left side so he is close to our hearts. I ran my first half-marathon at the end of April last year and Dad was tracking me via the chip in my my bib from his hospital bed. I only got to about 6.5 miles unfortunately due to it being canceled midway through because of a severe thunderstorm. He was still so proud. I'm hoping to get back to it and finish my first real one for him. I'm sorry your Dad didn't get the chance to run his first half marathon. I don't know if you run but maybe by training for even a 5k could make you feel closer to him and finish what he wanted to do. I live in Columbus, OH and planning to enter the big marathon/half marathon here in October.

    Yes, this weekend is going to be rough as fucking hell. We'll be experiencing this for the first time together. I love that you are getting the tattoo on Sunday, seems like a good way to honor him and also get some pain out of your body. I am so very sorry that Father's Day and his passing are so close together, I can't even imagine. Stay strong. And I know all you are doing is crying right now, just keep feeling those feelings as they come and cry and cry. Eventually your crying days will spread out and you'll get some much needed sleep. You'll have dreams of him, I have them almost nightly, still. Just try to remember the good stuff and not put yourself back in those last moments so often. If I think about that stuff too hard it feels like I'm right back there and just as horrified and broken. Remember happy moments with him and if you have any voicemails and text messages from him, those help too.
     

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  16. Lindsay0916

    Lindsay0916 Member

    Katie, my Dad was probably the world's biggest MN Vikings fan, so my brother and I are getting the Vikings horn with "skol" -- I think Dad would love it. The birthday thing is a good idea too, maybe I'll get that at some point. Man, our dads were just too young, my dad was born in 1962.

    Kudos to you for the half marathon effort -- I'm sorry it got canceled! I have done 2 half marathons in the past, I'd like to do another one, my husband also has never done one and would like to. We were originally going to do one in July but with all of dad's health issues the training kinda fell off and I just don't think I'd be ready...but I think maybe I'll try for one in October too -- maybe we can help each other train :)

    We can all get through Father's Day together. I do feel like all I'm doing is crying...at this point my brain fights sleep because nights seem to be the hardest for me -- the silence just leaves me with my thoughts. Right now I generally only "sleep" due to sheer exhaustion, hopefully I get back to some semblance of normal sleep soon. Thanks for your advice, your words are truly comforting. I know we have a video of my dad's speech at our wedding...I don't know if I'm emotionally ready to watch it yet, but I think that sometime in the near future that might be helpful.

    p.s
    my birthday is also in November :p
     
    Kathryn Louise likes this.
  17. Lindsay,

    Wow! Not only do we have grief in common but our Daddies were very close in age and our birthdays are in November :) When is your birthday? Mine is Nov 3, one month and 10 days before my Dad's. I was at his 21st birthday party lol! He would always tell me that story.

    I love your tattoo idea! Such a great way to honor him! What part of your body are getting it on? My sister and I weren't fond of the generic RIP shit and we definitely didn't want his death date on our bodies. The day he was born was a wonderful day and we celebrate it.

    I hate that you all have to deal with the financial aspect of him not having a will. Freaking sucks that not only are you grieving but you have so much stuff you have to quickly get done. Luckily my step-mom took care of that stuff. They had an agreement that when they both die, everything will be divided amongst her son, my sister and I. I wish I knew a way to make that part easier for you and your family. Feel free to add me on Facebook if you want, we can chat on messenger if you ever want to. My user name is Katie Lou and my profile pic is an up close selfie of a friend of mine and me at her wedding. Hopefully that makes it pretty easy since I'm sure there are prob a lot of Katie Lou's on there. I'm not sure if it shows it but I live in Columbus, OH.

    Also, I am totally down for the idea of training together and cheering one another on! Heck, you have done 2 halfs, I'm sure you will have some great pointers for me!