I'm 25 years old, and it's been 6 months and 2 days since my father died of metastatic colon cancer. It seems like it's just getting worse instead of better. I feel so awful and overcome by my sadness that I just don't know what to do. I'm still working and getting things done, but I feel like I have this huge weight on my shoulders. I miss my dad so much, and I just want to be able to talk to him again and give him a big hug. I'm tormented by the way he suffered near the end of his life, and I can't stop thinking about it. Also, it seems like so much happened in the past 6 months, and I can't even tell him about it.
How long will I feel this way? I know there's no easy answer to that, but is there any kind of timeframe? Is it unhealthy to think that way? I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel myself falling into a depression, but I can't seem to climb out of it. I'm seeing a psychiatrist to try and talk about some of it, but I don't think that's helping much. This board is full of so much sadness - I read the posts and ache in my heart for everyone here. Has anyone found any helpful coping skills during these awful times?
I'm so sorry to hear how you feel. Grief is such an overwhelming thing that it seems sometimes that it will never end, you will never feel happy again, there is nothing good to look forward to. But this truly isn't so - it's just that it takes time to work through the sadness and pain of losing someone you love. You miss the person so much, you want them back even if only for one last conversation, there is so much you want to say or want to know ... these feelings are natural when you are grieving, but that doesn't make them any easier to bear. Please believe me when I say that as more time passes you will gradually come to terms with your father's passing. You will still miss him but you will begin to live your own life again, though of course you will never forget your father and what he meant to you.
I'm glad you are getting professional help, but in my own experience the support of close friends and family is invaluable. Other people knew your father too, they miss him and they know how you feel. It is perfectly natural to grieve for someone you loved; it is healthy, not abnormal. As for your father's suffering in his last days I understand and sympathise with how distressing the memory of that is for you, but try to remember that it is now a memory, not reality. Your father is no longer suffering, he is happy and well, though you cannot see him. Try to remember instead all the happy times you had with him, all the times you laughed together when he was well, all the happy family occasions. In time, these good memories will take the place of the bad ones and you will be able to smile again. Take care.
kali23------I am so sorry for your loss. Everyone has the same words because there are no words to help you through this. to use an olde cliche" time heals all wounds" time will not heal this but will help ease the pain. I had a wonderful relationship with my Dad. He passed away 13 years ago. Still sits on my shoulder. when i have doubts or have to make a decision i still ask him what he would do. for years after his pasing every once in awhhile something would happen and iwould immediatly go to the phone and then cry becasue i realized he wasn't there. keep busy but give yourself time to grieve. there is no right or wrong way. it's each individual's way. my prayers are with you.
I am crying...partially because I feel so keenly what you are going through, partially because it took me back to the loss of my mother two years ago.
All the things that have been written here are true. Time is your ally, and eventually every waking thought will not be about your daddy. Cling to your family, call them a lot. A few well-meaning people sent me books on loss and grief, but at that time I didn't have the concentration to read a cereal box.
And cling to your faith like never before. Trust that your dad has gone ahead to prepare a table for you. You will meet again in a sweet place with no cancer and no grief.
You ask about a time frame for feeling better. Each of us mourns at their own rate in their own way. I will share with you that after I marked off the first anniversary of my mom's death, her loss was always on my mind, but I had begun to feel other things, and see beyond my own grief. If I thought I would NEVER see her again, I couldn't stand it, but I choose to believe I will.
I'm so sorry - My Dad also died of colon cancer, and I felt that empty void/ache for him and for one more hug. I still feel it but without the rough edges after 5 yrs.
Here are a few things that have helped me:
Write him letters. Just pour out what you've been doing & how you feel.
Bring up good memories - like dancing on his feet when you were little in my case - along with how much you miss him.
A Hospice grief support group. They are free and you don't have to have even used hospice. They taught me some helpful things, plus that everybody grieves in their own way and in their own time. It helped to just be with people who were where I was.
Be on the look out for what I call "little hello's". They are the little signs that let you know that while your Dad's body may no longer be on earth, what is is that made him who is is (his soul, personality, etc) is still right here.
For me it was cardinals & dimes showing up at the oddest times/circumstances.
Grief is like a jagged rock that has dropped into the river of our life.
Over time the jagged edges become smoother as the river flows on.
Your grief & loss will never go away (ptui on people who say "you need to get past it") but it does become smoother & easier with time.
It's been 5 yrs for me - and I'm glad that my Dad is no longer in pain and that he is at peace. I look forward to seeing him again someday, but in the meantime I miss him so much sometimes that I still cry...
And that's ok.
Thank you so much for your responses. It really helps to read about what has helped other people, and it means a lot to me that people around me DO care, even when they don't even know me - like on these boards. I'm trying to write, but I haven't tried actually writing my dad a letter - I think I will try that. I feel like I have so much to say to my dad, but I can't say it. I try saying it in my head, but I get distracted before I can finish. I think letters are a great idea. Thanks again. I know it will eventually get easier with time, it's just hard to see that from where I am right now.
I am so sorry about your dad's passing and i really hope that time is a great healer as they say.
My mum also has the same cancer as your dad suffered from. We only found out two days ago so i am still shell shocked. Whilst you are suffering your own loss, i would be so grateful if you could share with me some things that you did with your dad whilst he was ill as i do not know what to do right now, how to cope, what to say,etc.
Sharing the memories of your time with your father may just help you also.
I would be extremely grateful for anything you feel you could share with me,
Hi Emma, I'm sorry for the delay in my response - I just now read this. I'm so sorry to hear that your mom has this same cancer. Do the doctors have hope for her or is she already in the final stages? My father lived 6 months after the diagnosis, but he was already pretty sick. The colon cancer had already metastatized to his liver, and his liver was 85% of his abdominal cavity 6 months before he died.
Throughout the time he was sick, I remained very positive in front of him and tried to keep his hopes up. I bought him healthy snacks and supplements that are supposed to be good for fighting cancer and I encouraged him to eat very healthily. While he was having chemotherapy, my mom and I would sit with him at the clinic and talk to him and watch television with him and just be there with him. I tried to call him everyday or every other day to check on him and see how he was feeling. I just tried to be a positive and strong presence for him, even though I felt like I was falling apart. It was hard sometimes because the cancer (or chemo) made my dad kind of angry and confused sometimes. He would snap at my mom for no reason at all, and she became very frustrated. If this happens with your mom, just remember it is the cancer/chemo talking.
There is always hope. Remember that. No matter what the doctors say because they don't always know. Unexplainable things happen sometimes. It's hard, but you have to try to remain somewhere inbetween denial and hopelessness. Just be there for your mom and spend as much time with her as possible. My thoughts are with you. I don't understand why anyone has to go through this. Please feel free to ask any questions. I think it helps to talk about it.