Always Missing Dad

On November 27, 2011 at 4am, my life changed forever. At that very moment, my beloved father took his last breath as I stroked the soft grey hair on the back of his head. My 2 sisters, my brother in law, my mother and I had been by his side for four days. We cried, prayed and told Dad that it was okay to let go.

Although Dad had been unconscious for some time, the instant he stopped breathing, everything changed. Suddenly it was no longer my Dad lying on the hospital bed. Somehow, in that one instant, it was something I felt. I just felt that my Dad had left us forever. Although we had been telling Dad to let go, to end the suffering, suddenly it was irreversible. Dad was gone forever and he would never come back.

On the 6 month anniversary of my father’s passing, my two sisters, my mother and I spent the day together. We enjoyed many of Dad’s favorite food and drinks.  We shared happy memories of him, and retold old stories.  Still, all I could think was, “And then there were four.” Dad will always be missing and he will always be missed, forever.

My father battled against cancer for 4 years. Throughout that time, I watched him fight, persevere and inevitably, suffer. None of my friends have ever lost a parent so I have been traveling along this journey in quite a solitary way. On the 6 month anniversary of his death, a huge milestone for me, not one of my friends or extended family members acknowledged or even realized the date. This did upset me and lead me to think of all the other things that have upset me and still do upset me during my journey of loss.

1.  People telling me they know how I feel and then comparing the loss of my father to the loss of a grandparent. My grandmother died 4 weeks after we lost Dad. Of course it was a very sad experience. I’m not seeking to downplay my dear grandmother’s death in the slightest. But it really did not compare in any way to the loss of my father.  Dad never became a grandfather. Dad will never walk me down the aisle. Dad will never travel the world during his retirement with my mother like he always planned. Dad was the closest man to me in the whole world. He was always there. He wasn’t just a parent to me. Dad was someone I spoke to about career advice and relationship advice. He was a friend. I enjoyed spending time with him and doing things. Dad was my rock.

2.  Well meaning friends who tell me I am doing really well and I look “fabulous”. It is easy to put on makeup and nice clothes everyday and go to school or work. This does not mean I am doing well or coping. Every single night I am haunted by that horrible moment when Dad took his last breath and died in front of my eyes. Just because I manage to leave the house every day and I don’t fall apart every minute, it does not mean that I am fine. There also seems to be a misconception that because some time has passed, I am over it. No one seems to realize or even consider that I am in pain every second of the day. I walk around every day on auto pilot as my heart aches with pain.

3. People who tell me that Dad is always with me. Before I lost Dad, I uttered these very same words to people who had lost someone. At the time, I mistakenly thought my words were providing comfort. Now I see how empty that reassurance is. I have heard others talk about “feeling” a lost love one around them all the time. In my experience, Dad is just gone. I can’t feel him, I can’t see him, and I can’t talk to him. There is no way to contact him. I can’t call him or email him. Whenever I go to my parents’ house, Dad is not there. Dad has just vanished from my life and I can never see him again.

4. Uninformed people who tell me that I was lucky to have known Dad was going to die because it gave us an opportunity to plan things and spend time together. Anybody who has ever watched someone they love die of cancer, would not find comfort in that statement. It was excruciating to watch the physical and psychological effects of Dad’s illness. My heart broke for Dad as I watched him deal with the knowledge of his impending death. Dad didn’t deserve to be given a death sentence. I cannot imagine how it must have felt for Dad to wake up every morning knowing that he was going to die. Cancer’s deterioration of the body is such a slow death. It was cruel that Dad had to wait for death. Dad mentioned, with sadness, one day that he didn’t see the point of following his favorite soccer teams or politics anymore because he wouldn’t be around to see how anything turned out. After Dad’s passing, we found “Handover Notes” that he had written for Mum. These notes included instructions relating to his affairs and various passwords for internet banking etc. It makes me so sad to think of my father sitting at his desk in the study writing down these instructions, preparing for his death.

5. Friends who continue to call me and text me with their everyday, mindless problems. It astounds me that people can be so inconsiderate and selfish to say things to me like, “Today has been the worst day of my life” after a bad day.  I have experienced 3 worst days of my life. 1)The day Dad made the decision that it was time to go into hospital to die. I will never forget my sisters and I lying on the bed with Dad whilst we waited for the ambulance to collect him. Dad was smiling and putting on a brave face for us. The whole time, Dad knew that once the ambulance came to take him, he would never be coming home. 2) 4 days later when Dad passed away in front of us. We were completely powerless as he slipped away in front of our eyes. 3) The day of my Dad’s funeral. I remembered being forced to stare at Dad’s coffin for a full hour as the service took place around me. I am pretty sure that no matter how bad a day any of my friends could be having, it could not compare to any of my worst days.

6. Friends who tell me that I need to be positive and take comfort in the fact that Dad is no longer suffering. I will never be able to see any positiveness from Dad’s death. I don’t understand why I have only been given those two choices: Dad alive and suffering or Dad gone. Why can’t there be a third option of Dad never getting cancer?

Dad may have suffered with cancer for 4 years but he never allowed the disease to control how he lived his life. Even though Dad was ill, he worked until he retired.  Dad tried every single treatment he could no matter how ill it made him. Dad showered, dressed and shaved every day until the day he died. Dad traveled back to Italy in between treatments. 6 weeks before Dad died, he walked my sister down the aisle at her wedding and gave a beautiful speech. Dad was in the worst situation ever but he still did whatever he could to be strong and get through it.

Every day is hard for me. The first thing I think about every morning when I wake up is Dad. He is the last thing on my mind every night. It is so difficult to get out of bed every day and continue to live my life. But no matter how much it hurts and how hard it is, I can’t give up. Dad had every excuse in the world to give up but he never did. And that is the one thought that gets me through every single day.  Like Dad, I know that no matter how hard things get, I’ll never give up either.  It’s the least I can do for Dad.

Special thanks to guest author Sarita Zanazzi for sharing this post with us.

Photo credit

49 Comments:

  1. gill said on June 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm ... #

    This is so beautifully said . i lost my brother and i too feel just like you he was only young too young to die i feel your pain you are so brave thankyou for sharing its nice to know your not alone xx

  2. redgirl said on June 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm ... #

    I know exactly how you feel, everything you said describes my feelings too. I lost my Dad three years ago to cancer and not once did my friends ever remember the anniversary date. They complain about stupid fights they’d have with their Dads and I find myself thinking, I’d do anything right now to have a little fight with my Dad. Another friend thought her parents splitting up was the end of the world and other friends were talking about and sympathizing with her saying how sad it was. I didn’t feel sorry for her at all, at least her Dad was still alive..

  3. Steve said on June 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm ... #

    To Sarita – I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dad. I am 42 and lost my Dad, and older brother, thirty-one years ago. I lost my mom 12 years ago. It goes without saying that you are in the early stages of grief. I won’t tell you that the sadness will ever go away – it doesn’t….not really. But it recedes – for me, it slowly became a part of me…the sadness eventually folded into me and is now something I can control. Even after all these years, something will trigger that sadness and it will unfold. But I’ve learned to embrace it when it happens and I will remember, smile, cry…whatever form it takes…and then it will fold back inside. I guess what I’m trying to say is that as time goes by you won’t forget your Dad, or miss him less, but you will be able to handle the comments and actions of those around you and see them for what they are – the words and actions of people who truly do mean well, but just don’t know what to say or how to handle a grieving person – a person who might not even look like they’re grieving. I could feel the love and closeness you had with your Dad in your words. It sounds like a beautiful relationship – and one that should be celebrated. Getting up in the morning will get easier – your attitude of not giving up is admirable. I do not see blame or self-pity in your story – I see someone who is still hurting so very much and who is trying to find theeir way through a very difficult time. I encourage you to keep moving forward…and keep writing. It has always helped me. Again, I’m so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Even though I’ve had my own losses I will not tell you that I know how you feel. Only you know how you feel, for you are the only that lost that special relationship with him. Your sisters and mother lost him as well – but each relationship is different…each loss is different, which is why we all grieve so differently. Why wouldn’t we? We’ve all lost something unique. Love and support to you and your family Sarita….

  4. Amanda said on June 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm ... #

    Wow – it was like you were able to look inside my mind and read it! I also lost my dad to cancer in November 2011 – November 16th to be exact. I too held his hand as he passed. From the day he was diagnosed to his passing was so hard to accept and watch. He too was my world and hurt every single second of every day. I also lost my mom to cancer in April 2011 – so to loose him was unimaganible. For me it was three – now it is one. You are not alone in your hurt. Wishing you healing and thank you for sharing.

  5. Lee said on June 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm ... #

    Some of these comments seem to be attacking her. She wrote this in confidence and trying to share her story and she’s being criticized. This site is intended for everyone to grieve in their own way, and like we’re told, there’s no right way. I’m sure it took a lot to write this, and I don’t think anyone has the right to post negative comments on anyone grieving. It is not being l

  6. MsichanaNYC said on June 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm ... #

    Sarita,

    I am so sorry for your loss, Steve has said it right– No one knows how you feel about this loss, they just can’t the did not go through it.

    I can tell from your article you are a very passionate person. The intense love you had for your father reads as much as the anger you have towards your friends. Being passionate about something works well when positive but when it is negative energy, it can create a worse environment for you. You may end up hating people who love and care for you. You have convinced yourself that they are insensitive, while they are probably walking on eggshells trying to help you move on.

    Bob and Giga are right too. Remove yourself from self pity and look at what they are saying. They did not cause the death of your father and no one had control over it, you are upset at the wrong people.

    On your points–

    1) Comparing your loss to other people’s misfortunes is exactly what you are doing, yet you are angry at them for doing it. Each relationship is different and each loss is different.

    2) They are your friends and if you show them you are okay, they will compliment that. You need to share with them when they say you are “Fabulous” tell them you are not. Tell them you are hurting and tell them you don’t know how you make it through the day but you do. Tell then exactly what you wrote here– you are on auto pilot. Be a friend to them as they are to you. Friends are there to share and care.

    3) You uttered those words to people “He will always be with you” but now that you have experienced it you see it differently. Give your friends a chance, no one can possibly understand what you are going through but they are doing the best they can. Cut them some slack.

    4) Please try get the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” By Mitch Albom. It will probably help you look at this from a more positive perspective. I know someone who was diagnosed with cancer and was given this book, it helped the family a lot from the diagnosis time to the death. It will possibly help you with seeing this from a different light. A story of a man who took his death sentence of MS and how he dealt with it.

    I lost my best friend, sudden death in a car crash when I was 18. That by far has been the most devastating thing to ever happen to me. No one should dismiss this loss as less painful or less important. It’s a love and loss I feel up to date– 14 years later and I still find myself crying sometimes and missing her a lot. Sometimes she brings a smile to my face or a warm feeling with a sweet memory. I do not feel her presence always but I keep her alive in my memories, both the good and the bad ones.

    No one remembers the anniversaries anymore, sometimes not even my siblings. This is because they never knew her like I did. She was my best friend, not theirs, the relationship was ours and we treasured it, to them she was just another friend. I should not be angry or think of them to be insensitive. But know they care about me and all I need to do is tell them how I feel. I share with them my pain. They listen and walk through it the best way they can. Sometimes they say things that will not console me but I learned to appreciate the love that is coming with the consolation. Not looking at the fact that it never helped. It is them being there that counts. In fact one of my friends once said to me “You now have other best friends, thank God for that!” That felt like a knife just stabbed me. I told her “Yes I do, but that still doesn’t replace Waithera and it also doesn’t give me the time I shared with her.” I told her in a loving way, and also told her I understand what she meant. Sadly she is right too…. I did move on. But I have never stopped missing her, ever!

    5) They call you because they still care for you as a friend and want to share their lives with you. If they decide not to talk to you then you will feel left out and still blame it on their insensitivity. Life goes on and you will miss out on their milestones because you are making it all about you. People do have problems, their problems may be trivial to you but they are still the worst things they are dealing with and it therefore is devastating to them. They need you as a friend as much as you need them. If you cannot be there for them at the time let them know.

    6) Because life is not fair, he only had those two options. It is not any of your friends’ fault that he was given such a short time on this earth. But he was given time, a family and a healthy life I would assume till the cancer.

    I started reading a lot and understanding/accepting life and death because we really have no control over that. I have a friend who lost her father when she was 7 years old. Looking at it from your mind frame then she has a right to be upset at how “insensitive” your note is. You managed to grow up with your father. You talked to him about career, relationships life etc…. You had the knowledge that he could be dying and given time to share with him before his death. She was never given any of those chances. You have your mother and siblings, all she has is her mother who later remarried and has other children who have a huge age gap from her. Her siblings do not share her grief because they did not go through it. She didn’t have the chance to tell her father how much she loved him because he was murdered during the genocide in Rwanda. She witnessed his death and her mother brutally beaten, raped and left for dead. She is actually lucky her mother survived.

    Death is never fair. Life is a chance. A chance for us to appreciate the time we have and the people we share it with. When they are gone we grieve and someone will grieve for us too. We all grieve differently, but do not let your grieving make you recent people who are going out of their way sharing their love with you and trying to help you navigate this uncharted territory. Their help may not be what you need, but at least they are offering. Appreciate that and feel free to tell them where you are and how you feel.

    Anger is a stage you will pass, but misdirected anger can ruin good friendships.

    I am so sorry for your loss, I hope you seek and find help in this grieving process.

  7. K said on June 27, 2012 at 12:36 am ... #

    You wrote everything that I am experiencing. The only thing that I would change is Dad to Mom. The only thing is, I’m an only child and my father (which was NEVER in my life) has already passed away. I am truly alone…

  8. Joy said on June 27, 2012 at 9:46 am ... #

    How very sad to have to see you father become ill and then die from cancer. I can’t imagine going through that and then having friends act like nothing happened.

    It must have been hard to write about this and let other people read it so soon after your dad died – thanks for being kind enough to trust others with this. I think that the more people talk about things like this, the better we can all get at understanding what grief looks like – which is to say that it is different for everyone, and we need to not expect anyone to grieve in the same way we would.

    You are a strong woman to talk about this Sarita.

  9. Mark said on June 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm ... #

    So sorry for your loss. I’d be curious to know what you and your family have done that has helped? And is there anything people have done you found helpful or comforting?

  10. Sarah said on June 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm ... #

    I know exactly how you feel, I lost my dad on November 11, 2011. He had MS for a couple years, and I had to watch him take his last breath as well. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. But you aren’t alone, I’ve been through it too. & so have some of these other people.

  11. kerry said on June 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm ... #

    Sarita,

    Your father sounds much like my husband who battled cancer for 14 yrs only to lose the fight. He got up each day, regardless of how he felt, worked full time through treatments – taking vacation time rather than sick time for days he couldn’t make it in, taking care of things up until the last.

    I, luckily still have my dad to help me through things, so I don’t understand that loss, though I am trying to help my two teenage sons deal with the loss of their father. Yet, though my loss is different, I have felt almost everything thing you have listed, almost…

    No, I do know what it is to have my father walk me down the isle and get to know his grandchildren, but I do not have my husband to talk with everyday, go to bed with every night. I watch my sons look up to the stands at school events and have to experience everything that their father should have been there for.

    Your loss, is no less powerful than mine, yet the majority of what you listed I also feel. At the same time, the empathy you want from others.. remind yourself that no, they don’t know what your loss is like, and if you don’t show them, they don’t and can’t know. Be glad they still include you in their lives – what may seem as trivial to you right now, is not necessarily trivial in their lives.

    I am thankful everyday that my friends don’t have to know what my type of loss feels like, I don’t want them to join my club.

    Hang in there. I’m not saying the pain will get better, you just learn how to cope with it differently each day. As you said, you are like your dad and never give up.

    K

  12. susancm said on June 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm ... #

    Thank your for this post. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. My mom has been battling leukemia for 10 years, and it’s so excruciating to go through all the losses and ups and downs, remissions(?) and relapses. I’m finally in therapy bracing myself for the future with it’s inevitability, though I can’t say whether I have 1 more year or 5 with her. While this has been going on, I also lost my grandfather, who was like a father to me after my dad left when I was 6. I wanted him to walk me down the aisle, or to even meet any boyfriends (I’d never had one at that point, even though I was 25 when he passed). He did get to live a good life, unlike my mom, but it still left such a huge gaping hole in my life. He was our foundation.
    I particularly resonate with points 3-5. with 3 – I not only felt grandpa leave, I felt God and faith leave me. I know there are parts of me that are like him, and some facial features – I try desperately to try to have something to hold on to, but really, I just feel empty. At my sister’s wedding last month, I was so sad and angry that our dad was there, but not grandpa, the man who really acted like our father. :(
    With 5, I want to yell at friends and co-workers almost daily. They don’t know how lucky/privileged/spoiled they are to have had such easy lives. I try not to be hateful, but the bitterness of loss (both death and anticipated loss, like with my own mom) is intense.
    And with 4 – re planning things, I just want to say “heh, yeah right.” with cancer treatment, you lose money for being able to do any “fun” things – my mom had to sell her house 7 years ago for treatment and still cannot afford to even live on her own because of medical bills and her inability to work. She also has a lot more physical and mental challenges that get in the way of doing things. she’s only 47, but she often says she feels at least 70. :( Of course I am glad that she is around for things, and I cannot imagine the time when I will no longer have her to talk to, but the suffering and difficulty balance the positives and make me wonder if it’s the right thing. Keep fighting and suffering? or just.. let go? It’s her decision, but seeing that, especially when it comes down to being too expensive, is so painful. And then she worries about having nothing but her debt to leave us – not even life insurance – for expenses for funeral arrangements or helping my brother (who is not an adult yet). It’s not f’ing fair. I’m glad someone else knows about the unfairness that is out there. (why I ended up here online)

  13. Ashley said on June 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm ... #

    My dad passed away from a Massive Heart attack on June 14th, 2012. 3 days before Fathers Day, 5 days before his birthday. He would have been 46. Everything you wrote describes how i feel its so dead on. Right down to the worst days of your life, finding out that he just unexpectedly died and his funeral. I am grieving sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad, it hurts. But I thank you for writing this because currently i feel like nobody in the world feels my pain (even though I have siblings who are going through the same as me) The hardest part for me is an exact statement you made. Ive said to other people, HE/SHE is in a better place not knowing that thats honestly BS and that really makes the situation worse. Losing a grandparent who was ‘like a parent’ is hard, but NOTHING like actually losing your parent. And the fact that my dad just vanished, his existance is no longer. It leaves a pressure on my chest, and a swelling feeling in my throat. But anyway, Thanks for this post. It feels like you are describing me.

  14. Jo said on June 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm ... #

    This article was amazing to read.
    I related to everything written about how people
    Try to help.

  15. Stephanie said on July 1, 2012 at 10:49 am ... #

    Very well articulated as you can tell by the flood of comments from people like me who, while we can’t know exactly what you are feeling, have been through something similar and can relate to the feelings you have been able to put down on paper. My dad was struck down by brain cancer while he was on a run, in training for an Ironman triathlon, and despite surgery and aggressive treatment he went on ahead after a 75-day long battle. Writing has helped me since then; hopefully it will bring some perspective to you as well.

    http://justmycurrentperspective.blogspot.com

  16. swissie said on July 3, 2012 at 1:01 am ... #

    Thank you for this post, I can really relate. I recently lost my Dad to a near 11 year battle with Cancer. Although I appear to be going through the motions of life, getting dressed, going to work, socializing with friends, I feel an emptiness inside me. I am not okay, I have a broken heart unlike anything I have ever experienced and I don’t know how to get through this. I long for just one more moment with my Dad, one more chance to tell him how much I loved him, how much he changed my world and that I will never be the same without him. It is a constant struggle and although I am grateful for the memories I was able to share with him, I am sad for all the ones to come which I will miss him even more. I am so sorry for your loss, I find some small comfort in hearing others stories and knowing I am not alone and my feelings are completely normal. Cancer really sucks, but if one thing is true, we cannot let it take any more of our lives than it already has. We have to find a way to get through and somehow enjoy our short time on earth as an ode to the ones who didn’t get a chance to.

  17. janice said on July 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm ... #

    I lost my wonderful daddy to lung cancer on August 3, 2011, my parents’ 53rd wedding anniversary. I appreciate your candor because your words express exactly how I feel. I cannot imagine a new normal without my dad.The grief is more than I can stand sometimes. I am so sorry for your loss.

  18. Me said on July 27, 2012 at 10:45 am ... #

    So very true. One of my friends lost her mom, which makes it easier for us to talk. But I feel like it would be so entirely different if I had lost mom instead of dad. I only have one friend who lost her father as well, but we never talk. I feel isolated from the rest of the world. :'(

  19. Jacklyn Johnson said on August 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm ... #

    I appreciate your concern Christina. Thanks so much for the heads up on the Evertalk page. God bless.

  20. Shelley Nugent said on August 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm ... #

    It’s as if you were speaking for me –word for word. Thank you. I am sorry for your loss.

  21. M. said on August 14, 2012 at 2:04 am ... #

    I am reading this during what has been a yet another entire night of tears and sadness. I would like to thank you so deeply for sharing these words… I feel like you have written what I have been trying so hard to articulate since my dad was diagnosed with cancer, for the 2nd time, in 2010 and when he died, one year and one day later. I miss him to an inexplicable degree, every single day.

  22. christina said on September 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm ... #

    I lost my so beloved daddy on August 13th to brain cancer …my eyes are still red, can’tcommunicate with others and I have deep pain in me …
    I saw him “leaving” in just five monhts …March to August, losing his mind, his conscious, his memory!
    Relatives, friends, people around say confort words but I can’t hear …miss him so much…really so much! Thank you for letting me share my loss

  23. Jasmin said on October 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm ... #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I, too, lost my father at a young age to cancer. He had an aggressive form so there wasn’t much time to prepare for his passing; is there ever enough time? I am just now coming around to dealing with it, which is how I stumbled onto your story. I also get a lot of advice from mean-wellers, but it makes it much more harder with peoples’ input. My dad passed away 16 years ago and I am still trying to come to terms with him being gone. He was my best friend! And my wounds are just as fresh as the day my principal came in to my class and pulled me out to tell me.
    My father stayed strong during the time his body started to die, so I too have to stay strong in living the rest of my life here on earth. I have a 3-yr old who never met the most amazing man on earth, but I am doing all that I can to keep his memory stong! I see my father in him, I couldn’t ask for a better gift…

  24. Meredith said on October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm ... #

    Sarita –

    I am so sorry for your loss. My own father died just 10 days ago from complications related to lung cancer. Your piece touched me immensely, and it makes me feel like someone else out there gets it; someone really understands what it feels like to lose a parent after a serious illness. Your story also gives me a sense of peace about how I am dealing with this loss, and an idea of how to react to people who try to define my loss on their terms or to “help” me by offering meaningless platitudes.

  25. Allie said on October 29, 2012 at 10:47 am ... #

    Sarita,

    Today is the 6 month anniversary of my father’s death. He had a rare neuromuscular disease called Frederich’s Ataxia and had been diagnosed at the age of 16. He had been confined to a wheelchair since he was 21. He was on Hospice for the last two years of his life. That is an experience in itself…Like you said…just knowing that you are preparing for their death. He stayed in a hospital bed in our living room for the last year. How we carried on and did what we had to do in life?…I will never understand…Autopilot, like you said.
    It was a heartless, cruel, and slow disease that slowly and painfully took every last part of him. And my mom and I were forced to watch this happen to someone we loved more than anything every single day.

    The thing was…he did NOT ever complain; ever.
    He was always the jokester…making people laugh and smiling all the time. He worked until he just absolutely, psychically couldn’t anymore. He was such an amazing, admirable person. I could always feel how much he loved me and how proud he was of me. He just thought I was the best thing in the world. There was nothing I could do to make him stop loving me. He would play video games with me, throw the baseball for me to hit (and not complain when he got hit in the face with the ball) haha. He went above and beyond to be the most wonderful dad in the universe, despite the fact that he had every reason to complain and make excuses.

    So today, I wanted to find a really good quote about loss and just something to help me…and this post was the first thing to pop up. I wish…so badly that I could like this 1 million times and post it everywhere and send it to every person that ever came or will come into contact with me. It was honestly like I wrote this. You said exactly, word for word, everything. People say some of the most hurtful and unreasonable things…
    My Ex-Boyfriend (boyfriend at the time) even tried to compare my father’s death with the death of his dog. Honestly…I still cannot fathom that one. If only they knew how much pain it truly causes. That we will NEVER, NEVER have our lives back the way they were. We will never be the same. We will always hurt; we will always be missing him; and we will always have to deal with people and their “advice”, inconsiderate words and actions, and lack of understanding. My heart truly goes out to you; I am so sorry for the loss of your father…because honestly…I can actually say I understand and I would NEVER wish this upon anyone…even my worst enemy. Thank you so much for sharing; it is such a enormous comfort to know that someone TRULY understands.

    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you the best as you continue to stay strong and live out your life.

  26. Allie said on October 29, 2012 at 11:04 am ... #

    Also,

    Yes…there are many blessings and many positive things about each situation; but when people tell you to “cut your friends/people some slack” because they have never experienced this…that angers me. No, they haven’t experienced it, but you know what? Every person has a certain sense of compassion. Yeah…I am 18, and I lost my dad 2 weeks before my high school graduation. HOW MANY OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD CAN SAY THAT? Probably not many…but though someone else may lose a sibling or a child (which I know nothing about) I will know that you just have to be there for them. DON’T tell them how blessed they are, or to be positive. DON’T YOU THINK THEY KNOW THAT? If that person wasn’t such a great part of their lives they wouldn’t be hurting so badly!!!!!!! LET PEOPLE GRIEVE. I am so sick…SO SICK… of people telling me what to think, and how to feel, and what I should do…and BLAH BLAH BLAH. Are you in my EXACT situation? No. You are not. So until you can walk in my shoes and take every step I have had to take…Don’t judge me…Don’t tell me how to feel… Don’t tell me how to think…and DO NOT tell me to be positive. HELLO!!! I am obviously strong enough to be positive about life and move on and continue everything I am supposed to do!!!!!!! It would be easy to curl up in a corner and be depressed, not do anything, and mope around wallowing in our own sorrows; maybe even contemplating suicide if we let ourselves get to that point. But no. People like me, and people like Sarita and everyone else on here who shared a story have obviously picked ourselves up and continued on. And THAT…takes an incomprehensible amount of strength and positivity.

    God bless everyone who had the courage to share their story and the strength to move on. Try not to let people who say otherwise get you down. They don’t walk in your shoes.

  27. Sherry Price said on December 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm ... #

    well it’s taken a bit to get through my tears to see the keys. I’m Sherry and I lost my idol, the man of my life, December 13, 2011 to a stroke. I wasn’t able to get to him before he passed ( well, his spirit came to me before he left this world ) and to top things off his wife, my 2nd step-parent, denied me to attend his funeral. (the next of kin, ie:spouse can deny anyone~it’s a law) Anyhow, I haven’t spoken to anyone on a personal level, so this is my start. Reading what you shared is like writing it myself! I can’t even tell you what a blessing it is to truly know someone else feels and is living each day EXACTLY like me! I always think, actually my quote for years, has been I am not of this world . I am a different soul, too sensitive, kind, gullable than ANY other I yet met. Thank you for at least this moment I feel not alone. THANK YOU SO MUCH

  28. Julie Bruno said on December 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm ... #

    This has just beautifully put into words how I’m feeling right now. I lost my dad to secondary liver/brain cancer on 17th Nov 2012. My “friends” are nowhere to be seen as surely 1 month later I must be getting over it. I am not getting over it as I’ve lost my best friend who I’ve shared 49 years with. This is not something to get over & keep my chin up about after 1 month. I miss him beyond belief & no one seems to understand how crap I feel.

  29. Beth said on December 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am so glad that I read your post. I am 42 years old. Today my dad would have turned 70. He died on August 22, 2012 from complications of a puliminary embolism. In addition to the pain I feel from missing him, I have found that my heart is hardening from the complete lack of sympathy I have received from certain friends and family. For instance, I did not get a call, note, or even an email message from my husband’s brothers and sisters. Nor from my adult nieces/nephews with whom I am connected to thanks to social media. I have attended all of their family milestones – graduations, 1st communions etc. None of them even offered sympathies to my small children (their niece/nephews and cousins) on losing their grandfather. My dad always said that it’s not shows up that you remember, it’s who doesn’t. I guess that unfortunately applies because I can’t let it go. I know I run the risk of sounding like I’m angling for sympathy and feeling sorry for myself. It feels ridiculous and immature I realize, but I cannot get over it.

  30. Daya said on December 21, 2012 at 2:43 am ... #

    Thank you so much for sharing. My dad was just diagnosed with terminal cancer last month. I am 24, and while no stranger to grief, I know this is going to be a rough road. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  31. Burkli said on January 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm ... #

    My dad died 15 days ago. I feel empty every day. My mom made me go back to school and I cant stay out of trouble. My principal hates me and finds my fathers passing a opertunity to make my life at school hell. On top of that my dads mother has took it oppon her self to take all of our bills out of my dads name. My mom who just finnished cancer treatments, mom has to pay money we dont have to put the bills in her name or we lose every thing. I honestly dont know what to do.

  32. dummy4hire said on January 22, 2013 at 12:00 am ... #

    I’ lost my mother in Sept. of 09. She had epilepsy, had a siezure. After her siezure she walked outside. It was only about 30 min before I told my dad that she wasn’t anywhere to be seen. But he didn’t seem to care and though she would return soon because he had to baby sit my brothers brats as I call them. A few hours go by and I’m getting ready to leave for work. I call my dad to tell him she hasn’t returned yet. Later that day he filed a missing persons report. A few days later they come out and do a search. A few hours go by and they find my mother drown.

    Then just recently on Jan.4 2013 my father passed away from lung cancer that spread throughout his whole body.

    It has only been a short time but I can say it isn’t easy for me to have lost both parents and not to have anyone to talk to about problems or other things. They say that time heals all wounds, I’m not so sure about mine.

  33. lapetitelea said on January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm ... #

    Wow. what a powerful piece.
    I lost my dad to cancer (5 year battle) a little more than a year ago and I can really relate to most of what you’ve written.

    I also witnessed his last breath and although I’m glad I got to see it and be there for him at that important moment, I’m heavily traumatized.

    For the first few months, I thought about that moment at least once a day, if not more. I was obsessed by the image that remained in my head, of the moment he took his last breath and became a lifeless body.

    Now, I’ve been noticing that days go by without me being reminded of that peaceful, yet terrifying moment.

    Here’s the article I wrote for the first anniversary of his death: http://astorytellinghome.com/2013/01/15/things-that-remind-me-of-him-dealing-with-loss/

  34. Helena said on January 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm ... #

    Its been two years & 2 days since My father left this world. He died in January 25 th 2011 by Melanoma cancer. His later wife was hiding his real true diagnosis from me over two years & I honestly think it was to control his finances after his death. But. father died at his home country after made his own move alone approximately a month & 2 weeks prior to his death & I ended up discovering his actual diagnosis at his medical records of old hospital where his wife used to take him when I had requested his medical records prior treating him for his brain tumor to his home country before his death. I suffered my own severe Injury illness over three years fighting for my own life too & this got me think of death& life in the spiritual ways & even after my father passing, I never stop thinking that his spirit is always alive & our connection would be permanent, yes, This grief was really a tough one & very hard kind, I sometimes have dealt with my own suicide feeling due to pain I often felt by experiencing my loss but, I was able to get through by support groups and people who at least cared for my recovery. I even forget why I have not been able to do anything entire last year of 2012 & I know why & it was because My grief & also other related things. I do encourage you to seek out for local grief group & start your grief journey as soon as you could. You could find them sometimes at Internet or your local churches or community center near by where you live, because this is a life event which is biggest ever ( at least for me it was because My father meant world to me ) and try to process all of your feelings and emotions as much as possible specially with those whom understands like all of us here, because grief from losing someone you love can not be supported by people who has no experience like ours, In addition, there were also books I have found from Library about Grief, Grieving also, dealing with loss of loved one might help. God bless you & your family also, may peace be with your father & his spirit, thank you for sharing.
    Thanks everyone.

  35. Tracey Deschaine said on January 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm ... #

    Thirty five years ago when I was 23 my Mom died suddenly on the OR table while undergoing surgery for lung cancer. The loss has been with me all my life, and many of the feelings you shared resonate with my own friends at the time. No one understand the depth of despair I was in. My own boyfriend, now my husband, was late for her funeral. One of my best friends Mom showed up to the viewing drunk and crying and leaning on my shoulder for support. My three brothers and I all coped with our silent burning grief alone without support or understanding. The only thing I can say to you is ….let this make you a better friend than they have been for you. Now that many of my friends have parents dying I find myself giving them comfort because I have been there without support. You are not alone in your feelings. But what I can tell you is that you will not always feel so sad. It is a devastating loss to see your Dad die, but as a parent, I tell you that he would want you to see your way past this sadness and live a happy life. It will take time, but as someone who has been exactly where you are now, I know this to be true. For now, count every day that you get up, eat, go to work or school, and don’t fall apart as a victory.

  36. Catsissie said on January 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm ... #

    Thank you for posting, and I’m sorry for your loss of your dad. When mine died after pancreatic cancer in 1987, it seemed that I was more going on 10 than about to turn 40. He wouldn’t get to see most of his grandkids, he would never know the man I would meet who would be the love of my life (and sadly, pass away, too), he would miss all the things he could do and learn with a computer! I still talk with him. If you also talk with your dad, good, it keeps the connection real. Mom’s voice changes whenever she talks about him, and the other thing he’d love is that my middle son has his hairline! I know the one thing I decided after Dad died not ever to do was to ride in another limousine. The first and only time I did was the gray one I rode in to the gravesite to the cemetery where Dad was buried under the tree at the spot he had chosen in advance. Strange, what goes through a person’s mind afterwards. Dad would laugh at that. Please don’t feel alone. You have all of us “out here”, and we know you are there, too. Keep writing.

  37. liz said on January 28, 2013 at 12:58 am ... #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 2 months ago, and I feel like you wrote everything that I was thinking, and more beautifully too. Thank you for putting what so many of us are going through into words. Everyone who know someone who has experienced such a devastating loss should read this.

  38. Anonymous said on February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm ... #

    I knoow exactly how you feel! i lost my dad 14 years ago and im only 15 now. at least you saw him, you felt him, you knew him! ive never talked to him, i dont know him and i really want him back! he had cancer too. i cried all the way im reading this, and youre very lucky to know youre dad, at least you cry when you remember him! i dont remember him! he died when i was just 10 months old! I know him only from pictures, do you imagine getting into life without a dad? people used to tell me about him, he was loved, he has a personality that no one has or will ever have!

  39. Rachel Lerman said on March 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm ... #

    Dear Sarita,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My dad died 4 and a half months ago from cancer. I have felt so alone and isolated and sad all the time. Everything you wrote is exactly what I am experiencing. Everyone seems to just tiptoe around it or pretend it just didn’t happen. I’m supposed to be back living my normal everyday life as a student. But I’m not. Every single day, every moment, I am thinking about him. But I can’t talk about it with anyone except my sister. Anyways, thanks for what you’ve written. If you ever want to talk, that would be wonderful. Let me know.

    Take care.

  40. Rachel said on March 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm ... #

    Dear Sarita,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My dad died 4 and a half months ago from cancer. I have felt so alone and isolated and sad all the time. Everything you wrote is exactly what I am experiencing. Everyone seems to just tiptoe around it or pretend it just didn’t happen. I’m supposed to be back living my normal everyday life as a student. But I’m not. Every single day, every moment, I am thinking about him. But I can’t talk about it with anyone except my sister. Anyways, thanks for what you’ve written. If you ever want to talk, that would be wonderful. Let me know.

    Take care.

  41. Linda said on March 17, 2013 at 7:45 am ... #

    I agree, it is so hard to sit down and write a Thank cardsafter losing a loved one. I lost my Husband of 39 1/2 years. The Battle with Cancer was bad, to watch a loving man, wonderful husband and father get struck down with Pancreatic Cancer and 6 months was gone. My heart aches everyday, I have tried to sit down to write Thank you cards because so many people supported our family with vists, phone calls, cards, prayers, food, money, I chose to verbally tell everyone how much I did appreciate everything that had been done for our family. To me it is so hard to write a Thank you card expressing just how much I appreciated everything that was done for our family during the last 6 months of my husband’s life and after his death. He was diagnoised with Pancreatic Cancer in March and we lost him in October. Someone told me “God makes no wrong decisions”. I realized that my Husband’s work here on earth was done. God had taken all the suffering away and He is alright now. I chose to verbally express how much everything each person had done for our family meant to me and my daughters. I chose to keep on living and talk about all the wonderful memories of my husband, My daughters and I do that often.

  42. Luana said on April 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm ... #

    dear Sarita, I have lost my father on 6.03.2013 and I sincerly feel your sorrow and grief.I hate how people can’t tell when you are falling apart inside even though you are laughing.I just want to scream and cry.I was strong and positive at the funeral for my mother and brother,I spent 2 days with my head on his cold shoulder as people said there goodbyes ,asking him for forgivness and praying that he will stand up …he didn’t.He wanted my boyfriend to ask him for my hand,so I got my proposal in the chapel.I hate myself for wearing a ring and not having him around ,and most of all I hate my brother because he had him at his wedding ,holding his child,but me,his “princess” wont have this joy.when will this pain stop? I’m 21 and I need him…I will be a doctor in a few years and people always say that now I have the chance to rescue another girl’s father….but this makes me even angrier because this girl is fatherless from now on…please excuse my writing….it’s not my first,or second language…hope you’ll find peace

  43. michelle said on June 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm ... #

    I know just how you feel, I lost my dad to cancer too. I was heart broken. 3 years I lost my mom to a spleen injury. I always wish it never happened. You are so brave to put up with this. I respect you. =)

  44. Elen said on September 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm ... #

    If people have not experienced the loss oif a loved one it is very hard for them to understand the loss of someone close and someone special. It is not appropriate to compare losses one with another. All our relationships are unique and really cannot be judged by another person.
    My much younger brother has made some really inappropriate resonses to my loss of my sister. My sister is near to me in age – only a little younger by a few years. He is much younger so the relationship is completely different – he did not her when she was well – I did. He did not lose a well sister to a severe mental illness – he can only remember her well. It is very different. Her illnesses has impacted on every area of my life – that is OK for me now but I am not prepared to pretend it has never happened or feel embarrassed if I want to talk about her.
    Elen

  45. Rachel said on October 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm ... #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I just lost my dad 2 weeks ago to cancer. He was in active dying for 3 days, the most tortuous thing to go through. So unfair. Your writing couldn’t of been more accurate. I know everything you are feeling and going through right now. Please take care!

  46. Andrea said on April 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm ... #

    Every single detail of your story is the same as mine except my father passed in February.

  47. Umesh said on June 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm ... #

    I lost my mother at the age of 9 and father at the age of 13… i didnt know what to do. i just cant get over the idea that the life wont be the same and i ll be the orphan for the rest of my life. He loved me so much that i still can start a day without remembering him. so today at father’s day i am lonely as shit. and i miss him so much that i havent left home and hadn’t had the lunch or dinner.. I dont know how can I control myself..!

  48. Sharon said on October 16, 2014 at 10:03 am ... #

    Dear Sarita
    First of all my deep sympathy to you on the loss of your beloved dad. I can relate to you so much, I lost my beautiful mam in November 2013 to breast cancer. She was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life. I too sat with her and watched her take her final breath which haunts me. People anger me when they say i got to say goodbye to her, no I didn’t! We never had that conversation. Yes I had to tell her not to be scared (she was terrified of death) that her body was tired and that we would never be apart. Maybe I should’ve asked her how in the name of god do I live without her because the pain and loneliness is horrific. My dad has Parkinsons and I worry about him but he doesn’t understand my grief. I feel jealous when I hear of people dying in accidents (how bad is that??) I wish it was me but I’m too much of a wimp to do anything. All I can do is try and wait patiently for the day when I’ll see mam again. Hugs to you from Ireland x

  49. Brenda Sparks said on April 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm ... #

    I HAVE READ SO MANY OF YOUR COMMENTS REGARDING THE DEATH OF YOUR LOVED ONES AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU! MY DAD HAS JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 LUNG CANCER.I AM SO SCARED AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT EACH DAY. HE’S LOST 20 LBS, MAYBE MORE.iT REALLY BREAKS MY HEART.CAN SOMEONE TELL ME KINDLY WHAT TO EXPECT,THEY GIVE HIM 3 TO 6 MONTHS TO LIVE.THANK YOU ALL!

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