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I lost my dad, no one understands 
Started by pkv44
12 Apr 2016, 1:59 AM

On October 15th I lost my strongest pillar, my dad. It broke my heart to see the cancer suck the strength out of the strongest man I know, and I am continually am haunted by the images of him in the last few days fighting for his life. My dad was 67 but so young at heart. I've spent my time trying to break the emptiness by being with my mom (they were married for 42 years) and supporting her, but I have no one to support me. My friends and other family (including my husband) are always at a loss for words and never bring the topic up so I"m left to my own thoughts. I work long hours, have 2 young kids and also have my inlaws who live with me, so my house is constantly up and running and I have to be "on" all day long. I never get a chance to cry or be physically alone and the pain is breaking me apart. I need to support my mom, and take care of my family, but how do I deal with sadness that I feel at all times? How does one "get over' that?
 
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Reply by AdoptedSon
12 Apr 2016, 6:22 AM

Hi PKV44

Honestly, I don't know if one ever truly does get over it.  I lost my father 12 years ago this Saturday and for the last few days I still weep, remembering him, thinking about all I didn't do, all I did do.  I look back to see how my Mom kept looking at his picture by their bed, even when she died, just less than 3 years ago.

I wished that the sadness would leave, but it never really does, though I find that as I do remember that sadness, more and more I also remember the good times. I remember how Dad would have wash suds fight with my soon to be Partner, how they would joke and laugh, while Mom and I sat around the table thinking who was going to clean up the mess in the kitchen, or even wondering if they'd manage to clean a single plate.

We put a happy face on, when around others, and even now I still do that for when my partner is around, but when alone, the tears roll, the anger wells up, the sense of emptiness seems to almost be too much, and yet something holds out, something stops the dam from bursting, and in all honestly I think it is Mom and Dad who reach down to help quell that urge to just, let it all go.

Inside we feel worn, tired, and defeated, but somehow, we still get up, go on with what has to be done, feeling more drained as the day goes on, as the weeks pile on, the months, and yes, even the years flow past, yet somehow we keep getting up.

I think that is what, in our own ways, we all do, thanks to the memories we have of our departed love ones, our departed rocks, if you will.  I know you feel alone, but truth is, those memories are there to comfort, to keep you from being totally alone.

And you still have your Mom, and while no words may pass of the sadness, or loss, there is that glance I bet, that you both share, when you connect on a different level, feeling and sharing your loss, together.  Maybe she too feels alone, feels adrift, and without time to grieve, or cry, though inside you both are crying, almost non stop it might seem.

There is no easy answer, nor does one answer fit all either. We are resilient beings, we reach a breaking point, yet something seems to always hold us back, keep us on track as best as we can manage.  Love is a universal force, it never goes, it never just vanishes, even though the physical being is long gone.

You will always have that, and maybe the tears aren't running down your face, but inside they are enough to cover the planet and then some.  I know because I still feel it, for Dad and now too, for Mom.  It never will end, least not in any time soon, but I also am rather glad it doesn't end. It means I still can feel, can still remember them both, and as much as it hurts to think about it, it is a good thing.

As for feeling alone, well you have come to a good place to help ease the pain, just a smidge. We all here, have gone through this, and are still going through it all.  But at least here, there are those who can understand, who don't need the words, to feel your pain, for it is also our pain.

All I can say is, that through the sadness comes a deeper love for the one's you have lost. I know it has for me, and I think too, for others here on this forum.

I hope that helps, just a little

Ian 
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Reply by pkv44
12 Apr 2016, 2:31 PM

Hi Ian,


 


Thank you so much for your post. Your words truly expressed my feelings. My days are exhausting because i'm so worn with emotional guilt, and I feel that I have to put on a happy face for the world around me.


I've realized that the world cannot handle much sadness, and as the days go by I lose more and more friends by my side. It hurts, but at the same time I don't mind because I simply don't have the energy to be the same person anymore.


I'm sad to hear that the pain is still as strong for you this many years later, but I'm glad you're able to find happy thoughts to keep you going. I'm sad to see that the tears still flow fresh for you even after 12 years, but you keep his memories alive on a daily basis. I'm definitely not at that point where I can think of my dad and be happy, but I do strive and hope I can get there. I'm scared that someday the hurt will fade and with it the memories of him....


I wish there was a way to feel truly happy. With each passing day as I watch my young children grow I wish I could feel truly happy, but I"m still not at peace with what has happened to our family. And i"m further saddned by the thought that my children will never get to meet my daddy.  Thank you so much for your words, it truly does make a difference.


 

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Reply by AdoptedSon
12 Apr 2016, 11:20 PM

Hi pkv44

I worried about how if the hurt goes, will my memories fade, but the exact opposite seems to be true, least for me.  The hurt doesn't actually go away, least there are moments when it is even sharper than when I watched Dad and then Mom slip away from this earth. The hurt is there, but for the most part, it is dulled with time I guess, or maybe just lurking, waiting for another moment when one's need to feel, is needed.

Not sure I can explain it, but in some ways I think the pain, the hurt, is a reminder, that helps bring up the happiness, that helps defeat the sadness, not just of the loss, but of all that we saw until that final moment.  

Perhaps it is thru that pain, that our good memories become sharper, more clear to us and more, well, calming. I don't know, it is like sweet and sour. One without the other is just, well either sweet or sour, and life, never is just one or the other.  Thinking back, there were bad times, before illness, but there were good times too, so again, it is like sweet and sour.

Maybe we just can't have one or the other, and without the pain, the sadness of the loss, the memories become less clear. I don't know really, all I do know is that now, years later those good memories are clearer to me, than ever before. Yes, there are the bad times too, but somehow, it is not as sharp, not as bitter, as they had been.

All I do know is that now, even years later, small things remind me of Dad, and Mom, and bring up a memory or two, that makes me recall those times, and through those moments, I know David gets to know both Mom and Dad a bit more.  

Looking at our raspberry bushes outside, makes me think of when we went to Penticton for the Peach Festival, how Dad would pull in to various roadside stalls, so Mom could get a fresh peach, or how her face lit up when Dad pulled into a farm, so she could actually pick one peach off a tree.  

Yes, they bring on the tears, still, but they also bring on something else, they make me share those moments with David, who each time, gets to know both Mom and Dad even more than he did, when they were alive.

Both are gone, but through our memories, the sharing of them, they really aren't gone from our lives, but I do so miss not being able to hug either of them now, and yes the sadness is like a terrible weight, but at least I can still share their lives, with those who matter to me, and who mattered to them too. Maybe that is what makes the sadness both lighter and heavier to bear

Maybe that is all part of the sweetness of life, and its sourness too.

Ian 
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Reply by EastCoastPEI
13 Apr 2016, 12:54 AM

Hi,  I understand all too well... I could say "Time Heals" but chances are you'd want to slap me as I wanted to slap people who said that to me.. haha...the good but frustrating news is, it's true.. it just takes time.. I love my father to cancer in 1998 and my mother in 2011 and I still wake up with those images in my head, or see someone that looks like my mother and have a weird flashback..

"continually am haunted by the images of him in the last few days fighting for his life.." 

yes... I understand.. I eventually went to see a grief counsellor over this.. I missed my dad's passing , but I was there for my mom's, holding her hand.. both affected me deeply in different and unexpected ways.... 

and I know what you mean about "no one to support me" ..and funny thing is sometimes even when you have someone there to support you it's hard to accept it and you still feel alone.. it's hard to let someone in sometimes....  

and I'm sure other people have said this but often times people have NO clue what to say... they feel awkward..they dont' want to say the wrong thing.. they feel for you...they feel deeply for you and they want to just give you a hug and make it go away but they know they can't so they get paralyzed and do nothing... 

hard not to take offense to it.. I know..

try in small doses to talk about it when you need to... be open with them and tell them you need someone to talk to...

and honestly... if they can't .. or won't.... a good therapist is worth every penny..speaking from experience.. :)

 
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Reply by pkv44
13 Apr 2016, 12:52 PM

It makes sense to think that the hurt makes the memories more vivid. I guess it's not a bad thing, but for me, that hurt paralysis me to the point that I can't function. I miss the sound of his voice, his ability to always say the right thing, and his comforting presence just being in a room with me. I would pick his company over anyone else, no matter what the activity, because just being with him made me feel good. And now I'll never get that chance again.


EastCoastPEI, you're so right. I have a lot of people physically around me at all times, but always feel completly alone. I'm not the type of person that can bring up a personal conversation easily and express my emotions, I've always been the one to lend an ear in every conversation, and have always been in control of dealing with my own issues. I've secluded myself from my friends only because I have no emotional capacity to deal with other people's issues and being "normal" isn't working for me. I guess I"m going to have to find a new normal, but for now I feel lost. And more than anything, sad.


 

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