Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
Hello everyone. I just lost my dad, not even two weeks ago, and I feel like I can't breathe. He was my favorite person in the world and I sometimes question if I can even function without him. Other times, I still find it hard to believe that he is gone, and then it hits me all over again.
I never got to say goodbye.
He started declining earlier this year so we started getting him treatment and therapy so that he would get better. I haven't physically seen or hugged my dad since I dropped him off at the hospital (due to the virus) over three months ago, and now I never will again. That's the toughest part I guess, all of those missed months that I could have had with him. Now he's gone and I miss him so much it physically hurts.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
When will it get any better? Can it even get better?
Will I be able to recover?
So I took an exam yesterday worth 33.3% of my grade for one of my classes. It was the same exam that I was studying for at 9:41 on September 27. I studied for that test 3 times because I didn't know when I was going to have to retake it. I couldn't study for it too much at night though because it only brought up memories from that night. Sometimes I ended up crying just after looking at my notebook. I guess it is safe to say that I wasn't expecting to do so well, but I got an A-.
My professor told me that I did "amazingly well, especially under these circumstances." I don't know if he meant because of what I am going through or because two-thirds of the class got a C or worse. Either way, I think that's the best thing that could have happened right now.
I'm sure there will be paragraphs of sorrow later; Tomorrow is four weeks. Sundays, and just weekends in general, are just plain awful for me that they're no longer relaxing, making the following week more draining and tiring.
So wish me luck and thanks for reading.
It's four weeks today. I did some number-crunching, and it's been:
I don't know why I thought it was okay to leave him. I guess I thought he had more time. We should of had more time. I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself.
I miss my dad so much. Too much.
The only person who acknowledged yesterday's significance was a friend I made here. Not one real-world "friend" or family member. I did not receive a single text or phone call yesterday. No one said, "wow. four weeks. how are you doing?" NOTHING.
That only made the time after 9:41 harder. I cried and I sobbed so hard last night that my eyes won't open all the way today, and that's after putting cold things on them to reduce the swelling.
I'd like to say that I cried for my dad, but in reality I cried for myself. I'm not a super selfish person really, but lately, I have been. I cry because I miss my dad. I cry because he left me alone. I cry for all of the things I'll never get to say, for all of the lost moments, hugs, tears, and smiles. I cry because I'm mad about missing out on time with him, and for that, I'll never be able to forgive myself; I cry because all of the regrets I have, make me so dark with self-hatred that I don't know what to do. I cry because people do not acknowledge my pain, and because nothing anyone does can rid me of this pain, because nothing can bring him back.
Yesterday was four weeks, but tomorrow is one month. Looks like a back to back crying-sequence is ahead of me.
One month ago, today, my world fell apart. I wonder if I can ever piece it back together again.
I miss my dad.
I've had a habit of wearing his shirts, especially on days like today. The one I'm wearing now smells just like him. Every time I catch his scent, I cry.
I miss my dad.
So, Halloween is coming up. It is always my favorite holiday or time of year. Or at least it was. I don't know now. I was really looking forward to it, even after my dad passed. It was something that I could do to make me feel normal again, even though it would be my first time doing festive things with friends in a long time. Maybe I thought I'd have fun. I guess I got my hopes up too soon again...
My roommate, and pretty much only friend, had to leave for family reasons. I completely understand. I had to do the same not even two months ago, and look how well that turned out. It still sucks considering she was the one I tied my plans to. I really wanted to have a good time. I needed to have a good time. Worst of all, I'd gotten my hopes up.
You may wonder why that's such a big deal. Let me tell you... I don't know about you guys, but a characteristic of my depression is that the tiniest of things can set me off, either in rage, or into a spiral of sadness. Now, I'm sad all the time so it doesn't really matter, but getting my hopes up leaves me crashing down, even over the simplest of things. Because one thing I was really looking forward to came up empty handed, once again, I don't know. I just really needed something good to happen. Really really badly. I guess that's just how this year is supposed to go. Or this life.
Sorry for the bitterness last night. I just really needed this, and the disappointment is crushing me. Oh well. Better get used to it, I guess.
It's five weeks today. It seems like a lifetime ago. I'll never be the same person I was before. I'll never again be the girl who had her father's love.
Today, I'd like to talk about my journey through the stages of grief.
The first one, denial, was probably the easiest one. When I got the phone call from the hospital that night, when the nurse called and told me that my father passed away, I said "okay." Sure, I cried, but not like I had those nights before when people kept calling me and saying how sorry they were, and telling me how much they thought he loved me, like he was already dead. (Man I hated those people.) Those were the moments I figured out the fact that he was going to die. It wasn't right. Someone who actually cared about me should have told me, and they should have told me sooner.
The day after, I emailed all of my professors that I would be taking time off and I started planning the service that we were going to have. I realized that I didn't have anything to wear to the service, since all of my good clothes were at school. With so many things to do, my mind was pretty occupied. In a way, I was planning someone else's life (or after-death). I don't know. I knew he was gone, I guess, but I never really processed it until the day I had to clean out his apartment. That day I couldn't function. I wouldn't stop crying, and I wouldn't speak unless it was absolutely necessary, and even then it was a few abrupt words. My dad was gone and I didn't see the point of anything. (Sometimes I still don't.) A few days later, after the service, I was back in school and I joined this support group. I'm still in the denial part because, other than not calling him at least once a day, I can pretend that he's just back home. Or other times, I know he's gone but I don't think about all of the "nevers," like seeing him, talking with him, or just experiences where a father is needed. When those hit me, I break down, usually on anniversaries, so I can at least have a reason for crying in front of people without scaring them away.
Now, I'm kind of in all of the following stages: anger, bargaining, and depression. Those days when I figured out that he was going to die, I had an inner monologue that pretty much said "I should tell mom that I need help. I don't think I'll be able to survive this alone. I think I should tell her that I'll need help." Instead of asking for help, after that, I thought "How dare you? He's not gone yet." I didn't want to put it out into the universe that he was going to die, so I said nothing, and now I'm paying for it.
Of course I'm depressed again. That's natural. I'm in the bargaining stage a lot. You've seen it. All of the time, I think about what I could have done differently and what I'd say if I had the chance again, but I don't. That makes me full of pure sadness, and a good amount of self-hatred. I'm also angry at the world for taking him away, and I'm angry at pretty much everyone for what they do or don't do. (Not that real-world people have done much for me lately, other than not show up when I need them.) Nothing anyone says or does can make me feel better or bring him back, and for that I'm beyond consolidation.
For the last stage, acceptance, I don't think it'll ever happen. I guess I can comprehend the fact that he's gone, but I'll never accept it. He should be here. It's not fair, and it's not right. I need my dad. I miss him so much, and I'll never get passed it. Once again, I'm a different person. I'm a girl who's empty without the love and light of her father. No one can ever take his place, and no one ever should. The day he died, a part of me died too. Maybe, more than just a part. I feel so lost and empty and sad without him.
I miss my dad.
Hi Liv, I felt compelled to reply to your post. I don’t write anymore. I did quite a bit when my mom died 3 years ago but I realized nothing could take the sadness away so I stopped. I lost my dad 18 years ago. So I’m without parents. Your posts resonate so much because I know and understand your sadness. You lost your favorite person. I get that. I really do as my mom was my favorite person in the world. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. There’s nothing that I could say to make you feel any better, but just know that I read your posts and I along with others do care (especially those of us who’ve lost someone dear). I hope you find some peace.
I didn't cry so much on the anniversary on Sunday, and I think it is starting to show. Now, when I think of the little things, I ache and I cry. I'm not an emotional person usually; I was kind of getting used to only breaking down once a week, and being sad or numb the rest of the time, instead of crying more frequently over smaller things.
I have been writing down and listing the little memories that I can think of, about my dad. I write down all of the childhood memories I can remember, before I forget them for good. I only have three pages so far, and it is making this so hard. I am only trying to write down the good things, so not thinking about his decline this year, but it's been hard. Today, after remembering a few more memories, I was put back into the bargaining, and self-anger phase.
How did I not know what was going to happen? How could I be so naive into actually thinking that he would get better, when he declined so far so fast? Why did I leave for school? Why did I drop him off at the hospital four months ago? Why did I miss out on all of this time? What would have happened if I didn't, if he didn't go? Would he still have gotten so sick? Would he still be here?
Most of all, why did he have to go? I still need my dad. I wish I had more time, so much more time. I miss him so much, too much.
So just as I thought things with my mother were finally turning around, she goes and tells someone I'm no longer friends with, that my dad has passed away.
She already made the service about her, and posted when he was sleeping, and when he died, on Facebook, and then reading me the comments from a "friend of a second cousin of mine" that they're sorry (like that will bring him back, thanks!) Anyways, now, she's telling my "friends" too? It wasn't her place to tell.
(I dual-enrolled my senior year of high school, and when I left, and they stayed in high school, they moved on without me. I thought we could still hang out on weekends, and that I could join them for lunch sometimes, and when I did, they had new friends. This specific "friend" threw four years of friendship down the drain. They stopped responding to my texts, or blew me off when we had possible plans.) I wasn't the one who wanted to stop being friends! I was heart broken for months, until things with my dad started to worsen, then I had bigger problems to cry about, and them ditching me didn't hurt as much. I mean, nothing can hurt as much as losing my dad.
So, I thought, when my world falls apart, why should I have to reach out and tell them? So I didn't. And here we are.
The last line in "my friend's" long text message is "I'm here for you." Really? Where was she when I was crying myself to sleep, over his decline, or over his death?!
She asked me to call her, if I feel like it. I don't know what to say...
I only texted her that I was okay, and asked how she was. She hasn't responded yet. I'm trying to keep thing civil, but I want to scream. I was already sad today, for no other reason than the fact that he's gone.
I didn't need this too.
Ah - so sorry to hear that. I guess my advice would be that you don't need to reply back right away, or even at all. Maybe just letting it sit for a few days and deciding what/if you want to say. I don't think it's rude to just be quiet for awhile, and she should understand that you're grieving. You don't owe her any type of response and shouldn't feel pressured to reply in my opinion. Sounds like your response was already quite gracious considering the situation. Maybe down the road you'll address some of the issues you have with her, but right now you shouldn't feel the need to add a stressful situation into the mix while you're grieving your dad. Hope it works out.
So my dad once again appeared in my dream last night... I know we've heard this before, a while ago too, but this time was different. This time he was super sick again.
"We, being a family and a few friends (but their faces are blurry), were sitting at a dinner table and talking. My dad was acting poorly and being rude, like he was towards the end of his life. Then all of the sudden, he disappeared, and people at the dinner table started talking about him and, of course calling him rude. I immediately came to his defense saying "He has a BRAIN TUMOR" and then his best friend said that it wasn't true...."
Anyways there's more to that story, but I just want to explain this part:
So my dad has stage four Metastatic Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, also known as a slow growing cancer where about thirty tiny "METs"/tumors stayed in his body, mainly around his spine, hips, and neck, in the bones though. It was so slow growing that he had it for twenty years! Sure it progressed as time went on but by the time I was 8, it was stage 3 and when I was 13 it became stage four. For four years, he was able to do what he loved. He surfed, or golfed, or fished almost every day. He went to Hawaii and Costa Rica to surf with friends. He lived. He got his tests every few months and the little METs stayed in size and place, and if they moved, he went through another radiation treatment. (Chemo was always out of the question.)
When 2020 hit, the downfall occurred. In January, he had to have a completely unrelated neck/spinal cord fusion surgery. Five days after his surgery, he started another round of radiation. Shortly after all of this, he began starting to have numbness in his legs, which after months of not seeing any results, or answers from any and every doctor, he was forced to use a walker, then a scooter, then an electric wheelchair. Pretty soon he was falling and unable to get up so we had to call the fire department to help him. He was not a happy man during those months.
After his fifth fall, in June, we all decided it was best to check him into a hospital to get some major tests done to see what was happening. After weeks, he was checked into a Rehab facility/ nursing home to help him get stronger. After a few weeks, he got COVID from the staff and was sent to the hospital, until he could get a negative result to be placed back in there. It took 26 days to get two negatives in a row to be able to leave. During those 26 days, the staff did not shower him, did not give him the therapy that he needed. He declined further. When he finally got back to the rehab place, he was so weak, he couldn't do anything without assistance. He developed UTIs and water-logged legs. He was fussy towards the staff and somehow he ended up in a hospital again where he stayed until September. This whole time, we were trying to get him back home, or at least in an extensive but short, full-blown rehab facility, where he would stay for a few weeks, get as strong as he could, and go home. He was getting so weak and not doing any better anywhere that we decided it was best to just let him go home. We wanted him to go home. He wanted to go home.
Right before we was discharged, he was still having a UTI, which had been going on for months. The doctors thought it was because he had a tumor near his bladder. This threw me off because for twenty years, he only had his little tumors in his bones. The doctor wanted to run more tests, but we all thought that it was best for my dad to just get him out of these hospitals. We needed to go home. So we did.
He finally went home in September, on 24 hour care with nurses. I was going to come down from school and visit him a few days after he got settled in. He didn't even last 48 hours. He was fussy because there were so many machines beeping and people in the apartment, and he said he couldn't hear himself think. I was told that he had a seizure and after coming back, he then started swinging at people and refusing to take medicine. The nurse then brought him back to the hospital, and recommended that he go on hospice. That night I drove home.
Once admitted to the hospital, he had an MRI of his brain to see why he had a seizure. He had a tumor there too. He was still angry all the time so they started to sedate him. I knew I had to see him then. He was also given a routine COVID test, where he was once again positive. We thought it was just a false alarm, but then he started having trouble breathing, and his oxygen stats were low, he was put on breathing masks and other supports, AND I wasn't allowed to see him. A week later he went to sleep and a few days after that, he died.
I never got to see him.
The most recent memories of him that I have are no good because he was so angry those six months that I was with him. How did I not know that his condition was worsening. He was never a very angry guy. How did I not guess why? I just thought he was frustrated and the tests didn't show anything. His last MRI was in April, how did they not catch anything? How were those new tumors progressing so quickly when the others barely changed at all?
I was already struggling with his passing. I miss him more and more everyday. Now, on top of that I'm left with questions, those terrible months of memories, and extra reminders that I didn't need of those times. For once in my life, I've been trying to focus on the good, all of those good times I spent with my dad, but the world just keeps breaking me further and further.
What do I do?