I just lost my dad

jlj48August 13, 2004

I just lost my dad to leukemia. He was only diagnosed 3 weeks ago. We were all with him when he died, my sister's and brothers and my mom. He suffered so much. I can't believe he's gone and I miss him so. But I have so many different elements to grieve. We all dealt with his dying so differently. We argued over dad, we were up all night and day caring for him, we didn't eat or sleep, and now some of us aren't speaking. I've lost my dad as well as a sister and brother. I can't get the image of his suffering out of my head and there's so much that I wanted to say and hear. But now we have to help my mom cope with life without him. I just can't absorb it all. I'm walking around in a daze. I'll miss him forever.

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Dear Joannie...You are going thru a really hard time. You guys didn't have the benefit of time to adjust to all the changes and plan what to do, much less to finish all your business with your Dear Father. That makes it really hard. Exhaustion compounds saddness. Hopefully you "kids" can get back together in your efforts to help your Mom, not to mention each other. You had a real struggle, but likely, things will even out over time. Try not to lose touch or say things you will regret later. Grief can be very isolating.
Stay in touch and let us know how it goes. Losing a Dad is really tough. Take care, Derry

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 9:47PM
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That's so harsh.... (((hugs)))

Welcome to a place where you can share your feelings - as someone said to me, a place we'd rather you not have had to seek out. I can imagine your pain, which is even worse since you had to watch him suffer. I'm so sorry you lost your father.

You said you've lost a sister and a brother too? (((hugs)))

I know how it feels to lose multiple members of your immediate family, leukemia, and also strained relationships after the tragedy. If you ever need to talk, I'm here.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 9:58PM
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Nell Jean

Your family didn't have time to sort things out before things were overwhelming. I hope you can forgive one another for any hasty words that were spoken. Your Mom needs all the support you all can give her, in one accord.

Bless your heart, it's very hard. In time, things will be different. Never the same, but different than now.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 11:15PM
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I'm sorry for your loss of your Dear Dad. I too lost my father. He was diagnosed and died from cancer within 4 months, so I know first hand what "quick" means. It's awful. My sister, brother,mother and I were there with him, and it took a looooong time to get the horrible images out of my mind. It's been 22 months and it's still so hard (it will always be hard) but it gets easier. The horrible images fade, and the good memories take over.
I wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 8:15AM
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Thank you so much for your kindness. This site is wonderful, I usually hang out at the home decorating forum but my heart is just not in my house anymore. Your're right, the images of my strong - bigger than life father so sick and weak, are horrible in my mind. The things we saw, we can tell no one, it would bring disrespect to him for others to know how sick and weak he really was. I was the youngest and he was so dear to me. When I say I lost a sister and brother, I did not mean to cancer. Sorry for the confusion. They said such mean things to me in the hospital and did not put dad first. My dad did not want company in the beginning. He is vain and did not want others to see him sick. I respected that with my own family, my sister did not. She said "it wouldn't hurt dad to let my girl's come in and tell him they love him, he is being selfish". I told her to tell them to write dad a letter or call him but that HE is the patient, HE is the one fighting for his life and it's about HIM, not HER. This angered her - she grabbed me, said mean things, took her girls in anyway. I failed my dad by not preventing this. She wouldn't listen. No one wants me to have a voice or opinion. I'm not allowed to ruffle feathers - but I did - for my dad. I cried so hard and felt no comfort from my siblings. Thankfully my husband was able to come for the last few days and be with us in the hospital. I clung onto him like a life raft in the sea. Now he's gone. I'm sooooo sad and hating the images in my mind and I'm sooooooo angry at my siblings for making it so much harder for me to give up my dad. Our family has little experience with death and cancer, thankfully. Now my mom wants us all around and I hate to be in the same room with my sister and brother. I would never hurt her by telling her how much they have hurt me. But I don't know how to coexist with them. My mom's heart is broken. They were married 56 years. She doesn't want to go on without him. I live 4 hours away. But I will go to her as much as I can. Oh I hope my family does not find this site. I really need you guys for my very own right now. I haven't lived in my town that long and I don't have close friends here. You guys are such a blessing. I lost a grandma when I was young and a baby when I was 6 months pregnant but nothing like this. I just feel so out of my element. Thank you for listening.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 1:26PM
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Dear Joanie...We are here for you, so drop in any time. You will feel better with time, tho you will keep on loving and missing your Dad. It is hard when you have little experience with illness. But, there is no shame for your Dad for being sick and weak. It is not something he could do anything about. Many folks are uncomfortable with it, but it does not detract from him at all. Illness does that to folks. It IS hard to watch, tho, and dignity is everything. Too bad your Sis couldn't put his feelings first and set an example for her children, but it is over now. You were there for him, and that is what counts.]
He will always be in your heart and close to you.
It is a painful time for all, and your Mom especially. 56 years is quite a credit to them!
Stay in touch. Shalom.....Derry

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 2:09PM
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You sound so much like me - like I could have written your post.
My sister and brother have been wonderful, however, so I can't compare that situation to yours. I'm sorry you have to go through that! However, my sister has 3 little ones and she 'did' want them to say "goodbye" but my Dad wouldn't allow it. He, too was vain and felt he couldn't be seen by others. At one point he told my Mom he didn't even want us (his children) to see him. But he soon came around about that one. I have one little boy (2 1/2) who obviously didn't see him - He was 1 at the time. They got to say "goodbye" in their own way, months before my Dad died. I'm now pregnant with #2 who's due in 9 weeks. It's the hardest thing in the world knowing my Dad won't physically know my baby.
I'm the youngest also - Daddy's little girl. It's never easy. I miss him everyday.
My parents were married 42 years. My mom has held up remarkably well, with the "help" of her children. She moved 5 minutes away from me and my family so we see her all the time.
I could go on and on.........
If you want to email me personally, feel free.
I'm glad you found this site!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 5:21PM
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Hello and welcome, Joanie. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad and also for the hard feelings with your siblings. I know first hand, how stressful watching a long illness and eventually death, can be.
Try to remember that you all were all tired and grieving even before your dad passed away and you all may have behaved in a way that you wouldn't have normally behaved. Your dad would not want there to be a distance between you and your siblings. Maybe when you are rested and maybe when the grief lifts some, you all can talk and mend fences. You are doing great to want to continue to help your mom.
I am here because I have lost my 19 year old daughter to a tragic accident and just this past June 3, I lost my precious mom to Alzheimer's. That was a heartbreaking illness and was really beginning to wear us all down.
I'm glad that you found us. Please come back and I wish the best for you and your family.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Web Site

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 12:51AM
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It's hard enough to lose your Dad. Having that loss compounded by estrangement within the family only intensifies the grief. I too lost my Dad suddenly, last December. I miss him terribly and the pain is still very real, though it has subsided somewhat as time has passed. Fortunately for us, our family has drawn closer since his death.

I don't know how you can restore the relationships with your siblings. In the short term, try to focus more on dealing with your loss and being there for your Mom. Hopefully time will ease the pain you are feeling right now, but I suspect that sometime in the future you will need to confront your siblings about this. Emotions are too raw and the grief too fresh to do this now, but if this strain is allowed to continue indefinitely, it will only get worse.

How was the relationship between you and your siblings before your Dad got sick? If it was strong and open, then reconciliation will be easier. All reconciliation requires compromise. I know you feel like you failed your Dad, but try to imagine what it may have meant to your nieces & nephews to see him before he died. Hopefully your siblings can also see your side and how you were only trying to honor your Dad's wishes. There are no easy answers in situations like this and I hope you find peace.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 7:57AM
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You all have had so much grief of your own. Thank you for taking the time to hear about mine. Right now, I'm feeling numb and overwhelmed. I'm worried about my mom. She doesn't want to go one without him. She actually is taking the focus on everything that happened at the hospital. She has no idea and I don't want her to. We all are just pretending for her sake. I understand that my sister wanted her grown children and their spouses to see dad before he worsened, but they ignored his requests, and he is the patient. I just don't get that. I let my son see him after we knew we were losing him, of course that made them angry, but at that point he didn't care so I wasn't ignoring his requests. But so many things were said to hurt me. No our relationship wasn't strong and open before my dad became ill. We all have gone our separate ways. My mom and dad were the hub that kept us all together. When my mom is gone one day, I doubt that we will ever see each other. I long for a relationship with my siblings, but I am so tired of being hurt. It's gotten to the point that I think life is too short to spend it on people that hurt me and fall short of my few expectations. I think they resent me for moving 16 hours away for 5 years, now I am just 4 hours away. In fact, my brother made reference to my not being there at the hospital, although I dropped everything to put my mom and dad first. It also seems that being the youngest, my family would love it if I was naive and weak, instead of intelligent and independent, as well as very close to my parents. My sister (oldest) has hurt my parents many times with her impulsive mouth and calls later crying and apologizing. I just can't deal with it and I don't want to. It seems like we will just go on having this polite sterile conversation for my mom's sake. It's all sad and it's getting in the way of my grieving for my sweet dad. Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I am so new at this kind of grieving. There are so many layers and so many things to grieve about. The worst is how my sweet daddy suffered. I never expected him to ever suffer like that and I want to forget it. And I want to forgive myself for not doing more, and I can't seem to get past it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 11:58AM
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Some relationships just can't be fixed, no matter how much we want it or how hard we try. It's a two way street and as I said before, compromise must come from both parties. I don't know where you are as far as a faith life is concerned, and I don't want to be too presumptious, but sometimes in circumstances such as yours, you just have to give it over to God. The difficulty in that is that we often become fixated on a specific result and fail to see God's hand at work, moving us in a different direction. All I can say is that if you aren't doing so already, give prayer a try. Ask God for wisdom, discernment and patience and keep an open mind.

As for your grief, try not to lament over things that you cannot change. I know it's hard. I'm still struggling to follow my own advice. To add guilt, regret, anger and resentment on top of your grief will make it even more difficult to come to terms with your loss.

May God's peace be with you.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 1:10PM
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Thanks for your response. I had considered myself close to the Lord, until all this. I haven't been able to really pray since my dad died and I just don't know what to say. This is the longest I have ever gone without praying. God must be so disappointed in me. And for continuing to be angry at my siblings makes me feel like I haven't forgiven them which I know is so wrong. I don't want to be denied heaven one day for not forgiving them. I have to figure out how to forgive when I haven't been asked for forgiveness yet still protect myself from further hurt. I know God loves me and he loved my dad. And I tried to minister to my dad although I sure wish I had done more. When we talked, we did not yet know we were losing him. So we were all trying to be so upbeat. But my sister's are of opposite faiths and I didn't want him to be confused. My dad loved the Lord and his faith had grown so much while sick, but he didn't raise us in a strong faith. He was attending a non-denominational church. After moving to our city one year ago, we cannot find a suitable church. We have probably visited 15 and we are so tired of hunting. We were quite close to our former church and miss our friends there very much. So we don't have a church family here to help us. I feel so all alone.
Thank you for your kindness. Everyone here has really helped.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 1:26PM
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Don't despair. God is with us in our suffering, even though He seems so far away sometimes. God know what's in your heart, so don't feel that God will comdemn you for your lack of prayer. God doesn't really need our prayers. It is His gift to us so that we may draw nearer to Him. Prayer is for our benefit. It is the conduit through which we can communicate to God. He can come to us in so many different ways, but prayer is the way we can come directly to Him

Just re-open the line and you won't have any trouble knowing what to say. It will come to you, trust me, but more importantly, trust God.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:22PM
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Don't despair. God is with us in our suffering, even though He seems so far away sometimes. God know what's in your heart, so don't feel that God will comdemn you for your lack of prayer. God doesn't really need our prayers. It is His gift to us so that we may draw nearer to Him. Prayer is for our benefit. It is the conduit through which we can communicate to God. He can come to us in so many different ways, but prayer is the way we can come directly to Him

Just re-open the line and you won't have any trouble knowing what to say. It will come to you, trust me, but more importantly, trust God.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:23PM
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Bill, what a beautiful message. Joanie, I hope you will feel the Lord in your heart very soon. He never leaves us; sometimes we just turn our heads.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 10:30PM
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JOannie, i am so sorry about your dad. prayers to you....


    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 8:29PM
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So many beautiful and important words above. I can bearly add a thing, except my voice for support.

At the beginning it is just too RAW!
I want you to go slow. Be careful when you drive. Don't make any huge decisions... Cherish your Husband and tell him how imprtant he was to you.

I also want you to be kind to yourself..Maybe even kinder than you've been so far.

You cannot judge (although you try :) ) your relationship with your father towards the end. You cannot know in all the ways you helped and were there and gave him love and comfort. (You'll only know after you've joined him, and that will hopefully only be in a very long "earth time" and a "PFFTT" in "eternity time"...)

I want you to think, that you really knew your sister was like this before, so you knew it...and you daddy knew it too. So it is probably OK with him.

I'd concentrate on your Mom, work on ways of helping her long distance and when the other siblings aren't there and
try to forgive.

It will get better, less painful and raw. The images dim. Perspective comes. But we all do this at different times and ways.

Well, for someone who had little to say i sure went on and on ehhhh...

Hugs... AM

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 4:52PM
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AM - Thank you for your kind words. You are so true. My sister was like this before and I have felt estranged from the family for the past 6 or 7 years. My parent's are the hub that hold us all together. My dad knew how we all were and he wouldn't want me to be hurt by anyone. He was so proud of me and I really hang onto that. I seem to do better when I don't even thing about him and just put everything out of my mind. The images are just too awful and once I go there, I go into the whole hospital experience and I just can't do it anymore. I don't have anywhere to go with it. I just don't know really how I'm doing. I do think I'm putting off my grief. I am over eating which makes me feel worse. I'm not really drawing closer to God. I just don't know what to say. It's just all over. What Sadie said is so true, "He never leaves us, sometimes we just turn our heads". I am comforted when I tell myself "God is bigger than all of this" and I'm trying to just let go of more of the stuff and know that God will work it all out. I find myself getting sadder some days when my mom is getting better. She is doing better that I thought she would. She is back to going to church without him. I am so happy for her that she is not crying all day anymore, but for some reason, I get sadder sometimes. I wish I could pull out all the bad images and pull up only the good ones. I would feel so much better. With all the holidays coming up, I just don't know what I'll do. I don't want to go home to my side of family. And carrying on without him will be soooo hard. Thank you all again for your words and for listening.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 3:01PM
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I am so sorry for the loss of your father. How difficult these days must be for you. You have my deepest sympathies......it is so hard to lose a parent and to lose them so quickly is so awful. My heart goes out to you.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 4:52PM
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