I’ve posted before about my Dad being told he was terminal which was a little while ago. Today we got the devastating news that he’s now end of life. He’s chosen to stay in the hospital because he does not want me or my brother finding him when it does happen, we respect that.
I’m just lost, we don’t have a time scale (could be anything from a week to a few weeks they said) and even though we knew it was coming it has hit me hard.
I don’t really know how to deal with it. I feel lucky to have had as much time with him as we have since he got diagnosed but it doesn’t feel like enough time. It’s so hard to even come to terms with the fact that my Dad will never leave the hospital now.
I just don’t know what to do, I feel numb and I just don’t know how to snap out of it. I know my Dad needs me to be strong and so does my brother and daughter (who is 6) but I’m not sure how strong I can be.
I don’t even know why I’m writing this to be honest, I think I just needed to get something down on ‘paper’ I think.
@Serexo to start at the end of your post, you wrote this post as an act of strength and as a way of working out your own feelings and emotions to be able to deal with your brother.
Think of it as showing your working out on the dreaded maths exam.
No one is asking or expecting you to be strong in this situation, no doubt your brother will be wondering how he can help you deal with this situation.
The danger is we are all so busy trying to be “strong” for everyone else, we forget about ourselves.
Your Dad will just want you to be you and you be given the chance to make the most of time you have.
Deal with the practical stuff, talk to your Dad and brother and then make memories in those moments, I remember when my Granddad was dying from lung cancer after surviving on one lung for most of his life, he wanted to create and hear laughter with his friends and family.
Grief is a very personal and selfish experience but celebrating a life, that is a joyous act of sharing.
Don’t be afraid to share on here, ask your Dad about all the things you wanted to know about his life story, allow your brother to walk along side you in this and celebrate your Dad and show him you two will be OK after he has gone, that will make him less stressed.
OK enough of my ramblings, here is a link to the more learned stuff written by the pros on this site,
Losing a loved one to blood cancer | Blood Cancer UK
Take care of yourself
Oh @Serexo I cannot better @clickinhistory’s post.
I feel honoured and privileged that you have had the courage and taken the time to post on our forum.
I was so impressed that you are honouring your dad’s wishes that is the greatest gift for him.
Yes, make memories ask your dad all those questions about his life and family history.
Be led by him.
I have found that it is exhausting trying to be the strong one.
Sometimes it really helps me to to write everything down too.
There is no right or wrong way of feeling and you might all deal with what you are going through differently.
We are here for you and so is the Blood Cancer UK support line on 0808 2080 888
Look after yourself as well as you do your dad and sending you a great big supply of virtual hugs.
Please do keep posting
Reaching out is always a big first step and I think you’re amazing for doing just that.
Is there any chance that dad could have hospice care?
You don’t need to be strong just be you support each other and take these next few precious days weeks months to talk and say anything that you don’t want left unsaid. Take pictures ask his favourite song etc so that these will help you through when you feel lost.
Do you know dads wishes for his funeral/celebration of life what songs/hymns he would like
He will always be right there in your heart and memories forever.
As a parent we don’t want to leave you either but time eventually becomes less there never seems enough.
I encourage my two and friends to live everyday as time is precious.
Thinking of you all
There is no right or wrong way of going through this time with dad just do what is in your heart
Just to add to the excellent advice and support, I would say to keep the memories of your dad outside of his diagnosis fresh more then during. Try and put in to words though I know this is difficult and a way of admitting defeat or acceptance, but to tell him everything you want to tell him. Share the memories, as I know when my sister passed away from cancer, it hurt the thought of being forgotten esp to my extremely young nephew… just try and limit the alone time but give quality over quantity. Give people and him 1 to 1 time as a gathering can sometimes be overwhelming…
Really sorry it’s come to this… I know only too well this feeling
The other responses have said much, beautifully. I just wanted to say i feel for you, and having walked this path last yr with my own dad, that this is both the worst and best of times. I will always view the time with him in those short days and weeks as a gift - i was really sure to be present when with him. I recall sitting with him, almost breathing in everything about him and locking it away. I talked, i was silent, he talked and he was silent. It was comfortable for us all.
I found i needed to know about the process of dying, not everyone does. I needed to know what to expect and how the stages would present. I needed this perhaps because i cared for him at home in his last weeks. I appreciate your dad being in hospital will mean some of that need may not be there. For me, being prepared meant i absolutely knew to savour the time, i could see the deterioration and adapted how the time was best spent. I wish there was a right way to do this, to say goodbye, to feel youve had enough time - you know im going to tell you there are no right ways. There will just be your and your dad’s way, including your brother and the younger ones too.
I wish you peace amidst the hugeness, i wish the same for your dad. I send strength, understanding and moments where you can let him know what he means to you and that he will continue to be loved and remembered. Your heart will not be the same, and that’s ok too. Youve got this i promise
I can only echo what everybody else has said.
I can only imagine how heart broken you must be and I understand being the strong one. However, we all need support, you included x
You have been given the number of the support line and we are all here for you.
The next few weeks are going to be hard. Have conversations, talk about wonderful memories and be kind to yourself as well. Sending a big hug your way X
So sorry to hear this it’s a terrible time for you and your family.
Brings back my loss last year. My dear Mum died from bowel cancer. She wanted to go home to die so of course we honoured that. Same as your Dad has said he wants to stay in hospital. The advantage of him being in hospital is he will get all the medication and pain killers etc as and when he needs them.
Having Mum at home was quite scary at times as I had to administer morphine and keep her comfortable although the last ten days we involved hospice who were amazing.
Either way spend as much time with your Dad as possible and say what you want to say to him. I felt privileged to be able to be with my Mum right up until the end and we had time to tell each other we loved each other and look back over happier times as well
All the best to you and you family
I just want to thank every single one of you. Just hearing these kinds things does help me. It’s really difficult just knowing and seeing that it is happening.
I lost my mum suddenly 10 years ago and that was extremely difficult but I really do find this even harder. Not only is he my last parent but I’ve had to watch him get weaker and weaker. He was an army man so growing up he was the strongest person I knew, so I think that’s what is hitting harder right now.
I really do appreciate everyone taking the time to reply, I think it helps to know that people have and are going through this too and they’ve come out the other side, maybe with a different type of life, but they’ve made it through.
I find it hard to talk to others, I’ve always been the one person who listened to everyone else but would keep my feelings to myself but I’ve been told not to do it with this as it’ll all hit at once if I do which would be worse.
This site really is amazing and honestly I’m so thankful I have somewhere I can talk about this without feeling guilty or like I can’t say things incase it upsets someone around me who are also going through this with me.
Thank you all!
I think we forget that everyone around is going through the same thing and trying to be strong for each other probably doing the same as you trying not to upset you.
It’s ok to all be sad at the same time it’s not about being strong it’s about supporting each other in the sad times cry together laugh together tell stories together however much you cry.
These thoughts will catch up in different ways eventually.
Keep communicating as much as you can
Yes, @Serexo this is the one place that I can be really honest about how I really am and feeling too.
Yes, watching such a loved one deteriorate is so, so sad and absolutely a horrible time, that feeling of powerlessness.
All you can do is be there, there is no right or wrong way to be.
I think our forum is just like a great big virtual hug when I need it most.
Sending you that hug
So we managed to get my Dad home for a little while. We know that it won’t be for long and then he’ll be back in hospital under their end of life care. However, I’ve been watching him over the past few days and it’s awful. Watching him get weaker and more tired, he’s practically lost his voice because his throat and mouth are so sore.
He’s going in tomorrow to get some blood and platelets so there’s the hope that it might help him a little bit but I know that the time is coming.
I want to talk about how I’m feeling but then I feel guilty because some of the feelings I don’t think I should be feeling. But also everyone around me is going through this too and I just feel like I need to be strong for them all.
People keep telling me to take time for myself but I’m finding that every time I try to do that I think about the situation more and it scares me and I find myself breaking down so I then start looking after them and being strong all over again.
I just don’t know what to do right now, I know this is probably normal but I just don’t know what to do. I’m really scared and I’m worried all the time.
Oh @Serexo please do share how you are doing and feeling on here, you can say your darkest thoughts on here,
There are no rights or wrongs to thoughts or feelings.
Perhaps you haven’t got to be strong for anyone, but obviously not on here.
I find typing out how it really is for me actually does help me in some way.
Watching someone you love so much deteriorate before your eyes and being powerless to do anything about it must be so, so hard.
Yes, everyone around you will be dealing with it differently, there is no right or wrong.
Sending you virtual hugs, you must be absolutely exhausted xxxxx
@Erica has put it so well. There is no right or wrong in this situation.
It is just heartbreaking for you and I can only imagine what you and your family are going through.
Would it help to give the support line a call to talk things through. You won’t have to worry about what you should or shouldn’t say, you can just say what’s in your head.
Writing things down helped me as well. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes just words. Either way it just meant that it was out of my head!
I hope tomorrow eases some of the symptoms for you dad. Please keep posting - we are here for you.
Sending lots of love and a virtual hug
Sorry to hear about all that you’ve been going through… it resonates so much with what I went through with my sister…
A random thought or idea… is to try and get what you want you to say on paper… then maybe record it (audio) maybe better and then giving him some headphones and being there while he listens…
I know it may sound a bit out there… but behind the logic is by writing it down it allows you plan and construct what you want to say without emotions of saying them out loud… recording it because in case you dad struggles to read and then it feels more personal without interruption… but also what you say and how you say it wont be impacted by seeing your dad the way he currently is…
Then if you’re there with him after to may open a deeper conversation
Anyway just an idea…
I think this is a really lovely idea @Rammie18
I went through this with my Mum so I know just how hard it is to watch your loved one fade away. You are probably experiencing some “anticipatory grief” , grieving already as you know your lovely Dad will pass away soon. Don’t worry about saying or doing the right thing to your Dad or those around you, or showing your own sadness and vulnerability with some tears, whatever way you choose to do things now will be right for you.
Some things I found helpful with my Mum and bring me comfort now when I think back are:
- I read somewhere that sometimes it’s helpful to give the ill person “permission” to leave us ie they don’t need to struggle to stay here with us (I said something like “it’s fine if you want to go and join Dad and Nana now” and my Mum seemed to acknowledge that)
- I also didn’t want my Mum worrying about other family members so I made sure she knew I’d take care of them and be there for them (sometimes I regret making that promise to her as they can drive me mad on occasion!)
- I also read that the person dying often chooses their own time to leave us, sometimes they do so when they are in the company of a family member (my Mum), sometimes they leave us when no one is around (my Dad, he literally waited til 5 mins after we left the room to die). So don’t beat yourself up whether you are with your Dad or not when he actually passes, he will choose his time
- your Dad will definitely know how much you love him , it comes through so strongly in your posts here
Sending you and your family much love and strength to navigate the coming weeks and months
@Serexo A friend once said when they were told their parent was dying, the doctor said they had been given a gift of time and knowing.
They knew what time they had, knowing what was coming next and as the doc said, you have been given time to put one foot on to solid ground in the coming storm of emotions.
What you are feeling is normal, so you are also normal. The coming grief is the storm that has you looking for solid ground. The gift of knowing is you have time to find that ground, to know you are going to bend in the winds that will come with your father’s passing, but you will not break.
Communication is more than spoken words, it is in the tone of the voice, the turn of a eye, the shape of the mouth, the posture of the back and the strength in a gentle touch.
Life is always a series of unfinished conversations with others, you and yours have a chance at least to put a comma in the conversations with your dad, because you will carry on those conversations after he has gone, just that he will no longer be able to contradict or answer back
Bravery is an illusion, being strong a phrase trotted out, right now, this is about you learning to be truly yourself and giving your heart and time to someone .