A second dad

Growing up I had a terrible time with family problems and a brother with mental illness. I felt pushed to the side on multiple occasions and many Xmas and birthdays were ruined due to my family situation. The only saving grace was a man called simon. He would invite me to his house to get away from the constant arguing and shouting, we would talk sometimes, and other times just watch movies, he knew when to talk and when to back off. He because a second dad to me and was there for me more than my family ever could be. He was diagnosed with cancer last year and beat it, then it came back worse then ever and has been given 4 months to live. If breaks me trying to keep it together not only for my partner who he means the world to also but his family and him. It gets harder to fake a smile every day. I was always a believer in things are meant to test us and I always bounce back from bad times but this is breaking me. Any advice to help me cope?

I’m so sorry to hear that Simon, who was like a second dad to you, has been given four months to live. He is clearly a really important part of your life, and he sounds like a great person who supported you when your own family didn’t. Are you able to visit him regularly? It would be good to spend as much time with him as you can, talk about the good times you have had together, and let him know how much his support meant to you when you were growing up.

It’s important to have outlets for your feelings, as bottling them up can make things worse. Don’t always try to fake that smile - do you have anyone you can talk openly to about how hard this is for you? Perhaps your partner or a friend?

Writing things down here on the site is another good way to get things off your chest. There are many others here who understand what it is like when a loved one is terminally ill.

You might also find this blog post from Marie Curie helpful: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/blog/what-to-say-to-someone-with-a-terminal-illness/195650

Hi Simon I,m going through the same mate. Mate I’ve known for 30yrs and supported me when I was at my lowest and I’ve been there for him over the last few years when he has been dealt blow after blow and just when we thought the cruel ness of illnesses and injuries had stopped, band…terminal cancer.
He has no family and I don’t communicate with mine but thankfully have a great partner.

Here’s how i/we (my mate), are trying to deal with it.
Talking openly about it either loads or sometimes little
Talking about good and, yes…bad times. Clearing the air but celebrating the great times too
I make sure he has what he needs and wants whether that’s time, space, chocolate etc. While I would love to get him out and about while he is mentally well, he really doesn’t want too so I have stopped pestering him to do that and listened to him that he like just sitting and watching TV or a film
Look at photos (I regret there are little of me and him as it was mainly me taking pictures of him or we just didn’t bother), but he has lots of pictures from his childhood/teens.
I hope some of the above ways we are trying to cope might help you and if you feel upset, it’s good to let that out too, talk and you’ll both agree together how to cope during this horrible time.
All the best

Hi (again) Simon,
I just noticed your initial post was on 12th August (my birthdate), a few months back. Sorry I didn’t realise the date before I posted above message. I hope you are coping at this time.