How do I say goodbye?

7 years ago my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and we are now at the point I thought would never come. I suddenly feel like I have wasted those years and would do anything to change that. I would swap with him in a heartbeat. I’ve spent those 7 years in denial, not speaking about it and really really hoping it would go away.

Watching my strong, active, beautiful dad become so weak and frail is breaking my heart. I’m an absolute mess and if I’m this bad now how will I cope when I have to say goodbye? I’ve never seen my dad cry until yesterday. He looked scared as he told me he isn’t in pain, I’m sure he is trying to reassure me as I can’t stop crying.

At the moment he is in hospital as there are no beds in the hospice. He struggles to breathe and is permanently attached to oxygen. I don’t know what’s coming but I’m so scared. I’m scared of only remembering him like this, I’m scared of what life will be like after and I’m scared I will feel guilty for the rest of my life for not spending enough ​time with him over the years.

Me and my dad are so similar. I can’t be without him. I can’t imagine never hearing his voice again, or spending Christmas without him. He’ll never walk me down the aisle or see my son grow up. I just want him to stay :cry:


It’s so hard knowing what’s coming but be strong and tell your dad how much you love him. Don’t have regrets just make the most of the time he has left. I would give anything to tell my hubby how much I love him just one last time but I never got the chance.

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Kel, how do you say goodbye?. My lovely wife went 5 years ago, and I have never said goodbye. It seems so final, and I never want it to be. I sat with her until the end, but all I could say is " what will i do without you". I could not even go and see her in the undertakers, I wanted to only remember her as she was. All I want to say to her is “hello”.

I’m glad I found this page. When I wrote my post last night I was experiencing the most grief so far. It came in waves all day and night and at 2.30am I finally fell asleep. Some good news today, my dad now has a bed in the hospice. I’m so happy for him as it now means we aren’t restricted to 1 visitor for 1 hour a day. I’m also aware that he is now going to start a higher dose of morphine and I’ve seen and heard what that brings :pleading_face:

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Hi Kel
So sorry to hear what you’re going through. I’m 61 and lost my mum in 2013 to Alzheimer’s and my dad in 2015 to copd. Both were 88. In September 21 I lost my husband to a heart attack. My dad spent a few respite weeks in the local hospice and also attended their breathing clinic. Hospices are lovely welcoming places where families can spend quality time together knowing their relative is well looked after and not in pain. Thinking of you. Sandra x

Just make the best of the time you have with treatment nowadays cancer sufferers are living longer I lost my wife 6mths before I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. It’s an unfortunate part of life that we can’t live forever. And you will cope when you’re father goes. I must admit I to have cried and asked what I have done to have these 2 things happen to me, until this I never had a days serious illness. I’m not in pain at the moment I’m just angry as your dad probably is. When it happens you will find the strength to not say goodbye just fairwell.

Hi Kel
I’m so sorry about your dad. I had lots of regrets and I was certainly in denial even when I knew my husband was dying. Someone told me it’s quite normal. He will have cherished the last few months with you, and knows how much you love him.

So sorry, the reality is awful. My hubby knew he was dying and wouldn’t discuss it at all. He lost the power to speak 1 week before he died. I had 14 weeks from start to finish. Your dad will know how much you love and care for him. I always thought that I was a strong women, how wrong I was 2 years down this horrible journey it is good and bad days. I couldn’t say goodbye kissed him gently and told him how much I loved him.
You will have inner strength when the time comes. Enjoy the time you have with him and make good memories.

Hello, I’m wondering what’s happening with you and your dad now as I’m lying in bed, unable to sleep, listening to an owl hooting, really identifying with your post.
I’m eight and a half weeks down the road after losing my wonderful Mum just after Christmas.
Never believed it would happen (denial)
Knowing it would(reality)
On the biggest rollercoaster ride of my life.
Heart failure and sepsis was the cause, Mum wouldn’t see a dr earlier in December so I’ve got all the what if’s?
I seem to have a sixth sense. I knew I was losing Mum. All through November onwards a deep sense of dread and an inner voice that I couldn’t stop. Mum always said I was physic.
And yet, when that awful time came, Dad and I were there, with her as she quietly and peacefully slipped away. I even heard someone come in the room moments before she left us. I turned around and you’ve guessed it, no one was there. Not that I could see. Now I’m thinking people will read this and think I’m nuts. I don’t care. This is my truth.
So, I can reassure you, you will get through this. You will find a strength. It will be there. I read your later post and saw your Dad was in a hospice so I know he’ll get the best care and you’ll be supported too.
This community is brilliant. Please use it. No one seems to judge. How wonderful that you can be really open and honest! Just know that you will cope when it does happen and life will never be the same again and my experience is, after eight and a half weeks, I’m experiencing a shift in my life. Like I’ve suddenly grown up. I’m having to support my Dad who’s been absolutely grief stricken. His grief is huge compared to mine. I tell myself this is the last thing I can do for my Mum. Get us through this.
I wish you well. I send you strength. And I tell you take comfort and strength and know you are not alone. So many people know exactly what you’re going through.
You don’t have to say goodbye, just say how much you love him.

My dad went to sleep holding our hand 2 hours ago. Totally devasted

Hi. I’m here. Just seen your post.
It’s happened. My condolences. Now is the time to look after yourself.
I know how you feel. I expect you’re raw and floundering.
Reach out. Seek support. Turn to friends and family. Allow yourself to grieve. You’ll be so busy with things over the next few days and weeks. After the funeral, if you have one, we’ll that’s another sledgehammer. Life just relentlessly keeps on whilst your standing there in the debris of what was once your life.
You will get through this. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time.
Sending you strength.

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Hi Tony M,

I was in the same situation my husband was end of life care i slept in his room for 10 days, it was lunchtime so left to get something to eat coming he had passed i felt so guilty I wasn’t there i also could not visit the funeral home but recently have regretted this. There is no answer to loosing your loved one i still struggle, talk to him daily and just take each day as it comes there is no cure you have to battle on family and friends are supportive but will never understand until it happens to them.

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Hi Tilly, that is so true, There is no answer, I was with my Jan at the end, and was able to hold her. but the hurt is so bad. I felt guilty that I could not do a thing to help her.

My wife wasn’t in funeral home because it isn’t what we both wanted we both didn’t believe in paying a fortune out for a funeral. She was cremated and I took her ashes up to Liverpool and spread them on the Mersey. We had our last journey together up to Liverpool.

Tony M,

She knew you were there at the end, she will always be with you not in bodily form but in your heart and memories she wouldn’t want you to be unhappy I’m sure remember the good times some people dont ever get them we have to keep going its hard i know we can still cry and laugh at previous things we have done together, dont give in i have struggled for 3 years but am still here.

I really can understand how you feel.

As a nurse I worked with men with prostate cancer. As a Mum, who very recently lost her son, I genuinely empathise with your heartache… all the what ifs and if onlys can be so destructive.

We have to somehow get through each day, because that is what those we have loved and lost would expect us to do.

No one can tell you how to grieve or how long it takes or how to deal with the regrets and the sadness. There is no specific time when things seem to get better because the rerality is that, nothing can ever be quite the same again and until we feel, in our own time, that we can accept this, we will feel lost.

You say you have regrets about the things you wish you had done and said and I understand that too. There are so many “if onlys” , too many “whys” but, to those things, we can never know the answer because we can never reclaim time. I am sure most of us wish we could.

All we can do, is try as best we can, to celebrate that special someone being part of our life and live each day with gratitude for them being with us for however long it might have been.

We know we will never forget them, how can we and why should we? However, all we can each do is vow to not waste any more time and to live each day as best we can with fewer regrets, some days will seem easier and some days it will feel as though you are falling apart all over again and those are the days when it feels as though you are taking a huge step backwards, keep going because the rest of today or tomorrow may be a better time.

Allow others to offer their support, there are always others who will offer encouragement. Sharing with others, can help with the feelings of isolation and loneliness… you really are not on your own.

Grief is not an illness that can be treated by any medication. It is a normal, very personal process that will be different for everyone. No one can tell you how to grieve or how to get through it, but be kind to yourself, identify your needs, get the support that you need and look after your life, it too is precious. x

The only regret I have is that I haven’t got any children of my own we did try but there was no IVF in those days, it never mattered when my wife was alive we lived a full life living in West Wales and in Spain but obviously that doesn’t make the loss any different.
The first 1 1/2yrs I never really mourned her loss because I had so much going on with my chemotherapy and radiotherapy but once that had finished then it hit me that I’m alone with just my 2 dogs for company I’m busy now learning there language. I needed something else so I took up playing guitar it gives me something else to focus on and something that is completely different to the things my wife and I would do together. I have become a bit of a collector of guitars now.
But that doesn’t replace my wife I would give up the guitar’s if I could have my wife back.
I take every day as it comes some days I’m in pain as I also have a back problem and have a nerve trapped in 2 places so even walking is an issue but the 2 dogs have to go out so I have to bear the pain for them. My only concern is that I die before my dog’s I have them registered on the Dog’s trust so if anything does happen to me they will look after them but that’s not what I promised my wife, I promised to look after them.

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The way you talk to your husband in the morning, night and leaving and returning home it is the way i talk to my husband too. It is the way i manage to live and keep going otherwise i would crumble missing his voice and his presence.


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Look just treat every day as special time don’t feel guilty I have prostate cancer 2yrs in now don’t be scared just be there for him. He won’t want you to feel this way. I try and keep my family at a distance because I don’t want them to feel the way you feel now. It’s hard but we all die it’s a fact you cannot get away from 2 sure things in life your born and you die. He will not want you feeling sad celebrate his life he will appreciate that. I’m sure you think I what I’m saying is rubbish but I have watched my mother father and wife die. And now I’m waiting for my time it’s inevitable.

Hi Kel83, firstly you are not alone. I went through the same thing when my darling dad had prostate cancer. Best advice, treasure every single second you can. Your feeling guilty is completely normal. Record his voice, it may take time once he passes until you feel strong enough to listen to it. It’s been 17 years since our dad left us and I couldn’t look at photographs of him. We lost our mum just before Christmas last year having to go through photographs for her order of service ended up being very therapeutic. Please reach out if you need to x