Intrusive thoughts


My dad died on 15th November. Dad had throat cancer in 2020 and we were told he was cured. On 15th September we found out that what we thought was back pain was in fact metestatic cancer to the spine and bones. He passed away 8 weeks later.

My dad and I were the closest in the family and understood each other completley. I love my mum and brother too but the bond I had with my dad was unmatched, he is my best friend and I saw him every day of my life sometimes several times a day despite me being 36 and having a life of my own.

I don’t understand how this can happen and how someone who was so fit and active can be taken so quickly. We were told by doctors that dad was through the cancer and he was given the all clear when in fact he was dying and they didn’t know it.

My dad was such a strong and brave man but after that first cancer diagnosis in 2020 he relied on me more to help with appointments and I loved to help him like he has always done for me. I feel that I let him down. I trusted the doctors when they told us he was recovering well and I didn’t prepear him for this. He trusted me and I feel guilty that I didn’t know what was going on.

The shock of being given the news that he had metestatic cancer was unbearable and I am traumatized thinking of how this must have felt for him. I can be driving along in the car and I am bombarded by all of these thoughts and I cry so much that I can’t breathe.

My mind constantly replays those last week’s and final days and I am tormented with feelings that I could have done something and we should have got more time. When I wake up in a morning and the sun is shining I think about him saying what a beautiful sunny day it is and that I’ll never hear him say this again. I always knew this would be the thing that I would struggle to cope with but the pain is unbearable. I dont feel him with me either which I thought I would. Before he died he told me that I can either be a victim or move forwards and again I feel that I am betraying him by my reactions.

I feel like I am being driven mad. Will this ever end?

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Dear @Katherine86

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Everything you are feeling and experiencing with emotions is all part of the grieving process and normal.

You need to take one day at a time and be gentle with yourself, grief is a journey and not a race. You take it at your pace. There is a useful Grief Guide that contains information to help you understand and cope with your bereavement and grief.

There is a blog on Losing a Parent which may be of support to you.

If you have not done so already it might be helpful for you to speak to your doctor to let them know how you are feeling and to see what support, they can give you. You can also connect with members here who have been in a similar situation as yourself by typing in the search bar Loss of a Parent, the support here is amazing.

Please continue to reach out and take care of yourself. If you need further information, please email