Life without Dad

Last November, I lost the most important person in the world to me, my Dad.

My Dad was everything to me, I called him three times a day, he would move heaven and earth for me, we were two peas in a pod. He was my hero. My Dad was the strongest person i’ve ever met, his will and determination was like nothing i’ve ever seen.

He had a heart attack previously, then 3 years ago he got lung cancer and then secondary bone cancer. He beat the heart attack, beat the lung cancer, so as far as my family and my Dad was concerned this was another thing he’d beat.

Dad began scans, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, everything they could throw at him. He was in agony at home so he was taken to Sue Ryder Leckhampton Hospice. They are truly angels and they worked hard to get his pain management under control. He was really scared but throughout everything he was positive he’d beat it.

Dad was in Sue Ryder for around 2 months, we saw him every day sometimes twice or three times, I’d be there everyday saying when can you come home or when you come home we’ll do this. Sometimes I think it’s a huge part of what kept him going. He was a fighter and he got up everyday in immense pain from the cancer in his spine, dusted himself off and fought again.

He finally got to come home but it was very short lived, he came up against infections, he would be home for a day or 12 hours and then he’d be rushed into hospital. It was too much for one person to cope with really.

His will and determination was second to none, he was an absolute inspiration to me and my family. No one around us really knew how bad it was but we didn’t ever imagine it would end the way it did and we believed in him more than anyone.

The last time he came home was for 2 days and he was just in another world because of all the drugs.

He couldn’t cope with the pain so he went back to Sue Ryder, we called them and just said we need your help, and they came to our rescue. He got another infection so was taken to hospital where we were told he was dying, my brother, mum and me stayed with him and he died a day later.

Family came to say goodbye and Dad could hear us but couldn’t speak, it was a very hard time, the memory of it is a very painful one. I said goodbye to my Dad Thursday evening, easily the most painful thing i’ve have ever had to do. How are you supposed to say goodbye to your best friend, near impossible. The nurses came and looked after him and we went the next day and he was still there, still sleeping and we just wouldn’t believe it, I was waiting for him to wake up and prove everyone wrong and we all believed that would happen. I think the fact we believed so strongly in Dad is a testament to not only how amazing he was but to how much we loved him.

He was put out of any pain and could hear us but it would have been like a big dream to him so he got distressed if we cried or got angry because he probably couldn’t understand why.

It was actually the infections that took over which come with cancer and unfortunately he just couldn’t fight any more.

It was painful to leave the room and it took us a long time, the minute I left that room I would never see my Dad again. I can’t explain it, but that pain can often be found in me and my family most days. What followed was the most painful number of days, collecting his things, death certificates, funeral arrangements and coming to terms with the fact my Dad was gone. Personally, I still won’t let myself believe that, he has just gone away for a while.

I have dealt with it the only way I know how and have learnt there is no correct way to deal with grief, yes you make bad decisions sometimes but it because you are broken and trying to learn how to fix yourself, which by the way is near impossible. I’m very proud to be his daughter. Everyone who I speak to about my Dad, tells me how much he loved me, how proud he was of his family, what a decent, honest, lovely man he was and that’s all true. I had the most wonderful, amazing dad who worshipped the ground I walked on. I think i’m pretty lucky in that respect.

It is hard to be without him, incredibly so but I’ll be with him again one day and talking helps. It’s been 8 months since he passed and I go to bereavement counselling with Sue Ryder.

I hope this can help someone going through the same thing, or something someone can relate to.

2 Likes

Wow - such a sad story but you are so positive and philosophical. Your dad would be so proud if he read that.

Hello there. I just wanted to add a few words here to your beautiful post about your Dad.

You’ve written so eloquently about what happened. It must have been quite difficult to write, and I just wanted to thank you for sharing it all.

It’s clear that you loved him very, very much and that you and your family did everything you could to make him comfortable and show your love at what can only be the hardest of times. It’s completely understandable that there’s pain within you most days. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve and it can take a very long time to accept what happened and come to terms with it.

It sounds like you have a very loving family around you who you can talk to, share stories and remember how he made you all feel. This can be such an important support network.

“Learning how to fix yourself” is a really interesting way of putting it. It can feel like something is broken and beyond repair - and it sounds cliched, but in time, it does get easier - especially if you talk, share, celebrate and remember.

I hope finding this community and writing all this has helped you in your grieving. I am positive that other people will read what you’ve written and it’ll be a comfort to them, helping them to come to terms what they’ve been through. It’ll be so valuable to others.

It’s always nice to hear that we’re able to help people in such sad circumstances, so thank you for the kind words about Leckhampton. I’m sure that they know, but we’ll pass your post on to them to read, if that’s ok?

Thank you again :slight_smile:

This is a really lovely piece, and it really stood out to me.

I know how difficult it is to lose a Dad, it is the worst thing in the world. But, reading this has given me a different way of looking at it.

I hope you keep on getting stronger through this difficult time.

Such lovely words and ones which ring true for me too.

My Dad passed on Saturday just gone. He had prostate cancer for ten years and lung for two and a bit years which had spread to his thyroid and bowel. The latter stopping him from keeping food down.

Sue Ryder Hospice at Home and at Thorpe Hall were fantastic.

I have times where I remember him so well and meeting various people along the way saying how proud he was of his family. Other times I remember the year of hospital visits and deteriating Dad. With many scary moments of almost losing him and him still bouncing back. I too didn’t really think he would go. In spite of it all he was a fighter and practical.

I’m so grateful he managed to communicate in the last few hours to show his distress and uncomfort as I could fix that with a nurse.

We have “prepared” ourselves for this moment but it still hurts. I can’t ask him for advice any more about the garden or life!

We have supported my Mum by being with her and I can pick up the phone to organise things. This is my way of coping. My husband and I plan to have holidays and trips with my Mum too.

My husband is fantastic and supportive and is feeling the loss of my Dad too.

He reminds me though that without my fantastic parents I would not be like I am and that my Dad lives on through me and my brother. It’s true I have many of his traits including the annoying ones but they are probably the ones that kept him going.

Remember that even though his body is gone his spirit and memory is still in us. We have him in us and he continues and things we forgot will help us get through.

Good luck!

H xxx

Hello H, I’m really sorry to hear that your Dad died last Saturday. I know that you and all your family realised that this time would come, but it must still be very hard for you to accept what has happened. From everything you say, it sounds as if you are a close family, and you will be able to support each other in the days and weeks ahead.
I am sure that your mother is going to be so grateful she has such a loving, caring daughter. I expect the next days will all seem rather unreal, but I hope that gradually you will be able to remember the lovely times you shared with your father. I will be thinking of you. Kind regards, Jackie

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Thank you Jackie, it is a daze and the paperwork starts tomorrow.

My husband said my Dad is a great example of a man, wish he had known him in his prime!

It is a comfort that he was comfortable in his last days.

H

Hi H,

Being in a daze is very normal at this point - it is such early days for you, so just take things one day at a time.

Sending good wishes for dealing with all the paperwork today. If it helps you get through it, here’s our guide to the practical things that need to be done: http://support.sueryder.org/practical-emotional-advice/what-needs-be-done-after-loved-one-dies

Hi your piece stood out to me as you used the words two peas in a pod and that was just what means my mum said. I lost her on the 16th may this month and funeral is the31st and I’m so nervous about it I’m going to go to pieces. She was my world I was hers. We lived together and had have such astong bond . My world. Now it’s just me and I’m so sad and alone I miss her painfully and know after the funeral it will get worse as it will become even more real. I don’t know how I will carry on she was reason for living and in the feb this year we lost our. Beloved dog. I stayed with mum 24/7 for nearly a month at a hospice. And before that loved cared nursed her at our home and to see the person you love most in the world determinate so much is just pure heartbreak and gutting she lost so much weight and in pain and awful sickness. The images are so painfully but I would do it all for her again for a hundred years if that’s how it was. I just dont know how I’m going to live without mum. From tray x

Tray, I’m so sorry that your life has been turned upside down, and that you are struggling to keep going without your Mum by your side.
I will be thinking of you when you are at her funeral - please just try and stay strong, as your dear mother would want you to.

Perhaps in a little while you may be able to remember the special times you shared with your Mum and your dog. Have you thought about getting a new pet, which would give you something to focus on?
With kind regards, Jackie

Hi Tray,

Sorry for your loss, take each day at a time. Don’t make any big decisions just yet but a pet sounds like good company.

I thought I would be in pieces but I kept it together for me and my Mum. The church was the hardest bit but so nice. I didn’t look at people’s faces. Thankfully the funeral company asked people to complete cards to say who had come. A really nice touch.

Not many people came to the cemetery, which in the end was nice.

Lots went to the pub. It was s lovely couple of hours chatting to people who knew Dad. That was the true celebration of everything good. My brother did a PowerPoint of photos of his life. So nice.

Take care of yourself. Sleep well and eat regularly. Get out for a walk in the countryside, as it really does help.

H

Hi Tray,

We are thinking of you today - sending best wishes for the funeral. I hope that you get through the day as well as can be expected and that the day is a fitting tribute to your mum.

Thank you, H, for sharing your experiences of your dad’s funeral. It sounds as though there was a positive side to the day, as well as sadness - a chance to share memories and celebrate his life.

I’ve started a new conversation on coping with a funeral, and quoted some of what you wrote above: https://support.sueryder.org/community/coping-death-loved-one/coping-funeral

Hopefully this will give others the chance to share tips and experiences in the future.

Thank you for your message that I have just saw. It went well if that’s the right words and lots of people commented on how nice I had decorated it for mum and my words to her could be a book they were so nice and heartfelt sad. I helped carry her into church and to the graveside so was with her throughout illness hospice day and night final mins of life and final steps to resting place. I booked the spot for two places me and mum so know I will be with her one day. Now I feel weird shocked numb disbelief I feel like a was some sort of actor this am in a way and a director was going to say cut as if it’s part of a film role I’m playing. Feel weird and scared as know now things are going to kick in more the reality and how sad seeing her deteriote and suffer I know my mind will go there more now as it can as I don’t have to worry about mum now or making sure she has a lovely funeral . She would of loved the blossom trees either side of her casket that I hired for her . I home made so many things for her to decorate her cascate and church even flowers from our beloved dog. I have appt with my and was my mums gp later pm so will see how that goes I just feel so weird mind all over. Scared. Exhausted. Thank you for your MSG. It means a lot . With love. Tray x

Well done on organising all of that in honour of your mum - it sounds as though you worked so hard and included so many nice personal touches. Now it is time to be kind to yourself and take things day by day. I hope the GP is helpful.

That sounds so nice. So personal, a lovely journey together.

I bet it helped having things to focus on. You’ll find your next project when you’re ready.

All these feelings are normal for you, now. Take it a day at a time.

Take care of yourself and do the things you enjoy/enjoyed.

I read somewhere recently it’s OK and healthy to cry and let it out just don’t pack up and stay there forever. Only you will know when you’re ready.

I hope the GP was helpful. It’s good to talk to someone about your feelings without holding back. You do what you need to do.

X

Hello there
thanks for sharing that - your father sounds like a wonderful man - and having enjoyed such a close supportive relationship with my father too I have some understanding of the huge gap it leaves - take care of yourself - Liz

Hi all,

I hope you don’t mind me popping in, I just wanted to see if anyone would like to meet a new member named Laura? She has just posted about coping with Father’s Day without her dad. If that’s something that strikes a chord, you can read and reply to what she’s written here: https://support.sueryder.org/community/life-after-bereavement/father’s-day#post-2377

Hi 3cmq

I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. Your dad sounds like he was a fighter and he had a very loving and supportive family and an amazing daughter who worshipped him.

I can’t imagine the pain you have experienced. I lost my nan just over a week ago she too was a fighter having had breast cancer then vaginal cancer, and although deep in my heart I knew she was dying I still had a piece of me that was waiting for her to wake up and get well. I guess it’s wishful thinking.

How are you coping a year on?

Kind regards and love and thoughts

Leah