Still struggling with loss of my dad

I almost feel silly posting this year, because it’s been so long since my Dad died, but I’m struggling today and thought I’d try to reach out to others who understand.

My dad died 6 years ago, when I was 21, of colon cancer. He was only 51, and was ill for several years before he died and went through multiple treatment attempts. I was with him in the hospice when he died, holding his hand, which I know is a good thing but the experience seems to have left me with some kind of trauma or ongoing grief issues.

Part of the problem I think is that I had a difficult relationship with him before he got ill when I was around 16. He left my family when I was 11 and my parents divorced, and I didn’t see him often until I was 15, then he got ill so soon after. As a result, most of our ‘quality time’ that I can clearly remember was when he was ill, so that whole experience really shaped my memories of him as a person and our relationship. We spent a lot of time together once he was ill and he ended up moving in with us again so my mother could care for him.

The whole process of his death really upset me and I still battle with flashbacks and getting very upset when I remember certain details of those last days. I don’t want to go into too much detail in case it upsets other people here who’ve had similar experiences, but it’s mostly remembering what he looked like, the last moments, upsetting memories of the sounds of his breathing, and the atmosphere of the whole last week. Part of what upsets me is that he was young and he didn’t want to die, I don’t think he had really ‘accepted’ death and his fear and unhappiness at having to go against his will upset me to think about and remember. I miss him terribly and whenever I allow myself to think about the fact that he never met my son, won’t be at my wedding, that I’ll never see him again… these things all disturb me horribly.

I don’t know where I’m going with this really. I’m just not sure how normal this all is. Maybe everyone who loses a parent young feels this way? I don’t know! I still can’t listen to music that reminds me of him and I cry if I look at old home videos of us when I was small. I mostly cope by not thinking about him much or talking about him, which I know isn’t really right and I feel would upset him if he knew.

I became a Christian this past year after always being agnostic and I think part of why I came to the faith was because I needed some way to cope with him being gone. But even that doesn’t always comfort me because he wasn’t a religious person so that adds another layer of fear and sadness to the whole mess.

I won’t ramble on anymore but thank you to anyone who reads this. I’m having a hard week and I struggle generally with depression and anxiety anyway so it all piles up on me sometimes emotionally.

Hi Hannah… firstly I’m so sorry for your loss of your dad. I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I lost my dad March 2017. I still can’t come to terms with it all. My dad had alzheiemers and was diagnosed at the age of 55. Like yourself i go over all the bad memories of his last days. I had to see my dad go without any food or fluids and that memory has completely destroyed my mind. Trying to keep my faith has helped. I think anxiety is common after losing the one you loved so much. I suffer from really bad panic attacks since I lost my dad. Wish the pain would ease for us. All we can do is take one day at a time and be kind to ourselves. I do believe they are looking down on us and wouldn’t want to see us so upset. Take care Hannah. Hugs x

Hi Hannah,
Sorry for your loss.
I lost my dad on the 5th of march 2017 to cancer which caused him to have a stroke.
Like yourself I had the memories of my dads final days which I think will stay with me because he took his last breath after 4 days of fighting.
Part of me was happy he wasn’t in any pain but I now bottle the pain of losing him until I saw your message on here.
I know I need to move on but I keep thinking of the DNR I signed and it breaks my heart, sometimes I feel I gave up on him, it hurts that much I can’t bring myself to let go of his ashes.

Hi Hannah my name is Pippa and have just found this website. Your story is very similar to mine. But I’m 43 and lost my dad in March. I’m really struggling with the loss. I feel really sad and angry at the same time? I cry a lot and just feel so alone. Would love to be able to talk with you as we share a lot of the experiences. Many thanks Pippa x

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Hi Pippa. My name is Kimberley and I am 49 years old. I lost my dad on 24 August 2017 and I am waiting for bereavement counselling. I start on 6 Feb 18. I am an only child and live nearly 2hrs away from my mum. I worked full time in the civil service but since my dad’s death haven’t been back to work yet. I am suffering with deeper depression and trying to combat it but it’s not easy. I really really miss my dad so much and his death was sudden, a massive stroke. I had to up my role as daughter and organise everything to do with the death, even the funeral. Its been so hard but my mum wasn’t and still isn’t in the right frame of mind x thinking of you and hoping this site and people will help us through this tough time xx

Hi Hannah,

I have just joined the site so I’m a bit new to all this. I’m so sorry for your loss, you should never feel silly for posting this as it does not matter how long it has been- 6 years is nothing at all. It’s sounds horrific for you the way your Dad died. Especially been young very difficult to cope with, your Dad would have known you were there. It’s so difficult every day trying to cope with it all, you can only try to take one day at a time. I lost my Dad in June 2016, very suddenly, found him dead in bed. I also having on going grief most days.

Key Key xx

Hi Kimberley

I’m Key Key, I’m 41 yrs. I’ve not long joined this site so it’s all a bit new to me. I’m so sorry about your Dad, it must have been so awful for you. It’s such a massive shock when it is sudden like that. I lost my Dad suddenly too inJune 2016, I came home from work and found him dead in bed.We were very close, he was 66. I only felt I had my mom for support at the time as my only brother lives in the U.S, he only came for the funeral , I hadn’t seen him in 5 yrs. So I understand where you are coming from being an only child. I had to have serveral months off work to sort out my Dads house as he was a hoared and the house was being repossed. I had to move in with my Mom the same day as Dad passing away. I also feel depressed and cry at the time , I asked for counselling but am still waiting the doctors weren’t very helpful to honest. XX

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