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I'm in a tough spot. I lost my dad unexpectedly May 20th, 2016. In many ways I'm still grieving, most days I get by but there's always the ache of missing him. After I lost him my life was wrecked, I lost everything. My relationship with my then boyfriend went down because he couldn't stand to see me down, I focused on my family and just loving each other wasnt enough to keep the relationship going and my ex disappeared from my life. I had to cope with my dad being gone by myself, my siblings and I really don't know how to help each other but we've all found our ways. After months of struggling and too many times drinking myself stupid I'm on the road to happiness and acceptance that at 21 I lost my dad. During the months since my dad passed my mom has started dating(I previously posted about this "Lost Both Parents Sort Of..."). Her and I have pretty much no relationship due to realizing even after 36years of marriage she didn't truly love my father and she doesn't really care about the kids they had together. She's happily with someone which I'm happy for honestly. However I deal with guilt about my dads death, I was out of state on vacation with my ex, I wasn't able to make it home before my dad passed, it was purely unexpected. My dad had just wished me well day before and was excited about me taking a vacation. I found out about my fathers passing by a neighbors Facebook post, my family had refused to tell me but the neighbor took it upon herself to offer condolences even though my family hadn't wanted it posted out of respect for me. Anyway that's my story but this isn't about me.

Nearly six months ago I started seeing someone, my boyfriend, honestly the love of my life. He has helped me so much, all my anxieties and quirks from before and after everything of last year he helps me cope with. He's the light on my darkest days. However he has dark days coming. His father has Parkinson's, he's in his 70s but he doesn't accept it, like he's angry about it and it makes things worse for him. Well tonight we found out his father has cancer, we're not sure what stage and I don't know exactly what kind(it slips my mind at the moment whether he told me or not, we've had a lot going on). I know he loves me and wouldn't push me away but he's also a divorced man who was single for years and doesn't know how to really share the weight, I'm scared he's going to try to handle all this alone. I don't have much personal experience with cancer, at least not times where within weeks it doesn't lead to death, even so I've never had to helps someone who means the world to me deal. I barely know how to handle my own grief and I don't want to automatically assume this is leading towards death but in all honesty as much as I hope and pray it doesn't it's still highly possible. How do I help him, how can I help him deal with things to come? I know something's will trigger my grief and I know I'll feel hopeless but I've had 10months to cope so I'll be fine, my concern is him. He's a strong man and him and his father aren't like my father and I were, in fact there's some bad blood there but he loves him and is thankful for all his dad did. He currently lives with them because of his dad's Parkinson's but we we're in the process of looking for a place, I don't want to put that on hold but I think it's for the best, but I also dont want him to think I dont want to move forward. How do I help him without hurting him? I don't want to do the wrong thing and hurt him. Any advice will be appreciated, thank you.

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If I may ask... Could you be projecting how you felt after your dad's passing, those feelings of being alone and not sure how to cope, onto your boyfriend?  I have to say, how your ex handled it was a dick move.  But that tells me he wasn't going to commit to the relationship fully anyway.  "For better or for worse" relates to more than just wedding vows.  Your current boyfriend, on the other hand, has been there for you.  Everyone deals with grief differently, and until it happens, there may not be any way of knowing what he'll need.  When the time comes, just support him.  If he wants to talk, let him know you're there.  If he wants space, let him know it's okay if he needs to be alone but that you're there if he needs anything.  If he gets angry, let him be angry.  If he projects anger onto you that's uncalled for, let him know, calmly, that you understand he's hurting but don't push you away.  If he just needs you to bring him chocolate to binge on, hey, you're there.  You get my point. 

Cancer isn't always an abrupt death.  It depends on the type of cancer, it's location(s), it's stage, if it's metacicised, if treatment is working, and so on.  Sometimes it can take years.  Sometimes it's caught in time.  There's no sure way about it unless you know the specific details.  

Although you didn't ask, I'm going to interject on your mom's new relationship since you brought it up.  Maybe there's information you didn't share, and that's alright if you don't want to get into it.  But I've seen people madly in love who have started romantic relationships soon after becoming a widow.  We're all different, and it isn't always about love.  Or even when they have found love, it doesn't mean one love replaces another.  Sometimes the loneliness gets to you.  Human affection can be therapeutic.  Usually the first boyfriend is just a rebound anyway.  It's a way to vent feelings of anger or insecurity or loneliness, or just a need to not be alone or get some validation.  Or just b/c you need to do something else for a change.  I apologize for bringing it up if I'm way off.  Just hoping to offer a little less pain than what you're going through. 

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