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New Here. Lost My Dad, Trying To Pick Up The Pieces


Sidewindor

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I am 22 years old and lost my dad a little over 2 months ago to a rare form of cancer. His battle was 18 months long and even though I knew the end was coming, I still can't believe my dad is gone. It was incredibly hard for me, my dad and I were extremely close. He was always there for me, coaching my sports teams and then being my biggest fan when I started playing at higher levels. Even though I have a brother I was always the one helping him out with projects around the house, we'd do yard work together, maintain the pool together, put the christmas lights up, and do tons of random things together. I was such a "daddy's little girl" and he'd always talk about me at work to his friends. Towards the end, my dad would only tell his coworkers one thing: "I have to make it to her graduation." You see, I graduated from college on May 18 and all my dad wanted to do was be there to see me cross the stage. He died on May 16.

Instead of celebrating my graduation I went and walked across the stage in the morning and went to the first viewing for my dad that night. I feel like I missed out on so much of my life over the 18 months my dad was sick, (no I don't blame him and if I could go back and do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing) but still, I feel so cheated out of being a normal kid. I couldn't even do a shot with him on my 21st birthday because he had liver cancer and didn't want to do anything to mess up his treatment. And now after I was robbed of doing fun things with my dad when he was here I'm now robbed of everything I would want to do with him in the future. I'm planning my wedding for next summer and he isn't going to be here and that kills me.

It's not only missing him that hurts me. My mom is really struggling and doesn't want to let go of him. She refuses to be happy and would rather hold onto the pain of missing him rather than moving forward. I get so incredibly mad when she starts randomly crying because she misses him. She sits there and tells me she "has nothing left to live for" and "doesn't want to be alive anymore" and it just absolutely kills me to hear her say those things because my brother and I are still here for her and she has tons to live for. It makes me mad that she can't be strong and be there for her kids, I'm hurting too but I can't tell her about it because she is too wrapped up in her own misery.

And then there's my brother. He is older than me and doesn't live at home (although he doesn't live far away). He was never really around while my dad was sick, I took my dad to almost every chemo appointment, which as far as I can figure my dad and I went to at least 40 appointments together. My brother never went to one. While I sat at home watching my dad get sicker and sicker, watching him lay on the couch shaking in pain, had him cry on my shoulder telling me he is so sorry he got cancer (even when he did NOTHING wrong to cause the cancer) my brother was never there. He was always off partying with his friends. I used to have to beg him to come mow the lawn when I had to work, and half the time he'd say "dad can do it" when my dad couldn't even walk down stairs. I was out of town the week leading up to mother's day and I asked him to buy flowers and a gift card for my dad to give to my mom on mother's day. I came back into town the night before and asked if he'd gotten the stuff and he said no, he'd been "too busy out with his friends" to get anything. Then, my dad who'd been having memory problems, finally realized it was the night before mother's day and walked up to me and started crying and calling himself a dumbass because he had no gift to give to my mom. It was terrible and my brother didn't care. Now that my dad is gone, my brother acts like he is king of the house and comes home and tells me what I should do. It's not like I didn't take care of every aspect of the household while my dad was sick, no thanks to my brother, and now he thinks he can tell me what to do?! I resent him so much. I hate that he put his friends and partying before our family and now he's trying to act like he is a saint.

Sorry for the long post, I just hope someone else understands where I'm coming from. It would be nice to know I'm not alone

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Melissa, You are definitely not alone. No matter how long our fathers live or how old we are, it is absolutely horrible when they pass. I guess everyone feels cheated in some way and for some reason. I try to concentrate what my father and I shared and not what we didn't get to do. It helps me. Your mother will have to process and deal with her loss in her own way. She may not be ready to deal, and your brother will have to figure it all out. Have you tried any kind of professional help or a self help group? They may be able to help guide you as to how to deal with all the emotions you are experiencing. You can talk it all out here--we will be here for you. ModKonnie

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Melissa, I, too, am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you and your Dad had a very special bond. I can perhaps understand some of what you're going through. When my Dad got too sick to care for himself I brought him to live with my family because my mom refused to care for him. I live 600 miles from the town where I grew up and in the 2 1/2 years I had with him I never received help or emotional support from my mom, sister or brother. They were either too busy or couldn't deal with the sadness of dad's declining health. He passed away last November. Now, like you, my brother is suddenly in charge and always proclaiming that he's fulfilling Dad's wishes. It has been difficult for me and very lonely. I try really hard to hang onto the relationship I had with Dad and what I truly believe was the gift of the time we had at the end of his life. To do this I have had to limit my contact with my brother and the rest. While they will need to live with the (hurtful) decisions they made, I try to be grateful for the time dad and I had and hope that I was able to give him some measure of comfort, peace and love at the end of his remarkable life. I hope you can find strength in the same (and tell your brother to piss off). Please take care of you.

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Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss. Your brother was acting from a place of denial. It's not that he didn't care. He cared a lot but his denial of the situation is why he behaved as he did. It's not easy to understand. Some people just cannot feel those intense feelings and will do anything to stop the pain from even starting. The trouble with denial is it isn't a conscious thought or action.

You are an amazing person to have done what you did for your father. Know that you did everything you possibly could for him to the best of your ability. This will help if you ever feel guilty. Your brother will most likely feel a lot of guilt which will tear him apart even if he doesn't show it. A lot of people could not do what you have done. I truly, truly admire you for going through such pain yet being strong enough to care for your father, physically, emotionally and mentally.

With regards to your mum, it hurts so much for you to hear her grief but everyone's grief is different. It will pass and she will not always feel like that. I remember a few weeks ago I had a meltdown and told a couple of loved ones I wanted out, I felt so alone with my pain and abandoned. Despite all the friends and family I have, for that moment, all that didn't compute. I don't want to end it neither does your mum. It's just a way of displaying how much pain one is in sometimes. You seem like the rock here. I hope there is someone to comfort you in your time of need, I hope that you can seek solace in the forums or from trusted friends. It's really important that you have someone there for you.

Your relationship to your Dad was/is different to your Mum's and your Brother's. Everyone mourns differently. 2 months is not long to come to terms with a loss. I am only just beginning to mourn my Dad and it's took 5 months. Be patient with yourself and take time out from family for a short while as you sound like you need some support which isn't available to you from your mum and brother at the moment.

I'm sending cuddles. love and respect to you. Come here whenever you need to. It has helped me so much. x

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My heart goes out to you Melissa. I just lost my Mother in April, and she was my world. I know EXACTLY how you feel. We lost her to a disease and I had to watch her deteriorate in front of my eyes. My father is a wreck and has expressed the same thoughts as your mother. It's a tough situation for anyone to have to deal with.

Keep the memory of your father alive and well. He instilled an example in you for you to live your life. If and when you have children, you can pass that on to them and keep him very much alive in your life.

You are not alone. I am with you in how you feel.

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I understand, I could never understand completely but I had many of the same feelings as you when my dad passed away last year. He got cancer when I was 18 and battled it for 4 years, so for 4 years I could rarely go out and be 'normal' not because I couldn't but because I would rather spend the time with my dad. But looking back I felt like I was 'cheated' out of a normal college experience.

Your brother probably has a lot of guilt and doesn't know how to handle it so and wasn't prepared to deal with your fathers illness. At least that is what everyone tells me about my brother. I am a firm believe in he is an insensitive ass and made every excuse in the book to only care about himself and not father when our dad needed him most. I have a lot of anger towards my brother and I don't know if it will ever go away.

But just be grateful for your actions because you acted like an adult when it mattered the most and if e wants to put on a show at this point it is only for himself because you know the truth.

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i'm so sorry for your loss melissa. you're going through a lot right now. I agree that it must be hard to deal with your mom and brother right now, but you have to think that maybe as far as your brother goes, he thinks he's helping the situation. Maybe try telling him how you feel and that you're there for him, if he ever wants to talk about your dad. As for your mom, everyone deals with grief differently. Just being there for her and trying to understand would probably be best. i'm sure she loves you and your bro very much, and in time she'll realize that you two are her reason to live and keep going. I found this website that has a lot of helpful tools to understand grief. you and your family should give it a look.

http://www.bobbittchapel.com/grief-and-healing/

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