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It was a year ago today that my dad died yet it feels like it was today. I can still hear the phone ring and my sister saying "I think dad just died". She was on the phone talking to him when she heard him say his last words describing a flower arangement that she had sent. "There beautiful"  and that was when he died. Called my mom and she said that he had passed and to come as soon as I could. When I got there it was as if I was living a nightmare. Nothing seemed real.
My dad lived a full and happy life and today I am trying my best to honor his memory by remembering all the wonderfull moments and good times we had. He was my best friend. The worst thing is that all too often I keep replaying the whole scene over and over in mind. The outcome will never change and we all know that the last year for him was nothing but suffering. He always thought he would beat the cancer. So I ask -- have you had this happen to you? How do you deal with it? Thank you for letting me vent. JLT

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billie jo

jlt, i'm sorry for what you are going through right now. the first year anniversary is very hard. i just went through it. my mom passed a year ago jan. and my dad passed on the same day eight years earlier. dad died of cancer, mom of pulmonary fibrosis [we found  out the day before she passed that she had cancer throughout her body.] the anniversay of their passing was one i dreaded all year. it WAS like it had just happened. i was as sad then as i had been the day they passed. so many memories, good and bad, the happiness, the sickenss, the pain. we got all the sibs together and named it our annual mom and dad day [MAD DAY]. we used the get together to laugh, share memories, we shed a few tears, sorted through all of the pictures and divided them between us. when i am alone i still break into tears at the oddest times. there are still times i will pick up the phone to share some exciting news with mom, only to be stopped short when it hits me that she is not there. i look at my son and know how proud they both were of him and they will not see him graduate this year. they will not see their first grandchild go to college. yes, i think i will cry for a long time to come, when there is a milestone in the family, when something is just so funny, [our family liked to laugh] and for just no reason! sometimes i think i will get used to it but there is a hole that others just won't be able to fill. your dad was your best friend. he was also your dad. that's a combination no one will be able to replace. it's ok to be sad and to still grieve. our parents suffered with some very unforgiving illnesses and although it is good that their suffering has ended the loss to us is great. follow your heart, if it needs to grieve then to with it. remember the good times though and treasure them forever. those memories will open your heart to healing. they are our legacy. i'm sorry if this is rambling or if it turned into a ME reply, but i just want you to know that grieving is the rotten consequence we pay for loving. take care and follow your heart. it does get better but it will never be gone. it is a part of our lives, a part of us and we can't just erase it.

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sam
My dad passed away nine and a half years ago and I am still lonely as he was my best friend as well, he passed away from melanoma cancer and it was the hardest thing that I ever had to do, but the way that I have gotten thru these years is too remember the good times and I believe that he is over me protecting me as my own angel.

I go to his grave alot to put flowers on his sight and I will set there and talk to him which is a big help.

Good luck, I wish I could give you a big HUG.
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Kristen D
Was there any thing special you and your father both like doing.  On days like today and birthdays - try to do one of them.

My best friend goes purse shopping on her late mothers birthday and then thinks of her when she looks at it.

My thoughts are with you
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rosie
JLT - sorry for your grief, but you have some lovely memories of your dad, hold on to them. I so wish my dad was able to be the loving normal dad I would have liked, and I envy what you had with yours.
I do have fond memories of my mother who passed away in 1991 of cancer. I don't think of the last weeks, I think of the good times we had - I particularly remember the time I took her on a four week bus trip, and while we were in the Snowy Mountains(New South Wales, Aust) it started to snow - well, we come from the sub-tropics. I had been overseas and seen snow before, but Mum hadn't - the driver stopped the coach and we all got out and threw snowballs - Mum was so excited, I had to grab onto her so she wouldn't fall over!
That's the kind of memory I am talking about.
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Rachel
Yes, JLT, "my" first anniversary is coming up, and I haven't yet decided how I'll spend it or how I'll get through the day.  But when you told your story, I thought how wonderful that your sister had sent Dad flowers, letting him know she was thinking of him, and his last thoughts were of her, and his appreciation of family. 
 
The fact that it hurts so much means that they were very successful parents, and that would make them proud and happy - in the same way that somehow going on without them would.  But all the happy memories and kind words don't seem to make it hurt less.  We should probably all buy stock in Kleenex! 
 
Thanks for sharing.  
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Thank you for your heartfelt messages. I am a 53 year old man and I am at work as I read the replys--couldn't hold back the tears. Your responses touched my heart. My mother had spent the last 4 months staying with my sisters family in Texas and insisted on being home by March 1st. She lives a hour+ away from me so I called last night and talked to her. We talked about how much we missed him and know that he is in a better place no longer suffering. Just doesn't seem to stop the pain though. Mom said it was the longest day and she wished it was over. Said she tried to do things to keep her mind off it but it was of no use. I called my sister and talked with her. She said it was hard to get through the day and that she cleaned her floors--there the cleanest in Texas now!! I feel for her especialy as she watched our grandpa drop dead in front of her eyes when she was very young and to hear our father say his last words is more than I can imagine but she is the stronger of us two. Going to see mom this weekend and when I walk into that house it just crushes me as I can still see him lying on the floor. Thank you for all your kind words and HUGS to all. JLT

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rosie

JLT - So nice to see a post from a man, with a tender heart. Here's a bouquet for you, all the best!!

 

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'daughter'
aww, JLT, just sending you some big hugs. It sounds like you need them.

My husband can probably relate -- his father died in 1989. My husband was on the phone with him, just having a normal conversation. His father hung up, then started feeling badly. 15 minutes later he was being rushed to the hospital, with a massive stomach aneurysm. He died. So my husband was the last person he talked to. I'm sure it still affects him to this day. I know it does, because he always says 'this is the day my father died.'

It breaks the heart. Hang in there..... you may never fully get over it, but time will help lessen the hurt. It just takes time.

'daughter'(beth)
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JLT

Thanks for the flowers and hugs. Some would say it's not manly to express yourself in a honest and open way. The stress of dealing with his death and trying to help out my mother nearly ended a 13 year relationship with my partner. She said that she couldn't deal with all the drama and thought that I should have "got over it". As she has never had a loss like this, she has not felt the grief that I have. We are trying to rebuild our relationship but it has been damaged and I am having a hard time trusting again. Sorry to get off track. Thank you all JLT

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M
JLT, I know exactly what you mean by replaying the event over and over in your head. After my Mother passed almost 5 years ago now, I kept seeing her final moments in my memory.  I was the only one with her when she passed.  My Father had stood vigil by her bedside the entire time she was in the hospital, suffering her second bout with cancer.

My Father, brother and my Mom's best friend were all there with her. They all left to get lunch at the Cafeteria. The were gone maybe 90 seconds when she went in to her decline.  I was terrified, it was horrible to be there but I would hate to not be there.

I always wonder why she went when only I was there. Maybe she did not want my Father to be there, because it would be too hard. But it was hard on me. Her final moments are burned into my memory.

I went through the same experience with my Grandmother two weeks ago and it brought back all the old memories. I really believe that it can be a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It will get a little better over time but you will never be the same again. Hang in there.

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JLT
M
Heart goes out to you. I visited my dad in the hospital in the morning. Docotr said to me that "your dad is dying and it could be two weeks or two months but as mortals we have done all we can" My mom and I talked to dad and asked if he wanted to go home or to a nursing home. He said "home". So mom aranged for hospice services to come to the house. He was dscharged at 1 pm and I had returned to work. Before I left I even had laughing!! One of the nurses gave me a hug before I left and dad LEPT out of the bed and said "I don't want to be left out" and gave the nurse a hug too!! He never lost his spirint and I so wish I could find what he had. JLT
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Knon

JLT-I'm so sorry for your loss and so sorry that your partner is not more understanding.  It seems double tragic for you to not have the moral support. I have never suffered such a loss and didn't have a family member die until my maternal grandmother when I was 36.  My husbands father died in 1983 and December 16 my MIL passed. In my husbands eyes she was holier than the Virgin Mary.  He cries every day on his way to work and at night when he's sleeping.  He says it hurts so bad and he doesn't know what to do or how to act.  The only thing I can do for him is to try and be patient when his anger gets the best of him and try to understand where his heart is.  I was with his mom when she passed and I think she knew I was probably the only one that could handle it and she made sure her boys weren't there.  She told someone that my husband loved her too much (she still made his lunch every day for work for the last 18 years) and he wasn't gonna deal well.  She was right.  


I hope for you that your partner finds it in her heart to understand your grief and be patient with you.  I don't think what you're going through is "drama," it's life.  People die, and your dad died.  You don't just "get over it."  Take things one day at a time and things will work out, with or without her.


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billie jo

JLT, i need you to look in the mirror. you will see your dad there. you will see him in your sister when you look at her or talk to her. you will see him survive in you. he may be gone physically and it is so hard to feel the empty space that was filled with him. but remember, the greatest part of hm was left behind to carry on for him, through you. what made him such a good friend and dad is also a part of what formed that wonderful and sensitive person that who you are. please remember him through your actions and by living. i hope you can make things right in your relationship. i hardly think your dad would like you to carry this grief so heavily it effects your relationship with a significant other. there is no time line on pain but there comes a time to face the joys life still offers. i think most any of our loved ones would want happiness to be our legacy. perhaps a grief support group in your area may be beneficial to you. we are here and care very much. we will listen anytime. it really does get better. there is an unlimited ability for love in a person, you can move on and love without forgetting the love you have for your dad. he is going to walk every step with you. god bless you and please keep talking to us. we care. i always wish i were better with words so i could get across what i mean. i miss my mom and dad so much but they are with me everyday. so is yours. all of our loved ones are here with us. always. they live through us and our children.  

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ID
JLT, it's been barely a month since mom passed and I was right there with her in the ICU and I continue to have it all pop into my head from time to time.

Not quite sure if I'm looking forward to it still happening in a year
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