Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Help for my dad...

Posted by

Hi everyone,

My mum passed away just over 4 weeks ago after a long battle with cancer. I am living abroad, and it was both my parents wishes for me to return back to the life I had built there. I spent 3 and a half weeks at home supporting my mum throughout her final weeks, and additional 3 to grieve, support my dad and help with everything that follows a death. 

I've been back in Germany for 2 weeks now, but I am worrying for my dad. He's 59 and retired in March. We talk everyday and he seems to be coping from the what I can tell on the phone, I will see him next in mid-July. However he's very bored and talking about finding a new job, I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do so soon. 

I keep looking for articles online, but most seem to be geared towards women who have lost their husbands. I was wondering if any men have any advice I can pass to him? Or any ideas of things to keep him occupied without going back to work? He's meeting friends two or three times a week, but everyone wants to take him to the pub, which is nice but I'd like him to have non-alcohol related activities. 



Posted by

Hi LittleWolf,
I am so sorry to hear about your mum. It sounds like you were able to help out at the most important times and I hope you are able to take some comfort from that. As a mum myself, I can understand your parents' wish for you to return to your life. They are right.

Advice. I'm not a man and I have not been in this position - so I realise that this may not be what you were looking for and I hope in replying I can kickstart the discussion. Boredom is a menace - they do say that the devil makes work for idle hands.

I think volunteering can be a really great support. It gives us a meaning in life and can be a way to make sense of what has happened to us. Macmillan is a great organisation to volunteer for - just last night I was at a Volunteer Week celebration where about 80 volunteers enjoyed a lovely evening with food and a quiz and lots of laughs. We have all been affected by cancer in one way or another. There are lots of volunteering roles, from one-to-one support for people who are struggling at home (so visiting and doing the jobs they can't manage), fund raising, reviewing the many of them. If your dad is interested, he can click on the Get Involved tab at the top of this page to find out more. 

I am not retired myself but I know lots of people who are and who swear by the U3A - University of the Third Age. It's a national organisation with locally run branches and where I live, at least, organises things from science lectures through to table tennis and everything in between. Click on the highlighted text to go to their web page and search by postcode. 

Your dad could also look at what's available for older people in the local leisure centres and private health clubs. Many nowadays run over 50s sessions or walking football or have low-cost membership schemes. 

That's just some thoughts. Wishing you both well