Bereaved family and friends

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

How do I carry on...

Posted by

So mine's a long story but I'll do my best to cut it short...August last year I lost my dad to sclc after a 16 month battle. I am his only child, but he brought his partners children up for 35 years, and just 6 months prior to his death his partner decided to marry him (in order for her to continue a claim for industrial disease, due to him working for many years with asbestos).

I have spent all my 44 years having a close bond with my dad, even though we might not have seen each other every single week, we still kept in touch by phone or text. From diagnosis to the very end I was by my dad's side, taking him to all his appointments, spending his final 3 weeks at the hospital and hospice with him, day and night, I couldn't bear to leave him.

Anyway, my dad lost his brave battle at the end of August last year, and from the very day he died his partner decided to cut me out of everything. Her and her family put me through 3 weeks of hell prior to and including his funeral, they were adamant I wasn't having a song played from me to my dad, they never let me see him in the chapel of rest, and I have never been told what clothes he was dressed in for his funeral. Admittedly I finally lost it regarding my song choice, and it did get played as the final piece of music, though they all chose to walk out of the service as it played, to me it just proved how disrespectful they really are. They made the service all about them, and barely mentioned me, my children, grandchild, nanna (my dad's 94 yr old mum, who is still with us) or his siblings.

So since the day of his funeral I have had no contact with any of them, and I have no idea what his now wife has done with my dad's ashes. I have sent texts and an email to see if he has been given a final resting place but am being ignored. I really feel like I can't move on and get over his passing without having somewhere to visit him...What am i supposed to do now?...

Lesley x

Posted by

Hi Lesley

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dad.  You can take great comfort from being for him through his illness.    The family may have cut you out but it was you who was there for your dad not them and this would mean more to him.  Your dad will always be around you and will try to support and guide you as best he can.

It is sad that people behave this way and I'm not sure what steps you could take.  Maybe they feel bitter that you did everything and this is how they want to get back at you.  Maybe it is their way of grieving - we all do it differently and at our own pace.  Maybe you could try visiting them with another family member or a close friend who can act as an intermediary and explain to them how you feel and that you need this closure.  Did your dad leave instructions in his will as to where his ashes were to be placed?  If so, maybe you could contact the executor of the will or the solicitor who drew it up if not the same person and they could advise you on the location of his ashes.

You could visit one of your dad's favourite places on your own, sit and quietly talk to him and let the peaceful feeling come over you.  Be watchful for any signs that he is nearby listening such as a bird coming very close by - especially one of his favourite birds.

Please contact the support line on 0800 0808 000 which is open daily 9:00 – 8:00 for a free confidential chat. You can use this link your area to find support near where you live. This could be 1-2-1 or group and is also free and confidential. Also, post as much as you want whenever you want here and someone will always respond to you.  They can advise on your legal rights regarding whether the family have to tell you or not.

This link allows you to download the Macmillan book Coping with Bereavement which is full of useful information and has support contact details at the back. This booklet about bereavement is free and can be downloaded as PDF or as an ebook.

This link takes you to a leaflet called In Memory which is very useful.

Lastly, here are some words which I hope will bring you some comfort -

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.

Put no difference into your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost in it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around

the corner .......

All is well.

Posted by

Thank you for taking the time to reply David. My dad never left any instructions on what was to happen to his ashes, he never made any will either, not that I care about anything he may or may not have left behind, all I need is to have a place to go to feel close to him. I know I done everything possible to make him as comfortable as I possibly could in his last few weeks, but when you have been there till the end and watched your parent taking their last breaths it's the last picture that's etched in my mind, so I can't feel any peace at all at the moment.

Lesley x

Posted by

Hi Lesley

The picture you have now will ease with time.  If your dad had a favourite place such as the beach or local park, go there and sit quietly thinking of all the happy times you had.  Talk to him and let what ever feelings come over you happen.  Think what your dad would want you to do and try to do it.  Try writing down as many memories that you can - both happy and sad - it is a way to release your feelings and helps to see things in perspective.  As mentioned, please ring the support line who can offer better advice on your situation.