Bereaved family and friends

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

Dealing with expected death

Titch08
Posted by

Hi, hoping someone may help who’s been through similar. Two years ago my dad was diagnosed with aortic dissection of the heart, kidney failure and bone cancer. Prior to this he already had kidney and a rare blood disease. We were told at the time as he was a complex case they didn’t know how much time he had left and was let home to enjoy his remaining time. During those two years he stayed strong to meet my son one of his main wishes and he battled as hard as he could not baring to part with us. We were extremely close family and still are. It was like living on a knife edge thinking every time could be the last. By Easter this year he had deteriorated and caught an infection ending up in hospital for three weeks where tests confirmed his kidneys were on their final stages and the dissection has reached his neck. He came home and passed away two weeks later at 68. We were all with him when he died but it was still a massive shock. 8 weeks later and I don’t know how I feel bad overwhelmed and so desperate to hear his voice. We were told to get counselling as it had been so long which I’m in the process of waiting for but I don’t feel I can chat much to my family we all seem in different stages. Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Thank you

DaveyBo
Posted by

Hi

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dad.  It doesn't matter how long the process lasts, when someone passes it is extremely painful.  Everyone grieves differently and at different speeds - there is no right or wrong way of grieving.  This is why your family are all at different stages and it is hard to talk to them.

Do you have a really close friend you could talk to and will totally understand if you get tearful or angry?  Do you work?  If so, ask if your HR can offer a listening ear or maybe they could arrange something for you.

You could visit one of your dad's favourite places alone and sit quietly talking to him - open yourself up to any response.  He will find a way to show that he is near such as a bird coming extremely close to you.  While talking to him just let all your emotions flow and tell how you feel.  Your dad will always be around you and will try to guide and support you as best he can.  If you find it difficult talking to people, try sitting somewhere quiet and write down all your emotions and try - not too deeply though - figure out why you feel certain emotions ie anger at person A but not person B.  You could also write down as many memories as you have, both happy and sad, of your dad and the stories he told about his childhood - what games did he play? what music did he like?  Not only will this process help with your grieving but will be a lovely record of things for your little boy.

Please contact the support line free on 0808 808 0000 which is open daily 8 am – 8 pm 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.

There is some useful information on coping with grief and information on the symptoms of grief.

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.

Hope this helps and sending you a big hug.

David

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Titch08
Posted by

Thank you very much for your reply. I am very lucky I have supportive friends who have been great practically but I get the feeling none really want to sit and chat I’ve had some people avoid me for ages now as my husband says being through it himself they just don’t know what to say. We are scattering his ashes next week and we’ve been fortunate to place a bench at one of his favourite spots so will have that to go to. 

DaveyBo
Posted by

Your husband is right about your friends - it is hard to know what to say and do until you have been through it.  As I mentioned previously, I think your really true friends will be the ones that give you the emotional support.  It's good that you have the seat to go to - visit it on your own and quietly talk to your dad and he will try to find a way to respond to let you know he is okay.

Don't forget that you can ring the support line or post here whenever you want and someone will always be there to support you.

Hope this helps and sending you a big hug.

David

What is a Community Champion?