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Losing my dad soon and needing support

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by Sapphire, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Sapphire

    Sapphire Member

    Hi Afterlife friends,

    It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I've returned often for perspective and guidance. A dear friend from this board has been very supportive of my journey.

    For the past couple of years, I had been caring for my father as he gradually declined due to prostate cancer and Alzheimer's. His clinical depression also complicated things. The short version is that it's been extremely emotionally challenging, staying on top of the tasks of overseeing his medical and financial affairs, not to mention his daily needs. He lived with us for 13 years.

    My dad has always been such a strong person, an example to all. He was a tireless caregiver for my mom, and after he lost her to metastatic breast cancer in 1986, he was somehow able to go on and rebuild his life. Theirs was a great love, and it showed me what marriage is truly about.

    Dad has been under inpatient care of the VA since the end of July, and has now moved on to hospice.

    Each time my husband and I have visited, his condition worsened, as expected. This once brilliant storyteller is now unable to communicate, gesturing instead ... silenced by Alzheimer's and crippled by cancer. I can't understand what he's trying to say. My heart has been breaking for months, but it's been especially difficult in the past couple of weeks, witnessing the decline and knowing what's coming.

    His doctor has maintained that he could pass on at any time. Dad is hanging in there for some reason. I have said all that needs to be said, so when I do sit with him, I just provide a presence, make him cozy and stroke his hair and speak softly. I make sure Mom's nursing portrait is close by and visible to him, as well as the photo of him cradling me as a baby. I hold the hands of a Daddy that once cared for me, and worked so hard to provide for our family.

    Now it appears that the end of his 88 years here is near. His work is done. But my grief is just beginning, growing since he was first hospitalized.

    Dad is a man of great faith; he often spoke of being together again with Mom, his brother, parents, etc. in Heaven, and that we will all be reunited again some day. I have always reinforced that belief, and we spoke of what we think Heaven will be like. Dad always thanked God every day for a good life, his talents and accomplishments. I have asked him several times to please send me signs from Heaven, as my mom has.

    I know that the pain of losing him is part of being human. I'm trying to approach this in a spiritual sense, and I do OK with that for a while, then at home I see all the empty spaces ... his things, visions of his being there, and interacting with us in good times (and later, in turmoil). My phone will never again light up with his handsome Army photo, as it used to when he called me. Now he cannot even pick up the phone by his bed. He will soon be with my mom again, and I will be grateful for that ... but it hurts so much.

    Mikey's words and the contributions of everyone here have helped me a great deal. I'm still struggling, though, and I know I'm just going to have to get through it. Thank you for reading.
  2. Flossie

    Flossie Member

    Hi Sapphire

    I am so sorry to hear you are losing your dad and I wish I could say something to take your pain away but I'm afraid I can't. I can only empathise with you as my dad, although coping ok at the moment is suffering prostrate cancer which has spread and his treatment has stopped working. The new one has affected his breathing so I think he will be taken of it tomorrow and I am worried there won't be anything suitable for him to try. He seems to be going down hill quite quickly so I dread to be going through what you are now.

    I also lost my mum last November and it was a rough time which seemed to go on and on, similar to how you explained above.

    Mum said she saw her mum and dad and family who had passed waiting for her during the weeks up till she passed, which was a great comfort. That helped enormously but even when we believe in the afterlife it is still so, so sad for us left behind. It is so hard to lose their physical presence.
    I wish you great strength and comfort at this difficult time and my heart really does go out to you.

    Sending big hugs too ((((HUGS))))
  3. Flossie,

    Condolences. It's so tough. And it's different for everyone.

    Hopefully, reading about the afterlife will make it a little easier, but I still long for the physical in the flesh contact.

  4. Sapphire

    Sapphire Member

    Thank you so much, Flossie. I can really understand your pain, as well.

    I have been grieving for quite some time now, in anticipation. Though we have a strong spiritual perspective, we know the physical loss is going to require so much strength of us. The thought that our remaining parent will soon be gone (from the physical realm, and therefore, from "us") is mind-boggling. The feeling of impending separation (no matter the joy and healing we know exists on the Other Side) is sometimes too much for me to bear.

    I was sitting next to Dad on his bed on Saturday night, and at times he looked up at various places toward the ceiling, and at times he glanced down at my husband, who was sitting on a chair on the other side of the bed. I asked Dad, "Who is it? Do you see anyone?" Dad could not reply, unfortunately. His ability to speak had already been compromised by his illnesses. I'd like to think he might have been seeing our loved ones who have passed, my Mom in particular.

    Please know I'm also sending you hugs, Flossie, and thinking of you on your own journey with your dad.
  5. marmaladecat

    marmaladecat Member


    My deepest condolences in this difficult time

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