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My Dad has died. I'm really struggling.

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by celticstar, May 3, 2015.

  1. celticstar

    celticstar New Member

    Firstly I want to say hello...I have read here quietly for the past 6-8 months now and found it the one place I could read objectively without wild veers to one extreme or the other. It resonated with me for some reason and I like it here.

    I debated on posting or not but I am really struggling and internally screaming . My Father passed away 8 days ago. I got the call I didn't want yet I knew was inevitable. He had been battling colon cancer for four and a half years . The specialists had given him two months back in 2012 to live yet he defied the odds and I believe it was his spirit and indomitable will to remain with us longer. That extra time with him is not something I will ever take for granted.

    He lived an hours plane journey from me and a further 2 hours drive after that so I wasn't able to be with him daily ( and I feel tremendous guilt at not being there yet feeling relief at not seeing what cancer was doing to him each day and isn't that terrible yet I am being honest here).
    I spoke to him last 5 days before he went and I am having an incredibly hard time coming to terms with the fact I couldn't get there in time to hold his hand and be with him as he passed.

    He was surrounded by his brothers and sisters who tell me he had no pain...the breathing went shallow, then picked up then down again. One final big breath and that was it. My Dad went. He was my only immediate family ( a lot of other reasons into that but thats another story ) suffice to say since I was old enough to be aware he has been the closest person to me . I look up to him, he was and he is my hero. I could write so much on a man who was quiet, wickedly funny and whom really was a love him or loathe him character. He was very honest but oh he had the very kindest of hearts. He would give you his last pennies if he felt you needed it . And not once through this has he ever complained about the cancer . He was diagnosed at 56 , passed at 60.

    They tell me he passed and a smile was on his face. He had such peace on his face they said... I got there later that day (Irish wake) and sat with him . He looked so serene . The last words we said to each other on the phone were ' I love you ' and I am clinging onto that.

    We were raised Roman Catholics but both my Dad and myself out of the family had moved away from the doctrine and dogma of the religion. Dad was famous for saying ' formal religion isn't for me...I believe in God and in Jesus but I do not believe what the church feeds us ' and over the past 10 years I have felt the same. Now its been a slow journey don't get me wrong. My Dad always said he had something inside him tell him that you do the best you can and hurt nobody, learn from experience and what will be will be.

    I don't know what it is but the past 8-12 months has seen me search out everything I could to learn more about what really lies out there and ahead. Is it my mind preparing itself for what was ahead or what I don't know but I have been and am on a journey where its caused some family to walk away.I am alone bar my Dad's immediate sisters and brothers and my husband and children. I am luckier than most I know. But I cannot say I believe in something to please others. I did that for too long. No more.

    I am dreaming of Dad...the past couple of nights he has been in them , my Grandfather next to him. They are stood by a lake . I don't where this lake is but they are smiling . I wake up so happy, filled with joy . Then reality hits me like a brick.

    If I could express how I feel ...I feel like I am drowning , like my insides are being ripped apart. The pain I have never felt anything like it. I am constantly looking for articles, reading different accounts of the afterlife and read Swedenborg a few months ago. If this is the utopia that seems to be suggested by more and more people I am so excited relieved and willing will all I have my Dad is there and free from pain. I cannot stand to think I will never see hi again . I long to have a hug from him and hear his voice . I'd give everything I own for that moment once more.

    I am rambling . I am sorry. I have nobody to talk to and I feel like I am crumbling inside and can't shake the fear in me . I am so so scared of not having him with me ever again.

    Thank you for reading.
  2. celticstar

    celticstar New Member

    Thank you Annabanana87 for your reply. I will take a look for your posts and read them . You describe it so well...it is like losing the foundation and stumbling. Life changed..the person who has been in your life alongside you since your entry into the world is no longer in it with you and your mind either can't process it or is protecting itself because to think too deeply right now on it would send further into a tail spin. I have had to run outside a few times to scream and punch walls in fury. I am what family joke as the ultimate laid back mellow character. Right now I feel like I could go ten rounds and then ten more with what is churning inside me. I don't blame anyone don't get me wrong..the hospital, hospice when he had rest there and everyone were brilliant. I don't believe in holding onto anger and wishing ill on some who hurt him but I am so full of emotions across the spectrum right now. My youngest son asks me if he talks to him will he answer him.
    My heart breaks for him and at the age of five he has no barriers, he asks and talks about him all the time which I want him to but unsure how to broach these things with him.

    I'm at the stage where I want to run away , anywhere with my little ones and away from constant memories or visit old places we used to go together and hope like crazy I can soak him up, his essence there. Everyone is telling me he is with me everywhere I go. I sat in his funeral the start of last week and listened to the Priest admit he wouldn't want a full on sermon so wouldn't but proceeded to say we needed to pray for him to ensure when he awakens on the judgement day etc then he will be saved.
    However everything inside me was screaming he is here watching all this...he isn't sleeping. He is with his parents and others now on the other side and happy .

    To turn my back on all that was drilled into me as a child (and they really put the fear of God into you for want of a better word) was huge but everything is telling me no God or light of love or whatever word you want to use would ever judge anyone ,nor do I feel its the set up that is in the book. I believe the book has been misunderstood in ways. I don't know..maybe clutching at straws but I have an unshakeable feeling (or wish/hope/desperation ?) that is he is near yet we can't see. Its what right now is keeping me sane.

    Thanks for your words :))x
  3. janef

    janef Moderator

    Welcome celticstar, sorry you are struggling so with your loss. Have you read Roberta's book, "The Fun of Dying"? it is so uplifting, it really has changed my view of death. My Mom and Dad passed recently. Believing now that they are still with me and I can communicate with them, they are just in the 'spiritual dimension'. They are so happy and I am happy for them to finally leave this earth for an eternity of bliss. Keep remembering the smile on your fathers face. You WILL se him again someday.
  4. Flossie

    Flossie New Member

    Hi Celticstar
    my heart goes out to you in losing your Dad. You have said so much that I too have been feeling since my mum died last November. It is still very fresh, but I do recall feeling very like you describe back in the very early days. It does feel like part of you is being protected from what has happened and at the same time there are those moments where you want to scream out in pain and frustration. Whenever I was alone at home I would find myself shouting out, 'Where are you!' I couldn't believe that such a strong character could just not be here anymore. I couldn't accept that 'this was it'. I also had similar dreams about my mum in the early days. I have honestly come to think that this is how their spirit communicate with us. A few times I have closed my eyes in early sleep and seen my mum's face or her sitting in a chair. This does help as, for me, I feel like I have actually seen her.
    It is coming up for 6 months now and in some ways I am feeling better and in others I am not. Like Anna says, you do slowly learn to deal with it but some times it will rear its head again and feel so painful. One minute I am getting on with it feeling I am over the worst and then shortly afterwards I am desperately wanting to see and chat to my mum again. But you will get through this and find strength in your family and close friends. They will keep you going in little ways between the ups and downs.
    I understand exactly what you say about being relieved you didn't watch you dad suffering in the latter stages. The feeling of wanting to run and run away from it all. I felt like this with my mum. She lived very close by and I saw her every day. I was her carer but my dad looked after her 24/7. It was the most difficult and painful time and some days I was so angry inside. Even with my mum. And that is awful because I love her so much and she was my best friend but it was just too painful and hard on the emotions. I am forgiving myself for this because I think it is part of being human and I know my mum would have and did understand.

    I have also done all the searching before and onwards about religion and God. I was C of E growing up. No strict religion but with respect for it and for God. I now believe, like you, the bible teachings have been added to - taken away - and man has put his own spin on it to control the masses etc. I believe that a God who is all loving and forgiving would not punish people and terrify them. God is good. God is love. That is what I believe, not a said religion.
    I truly believe my mum - your dad are very close to us, but their natural habitat now is not in our earth existence. But they can see us, they know what is happening with us and will try when they are able to communicate with us. We just need to get used that this will not be in the way we are used to. The physical way. I have found this the hardest to come to terms with. But I just know that however it may seem right now they have not left us. Some days it does feel like it, but then something will happen, some thought will come to us and we know they are still there.
    Don't be hard on yourself - what you are feeling is normal - and it is very early days. You will find you find comfort in things unexpectedly and this will give you strength and comfort.

    Big hugs for you (((hugs)))
  5. celticstar

    celticstar New Member

    JaneF and Flossie, hugs to you both and my heart goes out to you on your losses.
    Jane I haven't as yet but its definitely in my plans to read it .I keep dropping off to sleep right now and I think in the coming weeks it will be something that will help am sure.

    Flossie thank you for sharing that. I am nodding reading so much. The actual not being able to see, hold,laugh ,debate or just anything I have ever been used to since day dot with him is very difficult to reconcile. I read somewhere someone arguing the theory of an afterlife and how did he know it exists. The reply back was how do you know anything exists outside of your own spirit , thoughts and everything that makes you you. I get that and it makes you address a lot.
    We know either because we experience things directly or others tell us. So in that respect I am approaching this like a new learner with everything I was not told or brought up to believe yet this feels far more 'natural ' and strikes a chord with me more than anything I was taught as a child. How can that be , who knows but it leads me to hope and cement what I have long felt...no matter who you are and where you come from in this world we all are equal and more in charge of our destiny than we tend to get told. My sibling won't hear any of this and its a no go zone as far as conversation goes and some of my family as their beliefs are so rigid .

    I feel or hope that this life is temporary time wise to what is ahead and I guess this pain is part of growing (let me tell you I do not feel like it right now and right now feel like I don't want to grow , just want him back ) but my Dad was quite ahead of his time in his thinking on what is after this life. Maybe this was partly why he was so practical or matter of fact about when he went I don't know but I do know this forum has been instrumental in holding me together and not the more 'traditional' routes one would expect these past months.
  6. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Based on your username here and your mention of the Irish wake for your Dad, I'm assuming you are Irish (or Irish-American, or Irish-something else). If so -- or even if not, I suppose -- have you considered looking into the Celtic pagan tradition? It seems more in line with your current beliefs, or the beliefs towards which you're leaning, and you might connect to it on a deeper level. Just a suggestion. ;)
  7. celticstar

    celticstar New Member

    I am Irish yes bluebird. I haven't as yet but I kind of fell into researching everything and so far am open to reading everything. I am not sure my stance on re-incarnation. To be honest the thought of repeatedly coming back here to learn leaves me cold but then that could be down to this life's experiences as its not been easy thus far at all . Aside from my Dad I have always felt an outsider looking in ..never quite fitting in and always felt something was and is to a degree missing, that click into place. But then I guess many feel this so its not unique.

    I do hold firm or am drawn to a Summerland in the afterlife, it seems very rational to me and total sense. I feel that is further growth with more to come to progress up.
    To be honest the reincarnation thought scares me as the thought of not being with my current family or those in the afterlife forever is terrifying. The connections some of them are so intense how could we just move on to another set of experiences . I think the crux is knowing we are knowing each other afterwards and the chance to be together which is the heart of where I am at.
  8. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor


    I do not like the idea of reincarnation either, and I hope that either it does not exist or, if it does, that we each have a choice whether to participate in it or not. As you said, the connections to loved ones are so intense...I do not want to exist at all, in any way, anywhere, if my husband is not always my soulmate/husband.

    I'm not sure why you are mentioning reincarnation, though. To the best of my knowledge/understanding, reincarnation is not a central tenet of Celtic paganism, though some people do believe in it (seems to be the influence of other traditions/paths, but I don't think it was originally part of Celtic paganism. I could be wrong).

    In any case, I wasn't talking about reincarnation, I meant more along the lines of viewing god as being in all nature, sometimes represented metaphorically by goddesses & gods, and viewing each person as a part of the natural world as well. Essentially a more natural, less dogmatic path. Basically it seems more in agreement with what you said your Dad believes: "....you do the best you can and hurt nobody, learn from experience and what will be will be." (Which, incidentally, is very much as my husband believes as well.)
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  9. celticstar

    celticstar New Member

    Hi Bluebird

    I admit I know very little about celtic paganism at this juncture and my immediate thoughts were reincarnating was tied into it. I need to research more into it to be able to say it resonates with me or not. I do believe in God, in Jesus and I do believe the message Jesus brought here was 'chinese whispered' for want of better term by many that his original message got lost a little in the communication . As in the Catholic church deciding to put their own spin on it and hold back aspects also. The more I embark on this journey of discovery the more it seems to me his message was exactly about no judgement but our own, no right nor wrong but love. No one religion is better than any other..they simply serve a purpose for many who need a faith to hold onto . I think the message was and is we hold so much in ourselves (yet we do not realise this ) and are all connected ..but that it will make sense on the other side. I really do not believe in any hell..in ways I think we are in it with what happens in this world and what we do to each other.

    I have read here for a while and remember you talking about your husband in other posts. If everything is as it seems to be then we will see them when its time (seems an age for us yet not for them which i can't wrap my mind around still ) .
    I hope there is choice. I truly do.

    I am about to turn 39 and feel like a new chapter was opened last year with looking into things.What sparked that I don't know but its caused some ripples of discord with some family yet feels this was meant to be and the need to keep going and learning is just increasing . Is that the mind protecting knowing that grief has to be addressed and dealt with I am not sure but the insatiable need to know there is an afterlife and our loved ones are there and will be there to recognise and be with us with no illness and no grudges/upset/sadness is so enticing I sometimes fear its desperation of wanting it to be so or we'd go mad with grief.
  10. Flossie

    Flossie New Member

    Hi everyone

    Celticstar - your thoughts are so like mine. I have been there, done that and got the tee shirt, so to speak. I have felt the desperate need to know that there is an afterlife for us and we'll meet all our loved ones again. I have read and read till I have made myself dizzy. This was well before my mum died too. I have asked myself the question am I just believing because it is what I want. It's definitely what I want. You may have read where I have said before that there was a time when I lost some belief and I decided to believe there was nothing. We live we die. That's it. But this didn't last long, because deep in the core of me I do believe. Not because it's what I want, but because it feels to be so. I can't fool myself either way but it didn't feel right to not believe, because I actually do believe, lols! That doesn't mean I don't have periods of doubt and have to remind myself of what has happened to make me believe.

    My mum used to say we are in hell here. When I was younger and didn't think about it much I didn't really understand why she would say this. I do now. It is the cruellest thing to give us people to love and then have them taken away. But when I think deeply about it I know I will see my mum again. I just know it. Yet again there are bound to be down days when it's easy to think what is the point in all this? I do get like that, but thankfully I am getting to see the feelings will pass. Life is full of ups and downs. It's certainly not easy here. But it must have a reason somehow, somewhere. I think you will find little things mean a lot as the days and weeks pass by and you will find from them that your dad is not far away at all.

    Regarding reincarnation. I hate the thought. I don't want to come back and go through all the uncertainties again. I have heard many times that reincarnation is a choice and we don't have to come back. I then wonder why I chose too lols! I hope I don't decide to choose to again!

    In respect of time - look at this aspect of when we dream. I have dreamt I have got ready and travelled on a holiday. I have been there days or weeks and the time in the dream feels no different to what it does whilst awake. Yet the dream has probably lasted only a matter of minutes. Looking at in this way is an example of how time is different yet feels the same when we are experiencing it.

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