An adult daughter’s experience of losing her father to cancer.
Death. We all know that everything that lives will die one day, but what about when that day comes for a parent? We hear over and over again that the worst pain a person can feel is experiencing the death of their child, but I have to say that that is not the only death that cuts to the soul. The loss of a beloved parent is just as excruciating.
I had always adored my Dad and the both of us were not just Father and daughter but very good friends as well. He loved me unconditonally and he always had my back any time things went wrong or I was concerned about something or I needed help. I knew when it came right down to it, he would be there for me no mattter what and always.
A child thinks that their parents will live forever and as an adult, you know that death is a part of life that we all must face, but still, when it comes to a parent you share a deep love with, you want them in your life as long as possible.
I had always thought of my Dad as invincible and even though I am in my forties and my Father was in his early eighties and I knew that he was getting older and the time would be coming, I wanted him around for a few more years yet. Then this spring the devastating news of Stage 4 lung cancer was given to him. I was in shock. The cancer was all through his body by the time it was found and less then two months later, he was dead.
Even though he and I had five weeks with this diagnosis and our feelings and pain over what a devastating thing this was that had steamrolled into our lives and torn it apart, I am still devastated seven months later after his passing.
We had so many wonderful memories between the two of us, so many happy wonderful times, and yet all I can remember is the picture in my mind of my father laying dead in the hospital bed with the sheet pulled up to his chin, his eyes shut and his mouth open and the light from the overhead bed light shining down on his face. This is the picture of my Father out of all the ones I have, that I see in my mind everytime I think of him.
Even though I am an independent woman and I don’t need a parent to look after my needs anymore, in fact I was my Father’s caregiver for the last excruciating, painful month of his life as the cancer ravaged his body, I am still left with a gaping wound in my heart and soul that has changed me and will stay with me for the rest of my life. Yes I will go on and I am taking life one step and one day at a time as I work through the grief process, but the death of my Father has changed me. I am no longer the woman I was a year ago. My Mother passed away over five years ago and with my Father’s death, I am now officially an orphan. I am now truly independent.
I am single, so I have no spouse to lean on and I am truly on my own. It is a frightening feeling knowing that now whatever life throws at me, I must handle completely on my own. Yes I have other family and some close friends but they do not have that love and support that a parent gives you all throughout their lives. No matter how old we are, or how old our parents are, when you lose a parent, especially if you had a loving strong relationship with each other, it is devastating event. To my Dad wherever he is, Dad, I love you, I pray that you are alright now, and if there is a Heaven, I pray that when my time comes, we will be together again. I love you.