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Struggling with the loss of my dad


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My dad passed away 5 months ago to the day from lung cancer. He was only 56 years old. He was my best friend, voice of reason and my rock. I am having such a hard time getting through this. I sometimes feel like I am the only one in the world feeling this way. I hope by connecting with people in my similar situation will not make me feel so alone. I miss my dad more than anything. I wish I could have one more moment with him.




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Hi Shelby,

I am sorry for your loss - how long did your Dad live with his cancer, if I may ask?

My Mom, my best friend, died from lung cancer when she was 57. The first year without her was very difficult. I was prescribed some anti-depressants at first since I could not concentrate at work or get through the day without crying. Back then, I did not know enough to ask for a counselor to talk with - or to tell the doctor that I had stopped taking the drug cold turkey! What helped? About a month after my Mom died, I went to a family reunion of her side of the family. I met a bunch of relatives for the first time, people who knew her from childhood. They shared stories and gave me unconditional love. It was great. I'm still in touch with some of those people today though we live on either coast.

You might look for a grief counseling group at your local hospital or health care center - some are open to people with no affiliation. Or Gilda's Clubs across the states have groups too. Your preference may be to go out under the night sky and talk to your Dad, or Randy's favorite is to buy a dozen eggs and take them out and throw them (hopefully not somewhere you will get in trouble.)

It takes time to grieve. I also had a ring made out of one of my Mom's for me as a reminder - it stayed on my pinkie for at least three years and now resides in my jewelry box. I don't forget her, but I don't need the physical reminder anymore. Of course, that was half my life ago - 27 years already!

Be kind to yourself - it does get better.

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My dad lived for 9 months. In those 9 months he was able to walk me down the isle, which was the most wonderful day of my life. I have a photo/ornament hanging from my rearview mirror of him walking me down the isle. It makes me feel so close to him.

I have received grief counseling, but I found it hard to talk to someone over and over again about the same problem when I felt she couldn't relate. I think maybe I should look into more group help, like you mentioned. I am also on antidepressants. They have helped tremendously, as I was not able to get through days and most nights without having obsessive thoughts of his passing, panic and depression.

I am sorry to hear that your mom passed away. I hope as time passes that the pain will get "softer" as I know it will never fully go away (or right now I can't imagine it going away). It helps to hear that in time things will get better. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. It means the world to me!!

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I do not know the words to say to help you for I have never been in your position. I can only say how much everyone here supports one another and I understand that your sharing your feelings with those that have lost a parent or partner helps. Every tear makes the memories clearer and we just don't know how many tears it takes to be "easier." What is easier anyway - the most important thing to do is take care of yourself so you can remember the man you loved. Think about staying here - read some of the old posts from those that lost loved ones and realize that although you seem alone there are many here that would offer you a gentle hug and love to hear stories about your dad.

Again, take care of yourself,


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Hi Shelby,

I know your pain. I lost both parents to cancer. My Mom had lung cancer. They both were young when they passed. The pain is still tender.

It's good that you took advantage of grief counseling. We have a Gilda's Club here, and they were amazing in their support for me.

This is a great place to come for support and help. Keep posting here and know that we care and will be there for you.

Judy in MI

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I'm so sorry you lost your dad. He was so young.

I've lost both of my parents too, both before retirement age, so I really do understand.

5 months is so soon for you...you will go thru so many emotions and ups and downs...it's just really important to be gentle on yourself.

With my dad's passing from lung cancer...I was in shock and sad...but I turned that into action with my work as a lung cancer patient advocate. It helped me to put my anger and sadness and shock into something productive. It didn't make he miss him less but helping others helped me thru the most difficult times.

WHen my mom suddenly died- there was nothing that could help me that first year. I was in shock and sad and it was like I was grieving twice as hard...one because I lost my best friend and 2 because I had lost my last parent. I tried Anti-depressants which didn't really help. Then I leaned heavily on a close friend who had been there and helped me at my lowest times. Finally I went to a grief counsellor (he was ancient! lol) so he HAD been there before and knew what I was going thru and how to help me find coping skills. He was also a psychologist so he wasn't going to push any drugs on me...we were going to work things out and develop some life skills. I went to him for 8 months, joined a church, created a support system and social group around myself and basically taught myself to live again.

It's a very hard time right now. We will be here for you.


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  • 1 month later...

I'm really sorry I missed this.

My mom was also 56.

She was my rock and one of my best friends. I miss her every day. But you WILL get to a point where you will live your days without the intense sadness. I promise.

I still miss mom with every fiber of my being, but it isn't crippling like it once was. I smile when I think of her now. And I feel she is with me always.

Hang in there. We'll be here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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