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Just Lost Dad to Stage IV NSCLC


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Hi Everyone,


My name is Renee, and this is my first time posting.

I'm hoping to get some grief support.


I just lost my dad to Stage IV NSCLC (Adenocarcinoma) two days ago on Wednesday, February 24th. He was diagnosed only a short 7 months ago, back in August. While I knew the statistics of longevity were not in his favor, I never, ever imagined losing him this fast.


My husband and I just started a family a little over a year ago. Our daughter is the first (and only) grandchild in the family. She was the absolute apple of my dad's eye and made him a grandpa. Sadly, he was diagnosed right after our daughter turned one, and I announced we were expecting again. I watched him battle this horrible disease throughout my entire pregnancy, and he passed away just three weeks short of my due date. (I am due on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day). He'll never get to meet his second granddaughter, and neither of my children will remember him. Watching him be a grandpa was one of the greatest joys in my life, and I am having a REALLY hard time with this.


I find myself not only mourning the loss of my dad but the loss of "grandpa". I am trying to count my blessings and not my losses. I know I am EXTREMELY lucky to have had him for the 32 years that I did. After all, he walked me down the aisle, had a great 10 year relationship with my husband, saw what I grew up to be, was there for my first pregnancy, and had a beautiful bond with my first born. Those are all blessings many do not have—so I feel selfish for grieving the loss in this way, but I do.


Cancer was always something that happened to someone else, and now it devastated our family. My mom, sister, husband, and I are just shell shocked. We keep waiting for my dad to jump out of a closet and say, "Just kidding!" He and I were two peas in a pod. He always called me his clone. There's just this tremendous void, and it hurts from every angle. I never felt "grown-up" until I became a mother roughly a year ago, and now he's gone. He only got to be a grandpa for a year, and this heavily weighs on my heart. My daughter has already looked for him, and it breaks my heart. I know it will hurt even more as I watch her forget completely. I can't even imagine how heart wrenching it's going to feel when I give birth in three weeks, and he won't be there. I'm so scared of what that experience will hold.


I know I'm only two days into this, but I don't know how to get over the loss of a parent. This grief is so different than every other loss I've experienced in my life.


How did you all do it? Is there anyone on the forum who lost their father in their early-30's or in a similar situation? Every book or blog post seems to be formed around losing parents early or later in life. What about those of us in the middle, who just started a family life? Who felt like their life was just beginning?



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I wish I could console you with my written words.  Expressions of grief are difficult for me in writing.  


How do we do this?  I'm a survivor who's experienced the razor's edge of death.  My wife was calm, my father not so much.  While in that state, I was medicated to the extent that I didn't really think about much.  Your dad was perhaps in a similar state.  How do you do this?  That is a different story.


We are born and we die.  That is the essence of life - all life.  My focus is to embrace life while I have it.  My brush with death convinced me that I need to pay so much attention that I can see the individual grains of sand passing through the hour glass.  I slow my life down and focus on my family and those closest to me.  My objective of life is to find joy in everything I experience.  Find joy with your husband and children and pleasant memories of your father.


I'm a father and would wish that for my daughter.


Stay the course.



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Hi Renee,


First, please accept my sympathy on the loss of your beloved dad.  I can feel the love you have for your dad in your carefully worded posting.  Unfortunately, I can relate to your story, a lot.  I just lost my dad on February 4, 2016 to NSCLC.  He was diagnosed in May, 2015.  I am 37 years old and have two boys.  Ethan who is 5 and Liam who is 2.  Ethan turned 5 two days before my dad passed, and I firmly believe my dad waited for that.  I am definitely a daddy's girl and share a lot of your feelings, especially the part about grieving the grandpa part.  In addition to my mom, I have a sister who also has 3 daughters.  One of her daughters recently had a daughter.  Me, like I said, I have two boys, and oh, how my dad was excited to finally have some boys in the family.  I feel cheated out of all the things he was supposed to do with them and all the things he was to teach them. 


I, too, have heard from people I was lucky to have my father as long as I did, but that doesn't take away my feelings that I wanted him here longer.  Please, do not feel selfish for grieving this loss.  You deserved more.  Much more. 


I wish my words alone could help you heal, but that isn't going to happen.  Quite frankly, I just recently started feeling a little less numb to the situation, which has brought on a couple days of really hard grief.  I just wanted to drop in and offer some support to you and let you know that you are not alone.  I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts.  I hope for a speedy and healthy delivery for you and know that your dad is proud of you.  Even if you can't see him, he will be with you on that day.   


Take care,


Tina (Sending hugs from Chicago)

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