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My Dad


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I'm really glad I joined this site...reading others' posts has helped me to feel a little better, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night. That's how I found this in the first place.

I don't really know where to begin...

My father recently passed away from cancer, on November 17th, 2008. His loss was the closest I have ever had (besides pets, and a family friend), and it is hitting me really hard.

My mother and father separated when I was 2, so for my whole life, my father has been the visitor. He would pick me up from home, and we would go places. Most of what we did was go on hikes, because my father loved nature, and because of him, I love nature, too.

In September my father was hospitalized, because a vertebra bone in his back had been broken by something in his neck; the doctors replaced the bone with metal. I was so worried, devastated. My father was a natural healer, always healthy. He used many techniques to heal people - iridology, blood cell analysis, detoxification, so many things. He was very good at just sitting down with people and helping them to emotionally heal. It's ironic, because now that my dad is gone, I could really use his healing help!

My mother was the one who called me up and told me that the tumor that broke the vertebra bone was tested by the doctors and found to be cancerous. For the next few weeks, I went through this struggle of - do I think of it realistically? Or do I hope? The thing is, when I talked to my dad on the phone, he sounded so hopeful. He was talking about his business again - he wanted to establish a healing center - and walking again.

After a week or so he left the hospital. Since my dad was a natural healer, he hated being in the hospital. He refused chemo, and went home, and got in-home hospital care. This lady named Millie who my family has known for a few years, and who also lived down in Los Angeles, helped take care of my dad. He losr use of his legs, and lay in a hospital bed at home...it was tough for him, to be so taken care of, because he was used to taking care of himself.

I was so sad, and when I went to visit him I was still sad, but so happy that I was visiting him. You see, my dad was...the sort of person who didn't want to admit how bad he was feeling. He didn't even tell me what was going on, really; he left it to others, and that was part of him dealing with what was happening to him. So my mother and I, knowing how he was, decided to give him some time to settle in at home. So we didn't visit until mid-October. Now, part of me wishes we visited earlier.

The doctors gave him a year, so even being realistic, I thought I had more time.

When I visited, it felt so good to visit. I was influenced by my dad's good spirits and hopeful mood. I was strong during the visit, and only totally broke down when my mom and I were driving back home. I wanted to stay! I wanted to say, forget school, and just stay there and be with him, even though I couldn't help him heal or do anything, really.

That was the last I saw him. I talked to him on November 16th, and I remember being heartbroken after because he was talking about being in pain.

And then suddenly on Monday the 17th, the cancer spread to his lungs, and he was gone! Part of me is heartbroken because I wasn't there...I didn't get to say goodbye. But I did get to tell him I loved him the night before. There is this wonderful healer named Diana, who was an emotional therapist for my father in his last days. She held his hand, she helped him to be unafraid, and he left with a group of friends around him, chanting holy mantras. And in the spring, school or no school, I am going to India to bring his ashes to be scattered in the holy rivers there like he requested.

So, it is more my feeling of separation from him, and feeling sad for myself, because though my father was only 54 years old, I feel he had an auspicious passing and lived a wonderful life. Also, I believe in reincarnation, so I believe that his soul went on to a new, better body, and that God took him to that body as an opportunity to do his service again, in a body that was more physically able.

I was going to visit him on December 6th, it was going to be my next visit, and I was looking forward to it so much! He was talking about walking again in December, and I didn't know what to think of that. But I thought to myself, even if he never walks again, I will bring him in a wheelchair to the local temple (my religion is from India), I will wheel him through beautiful paths in parks in a sort of hike...I knew certain things would be different, and certain things torn away from me - like telling him to sit down, when he'd be walking around with his salad bowl eating. That would be gone. But I thought, I'd still be able to talk to him, enjoy nature with him...

There was an amazing memorial held for my dad a couple weeks ago. My father's brother, Michael, was there, as well as my dad's cousin, Layneigh. It was so good to see them, and one of my best friends did a surprise visit. I would advise anybody who has just had someone pass away - have a memorial! They are very strengthening. After hearing so many people talk about how they loved my dad, I felt so much stronger.

Now I am back at school and I feel lonelier. I am having trouble talking to people about it. I feel like I should cry more, I feel like I should be talking to people about it a lot instead of bottling up my emotions. I am one of those people who, when people bottled up their emotions I would think, "That's unhealthy." But I am doing it myself!

I am...wandering around, and everything feels strange. Little fun things I used to do with people now seem much more trivial and silly. And my friends, when I came up from my week and 1/2 break from school, they all just seemed to sort of look at me like I was a bomb about to explode...Partly I think it's my fault. Maybe I somehow gave the impression that I don't want to talk about it. The first while, I didn't, and I still don't really.

But one friend of mine somehow got through a little. A lot of people have been telling me, "Feel free to talk to me about it. I'm here." But somehow when Connie said it, and additionally talked to me about how she is in a depressed time lately, too, somehow it made me feel like she could relate a little more, and her offer of a listening ear felt more genuine. So I might talk to Connie. I think, I'm opening up a little bit.

At the beginning, people would ask me, "How are you?" My answer would be, "I'm okay." What a lie. Then, my answer got a tiny bit more truthful, and I started saying, "I have my ups and downs." And now, my answer is a bit more truthful, and I've been saying to people, "I'm terribly sad..." and then I kind of see their pity and feel awkward and think they probably feel awkward, and I quickly change the subject to, "...and I can't wait till school gets out!"

You see, I'm a college student, and I'm trying to prepare for finals, too. It's hard. The truth of it is, I am miserable. I have trouble sleeping, and I cry almost every day. I haven't had tons of huge, sobbing fests (and sortof feel like I should be). And I keep reading and hearing how, this is normal, people deal with it differently...but I still sortof wish I would cry more. I think it would release some of the pain.

Crying, and talking to people more, would help me release some of the pain, I think. I want to be more open. Any tips? On anything?

This book I read talks about how the daughers relate more to their mothers, blah blah...and yes, I love my mother dearly, but I love my father dearly, too. And sure, I have a father figure in my stepdad, but I am not as close with him. My dad was that special person who was always encouraging to me and always wanted me to pursue my dreams. I am heartbroken and at a loss, feeling like I've lost a friend, a guide, a mentor...

Please help me. I feel very lonely.

Edited by Chai
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Chai,

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad 18 years ago and still miss him. It wasn't that he was a lovey-dovey or super demonstative dad but there was just always something special about our relationship. My sister and I were with him when he drew his last breath and I knew he was finally at peace. I really wish he was here now to help me get through the loss of my husband but I know they are reunited.

As you know by reading the posts here all of your feelings are normal. It's too bad that you have finals to take so soon after. Will any of your professors let you delay them or do you just want to get them over with? It is so hard to concentrate at this time.

Time hasn't healed my new loss much yet, but I am able to think of and enjoy things about may dad. This too will come to you with time.

Do you have any friends or is there a group at school for people who have lost parents? Is ther a local grief support group? Sometimes talking it over with someone who has been through it helps, but each of us grieves in our own way and our own time.

Good luck to you.

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mlg,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I can't imagine how sad you must feel, to have lost both your father and your husband. Just losing one person is heartbreaking, I can't imagine keeping going on with the rhythms of life with two losses. The people on this website are so strong! It's amazing.

There is a counseling service on-campus. I have signed up for it, and my first appointment is on Tuesday. I hope it helps me to be more open about my feelings...somehow I just feel sortof numb. Maybe I haven't accepted it. I want to be able to cry more though, to get it out, instead of just being miserable inside.

I feel a bit like the lady in this article:

http://opentohope.com/hope/dealing-with-gr...why-cant-i-cry/

For Finals, well...I am just going to take them and get them over with, so that I can go home and just curl up on the couch or in bed, and have my mom around for hugs.

Thank you,

Chai

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(((((Chai))))) I'm so sorry hon for the loss of your beloved Dad.

All those things you mentioned you are feeling... all normal.. you are not nuts. It hurts that bad.

And you are so very right.. expressing those feelings is the one way I found to feel a bit better. Only by letting my emotions be expressed could I begin the grief journey. So.. by all means.. I would urge you to have that "break down - all out" cry and I would do it at the next opportunity. Tears.. are healing.. literally. They have analyzed tears and have found that indeed they contain negative stress chemicals.. so it's a natural way of your body and soul beginning to heal.

Finals... Got it. And I'm not THAT old that I don't remember the stress they can provoke and the work they demand.

You said.. your Dad was always encouraging you to pursue your dreams.. well.. why not "do" finals with Dad in your ear.. encouraging you... just like always. If you listen with your heart you will hear him once again. And let him continue to guide you now. Talk to him.. let him know what things you need guidance with. Because I am betting your finals are wrapped up in the pursuit of your dreams. So go for it!

His spirit lives on... his love for you will never die. That's forever.

So invite Dad along for your finals! He will help ya.

And yes.. I would also take the friend you mentioned up on her offer.. and anyone else you feel comfortable with.

Know we are here for you.. so please keep us posted on how you are doing.

I'm glad you found us.. but so very sorry you had to.

(((((hugs))))

leeann

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Leeann,

Thank you so much for your kind reply. I really need the encouragement to be able to just express it and let it all out, and I hope I can inch forward on that and progress.

Also, I really like what you said about having my dad with me during finals and talking to him, getting encouragement from him. I think it would make me feel a lot better to do that, and less like I have lost that encouraging, bright voice telling me to pursue my dreams.

I am going to a counseling appointment on Tuesday, and I really hope that will help me to open up to people. Also, I have just received some very sweet messages from family friends and the lady who was there as an emotional therapist to my dad, and helped him to be peaceful in his last moments. This woman means a lot to me, and so I feel a little stronger, having heard from her.

It's funny how you go back and forth from feeling really weak, and then there are moments where something or someone comes along, and you feel a little bit stronger, or at least, a little more sweetly sad, instead of just sad.

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You'll hear it a hundred times on this site, but we all have to take baby steps to get through this. Sometimes it's just a half step and other times a step and a half to make up for the three we took backwards. Just keep holding on to your memories and dreams and with the rest of us you'll march forward in this battle called grief.

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So, this is just a random sad post... :unsure:

I'm just having a sad, devastating moment, and I'm just posting here because I feel like you all are part of my new community I've adopted. New family, sortof, and you all can relate. (((mlg))), thank you for your comment. I think you have a good point. I have to be patient with myself. It takes time.

It's so heavy, this sadness. It really bogs me down, mostly right before I go to bed. I feel like only me and my teddy bear know how truly sad I am. :blush:

I can't wait till my school semester is over, and I am free to just...be. I would love to just curl up in my bed with my bear, and sleep, and watch movies, and read, and be sad. If only my mother didn't have work, so she could be around to just sit with me.

I'm afraid that when I go home, on the days that are work days for my mom and stepdad, I'll feel very sad and alone...here, I at least have school to keep me busy. When school is up, what will I do? Part of me is glad, to have time to myself to be sad, but another is afraid of being in a room, idle, all by myself...

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Chai,

I totally understand how you are feeling. I'm spending my time curled up in a ball and sobbing (when I don't have to handle the other paperwork stuff). I can't say anything to make you feel better because I'm going through the same thing. I have very low and devastating moments, too. How will I live without my best friend? Kudos to you for going through finals...I'm not that strong and wouldn't know even how to concentrate.

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emptyinside,

it really touches me that you have replied to my post. You are strong, too. You helped take care of your dad, you helped so much! I read your thread, and I find it very touching. But I was not sure what to say, other than, that I am also feeling very similarly, having lost my dad, too. But now your post has made me realize, that I did not have to say anything special, or healing, or profound. Just knowing that you are here, and can relate to me, and vice versa, is comforting. It makes me feel less lonely. I hope that having me here, just being sad with you and crying with you, maybe helps you a little bit, even if it's sad...if that makes any sense. :blush:

Thank so much for your reply. :)

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Emptyinside and Chai

You both just made a major step in responding to each other and reaching out to each other. Keep it up and you'll make it through.

I know when I found this site I just read for a long time, but after I finally posted and the person reponded in a positive way and I knew that my post had helped it has helped me enormously.

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Wow, I thought I was having trouble crying...not tonight! Oh, man. I put in the same CD I've been listening to, the beautiful, soothing Enya CD "Memory of Trees" (it was my dad's CD, and he made me become an Enya fan).

And...all of a sudden, so many song lyrics made me think of my dad. So right in the middle of working on an essay, I had to stop and grab all my kleenex, and just sit, and...meditate on my dad, and be sad, and write down my feelings and why I felt the particular song related to him.

And then I started thinking...what am I going to do on Father's Day?...which brought a whole new gush of tears and more Kleenex-needing. Father's Day wasn't ever HUGE in my life, but now it has more significance. I'm going to miss calling him up and telling him Happy Father's Day, and hearing in his voice how grateful he is that I called! :wub: He was always so obliging and humble about it, as if it was extra special for me to tell him Happy Father's Day, instead of just tradition.

And the other day, I was remember how around Christmastime, my dad, grandma and I would go driving around looking at the decorated houses. My dad always found the houses with the most awesome decorations and light displays.

What am I going to do this year? Oh...this is heartbreaking, guys. I don't understand how anyone ever deals with it. Here I am believing in reincarnation and the soul, but I never had death dangled right in front of my face. It's startling, to say the least. :unsure:

:(

Edited by Chai
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((((((HUGS)))))) to you Chai.

Yeah 'startling' is a good word. A rude awakening... a whole different awareness really.

Everything changes.... but we adapt, in time, to those changes.

I'm glad you had some expression of your grief tonight. The tears are helpful... they also make for stuffy noses and swollen eyes... but they really come from love.

I wish you all the best with your essay and any other work in front of you.

And know we are right with you....

leeann

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I had a similar moment. Drove my dad's car and he had this track playing in the CD player. I remember the moment: it was months ago, and he, mom, and I were in the car getting groceries, and he played this CD from his country. I think I will leave the CD in the player forever. It just brought back so many memories.

I don't know what I'll do for the Father's Day. I think I'll continue shopping for him and get a card. Is that something that might make you feel better?

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Chai

There is nothing wrong with tears. They cleanse our souls and give us a release. There is a beautiful poem if you go back to the hov.org home page and click on the grief support but keep scanning down past the online area. There is something about the IN TOUCH newsletters. Click on Sept/ Oct and go to page 8. There is a very nice poem about out tears. I couldn't get it to copy and paste here so that's why I have to send you there.

Chai and Emptyinside

I hope you both go back and look at your posts since you first started here. I know you neither one feel you are doing well but I see a whole step instead of a baby step. That doesn't mean you won't have to go back to baby steps at times. After 11 mos, I have had to go back to them right now but I can't afford a whole step right now or I may crash.

:wub: and ((((Hugs)))

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Hullo everybody,

You all are so, so sweet! Thank you so much for the kind words. It is very touching. It means so much to me to have you all here to talk to.

Leeann, thank you so much. You are right, the tears are good. I actually felt a bit better, after having cried them. Like something had been let out, even though it still hurt...like the weight got a tiny bit lighter, or something.

And I do still feel a bit better, from crying, the day after. I remembered my mom's idea to plant a tree in the back yard for my dad, and after searching online, I found the name of a tree I know he loved: quaking aspen. Not sure if that kind'll go in our climate at my mom's, but even so, I felt happy to find it and go, "that's the one!"

emptyinside, keep that CD. Keep it in there as long as you want, or need, or forever. That is so good that you found it! It's great to have little, comforting (but also saddening) things like that. I have sweaters and shirts of my dad's, and they still sortof smell like him and his closet. I don't think I'll ever wash them!

(((MartyT))) and (((mlg))), I will definitely check out those links! ooh. Thank you. I like the idea to go back and look at posts...at the same time, it's sadenning to read them...sometimes it feels like the day I found out he was gone. I sent an email to an old friend of his the other day, who is faraway and might not have heard, and had this trouble breathing moment and had to drink some water and lie down. I will eventually get around to reading my old posts, though.

Is there a "save this thread" to favorites option? I would love to save certain helpful threads to some sort of folder box, so that I can go back and read them.

mlg, I am sorry to hear you are back at baby steps. :( But they are still steps! Every sort of step counts.

One day at a time, one day at a time...*deep breath* AnnieO, the picture I have up is one my dad and me when I was about 2 or 3. He brought me hiking with him even then. :)

(((Hugs))) to everyone...

Chai

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