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Watching Him Die

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I have posted about my dad before (sorry that it seems to be somewhat of a diary). I have been hanging out with him a lot these days. My mom had to go out of town and I was making sure he was taking all of his medicine and wearing his oxygen and doing breathing treatments. He has days where it seems like there is no way he could be sick and it gets my hopes up only to see him later that night and the next day not feeling well and sleeping all the time. Lately he has been having these headaches and they are scaring me. The cancer he has is said to go to the brain. He is so scared. I told him to ask his doctor about it and they said to just keep an eye on them. In May he will have another CT scan to check out the tumor in his lung and hopefully they will check his head too.

His illness is taking a toll on me. I have been very short with other family members and it is like my friends do not even exist anymore. My husband and I are having issues with this as he is mourning too. I feel guilty if I do not go visit my dad for 1 day. I am afraid to go out of town because I want to be here if something does happen to him especially with him having these headaches.

What sucks most of all though is sitting here waiting for it to happen. Watching someone slowly die is the worst thing ever. Knowing there is nothing I can do to fix it... is breaking my heart.

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I understand what you are describing about your dad. When my family and I found out about my dad's cancer, we decided that no matter how much time he had left on earth, we would spend it making him feel as comfortable as possible and to keep things as normal as possible. My dad at the time was also scared, and depressed too. But he made a come back with love for life, even though he knew his time may be short. All I can tell you from my experience is that even though I did have anticipatory mourning, I also made sure I let my father know how much I love him and that he had my support at all times. My mom, brothers and I were like a team, working around the clock to keep things going with his treatment, his meals, his work, etc. and I can tell you I am grateful to God for allowing me to spend that time with Dad as much as I could. I look back and the last Christmas with him, was the most beautiful Christmas I have ever had, not because of material things but because my father was with us, because we spent quality time, and that made me all of us happy. Through out that entire year, we gave it our all to Dad's cause, and even though I did not spend the 365 days of the year with him ( I live away in another country), I can say I am glad we all were able to enjoy that time , it was so precious to us.

I understand you may break down at times and all, but your dad needs you to be strong (even though you are the strong one in the family already), every moment you can spend with him is precious...cherish it! focus on what you can control, and be there for him. As for your husband, I can see how stressful the situation can become but remember you guys are a team, being united is very important for both of you...be there for each other, as for friends, don't worry they sure understand you are going through the most difficult situation of your life and it is only normal you are behaving that way.

You dad is not gone just yet, there is time to be spent with him and precious moments to be lived with him, focus on that because when he is gone, the memories will be there in your heart and mind when you want to think of him. I say this not on a sad note, but rather to be aware that time is short and to give it your all...

Don't let be guided by despair but instead try to look at the brighter side of things, that will help you and the rest of the family through the entire process.

Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am rooting for you and your family to stick together,big hug for you. You are not alone in what you are feeling, hang in there.


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Dear sheiss,

dear, dear one, please accept a giant hug and kiss and light surrounding you from me. I feel for you. Your post has entered my heart and pressed on it very hard. I remember when my father had cancer, and during that time I was very, very scared and my father and I both wanted everything to be normal. "Normal" for us consisted of me as his visitor, and not being there all the time. It is unfortunate that we continued this habit even during his illness. In retrospect, what I wish is that I had been able to be more like you, and been there for him regardless of usual circumstances of being apart.

I am telling you my story, not to sound heavy here, but I am telling you to please, please stay by your father's side. Do not leave him. He is the most important right now, and your heart knows that. Please listen to your heart.

I did not listen to my heart when my father was sick, and now that he is gone, I wish so much that I had. Your heart is full of love for him, and it will give you strength. Be pulled along by that love. The friends, externalities, they don't matter. Live in these moments with your father, and cherish them.

I think that love is what will and can buoy you and your father up, even amidst the fear. The time you are spending with him right now is absolutely wonderful. I am sure that he is ever so grateful for you to that, more than he can say in words, deep in his heart and in his soul.

wishing you the best,



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Thank you both for your replies. I try to be around him all the time. I just get so upset that there is no way to make it better. All I think about these days is death and how very cruel it is to be put on this earth and love people just to have it all taken away from you. I don't want children anymore because of this. I am not going to have someone feel this way about me. It has me thinking a lot about how I wish that I had no feelings of love toward anyone. I am not religious and I do not believe we get to see our loved ones after death. It is just the end. I want to believe in God, I just don't I have tried and I feel that it is far worse to believe in something out of fear than to just admit that you don't. But regardless this is not the forum to post about religion. I just wish I could believe I would see him again after death and I am sure that this would be at least a tiny bit easier on me. He does not know that I feel this way. I just try to be there for him. I refuse to cry around him. I don't cry in front of anyone though. I just express my emotions in the shower where nobody but me and the running water know what is going on.

I am constantly freaked out that something bad is going to happen to another loved one.I have a lot of anxiety about something happening to them. I wake up everyday dreading that call. When my mom calls me I have a mini panic attack because it may be about my dad passing away. Sometimes I think it may just be better that he does pass away to take him from his pain, but then my selfishness comes out and I don't want it to be the end yet.

I am the glue for my family and I am fine with this. I am always there for them and I am strong for them. But inside I am a blubbering baby with nobody to turn to to just be there for me when I cry.

I am rambling now. Sorry. Thank you for your kind thoughts :)


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When you are here, you don't have to be strong, Sharla. This is one place where you don't have to be any way at all ~ just be the way you are. Turn to us, let yourself cry, and let us help you carry your load. That's what we are here for . . . :wub:

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hi Sharla,

Your mention of not wanting children really caught my eye coz I've lost all my dreams now of meeting mr.right, building dream house, having a family, I don't want any of it because Dad's not here to see it, do it all with me, help me with it all. there have been times where for split seconds I've thought mmnn do I wish I was never born, but then I think ABSOLUTELY NOT coz I would never have known my Dad and I would not want that.

I am really sorry you don't think you will see him again in some after life, like you said not the place for religion but I wish for you to be able to think you would to give you the tiniest bit of comfort or hope to know he will live on somewhere in some form ....coz the way i feel I just think I have to see him again, he couldn't just be gone, I just think there has to be something more than this crap. Sometimes I think of something like love, we can't see it, touch it, prove it, disprove yet we all believe so I just think all that love we have can't be for nothing, can't be for just the duration of life here. The one and only thing I look forward to is seeing him again ....don't get me wrong, geez i have doubts and fears and none of us truly know but I just think no way could his love for me just be gone in a poof like that. (energy never dies, just changes form, fingers crossed !)

Have you ever talked to your Dad about how he feels, what he believes himself , you know just a general philisophical type chat ? I don't even know if it's something that's possible to discuss because I just can't comprehend your situation myself. But with hindsight when Dad and I would have those "what's life all about" chats I wish I would have asked him something like when you leave will you do A, B or C to let me know you're still with me. Maybe this is all wishful thinking, who knows !! But I'll search and search for signs till I leave this place myself.

So sorry for your fear of that dreaded call, I still hear the phone ringing that night and I was dressed before my Mom finished the call which wasn't even 1 minute long I'd say.

Keep going to your comfort and safe place where you can cry and let it all out when you want and need to and come here as often as you need to and write (no such thing as rambling here) I've only recently realised I can write much more than I can physically say. I can't say it helps coz I feel nothing does, but it doesn't hurt so why not :)

I wish I had words of comfort, I wish such words existed.

hugs is all I can give you again,


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Sharla I read your blog and cried the whole time...13 months ago I lost the most wondrful man in the world my husband, My children and I watched him suffer for 6yrs...but one thing that I can say is that even though it was a difficult 6yrs..at least we were given that time and yes it was stressful but let me tell you from exprence cry in front of him let him know how much you hurt and how much you love him...I used to just cry in the shower trying to keep strong for him and for my kids and one night he asked me why I didn't cry in front of him..He could hear me cry in the bathroom and he and I cryed together many times and on the Wed morning when we lost him we knew we had done everything for him and that he was happy his last few years...Spend quaility time with him do the things he likes to do and have fun with him and take lots of pictures....My prayers are with you be strong you and your family have a long journey ahead of you!!! We are here for you....

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Niamh and Lucia,

Thank you both for your beautiful responses. I was having a very hard day when I posted that and I felt like I was going to burst into tears at work. We thought that the cancer may have spread to his brain and I was very scared and I was freaking out. We got the results on his CT scan back and it came back as normal. He still has the signs and symptoms though. When my mom calls me for a split second I feel like my brain is going to explode with emotion and I feel sick because I know that call will come... I just don't know when. I really don't think there is a way that you can even prepare yourself for it either. But yesterday they said it was normal and it was a huge sigh of relief.

Again, many thanks and love to you both!


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Hi, My husband past away from Esophageal Cancer September 25th 09, so I do know how you feel and what you are going through I had never been through watching someone die before, my thoughts and prayers are with you

at this most difficult time.

I highly recommend you get an MRI of the brain, my husband suffered

terrible headaches over a long period and in the end it was discovered it had spread to his brain as Chronic Menengitits, my story is long and heartbreaking as the memories replay in my head too often. God Bless you,

does your father have nausea as well as headaches ? My husband should have had an MRI long before it was ordered they did a PET SCAN of the brain and it was clear so you dad needs and MRI...

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Thank you so much for your response. I was highly unsatisfied with the results and the Ct scan they did so I begged my mom to either have them take a closer look or get a 2nd opinion. She did and they ended up doing his MRI yesterday of his brain. I am unsure of the results and I am nervous to find out what I think I may know is there. All of the signs he has point to brain tumor/cancer. My stomach is in knots - I really am freaked out about it today. I will keep everyone posted.


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