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My Dad Recently Died

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My Dad died Feb. 12th, after a 2 year battle with Pancreatic cancer. My feelings are very overwhelming right now -- plus I'm exhausted from everything -- including caregiving, packing and dealing with things at his house, and travel (we drove back home almost 3,000 miles). I'll be getting back to my depression support group today, and my counseling Thursday. But I found this group and decided to come here. Dad was in Hospice care in his home and I was able to be there staying right with him the last month -- plus during the last whole week my aunt and my brother moved right in and we worked around the clock together which was a huge blessing! But there was a 24 hour period where despite calling the nurses often and having the doctor even come to the house, it took too long to get his symptoms (difficulity breathing and horrible congestion that would not come up or go down) under control and it was VERY traumatic -- I am having trouble with recurring memories of that -- but I am trying so hard to begin to remember the better days and focus less on the end. And, after the doctor did come, the very next day, we got a different nurse who really got things straightened out and the doctor ordered something a pain patch - and that relieved dads symptoms totally but then he died within 24 hours of that.

Anyway. My husband and I are back home now in another state farther away from my family once again -- and I will travel back to be there for the spreading of Dads ashes and to see everyone -- probably fairly soon. So, I need to be okay. I've always wanted to live there (up North) but my husband doesn't want to live there and I admit to liking the winters better here.

I think I just have so much to process at once because the last 2 years have been a blur of travel and stress and concern and dad had a lot of treatments, surgery, appointments, declines and then one really good remission last spring/summer which was why I was back home at the time when he had a serious decline -- in December and in January I went back to help.

I get exhausted really fast -- and I get so horribly angry and irritable I've never been like that -- all of a sudden i can't hear another single word my husband has to say -- and I miss my family but I had a lot of time with them -- 4 weeks and 3 days with them after Dad died. Which is more than I would have had under normal circumstances but I am not "working" right now and my husband is retired. I should be grateful for all the blessings but mostly I'm just overwhelmed.

I was able to bring a lot of things with me - from the house - so there are reminders of dad everywhere. I miss him so much, I miss BEFORE the cancer came and piled on such stress and difficulty on him and all of us.

3 months before dads diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, my motherinlaw (who lived with us) died in hospice of a different type of cancer. She had to be in a nursing home at the very end though - so it was not around the clock care.

Sorry this is so long. It is all pretty raw right now. here in my home, I keep thinking of things to tell dad about and then remembering I can't call him anymore. Dad was only 73. I am 51 right now. I t hought I was stronger spiritually and that my faith and beliefs would help but -- nothing helps right now. I will be sure to keep my appointment Thursday and I will go tonight to the group. i think part of my feelings right now have to do with fear because I don't think I could handle much more right now -- but there are things that need to be done and the travel back will come soon when we will do the hike to scatter his ashes. i want to be able to function for everything.

i guess that's all for now. I don't know where to start on trying to heal and carry on.

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I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad to Pancreatic cancer. You are doing what needs to be done during these early days by tending to your dad’s things. How your dad must have enjoyed you being there with him.

We have a built-in protection screen that keeps us from dealing with everything at once. In time, you will focus on your own feelings and be able to begin your own grief journey. Taking care of yourself is what you need to do now. After such a long journey of caregiving, it will take some time to turn your attention to yourself but that is what you will need to do.

I am glad that you found this place. It is so good to be with those who understand and who are willing to listen without judgment. Many of us have found it good to write about our grief. It has helped me to understand that almost everything I experience is normal. It’s okay to have mixed feelings and not think there is something wrong with us. We are grieving and because our love was so great our grief will be also.

Try to accept where you are right now and let that be enough.


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I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and your mother in law too. It can be very overwhelming, my own mom passed in August (Dementia & Leukemia). Everything you are feeling is normal under the circumstances. I'm glad you'll be back with your support group and have counseling starting up. When we share so much in the end days and are exhausted from caregiving it takes a while to find a normal place within ourselves. Nurture yourself and take time to breathe!

I hope you'll continue to come here and post, it helps to let it all out and give expression to all we are feeling.


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You say you don't know where to start on trying to heal and carry on ~ but remember, my dear, that any journey begins with a single step ~ and you've already taken several important ones already. You are here with us now, you are one of us, and we won't let you walk this path alone.

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Hi everyone -- thank you for the replies. I am continuing to just do my best each day and I keep on going. I started back with counseling Thursday and I made it to the Tuesday Depression support group which helps. Actually the whole week was pretty productive. I registered the truck that my dad left me -- it was a lot of paperwork but I did it and it has the new plates and everything. I started back today volunteering at our spiritual community (we help with the lawns). There is a class on meditation starting which will be 5 weeks one night a week - and I got the book for that. I will watch carefully to make sure I don't overload myself but I do think that getting out of the house at least 2 or 3 times a week is going to be helpful and being around other people too will help.

I'm thinking about how I can do a memorial of some type - maybe a bookmark or something -- dad didn't want any obituary in the paper or any service -- but I think I can do something private like a memorial bookmark/writeup that's just for the close family. I'll start going thru pictures and info.

And soon I will be planning my trip back up to do the scattering of dads ashes -- unless my brother and aunt decide to wait until fall. That would be okay with me too.

I do find that I have a lot of sudden bouts of overwhelming sadness - when I least expect it. But I was able to drive my truck to the grocery store and back home -- I did okay even with the feelings being so strong.

I was already struggling with depression before this -- so it's hard now to know what's the regular everyday depression and what is directly from the grieving. But, I am grateful I can sleep and I can get things that are needing to be done, done. So that's something.

I think writing more will help!

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You are doing what you must to traverse through this journey. I think a bookmark sounds like a great idea. When my mom died, I made a card for each family member and wrote to them what I felt would help them in processing their loss. It took time but it was healing too. I hope you glean something from the meditation course, I'm sure you will!

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