Apr 30, 2010 4:04 PM
Last Saturday, my much loved Dad who I have been close to my whole life, lost his brave battle with cancer. He was diagnosed last August with bowel cancer, which when progressed to secondary cancer in the colon, then finally his liver. I'll admit that when I first found out he had cancer, I wasn' tas positive inside as I was portraying on the outside. To everyone who asked after my Dad, I told them not to worry, because he was a fit man - an amateur bodybuilder - and that he'd beat cancer. I always thought he'd die though. But as he went on - and before we found out about the terminal liver cancer - I started to think maybe he would actually beat cancer. We all thought he was going to do it, even the drs. And then 4 weeks ago he had a stroke, a week later another, and it was after that second stroke they told us not only was the cancer terminal, but he probably didn't have long left. I went up to see him in Scotland the weekend before he died and he wasn't the Dad I knew and loved. When I saw hm on the Saturday, it was obvious he was brain damaged but he spoke a little bit. But by the Sunday, the brain damage caused by the bleeing on the brain had just taken everything away from him.
The hardest thing was seeing him brain damaged and almost a vegetable. My dad was a man who always took a pride in his appearance - he worked out a lot, he did body building, he kept his skin nice, he ate all the right foods. He was an active man, he enjoyed mountain biking and going for walks. To see my Dad, a man who I have always viewed as this really fit and active man who always dressed well and looked after himself, suddenly reduced to skin and bones lying in a hospital bed, skin completely pale, and barely able to move or communicate was heart breaking. It didnt seem fair.
Everyone knew the end wasn't far away. And although this was explained to my Dad, because of the briain damage he forgot about it and somehow became convinced he was in a cancer recovery unit for people who were beating cancer. When people "left" the hospice, we told him they'd got better and gone home to their families. He thought this right until the end and we played along and told him what we were going to do in the summer. I told him I was getting ready to go in to my final year at uni, and that I was looking forward to him coming to visit me in London in the summer. He thought he was going to beat cancer. So when I said goodbye to him, even though I knew it could be goodbye forever, I just told him "I'll see you soon" and he told me he loved me lots and lots and that he was proud of me. It was so sad to watch his friends coming in to visit him; them knowing they were saying goodbye, and him thining he woudl see them again when he got out of the centre. Part of me wonders if deep deep down, part of him knew he was dying, but he too was playing along - giving himself something in his last days. On the Monday I went back to London and travelled back up to Scotland on the friday with plans to go to my Dad on the saturday. I recieved a called at 3:10am on the Saturday morning to say he had passed.
I haven't really cried since. I feel sad and I've had the odd few tears. But no massive break down. I can feel myself welling up writing this, but its not proper tears. It feels as though something is stopping me from crying. I'm worried people think the way I'm behaving is disrespectful to my Dad. Nothing in my life has stopped in this last week - I've gone out with friends - a very good friend of mine actually flew in from Brussels to take my mind off things which was a lovely thing for her to do. I've gone shoping, I've read books, I even went on a date. I just feel I'm not ready to even begin to grieve. I feel sad, and I know my Dad is gone but I have such strong beliefs about an afterlife and I think part of the reason I may not be crying all the time is because I believe I will speak to him again someday somehow. Maybe wont be words, but maybe he'll send a sign.
Has anyone else experienced this? I know the death of my dad is a horrible thing, and I know its upsetting, but part of me feels guilty that I dont seem to be anywhere near as upset as everyone else is and I worry people think it's not affecting me.