I can't live without my dad - anyone feel the same?

Hi everyone,


My father died almost 6 months ago. He was my best friend, my soulmate, my inspiration, my confidant, basically the love of my life. I will never love anyone that way again. He was my other half. We communicated almost every single day in some way (although I have regrets about how I handled this, which I may share another time). The point, though, is this:


I don't think I can live without him.


He meant more to me than life itself. He was my oxygen, my sunshine, my everything. He was the most remarkable and wonderful human being I have ever known (and will ever know). Every day now I have the pain of realising that he won't ever be with me again. I'm writing this post for one reason: to find other people who feel the same or at least similar.


Here are some things that I have NOT found helpful:


- People telling me to think about "what he would have wanted". Yes, of course he would have wanted me to go on and live my life. But I don't see how I can live a happy life without him.


- People telling me that things "get better in time." Maybe they do, maybe they don't. For some people they actually don't. Some people never recover from the loss of a loved one. He wasn't just a "loved one." He was EVERYTHING to me. And now I have the rest of my life to be WITHOUT him.


My love for my father was deeper and more intense than anything else I've ever known. Life feels completely meaningless without him. I have no interest in starting my own family; no interest in meeting somebody; no interest in connecting with others. Without my father in my life, those things don't mean anything to me.


The ONLY thing I want is to be with my father again - to wrap my arms around him and never let go. I've never felt love from anyone the way I did from him. He showered me with warmth and love.


Does anyone feel the same? 





  • Hi bras1548,

    I’m very sorry to read what you’re going through at the moment. I know there’s perhaps not much I can say to help, and it sounds like you’re most keen to hear from others who have been through something similar, but I just wanted to reply to say there is always support available if you want or need it.

    That can be from us on this forum, friends and family, or professional support such as that offered by Cruse. Sometimes it can also be helpful to talk things through with a counsellor, who is neutral and can listen to you and offer guidance to help you to best deal with what you’re going through.

    Hopefully others will be along here soon to offer further thoughts. As I say, we’re always here for support.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Hi Adam,

    I just lost my Father two weeks ago. I feel EXACTLY the same as you do. I can tell you that 100%.

    Its an awful feeling. My Dad was my saftey net, the one I could turn to for advise. We did everthing together, he was my business partner, my best friend, my adviser, and now he's gone. The plaster has been completely ripped off and now you feel so isolated and alone. 

    You're totally crushed, helpless, and you don't see how you can go another day without him with you. I know, im the same and I feel like I need that advice too. What the hell do we do?

    The thing is Adam, we HAVE to go on.  I too keep getting told "Your Dad would have wanted you to go on". All i keep thinking to that reply is "Yeah, but with him in my life, not out of it!"  

    Its extremly tough but what other option do we have?  We can't cease to live too. He brought you into this life when you was a little baby, and he adored you. He wouldn't want to see child go downhill, its not right. 

    You need to feel like this and not change a thing. All you need to do is keep waking up each day and process these thoughts. THATS IT. You'll feel terrible, you'll feel helpless. You may be on the floor howling. This is totally normal. Just accept that you've been hit by a freight train and you don't get up from that any time soon.  You need to comfort yourself whilst in this pain. I think we'll get better, in fact I know we will. 

    I am here if you want to chat more. Trust me, I am feeling exactly like you are. You are NOT alone. 


  • Hi Peacewind,


    Thanks for your message. I think the ONLY thing that helps (and it doesn't help much) is hearing from other people who are also experiencing total devastation.


    I'm "only" 35 (soon 36). The thought that I'm probably going to have to spend most of my life without my dad is completely intolerable. I'm sorry, but it's just awful. I'll never love anybody like that again. I loved him so much that it hurt. If ever he was in any pain (especially psychological) my soul would burn.


    I have no interest in life without my dad. I need him. I want him. I need his laughter and smile. There are approximately 7 billion people on earth and I have absolutely no interest in any of them. The only person I want to be with is my dad. And I can never have that again.


    What kind of life/world is this? It's appalling that humans should have to experience this sort of pain. It serves no purpose whatsoever.


    YOu're right about needing to go on. But I don't want to. Not without my dad. Sure, I could find a partner, settle down, start my own family. But I'll never get to be with my dad again. And he's the only person I want to be with.


    The suffering I experience at various points each day is beyond description. I feel as if I'm going to implode, explode, pass out, go INSANE. 


    And the only person who could help is my dad.


    I've tried counselling - it was basically useless. I know there are well-meaning people out there, but well-meaning doesn't help. My dad was taken from me in HORRIFIC circumstances.


    It sounds like you're doing a lot better than me. I wish I had your strength

  • Hi Bras, 


    Thanks for replying. I know you're in a bad way, there's no denying that. And I feel like my issues (as bad and as fresh as they feel) are not on the same level as yours. And you have my deepest sympathy. 

    I dont want you to give up all hope, I dont think you can fall any further down than you already are.  You're no doubt at rock-bottom.  But I want to help you up even if its only slightly to begin with. 

    You're suffering severe mental torture, and I feel bad I can't be there in person to share some comforting words in person. I know it sounds strange but have you tried going on long walks on your own? You'd be suprised how much getting outside and walking off stuff can help the body. 

    You are in fight or flight mode. Thats why you're having the implosion feelings and the ones of going insane. You have to walk or even run it off. Trust me on this. It will (slightly) ease it off. You're mind is feeling like its going mad because you are trapped inside it and cant escape it. When you address the fight or flight mode it will help - for sure. 

    Keep posing here, day by day, write everything you're feeling, it is a matter of getting it outside of your mind. There is no way we can do this quickly, we have to go through this. 


    I felt completely destroyed over the last two days, then as i sit here tonight, its a little better - only a little. But I know im going to crash again tomorrow - or the next day and think i cannot survive. Its AWFUL. 

    The thing is, I do believe we will get better, we just absolutely cannot see it right now, because were living it and it seems impossible. I need you to keep waking up, day by day, whatever it takes. 


    When your next sat in your chair, talk to your Dad. Because he is there listening to you. Talk to him how you used to and tell him what your feeling. Believe me you'll hear him back in your mind and it will be exactly what he would say in person. Because you know him so well. 


    You're not alone and im here when you need me friend. Breath and read it again. You'll be ok, You really will, you just dont know you will. 




  • I normally dont ever comment on things like this, I lost my daddy in December last year. He had the all clear from cancer two weeks previous. We thought things were looking up. He we went to a+e with a sore back and they admitted him. The next day we went to visit him and he asked me for help and a few minutes later died in front of me. They weren't sure what caused his death but some had suggested that the cancer had returned.. it was completely devastating. My whole body was in shock and for weeks afterwards my entire body was in pain. I had no will to live.. my daddy was truly the light of my life. We were so close. I was the definition of a daddy's girls. I cry almost every day, sometimes more than once, Songs on the radio set me off, sometimes things on the tv set me, if anyone mentions him I just burst into tears. Sometimes I will just be sitting there and I burst into tears, then I ride the wave from grief to anger and then back to grief. What makes me sad the most is when people say, think of all the lovely memories you have.. yes that's great. But I was only 29 think of the memories we should be making. He was only 60. I get cross when people say, your father would love you to do this or that or he wouldn't want you to be sad .. no my father would want me to do what makes me happy only now my greatest support just isn't there to share and celebrate any success. Yes though it is true, my daddy wouldn't want me to be sad.  He always said, dont worry about me, look after yourself but the fact is I am sad. I'm going to be sad and I hope in the future I'm not, but for now I am. Thats ok. I just take each day as comes, I'm not looking ahead atm. I'm just looking for the peace, clam and the one half of identity I am  now missing. I dont really sleep very well. I often find night time the hardest. I miss hearing the tv that we argued about being too loud all the time or the same songs on repeat on YouTube especially at bed time. Everyone I suppose deals differently. The circle of life cant be stopped for any of us unfortunately. My personal belief is that we will meet again someday. But I have resigned to the fact that i intend to do as much as possible so that when we do meet we will continue all those wonderful stories of life, success and failure. Then once more we will laugh and we will cry together. For now tho, I havent got a plan. I dont know what I'm doing, not quite sure how I'm getting through each day. Im stuck on pause for now. Perhaps life has paused to let me be me for better or worse and to understand the prospects of life and that once I start that it's a solo mission.. but I know that for now I'm not ready, I dont know when I'll be ready. I hope if you've made it this far you know that your not on your own. I hope by sharing my story that you feel a bit better or not so alone.. when a bird isn't ready to fly it doesnt mean its wings are broke, it just need to believe in one self. Like a birds wings your instinct will get you through. I will always miss my daddy, some say grief is purest sign of love. But as much as I miss and love him more than ever, I have also never been as proud of him! Just because I cant see him doesnt mean hes not my daddy and I suppose in his death I have realised the true impact he had on my life and how lucky I was and am that hes my dad. He would say, arent we so lucky to have lost someone that made saying goodbye so hard. That I certainly was like many others grieving for loved ones.

  • Hi Peacewind,


    I really appreciate your message(s). As I say, literally the ONLY thing that helps is hearing from people who are suffering (or have suffered) something similar. I can't bear talking to counsellors, or friends or relatives because they don't have a clue. I actually don't know anybody who has a connection with their dad (or mum) like the one I had with mine. In my Google inbox over the last 10 years there are about 10,000 emails between me and my dad. 10,000. Every day a text, or an email or a face-to-face chat. Every turning point in my life, every fear, every challenge, every obstacle, every hope - it went through my dad. He was the foundation of my building, the roots of my tree, the oxygen in my atmosphere, the sun in my solar system. Life without him just isn't life. His smile was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen; his laugh was the most beautiful and pure thing I've ever heard. Simply put, I loved him more than life. Not figuratively. Literally. If you combine everything else in the universe, it's less than my dad. When he was on his death bed (and I can't even describe this as the pain in my soul when I start thinking about it is breathtaking), I wanted to go with him. I know that sounds grim, macabre, "wrong" but that's how it was. I NEVER want(ed) to be separated from my dad. He was more important to me than absolutely everything else combined. I took it for granted. I assumed in some sort of infantile way that I'd always have him. So now I have AWFUL regrets that destroy me - if he came back, I'd wrap my arms around him and never let go. I wouldn't leave his side. 


    To answer your questions about walking, actually, yes, that's one of the VERY few things that have ever helped me. However, it's tough and rather depressing to walk around now in this coronavirus situation. I was supposed to go for a holiday in Tuscany, where I would have been able to take walks in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. That will have to wait.


    I'm very glad to hear that you're having your UPs as well as your downs. Personally, I have approximately zero optimism or faith. The thought of spending the rest of my life without my dad is just appalling. I don't want it. The only thing I want is to cuddle my father again, hold his hand, listen to music with him (as we did), hear his laugh, see his smile.



  • As I read your response, I experienced what I was hoping to experience - the sense that others are also experiencing something like the DESPAIR that I'm experiencing. However, in another way I did not like hearing your description at all. Nobody should have to go through that. Nobody. I wish I could rewind time and take that experience OUT of your life.


    I can't actually describe what happened to my father at the end because it's too awful for words. it was like a prolonged scene from the Exorcist. His cancer was under control, apparently, and then the next minute the idiot oncologists tell us that he has 30 brain lesions. Not one. Not 2. Not 5. 30. There are medical studies where the entire cohort of patients doesn't have 30 lesions combined. 1 brain lesion is bad enough and normally starts to wreak havoc on people''s mental and physical functioning. 30 tears a person apart. Bit by bit. He went from being the happiest human I have ever known to the most miserable and wretched I could ever imagine. I have never seen pain and suffering like that. Everything was taken from him and there was nothing we could do. Each week things got worse. He'd lose something new. He howled and screamed in emotional agony and spiritual torment - there was nothing I could do. I would have died for him. In the end it got so horrific that I cannot even describe it. The scenes were like scenes from the Exorcist, as I say. It's the sort of thing that has always made me an atheist. No God would allow anything like that.


    I envy your faith. I wish I could believe (like you) that I'll see my dad again. Sadly, he and I were both atheists with no faith in an afterlife. Obviously I wish this were the Lion King where I'm Simba and I get to speak to hear from Mufasa in the clouds from time to time. However, the reality for me now is that I just have horror, terror and despair. IT's quite similar to what you describe I think. 


    I DO talk to him throughout the day, but it's just through sobbing and screaming and desparation. I think about him approximately every 20 minutes. But it's normally quick and superficial because I can't bear any more. I can't look at any photos AT ALL. I haven't read any of his emails or texts for months. I can't allow myself to think about, see or hear ANYTHING to do with him for more than a few seconds. It causes HORROR, if I do. Utter horror. I sense complete and total collapse.


    I realise that my problem is that I put all my eggs in one basket - my father. He was the be-all-and-end-all for me. If you have a large family, your own wife/husband, kids, close relatives, close friends, then maybe you can get through it. But how do you get through it when your dad was your WORLD? 


    I realise I'm "supposed" to carry on. But I'm just not interested in the world or in life or in people. Ten seconds of conversation with another person will just remind me of my dad and since nobody will ever be like him in my heart, I don't see any point. 


    Quite frankly, I see no meaning in life without my dad. When he went, so did life's meaning and purpose

  • I hope you didn't feel as if you had to share your experience I didn't intend that, but it was a difficult read. I agree that it's hard to believe that if there is a god then how could they let someone suffer so much. It doesnt seem right or fair. I am not particularly of faith myself, I choose to believe I will see him again. I dont have answers why someone has to suffer. I just know that having to watch someone you love in pain is the hardest thing in the world and there is no word that can describe that emotional turmoil enough to others. I suppose in a way like you I'm still trying to work out the answer of how to live and live with the pain and gaint missing piece in your life. I do struggle every day. I dont have a big family, I have no kids. I spent most days with my dad. I just loved his company. I cant watch some tv programmes because hes not there to watch them. Sometimes I boil the kettle and then dont make the tea because what's the point hes not there to help me eat the biscuits. It's just hard. I hate it.


    On one hand, I do believe it is good to express emotions, if you have cry then cry or scream and shout. Whatever it takes as often as it takes. I feel sometimes most people dont get it. Then I remember I actually dont care what they think. I will do me. 


    I also dont think that you had a problem, you put your eggs where you want. I think you loved and adored a man that had shoes that no one else can fill or even come close. That is pure devotion and that is rare and something like that should be treasured. Unfortunately there is no replacements that will ever come close. I dont have answer for how do you get through without him. Im sorry about that  I wish I did for you and me both. I know people suggest counselling and say it gets easier but that's not really an answer or direction. I know for some it helps. As for myself, my own compass is broke and I dont know how to move forward or which way to go and it hasnt got easier. I just know, that each day I get up and I try again. 


    I think it's completely up to you when you decide to carry on, there is no going back to the norm where they arent there anymore, so take aslong as you need. Theres no time limit on this,  just because others think or feel differenty about grief and despair. I dont believe people should do things that make them uncomfortable. If you dont want to talk today thats ok if that's what you want. I personally find it very difficult talking to other because I know they will say something and I'll be upset. So there are times when i avoid conversation. I dont feel bad about it. I'm just trying to protect myself in a way I suppose. But you are 100% right there will never be anyone like him. There will never be that bond with any other human being on this planet because he was yours and nobody elses.


    I think for everyone the meaning if life or purpose is different. I dont really know what the meaning of life, or what the point of life actually is if I'm honest. I dont know why am I here or what exactly I'm supposed to do while I'm here. I actually dont think about it because again theres no true answer. I dont understand why we live and just die? We experience ups and downs and everything inbetween and for every person the journey is different. I think the scariest thing is feeling alone in a world were theres 9 billion people? How is that possible but at the same time it is and it's real and it's the now! We love unconditionally to be rewarded with heart break and sadness. Why?  It just doesn't make sense to me anyways. I dont know if I will ever stop crying or ever feel like I've moved on. Part of me doesnt want to because I feel like in doing so I've moved further away from my dad. Maybe I'll always experience this pain as if it was just yesterday I lost him all over again. I dont know. I just know I miss him, i constantly feel that i need him and want to hear him, I want the advice he would give or the silly jokes. The reality is hard to face. He was my best friend and father and everything I needed rolled into one perfect human being in my eyes. He will always be that to me.


    I really hope you find some comfort in your life. When I read your original post I feel that I wasnt so alone and i thought that you have inspired me to open up and for me thats very brave. I just want to say thanks. I'm glad I found your post.





  • Hi Adam, I have been reading your posts and can feel your pain at the loss of your beloved dad.  I too, lost my strong, funny, kind and loving dad on 8 June and said a final farewell to him yesterday.  My dad was 82 but this doesn’t stop it hurting any the less.  


    My dad lived his life to the full and never let the disease define him since his diagnosis last September.  He could not sit around doing nothing and was often in the garden and greenhouse in his care home, planting his beloved marigolds and pulling up weeds.  He even went AWOL a few weeks ago, deep in the middle of lockdown and just decided to go for a walk to the Co-op and Wickes next door.  I would not have had him any other way and I am immensely proud of the way he handled his cancer.  We were very lucky that dad deteriorated very quickly really and did not suffer massively with lots of pain, only in the last two weeks.   Myself and my brother were ‘allowed’ to see him on the Saturday before he died and he had lost an extraordinary amount of weight.  It was heartbreaking to see what had become of him from a fit, muscular man to just skin and bones.  Just awful. 


    I also lost my mum to this evil disease in February 2017 and her death was horrific.  She fought to the very end with everything she had, screaming in pain even though she had a syringe driver, and it was not until the last moments that she found peace.  The image of her fighting and scared haunted me every time I closed my eyes but, I promise you, this does fade in time.  You never forget and you can always conjure the images back up but, somehow, you just learn to live with it.  My mum and I used to speak every day and when she was first diagnosed I could not imagine not being able to do this but the human psyche is a wonderful thing and I truly hope you can find the strength to see this through.


    The memory of your dad passing is so very hard for you and I know you have heard this before and I know you don’t want to hear it again, but your dad loved you as much as you loved him and there is no way he would want you to torture yourself and feel such despair.


    Your life is not over, you are only 35, you have your mum who must be needing comfort too.  Be kind to yourself and turn the awful loss into a new start for you.


    I don’t know what your beliefs are with regard to the afterlife - I am not religious and my dad wasn’t either, indeed, he always said that “when you’re gone, you’re gone”, but I have always been fascinated by the spirit world.  I was recommended to a medium called Debra Chalmers and I contacted her following a strange occurrence that happened after we had collected dad’s belongings from the care home when a car was coming towards us with the registration DAD.  Debra telephoned me and said that dad was there with mum she described them both perfectly and I did feel some peace.  The abiding message was that your loved ones never leave you, they are always there, guiding you.  That gave me some comfort and I hope you can take comfort from this too.


    Take Care.


    Sandra x