My dad is dying and I'm not ready to talk


My dad is dying and I don't want to talk to anyone about it. I haven't processed my own feelings and I'm not sure I know how to do that. 

He on the other hand is ready to tell all our family and friends who I know will want to check in with me and ask questions but I just want to bury my head in the sand a little longer. Can I do that? I don't want people to start treating me differently.

I'm pregnant with my second child which isn't helping my emotional state. This is also bringing back loosing my nana to cancer during my first pregnancy with totally devastated me.

I keep having little realisations such as my dad not being here when I have my second child and how I'm going to explain to my oldest (toddler) what is happening and where grandad has gone. It's slowly dawning on me. I'm going to become my mums main support when I still rely on and need her so much. My brother is going to loose all sence of himself and probably do some really stupid and possibly dangerous stuff. I'm not ready for it to happen. But I suppose no body ever is.

My husband is a supportive and loving partner but I just can't verbalise all the things rushing round my head. Is it normal to want to shut down like this? To pretend nothing is wrong while your busy at work all day and then be an emotional wreck at home ? 

I can talk to my mum but I feel like she's the really victim here and she shouldn't be comforting me I should be comforting her. She feels the same as me doesn't want to discuss with anyone outside immediate family.

How do I work through this? How do I politely tell people I don't want to talk about it ? I feel like any mention of it will make me burst into tears or any act of kindness 

Sorry for rambling 

  • Hello Daughterofdying, 

    Sometimes it is really hard to talk to the people closest to you about how you are feeling as you are going through something so traumatic. This is why coming to this forum is actually a good idea - it may be easier for you to write things down at the moment rather than verbalising thoughts and feelings which you haven't fully processed yet as you say. You don't have to answer questions you don't feel comfortable with so be kind to yourself and follow your instinct as the most important thing is that you protect yourself and don't feel overwhelmed by all this. As you rightly point out, being pregnant with your second child is bound to make your emotions go all over the place and it's impossible to forget these memories of losing your gran during your first pregnancy - this is bound to affect you and I am so sorry that you are having to go through this again at a time when you should be focusing on this new life. It's completely understandable that you are feeling frightened by what lies ahead and how this will affect your mother and your brother. 

    It's good you have a supportive and loving husband by your side and he probably knows you better than anyone and will understand that you are not able to verbalise all the thoughts and emotions running through your head. I don't think there is any right or wrong way to be in tough circumstances like yours so don't feel bad about not being able to talk to people, I am sure they will understand if you explain gently that you need time on your own to process all this at the moment. Your mum seems to be experiencing the same difficulty as you to talk to people about this and perhaps you can support one another as you understand each other so well. Don't feel bad about getting comfort from your mum as I am sure you are also comforting her during this emotional time. The main focus really at the moment should be yourself, your pregnancy and your immediate family and anyone else needs to understand that you may not feel ready to talk at the moment. If you feel it all gets a bit much for you, perhaps you could talk to your GP especially if you feel this is affecting your enjoyment of your pregnancy - I am sure they will have some good advice for you to help you cope during this difficult time. 

    I hope you won't mind but I have slightly edited the title of your post so that it is more easily spotted by others who are also looking after a terminally ill parent or relative. 

    We're thinking of you and your family and wanted you to know that you are not alone, that so many members of our forum have been in your place before and sometimes it's easier to talk to strangers here than to people close to you because they know exactly what you are going through having experienced it themselves. You may not have met in real life but you will have a lot to share. 

    Best wishes, 

    Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Thank you for you kind words x  

  • Talk, talk and talk some more. Tell people what you are feeling. I have a few weeks left and have decided you’ve just got to get on with it. It’s *** but no point making it even worse by clogging up your head. Don’t get me wrong - for about 7 days I just cried but what was I achieving? Time to embrace it, face it head on and burn out.