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losing a father at 18 years old

lisonay
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

My father passed away from lung cancer early Sunday morning, July, 15. He fought the strongest battle he could for 10 months before he passed away from tumor complications. The cancer had metastasized to his brain last month. In the past month, he also suffered from swallowing problems to the extent of them putting in a feeding tube. This was the worst thing imaginable because he loved to cook and eat. He was placed in home hospice last week but we thought he had at least another month left, so losing him on Sunday was very unexpected. He never once complained throughout his whole ordeal and was the biggest inspiration to me. I am an 18 year old only child about to start my 2nd year of college. I never thought at this age I'd be losing the most important man in my life. I was wondering if anyone had advice they could share with me because I feel lost at the moment.

Thanks,
Alison

mroyal87
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Alison I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm 24 years old and I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer almost 4 months ago. You watch them suffer and you don't want them to be in pain, but there's the selfish part of all of us that wants them to be with us. I have to be honest with you. It's been four months and the pain is still there. A parent is someone who just can't be replaced in someone's life. The best advice I can give you is to allow yourself to cry and feel. I know that when my mom first passed I felt numb and I didn't understand why I didn't feel anything except lost. My mom was my best friend and we had an amazing relationship and I just felt completely numb when it happened.

Talk to people about it. You'll find that people are amazingly supportive and do want to help and listen. They won't understand what you are going through, but they'll listen. That's important. Just don't hold your feelings inside. The stress can be overwhelming. I find that when I allow myself to break down and remember the painful memories and the good ones and I cry I feel a sense of relief afterwards. I go to the cemetery a lot too and sit with my mom and talk to her about things that I normally would. That's the best advice I can give you. Just allow yourself to feel and express everything that's inside.

My heart, prayers and support go out to you and your family. I'm sorry for your loss and may your father's memory be eternal.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1629
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so sorry that you lost your father at such a young age. Just remember that he lives on through you. Your memories and the things you learned from him will always be with you. I know that that is little comfort right now, but in time you will find that the pain mellows. There is really no such thing as closure, but we do learn to live with our losses. Hugs, Fay

CafeRed
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Alison. I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your father. By the way you talk about him, he seems like he was an amazing man. Your love for him is evident.

My husband recently lost his father, and it has been a difficult road for him to travel. We have some of our favorite pictures of him framed throughout our house in order to remind ourselves of the special memories that we will always have with this great man. I also truly believe that these pictures have helped my husband through his healing process. But I will emphasize that it's a process.

During my time with Focus on the Family, I came across a book that has really been helpful to us and many others. You can find the book here: http://bit.ly/OUnsW0.

In the meantime, I'll be praying for you, Alison. May God give you comfort and strength during this difficult time.

Kristy1978
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom on June 20, 2012 to lung cancer as well, she also had METS to the brain, bone, and spine. It is heartbreaking to watch your parent go through such a horrible disease. I watched my mom go from being a lively, always on the go lady to a tired, weak woman. It's been a little over a month and I still feel lost. As crazy as it sounds I thought my mom would live forever. One thing that does make me feel better is knowing that my mom is in a much better place, without pain, without fear and no more sorrow. I like to think I have an extra special angel in heaven looking down on me.

Lilllly
Posts: 16
Joined: May 2009

I'm sorry to hear about your father. I lost my father last year, while planning my wedding. It is difficult to be among younger people who take their parents for granted. The things we have experienced are not things people our age normally do. The only advice I can offer is to live life and enjoy it and make him proud. When something makes you smile and feel good, think of him reaching out to your heart. I know my dad worried so much about us losing him, and I want to live life as a strong person, because that's what he was. Use the inspiration he has given you and conquer this world in his honor. There will be bad days, but there will be good days too, and each bad day will give you armor and a sword for the next.

Instead of being upset and sad that my dad was not walking me down the aisle at my wedding, I incorporated parts of favorite memories of him into the wedding and felt proud and grateful for being able to have an amazing dad even if it was for a shorter time than others. Try and focus on that. I get angry and feel cheated but I try and turn it around knowing that the love I felt in those short years surpasses love from fathers in a lifetime for some. Focus on taking care of yourself, doing what you need to do, taking the time you need and talking when you need.

Sending strength your way.

allison731's picture
allison731
Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2009

I couldn't help but read your story and realize all the things we had in common. I lost my mom two weeks before I turned 17 and now I have just celebrated my 20th. She had cancer all over and never really knew what type. It hurts a lot knowing you have to continue to grow up without a parent when all the friends around you still have theirs. My mom was everything to me as I'm sure your dad was, and that's what makes it so much more heartbreaking to a child. They should be here to see us do the things kids do but they won't and when it's time, you will learn that your dad will always be with you. He still continues to live through you. I've come to peace that my mom is somewhere near me and always has been. Even though you can't physically see or feel your dad, he will always be your very own personal guardian angel! Nobody can replace your dad or even come close, so remember and cherish the memories that you have with him, the happy ones, and look back on them each day. It's been three years and one month I have lived without my mom, and there hasn't been one single day that I haven't thought of her. Most of my days used to be bad but now most are good. And I promise the same will happen for you. But one thing is for certain, it will never get any easier missing your dad. You will learn to live with it, and only you can decide how that is.

Hope your second year of college goes well. I am in my third!
Thinking of you and that you dream of your dad tonight, Allison

nisnyder's picture
nisnyder
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2012

Alison, I'm so, so sorry. I was 17 when I lost my dad to lung cancer. It was quick and my life was flipped upside down. I was an only child and he had left me our home. 12 years later, and that home is still up and running, although life's been nothing but a struggle since then. But the pain...oh, the pain doesn't disappear. My dad raised me, and he was the only life I'd known. I was foreign to my mother, her scizophrenia, and other issues that had to be dealt with on top of my father's loss. She is currently terminally ill, as well. I can't make any sense of why we go through what we go through, I just know that the yearn for wanting them with us never goes away. Some people say it gets easier over time, but not for me. My parents will miss everything major in my life, and the lack of their presence will never go unnoticed. Take care, sweetheart. Please contact me if you need anything.

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Alison,
Losing a dad is never easy. My dad also died from lung cancer. I was older than you but I still miss him so much every day. He also died right after Christmas in 1990. My mom had died right before Christmas in 1989 so holidays are very hard. And I lost my hubby from lung cancer in 2010 and I miss him so much too.
Guess we have to go on with our memories & try and be strong. Let the tears come when you can cause it's so hard to hold back. Stay strong. "Carole"

Meeno
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2013

My father passed away July 22nd 2012 2012. My father had cancer he had a rare type of cancer. He was a strong man he used walk for miles and miles so healthy. He got diagnosed for cancer in January 2012 he battled with constant pain from 2011 July to 2012 July 12 months for pain and suffering my father went through. Doctors couldn't find where the cancer was coming from.  Me and my mum looked after my father when his treatment for cancer started the chemo killed him from 15 stone man to a 7 stone man he felt Ashamed Of what he had become. When hefirst got diagnosed besides my mum and eldest brother no one else got told. I found out by searching up his tablets on google we used to get phone calls from chemo unit at hospital. When I found out about the cancer I never asked him to scared Of what he might say. One day I finished from college 2nd year of a levels. I came home in a bad mood, and I shouted at my father the same day he had come back from his chemo. When I worked out the dates that he had his chemo and I remembered the day I shouted at him, it just clicked that the day i shouted by my father was the day he had his first dose of chemo. My heart sank I cried for ages thinking I wonder wat was going through inside his head. I never shout at my father I worship the ground he walked on. I loved him soooo much. Time went on the pain my father went through was immense I couldn't bear it losing his hair, constant bladder pain, vomiting, gas and wind pain, feet and hands swelling up. My father suffered through so much pain,, that whenever he cried he asked for gods forgiveness in case he was being punished for wrongdoing. But my father never hurt a ant. I love him. On July 19 he got admitted, I never knew that these 3 days would be an end to his life, the pain he went through. When he used to suffer from pain my dad used to cry and cry asking for mercy, telling me if he ever died I would never let go off him or ever let him be put in the coffin. Me and my mother cared for him so much my mother used to stay with him night and day, so did I. I used to help put clothes on put cream on his legs and massage his legs, I used to take him to the toilet in his last days and I could tell that he was embarrassed he used to say I've not got long left and I will be it out of ur wat l I used to say to him, I'm ur daughter it's my job I used to say. I miss his words when I used to Come from college he used to say "is my daughter here" there's was never a day when he never said these words. The day I lost him I felt empty and always in a bad mood losing my dad I was only 18 years of age. I miss him like crazy I've always had a special bond with him I've always got a long with him more than mum. But guess that's life u lose the ones u love the most, but one thing i know from the bottom of my heart I cared for my father to the best of my ability I used to wash his face, we laughed we joked. His last months I was close to him soo much. There not a day when I don't cry for him at times I cry like crazy, I can't cope when I think of him I can't get over his pain and grief. I regret the fact that I never told him that I loved him that's the one thing I regret but I think he knew how much I did loved him.I don't understand why he had to go he never saw my wedding or my kids that's wat hurts the most. People say when time goes on the pain of losing lost one goes but no it doesn't everyday as time goes by it hurts the most a birthday a wedding I think only if he was here with me. I loved my father but pain won't go it like someone stabbed me constantly. I don't understandq anymore I feel so vulnerable, the man that used to care for me has vanished the man that never let me out of his sight, has been snatched from me. The fact I won't never see him again kills me. One thing I will never love a person the way I loved my dad, not even my kids I would never give so much love to anyone else. He was special man and still is. I love him soo much, but I cant cope anymore life without him is unbearable. I have no strength I'm young only 18 I've lost a father to cancer.

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