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How do I grieve?

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I don't even know where to start.... I lost my Dad April 7th to complications of stage IV lung cancer. He was 57 and had been diagnosed in mid-February. He never really had a chance to fight the cancer, he was too busy fighting other lung infections. I spent lots of time with him while he was ill. He totally expected to be able to fight this horrible disease and win but he never had a chance to fight.

I have spent the last few weeks since his death caring for everyone(that used to be Dad's job). My Mother seems to be doing a little better. My husband and four-year-old are dealing well also. I seem to be the one not coping. Most of the time I feel numb. I have only cried a few times(one of which was at the funeral). It just doesn't seem real to me.

How do I get through this? I know he's gone. I was at the hospital, funeral and burial. How do you grieve if your heart won't accept the reality?

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

I don't know what to tell you since I just lot my father on April 14th to Small Cell Lung Cancer. He was 75. It may seem that even though he was older it would be easier, but it's not. My parents were very active, and both very young looking. They are not your typical 70 year old plus parents. They traveled played golf and remained active.

My dad was diagnosed last year in April, and it was a very long and hard year. He did very well with Chemotherapy at the start, and we were hopeful. But I knew in the back of my mind because he was diagnosed at the extensive stage that we were on borrowed time.

Many people said we were lucky to have had him for as long as we did. I am the youngest of three girls, and I am missing my dad like crazy. I miss his gently smile, his sense of humor, and his fairness. He was such a good man.

At his memorial service we had a solist who sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" and my sisters and I just lost it, we cried so hard, on the " Your my Hero" part.

I worry for my Mom as she has Leukemia even though it is in Stage 0, I worry for as a daughter. She was married to my Dad for 54 years, and will be 75 this year. So you can see she has spent her entire life with my Dad. They had the best marriage. They were each others best friends, and loved each other so much.

It breaks my heart when she is crying over the loss of my dad. She is so sad and misses him so very much.

We did not even get to experience much of hospice. He had gone into the hospital and came out on the Friday before he died, and hospice began, and then he was gone the following Monday. I think my Dad just did not want to go through anymore. He was so courageous, he never complained, he never once was negative during his fight. He was so positive.

Even when the radiation did nothing for him, and he was in the hospital back in January and they told him the cancer had spread, he remained positive. And when he was told in March it had spread to his bones, he was positive. And when the Cat Scan report showed his left lung had collapsed and his right lung was amassed in cancer and his lower cavity showed cancer he still smiled and went on.

I don't think we ever get over losing our parents no matter how old we are or they were. It hurts and it just does. All I can say is I am trying my best, and getting back to work and trying to be a good mom to my 9 year old son. I am also trying to be there for my Mom.

I know what your going through.....

All the best to you and take Care.....Chris

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

hi ,
where do i begin, i relate more then you will ever know. i don't have an answer if there is one. but i lost my dad march 15 to lung cancer.
have had alot of death in that past 3 years including my 17 yr old brother where do we begin
i don't know. i think i am afraid to start because it may not stop then who will do my jobs like wife mom and all the daily stuff that has to go on wether my heart is in it or not. so just know you are not alone! chellie

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I lost my mother to breast cancer in August 2001. I am looking for someone to talk to. Let me tell you this.....No one knows what you are going through, everyone experiences things different. At first everyone says they are there to help you, which is great. Then a few months later people stop calling and bringing things over. At that time it is up to you. Grieving IS NOT A SHORT PROCESS. It has almost been 2 years since my mother had died. It does not get easier, but the grief is not as foreign, it is hard. I am having trouble noe b/c it is almost mother's day and this Saturday is my college graduation and she is not here, adn this Dec. I am getting married and she will not be there. All i can tell you is grieve, cry, scream as muych as you want to. YES, this is hard, but it is now a part of life, and I am not a religious person, but I do believe that GOD or whatever you believe in gives you what you can handle. Cry, be sad, do what ever, it is healthy to do it, and find someone you can talk to...it helps, it is not easy....but its life...become a strength for someone else.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2003

I am here for anyone who needs to talk. I need someone to talk to as well. I lost my mother to cancer in October 1997. It has been almost 6 years and I hate to say it but I am still grieving. I think the problem with me is that I never fully grieved. Everyone grieves in their own way. It is ok to cry and do all the things that MerWelsh said in their message. It has gotten a bit easier I can say but it was very hard at first. Especially for me because I have no siblings and probably one of the smallest families in the world. If you have a big support system(your family and friends) that will help tremendously. When we had Hospice coming to our house one of the nurses was a truly remarkable person. She had just lost her mother 3 months before I did and she was consoling ME! She told me that she would look up at the sky at night and pick out a star. That star would represent her mother and everynight she would talk to the star. It helped her a lot so I tried it and it helped me. This may sound corny to you all but it is just a suggestion. Two years ago my father was then diagnosed with prostate cancer and I thought this would happen all over again. I am so happy to say he is doing great now but of course I still worry. For me I too have multiple losses I am dealing with. My grandma died in '95, grandpa in '96 and mom in '97. But I am still here, and you are still here. If anyone needs to talk please feel free to email at guerriero.2@wright.edu. Just so you know all of that happened to me between the ages of 18-20 and I am now 26. Somehow I am coping, and somehow you can too. Writing helps a great deal too. In the end, only you know what will make you feel better and get you through this, but coming from someone who has suffered so much in her short lived life so far, you can do it. Take care of yourselves and keep writing.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2003

Hi, I am new to this site. I lost my mom on saturday june 14, 2003. My mom died from stage 4 lung cancer as well. She also had another lung infection, they never figured out what it was.... They would tell us one day that she was close to the end, then the next day they said she had weeks at least....I'm still in shock. I am hoping to find someone outside my close circle here at home to help me through. I have a 4 yr old who is also having a hard time with it and don't know what to to tell her....I am at a total lose of words and inspiration to her and myself./...I don't knoiw what to do..... please help.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

My son was four when my father died(he just turned five). He didn't understand where his Pop- pop had gone. He just knew everyone was, and still is, sad. We don't hide our tears from him. If he asks what's wrong I just say I miss Pop-pop. His usual response is "I do too".

When my Dad died we told him that Pop-pop had been very sick(which he already understood). We told him how much the doctors tried to make Pop-pop better but that Pop-pop's body was just too sick. We tell him that if he closes his eyes(we do this before bed)and looks real hard he can see a picture of his Pop-pop(he loves that partand usually tells me what Pops is doing). I then tell him to tell Pop-pop anything he wants too and that he doesn't even have to say it out loud. Pop-pop can hear him even if he just thinks things he wants to tell him. If he wakes up in the middle of the night he talks to Pop-pop and tells him to make the bad dreams go away. After he did this the first time he told me he doesn't have bad dreams anymore because Pop-pop is making the bad stuff stay away.

The only other advice I can offer came out of an experience I had in June. I have very bad asthma and ended up having my husband take me to the ER. We took our son along because we couldn't find a sitter. Not having a sitter was the best thing to happen for my son. He got to see his mom very sick and in the hospital. He saw me getting medicine. He then saw me getting better. All of his experiences in a hospital up to that point were of illness followed by death. My being sick and getting well before his eyes made him less afraid of illness and hospitals. He was very attached to me for a few weeks but he now know people do det well in hospitals.

I hope that helps. I know how hard it is on everyone. I am still not really ready to grieve. It still feels like it happened to someone else and I am just a spectator. I can get others through it but I am not ready to handle it myself.

If anyone wants to talk my email is shanadair@yahoo.com. Good luck to you all!!

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

I had a hard time grieving also. I lost my mom 24th of Dec. 2003. It was not until the week of her birthday Feb 19 that It really hit me. This is a normal thing. Although I spent alot of time with my mom b4,during cancer It was hard for me to believe she was no longer her. You have one up on me I did not cry at the funeral or the wake. Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy thinking the busier we are the less we will think about it. It will work for a while. You need to take some time for yourself. Sometimes you have to let other people take care of themselves so you can become healthy. I know I have just started to practice what I preach. They have sights on the grieving process try one. You will see that what you are experiencing is normal.

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