Saturday, April 17, 2010

It Will Never Get Easier

I've avoided writing too much here about this awful, surreal experience my family is going through right now.

Not because I am worried about what anyone will think.  That others may judge me for writing about something so personal in such a public forum.  Or, that they will judge the writing itself. 

I already know I am incapable of finding an "eloquent" way to convey what it feels like to be losing not only a father, but a friend, a mentor and my hero.

The reason I have tried to keep the mood here light and not write the words, "my father is dying" is because I was afraid he would read it. 

Always supportive, Dad was one of my first "followers" here.  He didn't say much about it but I knew he was always reading along. It never failed to make me smile when I saw the IP address labeled "Daddy" come up in my StatCounter report.  Sometimes several times on one post or even several times in a day.  Although he was 1500 miles away, I could almost hear him say, "Hey little kid. I'm thinkin' of you."

Even after his "diagnosis," I'd been thinking he might get better enough to get back online.  So, I didn't want him to read anything here that would make him think I had ever lost hope.

But now, the sad reality is that he will never get back here.  He won't be reading this.

He won't be doing so many things that he used to enjoy.  Even something as simple as the taste of his mother's meatball recipe has already become a tarnished memory. 

The hospice nurse told us that this diseased distortion of taste is a "normal part of the process."  Knowing that doesn't help.

Since my father got sick just a few short weeks ago, the list of things cancer has stolen from him has rapidly gotten longer.   It's been like torture, especially knowing how keenly aware he has been throughout this entire process.
  
There isn't much worse than having someone you love so much -  your hero - look at you and say, "I'm scared." 

And there is nothing you can say back to make it better.   It's a pain which will never be cured but is sure to end in the saddest way possible.

Tonight, my sister and I finally decided to give in to the hospice nurses' advice and give him some liquid morphine. Watching him doze in and out of reality, finally "comfortable" in the borrowed hospital bed in his own room, I sit here wondering what else is left?

What else can cancer take away from him in the process of taking his life?  In the process of ripping him from my life.

This will never be okay with me.

- Charlene

Update:  Dad lost his battle on April 24, 2010; exactly one week after I wrote this.  The support and sense of community shared with me has been absolutely amazing.  Thank you so much.
Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

36 comments:

Bruce Coltin said...

You will remember him as he really was. This sad ending won't diminish the true story of his life.

Missa said...

Death ends a life, but not a relationship.
My heart breaks for you.

Missa

Rachel Cotterill said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this. How horrible.

I love that you didn't write about it until you were sure he wasn't going to read it. That's so thoughtful.

Gigi said...

My heart goes out to you...I don't even have words to try and blur the painful edges. He'll be in my prayers.

G-Zell said...

I am so sorry. MY thought and prayers with you.

Angelica said...

I am so sorry. My hubby lost his dad a couple of years ago, and it was the toughest thing we ever went through. Prayers and hugs.

Charlene said...

Thanks everyone.

Cheryl D. said...

I'm so sorry. This is not an easy process to go through. Try to keep him as comfortable as possible. That's all you can do! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

thinking good thoughts for you all - mark

Hunter said...

There are people out here in the blogosphere that are thinkin' of you and sending good thoughts your way during this difficult time.

juliann said...

I'm glad your father got to see his daughter doing something she is very gifted at..writing! You touch many with your honest, authentic approach to viewing the world. Thanks for sharing with us. May the memories of your dad stay with you always. Your in my thoughts!

Tony Anders said...

I am very sorry to hear of your circumstances. It is indeed difficult to see one we love being ravaged by teh disease. The helpful thing to me in a similar situation was the realization that I can choose where to place the frame around the memories I have of them, and then I can hang that image on my heart forever. Bless you in your trying times my friend!

Shell said...

How heartbreaking.

heather said...

Oh Charlene. I know there's nothing I can do to change the course of what may come. I hope the power of a loving presence will bring you as much comfort as possible as will yours to your father. :) Love, Heather

webb said...

There is one thing that is slightly worse... a father who will not - at least not to you - acknowledge that he is dying, so you can't really say goodbye. You know he knows, and he knows you know but the wall is so high and think that he won't let you in. Please be thankful that you and your dad have had the opportunity to be square with each other. That he could tell you he is scared because HE knows you are there for him, and knowing that makes it a bit easier for him.

You're a daughter of whom he is proud - and rightly so. love,

Jennifer said...

Oh sweet lady. I know what you mean. My husband and I sat with my dad as he slipped into a coma in a borrowed hospital bed in his room just over eight years ago. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to endure. Still not a day goes by that I'm not filled with an ache. There are no words that can take away the pain and the loneliness that you feel right now. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. My advice is to cry, mourn, grieve and tell him you love him every second you can. Tell him that you are glad that he's your dad and if there is anything else you want to tell him then do it. Don't wait. Don't think that this isn't the time. This is exactly the time. Even if you think he can't hear you. Do it. He wants to hear.

And please feel free to email me if you need to vent or unload on someone. I promise that I've been right where you are now and I have very good ears. Seriously.

Alyna, The Gift Detective said...

Your pain is so evident, as is your love for your dad. Brought tears to my eyes to read this.

I read this after reading all of your wonderful updates about you P90X experience and, in some odd way, it seems appropriate because you are STRONG. Not just in body, but in spirit and heart and cancer can't take away the love you feel for your dad or the memories you have of him.

Warmest thoughts,
~ Alyna

The Guy's Perspective said...

All I can say is I'm sorry.

It's good that you have some outlets other than family to talk about your feelings.

I lost my dad while I was on my honeymoon. In fact he didn't make it to my wedding and I hadn't seen him in a year. I was told by him, and the doctors he was getting better. I decided to go on the trip with the plan of seeing him the week after. Well, not much else to say.

Even though it's sad, cherish the moments you have together. I know you will.

tvachon said...

Charlene, I'm so sorry to hear of his illness. I have a different perspective, because I lost my dad as a child. You are so lucky to know your dad as an adult, and really be able to appreciate him. I'm sure you've let him know that. It sounds like a mutual admiration society. I wish you and your family peace.

foxy said...

Oh, I'm so, so sorry Charlene. That cancer is such a nasty disease. I honestly can't imagine losing a parent. Please know that I'm thinking about you right now and sending you a big ole virtual hug.

xoxo

Sarah said...

your dad sounds amazing. no wonder he has such an amazing daughter. there's not much to do except keep him comfortable. it's scary and it's not fair. i share your anger. your love for him may be his biggest ally right not.

criticalcrass said...

i'm glad you wrote this. and i think you penned it quite eloquently considering. i know it's trite, but i'm so sorry. i hate this for you. i will think of you and yours daily.

Blondie88 said...

:( I am so sorry! I can understand why you would not want to write about it...In this sitution Postive environments are needed!!
Try to keep up the smiles and enjoy every moment with him you possibly can!

Salt said...

Unfortunately I know way too much about how this feels. He is so lucky to have you fighting with him during this difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your whole family!

Teresa @ Red Velvet Confections said...

The suffering and loss of a parent is never easy. It sounds like you're handling this in the most thoughtful way possible. I wish you all peace as you face the reality of your current circumstances.

BK said...

My father was hospitalized in November 2005 and was shortly diagnosed with cancer after that. From then onwards he had been in and out of the hospital regularly. Not to mention on top of that, he had to undergo kidney dialysis thrice a week and I was the one to accompany him to the dialysis center every treatment. It was painful and sad to see him going through the 4 hours session every time. We knew he must have suffered much inside but he never talked much about it. We were all helpless and didn't know what we could do. The only things we could do were to make it as comfortable for him as possible and to spend time with him. We lost him in March 2006. Thus I can imagine how helpless you must be feeling right now. My heart is with your family.

I wish for all the goodness for your father and that he would be free from all pain. He would definitely want the best for all of you just as he stopped by to read your writings here regularly. I wish for you the strength to stay with him and to see him through. Sending positive thoughts to your father and your family.

Anonymous said...

I too went through the same thing with my mother. Nothing can be said to make it better, but please know that you are not alone.

With compassion,

Your friend Jeff from across the lake.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm so sorry you, your father, and the rest of your family are going through this. It is heartbreaking.

Dawn and Kim said...

We said goodbye to our Dad in 1992. From diagnosis to death was 4 months. He was 53. I know your pain and know that your obvious good memories and relationship will live on forever. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Dad. There are some days I know he is right next to me. I love that. Your blog is really amazing. Please visit my sister's and mine at http://dawnandkim.blogspot.com

Charlene said...

Thanks everyone for all the kind comments and messages. The short battle has ended - exactly a month from diagnosis to the end. My father is at peace; my hero in the stars now... and always in my heart.

Serenityville said...

Hi Charlene, I just read this...I don't know if you want to hear anything now...but I am thinking of you and wishing you peace.

Tina said...

Being comfortabe and pain free is the most important thing. You know I feel for you. God bless you and your family. If you need to talk to someone, I'm here.

kneesandpaws said...

I'm sad for you and your family. I remember the surreal feelings as my father lost his life to cancer. Soon it will be one year since we said goodbye. Be comforted knowing he'll always stay with you.

fojoy said...

This weekend it is 3 years since my mother passed away from cancer. My heart goes out to you - it is such an ugly thing to go through - a terrible, torturous, sad time.
Remember the good times.

http://robyn-fojoy.blogspot.com/2010/05/day-to-remember.html

Debbie's L'Bri said...

My husbands Dad died of cancer 5 years ago. Remember the good memories and Hug him while he is here.
Come Enter my Anniversary contest

http://debbiellbriskincare.blogspot.com/2010/05/anniversary-month.html

Serene @ MomFood said...

No, it will never be okay. At best, it will eventually be tolerable. That's the best we can do with deep grief, I'm afraid. Thank you for sharing this.

Post a Comment