Losing my Father to Cancer

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My dad was the only person who cared about my well being. Although he wasn’t my biological father, he was the only father…let alone the only parent in my life. My mother was on drugs by the time I was 5, battling an addiction to cocaine and pills. She lost that battle about two months before I left for college when she passed away from an overdose. My dad, however, was there for everything. My kindergarten graduation, every Christmas, any award ceremony, any big accomplishment, he was there. He even took me on my first real vacation to see the beach. That meant so much to me.  

When I was 21, I had gotten engaged and pregnant. I was 8 months pregnant when my ex fiancé at the time left me. Not only was I scared, but I was an emotional mess. I packed up some trash bags and moved back in with my dad. At that point he was the only stable thing I had. After having my son, we moved into our own apartment and my dad was mentally there for me. We spoke every single day, and he always checked on my son and I. Four months into starting a new job, the company let me go because they couldn’t afford to keep me on. The only person I truly had to help me was my dad. At that point, I was already barely making ends meet and had received an eviction notice. My sons father refused to help, so my dad allowed me to pay my rent with his credit card. I cried because I was so appreciative. I truly felt like he was the only person I had. I was okay with that. He’s my dad, my best friend.

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

A few years later, my dad called me and told me his doctor said he needed to go to the Emergency Room to get some tests ran. I got the call that night from my cousin who went to visit him that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. My heart sank and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like my whole world had crashed. When he was transferred to another hospital that had a bigger oncology department, I decided to meet him there. He informed me that if he didn’t make it to my wedding in three months, he would have my uncle walk me down the aisle. I cried so hard. One of the biggest days of my life and he wouldn’t be there. Within two months his health drastically declined. All I could do was cry and pray that God would take his pain away.

The day our nurse informed us he had 24 to 48 hours to live, my world was crushed. I knew this time was coming, I just wasn’t as prepared. I honestly don’t think you ever are prepared for something like this. On a Saturday morning he was transferred to a hospice center, my sister, my cousin and I stayed all weekend. He was declining and the nurse told us his transition to passing had began. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy he was about to be out of pain or cry for my own selfish reasons. That Monday when we left for a break, he passed.

Coping with Fatherlessness

To this day the pain hasn’t gone away. I sometimes find myself carrying many emotions…sad, anger, happy, clueless. He wasn’t there for my wedding day, he won’t be there for when my next child is born. It breaks my heart, but the only thing that gets me through is knowing he’s watching every move I make. I’ve been to counseling for grief and I’m still going. If you don’t go, it is something I highly recommend. It has helped me sort through my issues and my grieving process. Life to this day isn’t the same and it never will be. I’m 25 with no parents and I’m scared. The world is a scary place. I go to church now in hopes to make my relationship with God stronger so he can help me through this. When I’m upset I have to remind myself that my dad wouldn’t want me to feel this way, he would want everything to be normal. Please always remember that you are not alone. This is not easy, but other women deal with the same thing. Remember what your father would want for you and live your life in honor of him.

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