dad died of lymphoma..feelings of guilt

shuttterbug

This may be long, and I apologize in advance I'm a 24 year old female and I lost my wonderful dad to sudden cancer last September. I'm having the hardest time coping with all of this..I feel SO SO many feelings of guilt on the daily. My dad's last year of his life was so hard for him..even though he never expressed it, i'm positive he was suffering from depression. When I was 13, my mom decided she "wanted to be free" and left. She was always present, but divorced my dad and left our childhood home. So I grew up with my dad and grandma (who lived with us). My teen years, my dad seemed okay..he was always happy..he did ANYTHING and everything for me. I was a stupid kid, after highschool--directionless, and he didn't get upset at me..he loved me unconditionally. He was a smoker. Around 20-21, I began getting really upset about this, as I knew his health was going to deteriorate. My grandma died 3 years ago, and he seemed to accept it..she was very old and it was natural. We moved several times after we sold our house we'd lived in for years. The last place I lived with him, I noticed he would sleep on the couch all afternoon, he wasn't working, we were eating horribly and he wasn't cleaning his home sufficiently..he had it foreclosed and had to move out to a horrible side of town. At this point, I decided to live with my mom for a while because his lack of motivation and smoking was hurting me. He began having money problems, and sold his car to pay rent. After that, he found another place to live..with a roommate and everything seemed as ok as it could be. ONe day, I went to his house--he had been sick..and he walked out with his face so swollen I didn't recognize him. Immediately I sensed something was terribly wrong. I begged him to see a doctor, that I would take and go with him. He refused. He was so so stubborn. One night at work, I had been calling him all day and he was not responding..I went to his house and he was laying in bed..sick. I dragged him out to a quickcare, and from there they transported him to a hospital where they diagnosed him with lymphoma and kept him for months. He began chemo, and at this time I had found a roommate and began establishing my independent life. He moved to a small apartment..it was supposed to be a temporary setting and the chemo seemed to be working, until one day I went to visit, and he was collapsed in the ktichen for three hours on the floor. He went to the hospital and never went home. I was by his side, when he was in the ICU and he passed. I went for weeks and weeks watching my poor father die. I have flashes of seeing my dad laying, staring at me...fighting so hard to live. My dad didn't want to DIE. I suppose no one does but he was not ready. I was alone really, thoughout all of this..I still feel so alone. I'm angry and sad and the guy I'm dating is completely clingy has been throughout this ordeal...I feel nothing towards anyone..him included. I don't want to touch him, kiss him, love him, have sex.. I want to always come home to my room and sleep alone. So needless to say..we're always fighting which adds to my misery. In some aspects, my life isn't so bad.. I'm not completely anti social, but my love life is ruined. I just can't get the image out of my head..knowing my dad was so lonely and lost and sick, and I left him...I hate myself everyday and I can't find solace or comfort in anything. Many use their faith to move forward, but I have none. I haven't felt him near me..I have dreams that I see him, and most of the time he is sick. Why can't i just remember how he was most of my life..healthy and happy??? Why are these last 2 years going to haunt me forever? I have had 3-4 dreams where I've died myself and its just black. Thank you for reading this..it was mostly rambling, but these are things I've never told anyone.

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socks

Shutterbug,

I'm glad you posted here. It helps to write it all down, doesn't it? I don't think you need to feel guilty. You were attentive to your father when he was sick. He chose to smoke, to not see a doctor; you didn't make those choices. He may have been depressed, but I cannot imagine how you could have helped with that much. I understand that it was just horrible watching him these past two years--a difficult ending for your dear father.

Can you split from the boyfriend and have your own job, apartment, or at least another roommate you are not involved with as you are with your boyfriend? I think it would be emotionally healthier for you as the current situation isn't helping you. If not, could you live with Mom for a while until you get back on your independent feet?

I'm so sorry for your loss. Keep the good memories close at heart. See if you can get some pictures of you and Dad and make a little album, or get some framed. Take care.

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Joedam66_aol_com

Shutterbug,

I can't tell you in words how much I identify with what you have written. I'm a 31 year old male and my father passed when I was 25. I wish I could tell you that it gets easier but it doesn't it...but it's up to you how you internalize that. Whenever I start to cry (right now) as a result of the horrible images associated with my father's death, I do my best to remember that he is/was/always will be worth the tears. You get one father in this life and that crap will always f' you up if you were close but it's one of those things...is it better to have never loved or to have loved and lost? No right answer here - just telling you what works for me. What does not jive is cheaping your experience by taking an antidepressant. I started taking Paxil when my father was at a hopeless state of treatment (24yrs old) and still can't get off those sob's. Sure they help my mood but getting off them is like trying to quit heroine (not that I've ever tried). In short, I wish you all the best in your recovery. If you ever need a penpal regarding the subject, you've got one (joedam66@aol.com)
Lots of love,
Joe

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