“An individual doesn’t get cancer…A family does.” Terry Tempest Williams
This is the most honest things I read when I found out my Dad had cancer. Stage 4, advanced, metastatic, pancreatic cancer. You are filled with over a million emotions when you hear the word cancer….the word itself is cancerous. You cling to hope, positivity, prayer, angels, friends, family. You read anything and everything you can (eventhough you’re told not to) to see if there is SOMETHING at all you can do to ease this burden…on yourself and your loved one that’s going through it.
My Dad lived only 3 months after getting his diagnosis….we made the time left the best we could for him, and ourselves. Family ties got closer, and mended bullshit arguments that were really nonsense. I spent my time with my Dad being happy….I mean truly happy. Knowing the person sitting next to you, who you have loved your whole life, is going to die….there is nothing that matches that feeling. My Dad’s cancer was so far along, there was nothing that could be done to save him. The last weeks he had when he very slowly diminished, he still remained my Dad. Before I knew it, the cancer had really taken over, and his last 3 days were a living nightmare. My Dad passed away 12/3/2016….one day before my sons 4th birthday.
When your loved one is actually gone….that’s a brand new mountain to climb. It’s like, once you feel you’re making progress on the first mountain, you get knocked off and have an even bigger mountain to climb….because this one, this mountain is everlasting. You will climb this one in your sleep, when you wake, when you’re at work, making dinner, taking care of your family. You feel the weight of death when you’re happy, sad, lonely, upset, excited, proud, and every other emotion you feel day after day. Death becomes part of the healing. Cliché as it may sound….life goes on. You learn to live and heal with each passing day. Some days are fantastic, and some are terrible. I used to feel weakest on my best days….as guilt would creep in and make me feel I shouldn’t be smiling & happy. I felt normal on my worst days, because pain was what had become my normal. But I learned that ALL OF THIS IS OK! We all heal and grieve differently….what I’m going through may or may not be helpful to the next person. But no matter how you feel, IT’S OK. Feel what you have to feel and get through it….that’s the only way to get strength to climb this mountain. If you need some alone time, get it. If you need constant contact with friends and family, have it. Nothing will ever compare to losing my Dad…I’m 31, and have to live the rest of my life without him. My boys have to live without knowing their wonderful Grandpa. But what keeps me going is knowing that he really is always with me. Don’t ask how, I just know it and I feel it. So for all of you climbing this mountain….welcome. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and make the rest of their life absolutely amazing.
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