12th September is a day that will forever be etched in my head and heart for two reasons. 8 years ago – on Thursday 12th September – I married my best friend, the fabulous husband.
5 days ago – on Monday 12th September – my Dad died.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have read my previous posts about his cancer diagnosis and the advancement of the illness. We knew the end was imminent. But recent visits from the palliative care team suggested there were a few weeks to go until the end. In fact he was booked to go into a hospice for pain control on Monday. He never made it. He had a massive stroke at around 5am and was rushed to hospital. When my phone rang I thought it was his wife telling me what time his hospice transport was booked for. Instead she was telling me I needed to get to A&E as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that’s not good news.
Somehow, maybe due to the strength of his organs due to his pretty healthy lifestyle and relatively young age, it took until 10.40pm for his poor cancer ravaged body to shut down. An agonising day into night of watching him, listening for changes in his breathing and willing him to let go. Everyone who needed to see him did, including his Mom. That’s not the natural order of life; having to say goodbye to your own child, no matter what age they are.
My Dad told me a couple of weeks back that we should be relieved when it was finally over, because it mean he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. It’s not just physical pain. It’s the mental anguish of knowing the end is coming and wondering how bad things might get before the inevitable happens. He had no positivity or fight in him, because it was pointless. He had no quality of life because of the pain and was unable to enjoy anything because he was consumed by the disease. He told me, his wife, family members and medical professionals that he wanted to die, before the pain got too bad and he became solely reliant on other people to care for him.
Unfortunately, due to the archaic laws and closed minded politics in this country, that wasn’t an option. He didn’t have that choice. For that reason, rather than flowers at his funeral, we’re requesting donations, half of which will be passed to Dignity in Dying to help fund their continuing campaigning to allow people to be treated with the same compassion as animals (I know it’s a cliché, but you wouldn’t let your pet suffer in the same way we allow humans).
I had this tattoo in January last year. I wanted him to know how much I loved him while he was still with us, rather than having a memorial tattoo when he’d gone. It’s on my right hip, so he’ll always be by my side.
I also know how proud he was of this blog, and how much he enjoyed reading it. I have to attribute my level of education to my Dad; he encouraged me so much as a kid and spent time learning with me and teaching me.
I’m forever grateful to my Dad for everything he did for me – be that working all hours to provide for me; playing in the swimming pool with me on holiday; setting me maths questions; playing yahtzee; teaching me to drive; wanting to know everything about my first job; buying me a dishwasher for my first home; talking for hours about travels and holidays. I certainly inherited his appetite and we never tired of talking about food and how much we loved it.
I’ve been touched by the kind messages of love and support for me in my loss, and overwhelmed by how well liked and respected my Dad was by so many people.
Losing him at 59, losing our future years together, is the worst and most unfair thing I’ve experienced in my life so far. But I have no choice but to cope and get through this. Bitterness and anger won’t help in the long term.
At least we had time – time to talk about things, time to reminisce and time to somehow say some form of goodbye.
I already miss him so so much.
Thanks, as always, for reading. x
16 thoughts on “My Dad died on Monday”
I am so sorry to hear this. I felt teary reading your words. It’s so hard to lose a loved one so I’ll be thinking of you. I think it’s great you’re giving to Dignity in Dying because humans shouldn’t have to suffer. I watched my nan suffer this year from cancer and she was begging to die but there was nothing we could do. I’m sure your dad is so proud of you as you were so close. You have a beautiful tattoo for him and you share his love of travel xx
Thank you so much for commenting. I miss him already and it’s only getting worse so far.
But it will get easier. It has to. Otherwise the world would have stopped turning by now!
I didn’t realise that Dignity in Dying existed as an organisation until recently. They’re totally funded by donations and it’s so important for people to have choice.
It does feel awful at first. But over time it will get better. You’ll still think of him, but it wont hurt as much. I’d only heard of Dignitas abroad. But I agree, people deserve to have a choice. Xx
I’ve started following Dignity in Dying on Facebook; there’s so much public support that it’s appalling the government continue to block it.
It is sad they don’t support it. If someone is terminally ill, it should be their choice x
My deepest condolences to you and your family at this time. <3
Thank you so much, people’s kindness has floored me, I really appreciate you taking the time to post. x
I am so sorry to hear your dad passed away. 🙁
My heart goes out to you, his wife, his mum, and everyone else who loved him.
Thank you so much. It’s a very odd time – times of crippling woe followed by apparent numbness. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot. x
Oh my gosh I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you. Sorry I have not commented for a while but I have only just got back into blogging and reading peoples blogs. Take care x
Thank you, that’s really thoughtful of you. I hope you’re doing well. x
I was so sorry to hear this. Your dad would be so proud of you. I hope that things are easier for you now.Your tattoo is lovely xx
Thank you so much. I hope so. He wasn’t a huge tattoo fan but it meant a lot to me to do it.
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