Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My thoughts on dealing with a loss.

This morning, I have read a very touching comment from a young Lady, April.

April left her comment under my November 25/06 post titled: To Know You are Dying.

I am not exactly full of energy today, so I am doing a little cheating. I know that sadly many readers do not always read all comments left. I always encourage all to do so, as these comments often contain so much more than I can ever offer.

My post today is made up in 3 parts. April’s comment, my response to her and a portion of the November 25th post that did help me at the time.
April’s so very touching and wise comment:

April Says:
October 10, 2009 at 5:39 am | Reply edit

Bill, Lisa and Alejandro,
I really feel for you, I myself am not planning on dying anytime soon, but my dad was told they’d be suprised if he made it to this christmas. He has four different types of cancer.I’ve always asked my dad about death but the other day I was speechless and teared up when my dad asked me, “April, do you think it will hurt?” Time is going by so fast and its so hard watching someone try to do everything they have always wanted before they passed. My grandparents both had cancer. My grandfather had colon cancer and was given 6 months when I was four. He lived til one week after my 16 birthday. I was thinking my dad was a fibber and that there is no way a 49 year old who seems perfectly normal on the outside could really be that sick on the inside. I told my self the doctors would be wrong with him just like they were with my granfather. But, my dad decided against treatment. He felt if he is dying, why spend the last days, weeks, months or years sick? Its true knowing you are dying is a rollercoaster one day your ready the next your crying and angry. I actually envy my dad. I get angry at him like its his fault he is leaving and that at least he doesn’t have to live knowing Im he’s gone. I find him lucky in away. Once your gone there is no more pain and suffering. While the restof us live the rest of our days with our loved ones in our thoughts still never knowing our time. I really feel for all of you who are passing. All I can say is live the rest of your life to the fullest and who cares if doctors say dont do this dont do that really if your dying what can it hurt. My grandfather wanted one beer the day before he slipped into a coma. The doctor said no. What would it have hurt? Do what you want as long as it doesn’t envolve hurting others and live while you can. Make your last moments count cause who knows where we go from here. Do spend your last days sad that your going to die. If there is no other way but to die why dwell. Make it count :) Your in my prayers

My response to April:

“Hi April. I am honored that you would stop by to share your feelings. Reading your words it is almost like I can feel your pain and my heart goes to you. I am so very sorry to hear of your fathers cancer. My prayers are for you both.
I have always said that I do believe it is much harder on the families that are left behind. It takes time to work through the grieving process.
For the families of those with a terminal illness, it is like there are 2 separate grieving periods. First, you grieve the fact your loved one is going to be leaving. Then ultimately comes the time when you grieve the actual passing. It is hard, very hard and takes time.
Your situation is, your father is fighting his battle and you are fighting yours. These battles are very similar but are not the same. I hope and pray you are able to spend as much time together as possible providing mutual support back and forth. I pray you have other loved ones at your side to support you through this time. At a time like this loving support is so important, such a comfort.
Please know, you, your father and entire family is always welcome to come here for support. You will find the blog has evolved into a loving supportive community of wonderful people all here willing to support you in any way we can. I hope you are at least some what comforted knowing that you are now in the prayers of many from all around the world.
In answer to your father’s question. Do you think it will hurt? My thought, my belief is no it will not hurt. Physical pain will come from the cancer, but that will all be gone in a moment.
The advice you have given us all on living live is a message we can all learn from. I thank you for sharing you thoughts with us all.
I am going to send you a short email. Just so you have my email address. I ask you to please return here to the blog to share your feelings. But if either you OR you father should wish to chat in a more private setting, I am here for you.

A portion of my Nov. 25th posting that I found to be a benefit to me at the passing of my mother. The post portion:

With my memory these days I am never sure if I read this somewhere or if this is my own thought. I just know this helped me tremendously when my mother passed. I loved my mother dearly and still do and always will. I hope I can find the right words to really express what I am trying to say.

Use your imagination and try to picture this scenario. By some chance your loved one get a chance to go on a fantastic voyage, say a year long cruise around the world. You know your loved one would have a fantastic time, the time of their lives. Lets further suppose, the trip has already been booked and nothing short of a miracle will stop them form going. How would you react?

Would you be there, being lovingly supportive in their preparations for the voyage. Hoping and praying only for their happiness and well being. It is a given that you will miss them. You are comforted knowing you will see them again and out of love, make the choise to put their well being ahead of our own. I mean it would be so unfair to hope or think they should miss out on such an opportunity just because we will miss them. We joyously help in their preparations spending quality, happy time before they leave. Tearful good byes are said hugs are exchanged and off they go.

Or, Even though you know the trip is booked and that they will have a wonderful time, do you react differently. Even selfishly, out of our own fear of missing them and being lonely, we feel miserable. We cry and maybe even try to talk them into canceling the trip, “you can’t go I will miss you to much”.

Through our own selfishness we want to deny them the trip the joy, the happiness that would come with it. They are leaving anyway, we can’t change that, but we have turned what could have been a joyous farewell into a time of personal sorrow for ourselves.

I used these thoughts on the passing of my dearly loved mother. I wished her joy and happiness until we meet again. Did that remove all the sadness no, but it definitely helped. With her passing my mother went on a wonderful voyage and I do miss her but I know I will be seeing her again.”

I remind April and all readers. I am not a doctor, a therapist or a man of the clergy. I am just me, sharing my thoughts and feelings. I only hope and pray some of my sharings may help someone, anyone in some way.


3 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My thoughts on dealing with a loss.

  1. This post has got me in tears, reading about the hurt April is feeling just rips my heart out. I realize just how much hurt is out there, people are dealing with very hard times…

    Be strong and God be with you all.

  2. Jo Hart says:

    Hi Bill, I still remember the words of a young lady (sorry can’t remember her name) that left a post last year “It’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll catch ya later”. Shared that with a good friend of mine who lost his dad to cancer this last Wednesday. He’s not a spiritual person, but he reckons he finds that comforting.

    ((((((April))))) Prayers being sent your way.

  3. Mel says:

    There’s no words.
    There just aren’t.
    Losing someone, losing anyone–is hard.
    ((((((((((( April )))))))))))))

    I appreciate the words of wisdom contained in the truth you shared. I hope you find peace in knowing that your dad is being well taken care of…and obviously he’s well loved–by you.

    ((((((((((( Bill )))))))))))

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