Having lost my dad to stomach cancer three years ago I could never know just how powerful and consuming grief is. I was always known for my inner strength and I even remember my mother telling me that as my dad lay dying that he knew I’d be strong enough to deal with losing him. If only he knew just how wrong he was. I was 22 when my dad died and I’m 25 now. Yes I am young and many will think that I have a lifetime to deal with and ‘get over’ my grief but I can never forget what I’ve seen. Cancer is a cruel illness both to those that suffer and the family left to watch it consume and destroy their loved ones. I saw the agony my poor father went through every minute of every day. He was constantly vomiting, starving but couldn’t eat, thirsty but didn’t have the strength to hold a bottle or a cup to his lips and in the end too weak to even swallow. He couldn’t walk without suffering several falls a day, he suffered hallucinations and SVT and fits and in the end he lost even his dignity. He was always such a strong and proud man and yet cancer took him down to nothing. Pride and dignity means nothing to ‘Lady C’. She will bring you down however high you are, however big you are. Whether you are a powerful and rich person or someone that lives on the streets begging for every scrap she will bring you down and she will kick you when you’re down and then she will step on you and crush you into the ground until there is nothing of you left but skin and bone and death. I relive his suffering in my thoughts and dreams. Every morning my first thought is ‘Daddy’s dead and I must start another day without him.’ Every night my last thoughts are ‘Daddy’s dead and I’ll never see him again.’ Sometimes my dreams play nasty tricks on me and he’s alive and well and we enjoy each other’s company and I can smell his aftershave, feel his touch, hear is voice and he is more alive than ever and then I wake up happy and thankful that I haven’t lost him and then reality hits.. It was all just a dream and the truth is he’s dead well and truly and his being alive was an illusion of the mind. That’s hard. Very hard to deal with. I go through my day like the ‘tough cookie’ I am or at least pretend to be, helping my mother through her grief and playing the ‘strong and reliable one’ but inside I am suffocating and I am slowly being eaten away by grief. Each day it gets harder to fight back the tears, to smile and laugh and joke, to act normal. Please do not allow anyone to disillusion you for I am telling you now that you never ‘get over’ grief and it does not ‘get easier’. You don’t even learn to accept grief instead you learn to live with it and I can tell you now grief is one roommate you don’t want staying with you.
I’m 25 and I’m from Northern Ireland. I love animals and nature and my favourite passtimes are reading and arts&crafts. I live with my mum and I’m engaged to the most wonderful man in the world. I try my best to be good and kind like most people. I can’t stand cruel people or liars.