My 95-year-old father died last week. He’d been battling cancer on and off for the last eight years. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. I’m so blessed to have had him as my dad for so long. I miss him so.
One of the hardest parts of my pulmonary fibrosis progression has been my inability to get on a plane or tolerate the 500-mile drive to see him. I made my last visit to see him seven months ago and was barely able to make it. I’m so glad I did. It was so good to see him. I’m glad I was able to talk with him on the phone to say goodbye the day before he passed.
The thief disease
This disease steals so much — our breath, life as it was, and eventually our life itself. The loss of precious family moments seems so cruel. I’m deeply wounded; the loss of my dad is so raw. I can handle having to quit work and cart around oxygen easier than the inability to be with my dad in his last moments. I wish I could have held his hand and told him how much I love him.
We all miss meaningful moments
I know I’m not the only one who has missed meaningful moments because of this disease. Many of us haven’t been able to attend engagements, weddings, births, graduations, deaths, and other meaningful moments. Sometimes our relatives understand we can’t make these events and sometimes they don’t. I’m fortunate that my sister understands and doesn’t blame me for not being with her and my dad in person. I don’t know what I would do without her.
I’m allowing myself to grieve rather than fight my tears. It’s helpful to write about my dad’s death and share how awful I feel about not being able to be with him at the end. This column puts words to the losses that validate my dad’s life, the pain I’m feeling, and the continued toll of having PF.
How about you?
What types of meaningful moments have you missed? Have you let yourself grieve your absence at desired events? What has helped you get through these difficult times?
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Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.