Missing Meaningful Moments Due to PF

Missing Meaningful Moments Due to PF

Just breathe, passionate help for the PF journey

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.

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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.

From right, Kim and her husband, father, and son in February 2018. (Courtesy of Kim Fredrickson)

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.

From left, Kim and her father, sister, and husband in February 2018. (Courtesy of Kim Fredrickson)

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?

Please leave a comment below and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media.

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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.

9 comments

    • Hi Elizabeth. I put in a request to remove you from the mailing list but they were unable to find your e-mail address. You can remove yourself bu going to the bottom of the e-mail you received and click “unsubscribe.” This will take you to page which will remove you from the list.

  1. Vic says:

    Last year,my husband with severe IPF enjoyed not feeling obligated to visit everyone during the winter holidays and could instead focus on what he really wanted to do with the time he had left- ice fish.

    He has accepted the things he can no longer do and focuses on what he can. Sometimes what he wants to do is a stretch and our eldest child and I do what we can to make it happen.

  2. Eileen Lewis says:

    Oh Kim, my heart goes out to you. Your love for your dad is so touching and beautiful. May your grief turn to joy as you remember your love for him.
    At the same time love yourself. The gift you give to the PF community is treasured by all of us. You are a special person.

  3. Sandie says:

    I would like to send a hug to you both, Kim and your family as you are suffering a painful loss and processing so much at this very difficult time. I wish you strength and courage in the days ahead.
    I want to send a hug to Elizabeth and condolences for the loss of Richard. I and so many others are blessed by the courage of all participants in this disease battle as you have been. I thank you. I wish you comfort, peace and new found strength on your journey.

  4. PATRICIA L HAYDEN says:

    Hi Kim, So sorry to hear the news of your Dad. I too, loved and adored my Dad. I find hard to accept our circumstances with this disease. It limits us in so many ways. A couple months ago when I had a little more energy, I decided to go for a swim while on vacation. I put it off till the last minute. The car was packed and ready to go home and I decided not to pass up on this opportunity I might not have later. My beloved step Daughter carried my o2 around the pool while I used a noodle to float with. It felt like heaven to be in the water and gave me a beautiful memory in more then one way.
    I will do what I can and try not to grieve that which I can’t do. What a lesson this has all been.
    Hugs and prayers for you and your family.
    Patricia

  5. Gina Burke says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father, Kim. I hate this disease!! I’m watching this disease take my 73 year old Daddy away!! Slowly suffocating him and taking his life away.I find that I am getting angrier and angrier every day. I hide this and the tears I cry everyday. My prayers go out to you and all that are fighting this horrific disease and all of the families and caregivers of the PF Warriors.

  6. Brian in Oz says:

    I too get angry and think that there are moments when I would like to roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I also have the feeling that if I did the joy would also be gone.

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