November 3, 2011

dying isn't pretty

Dear Dad,

Ten days have passed since they told us your prognosis, cold hard words that felt like a punch to my gut. At first it seemed like you were going to pass soon but then you rallied and had an awesome few days. But, the last couple of days have been harder and you are weaker, eating less and you don't talk anymore. You sit quietly and watch tv or stare at us or off into the distance. Mainly, you enjoy to sit outside and take it all in. You told me that you like to watch the butterflies and the wind in the trees. You also really enjoy looking at the moon. It makes me sad to watch you stare off like this. I wonder what you are thinking and feeling, are you scared? Do you realize what is happening as you slow down more and more?

I read online the stages of death and you show some of them but not the ones you should be showing. It's like your body is ready but you aren't. Which is typical of you, you always do things in your own way and in your own time. I feel like I have so much to say to you but just can't find the words. I tried to tell you and ended up bawling my eyes out. You hugged me, rubbed my back and told me that it's ok, you're not going anywhere for a long time. You comforted me as I told you that I was scared and going to miss you so much. I had to come back inside the house because I didn't want to upset you. I keep telling you that I love you and hearing you respond is music to my ears.

We're all here, all twelve of us, well, C comes and goes because he's working in AR but for the most part, we're here. Soaking you up and taking lots of pictures. We forget sometimes what is really going on but then we remember and it's hard. We have to help you walk and I know that makes you sad but we really don't mind. We all scramble to help you, to fetch your favorite foods or surprise you with gifts. Anything to make you smile because you rarely do so these days. It's odd to look at you and know you are dying, that death is so close to you, to us. I can't seem to wrap my mind around it, I literally can't picture a future without you in it. You have always been a very proud man and so full of life. To see it ending like this for you, pisses me off. Dying from cancer is ugly, you can't really eat because the tumors in your stomach are pushing against everything so you are only 119lbs. You wear diapers now and take a lot of pain medicine. This isn't how it should be. I am so sorry, Dad. I am so sorry.

I have so many questions and concerns these days about you. But the main ones are: Do you know how much I will miss you? Do you know just how wonderful you have been to us? You are the greatest man I have ever known and I love you more than you can ever know.

your favorite daughter (don't worry, I won't rub that in too much with T)


  1. I am so sorry you are going through this, I lost it readinfg your post, I felt some of your pain. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you, your dad, and the rest of the family. I still have both my parents and the thought of witnessing them die just tears me apart. I am praying for you and your family. Sending lots of love your way. Xoxoxo

  2. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Death is so hard. Seeing your dad begin to die must be so indescribable. I pray that it happens in a peaceful way and that you will feel at peace with it. Hang in there. You will need help afterwards to pick yourself back up, but don't think of that now. Just spend your time with him and love him every moment. Live in the present. My heart goes out to you.

  3. I'm so sorry. Just from what you wrote, I'm sure he knows how loved he is.