When Your Parent Gets Sick – An Adventure I Don’t Want to Take

Me and my sweet Dad at The Northern Trust Open at Riviera last year.
Me and my sweet Dad at The Northern Trust Open at Riviera last year.

 

The life of a grownup isn’t easy. We have come to an age where we have to deal with adult situations that are challenging and heart breaking too.

I am sad, so sad. Sometimes my heart doesn’t know where to go to relieve the pain. My dad is so sick and fighting an amazing fight. His pain is excruciating and there is nothing I can do about it.

The morphine doses are increasing, which makes him nauseous and sleepy. He doesn’t always want me sitting there, he likes his peace and privacy, so I sit at home on my couch trying to read, trying to concentrate on something other than him. Often I read and can’t remember what I read. I guess that is logical.

The house is quiet, and somehow my dog Rocco knows there’s something wrong. He just comes over and lays his head on my feet and rests. His kindness makes me cry and I can’t stop the tears.

What will I do without my dad? He’s such a vibrant personality, so thoughtful and sweet. He lights up the room just by walking in.

I know this is life. The life of a grown up. A midlife adventure I don’t want to take. It doesn’t make it easier knowing there is nothing I can do. No one can take his pain away and no one can stop his illness. I am so honored to be his daughter and so proud of his courage and strength.

I am not sure when things will permanently change, because that is in God’s hands.

I don’t feel like being clever or eloquent, just releasing thoughts in to the world so I don’t choke on them. To watch him suffer is such a helpless feeling, my heart just breaks.

Please pray for him, so it isn’t so scary and painful.

Many of you have dealt with ailing parents and you know what my family is dealing with. Thank you for the prayers and support they mean the world to me.

Adventures of Empty Nesters is a place to share what is happening in our world. Life isn’t always cupcakes and butterflies. It is so hard for me to write and/or think of anything else today. Thanks for listening.

Suzanne

38 thoughts on “When Your Parent Gets Sick – An Adventure I Don’t Want to Take”

  1. There is nothing anyone can say to make it better. How I wish there was. This is a journey we all have to face. Randy’s dad is getting worse by the hour, and it is a terrible thing to see. The only comfort I can offer is that your dad has had a long life. You are so lucky to have had him in your life, and in your children’s lives. My dad left us when he was only 59. Getting old is a privilege…take deep breaths, and realize how fortunate you are that he lived such a long life. I’m thinking of you and sending you lots of love.

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  2. My thoughts are with you and your family. It is very difficult to watch loved ones die. Two years ago, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law both died from cancer just three months apart. It felt very surreal for my family.

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  3. Suzanne,
    Thanks for sharing this deeply personal adventure.Those of us who are in our 50s or older and lucky enough to still have our parents can certainly relate. Watching our parents age and suffer from illness is so difficult. You have been blessed to have a wonderful dad and your dad has been blessed to have a daughter who loves him so much. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your dad.

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    • Jan, I knew that other empty nesters/midlifers have gone through similar situations and could offer advice. Boy have they come through. Thank you for your constant support and sweet words of comfort.

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  4. Suzanne: My thoughts and love are with you. You are such a loving and devoted daughter. I’m so very very sorry … and praying for your father. I love you, dear friend. Kath

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  5. Oh honey, you know I am right there with you. Kathy is right, you’ve been a devoted and loving daughter. I remember reading about getting past grief…you never get past it, but you learn to walk with it. These moments you’re having now, they’re the ones where you’re learning the hardest lessons of love. And you only get to have them because you have loved deeply, and been deeply loved. Feel all the feels…xo

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    • Thank you Kim. I took your words to heart. This is a very hard lesson. But you are right, if we love with all of our hearts, then we grieve the same way. xoxo to you.

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  6. Suzanne, I just want to hug you. I am crying empathy tears as I read you post.
    The best I can offer is this- be there when your Dad wants you. Let him negotiate this journey, isn’t that what our Dad’s always did for us when we were kids? And you are still his child in his eyes. But when you are with him try not to be sad. Try to do things he has always enjoyed- have a favorite TV show on, a favorite game or even some of his favorite music.
    A friend, whose very Polish father was passing, held a polka party in his room with his favorite polka music, brauts, beer and close family. He didn’t eat or drink but seemed to enjoy the ambiance.
    Let him know what is special to you; that he will always be there in your life. I can’t say for sure but my guess he is more worried for each of you than he is for himself.
    And when all else is to difficult just sit with him and hold his hand.
    And when you are away from him let your sadness and grief run its course. You are allowed.
    Thank you for sharing this adventure with us. I am honored to be a part of it.
    Prayers and peaceful wishes.

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    • Thank you Laura for your words of kindness. I am doing all of those things, while still trying to hold it together. Your support means so much.

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  7. Suzanne…I am so sorry for the pain that both you and your dad are suffering. I feel so lucky that I have both my parents and they are both still healthy…but, I realize that it is fleeting as each day goes by…so just love him as you are, be with him and hold his hand, and your presence will bring peace to him in the end. Love to you

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    • Thank you Lori. You don’t really know how it feels until it happens to you. I knew it would happen one day. This is quite a journey. Thank you for the love and support.

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  8. I can so relate to your words. My heart still aches for my precious parents, who passed within a year of each other not that long ago. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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    • Thank you Anne for sharing your story with me. I knew that others have suffered as I am. Thank you for taking the time to share it with me and for your prayers.

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  9. Suzanne
    Beautifully written and plead know if you ever need an open ear or shoulder…I am only a phone call away!! So many people our age are dealing with this heartbreak so it’s nice to have a place not to feel so alone!!

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    • Thank you Deb. I appreciate it! You are so right, I know that others are dealing with the same challenges. Thank you for your love and support.

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  10. Suzanne, what a deep and vulnerable share – something we ALL deal with multiple times in our lives.

    Although I’ve never met your dad, I can see how you take after him, at least how you describe him is how I see you “…vibrant personality, so thoughtful and sweet. He lights up the room just by walking in.”

    I see how much he is a part of you and how deeply you care for him. Sending love and big hugs from Pasadena. <3

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    • You are so sweet Kim. I do take after him in a lot of ways and for that I am grateful. I can feel your hugs and always know you are there supporting me. Thank you.

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  11. Oh, Suzanne. Tears for you. I lost my dad when he was 56, and that just doesn’t even seem possible even though it has been more than 30 years. I know you are making the most of every minute you share with him, even the painful ones. Love and aloha from China.

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  12. Oh Suzanne, you brought big tears to my eyes with your honest, pain-filled post. I think of you every day. I find myself tracking your FB and AEN posts to assure myself your dad is okay. If I see that you are active I’m assured he’s still with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult journey.
    Sending Love and Hugs,
    Angela

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    • I didn’t mean to make you cry Angela, but I certainly appreciate your empathy. I have hidden Dads illness for a long time, because I try to be optimistic and uplifting. To encourage others to find adventure. I did however believe it was time to share my grief. The audience of AOEN is filled with compassionate, loving individuals and for that I am grateful.

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  13. Suzanne, As I read your post I thought about how incredibly lucky your dad is to have such a loving daughter. I’m sure he knows it! You and your family are in my heart. Fondly, Laura

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  14. Suzanne, I am so grateful that you felt the peace to write here, and that all of us can use this vehicle to ” come alongside ” you with words and prayers to comfort you during this emotionally strenuous time. I certainly know, all too well unfortunately, the gamut of emotions you are feeling right now. I pray you will find great peace in all the wonderful memories of your dad over the years! I am confident he has fantastic memories of how his wonderful daughter blessed his heart. Do whatever it takes to never have regret, love him in the moment, cherish every minute and tell him you love him over and over. I am sure he knows that already, but it will bring you comfort as well. Part of him will live on through you. I am here for you, love you sweet friend! I will be praying for sure <3

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    • Linda, I knew you would write exactly what I needed to hear. Your words gave me great comfort. I did reach out on purpose, I needed it and you all delivered. Thank you for your friendship and support for so many years. xoxo

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    • Dear Katie, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am new to the dog world and I am continually fascinated by Rocco’s tenderness and intuitive nature.

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  15. Watching your parent, the one that always comforted you, suffer is never easy. I went through this with both of my parents. My heart hurts for you and what you are dealing with. Be sure to take care of yourself as well as him – the caregiver needs care too. I learned that the hard way. If you are not your best you cannot give your best.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours.

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    • Barb, Thank you so much for your sweet words. This has been so exhausting and so very sad. It is so difficult to see him this way. He was always so vibrant and full of life. Thank you for the prayers. <3

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  16. Sending you lots of love and hugs. It is awful to have to watch your dad go through this! Your blog post was heartfelt and moving. Take care of yourself during this sad time. You are not alone.

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