I’m going to try and be as “Circumstance” as possible here. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 when I was 8 years old. 38 surgeries later he is still alive, but is not doing well again. 3 weeks ago he was in the hospital / ICU for 5 days, and we were told he has about a week left before he goes.
We have been told many times within the past 19 years that he only has 1 year to live…2 years to live…etc. So I feel like I have gone through these motions so many times that now I am almost numb to them. To be exact, (according to my mom), we have been told he only has X amount of years to live 7 times, and so at least 7 times I have seriously prepared myself for him to pass.
These past 3 weeks, I have been trying to lean into my emotions no matter what they are, but I feel like I am still holding myself back because we’ve been told numerous times that “this is it” and it hasn’t been. I think in the past I have never fully leaned into my emotions, I have always stopped myself from thinking about what’s happening. But now I remember why I’ve always held myself back…because these emotions are so exhausting. I cry/bawl really hard for a couple of nights, I feel like I have no appetite, I try and remember all of the good times only, I pray that he goes peacefully, etc. Then I pick myself back up and continue on with my life…and it feels like it’s all for nothing because he is still here.
I know that seems so crazy to say, but I’m just not sure how to handle this. There is sudden death, and then there is a drawn out death…and this is a 19 year long drawn out death that myself and my family have been going through.
I know Brooke always says to not shy away from your emotions, and I realized that is absolutely what I have always done when I did the models on this.
My Thought goes from “why is this still happening to him, he has no quality of life and hasn’t for many years, this is so awful for him to go through, how is he even still alive, I’m going to miss him so much, etc” with a Feeling of “complete sadness” – to the thought of (in my intentional model) “he is the strongest man I know, I am so lucky to have had him alive for as long as I have, etc”, with a feeling of “proud”.
I feel like these feelings are too opposite and maybe I’m not leaning into my emotions enough? I know there is no right or wrong way, I just want to use this as a moment where I can work on not shying away from my emotions because I know it’s going to be hard to experience them. Part of me thinks I should just be proud of the way I’ve always handled the doctors giving us “the deadline”, but a part of me also thinks I haven’t really let myself believe it will happen.
Any advice on if I should just not think about it until the day officially happens, or if I should continue processing it? Thank you!