Dealing With a “Different Me” Since Losing Dad to Mesothelioma
After my Dad was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, people said there was something “different” about me. They were absolutely right. My whole world had been changed and turned upside down. We had just been told that my amazing father had an incurable disease; there was an instant change in my entire family.
I had always been a worrier, but even the care-free side of myself began to be plagued by a constant sense of apprehension. What would happen next? What would the results of the next scan be? How would Dad feel after his treatments? It seems like millions of questions filled my head. With this on mind, it’s easy to see why I was different.
It seemed as though people seemed to get used to that initial kind of different. They learned to accept that I just had a lot on my mind, and did their best to help me through it. Then, my Dad lost his battle to mesothelioma.
After Dad passed away, I went through a time where I had no idea what to think or feel. When asked the age old question, “How are you?” I often replied with “Ok, doing the best I can,” or “Taking it one day at a time.” The platitude of the day changed periodically. I found that it was impossible for me to express how I was, because I wasn’t sure myself! Finally, people started to ask if I was okay, and I began to say that I wasn’t, but that someday, I would be.
Even though it’s not “ok” that I lost my Dad, I have to find a way to make myself be all right. There are days and things that trigger me to break down, but I have realized that I have to pick myself back up again. Dad would never have wanted me to be upset, especially with the faith that he is in Heaven.
I am a very different person now than I was two and a half years ago. I have watched my family be shaken to its core, but rise up untied and strong. I have experienced a loss so profound that I find it difficult to put it into words. These kinds of things will change a person, you just have to choose to let it change you for the better.
I think that this whole experience has made me much more aware of the suffering of others, and hopefully allows me to be more helpful and in tune with their needs. I am much more mindful that there is no guarantee of tomorrow for any one of us, and that we need to make the most of each day God gives us. This “different me” has felt intense pain that has made me stronger.
Remember that it’s okay to change with the seasons of your life. Everyone has a journey that they must travel and your response to it is as unique as your life itself. Rely on God to help you transition smoothly over the bumps in the road and never lose faith.
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