Sunday, February 1, 2004

I Still Miss You, Dad

Super Bowl Sunday brings me mixed emotions these days. Five years ago, we were watching the Super Bowl with my dad, and waiting for him to die. He had esophageal cancer that had spread through his digestive system…he’d had 90% of his stomach removed four months earlier to try to delay the inevitable. His 79-year-old body just never recovered from the surgery, and succumbed to the cancer faster than he would have without it, in my opinion. Don’t get me started on the wonders of modern medicine when it comes to geriatric patients….

I think about him today. I still miss him so much…I can’t believe it’s been five years since he was here with us. I wrote this the day he died. I thought I would share it here:

February 2, 1999

It is on this date that I must record the death of my father. He died at about 9:45 this morning. A rainy, blustery, Oregon winter Tuesday morning.

…Even an hour before he died, you could tell he was still fighting. He was too weak to even be conscious, but you could see his lips moving and his face twitching, his head shaking…whether he was trying to "shake off" the encroaching darkness of death, or arguing with those on the other side who were urging him to cross over, I don’t know. But I could tell he wanted none of it.

Luckily, we had a good hospice nurse with us who told him what we couldn’t find it in our hearts to tell him: That his body was trying to die, and that we loved him, but that he needed to find peace now. He needed that permission to die, and I was unable to give it. I knew how hard he had been fighting, and how much he didn’t want to die. … I knew Dad was struggling with it, and I just couldn’t be the one to tell him he’d lost.

Hospice told us that we had done a good job. That we should be proud of ourselves. That we carried out his wish to die at home…the wish that he never really voiced in so many words. ..But we did make it happen, and we didn’t kill each other. I think that can be credited to him. To dad, who was everything good about our family. Who inspired us to be moral, caring people, people who love each other because we are family, and look past each others’ flaws.

I love him so much. And I can’t for the life of me imagine the world without him. …he was my dad…I have never known life without him. And at this moment, I just feel like a lost little girl.


  1. Your words after your fathers death are beautiful. He must have been a wonderful man. I'm sorry you're feeling sad and missing him.

  2. You've brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible tribute. My heart is with you on this anniversary.

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. My own passed away 10 years ago now at the age of 83, also after a lingering illness. I miss him still.

  4. Lisa - {{{{{{{ }}}}}}}
    I also lost my dad 5 years ago - to cancer. I couldn't imagine a day with him gone ~ and now sometimes I can't believe that I've been able to go on. I miss him every day. I know the anniversaries are especially painful. I'm thinking about you.

  5. I too lost my dad to cancer. It was 5 years in Nov. You spoke volumes to me. I miss him more than I thought that I could. To this very day, I still find it hard to imagine my life without him in it, as I suppose that that will never happen. I see him in my children, in my siblings, and in myself everyday, and I thank God that he is still here, even if it is just something small, like a look, or a phrase. I adored him in life, and I continue to adore him on whatever plaine he now exists.

  6. That was a moving tribute of the life that your farther lived. It is obvious that his spirit contiunes to live in your heart. Be Blessed Sheila

  7. Oh, I"m sorry that the day made you feel sad. :-( You did a very nice job of writing about him.

  8. Wow. Thru tears I have to say, this was beautiful. You gave me something to be glad for. See, my Dad passed Oct '02, the day after his 64th b-day (throat cancer, drastic surgery, rad, chemo, remission, not, then remission again). He died AT HOME, in his recliner, with his quilt and "Foofie" the stuffed animal by his side. Mom always regretted SHE was not by his side, holding his hand, but I am going to tell her today to be glad he was AT HOME, with her.

    ~ Karyn