My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996, from which he recovered.. Then in the summer of 2003, cancer was discovered in his extrahepatic bile duct. It spread to his liver, and in august of 2004, at the age of 53, God took my Dad.
I'm writing because it's been five months since Dad died and I'm really not handling it very well. Coincidentally, Dad died the day I was scheduled to start law school.. he was going to be my mentor, as he practiced law also. We dreamed big dreams together, and he told me how excited he was to be able to hear about my law school experiences..
I stuck it out last semester and I'm back at school now for round 2, but my heart just isn't in it. It hasn't been since day 1. I know Dad would kill me if I quit, but part of me died the day he did, part of me that has passion for the law like my father..
I got to spend last summer with Dad while he had his time at home.. and it was incredibly painful to watch the slow deterioration.. I have a lot of guilt about last summer, mainly about the night he died... I went to bed at 12:30 because I was told by my family to get some rest.. Dad had had a seizure the day before that hadn't really stopped.. it was going on 36 hours of shaking, trembling, and terror.. there were fits of horrific screams and shakes that no one should have to endure.. I was promised by the hospice nurses that he was in no pain, but seeing that does not make me feel that he was comfortable in any way..
I had been pushed into going to bed so I went.. I felt like I needed to get away for a minute anyway.. little did i know i would regret it for the rest of my life.
I fell asleep around 12:30 that night.. in my clothes.. I intended to merely nap for two hours and go back downstairs and sit with Dad.. but at 2:45 my aunts came into my room and woke me, telling me that Dad had died..
I feel so guilty for not being with him.. for not being able to be with him and comfort him, for being so selfish when I wasn't really tired.. For feeling like Dad was something scary that I needed to forget about..
Now I rarely sleep. 2:45 is a time of terror for me to endure.. I live alone. I go to school but often find myself collapsing in the ladies' room, so full of grief that I cannot stand. All I want to do is talk to my Dad.. to tell him about school.. to hear him yell at me for not doing my homework.. To hear him say 'I love you..'
I cannot get past this guilt. I cannot get past the insomnia. I cannot get past the empty feeling I feel when I have anything to do with school. I have found myself avoiding schoolwork all together and just zoning out.. watching TV.. reading the same book over and over.. anything but law school stuff.. it hurts..
What do I do now? Drop out? Dad would kill me...
This is what I've always wanted to do, but it feels as though my pilot light in my heart has gone out and can never be re-lit.
I've been seeing a therapist for a couple of months now.. but I'm feeling hopeless.. I'm scared. I'm twenty two years old and I don't want the future I always planned on. I'm paranoid about cancer, about death, about anything Dad.
None of my friends understand me. Correction; one of my closest friends lost her mother to breast cancer two years ago. She's the only one I can talk to about this. All of my other friends treat me like a piece of glass, and are afraid to let me talk or ask me about things.
I find myself pretending to be happy when inside, I'm in pieces.
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