Thank you for sharing. I can relate to what you’ve been through, it’s incredibly similar to my own experience of the last few years. I’m from London, where i grew up and lived for my first 25 years, after that i met my husband and moved here to Australia to live with him. My entire family & friends were all still back in the UK. I had last managed to fly over to visit in April 2019, and the Covid happened.
My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of 2018, his began treatment a few months later and ended up having two rounds of chemo, radiation therapy and immunotherapy throughout the following 2 years or so. It took a lot out of him, he’d already have multiple other health issues throughout his life. He was such a strong man. His cancer spread to both lungs with a few spots showing on his liver too. At the start of 2021 his health really declined and he had regular palliative care visits to his house, as well as a hospital bed installed to make his life easier. By mid may his care team strongly recommended that he go in to stay at the hospice so that they could help monitor his pain and give better care. A week later, i got a call from my mum to let me know he’d passed away. He spend 2 1/2 years battling this cruel disease, that took him too soon.
I feel eternally guilty that i didn’t see my dad in person for the last 2 years of his life and that i hadn’t been there with him and the rest of my family to help with everything and to just be there. I havn’t forgiven myself for that. For the most part, i couldn’t help that, we weren’t allowed to travel and covid was making life hard for pretty much everyone. My mum and older brother (who lives at home still) were the only two that we able to visit him due to regulations, he was only allowed 2 visitors. My mum was caring for him at home for most of his illness and up until the last week of his life when he went into the hospice, she also cares for my older brother who is disabled.
My husband, who has been simply amazing, and myself tried everything we could to get over to London for the funeral which was mid June 2021 but we were unable to make it so attended a live stream. I don’t remember a lot of those few weeks, just moved through the motions and let others make all the decisions. We were finally granted a special exemption to be able to travel to the UK in August 2021, finally able to have some much needed healing with my family.
I don’t think i’ve fully accepted what has happened or the way it happened yet, it kind of feels like i’m living through an alternative life, in a small way. I know it takes time and i’m not going to rush it. There is no right way to work your way through grief and all the emotions that come with it, do what feels right or helpful to you and your situation. Know that you’re not alone.