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i don’t want to say goodbye

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one i don’t want to say goodbye

  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by VM-rose.
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  • #29641

    I’m lost and stuck.
    Backstory: since young girl I’ve struggled with Thanatophobia

    My father is very ill and has decided to not go back to hospital for treatment. This means that my mother and myself are caring for him, and it’s hard to see him this way.
    Doctors have said its unknown how long he has left, but the way he’s going it looks like it’s going to happen soon.
    He has decided he wants to pass here at home, which means my mother and me will have to be supporting him or find him.
    Im having very bad panic attacks, and intense wanting to get out and stop this feeling.
    I don’t want to say good bye, he’s my support person and has helped me so much. I’m scared lost.
    I don’t know how to cope now, let alone when he goes.

    I don’t want him to go. please no

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  • #29659

    Dear @Chelseamae,

    Don’t be scared.

    I’m here with you, imagining the weight of your heart — the heaviness that settles in when you know that time is slipping away, like sand through your fingers.

    Your father, once strong, now frail and vulnerable. And you, caught in the middle, torn between love and grief.

    Thanatophobia — the fear of death — has been your shadow since childhood. Unfortunately, It’s a haunting companion and seems to be always on your mind. And now, as your father’s illness progresses, it’s as if it has taken a tangible form, standing at the threshold of your home.

    You watch him — your rock, your support — fade before your eyes. The doctors’ words echo: “Unknown duration. You know that soon, too soon, he’ll slip away, leaving an emptiness that can’t be filled. I know this feeling, it doesn’t get any easier but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Panic attacks grip you — their icy fingers squeezing your chest. You want to flee, to escape this pain. But where can you run? The walls of your home enclose memories — the laughter, the arguments, the shared meals. And now, the quiet moments when you sit by his bedside, holding his hand, whispering words of love.

    Saying goodbye — it’s a cruel phrase. As if words could wrap up a lifetime of love neatly. But they can’t. So, instead, you hold back tears, swallow the lump in your throat, and tell him stories. Stories of your childhood, of his strength, of the way he taught you to ride a bike. And he listens, his eyes softening, as if he’s storing these memories for the journey ahead.

    How to cope? It’s a question that echoes through the chambers of your heart. You’re not alone in this struggle. Your mother—the silent pillar beside you—shares your grief. Together, you navigate the practicalities: medications, comfort measures, and the unspoken pact to be there when he takes his last breath.

    But coping isn’t linear. Some days, you’ll feel strong — able to face the inevitable with grace. Other days, you’ll crumble, your tears watering the flowers in the garden. And that’s okay. Grief doesn’t follow a timetable; it’s a wild, unpredictable dance.

    Remember him as he is now. Not just the illness, but the man who laughed until his eyes crinkled, who held you when you scraped your knee, who believed in your dreams. Hold onto those moments — they’re the threads that weave your bond.

    And when he slips away, know that grief isn’t a betrayal. It’s love that transcends all dimensions, raw and unfiltered. It’s the ache of missing someone who shaped your world.

    Lean on your support network. Friends who bring casseroles, neighbors who mow the lawn, and that one cousin who tells inappropriate jokes at funerals — they’re all part of this messy, beautiful tapestry of life.

    Breathe. Inhale the scent of his favorite aftershave, exhale the pain. You’re stronger than you realise.

    And when the darkness threatens to swallow you, remember the stars—the ones he pointed out on camping trips – the very stars that we are made up of. They’re still there, twinkling, even when hidden by clouds. So is love—it endures, even when we can’t see it.

    You’re not alone. Reach out, share your burden. And when the time comes, say goodbye with tenderness, knowing that love transcends the final breath.

    With warmth and empathy,

    A traveler on this journey…

    I hope this message resonates with you during this difficult time. If you need anything else, feel free to reach out by calling Griefline, or utilising this forum to connect with others who are experiencing similar grief.


    Hi @chelseamae

    We are here for you. It can be challenging to feel like all the love in your heart for someone so dear may slip away in death. It does not have to be this way, love endures :))
    I’d just like to let you know how great it is of you and your mother to step up in looking after him. I am sure he admires your dedication towards him, which is priceless really. He seems like a wonderful man.

    Grief is not linear. Cope with what is occurring in your life for as long or as short as you desire. I am sorry to hear you are experiencing panic attacks. In a time like this, I would encourage you to share your experience with others around you. Having someone to just listen to your thoughts and feelings is powerful in and of itself. Be patient with how you feel, for this is a journey.

    Again, we are here for you. Please feel free to ring Griefline, or reengage with the online forums. Take care


    Hello @chelseamae, I am deeply sorry to hear about your father’s health condition. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. As mentioned by @vmbetelgeuse, coping isn’t linear. Some days you’ll feel okay and other days you’ll feel terrible, and that’s natural. Grief has no timeline and there is no right or wrong way to experience it. As mentioned by @VM-Apples23, if you’re comfortable to do so, share your experience with people you trust. It’s important to give yourself time to grieve and to be kind to yourself during this extremely difficult period. Perhaps you could create a photo album that includes beautiful memories of your time together, or you could try writing out your thoughts. These are both therapeutic practices that allow you to connect with your emotions and express your feelings. There are also some great insights and coping strategies on the Griefline resources page: You can request a callback from Griefline at a time that suits you. You can also continue to connect with others by using the Griefline forum. It’s so important during this difficult time to connect with others who are going through grief and loss. You’ve taken a courageous first step by reaching out to Griefline. We’re here to listen and support you.

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