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My uncle passed today during cancer surgery

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one My uncle passed today during cancer surgery

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  • #26883
    belle
    Participant

    I feel like I’m in shock, like my brain hasn’t fully processed it yet. My uncle Phillip, aged 43 passed away this morning during surgery to remove a 50cm aggressive stomach cancer. It was his 4th surgery as the cancer kept coming back and grew so quickly. He was terminal. The aim of the surgery was to relieve symptoms as he was in a lot of pain and in the end nothing was working, ketamine, fentanyl, nothing was working anymore. He has been terminal for the last year and we knew that his death was coming, I thought I would be emotionally prepared but I wasn’t. I thought it was like the other surgeries, he would come through and be okay for a while. He rang me this morning to say that he was going to theatre, I said yep, thank you for telling me, I’ll see you later. But now there is no later. His heart stopped beating. We were really close, I live with him and my other uncle and my grandfather.

    My mum rang me and gave me the news. I was at the airport and I just started crying. I was about to board and my luggage was already checked in and everything. Now I’m alone in a city that I visited once 9 years ago and I’m here because I’m attending a uni awards ceremony tomorrow. I won an award for student achievement. It should be a happy time and I’m trying really hard to look happy. But it’s really hard. I also had a car accident yesterday, my car is a write off, my car spun around when the back of the passenger side was hit and I went to hospital later that day but I’m okay now. I feel like I’m in shock from everything. A few days ago, everything was okay, I was looking forward to all my travel plans over the next couple of months and feeling excited because I just finished my degree 2 weeks ago. Now it’s like nothing matters.

    Already I’m asked “when is the funeral?”, I don’t know. Can they give me a second to process this first please.

    I just don’t know. I feel lost.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #26889
    VM Weasel
    Participant

    HI Belle,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your Uncle Phillip, it’s sounds like you shared a really special bond. Although you had the knowledge that he was terminal, it must still be a huge shock that he didn’t make it through his latest surgery. I can understand why everything else seems to have lost its importance, including completing your degree which must have taken years of work and dedication. Especially to be receiving an award, I’m sure your Uncle Phillip would have been proud and happy for you.
    I don’t know why others feel the need to rush with formalities and ceremonies when a loved one has passed, it sometimes feels super insensitive to be talking about funerals when you still haven’t come to terms with the fact that your loved one has gone. I imagine that being in another country and having to process all of this without your family to support each other must be even more difficult.
    After having a car accident yesterday as well, no wonder you feel like you are in shock, I think that you have had a lot happen in the last couple of days and I hope you are taking the time to care for yourself. You may not feel like it now, but I would like to encourage you to try and get some sleep, eat small meals often, and drink plenty of fluids. Going for a walk may help too.
    You’re brave reaching out at a time when you’re feeling so vulnerable, and I hope you continue to seek support during this time.

    #26892
    VM-Dian9967
    Participant

    Hi @belle, I’m so deeply sorry to hear about your Uncle Phillip’s passing. It’s completely understandable to feel in shock and unprepared, even when you’ve had time to brace for the loss. Grief can be overwhelming, especially when compounded by the stress of an accident and the pressures of your achievements. It’s okay to not feel okay, and it’s okay to need time to process everything that’s happened. Please remember to take moments for yourself amid all this, to breathe and to grieve. Your feelings are valid, and it’s important to honor them, even in the midst of what seems like an expectation to carry on as normal. It’s fine to not have all the answers right now, including about the funeral arrangements. Right now, it’s about taking it one step at a time. Be gentle with yourself, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. Your resilience is evident, having come this far, and that same strength will guide you through these challenging times.
    This resource might be helpful for you, especially when you are experiencing grief. The link https://griefline.org.au/resources/experiences-of-grief/ provides insights into the varied emotions one might experience during such times. Also, there are other helpful resources on the Griefline website that you might find useful.
    If you want to talk and want to share your feeling and thought you are going through, please feel free to continue to use this online forum, or contact our helpline at 1300 845 745. Our helpline is available from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week. We are here for you.

    #26896
    vrmaggie
    Participant

    Hi Belle,

    It’s good to see that you’ve reached out to our online forum, this is brave of you, particularly as you’re in the very earliest stage of grief, shock. The car accident and your car being totally written off just one day before Uncle Phillip’s passing would be just totally bewildering too, and so it is completely normal that you don’t know where to begin in processing his loss. As Dian9967 has said, ‘It’s okay to not feel okay, and it’s okay to need time to process everything that’s happened’.

    We all experience grief uniquely and we are all permitted to grieve in our own way. And we also all grieve differently with each individual loss. It is clear that the connection and bond between you and your Uncle Phillip was very strong, he called his Belle before he went into theatre and you said, ‘yep, thank you for telling me, I’ll see you later’. I am reminded of the passing of my sister-in-law from breast cancer. After chemo she went into remission for two years and then it came back, she was in her early thirties. Like you with your Uncle Phillip, although the oncologists said it was terminal this time, I believed she would pull through for some more years. And like you, I wasn’t emotionally prepared when she passed within a few months. It took six months for me to be ready to truly process that she was gone. I played a lot of music which had been special to us both and that helped me.

    Please be kind and gentle with yourself and try to keep up your self-care regime.

    I wish you double rainbows.

    #26897
    vrmaggie
    Participant

    Hi Belle,

    It’s good to see that you’ve reached out to our online forum, this is brave of you, particularly as you’re in the very earliest stage of grief, shock. The car accident and your car being totally written off just one day before Uncle Phillip’s passing would be just totally bewildering too, and so it is completely normal that you don’t know where to begin in processing his loss.

    We all experience grief uniquely and we are all permitted to grieve in our own way. And we also all grieve differently with each individual loss. It is clear that the connection and bond between you and your Uncle Phillip was very strong, he called his Belle before he went into theatre and you said, ‘yep, thank you for telling me, I’ll see you later’. I am reminded of the passing of my sister-in-law from breast cancer. After chemo she went into remission for two years and then it came back, she was in her early thirties. Like you with your Uncle Phillip, although the oncologists said it was terminal this time, I believed she would pull through for some more years. And like you, I wasn’t emotionally prepared when she passed within a few months. It took six months for me to be ready to truly process that she was gone. I played a lot of music which had been special to us both and that helped me.

    Please be kind and gentle with yourself and try to keep up your self-care regime.

    #26898
    vrmaggie
    Participant

    Hi Belle,

    I had a tech problem which is why my reply is posted twice. Sorry about that.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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