Life is Cruel

It’s been eight years since my son, Barry, passed away. Eight years! For those just joining the road after losing someone to suicide, I can tell you it will become easier to bear. You will one day remember your loved one for who they were and not, so much, for how they died. You will find yourself laughing and loving, and even feeling happy, again. But you will never forget. Never!

For me, life’s road smoothed out and allowed me to think that I could join the ‘normal’ in their quest for happiness. I purchased a house. I found a good, well-paying job. I have a granddaughter now and another grandchild on the way. Yes, things are looking brighter and then…


“Take that,” says life.

On 27 March 2014, my father told me he has lung cancer. Less than a month later, he told me (accidentally, mind you) that he has two months to live. And, to top it off, he tells me my mother has early dementia and will need ongoing care when he’s gone.

I love my parents, and I’ll do whatever I can to ensure their lives are happy, safe and comfortable. I’ll sell everything and will relocate to care for them. I’ll do whatever it takes, because they are my parents and they deserve my help. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not scared of what the future holds.

Because I’m TERRIFIED.

The one thing I keep telling myself is, “if you can survive the death of Barry, you can survive this”. And it’s true. Losing Barry was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I survived that. It was difficult and I didn’t think I’d get through it, but I did. And I know I’ll survive this too.

Now, I’ve gone from my son’s death by suicide to my father’s fight with terminal cancer, and later to my mother’s torment from dementia.

I suspect this website will document the journey. However, as the primary carer, I will be moving in with my parents in coming weeks and that will mean I’ll have no internet access until important decisions can be made. That will be two or three months down the track.

In the meantime, over the next couple of weeks at least, you can expect to see posts relating to caring for cancer patients to start appearing on this website.


2 thoughts on “Life is Cruel

  1. Ewel 8 June 2014 / 8:18 pm

    Dear Karen,
    As you won’t be connected, you’ll probably find my message much later. Anyway, I want you to know that I’m thinking about you and that I wish you strength and courage in order to cope with these new difficult challenges. What you’re saying about Barry sounds so well-known as we are approaching the eighth anniversary of Tal’s suicide too. I’m so sorry to hear about the health of your parents. I wish them and you not to suffer too much, too long.
    Unfortunately, we’re reaching an age where we have to say goodbye to our beloved parents. My father’s fighting against a kind of blood cancer as well (but it’s a very long fight not a sudden one as your father), so I know what you’re talking about. On the contrary of our sons, we’ve always known that one day we would lose our parents. When that very moment has arrived, it is very hard, but we don’t have any choice. (Just as our sons didn’t leave us the choice to go on living with our broken hearts). So what I wish you, is to enjoy (if possible) the last moments with your dear parents and to be able to concentrate on your grandchildren and life at its best. I really hope you’ll understand my awkward words.
    All my regards and wishes, sincerely, Isabel

    • Karen 9 June 2014 / 11:26 am

      Hi Isabel,

      I’m still connected for another week or two. After that I will not see comments until I return to the internet in a few months.

      Your words are not awkward. I understand what you are saying and appreciate your thoughts.

      It’s true, we grow older knowing that one day we will lose our parents, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Unfortunately, my father is making it more difficult too. He’s angry and is hurting those who love him the most by pushing us away, when he should be allowing us to love and help him.

      I know he’s grieving his own life, and he hasn’t had time to accept what will happen. I will do what I can to make things easier for him, regardless if he wants me to or not.

      And, as the eight year mark draws closer for you too. Please remember the good times and take care of yourself.

      Best wishes,

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