The moment you were told you had cancer you withdrew yourself, I saw the fear in your eyes.
You had just witnessed my mum, your wife, battle with the disease and die. It was your turn now.
The flurry of doctors’ appointments, hospital visits began to stack up, I would drive you to the hospital in silence, both of us to scared to acknowledge your possible fate.
Months passed and the cancer took over your body. Your once tall sturdy figure, became weak and brittle, your presence as the man of the house, the protector, took a tumble. You could not protect me or my brother any more. You were lost in yourself.
You withdrew from life, day by day, hour by hour, you lay in your room and you closed the door to the outside world, and to us.
You refused to see the doctors. You wouldn’t let the Macmillan nurses in, you barely let me in. It was as if you didn’t want any help. You just wanted out.
Every day you began to get weaker, you refused to take your medication, you didn’t want to eat or drink, and your body lay red raw with bed sores from lying in bed all day. It was as if you were child and I was the adult. Trying to help you, trying to look after you as best as I could.
But you didn’t want my help. Maybe it was because of your dignity, you didn’t want me to witness my once strong dad who would protect me from all evil, become this frail old man who needed help going to the toilet.
Maybe you had just stopped caring. You felt your time was up, and you wanted to join mum. It was is if nothing else mattered.
I really tried to help, I promise I did. But it was never enough. You never let me in. There was no more I could do.
I felt like a silent witness to your death, screaming at the top of my lungs in the corner of the room but you couldn’t hear me.
You didn’t want my help, you didn’t want to exist in the land of pain, humiliation and sadness anymore. You wanted to be back with your wife, and there was nothing more I could do.
I look back now and wish I was stronger, wish I had been more persistent, wished I had banged down the door, dragged you to the doctors and force fed you.
But truth is I didn’t, and I couldn’t. Not then. I was weak from my own pain, my own overwhelming sadness that I battled with was constant. I had just lost my mum, I was looking after my younger brother and I was about to lose you. I was strong. But I wasn’t that strong.
So Dad I wished you would have let me help you, I really do, but for whatever your reason was you didn’t, and its taken me time but I’ve learnt to except that. I no longer blame myself and I no longer blame you.