How do I handle losing my dad

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New member
Feb 18, 2009
Loved one DX
My dad is my hero, the only man in my life that has never let me down and loved me unconditionally. He has been diagnosed with ALS and I just do NOT know how to deal with it. I cry ALL the time, I can't talk about it without breaking down. I try to be hopeful but I don't suceed.

No one around me understands, they can't look that far ahead, you have to take it day by day. But I cannot focus on anything but how will I watch him suffer and how I will live without him. I know, I sound selfish...probably am right now.

I don't even want to go around him right now, for fear that I'll break down and just make him feel worse. How can I stop crying....
I live about ten minutes from you.. I am here for you, please write again..We are in this together... Lean on us..

My Dad was diagnosed with ALS yesterday. I wanted you to know that I know what you are feeling and my heart goes out to you. I can't seem to stop crying either. I keep thinking about how this is going to impact him and I can't bare to watch him suffer this horrific disease. I think about how this is going to impact my mother, my daughter, my husband and the rest of our family. It is emotionally overwhelming in each of our different situations.

I don't have an answer to your question but I do know that I will handle this because I don't have a choice and he needs me. We have made a "To Do" list and are educating ourselves. Our plan is to stay one step ahead with the managment of the disease and learn what we can about the research and treatment options.

Dad and I fortunatley have the same sense of humor so when we start crying, one of us says something stupid or funny or warped. We will move ahead that dratted "one day at a time" because we can only go forward.

You have made it to this site and it is full of information. I have been reading and learning just like you. We can learn from each other and these wonderful people here.

Hi lilscorpion. Speaking as a dad who's been through what your dad is going through right now, staying away or avoiding him is the last thing he probably wants. I needed hugs from my daughter. Sure we'd cry but that can sometimes make you feel better. He needs your support and most dads feel bad when their kids are hurting. Talk to him. Maybe he can help you work through this. Good luck.

Hi Lilspropion, my dad was diagnosed in August and it was the worst pain I have ever felt. I know exactly how you feel. My dad is my hero and my rock. He's the go-to guy when anyone in our family needs a problem solved. It's hard... probably the hardest thing you have ever had to deal with. I couldn't agree more with Dana. Stay one step ahead of the management and be there for each other. (Dana, my dad and I make each other laugh too when times get really tough. It's cliche but it is the best medicine.:grin:)

I know it seems impossible now but you will get through this and like Al said give your dad hugs and just be there for him. Remember you are not alone and you will learn to deal with this one day at a time even if you think that's too hard right now... the knowledge and the strength will come.

Best of luck to you! Hang in there!
I know how you feel, my mom was diagnosed this past June and I pretty much spent the summer crying. I kind of felt the same way about not wanting to have breakdowns in front of my mom but I don't think it made her feel worse, I think it's best to have the breakdowns together so don't avoid going to see him because he needs to have you around.

lilscorpion, Dana

Sorry about your Dads. I know they both need you. Take it one minute at a time if you need to. I lost my Dad a couple of years ago, not to ALS, I know it is hard to watch someone suffer, but he really needs you now. I know he is very lucky, I can tell by the way you write about him.

Dana, I live in Louisville also and would love to help anyway I can. When you have been on long enough to get messages I will send you over my contact info.

I will be praying for both of you.

I am so sorry for your father's diagnosis. My husband lost his battle with ALS Nov. 16, 2008 at 57. He was a marathon runner and triathlete and most importantly an awesome husband and father. He was extremely close to our daughters. His symptoms started about 6 years prior. He chose to keep the diagnosis a secret from everyone, including our daughters, until the end. While most might disagree, in his case, he never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him or spend their time crying or jeopardize his job and benefits. He also knew that our older daughter had a friend in college whose father had ALS and could only blink for 4 years and our daughter was just panicked over the ALS diagnosis. He did not want her to be devastated that way. He wanted to live everyday like "normal" until he couldn't anymore. Fortunately, he was able to maintain a "normal" life, independently, even driving to work, until the last month. He had a fall and hit his head in October and it was like the disease exploded in him. He rapidly declined, especially in the breathing, speaking and swallowing aspect. He refused to go to the hospital and passed away in his sleep on a beautiful Sunday morning. I know that this progress is not typical of others on this forum, it is just our story. My point, I guess, is that my girls, age 23 and 28, were completely crushed (as I) to lose their Daddy. But, and I mean this so sincerely, they are comforted by the fact that God spared him anymore suffering and that he is healed in Heaven. We mourn the "healthy" Dad, not the suffering man that was so proud and independent. We miss him terribly and those times of tears will come when you least expect it. But we, together, laugh at the old "Dad-isms" and fun times we had together. We embrace that who we are as a family is because of him and our love together as a family. My oldest is newly engaged to a man that has so many of the qualities of my husband, I am confident a new generation of children will be blessed by a good Dad. My youngest works for a professional sports team and has supported a friend of one of the players who has ALS as a 30-something with small children. She summed up this disease I think quite well.....ALS sucks, the person didn't do anything to get it and no one survives it, so you must embrace EVERY minute with the person you love... and, in the end, you will find a peace that God took your Dad home and made him whole again. I will keep you and all others on this forum in my prayers
I've been there, too


I'm so sorry you have to go through this with your dad. My dad, Frank, died in October of ALS and it was the hardest thing I've ever been through. The details don't really matter, but suffice it to say that I'm still enraged on his behalf (at both the disease and some of his caretakers) and I still miss him constantly. He was also my rock, and in many ways, my role model. He brought joy to those around him.

You have found a good forum, and like so many here, I hope I can support you when you need it.
Thank you all so much. It does help to talk to people that understand. I am going to see my dad tomorrow and taking both of my daughters. He's in good spirits as of now and I think I can be around him without being devasted. My dad is so protective of me he HATES to see me cry, I don't want to cause him any more pain.

Take care everyone and I want to thank you all with the bottom of my heart.
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