I Just Lost My Stepfather To Cancer..

So.. im usually able to deal with death well.
but a month ago my step father died from stage 4 colon cancer that spread throughout his entire body.
he was sick for a little over a year.
His neglectful doctor didnt notice he had colon cancer *facepalm*..and he fell very ill out of no where.
They told us he only had 6 weeks but he kept going for 6 months.
He went through chemo every week ..fighting for his life.

He became very bitter and mean towards the end.
He was so afraid to die, he was in denial.
Watching him get progressively worse each month was one of the most horrifying experiences someone could ever encounter.

Because he was in such horrible denial, he refused hospice.
and hes eldest daughter was right there with him(she also had all the say)

I categorize what they did as elder abuse.
he wasnt in the right state of mind... he kept calling my mom jean.. her name is jennifer
he also kept seeing his mothers ghost at the house..

His final week was very hard.. i hadnt seen him in a month.
He contracted sepsis..and immediately went into a sleep coma.
i never even got to talk to him before he slipped..
and finally his daughter got hospice!

i went and stayed at his house with my mom.. she raised me to be strong..the person thats there to support others in pain.
The night before he passed away.. it was just my mom and i and the hospice nurse
at that point he had the rattle.. so we put on his favorite music.. frank sinatra.
It was so peaceful.. he could hear the music...he stopped groaning.
we were amazed.

The next day, my mom let me sleep in.. and apparently he had woken up for a little and recognized my step sister next to him.
i wish i was there..
when i woke up he had already slipped back into his deep sleep

I had never been in the room while someone was dying..
and i honestly never want to do it again.
But, i promised my mom that id be there for them.
i sat quietly on the bed as my mom increased the morphine.
it was time.. all the dogs came in the room and just sat with their heads down..
its amazing how animals can sense death near them.

i tried my best to hold my tears because i needed to be 100% there for my sisters..
keeping them calm.
It was a long process.. he fought till the very end.
My mom kept telling him "please, just go.. dont fight it anymore..youre almost there"
and finally..he did.

Then.. there was this drop..like everything was fine.
we all smiled(while crying of course) we felt relieved it was over.
..he was no longer suffering.

After all of that.. i dont know why..but i agreed to help my mom dress him.
i cant believe i did it..i cant believe i was strong enough to even be that close.
i was so scared the whole time..
Because earlier in the year, i had two friends pass away 5 days between each other.
First one was a medical problem that killed him in his sleep the day after his 21st bday and the second was suicide.
when i went to the funeral for the second friend.. it was open casket..
i stupidly went up to see him.. i had never been to an open casket funeral
i really regret going up..he looked like a completely different person.. it was unnatural..
i have flashbacks of him all the time.
and watching my step dad die just made things so much worse.

I thought i was OK and had a good grasp
but idk now.. lately ive been having such a hard time dealing with everything thats happened this year. i already have ptsd.. now more things are being added onto it :

well.. i just wanted to tell my story and how im dealing with it.
and if anyone has any wise words or advice on how to deal with this specific type of death..ha.. i dont even know..
writing this was hard..

Ljaine Ljaine
18-21, F
Sep 19, 2012