I don't know how people can manage with a loss like that without faith. It breaks my heart.
I also lost my father when I was 12 to cancer and I remember feeling the same sense of relief as if a great burden had been lifted. It's very traumatic to see someone you love suffering.Sorry to learn about your loss, @Faithfulservant .
I was quite young, in my early twenties, when I lost a parent to a prolonged illness. I felt a great relief, as their suffering had been a heavy strain on the whole family. Knowing it was over and they were no longer in pain and anguish was profoundly wonderful. Of course I missed them, but this certain knowledge that their suffering was ended really comforted and helped me in my grieving process.
My step-mother had also died of cancer. She had started a tradition before she died. We used to go to East Troy (I assume you know where that is since it's close to Milwaukee). There was a farm there that we would rent out and have the whole family together for a weekend. The farm had a telescope, barn with indoor basketball court and batting cage, cabins, a baseball field and a pond. When she died we stopped this tradition. I wanted to restart that old tradition with family, but it's not the same without her. I hate cancer so much!I lost my mother when I was 36 to cancer, too. She was 72 when she passed.
It was hard for me because I was her early 36th birthday present (by three days.)
Anyway, I cook/bake and commune with s to cope with tragedy (doesn't have to be my companions, just a random fuzzy face.) It helps that I now live near a cafe with perpetual s in the windows if the cafe's closed, plus there are random encounters that I have in the neighbourhood.