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I thought going back to work would be difficult, having to take care of other people's fathers, but it's been a welcome diversion. It's the only time other than when I'm sleeping when my dad doesn't cross my mind.

But then I get home and the loss hits me all over again. I miss him so much. I miss his voice and his positive attitude. If I allow myself to ruminate on the years he lived with us I miss seeing him oh-so-carefully walking down the assistive steps to the BBQ even though when he BBQ'd, which he loved to do, it was more work for me. He was out at the grill 8 weeks after a heart attack! The man was a horse!

Every night I tell him out loud how much I miss him and I pray that I/we did right by him towards the end. I don't really have any guilt or regrets but I replay his last 4 days in my mind. He went through such hell and I was a whirling dervish, constantly on the phone with hospice or the NH, trying to ensure he was getting the care he needed.

Because he was an agnostic I wonder where his spirit is. This crosses my mind every night. He was the best man I knew and he deserves to be in Heaven but he didn't believe in that stuff. So I wonder. Can he hear me? Does he know how much I miss him and what a void his death left me with? The void. I didn't anticipate it being quite as big but it's a hole I can feel in my chest and it hurts.

Last night I had the craziest thought. Toward the end of his life I would call the NH every night to see how he did after I left and last night I thought, "I need to call and check on dad." It was such a brief thought that took me totally by surprise.

He loved living with us. Loved the house. Loved his room and his place at the island. Loved being with us. And while being a 24/7 caregiver was so difficult he wasn't difficult at all. HE was easier to live with than I was! I read so many horror stories here about an elderly parent being abusive or narcissistic or difficult. My dad was none of these things. He was jolly and happy and sweet. Even his last conscious day, he clung to me as a child would cling to its mother. He was so scared of the hallucinations and didn't trust anyone but me. It's this memory that's the freshest. I try to remember other things about him but I still see him 4 days before he died, so sick and out of his mind from the encephalopathy.

I have faith that in time the pain will lessen. It has to. It's only been a month. But I miss him more than I thought was possible.

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Eyerishlass, you are one sweet daughter. Your dad deserves accolades for raising such a thoughtful, loving lady. I know you miss him, you always will. He made his mark on your life and no matter where he is, he will live forever in your heart.
A few months after my dad died, I had a dream about him. He was whole again, handsome as ever, sweet smile on his face and he said "don't worry about me sweetie, I'm fine". Wishful thinking? Really him? Who knows but it eased my pain and that is all that mattered. After all these years, I still think about dad every day and I miss him like crazy. I always will.
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Having lost my son who had never believed in God...I like to think he gives you one last chance. He shows his face and says " Can ya hear me now? " Gives a booming laugh.....then opens his arms to you.
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ChristineW -
I'm just commenting on the diversity of religious opinion that can exist within a single person.

Even the Pope now says that atheists can do good things. Believers know their beliefs are correct. So do atheists. No point in arguing about it.
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Cap'nHard***, you weren't a jerk at all. I'm glad you commented. :-)
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Captain.....you never fail to disappoint with your posts!! I'm a fan.....
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sorry bout being a jerk on your thread eyerish. i think your a great person as youve proven by your actions for many years. a jerk has to exist somewhere. we need real estate like any other creature.
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May l suggest a book? "Sarah and the Foreverness of Friends of a Feather" by Esther & Jerry Hicks (see amazon.com - there are other Sarah books but this is the first). I has the look of a children's book but it isn't. Good reading!
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Eyerishlass.....no one really knows what goes through the mind of someone who is in the final stages of dying.....In his final moments, he may have made peace with his doubts about God, n that will forever be only for dad to know....My dad has always drilled to all of his kids that he was an atheist....n nothing would ever change his mind.....Then he became ill, lost control, n began re-thinking his faith....It has been a beautiful thing to witness...He's scared, n he has found a new
outlook on the after life.....I don't discuss religion, becuz it's a very personal subject for each individual.....But I did want to say this ..Your post was a beautiful way of honoring your father.....n you can be sure that he knows that, n must be extremely proud that you were his daughter ....n must be so proud of you n the incredible way that you cared for him in his final days.....Don't be worried, Eyerishlass.....Your father is in a beautiful place, because he was a beautiful man.....Have no regrets about the way you cared for him....you were a wonderful daughter....Be easy on yourself......it's only been a month, but know in your heart n soul.......you did a beautiful job as a daughter.....God Bless you n your path to healing.....Dad is always with you....in everything you do......I'll be praying for you n you'll be in my thoughts, everyday.....Take care....stay strong... Much love...Beck
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Cap, you can ride your Harley in the stars and pop a wheelie thru heaven 's gate.
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lol. i hope my grandpa with the 4 inch long nose hairs has my dad cornered up there somewhere spinning him a yarn that will literally never end. man thats cosmic justice..
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Jinx, what are you talking about? I think I missed something.
I'm going to sing and hang with the Rat Pack for eternity:)
I can't wait to see my Daddy again. By the time I die, it will be 100 earth years since I saw him:( I'm projecting. Maybe it won't take that long, I hope I hope.
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* sigh * what if your dad was a womanizing , hypocrit, violent, nazarene zealout? you think id want to sit and listen to his closed minded drivel for eternity. he** no. id rather listen to skynerd playing " whiskey rock a rolla " .. for eternity.
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Just to make everything clear: I don't believe there is a "God". I still pray for comfort. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell or any kind of afterlife. I still hope to see my parents there. Can you believe three impossible things before breakfast?
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When my husband died I found a little book called Hello From Heaven. It was a great comfort to read and gave many accounts of experiences people had after their loved ones died.
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The last words my mother-in-law said to the family as we sat by her last living hours was "Don't worry, I will be alright." Three hours later she died peacefully amongst her whole family. I believe she was trying to reassure us that she was going to a wonderful place beyond. Time will lessen the pain, but you will always miss him. You have been truely blessed with a beautiful relationship with your Dad. What a beautiful heart felt post from a caregiver.
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Bless your wonderful heart. you are a beautiful loving person. Agnostic just means they aren't sure. I'm sure he knows now. It took my husbands daughter to die from leukemia at 28 to believe in God.
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Eyerish!!! I love it!! So glad you told us what your Dad said:))
I sing a song to my Mother that says," I will ask my God to let me make my Heaven in that dear land across the Irish Sea." She always manages to say, "Yes, Yes." She barely speaks coherently anymore, just a word here and there. It is comforting to know she is able to comprehend that, maybe it gives her hope.
I knew your sweet Dad was smiling and at peace.
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Blessings to you, Eyerishlass. We get the privilege of loving others even when we share different worldviews. What we can do is love others to the point where they can see our faith and desire to know more about the One who shapes us into Himself. Each person has to make a conscious decision about their eternal home. I've come to a place of acceptance about that... and have been blessed to see both parents move from being agnostics to followers of Christ, fully transformed. You won't know until you get home when and if your father made that leap of faith, even in the silence of his own heart before he passed. Blessings to you.
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While my dad was unconscious he did wake up for just a bit and he said, "This is nice. I sure would like to live here." I cling to that thinking that maybe he caught a glimpse of where he was going.
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I believe God is all loving, that includes agnostics.
I miss my dad very much also. The day after he was buried mom went into ICU.
It's been 9 months. Fathers Day was rough.
Wishing you peace,
L
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Jen, he may have been agnostic, but God loves his heart and knows his soul. How many of us will be surprised in some way when we pass?
I don't think it will be at all what is taught by the establishment, putting fear in us so we have guilt. He is smiling, he is with you, and he is a bit surprised:) xo
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a hospice fellow came to our house one time twangin on a harp and mom made it clear that " rick " was nice enough but the harp had to go. now imagine that infernal twanging for eternity. im going to the agnostic place. the original lynerd skynerd band will be there still reeking of jack daniels and aviation fuel..
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My heart goes out to you dear one. Heaven, hell, nothingness....whatever there is that he now knows and we don't, he truly does LIVE in your Heart!
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Eyerishlass - one month is not a long time...the pain of losing your dad is still very fresh, and everything you're thinking and feeling is normal. As for his spirit, you only need to look into your own heart. He is with you always because a part of him lives on in you. Yes, have faith the pain will lessen. It will never completely go away but it WILL get easier. You stayed so very strong for such a long time. Allow yourself all the time you need to find your strength again. (((Hugs)))
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