Feeling sad and on the verge of tears day died 8 months ago in hospice (not a great experience for my family) and he was a veteran and last memorial day he was an energetic 89 yr old who still gardened, etc and we went to the annual family beach bbq at my uncles house...a few weeks later he fell picking up an overturned trash can and broke his hip - 2 months later he was dead ie was doing well but then contracted MRSA, severe sepsis and endocarditis what was suppose to be his last week in rehab......his rehab was close to my parents home so it was convenient but it was horrible! I feel so guilty for leaving him there daily...….today I went to visit my cousins mother in law in this pretty renowned rehab facility in Brooklyn called Menorah - its the first rehab place that I can say deserves 5 stars....most residents have a private room, many with spectacular water views and some with double beds....the place is spotless and quiet.....and most of all - it doesn't have that NURSING HOME SMELL!....I considered it for dad but it was too inconvenient for our family and I wouldn't have been able to spend all the daily time I did with him if I selected it....yet - it might have saved his life ie the one he ended up in - double rooms and you could barely fit wheelchairs in, residents and staff were not nice, place smelled so bad that I wanted to puke and they just weren't attentive unless I was asking and so I was there all the time....yet - took the urologist 4 weeks to come back to take out his urinary catheter(dads first time with one) and he was suppose to take it out after 1 week but he decided to go on a 3 week vacation...I was asking every day and it was like pulling teeth...he only finally took it out when dad got sick with the infection - he was in so much pain! Then I fought 9 days to get him to an ER - director was adamant about treating him in rehab and infectious disease dr said "no concern for mrsa" - yet when I finally forced him out and took him via ambulance to ER - they found mrsa and it went to heart.....he responded to antibiotics but became so agitated, delirious and afraid and stopped eating - I refused a feeding tube and chose hospice where he quickly was out like a light never to wake up again - I should have transferred him to that beautiful rehab (but hard to get beds there) - maybe they would have treated him well and he would have started eating again OR perhaps they would have been careful if I decided to put a feeding tube into him......I was so afraid of sending him back to rehab(I thought they were all horrible and most are) that I chose death for him - can you believe it? I'm forever sad and guilty about this......I've had 8 months of therapy with a psychiatrist, psychologist and a grief counselor along with a parish priest but nothing seems to help...

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thank you both......yes, I have taken over his Italian vegetable garden and I often feel his presence deeply there...….I just cant shake the fact that I gave up on him too quickly by not putting in a feeding tube so he could have finished his 8 week course of antibiotics to see if it would have worked for his heart infection...

Friend, almost everyone has guilt about something when a LO dies. I should have done X, should not have done Y, should have done Z sooner. It is part of a normal grieving process to think ‘if only ….’. It’s even worse if you are angry with someone else for the things you wish had been different. You made choices on balance, as the best you could do. You have no way of knowing whether another decision would in fact have worked out better – even whether living longer would really have been the best option. Forgive yourself. Your father was in many ways lucky to be so happy and competent for so much of his life. Try to be like him at his best, including being happy and competent yourself. Stop the thoughts going round and round in your mind. You know that he would want you to live a good life.

I am very sorry. You obviously loved your Dad very much. Maybe you could honor your Dad this Memorial Day by remembering the many happy times you shared with him. Do some gardening in his memory. Plant one of his favorite trees or shrub or flower. He would not want you to be feeling like this and he knows you loved him very much. Sending you hugs and wishing you peace.

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