I told myself I would not comment here anymore about my dad...

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I have whined enough I know. But in order to cope I start of the morning with a couple of beers, and I had never really been a heavy drinker. Still going over the last week what I could have done differently. Not moved him to the MC, not moved him FROM the MC when he only had days left, perhaps causing him transfer trauma hastening his death and suffering. The SNF we transferred him to was overall good but the orders they got from hospice (which was also otherwise good) said for honey thick liquids, not nectar thick, so he didn't drink much for a day. Thursday when we moved him from MC to SNF a hospice nurse came and checked him out and he seemd good. He complied when she told him to take deep breaths so she could check his lung and heart. She declared him good shape to travel, so he was good on Thursday and by Monday he was gone, without me by his side. Also, I have lamented how I pressured nurses to feed him at lunch the day he died, which start of vomiting and heavy breathing. I guess any changes in decisions I would have made might have added days, maybe weeks to his life, but not quality days or weeks, so maybe this is just as good. I do have a call into the hospice bereavement counseling and they left a message back so I have to call them. I have to pick up my dad's belongings at SNF today and I just feel I can't do it. I feel I failed my dad.

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Karsten,

Some of us second guess ourselves for some time after the death of a loved one. But we have to move on. Life happens and we have to move on too.

The beers in the morning sound like a bad thing.

You can request that the Nursing Home box up your Dads things. Ask them to tape the boxes closed. Put them in your trunk then in a garage or shed and deal with those things after you have met with the Bereavement/Grief Counseler from Hospice.

If you have not made an appointment with the counseler yet, do it now.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. You're not whining, that is what this forum is for, to talk about our feelings, ask questions and help each other.

I know the feeling of wondering "what if". I questioned a lot of things after my grandfather died in 2007, as well as beating myself up over how I could've been a better granddaughter and also did the self-medicating with alcohol which just made me even more depressed (it is a depressant). I totally ended up in that place of self-pity and self-destruction that polarbear is talking about.

It took a long time for me to really grieve and feel like I had some closure, but I finally realized my grandpa would not want me to be sad and depressed, and that he loved me, not because I was the perfect granddaughter, but just because I'm his granddaughter.

I know you love your dad, and he you. What would he want you to do? My guess is he would want you to love and take care of yourself and know that he is at peace.

Big hugs to you, and praying for you and your family during this difficult time.
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Terrible to say, but we cleaned out mom's stuff from the NH right after she died. I mean like, we all had a good cry and we said, "okay let's wrap this up we don't have to come back." They chased us out when the very sombre guy from the funeral home showed up. I think they thought we were a bit...odd. We're just very practical. And task oriented.
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I would get his belongings ASAP. My Mom was missing a few things because of laundry but never got them back. They fill empty rooms quickly.
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I hate that you’re stuck in the place of beating yourself up over your dad’s passing. I shared on this site a long time back that my uncle had been in hospice care, but doing surprisingly well. He and my dad were close as brothers and one night my dad took dinner to him. They talked, laughed, and had a great meal. My uncle ate more than he’d been able to for weeks. The next night he died. No one saw it coming, at least not then. There was much second guessing and wondering what should have been different. Finally, all came to a peaceful place of knowing it was simply the time it was meant to happen. We became grateful for the last happy time in place of always questioning what went wrong. I relate all that to say, I hope you can come to a place of knowing you did nothing wrong in your dad’s care, it was simply meant to be his time to go, and you can have peace with good memories in place of the torment you’re going through now. Keep us informed on how you’re doing, and know we care
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Karsten - when my father passed away at a young age of 43, my mother was devastated. She was left to raise 2 young kids on her own with little money and no job. She was in a daze, paralyzed in her grief. My mother began to take up chain smoking and coffee drinking. That was all she would do all day for what seemed like weeks and months. She didn't do anything else. I don't remember how we kids got fed. I think a close friend of hers came and helped us during that time.

What really got her out of her paralyzing grief was us kids. She had to take care for us. She had to get up and start doing things. She had to be responsible for someone else other than her. We kids depended on her to be functional, and functional she came around to be. She was still grieving, but she had a purpose for living and keeping going.

So Karsten, do you have something or someone that you live for? A purpose, a reason to get up in the morning? Perhaps, a nice nurse if I remember correctly from your other post.  If you don't, you will keep on dwelling in self-blamed grief of what could have been or should have been.

And stop drinking. Your self-blame will soon turn into self-pity and self-destruction.
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Karsten, ask yourself a few questions. If you had done things differently, would it have made a difference? Your father was in a terminal stage.

I've been asking this of myself for the last month, battling my own self doubt and recriminations. Only when I break out of this am I able to move forward. Trust management issues help me do that b/c I have to really focus on the legal and other issues.

What did you enjoy doing before you became a caregiver? What were your hobbies? Have you tried to reinstitute those, even one baby step at a time?

And if you had handled the situation differently, after he passed would you still be questioning yourself?

I think your grief, anxiety and self recrimination, and self "medicating" with alcohol have reached a more dangerous stage, well beyond questioning your actions. As others have indicated, you're on a slippery slope and need to find a different way of coping.

Are you developing plans for caring for your mother and addressing her grief? For handling the estate and your father's affairs?

I think one thing we all need to accept about caregiving is that when someone is in a dying stage, what we do may change minor issues, but in the short and certainly the long run, the process has already begun and can't be reversed.

We all die at sometime; it's the nature of life. Only inanimate objects like rocks and earth features last for millions of years. We humans are mortal and eventually will succumb to the terminating forces of life.

Karsten, sit down and list all the things you did for your father while he was alive, and try to at least switch your focus to more positive ones. And try to find a grief counseling group, or confide in one of your doctors.

Good luck; you've expended a lot of effort for your father and I'd hate to see you slip into more depression than you already have.
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I am sorry for the loss of your dead dad. It seems common among caregivers to never feel like we do enough. You said you may have made other decisions to add days/weeks, but not of any quality. I think most people would pass on poor quality if given the choice. You did your best. You do not know what would have happened if you made other choices, and perhaps those other choices may have caused other issue worse issues to arise. Try not to beat yourself up.
Take advantage of the hospice counselling. Of course you are grief stricken and heartbroken. The hospice counselors deal with this all the time and can offer ways to support you. Post here as often as you like. Also, if you have a friend or neighbor willing to pick up your dad's belongings let them do that for you.
Blessings to you.
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First, get your stuff done then start drinking beer. Now you’ll feel like crap the rest of the day. Booze just makes it all harder. There...Lecture over...

Well not quite....Second, nothing you did or didn’t do would have affected the outcome. Another day.....A few hours? It was time.

My mom died last month after a horror show of falls, broken bones, trips to the ER......She suffered horribly. I guess I could have moved in to the AL with her, stayed awake 24/7 and maybe prevented a fall or two.

It haunts me that she suffered so much but it was not my fault and nothing I could have done would have changed the final outcome.

You should call Hospice and ask about some grief counseling. No charge and it can be very helpful.

You will get through this. Finish your beer, take a breath and do what has to be done. And you can whine her anytime.
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Karsten, do you have a primary care physician you trust?

Def keep the appointment with grief counseling.

But make an appointment to see your pcp. Tell her/him how anxious and agitated you are. You're self medicating with alcohol. The doctor can give you something mild that will be better in the long run.

I'm not sure why you think what you are doing is whining? You're reaching out for support at a very difficult time.

Your MOM is the one who doesn't accept help. Not you. You know how to ask. You deserve our help and support.
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