My family and I take care of my dad (91, HF stage 2, kidney failure stage3/4). My dad is much older than my mum and had my sibling and me when he was in his sixties.
My father was never an easy man. I don't want to type out everything he did. But he did abuse my mother physically and verbally and basically left us (especially my mum) penniless (no retirement when he told my mum he had). He stole the money my mother saved up for my sibling and me. He had a successful business, but due to mismanagement and econocimal crisis it eventually failed. He worked until he was in his late 80s and he enjoyed it.
He didn't live with us for about three years but after he closed his business a few years ago, he moved back in with us. It was honestly horrible. A lot of times I wished him gone. Everything he did to us in the past just balled up. For example my mum told me that he would spit on our food. Or that he wanted to put my sibling and me into foster care and send my mother away. Once he threatened my mother with a knife in front of us. Once he told me he would shoot us all. There is so much more to tell but I think you understand what I'm trying to say.
At some point my father started to show symptoms of heart failure like swollen feet. I googled it and it should heart failure as one plausible cause, but I dismissed it. I don't know why I did that. It would get better when we elevated his legs. We once went to his general doctor for another issue and he asked his doctor about it, but the doctor didn't say much about it. I remember being mad at my dad for asking his doctor about his legs, as we were there for another issue (we were trying to get him health insurance, he never took care of it himself). I feel so guilty about that.
2017 my father suffered two heart attacks. Turns out it was heart failure. He came back from the hospital and was doing great on meds. He even was back to his demanding and aggressive self. A few months later he suffered an intestinal obstruction which was diagnosed very late. He survived the surgery but since then its been going downhill. Especially his kidneys. He also has been depressed. Sleeps a lot and drinks little. He only eats when my mum feeds him.
Seeing him like that hurts me a lot. Because I never expected that for him. I always thought he would live till 100. I feel very much guilty for his current condition. If I had taken him to another doctor or pressed the issue with the one we were at, if I only hadn't been so dismissive.... maybe he would have been treated and his kidneys would work better. I feel like I caused his illness. I should not have let our bad relationship clouded my judgement. Thats not what good people do. If I could I would give him my kidneys.
I also feel like I never knew my dad because he is a very closed off person. He had a difficult upbringing himself. He lost his parents young, after he was forced to leave the family home because his parents could not provide for him. He was also used by a lot of people over the years. I feel like thats why he is the way he is. And I should have taken it into consideration when I was mad at him. But I didn't. Why didn't I do that? I mean there were also good times. He provided for all of us. At least he tried his best. Even my uncle told me once: Your father tried a lot and very hard.
I wished I would have spent more time with him. Tried to get to know him. But even my mum agreed with this: Before he got sick he was a hard man. It would have been no use. And now it's to late. Because asking him about his painful past only upsets him.
How do I deal with this feelings?