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My dad has had end stage COPD since 2015 and lived with me this whole time. I've been through numerous hospital and ICU stays with him and a few times he was even on the vent. All that to say this time feels different. I am so terrified this is the end because he just seems so weak and tired and his body just seems like it can't take much more. He was brought in via ambulance because he couldn't breath and thought he was having a heart attack. They did a heart cath and told me he's in severe heart failure with 15% heart function. He ended up in ICU on a bipap. The next morning he seemed quite a bit better and even the day after that he seemed as if he was headed towards recovery but as soon as they moved him out of ICU he started to nosedive. He got worse over the next 4 to 5 days and now he's back in ICU. I went from having hope because it looked like it was getting better to being terrified this is it. I'm just so scared because him and I had a close bond while I was growing up and young adult. It wasn't until he got diagnosed with COPD and had to move in with my husband and I that my relationship with him went south due to me not being able to cope with some things he did and didn't do as a single father growing up but also because I don't think I could truly accept he had an irreversible disease...I took my anger and frustration out on him many times and said hurtful things and I've felt guilty over it before but now the guilt is really building up and I'm just full of regret and angry at myself that my dad may be leaving this world soon and that's how I treated him. I feel like the worst daughter ever. I've been with him almost every day he's been in there. I'll hold his hand and try to talk but most of the time he's too tired to talk or doesn't say much and the guilt just eats at me. I cry while he sleeps because I feel so awful but also scared because the reality of my daddy not being here soon is setting in. I want to say I'm sorry but anytime I bring up anything remotely personal or emotional he gets worked up and that's not good for his heart right now. He's in heart failure but also dealing with tachycardia and very low blood pressure so I don't want to stress him out. What do I do? Bring it up or leave it unsaid? I feel like I'm bothering him too much lately because I'm struggling emotionally and yearning for closure all the while forgetting that he's going through a lot and his body is very weak and when I step back from myself and recognize his physical and emotional state I question if I should even bring any of this up because it's probably too upsetting for him and the last thing I want to do is make this worse on him. I'm sorry this is so long. I'm just scared to lose him and I took for granted all the opportunities I had to make things better with him. I just hope he knows when he leave s this world how much I really loved him.

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We all have regrets, we all had ups and downs with our parents, we've all said things we wish we hadn't. That's life.

What your dad does know is that you took him into your home for all these years, were with him through his multiple health crises, and you're there with him now. He's no dummy -- he knows you love him.

This exact moment isn't about you and your conscience, though. Don't stress him further by burdening him with your regrets. Smile at him, talk gently to him, and tell him you love him. He'd probably like to say some things, too, but since he can't, it isn't fair to assume he doesn't love and forgive you, too.

Later, get some therapy if this is too much for you to handle on your own.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Did not worry about all the things in the past. Love is unconditional. You still love him and he loves you. That’s all you have to remember.
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Reply to Susanonlyone
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Shelly,
It’s perfectly normal to get short tempered sometimes as a caregiver…& you seemed hands on …living with you & husband. I don’t advise you to bring up anything emotional in past …just hold his hand.

just this morning (my mother’s private pay caregiver day off) my mother tells me how ugly I am…so I get upset …& walk away to get away from her for a few minutes…she is 94 with dementia…& sometimes says very hurtful things…I also have to manage her meds for agitation. I got her much calmer than she was a couple of weeks ago…but it’s still stressful.

So don’t feel guilty as every caregiver gets stressed out…some adult children don’t lift one finger & you did so much more.

Praying for you 🙏🏼 …
Hugs 🤗
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 18, 2021
Very true words. Well said!
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Don't burden you dad with all the details of past hurts on both sides or even just your side of the ledger. If you feel it necessary, just giving him a simple I'm sorry will be sufficient and cause the least stress to your father - He'll know. Follow this up by telling him how much you love him. Only God knows that none of our relationships are smooth going. I wouldn't think there isn't one of us out there who hasn't said or done awful things or had awful things done and said to us - or had that perception. We must learn to accept our failings and strive to do better next time and the next time and the next time. We must forgive those and ourselves who hurt/wronged us in order to let go of the poison it leaves in our life and find joy.

You may not be ready to let your father go but know that his end of life is soon; if he is suffering, he may feel it is time to go and he may be waiting for you to say it's ok to go. Sit with him and be at peace, hold his hand and continue to let him know you love him (in your mind let the past wrongs go and feel the peace descent).

I'm sorry and hope you, your father and your family are blessed with peace, grace and love.
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Shellb1087 Jun 18, 2021
Thank you for the response. I spent a little over 5 hours with him today. He was alot less coherent today so we didn't talk much. I held his hand while he slept. He isn't cooperating with the nurses over the bipap so he was frustrated and so were they. I told him I love him and he said "I know". So i take that as he knows I really do love him despite all our arguments. So hard seeing him like this. It's hard carrying this myself. My only sibling hasn't seen our father in over 11 years and he refuses to come right now and see our father in this time. He has every excuse in the book for why he can't come. It's making this harder on me because I want to make this happen for my dad because he misses his son. Idk what else to do. I've offered to pay for his trip, pick him up, stay at my place, everything. All he has to do is get on the plane and come and he won't. I feel I'm letting my dad down.
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Other than giving birth, I can't think of any gift as important as sharing someone's final journey with them. Your Dad knows that. You might tell him how much it has meant to you to be with him through this time. Like all difficult journeys, there are ups and downs. You might encourage him to rest, but let him know if there is anything he would like to talk about, you are there. That you are with him is the only important thing. I think relatives that won't get involved, because, what a surprise, death is a scary, sad business, can be extremely frustrating. Really, they are trying to kid themselves that they can avoid the journey themselves. Doesn't work that way, and it is a terrible journey to let someone make alone. Your irritability along the way was just travel fatigue. Forgive yourself and rejoice in your ability to be as strong and giving as you have been and thank God for giving you strength. He did, even if it didn't always feel that way.
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mfrench37033 Jun 19, 2021
Your comment warmed my soul. We buried Daddy Monday and even tho
i have no regrets for being there at the end, I still feel guilt for thinking "thank you Lord for taking him, he wouldnt want to live like this".

Staying strong for my step-mom has been my priority, and I can't cry!
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Let go of what you can't control, which is your what your brother chooses to do or not do at this point! It's on him, not you, whether he chooses to visit his father at this time. That decision doesn't make your life easier or harder because you can't fix the damaged relationship between father and son. Focus on spending quality time with your dad and that's it. There's nothing more you can do, you're not a magician or a God.

Your dad knows you love him so just be with him now. Let him be. If he doesn't want to be cooperative with the nursing staff, involve hospice for comfort care now. No point in furthering his pain or anguish but to keep him calm and worry free from now on. Your only goal is to see to it that he's relaxed and pain free.

Wishing you peace and strength at this difficult time.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I suggest you reread your statement. Try to refocus away from yourself and remember what makes your dad smile. Let him know that he's a wonderful dad and he's taught you well, so you'll okay when he decides to leave this earth.
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Reply to DrLokvig
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Just tell him you love him. Anything else is mostly you looking for forgiveness. You have nothing to be forgiven for - we all lose our tempers, we all have stress . Trust me - your father (or mother, or husband, etc.) know who is with them and they love them dearly. Most important is not deserting them as they leave this world. Just being there is enough. Should they pass when you have stepped away for some sleep or a cup of coffee or whatever - it is just meant to be for them to be able to let go.
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Reply to desert192
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Been there, done that. I would gently tell him you are sorry for things you said and did and hope he will forgive you. Then tell him how much you loved him and thank him for all the good things. That is all you can do. Just tell him in as few words as possible so as not to overwhelm him and let him know how special he is to you. Good luck.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Just finished some prayers for you and your father, Let go and let God... Surrounding you with infinite Love and Blessings... I Believe our loved ones are always with us... (I lost my father at 18).
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