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My father only passed away three weeks ago. He was 84. He had a stroke three years ago and recently died of heart failure. The doctor had told us he had 6 months to one year, but he died two days after we got the news. I was his full time caregiver till he passed. I keep replaying the last day together. I wished I had never left his side. We were meeting the OT and PT that day. He was very weak. He struggled to hold his drink and dropped it twice. I held the can for him and even gave him his coffee and fed him some pudding. I left for work and two hours later I got the call from the hospital doctor my father had passed. I was in shock. I'm angry at myself that I left that day. Everyone tells me he is not suffering anymore and in peace. But I am selfish and wanted my dad to be with us longer. I know he wasn't happy but at least he was with still with us. But now he is gone and I don't know how to go on.

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Thank you for all your kind replies and words of comfort. With one week till Christmas, I still find it hard to carry on. The counsellor has tried to soften the self criticisms, but I still struggle with the what ifs. I wish I could throw them away, but they seem to linger in my head. In some ways I still feel like I didn't do enough to prevent his death. Being his main caregiver it was up to me to find the solutions. But I let the anger and resentment build and I just gave up finding an alternative. People tell me it might take up to 5 years before I'm ever happy again.
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I think that when we sign on as POA or decide that we will be a caretaker, we forget that we aren't really the one in control. We think we are. But we aren't.
We all die. It's hard to accept but it is true. It doesn't lessen our pain. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a real and great loss and sometimes it's said that our loved ones like to slip away when we are not there. It's as if they are waiting for the moment they are alone. I'm sure it's difficult for you to know just what to do with yourself as you were so involved with care taking. It will take time for you to adjust. We all know about being burned out. I'm sure you were doing the best you could do under the circumstances. We all have to let it go and move forward. Do the best you can with those in your life today. That's the best penance we can serve for any perceived shortcomings of the past.
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CDNreader, like you I used to get short with my Mom and was completely burnt out the last year or more, so I can identify. We loved our parents, but we are human. We did the best we could. We even went the extra mile. And I'm sure your father loved you very much, even if he never told you so. I agree that counseling might help. I am considering it myself, having just lost my Mom last week. Hang in there!
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Feel so sorry to hear about your loss. Heart felt condolences to you and your family.
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Thank you for all your kind replies and for sharing your stories with me. I am still hurting. I have decided to get some counselling. Hard to accept he is not here. I know people mean well, but I still have a lot of guilt about this past year. I was getting short with him. I was feeling burned out. Fighting with my siblings about keeping him at home. Being told I was hurting him. We had started talking about him going to a nursing home, but he said he didn't want to go. I wonder if that in someway contributed to his death. He had asked to go home for the hospital a couple of times that week. But I told him to hang on and we would go home, but he just needed to be in the hospital for a couple of more days. I always believed we would go home. And I would just struggle along and keep taking care of him because I wanted to do what he wanted. I cry every day because my daddy is gone. And I don't know how to feel better sometimes.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad.

My dad was on hospice in a nursing home when he died. I had cared for him in my home until I could no longer do it. Once he moved into the nursing home I found a job. I visited him as much as I could. Probably too much as it was a detriment to my health.

We got him on hospice on a Tuesday and I was with him all that week however I had to work Fri., Sat., and Sun. all 12 hour shifts. After my 12 hour shift on Saturday I had to drive right by the nursing home to get home and it occurred to me to stop in to see him. He'd be asleep as it was late and I had to work again at 8am the next morning. I decided to stop in and see him the next night instead. As was my habit I called the nursing home when I got home to check on my dad and I was told that he had just passed away. Had I stopped in I would have been there when he died but he died alone.

I wish I had been there but I made the best decision I could with the knowledge that I had and I knew I couldn't beat myself up about it. It happened the way it was supposed to happen.

My dad died 3 years ago and I miss him everyday.
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CDN, I lost my stepdad two weeks ago, he also of CHF. I provided care for him and my mom with Alzheimer's for four years prior to their being noved to a facility and separated. Evidently he had been having fairly severe symptoms for at least a month before I was even told. When I found out I drove the 450 miles hoping to see him, in spite of being told it was not urgent. I am so grateful that I was finally told.

I visited with him several times through the week I was there. Then had to return to my life which I am still working on rebuilding. Three days after my return the call came that he had passed. I am so happy that I was able to see him in his final days and he was very happy to see me as well.

I did everything I could for four difficult years, and was able to get out to see him just once more. I believe he wanted me to return and certainly understood why I could not stay and wait.

I am so sorry for your loss. You did what you could and as much as you could, that is all anybody would ask from you. There is nothing for you to feel sorry about.
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cdnreader,
I'm so sorry you have lost your Father and I'm sorry it was so fast and unexpected.Take care of yourself in the days ahead.Lu
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cdnreader, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family for the passing of your Dad.

My Dad also passed too soon, as he appeared to be recovering from his last illness. He had kept his sense of humor right up until the day before. Apparently he was ready to transition but I wasn't.

Do not be angry at yourself for not being by your Dad's side when he passed, I wasn't either. Some people rather pass when their grown children are not in the room. Even if you were in the room, he might have waited for you to leave even if you had plan to leave for a few minutes.

The way I am dealing with this is that my Dad had missed my Mom so very much, as she had passed just before Christmas of last year. My folks had been married for 72 years, that was a long time. Dad's caregiver said she would hear my Dad call out my Mom's name late at night.

But he still went too early. He was 95 years old.
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