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I have been reading postings from people having a hard time with the season. Ahmijoy, who was so helpful to me when my dad was getting worse earlier in the year wrote about her family get together issues. Sad to read.


For me, a year ago things were fairly normal. My dad had been diagnosed with ALZ almost two years earlier, but was still pretty good and steady. Had not really declined much in that two years and was taking care of himself (living with my mom, but could walk, eat, shower, went places, etc) He had a seizure on December 28, which the ER doc said was not typical of ALZ but later the duty MD said it was. He was in the hospital for a couple days, and then went to a New Years Day get together with friend as he always did and seemed fine. In February, he aspirated, went to hospital, and went downhill quick. The next two and a half months he bounced around between hospital, rehab, hospital, and a couple SNFs Died last day of April. So while it seemed like a long time at the time, it was all only 4 months. Last year at this time I naturally wondered what the year would hold for him but didn't think he would be gone in four months. I read about more long drawn out, declines, and sometimes feel cheated he didn't get more time, but like people here have told me, it is probably better it did go fast for him rather than be in SNF for years on end. I have had good times and bad times since then, but now, this time of year, being Christmas right after which it all started going downhill brings sadness. He was 93 so maybe that makes the decline more rapid, I dunno. As mentioned before, always seem to struggle with guilt. If I made the right care choices for him and if I had made better choices if he would have lasted longer. Maybe some time, I dunno, but in any event not in a good state of life. I guess you ultimately cannot beat ALZ. For him I think the issue was always the aspirating. On his last day I pressured the staff to feed him, they did, he choked, and died later that day, so easy to think that my pressuring them to feed him killed him. But I guess it was going to be a matter of days in any event. Like everyone, my greatest hope was that he was not suffering. Would like to think he was so out of it that he di didn't realize he was dying or that we were not there when he died.

Thanks everyone for the responses. They all were very comforting to me.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Karsten
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So sorry Karsten,
It is a tough season, and so difficult to overcome losses. May God give you strength.
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Reply to smeshque
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Every first is the hardest. You haven't been through a whole year yet, so be patient with yourself. You did the best you could and you did nothing to speed up his demise.

Stop entertaining that you could have done something different and had different results, that is just a big lie. It was his time to go, nothing can change that for any of us. Stop beating yourself up.

You will find that time will help your loss become easier to bear. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself, do things that enrich your life and honor your dads, this will help you feel better. Life goes on and the best thing we can do for our lost loved ones is to have the best life we can. He would want that for you.

Hugs for all you do!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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So sorry for your loss, Karsten.
Try not to rehearse the coincidence that may have you taking responsibility for his death. That is just error in thinking. There are so many other factors to consider if even it would be appropriate to go back to the last day, when it was the staff who fed him. So, while it would be easy to jump to that conclusion, you sound smart enough not to go there.
And the tough season....you are right, especially tough this season, for you, and so many. You are so kind to consider other's problems also. You count too, and I am sorry you are having a difficult time of it. From this moment forward, consider that losing your Dad was hard enough without you adding guilt to it. So live free, Karsten, look forward to having a good life in the New Year. You deserve a guilt free life. imo.

P.S. I have memories of when my Dad died, and I was not there with him.
He had expressed a desire to be moving in with me the day before he died
(expressed to his live-in girlfriend) and learned this from her *at his funeral*.
I learned of my father's death from my brother, as I had arrived home from visiting my then husband's sister in the same hospital where my Dad was in the E.R. **
at the same time**. We did not know as his sister was in the psych ward after a holiday suicide attempt. Ironic? I started to break down, my brother said stop, don't cry. This was soooo many years ago. 45+ years.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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