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My dearest father got his wings a week ago tomorrow...

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Hi Everyone...

I lost my dad a month ago. He was 94. My heart is broken he was my best friend and the most wonderful father in the world. It's amazing to me that I am actually making it without him.

My mother and father lived alone in my town, and I cared for them both. I was there nearly every day. Eventually I got him a caregiver who came everyday...but mostly it was me and my husband. My dad had a very slow growing colon cancer which I never told him was malignant because he worried too much. My mother has dementia.(90)

I did everything I could to take care of him and he relied on me for everything. In the 6 months, my mom began to drive him crazy, constantly talking at him and sometimes being mean. He began to wear down mentally.

Christmas Eve was his last good day. I took my mom and dad to church with our family, and my mom and dad held hands. He came to my house for dinner, but he was struggling. The next day he wouldn't get out of bed, and slowly went down hill.

I wish that I could say that he closed his eyes one night and didn't wake up, but that was not the case. Family members streamed in and out of the house, hospice came, and my mom...who couldn't help it...continued to agitate him. The last few days of his life he was very upset and restless. My husband and I slept right by him and he seemed at times to be hallucinating as we kept giving him the hospice men's and my mother coming in and out, saying things like he's dying, etc. My dad told me that everyone was making a fool of him.i wish I could have protected him from all of it, but I couldn't.

I begged God to take him, but once he did...I fell apart.

My dad called me on the phone 5 times a day, when I wasn't there. Sometimes, I became annoyed with all the calling. What I wouldn't give for that now. I don't think that I will ever stop missing him, nor feeling this horrible regret that he struggled so in the end. The grief is unbelievable, and yet I am now caring for my mom and trying to get her settled with care. I am exhausted.

Sorry I am rambling. I wanted you to know that I , too, feel your pain and hope that each day we come to hold on to the good. I have many blessings in my life..a great husband and grandchildren and children. My husband keeps reminding me that spring is coming. God Bless You.
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Oh, Rainmom, I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I know its hard. I think we all go through those moments. From reading your story I know how much you loved and cared for your dad. Life is so unfair. There is so much of your story I can relate to.

My father was in the hospital the last week of his life. He asked to go home about three times. Two days before he passed I had put my arm around his shoulder and told him to hang in there. I told him, he just needed to be there for a couple of more tests and we would go home.

We had a meeting with the doctor that day. She said he had 6 months to one year but they didn't really know. We took my dad down to the cafeteria for lunch and he looked so lost. But I bought him fish and chips. He had a couple of bites, but then pushed the food towards me. He always asked me "are you hungry?" I guess that's how he showed he cared. Asking if I was hungry. Even though he was so weak.

I visited the next day because we had to meet the OT and PT for an assessment. Dad was so weak. But I don't know why it didn't dawn on me, he might be dying. I thought he's just tired. After the OT and PT left, I asked if he wanted some lunch. He reached for the soda can but he dropped it. I was frustrated. I held it for him. I held the coffee cup for him to drink. I even offered him a sandwich but he didn't want it. I fed him a couple of spoons of pudding. And then wiped his mouth. He closed his eyes and leaned his head up against the railing. I had to leave for work. I turned back for a moment and even put my fingers up to his nose. But I still left. And two hours later, I get the call he died. Your ONE DAY comment resonates with me so much. I think I'm with you, I don't think I can forgive myself either.

Me too. I had made every effort to do what my father wanted. But in the end I felt it wasn't enough.
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cdnreader - I know just what you mean about re-hashing those last days. My dad was in IL with my mother. When daddy took a turn for the worse and wasn't rebounding his doctor suggested palliative care - which quickly turned to hospice.

So everyday for my dads last few months I went over to be with him even though he had a professional caregiver for 18 hours a day. I just wanted to be with him. But I also managed his pain medication which my mother couldn't be trusted to do. Mom was abusing oxycodone at the time - plus she had lunch dates, movie dates, her painting class, her bridge club...

Anyhoo- I was doing everything I could so daddy could pass at home. He DID NOT want to be in any facilities after he spent five miserable weeks in rehab the year before.

So what happens? The hospice nurse had told me daddy probably only had a couple of weeks. In prepping to spend as much time as humanly possible with my dad for whatever time he had left - I took one day off from seeing him to stock the fridge for my hubby, catch up on laundry etc. ONE DAY! I get a call from the hospice nurse asking me to go to the hospice facility to fill out my dads paperwork. Daddy was already there and my mom was "just too tired" to go herself!  WTF??? Seems mom told the hospice nurse when she came to visit that day - that she needed a break. A break from what? She did nothing! The caregiver or I did everything. My mother could rarely be bothered to lift a finger to help my dad.

I went to the facility and found my dad - weak and sad. Daddy asked me "how long this time"? I told my beloved father - just a couple days. I visited him the next day - brought him cloths to go home in - did my best to reassure him he would be home soon. Daddy passed the next night - all alone in a strange place. I think he died of a broken heart because he couldn't  face being in a facility again. And - from what my mother did. Daddy would have NEVER done that to her.

So, in spite of my efforts to have daddy pass as he wanted - home and with his family with him - my mother sabotaged it all. You know what she said to me when I went to tell her daddy died? "I didn't mean for him to die. I just wanted a good nights sleep". But I blame myself. I should have known better than to trust her in order for me to miss one day. ONE DAY. That's all it took her to strike - she must have been just biding her time until I wasn't there - to strike.

As long as I live I will never forgive my mom - or myself - for that one day.
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Dear Rainmom,

Thank you for your kind words. And for your sharing your experience and wisdom with me. I know I should be grateful for the time I did have with my dad, but I guess even if he was 100, I would have wanted more.

I'm trying to read, write, and do what it takes to make myself get up every day. And hopefully make my dad proud of me. But it still hurts. And sometimes my mind is in a loop about his last days and what I should have done for him. I keep going back to what I could have done to save him and prolong his life. Yet everyone tells me he had enough. He was never the same after the stroke. But I can't accept that he really thought he would be better off dead. I was doing everything that I thought was "right" and why couldn't that be enough? Why couldn't he stay here with me a little longer?

I will keep your words close to my heart. And try to be kinder and gentler. Thank you again for your kind reply.
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cdnreader - I've read your posts regarding the grief you are trying to cope with after the passing of your father. I am sorry for your loss.

I lost my dad 4 1/2 years ago. I loved my father dearly. I was "daddy's little girl" from the start and remained so for over 50 years. My dad was my idol, my hero, my protector and my very best friend. For more than 25 years we talked almost daily. I can honestly say he's been the only person in my life who never let me down.

When daddy passed I went directly into the role of my mothers carer. I never had the opportunity to mourn my father properly. Regardless - I still think of him and miss him every day. For me the pain of daddy's death has not lessened but it has changed - its now more of a steady dull ache and longing. Honestly - I don't think it will ever go away.

Having said all that - it probably hasn't given you much comfort. But I do think you just have to feel what you feel. In time it will morph into something you learn to live with.

I know my father would be very upset if he knew his passing was keeping me from feeling happiness, joy, an appetite for life - so I do my best to honor him by living the life he wanted me to have. My dad wanted me to be happy - and I'm betting that's what you're father wanted for you. So - it's getting up every day, breathing in and out - putting one foot in front of the other and hoping for - searching for - trying for joy and happiness. For my dad.
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Dear Laura,

Thank you for your post. It was the question I was asking myself today. Trying to look for comfort and answers. I'm always so grateful to read the kind replies.
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((((hugs))) and condolences. My father died over 35 years ago and I still miss him but the grief is not raw. It does get better, in time, Allow yourself the tears and pain, and need to think about him. Consider a grieving group if that appeals to you. They can be quite helpful when you are ready for one. Slowly return to other activities and give yourself permission to enjoy them. Take care of you.
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thank you all,,,,and thank u for the hugs,, cause i sure could use them.....xoxo laura
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I am sorry to hear about your loss. I'm glad that you created this into a separate post after posting about it on another thread about an hour ago.

Instead of repeating here my response from there, I just encourage you to read my response on that thread.

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/Grief-Guidance-176421.htm?cpage=0&cm=440175#440175

I wish you the best in your journey through the grief process. At 49, you are still young with many years of life still ahead of you.
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I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. You will never stop missing him, but the pain you are feeling now will lessen with time. My Daddy has been gone now for 18 years and while I still miss him each and every day, I do think of him now with smiles instead of tears. I understand right now how much it is hurting but time does help, try to remember the good times and the love and know that as time goes by, the horrible pain is slowly replaced with warmth and love. (((prayers and hugs)))
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My condolences on your father's passing.

No, it will not stop hurting. It just will stop hurting so much and so often. My father died four years ago. There is not a day that I do not think of him, of course my mom is still alive, but I think that even if she was gone I would think of him.

It comes out of the blue sometimes. He always wanted to help me folding sheets when I tried to take care of them when they lived at my childhood home. Every week when I do sheets, I tell him thank you dad. You make the chore easier. Music is a big trigger, songs he loved, even in a department store it can hit your heart. Silly me shopping with tears. :(

It becomes tolerable and manageable, but the pain will always be there. It becomes more of a reminder of how much you were loved and how wonderful that person was in your life. It also makes you a better person for you strive to take that best part of you that came from them. You honor them by living the life lessons they gave you and pass it on to others. My dad loved to make others laugh and lighten their day, if even just for a moment. I try to carry that with me everyday.

God bless you. I know how hard it is and you will somehow patch it together. We have to, for others count on us to be their light. ((Hugs))
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No.

But the hurt will gradually fade and be much gentler and appear less frequently. You will be able to think of him and smile. You will always miss him, but it will not always be so debilitating as it is now.

Time does heal this kind of grief. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time.

Please accept my condolences on your dear father's death.
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