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Deniselin

I can't get past having done CPR in Dad and he still died

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Everything about the situation tells me I should be at least somewhat thankful the way things played out. My mom had been out of town and had gotten home late Sunday, earlier than expected. Had she been gone she never would have forgiven herself and I wouldn't have known anything was wrong until morning, far too late. Dad had seen my brother who lives hours away Sunday morning. Saturday he took his grandkids out on a boat ride. And I live at home (I'm 35) so I was there to be the person to do CPR (I previously had been trained) rather than Mom.

Here is the hard part. And trying not to be too graphic to expose anyone to that. I can see, hear, smell, and taste every moment of the 15 minutes I did CPR while waiting for first responders. I have dreams/nightmares about that night. Dad feel to the floor face first and unconscious so he broke his nose. It was a mess. And by the end of it I was shaking and sick and practically hyperventilating from the effort of it. Still to this day my shoulders ache at times and remind me of it. At the hospital I was in the bathroom scrubbing my hands clean when they came to tell us he could not be revived. Somehow I knew it, but it didn't stop me from immediately feeling like I failed him.

Logically I know I did what I could. I was there also my mom didn't have to do it alone. And I did enough that he was pronounced at the hospital and not the bathroom floor. But 4 months later I still can't shake it. 

And I can't or maybe won't talk to those close to me about it because I won't add to their grief. Mom was there but she was in and out searching for the ambulance. My sister showed up but it was after EMS. Unfortunately I was the only one to truly experience the full trauma of all of it and I can't get past it. Not to discount my family's experience as it was a tragedy for us all, I just don't want them to know just how bad it was for me. 

I'm toying with the idea of counseling so I can share all of the details without fear of causing another person additional pain or grief. Just admitting this has helped me, but it is such a strange place to be in.

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Hello Denise Lin.

I truly empathise with you regarding the trauma and flashbacks as I was in a similar situation but I lost my Husband.  It's like some form of PTSD.  My mind is too focussing on this aspect of my loss, more so now than when it happened and it was bad then 5 months ago.  I keep that part within me and don't feel I can confide in family but keeping it in causes such problems and I applaud you for thinking about counselling.  You sound such a thoughtful soul.  Warmest regards.

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Thank you Zara. Knowing others are dealing with the same or similar issues is a comfort though I hate the circumstances we share for both our losses. It is so difficult to not confide in others even if you know they would want to help. Thoughts to you on finding a way to work through it all. 

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Dear Deniselin,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You are a courageous and brave daughter for taking charge and giving your dad CPR. I know its hard. I think its part of the grief journey to replay what happened on that day. I do the same thing. I think we all wish the outcome could have been different. And the hard reality of the loss is very hard to accept. It just doesn't feel real.

I know people want us to be strong. Please don't feel like you have to protect your family from your feelings. They might be feeling the same way but don't want to say anything. It never hurts to reach out and find support.

I lost my father four months ago. I remain open to trying anything and everything to help me with my grief. There are other websites like What's Your Grief, Tiny Buddha and GriefShare.Org

If you feel ready I would consider talking to a grief counselor or joining a support group. Try to access any resources through work or church.

Please know we are all here to support you. Thinking of you and your family.

 

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