Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

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So how are you all doing? Silver, how is your dad? 

Yesterday my dad and sister came, we went out to dine and it was sadder than I could have imagined. Knowing that mom is not with us.

I don't know, life just sucks. 

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Hi May,

Thank you for being such an amazing human being. And for supporting and encouraging all of us. I know what you mean, the look on my dad's face the weeks and days before he passed is one that I will never forget. He looked so far away if that makes sense. I'm so mad at myself that I was not with my dad when he passed. I had visited him earlier in the day at the hospital. He was very weak. I asked if he wanted a sandwich from his lunch but he shook his head at me. He reached for the pop can but dropped it. I held it for him to drink and then he put it back. He reached again and dropped it. I fed him coffee and some pudding and even wiped his mouth. I told him I was going to work. I don't know why but before I left the room, I placed my fingers up to his nose. And yet I didn't think too much more and left. 2 hours later the doctor called and he had passed. It was the worst moment of my life. So surreal. I wished I had never left his side.

Thank you for asking your sister in law. My sister thinks its my over imagination. She thinks it could be something else that caused the sound of foot steps. I know my dad would never hurt me. And perhaps he was just checking on me. He normally was awake when I returned home from work. So maybe this was his way of checking on me. I really don't know. My sister told me not to over think what happened with the foot steps. She says I'm only making myself crazy. I guess so. I haven't heard anything since. And there doesn't seem to be any other signs.

I want that more than anything for my dad to have peace. I wouldn't want his spirit to be stuck.

I'm glad the first week of January is almost over. I don't know how I will make it through 2017 at his rate. My first full year without my father and I'm dreading every moment.

Thank you again May. And for telling me more about your mom.

 

 

 

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Reader, 2017 will be harder than we imagine, I guess. You still have your mom? Your relationship with your dad was so strong. I do not have such a close relationship with my dad, it would be much more easier for me if he was the one to go. I keep seeing stories like "If you hang out with your mom, she lives longer" and I get so pissed off. I understand I cannot change anything but I do not believe now if I ever truly reach a state of acceptance that mom is gone. At the moment I think that maybe it is ok not to consider her truly gone.

For me now every day is harder. It hits me more and more every day. I miss her so much. I wrote an sms to her today. I sobbed all day. I truly cannot learn anything from my mother's death except that I must have been very unlucky to lose her so young. 

I feel so alone. I started fighting with my husband because he does not get it. Overall, I have never felt so alone among people, in my family. I feel sick, I feel weak, really I just wanna die. 

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Dear Athina,

I'm so sorry for the pain and sorrow. I know it hurts a lot without your beloved mom. Please know we are all here for you. To support you in anyway we can. Sending you lots of love and hugs. All your feelings are natural and understandable. Grief is a terrible and long journey. Everyday I am searching for comfort, for understanding, for acceptance, but so far all I have are tears. Lots of tears. And terrible rage at everyone because I want so badly for my dad to still be alive with me.

Thinking of you my friend. I know its hard. But let's try and carry on together. Day by day if not moment by moment. ((((hugs))))

 

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Athina, how are you doing today? I know every day is tough without your mom. I too feel very raw. I normally try to hold my emotions in, but since my dad passed I find myself letting all my emotions out. Remember you are not alone, we all are here for you. Thinking of you.

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Hi and my condolences to all of you who are mourning the loss of a parent as I am right now.  It's been 8 days since I found my dad dead on his bedroom floor and even though he was 94, it was still a shock as he was not sick at all. Heck, Christmas Eve and Christmas day he was eating lot's of food and drinking beer and wine.   One thing I know is that I would not be surviving right now if it weren't for the AMAZING and LARGE amount of support I've gotten from my friends both near and far.  They have been either by my side or on the phone with me everyday since it happened.  I hope you all have support from friends and/or numerous family members, it's what's going to get you through this grieving process. 

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Belle526, I'm so sorry for your loss.  I also lost my dad during the holiday season.  He was 86, but I thought he had more time.  Even if he lived to be 100, it would be too soon.  I'm glad that you have been receiving quality support from your friends.  Many of us aren't that lucky.  I think you should be prepared to see that support wane after the first six months to a year, unless you do have truly amazing friends.  I hope you do. Unfortunately, for some of us, grief can last a lifetime, but it does usually get easier to handle with time.   Many of us come to this forum, because the people here understand our grief much better than our relatives and close friends. 

May, thank you for inquiring about Ernesto.  His eye is getting better and overall his health is improving, because he is resting more these days.  Another time in the kitchen the other day he heard a female voice ask him in Spanish, "What are you doing?"  He thought it was me, but I was in the living room.  I still have not heard or seen anything unusual myself.  I wish so much I could see my father, even if only for an instant.  Like many of us here, I just want to know that my loved one is ok.  I can't see how he would deserve anything but to be happy in the afterlife, because he was such a good man.  I wish I knew why we have to live in this world and suffer.  Why can't we all just go straight to heaven and live happily ever after!  Some people say death gives meaning to life.   But then does that mean that eternal life in heaven is meaningless?  Life is so full of mysteries and contradictions.

Even though I spent 55 years with my father, I also still feel like I could have done more for him, and this is the hardest part of grieving, aside from not having him here with me.  At the same time, I wish he had taken better care of himself. A lot of times he didn't want to do the exercises that the physical therapist prescribed for him, and I couldn't force him.  He thought his heart might give out if he exercised too much.  No matter how I explained things, he still did things his way.  I don't always do what's in my own best interest either.  Many people cooperate better with a PT than with their own family members.  I wish patients could have physical therapy for the rest of their lives at home, but Medicare stops paying for it when a person reaches a certain plateau.  I wanted him to eat a healthier diet years before he developed congestive heart failure, but he enjoyed eating what he liked.  Am I an accomplice to his death, because I enjoyed eating these things with him since he was going to anyway?  Once diagnosed with CHF, he was willing to drastically change his diet, and this did help him to stay alive, and even reverse his peripheral arterial disease, but the damage was already done to his heart.  He also had chronic kidney disease.  The medications helped at first, but eventually made his kidneys worse. 

After two years, songs and movies I enjoyed with my dad still make me cry.   Life without him still feels empty and sad.   Even though I'm sure he would want me to be happy, I still feel like I don't want to be too happy, if he can't enjoy life with me.  When I went on a few pleasure trips without him in my  younger days, I wished so much that he could have been with me.  Even when I enjoy a simple cup of coffee from McDonald's, I wish my dad could enjoy it with me.  In fact, I never knew McDonald's coffee was so good until Ernesto introduced me to it.   He just brought me a cup and I feel so pampered.  Before he didn't like doing too much for me, because he felt like my lap dog, but his attitude is gradually changing for the better.  McDonald's coffee is made in a Bunn coffeemaker.  I bought a Bunn coffeemaker for my dad for Christmas, because he liked the coffee at the mortuary where my mother had her wake.  My poor father didn't even have a chance to enjoy his Christmas gift.  I never used it, because it's too big for one person, being the commercial model.  I wanted to make sure it tasted exactly like the coffee my dad liked.  God knows I wanted my dad to be happy, but when you're old and lose your strength, and you can't enjoy the foods you used to love, because of dietary restrictions, it's so hard to be truly happy anymore.  All we really had left to enjoy together were movies and music.

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Belle526 - My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your father. I'm glad you have the loving support of family and friends during this difficult time.

Athina - How are you today?

MissionBlue - Thank you for sharing your dad with us. I can identify with so much of what you are writing about. My dad passed at 84. He could have lived to 100 and I would be devastated our time was over. He also enjoyed McDonald's coffee. And I too, wish so badly I could have done more, but I didn't want to fight with him. After the stroke, I let him have whatever he wanted. He loved bacon and I continued letting him have it. He enjoyed his coffee with cream and donuts. He almost starved to death after the stroke due to being on 10 meds when he was use to being on nothing. So when we changed the meds and he was able to eat again, I let him have whatever he asked for. Its only been three months and you are right, I also feel empty and sad without him. I know none of us can go back in time, but I so badly wish I could.

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Reader, my dad loved bacon and donuts, too.  He had an older brother who didn't like veggies, who smoked and ate bacon and eggs every day of his life and still lived to be 91.  This is why I thought my dad had a few more years left but they diagnosed his heart disease much later than my uncle's when it was too risky to operate.  My dad also almost starved to death during his six week stay at the hospital, recovering from a botched toe amputation.  It was so hard to find medications he could tolerate, and difficult to get the doctors and nurses to stop giving him meds that didn't agree with him.  They kept insisting that he needed blood thinners, but it was just as risky taking them as not taking them.   He went without any BP meds for years, because they couldn't find the right combo of drugs that worked or that he could tolerate without terrible side effects.  Then they'd give other meds to treat the side effects.  You are very early in your grief, and I know it is so very painful, but time does help us to come to terms with our loss.  It is very hard to accept that I will probably never be as happy as I was with my father, but we don't know what the future will bring.  Someone very special may come into our lives or we may achieve the satisfaction of making other people happy. Once we have fully experienced our grief, then we should try to be as happy as we possibly can. 

 

 

 

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MissionBlue, thank you for your condolences and I extend mine to you on the loss of your dad. I know what you mean, no matter how long they are with us it's never enough time, but I do feel blessed that I had until my 53rd birthday with him as I know many of my friends didn't get that long with their dad (or in some cases, either parent).  I'm pretty sure that my friends will check on me for awhile and won't back off until I tell them I'm okay. Some have been through it (or soon will be) and I've also been friends with many of them for anywhere from 20 to 40 years, so we are close.  BTW, I too thought my dad would live to 100 since his mother made it to that age + 6 months and like I said, he hadn't been sick and was eating and drinking anything he wanted to just days prior to his death.  

 

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Hello everyone--May, Athina, Reader, Lisa K, Missionblue, Belle, and others whom I may have inadvertently missed,

Sorry I've been AWOL. Thanks for asking about my dad: it's been a difficult week. The previous Monday, my dad made absolutely no sense: he was babbling in what I think was Japanese. Two nurses said he kept saying "30 years ago."

I could not figure out the significance of that date--plus or minus 5 years. I keep wondering if my dad had an illegitimate child with that kunt cousin of his, which would make him less than completely committed to either mom or me. I am now thinking that I might have dad draw a will to make sure all the property goes to me. God knows, I deserve it after he put us through the grinder. I have sworn that if I ever find out about this possible illegitimate child, I will go to Taiwan and kill IT. (The THING would probably be somewhere between 30 and 36.) The only reason why I would not kill IT is if it had money for me.  That kunt has made my life a living hell from beginning to end, killing mom in the process. If mom weren't so stressed out, she might not have died so young. I also believe that she helped destroy my dad's career--not that he isn't entirely blameless, of course. Had this kunt left him alone or had he learned self-control, he could have boosted his career. Many of his colleagues have written at least 2 or 3 books: my dad has NONE to his name. (Self-published does NOT count!) No wonder he worked at less prestigious institutions than his fellow Princeton grads and made less. Most proper husbands and fathers care about making as much as possible for their family; my dad evidently did not think my mom or I were important enough. He just wanted to have a good time. And now I have to take care of him. NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!!

Of course, the kunt cousin may not be the only woman at fault; I also have to wonder that since she was only 6-7 years younger than my dad at that time, who was in his early 50s, she may not been able to bear children or think of doing so: unless, of course, she was desperate to hold onto my dad. One of my aunts told me just the other day that she had heard a rumor of my dad dating a fellow professor's daughter. It's not something I have ruled out since I found some very odd pictures of my dad, a woman and her bridegroom. My dad was hugging the woman as if she were someone very dear to him. Granted,the bridegroom is in all of the pics, but it's still very weird. Now, mom has most likely seen that picture because it was inserted with all these other photos; however,  she has never said anything about it. A few years after that picture was taken, a man called anonymously from Taiwan to tell mom to watch out because dad had a girlfriend. Was that the bridegroom? I wonder.

It seriously disturbs me that mom didn't dump dad. After all, she wasn't running for office like Hillary;) I know we've discussed it here, but just cannot understand. Being cheated on IS a form of abuse: my aunt eventually got divorced from her husband after 30-some years of mental and physical abuse. Why couldn't my mom do the same? Why wasn't she much more careful with my dad after he'd been caught cheating numerous times? Especially since his students and colleagues knew? If I were mom, I would be so humiliated to be so openly cheated on, especially since she mom used to cook these lavish dinners for them at Xmas and the end of term.  This is one of the reasons why the wives of Anthony Weiner (!) and Elliot Spitzer dumped them eventually: you can only be scorned for so long.  

As far as my dad's progress right now, he has started to improve: he was much less confused Sunday and sounds almost normal. But we're still not out of the woods yet. He does have what seems like a suspicious growth in his gall bladder.

Athina, your stories were fascinating! LOL, I wish my mom would help me find stuff so I wouldn't waste so much time. As for your husband, I've heard similar stories here. Last year, there was a woman married to a physician who had complained of the same. I think a lot of people do not understand grief until they've missed the one they truly love--and is probably particularly true for professional men not least because they tend to assume that logic always prevail and that it is necessary to be "on schedule." Even I felt the same myself, feeling ashamed that I was still felt so hopelessly lost after 6 months. When I read about the impatience expressed by John F Kennedy's siblings for Jackie O's grief six months after the assassination, I could sympathize with her: sometimes the grieving only begins at 6 months. I remember feeling so many pangs between the 3rd month and 12-month mark after my mom's passing.

May and Reader, I never really stopped to think what I would do if I saw mom's ghost. Heck, I think I would talk to her! I remember one morning when I thought I heard her call my name. I yelled out "Mom, where are you??"  I really, really want to talk to her so badly....I am so jealous of one of my cousins, who is going on a cruise with her daughter ,husband, and mom. I will never travel again. I will never love again. It's funny, there are several men flirting with me on LinkedIn but I could care less. I JUST WANT MOM!!!!! Missionblue, I do hope you're right, but I tell you, I have not found anything in these past 2 years to make me happy in any way. I am so worried about everything--about the expenses for this hospital stay, getting a nurse to take care of him when I am teaching. Possible foreclosure. Because of all this, I can't even relieve myself by ordering food or buying little things for myself (i.e., makeup, LOL) Then I wind up getting even angrier at my dad who refused to let me study what I wanted and hence helped impede my career--just as he is impeding the progress of my book. Why couldn't he be like other fathers? Those fathers who cared about the financial security of their families? Fathers who didn't stress out their daughters and sons? Who bought nice cars for them when they hit 16? (My dad wouldn't even take the time to teach me to drive like other fathers because he was so obsessed w/. that kunt cousin.). Fathers who didn't cheat on their wives? (The only fathers I knew who cheated on their wives were men who earned six figures in the 1980s; my dad was a LOSER Ph.D. making $65,000 a year.).

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Silverkitties - glad to see your post. I'm with you. I so badly just want my dad to be alive. I'm glad we have this forum to share our struggles.

MissionBlue - Thank you. I can completely relate to what you are saying. My had a minor heart attack in his early 60s and never took any medication or did anything. He would continue to smoke, have his coffee and eat KFC once a week. I thought he had super DNA. Late 70s he had cataract surgery on both eyes and we discovered he had macular degeneration in one eye. A few years later he started having mini strokes but we didn't know what it was. When he had his stroke at 81, I thought he was extremely lucky. He was still able to talk, use his arms and legs, he only had dizziness. But he had the same struggle as your dad, they put him on all these meds and he just couldn't tolerate it. And we just never found the right combo either. Me too. I was so worried about blood thinners. Worried it would cause him to have a brain hemorrhage. The last year of his life, he refused all his meds. It was so tough. He started having skin issues, he started to lose his teeth, and then he had a series of heart attacks that weakened his heart.

In my mind, I don't know if I did the right thing about letting him get away with not taking his meds. I feel like I should have pushed him harder or somehow found another way. He was so grumpy. I feel like I gave up on him. I just didn't want to fight with him. I thought I was doing everything to make him happy. The doctor had told us he had 6 months to one year, but he died 2 days after getting the news. I thought my dad would be like your uncle and just keep going till he was 90 or even a 100 but he died. Thank you for your kindness. I know you are right. 2017 feels like the longest year of my life. My first full year without my dad. It just doesn't seem real still.

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Reader, sounds like your dad was a stubborn man like mine and if that's the case, please don't beat yourself up about not pushing harder to take his meds.  My dad would get very nasty with me when ever I did push about either meds or follow-ups with Dr's. and flat out told me it was HIS life and to mind my own business.  These men are from the generation of wanting things on their terms and no one was going to change their minds.  My one comfort in all this is knowing that my dad went exactly how he wanted to go since he never wanted to be incapacitated or have the freedom of driving himself places taken away from him.

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Thank you Belle526. My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your cherished father.  Thank you for your kind words. I know it was his life and I was just the helper. But as the helper and caregiver, I feel like I failed him. You are so right, my dad did want to live life on his own terms and he was stubborn. Its in the DNA and I'm stubborn too. A few months before he passed, my sisters wanted him to be in a nursing home. I told him, I was looking to hire someone to look after him at home. I don't know. I felt like asking those questions in some ways contributed to his death. Like you said, he wanted to be independent. Maybe all my help hurt his pride, but I was trying to be the good daughter. Feel like I didn't do enough to save him. Selfish of me, because maybe he just had enough and wanted to go. The nurse told us he went peacefully. He had pulled the oxygen away from his nose. She said he took 12 breathes, then 8 and then he passed. He had a DNR on file. I regret that too. I know having him in ICU would have been too much, but part of me wanted to do more. Thank you again for sharing your dad with me. And your insight. I have a hard time letting go and accepting my dad is gone.

 

 

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Reader, I hope in time you will be able to realize that you did everything you possibly could for him and not have any regrets about it. I think if we are lucky enough to live as long as they did, we'll have a better understanding as to the issues faced by someone that age and come to realize the reasons they made the choices they did (and I think the physical tolls that come with age are even harder on men then women, because of their wanting to be strong and take care of themselves, where women know how to lean on others more). 

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So I guess hi from your side of the world. We traveled to the States for a vacation, but all I could do on a 10 hour flight was thinking of my mom. Especially as my little one kept waiving towards the skies, saying she was waiving to her grandma. Literally I broke into tears. 

I don't know why I feel more and more hopeless and desperate every day. It seems like my pain is getting biger and biger. I swear, I felt much better right after her death - maybe because I was in shock and numb.

I miss my mom so much. I want to be with her so badly. Some weeks ago I took a shower and after I was just standing wrapped in a towel and having suicidal thoughts, telling myself that probably I will have to kill myself after all. And them boom - for a few seconds a very very cold water started coming on my head. I know that it is probably just some water left in the shower which came out, however, I thought of my mother and started laughing. Like Silver, I would like to talk to my mother, even if it is a ghost. 

 

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Reader, I think it is almost inevitable that we never feel that we have done enough--even when our relationships are less than perfect.

I have been feeling horrible since visiting my dad today. Today, he was much more lucid than on Friday. He started to talk about remarrying--believe it or not, it's not the kunt cousin but one of my mom's younger sisters! He pursued her long ago, but she was not interested so he returned to mom;) Anyway, he went on about how it would be better to have another person in our lives so I won't feel lonely when he passes. (He's mentioned this twice this past year.) Of course, it's very unrealistic: this particular sister is already 83. How is she going to manage the cold winters here--let alone deal w/ a foreign language as she's never learned English? And is she really going to want to spend her time tidying up? (She's even more fastidious than my mom!) Not to mention she doesn't have health insurance.

Anyway, after that conversation, the doctor finally stopped by. He told me my dad's gall bladder prognosis is not that great but didn't want to go into detail since he's not an oncologist: which means I have to wait till tomorrow. I stood there and felt so sorry for dad: I'm beginning to think that the gall bladder cancer may be causing all of the problems he's had in the last few weeks and I feel so bad about yelling at him. I also feel bad about the general untidiness and close to unhygienic conditions in the house. Yet, I know too that I have felt so burned out.

I thought about dad over the years. I think we had the best relationship in my childhood ;  he always took my side whenever mom spanked me. I remember feeling so mixed on the occasions he's visited me at Oxford. Even though I had arguments with him, I still enjoyed his visits and always felt kind of sad whenever he left. I could never understand why given my vexed relationship.  I felt particularly bad one time because I could tell he was so vulnerable: he got ripped off at two restaurants when I went to the washroom (which is why I pay whenever we eat out.) How could he manage the rest of his business travels through Europe?

Right now, I know I tried very hard to keep him healthy right after mom's death. But this year, I struggled to maintain any semblance of tidiness. I was teaching in the spring, struggling to finish my book and writing paid articles while venting on politics on LinkedIn. And, of course, I struggled with Dad as he seemed to become more irrational--for instance, going to Princeton for a conference--while worried about bills. Yet, I blame myself for stressing him out too.

Having read your posts, Athina, I really do wonder what my mom thought when her mom died. She always held it together in my presence--and now, I feel selfish for not having asked her. I always assumed she had gotten over it quickly since she had dad and me. Yet, now, I wonder if she repressed it in front of me. And did she ever feel guilty because she was miles away?

Now, I have to report a very strange thing that happened last night--right after I finished telling all of you about thinking that I heard my mom's voice one morning. All of a sudden, when I was downstairs, I could feel a huge gust of wind, and one of my cats went running downstairs. I thought crap, the roof must have fallen in. When I went upstairs, I discovered that a porch door had blown open! Previously, the door had been painted shut (intentional?) and impossible to open. It sort of scared me as the doors to my dad's room and bathroom were also forced open by the strength of the wind. I went and shut them--and it happened again! I had to block the porch door with the armchair.

I don't think this is necessarily supernatural. But it was kind of odd given the fact that I had just posted here on not being afraid!

 

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Hi Silverkitties, MissionBlue, Reader, LisaK, Athina, Belle

Athina: I'm sorry that your hurting. It really sucks! The first year is the hardest. During the first six months, I didn't have the strength to go on. All I wanted is to be with mom. All I did was cry every time I thought of mom. I cried alot during my shower. I would be sitting on the same seat as mom when I showered. The seat belonged to me because I suffered a stroke first and needed a medical shower chair. I cried during meals, my walks, when I go to sleep. One day I tried to snap out of it. I turned on the computer to find an online support. I was on another site, but found I didn't get responses. I felt no one cared. Until I found here. I felt very alone (even though I'm always surrounded by family). You're not on this journey alone. We're all in it together.

Reader: My mom always had a good appetite. She always ate everything on her plate. She was like a "good little girl". You give her her plate of food and she would finish everything on her plate. Mom was petite and quiet as time wore on. She had no problem. Occasionally she would choke on her rice as (I'm sure) all elderlies experience. I felt so helpless because she had that continuous cough and can't take a breath. 

Belle: I'm sorry for your loss. I thought our parents were suppose to be here forever, but that's not reality. I thought mom would still be here for her birthday. Only if she'd stay 4 more months. I'm glad you have the love and support from friends. They are definitely keepers. Just like MissionBlue says, "Many of us aren't luck." I think the majority of people that are here don't have the support from family or friends. For me, I don't have the support from family. Everyone want me "to get over it". But, I'll get over it when I'm ready to. My support is right here.

MissionBlue: I spent 48 years with mom. I never left mom's side. No husband. No kids. I've only been away from mom when I went on a short vacation for 2 weeks to California. Like you, I still felt I hadn't done enough for mom. Sometimes I think about it so much that it just eats me up inside. Occasionally, I will listen to some Cantonese Opera and it will remind me so much of mom because a popular Cantonese opera called Dai Lui Fa was mom's favorite. It was sad at the end because an Emperor and a Princess expressed their love and loyalty to each other and drank poison on their wedding night. I cry every time I listen to it.  

Silverkitties: I'm glad your dad is feeling better. I was so worried and looked for any replied. The hardest part for you is not knowing if you have a step sibling and not knowing the truth. Do you think your dad would spill the beans, if asked? I agree with you that you should do that will with your dad. Don't waste any time because you just never know. Gotta have everything in writing. 

 

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Belle: I'm sorry for your loss. I thought our parents were suppose to be here forever, but that's not reality. I thought mom would still be here for her birthday. Only if she'd stay 4 more months. I'm glad you have the love and support from friends. They are definitely keepers. Just like MissionBlue says, "Many of us aren't luck." I think the majority of people that are here don't have the support from family or friends. For me, I don't have the support from family. Everyone want me "to get over it". But, I'll get over it when I'm ready to. My support is right here.

Thanks MayFGL, I don't know about forever,  but I certainly thought my dad would make it to at least 100 as his mom had done, especially since he was still so active. He drove short distances, he cooked his own meals, he was even out in the yard moving the garden statues into the garage just a couple of months ago.  And he didn't look 94 at all (many people would not believe it and insist on seeing his drivers license), he could pass for a man in his mid to late 70's.

I'm sorry that you and many others don't have friends like I've had these past couple of weeks, I wish I could share them with all of you.  

 

 

 

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So I'm just wondering what everyone's situations are. Married, single (if single, do you have a significant other in your life), do you live alone or with others, if alone any pets?  Just trying to see what role our living situations play in all this.

In my case I'm single, no significant other, living alone now in the two family house that my dad and I share and I have a cat.  Having her is one of the things keeping me from going crazy, as I have already experienced what it was like in that house with no other person and no pet to take care of or talk to. That happened nearly 17 years ago when both my parents were alive and well and away for a week. Our family dog had just passed a short time before and it was the first time in my 36 years of life that I came home to neither family or a pet and I was half out of my mind with loneliness. As soon as they got home I told them I was getting a cat and I've owned one ever since.  Current one is nearly 8 now and I'm planning on getting another one soon, both for her to have some company and for me to have another around should God forbid something happen to her in a short time.

 

 

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Good morning everyone ... in not coming here as regularly as before I had to go back a bit and catch up on all of you and how you're doing.  It is so nice to see the continued support that we give each other here.  Belle526  I am so sorry about the loss of your dad, but glad that you are surrounded by good people who are being supportive during this tough time.  Reader ... my heart also goes out to you with the loss of your dad.  Losing a parent was the ultimate hard thing for me.  Sadly I lost both parents over an 11 month period.  I was still grieving over the loss of my mom, then my dad left us.  I think it's safe to say that I know all of your pain.  I know the heaviness of a heart, the countless tears, the memories that feel painful right now but later bring us comfort, I know the loneliness, the emptiness, and on and on.

I do want to share something in regard to what Reader said about not being present when your dad passed on. Many of us have heard people share about the time of the departing of a parent.  Sometimes we are able to be there when they pass on, other times we are not for whatever the reason.  I hearing many of these stories I am convinced that sometimes a parent is given a gift during their final moments.  I believe that some parents would rather not have a loved one with them during these moments.  My room-mate's dad is an example of this.  He was in the hospital dying of pancreatic cancer and during his last 2 days, my room-mates 2 sisters swore that they would be there when he passed.  The 2 of them sat vigilantly with him for 48 hours straight.  He was unresponsive but they sat at his bedside praying and talking to him.  They took turns going to the hospital cafeteria for something to eat, always leaving one of them there at his bedside.  Then in the early hours of the 3 day, one sister went to the hospital coffee shop and while she was gone for those 10 minutes, the other sister went to use the washroom.  During those few minutes their dad passed on.  In my heart and in knowing their dad I truly believe that he did not want his daughters to be there at the moment of his passing. I think that he knew this would be tough on them.  On the flip side of that, I know woman who also had 3 adult children .... one of them lived in a different city.  Their mother was on her deathbed and the doctors said that she only had hours to live.  That woman hung in there until her daughter who lived in a different city flew back home (which took 2 days) arrived.  Only moments after this daughter was there did this woman pass on.  We won't really won't know how things work during these times but I have faith that we are all exactly where we are suppose to be at any given time.  

Me, I don't try to figure this stuff out....I just put my faith in the fact that God loves us all and what may seem horrible for us now, ends up working for the betterment of us.  That is good enough for me.

Nice to see you silverkitties ... MayFLG ... Athena ... MissionBlue ... ALL of you.  

A good day to all of you.  Hang in there because the sadness and pain of your loss does lift.  Time really is a good healer...and so are tears so let them flow.

love you guys

Cindy Jane

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I really do hope this sadness will lift a little bit because I don't know what to do with this heavy heart. 

Most of the time I do not believe my mom is gone. I have read some articles recently about brain strokes and all of them say that there are signs long before. As my mom had a hemorraghic brain stroke (the rupture of the aneurysm), I am now angry that she did not take care of herself in this area. If she only knew she had an aneurysm... Or it makes me angry if she felt simething was wrong but never complained. I am angry because she was otherwise very fit, was into a very healthy lifestyle, never ate any junk food, never smoked or consumed any alcohol, was very active. And that is a reward she got, I am so pissed off. 

Belle, I am not single, I have quite a big family (a husband plus three young kids). But I feel so young to lose my mom. I was 35 when I lost her. And she was into her 60s. Actually my husband has experienced significant losses in his life - he has lost a father at 17 (he recalls it as his worst nightmare) and later his sister (she was killed in the car crash, he was driving past and was not able to save her). However, we started arguing a lot about my grief 'cause he does not get it. He tells me that he lost his father very young and it is not the same, blah blah blah. And his sister's tragic story is not the same as well, blah blah blah. So I just want him to shut up and leave me alone. Moreover, his mom is alive, much older than my mom, enjoying life and stuff. I would feel much much better if it were only me and my mom.. She was my dearest person in the world. 

I also do not have supportive friends. Basically all of them forgot about me even before we had a funeral - no phone calls, messages or any other communication. It felt very sad in the beginning as before that I communicated with most of my friends on a daily basis. But when it turned out I could not share funny stories or anything anymore, silence creeped in. I really just don't get it. But now I am mostly fine with that, I don't need those people in my world. They'll get theirs some time, but I won't care. I decided it is better to be on my own, it is only family that counts. So no, it's been more than two months since my mother died  and no, I did not receive any supportive calls or messages. 

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cindyjane - My deepest condolences and sympathies on the loss of your beloved mom and dad. Thank you for your encouraging words. Till my dad passed, I honestly had no clue how terrible the pain and sorrow would be. I know the world keeps going round and round and I have to keep going too. But some days I barely want to get out of bed. I guess I will never know why my dad passed the way he did. I feel awful I was not there. And that I was impatient with him when I left earlier in the day from the hospital. I know I cannot go back and change anything, but it still hurts me deeply.

Athina - I'm so sorry my friend. Its only natural to have so many questions and ask if only this or that. I find it very hard to accept myself. Please know we are all here for you. Sending you love and hugs.

May - You are such an amazing daughter. You have your mom so much love and attention. I'm with you. I also spent a lot of time with my dad except for the odd vacation here and there and most was three weeks, I was away. In my heart of hearts, I honestly thought I would get more time with my dad. After the stroke, there were so many ups and downs and nothing seemed to go right, but I just kept going. I honestly thought we could keep going for another. Hurts so bad he didn't get to meet his new granddaughter before he passed. He was so weak. I blame the doctor for giving him all those water pills to drain he water out of his lungs. He was so thirsty before he died. I can't get that image out of my head.

Belle -  I think that is the hardest part sometimes. If you are an only child. Or if you are single and have no kids. I tend to be more sensitive anyway, but I find being single with no kids, the death of my father has hit my very hard. I am so comforted to know so many of us have devoted our lives to caring for our beloved parents. I never wanted my dad to be alone. I tried so hard to do the every day things from house cleaning to yard work and errand running, just to take the pressure off my dad. I knew he had a hard life and wanted to make the third act as it were as easy as possible. In the end, it just wasn't enough. This new reality has been very hard to accept even though I have caring, friends, family and colleagues, I still struggle.

Silverkitties - I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I know there is much going on and you have done the best you can. Please keep us posted. The story about the porch door is interesting. I wanted to look for signs, but after what May said about the spirit returning to the house, I know I would not want my dad to feel he could not transition as it were to the other side.

 

 

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Athina,

  I am so sorry that you don't have the support of your friends, I can only assume that could be caused by the fact that they haven't lost a parent yet and have no clue what it feels like (but as you said, they will get theirs someday).  Also sorry that your husband compares his loss to yours, because no ones loss is the same as the others. You have a clue as to what someone is dealing with if you've had a loss, but everyone's situation is different both based on the circumstances involved in the loss and also everyone grieves differently (and there is no wrong or right way to do it).  

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Belle, how did you meet so many wonderful friends? I received great moral support from an online friend in Cincinnati whom I met on eBay 18 years ago.  She is like a sister to me.  Also, three cousins who used to live here with me when I was little came through for me.  I hadn't heard much from them in recent years but the three of them made sure I got out of the house a few times and had someone to talk to in the early months.   I had never lived alone before my dad died and was suffering terribly from grief and loneliness.  I don't currently have pets though I had many growing up.  My last pet was a fantastic parakeet who died about five years ago.  One of my cousins who is a gourmet cook, prepared an entire Peruvian meal from scratch on my first birthday without my dad when she discovered that I like Peruvian food.  But that was the first year only.   Two of the cousins have since moved away and it's a very long drive to the City.  The third cousin is still here in SF but she is super busy.  They don't call me much anymore, but that could be because they figure I now have my roommate Ernesto for company.  He has been a godsend in spite of our incompatibility issues.  

Silverkitties, I'm so sorry about how horrible you have been feeling lately.  Even though two years have passed since the loss of your mother, you really haven't had a chance to heal completely, because you've been overwhelmed with your dad's care, along with teaching and writing.  You haven't had the chance to enjoy life, but once your dad passes on, you will have much more time for yourself, and the possibilities are limitless.  When I was with my dad during his final years, I used to complain that we didn't have much fun outside the house together.  He once said, I won't live another five years, after I'm gone you'll have the freedom to enjoy yourself.  I replied that life wouldn't be fun without him.  He responded, then maybe we should commit double suicide.  I think he was only half kidding, but neither of us wanted to die, because we had each other.   What bothered me was that I wanted to enjoy life with him while we still could.  Sadly, I soon realized that it was too late.  He couldn't stand long car rides anymore.   Then not too long before he was admitted to the hospital for the last time, I decided that I no longer had any illusions about romance and all I wanted to do was spend the rest of my life with my dad.  I had finally reached the point of acceptance that I would never have the kind of fun that most people enjoy, but it didn't matter, as long as I was with my dad.  Then less than a month later, I lost him.   Out of sheer loneliness, I tried online dating.  I received lots of messages from potential suitors,  but I only went on one date, because I am the cautious type.  He was a nice lawyer and widower, but he had sold his home and wanted to live on a yacht.  I think he was mainly looking for someone to cook healthy meals for him.   I am interested in a man who likes to eat out but who also enjoys staying home.   I am waiting to find one man who shares my other interests, too, but most men act like they haven't even read my profile or they're just looking to move to San Francisco.   Most of them live too far away.   
 
It was nice that your dad was thinking of you when he considered marrying your mom's younger sister. Unfortunately, at her age, he'd just be leaving you with another relative to take care of.  The only good thing is that she would probably have nice memories of your mother to share with you.  Maybe you would transfer some of your feelings for your mom to her.  The idea seems farfetched though, unless she has always wanted to come to this country and has money to help with expenses. 
 
I think you should waste no time in having your father create a living trust for you, while he is still legally competent.  This way you can skip probate.  It's the only way to ensure you receive your rightful inheritance as quickly as possible.  Now that he knows he is terminally ill, he will probably agree to making a will or a trust, even if he was resistant to the idea before, as many people are superstitious about making their will. 
 
Athina, I am so sorry that your mother passed away at such a young age, even though she took very good care of herself.  When Jackie Kennedy was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in her early 60's she said, "If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn't have done all those sit-ups."   But she did smoke and drink.  She smoked heavily while pregnant with her third child.  For the rest of her life, she felt very guilty when she lost her baby son Patrick to Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, just three months before her husband's assassination.  And yet, my mother smoked and drank while pregnant with me, and ate lots of sugar and rich foods, and I'm still here (knock on wood).   The human body is so complex, we never can be sure how it will react.  Some people have heart attacks with no pain.   I have a friend who told me that since she has worked at a doctor's office she has seen people who should have had time left just let go and die suddenly when they knew they were going to die. They would be told, then gone the next day.  She doesn't know how they did it.  Perhaps your mother had some hint that something was wrong and was trying very hard to keep healthy without wanting to worry you.  The mother of my cousin's girlfriend was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and she never told her daughter about it until she was on her deathbed.  You can imagine how upset she was with her mom, but that's how some parents are.  Many of them would do anything to spare their children from suffering along with them.
 
Reader, my dad was also very thirsty at the end, because he couldn't have any liquids and the feeding tube made his mouth so parched.   I feel so guilty, because I trusted the staff in Intensive Care to look after my dad properly, but they didn't!  They even encouraged me to go home and rest, saying they would keep an eye on him, and inform me of any changes, which gave me a false sense of security.  Maybe they did what they promised, but the next shift was a different story!  When I arrived the next morning, I found my dad alone, struggling to breathe with his oxygen cannula out and his oxygen saturation dangerously low.  I think he pulled the oxygen from his nose himself, because it wasn't helping.  He should have been on a full mask, because he was breathing mostly through his mouth.  He thanked me so much for being there to help him and I wonder how long he was left alone to suffer?   Obviously, no one was monitoring him remotely by camera or any other device.  I never left him alone after that.  He was much more comfortable when the feeding tube was removed in Comfort Care.  I think it was blocking his airway more than his illness.   The morphine relaxed him and I am so grateful for those precious moments when he seemed back to his normal, calm self, before he lost consciousness.  Sometimes it looked like he was struggling to wake up and that was the hardest part to witness.  It was terrible that I didn't have anyone to stay with my dad when I needed to go home to sleep, shower and change, except on the last couple of days when my half  brother and his family finally showed up.  Still, I had to keep my final vigil with my dad alone after they went home.  
 
Cindy Jane:  So good to see you checking in on us.  I hope you are feeling better each day.  It seems like my dad waited for me to fall asleep in my chair, after keeping vigil with him for 36 hours straight, before passing on.  How he could do this when he was totally unresponsive is a mystery to me. 
 
May, I wish there were some way to banish the guilt feelings.   Hopefully, someday we will come to accept that, given the particular psychological or physical circumstances prevailing at the time, we couldn’t have acted any differently from the way we did.   If we could have, we would have, because we loved our parents so much and wanted what was best for them.  I also pray that someday we will be able to listen to the music our parents loved without being filled with sadness, although some operas were intended to be tragic, of course.  I am grateful that my dad taught me to appreciate so many beautiful and moving vintage films and music.   I don't want to give up enjoying them just because he can't be with me anymore, but I still avoid them, because of the longing that wells up inside of me.  I often wish I could meet someone who also likes vintage movies and music, so that when I see and hear them I won't feel so alone anymore.  I have gotten Ernesto to watch films with me that he wouldn't normally watch, and vice versa, which is better than nothing.  
 

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