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Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

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Dear Reader, thank you for your kind reply.  I held my father's hand as he was dying, but there was no sign of recognition at all.  I spoke to him but there was no response.  I would prefer that he didn't understand anything, because who wants to be in that state knowing you are dying and you can't even speak to your loved ones?  However, if near death experiences are real and not hallucinations, there's a chance his spirit was already outside his body.  Then he would be able to understand what I was saying to him.   I think he chose to die after I nodded off to sleep in the chair.  I had been up for 36 hours straight keeping vigil by his bedside.  His spirit must have been hovering in the room, because there's no way he could have known I had fallen asleep at that moment, unless it was just a coincidence.  The hospice nurse said she saw him take his last breath when she entered the room.   This is why I am glad that he died in the hospital, because there were nurses there with a doctor on duty to confirm the death. 

My dad never said he wanted to go home to die.  He didn't want to die.  He wanted to stay alive for my sake and because he loved life.  That's why he chose to go on the ventilator, hoping it would give him a chance to recover.  I'm glad that he didn't die on the ventilator.  The ventilator gave him a little extra time to say good-bye, but he needed a heart operation.  In order to have the operation he would have had to go back on the ventilator and start dialysis.  His chances of surviving the operation were not good.  He didn't want to go back on the ventilator, because it was too uncomfortable.  The tubes irritated his throat and his mouth would dry out.  It's terrible not to be able to take a drink.   But it's not the same for everyone. Some people love their ventilator because it helps them breathe. 

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reader   

Dear MissionBlue,

This part of life is so frightening. When I was upset that my dad passed 2 hours after I left his bedside for work, so many people told me that this is not uncommon. Maybe in a way our fathers wanted to spare us the pain of watching them take their last breaths. I feel like I am in a horrible movie. I fully expected my father to wake up when I came to see him that one final time in the hospital.. I asked him to wake up over and over again. I know it was foolish, but I didn't want to truly believe he had really passed. I feel so dumb. I knew my dad was so weak that day, but somehow I fully expected to see him the next day.  I'm still so angry. Because I could have called all my siblings, I could have made my dad feel less alone. But like you said maybe he just waited for me to leave.

I know it was tough on you and your dad too. Sorry to hear what your dad went through. Sometimes in life there are no good options. There are no guarantees sadly.

I don't know what the truth is anymore. One moment he said he wasn't a person anymore. And one moment he told me he needed an emergency call button in case he fell again. Maybe this inconsistency was the vascular dementia. I guess I will never know.

I'm so mad at the universe. Do you believe that things happen the way they did for a reason? Is everything in the universe preordained? Is there really nothing I can do to change my fate? Feeling very helpless lately.

 

 

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Dear Reader,

I'm so sorry that you are having a rough time.  So am I.  Some days are better than others.  I like to think that things happen for a reason, but I also realize that many things are random and out of our control.  The length of our lives is predetermined by many factors, including the length of our telomeres.  I have read that we can lengthen our telomeres and slow aging by doing the following:

  1. Control and Reduce Stress. Several studies have linked chronic stress to shorter telomeres. ...
  2. Exercise Regularly. ...
  3. Eat a Range of Foods for Antioxidant and Vitamin Benefits. ...
  4. Practice Meditation and Yoga.

https://draxe.com/telomeres/

However the random mutation of just one cell can give us cancer and other diseases, no matter how well we take care of ourselves.  We can get killed just crossing the street or by a tree falling on us.

From the moment we are born we are subject to all kinds of risks and dangers, but somehow most of us survive and even thrive.  I think the key to happiness is to love and to feel loved, but this also involves risk.  We loved being with our parents because they gave us unconditional love and we knew they would never reject us.  We can never have that kind of love again, and this is why we are suffering so terribly.  Nobody wants to give up their highest happiness.  However, as the song goes, they say that falling in love is wonderful.   In my opinion, romantic love is the second highest happiness, followed by the love of a child which brings us back to the first highest happiness again.   But then romances tend to crumble and children move away, so we're left alone again at some point.  I wish I could tell you that it is possible to be happy again without parents, a partner or a child to love.  Some people seem to be happy alone, but it's not for me.  Right now the creature that gives me the most unconditional love is Ernesto's son's dog who stays with us off and on.  She makes me laugh no matter how bad I feel.  When I'm crying she comes up close to me as if to say, "What's the matter?  Please don't be sad."  Even when I'm arguing with Ernesto, she tries to intervene and make peace.  I think she has a human soul behind those expressive eyes.  Now I understand why people are crazy about their dogs. 

I think there are lots of things we can do to change our fate, but they require action.  You can't win the lottery without buying a ticket.  You can't find the love of your life without meeting new people.  We can't manifest our potential without learning new skills or refining the ones we have.  Nothing is written, unless we write it. 

Here are some quotes by motivational speaker Brian Tracy:

"You are the architect of your own destiny; you are the master of your own fate; you are behind the steering wheel of your life. There are no limitations to what you can do, have, or be. Except the limitations you place on yourself by your own thinking."

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."

"Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true."

"You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you."

"Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new."

"The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear."

I hope that you find the following article helpful:

http://bradleytmorris.com/2013/05/28/universeagainstme/

Sending you love and (((((hugs)))).........MissionBlue

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reader   

Thank you MissionBlue, (((hugs))) back. Always grateful for your thoughtful and kind replies. I will try my friend. I love those inspirational quotes. I need all the hope I can get.

With love and hugs to everyone.

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MayFGL   

Hi Everybody - Mission, Reader, Silverkitties, Cindyjane, ELiz, Eve, Athina and those whom I may have forgot their names.

I want to welcome all the newbies TheGirl, Missdad, GirlBiohazard, alycejns, JackieF3 and MidCenturyGirl22. Please accept my condolences for your loss. It is a painful journey that we all experience losing our parent(s). I'm glad you are here with us to grief together. I've been a member here since May 2013 when mom passed on 3/13/2013 from a massive stroke. It will get better with time. Some days are good and other days are bad.

I just had a bad one last night. I went to dinner with my sister and one conversation was talking about our mom. Did we make the right choice in letting mom go? It looked promising the first two days because she was able to talk, move her stroke side and recognize us. She spent almost 2weeks in the ER and finally almost 2 weeks in hospice. My sister and I were in tears. All the guilty feelings started to come back again. I've never really stopped feeling guilty. I felt like I killed mom. If only I waited for mom in the room when i took her to the restroom, but I left her there for who knows how long.

Like you said Reader, it's all like a dream or movie. During the first month, when I clearly heard mom's voice call my name as I was coming out of the room. I was certain (at the time) that mom is not gone. She'll be back. She went to her dr appointment. I'm just dreaming.

What helped me cope with my depression after mom left me was walking like Mission said and coming here. At the beginning, when walking, I would think of mom and cry all the way home. Once in awhile i'll think of mom. Everything from the beginning to the end of her stroke.

I'll make this short bc I'm still typing on the phone which I hate with no computer. My eyes are crossed and tired. I'm crying.

LOVE AND HUGS, MAY 

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reader   

Dear MayFGL,

I'm so sorry my friend that you had a bad day yesterday. I know its hard. And you were so devoted and loving in your care for your mom. Your whole family knew it. I know we all wish we could go back in time and change something but we can't. Its not your fault my friend. You didn't do anything wrong. How could you have known that your mom was going to have stroke that day?

The night my dad had his stroke I almost didn't come home from work. The roads were bad. My colleague said why don't you stay at the office or at my house instead which is closer. But luckily I did come home. I heard a thump and my dad had fallen out of bed and said he was dizzy. I still did not call the ambulance right away. I waited. And then called my sister who told me to call the ambulance and she would meet me at the hospital. What if I had called the ambulance immediately? Would my dad have gotten better treatment? Or if I told them to go to another hospital would it have been better? We all struggle so much with the what-ifs. The last two months of my dad's life was hard. He had fallen out of his wheelchair. He looked so dazed. And again, I did not call the ambulance that night. I thought he was being clumsy and fell out. He had a heart attack I found out later. In hindsight it was the beginning of the end, but I never knew.  It was a rollercoaster caring for my dad. So many things I wished I had done differently after his stroke. I keep thinking "if only" then maybe he would still be alive. I just wanted one more happy moment with my father. But we never got it.

I'm trying so hard to tell myself, I can't do this anymore. But it creeps up on me. I think we cared so much and that's why its hard to let those kind of thoughts go.  We didn't know though. That's life sometimes, we just don't know. And as much as we want to go back, we can't. I sometimes get so down on myself, I wish I was never born so I never had to experience this pain.

I'm so sorry May. (((hugs))) I wish I had some way to make it better for all of us.

Sending everyone love and hugs.

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Dear Reader:

Lots of people don't call the ambulance right away for various reasons, starting with the exorbitant cost, or because of ambiguous symptoms, or because the patient doesn't want to go.   I knew an elderly family friend whose husband was having a heart attack and instead of calling 911 she called her pastor.  Then when the pastor arrived, she didn't open the door because she was hard of hearing and couldn't hear him knock.  Her husband died.  I know another lady who went to ask her neighbor for help when her husband was having a heart attack, instead of calling an ambulance.  Her husband died.  Neither of these ladies was arrested for suspicion of murder, because mistakes like these happen.  By the same token whatever decision you made about not calling an ambulance sooner was not done with malice, so you are not guilty of anything except being a human being.   

If I had called an ambulance every single time my dad felt dizzy, we wouldn't have been able to pay our living expenses.  My dad had to really feel bad before he would let me call an ambulance.

One time my dad went in an ambulance they went the wrong way and took much longer than necessary.  I thought only cab drivers did that.  I don't know if that was intentional or not, but mistakes happen all the time.  Luckily, my dad survived. 

I know a lady who is a retired teacher.  She was having very bad nausea and vomiting, but she didn't want to call an ambulance, because the last time it cost her $800, which she can't afford on her modest pension.  She tried calling friends to give her a ride to the pharmacy so she could get some medicine, but no one wanted to come out in the middle of the night, because they had to work the next day.  Luckily, she eventually felt better and was able to drive herself to the pharmacy in the morning.  . 

One guy was complaining that his ambulance trip cost more than a plane trip from the US to Germany!

As for going to a different hospital, there's no way of knowing what kind of treatment you will receive.  All the hospitals in my area have negative feedback on Yelp.  Sometimes in the same hospital, my dad has received excellent care and at other times he received substandard care, especially his last visit. 

I know it's very hard to deal with guilt, but at some point we have to let it go.  We don't deserve to suffer this much, not after we loved our fathers so much and did so much to help them.  I went to confession once to alleviate my guilt feelings, and the priest (a monsignor) said he wanted me to go to mass and say a prayer of thanks to God for giving me a good father.  That was my only "penance".

Love and hugs to all........

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Alley   

Hi Everyone,

Hope it is ok if I am posting here. I am new. I've never done a forum before but this is such a different experience than anything I've ever gone through, I feel like others don't understand unless they are going through it themselves. First I am very sorry to hear about all the circumstances that are bringing you here. 

My Dad is only 58 and went into the hospital several weeks ago for the first time ever with an inflammation in the liver.  I'm the oldest of 3 and we, our spouses, and Mom had rallied around my Dad for the past week when things started looking serious. My Mom literally lived in the hospital and never left his side. I'm a teacher, not a medical professional, but I tried to read as much as I could about his condition and asked the doctors billions of questions about different treatment options. They thought that they would be able to treat the inflammation in his liver but could not and it affected his kidneys, and he is now in hospice.

Others have told us that he was lucky to have us all there supporting him, that we're lucky to have each other, and that he was in a great hospital, but none of that makes me feel any better. Even "positives" like this don't seem to mean much to me. The end result is horrible, no matter what. It was just so unexpected and he was so young and healthy.

Just feeling like a bomb has gone off in my life. Alternating anxiety, sobbing, devastation, and fogginess. The anxiety has lifted a bit once they stopped giving him treatment because now there is no more "hoping." I have not been doing normal life activities and don't have the energy to even think about it. I'm off from work and it's hard to ever imagine going back or regaining any sense of normalcy.

I know that you've all been there, or are there now, and I appreciate you listening.

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reader   

Dear Angela,

I'm very sorry to hear about your dad. I know its a very difficult time. Please know we are all here to listen and support you.

Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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reader   

Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you for your kind and comforting words. (((hugs))) my friend. Sorry for the short note. I promise to write more later.

With love and hugs to everyone.

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Dgiirl   

@AngelaH I am so sorry for what you are going through.  My Dad was admitted to the hospital in November and hospice in December.  Two days later he passed away.    It was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to go through.  We had no clue how much time we had and each day he seemed to get better and then relapse until he peacefully went in his sleep.  I know it doesn't feel any comfort but you are lucky to have this time with your dad.  Take advantage of it, spend as much time as you can with him.  If he's conscious, talk to him, tell him everything you want to tell him, ask every thing you want to ask.  If you are inclined, take photos and notes and anything you can to treasure his life.  I was thankful to have discovered a few Live Photos of my Dad from his birthday in September. I didn't know I was taking Live Photos but I watch them over and over and although they make me sad, I also am so glad to have them.  It is a true blessing that our family had that time together before his passing. It does bring me comfort knowing we were there with him every step of the way.    

 

 

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MayFGL   

AngelaH: I am so sorry for your loss. It's very tough losing a parent at such a young age or at any age. I've felt all the pain that you're going though when my mom passed from a stroke almost 2yrs 2 mos ago -- anger, depression, guilty, confusion, loneliness. 

I stayed by my mom's side the whole time. In the hospital and hospice. I just went home to take a quick shower and eat while my niece/nephew stayed behind till we got there. I "slept" at the hospital and hospice. I rarely slept because I wanted to be awake when mom was awake. She slept most of the time and wanted every opportunity to be with her every waking moment. 

Angela, please know that you are not alone. We are here for you. Please take care.

Love and Hugs, May

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DDT   

As I begin to experience the situation and the facts are being accepted, I am amazed at the people that can get up every morning knowing that day may be the last day for their mom or dad. Then there are the stories of people getting on with their life, returning to work, being with their children, spouse and continue living and being able to laugh again. Amazing.

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Dgiirl   

@DDT it's one of the hardest things to do.   But when things get really difficult, I just think what my Dad would want me to do and I know he would want me to continue living life and would be very sad if I didn't.  So to honor him and his life, I get up and go to work every single day.  And I know from suffering loss before, as each day passes, things will slowly get better.  Its an up and down rollercoaster, more downs in the beginning than UP's, but it will get better

 

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JackieF3   

Hi everybody. I hope you're doing as well as you can be. I was hoping to get some feedback on how your partners have been during your grief. I can't help but wish my boyfriend was more understanding and patient. We are only 26 years old, and he's been fortunate enough to never expereince death of any kind. So, while he's great when I'm greiving "calmly" (just crying, talking about my mom) he becomes defensive and impatient when it turns to anger or I just want to sit in silence. He's always urging me to stop crying, come watch TV, etc. but I really just need the time to sit there. I know it is MY grief and MY anger that then makes me angry and upset with him, but I just wish he would understand that, zip the lip and let it go instead of then getting defensive and argumentative. How can I stop being angry with him, and understand that he is also in way over his head? How can I get a stubborn man to to do his best to see my side when he has no idea at all how it feels and affects my moods? 

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JackieF3   

@AngelaH I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am not sure of your age, but my mother recently died around the same age as your dad. I am 26. I remember the day my mom came home to hospice so clearly - it was terrifying. She lived a year, but those first few weeks were both exhausting and high-energy somehow. It was scary. It came with a lot of anxiety. Eventually, it numbed, because as with anything - it becomes your norm. My therapist recently told me that so often we switch from that intense anxiety right to grief, and don't process those really tough times. So I am actually working on that now. Soak up all the time you have with your Dad and be thankful for the chance to say goodbye and keep him comfortable. I know it's so hard. Keep writing in here - we understand!

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Dgiirl   

@JackieF3  I would just share with your boyfriend what you just shared with us here.  Men often tackle emotions differently than women, especially those who haven't gone through the same experience.  They don't want to see us in pain.  They want to comfort us.  And very often that turns into them wanting to "fix" everything so they offer suggestions on how to distract you from your thoughts.  Sometimes, this is exactly what you need.  Other times, like you said, you just want to sit there and to process your emotions.  Both are perfectly acceptable and both are needed at various times.  I will caution you on the anger tho.  You have every right to be angry.  But he also has every right not to be subjected to the anger.  And this is where you guys can possibly come to a compromise on how to best handle these times.  Don't expect him to "see your side".  But do expect him to respect your private moments where you can simply feel and process these emotions by yourself (or with counseling).  I think it's perfectly fine for you to schedule some alone time during the day/week and ask him to give you that time and he can have his own alone time.  And then when you are together, you can try to focus more on making quality time with him.

 

 

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DDT   

Some times coping and getting through this seem impossible, like I will never laugh again. First their was a symptom. With that was a bit of concern. Next was the biopsy. Ok, these are not uncommon. Then the diagnosis. Cancer. Now I force my mind to focus on what we know now and work to avoid thinking of a future without him because he hasn't even started treatment and there is so much hope right now. Then comes the treatments with anxiety, apprehension and some day-dreams of doing things together in the future.  After a few rounds of Chemo he is tired, stops eating and wants to stop. This is an exhausting and tiring stage for me as I continue to try focusing on 'here and now', live in the moment. Then comes only side-effects of chemo and radiation, no benefits and extreme weight loss for my dad. The anxiety and sadness increase immensely as I struggle with this new stage that my dad is going through. Now we've moved from treatment to no treatment and just trying to make him comfortable. I have never felt so helpless. My dad would do anything and everything if I was sick and the only thing I can do is visit and talk. There is no talk of the future. We talk about the sun shining, the coldness (he is always cold since losing all fat and muscle) and cartoons we'd watch together Saturday mornings when I was young. We don't even talk about next week or tomorrow, just the weather today and what we did earlier. At this stage I feel very confused. I want to go visit him again but yet I don't. I am terrified.  

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Lisa k   

DDT, please don't be scared, but I know it is. My mum passed from cancer 2yrs this July. Nothing is harder than watching a loved one deteriorate and I sure understand the anxiety and fear. It's just getting through one minute to the next literally. My heart goes out to you and I'm sending you strength to get through this. Come here and talk to all these amazing people who understand.

 

Dear Missionblue, May,Cindijane, reader, and anyone else I've forgotten, thank you for your well wishes. These last few weeks have been tough as I try dealing with chemo side effects. I've done nothing but cry the last few days just wanting my mum with me to comfort me and tell me everything will be alright. There are days I question is this worth it all when it might come back anyway. I know my mum would want me to fight this but Crap it's so hard to stay positive some days.

Hope everyone is well.

Love and hugs

Lisa x

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reader   

Dear Lisa K,

Thank you for letting us know how you are. I'm so sorry, I know how tough it is. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers. And all my love and hugs.  You are an inspiration to all us with your strength and determination.

Dear DDT,

I'm so sorry. I don't think any of us are ever ready for the moment when we might lose our beloved parents. We always have hope for tomorrow till there isn't one. Denial, anger are all part of anticipatory grief.  Even now 7 months later, I don't want to believe my father passed away in that hospital room. Why my dad?

Thinking of you and your family. Please know we are all here to listen and support you in anyway we can.

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Lisa k   

Thanks reader, thank god for this site.

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reader   

I hear you Lisa. I am so grateful I have a place to go to online with so many loving and supportive people. The understanding I have received has been a blessing. I've needed all the understanding I can get since my father passed away.

Thinking of you and your mom during this Mother's Day weekend.

Take care, my friend.

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joee   

hello all , this is my first time on this site and first time ever sharing , the past year has been really hard with thinking about my brothers death 20 years ago that I witness , my cousin passing , my aunt passing and now my mother passing last Oct , and I never really had a chance to grieve for anyone and with mothers day im really feeling my emotions today and I feel like im on the edge , I do have a counselor I see once a week and she is great but for some reason I cant really say whats on my mind , I was always taught boys don't so everytime I feel a cry coming I put that wall up , I just don't know what to do

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Lisa k   

Reader, thank you.  Your father was so very lucky to have you. Be proud of yourself for doing all you did for him. We will always feel like we didn't do enough but the reality is we did the best we could most of the time.

Lol Netflix is my best friend lately as i lie in bed bald as and feeling like crap.

Hugs to all 

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