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Angry about Covid-19 and Regretting I Didn't Get to Be with Dad


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My dad died on July 26th. We were very close and I'm missing him so deeply. My dad didn't have Covid, but due to covid precautions my family was not allowed to visit him during his month long hospital stay, until they let us come in to say goodbye for about 6 hours before he died. They originally told us we could have two people in the room for a half hour (HALF AN HOUR!!!) but "made an exception" and let 3 of us in and let us stay for about 6 hours.

I had prepared myself to watch him die and strongly wanted to do that. He is so incredibly important to me and I didn't want him to die alone or with a stranger. I wanted him to know he is loved until the very end. I was told by the doctor before going up to the room that we could do that. However, when we got up there, the staff in the ICU told us we would have to leave shorty after removing life support and wouldn't be able to stay long enough for him to die. I stayed for maybe 20 minutes after they took him off the respirator. I was the last of the three siblings to be in there. The nurse came in and told me I should go now.

I said "I love you" and "Thank you" to dad one last time and left. Walking out of that room and leaving him there was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

When we got home I kept stewing and worrying about it, and finally about 2 hours later I had the idea for my mom to call him and be on speaker phone with him (how messed up are times now where your own wife can't be in the room with you when you die?! It's so wrong). I said, at least he will know he's not alone if he hears your voice mom, even if you aren't physically there. She agreed and called the ICU. They called her back a few minutes later and told her he'd already passed away.

I'm feeling a lot of regret for not fighting harder to stay with him. For not telling the ICU nurses that the doctor had given us contradictory information. I wish I'd tried harder to stay, or refused to leave. I feel like I abandoned him. I felt like I was in shock when I was saying goodbye, and I know my thinking and judgement probably weren't very clear. I was just kind of letting the nurses guide us through the process. But I feel so sorry for leaving him there, how could I do that? 

I've been whisper-cry-screaming into the void (anyone know what I'm talking about?) hoping he can hear me, saying I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry he had to die alone, that he had to suffer in the hospital alone for so long. He was such an incredible man and were it not during covid, that hospital room would've been chock full of people that adored him. Instead he died with a stranger. 

I also feel his outcome could've been better if we had been allowed to visit. I'm bitter he had to get sick right now. I'm angry that people still aren't taking Coronavirus seriously or wearing masks. If it weren't for the spread this virus, my dad could've maybe lived. My family is very close and when he had previous hospital stays there would be a family member there with him 24/7. I think our presence could've calmed him and helped his recovery. 


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