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Dealing with Dad's passing. ):


lexybeer

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When I used to hear about someone I knew losing a parent, I was, of course, sorry for that person, offering my condolences as one does in these situations. I was also happy it wasn't my mother or father. Selfish I know, but in trying to sort out the loss of my father now, I only feel it is important to be truthful. I didn't know how it felt though. To lose your parent in such a fashion. Watch them deteriorate in such a short period of time. I had no idea what that kind of grief felt like. Well, I do now. My father passed away on October 2, 2011 in the hospital surrounded my myself, my sister, my mother, our husbands and my 18 year old daughter. He had suffered with complications due to his heart and diabetes for the last several years and even with all this, I don't really think any of us really thought that after finally convincing him to go to the hospital ( he was a very stubborn man about his health) that the outcome and prognosis was as bad as it was. He spend 6 agonizing days in the hospital. His heart was failing. His kidney's failed. He had pneumonia. He needed surgery and dialysis and was unfortunately too weak for either. My mother, my sister and I, watched as our rock, our support system, slowly withered away. We were powerless to stop it. The only thing we could offer him was our love, our optimism and our presence.

It would take me 36 years to tell you about my dad. My entire lifetime. He was a hardworking, loving father and husband. Loved history, the outdoors and the great lakes. We are Michiganders, so our vacations always consisted of Mackinac City and the lake. Probably pretty boring for most children these days, but those memories are so engraved in my mind, that I myself find northern Michigan the most relaxing place in the world. Something I can thank my dad for! My father was supportive of us in every way. He was proud of me even when I wasn't too proud of myself. We all have those moments I guess. He sheltered us. He loved us for who we were. His girls! No, he wasn't perfect. But he was my father and that made him damn near in my eyes I guess. At least I had him for that long. At least my children got to know their papa. You would think that this stuff would help, and it does, but it's not enough. The neverending pit of grief is still residing in my stomach. ):

My father took his last breath at approx 5:15pm October 2, 2011. I will spare you all the details, but will tell you that it was peaceful. He went to sleep and 10 minutes later it was all over. I can't even describe to you, and I'm sure, most of you know, how surreal this whole experience was. It wasn't horrible. It was like a release. You could feel it in the room. I compare it to the same sort of feeling one gets when a child is born. All those hours of pain and exhaustion leading up to one single release when a child is finally pushed into the world. But then again, I guess death is kind of like birth right? Only the circle is completing itself. In the end my dad was ready. He told us, mustering up his last big of strength and gathering his girls close, whispering words too painful to type. He was ready. Difficult decisions that we had to make regarding resuscitation were confirmed, lifting a heavy weight off our chests. We still didn't feel any better. Our father was leaving us and in the end, it still didn't make those decisions any easier or any less devastating.

The days that followed were very hard. Funeral arrangements, his showing, cemetery arrangements, you all know the drill. My mother and sister looked to me for guidance, because I was dealing with it a little bit better. People who came to offer condolences looked to me. I am the oldest daughter. So, this is expected I guess. I took on their burden because I know my father would have expected nothing less. Stepping out of your grief and taking responsibility is not easy, but I knew my mother couldn't do it. She had just lost her husband of 37 years. I can't even imagine what she is feeling right now. Her loss is much greater. She knew things about our dad that we never knew, as one does when they are married to someone. My sister was distraught. She had given birth just 5 short weeks before that. She needed her big sister now more then ever. I rose to the challenge. It was all I could do. His funeral mass was beautiful. Filled with ceremony and ritual. My sister gave the eulogy and I, the singer, sang one last time for my father. The Ave Maria. He would have loved it. I'm sure he did. His grandchildren were present. I have 5 children and 3 step children. My sister has 3. We walked together as a family up the isle. The pall bearers, his wife, the husbands, the ex husband, the children. We walked with out father one last time. It couldn't have been better. Only if Dad had been there, but then again, he was, surrounding us once again with his love.

If your still reading, then great. If not, well, I don't blame you! I'm a long winded sort of woman. A trait given to me by my dad. :) My husband says I'm tough as nails. He says I'm strong. Maybe outwardly, only because I have to be. No, on the inside, I'm still a little girl. A little girl who things her daddy is going to live forever. A little girl sitting on her dad's lap. A little girl who misses her father. I am also a woman. A woman who is struggling with an overwhelming sense of guilt. A woman who feels like someone threw her overboard telling her to "sink or swim". A woman who wants to call her father on the phone and talk with him. A women who misses her father. They say it gets better. I sure hope so! Thanks for listening!

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I am sorry for your loss as well. No matter what age you are death always leaves a toll on you. You are never truly ready to let go. When you said your father was stubborn and wouldn't go to the hospital it reminded me of my dad. He would never go get medical help. Im sure he would have if he knew it was something serious but he hasn't even been to the doctor in over 10 years. I keep thinking about what would have happened if only me and my mother made him go. There is so many things you said that made me think of my father. He absolutely loved the outdoors. One of the most memorable trips we had together was staying in a cabin at Turtle Lake in Michigan. We always went camping and fishing. Your father sounded like a great man. And im sure he is so proud of you for being the support of your family. Just don't forget about yourself. If you ever need someone to talk to im here (: Thanks for sharing your story!

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I am sorry for your loss as well. No matter what age you are death always leaves a toll on you. You are never truly ready to let go. When you said your father was stubborn and wouldn't go to the hospital it reminded me of my dad. He would never go get medical help. Im sure he would have if he knew it was something serious but he hasn't even been to the doctor in over 10 years. I keep thinking about what would have happened if only me and my mother made him go. There is so many things you said that made me think of my father. He absolutely loved the outdoors. One of the most memorable trips we had together was staying in a cabin at Turtle Lake in Michigan. We always went camping and fishing. Your father sounded like a great man. And im sure he is so proud of you for being the support of your family. Just don't forget about yourself. If you ever need someone to talk to im here (: Thanks for sharing your story!

Thank you! I guess it just comes down to taking things day by day. I am glad I found this forum though. At least I could get it all off my chest. That was the first time I had written it all down like that. Made me feel good to do that. :)

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It would take me 36 years to tell you about my dad. My entire lifetime. He was a hardworking, loving father and husband.

My father was supportive of us in every way. He was proud of me even when I wasn't too proud of myself. We all have those moments I guess. He sheltered us. He loved us for who we were. His girls! No, he wasn't perfect. But he was my father and that made him damn near in my eyes I guess. At least I had him for that long. You would think that this stuff would help, and it does, but it's not enough.

The days that followed were very hard. Funeral arrangements, his showing, cemetery arrangements, you all know the drill. My mother and sister looked to me for guidance, I am the oldest daughter. So, this is expected I guess. I took on their burden because I know my father would have expected nothing less.

My husband says I'm tough as nails. He says I'm strong. Maybe outwardly, only because I have to be. No, on the inside, I'm still a little girl. A little girl who things her daddy is going to live forever. A little girl sitting on her dad's lap. A little girl who misses her father. I am also a woman. A woman who is struggling with an overwhelming sense of guilt. A woman who feels like someone threw her overboard telling her to "sink or swim". A woman who wants to call her father on the phone and talk with him. A women who misses her father. They say it gets better. I sure hope so! Thanks for listening!

So much of your story resonates with me. I am also the oldest daughter, and the 'strong one'. Dad used to call me his "little pit bull". My heart goes out to you and your family.

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