Members Hemlock Posted April 30, 2012 Members Report Share Posted April 30, 2012 On April 4, 2012 I witnessed my father's sudden death at age 80. He had just been admitted to the hospital due to weakness and difficulty swallowing for the prior 2 wks but he was stable, cheerful and talking with me as he laid in bed. I looked away for a moment then saw his face--dilated pupils with eyes staring blankly ahead. The terror that I felt at that moment was so intense. I knew he was dead. In an instant he died and I witnessed that. He was unresponsive, was not breathing and had no pulse. I pressed the "code" button on the wall and yelled "code" into the hallway. Resuscitation efforts began but I knew that the liklihood of success was low. I saw and heard the nurses and doctors work on my father. I am a physician so I reacted to all of this as both a daughter and a doctor. It was surreal. I knew exactly what was happening and a part of me did not want him to "come back" because I knew he would be in dismal neurological condition. Then he would spend a few days in the ICU as brain death was declared so that life support could be withdrawn. He would not want that to happen. After 20 minutes one of the docs came to speak with me regarding no return of breathing or pulse. I asked to say good-bye to my father and to stop their efforts. My father had less than 1 minute of agonal breathing then stopped breathing. An autopsy revealed heart disease.I talked with a psychotherapist a few days ago and shared the above story. Previous to this I had not shared the details with anyone other than in writing to several friends. I was unable to speak about the incident due to the intensity of emotions. I did not want to speak with family members because I wanted the focus to remain on my mother and the loss of my father, not me. Also, I did not want my family to know the details and live with the memories that I have. I keep replaying the event--he was alive and talking with me, then he was staring off. As I looked into his eyes I knew he was dead. I grabbed his head and called his name and there was no response. He wasn't supposed to die then, not on the very night he was admitted for testing and further medical management. Bam, he was gone.The last few wks have felt dream-like. I am stunned, shocked and numb, as well as very sad. I do see blessings in the way he died--instantly, painlessly (I hope) and in my presence. He did not experience a prolonged hospital stay. He did not experience deterioration of his health nor knowledge that death was imminent. He did not die in front of my mother or while driving. He did not die alone in the hospital. And he had a good life.Death and grief are well-known to me both with my career and with the death of a close friend a few yrs ago. The emotional intensity of seeing him die, witness the CPR process, and then saying good-bye bothers me so much. His eyes. Where IS he now? TY for reading my words. I need to keep sharing my feelings and thoughts. I know that things will get better. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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