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Hello everyone,


I'm not going to disclose my name or much information about myself other than what I need help with. So, I'm going to start my story and hopefully get some help.


So, let me start off by saying that this has been the worst year. In January, I almost passed away due to a pulmonary embolism in both of my lungs that had gotten extremely close to my heart. It became a stressor for my parents and I wish that I had tried to get help sooner and avoided the expensive hospital bill. Anyways, my mother is ill as well with liver failure and it hasn't gotten worse, but it also hasn't gotten better. With the liver, it could go from okay to in-need-of-a-transplant overnight. That's just a stressor in all of our lives because I am so worried that if that night would be the last. I guess I hadn't look my father's way because he had lost a lot of weight and was trying to get healthy, so it didn't really seem like he needed my attention.


April 18th, 2015 started out like a normal Saturday. My mom and dad went to their favorite breakfast place and then came home. I was awoken by my dad at 10:30am and grumbled as I got out of bed. I had been planning to go to my friend's house for the premiere of Orphan Black, a show in which I had just gotten into, but I had to clean my room first. So, around 1pm my dad came home, but I didn't hear the door from the garage open and just heard the garage door go up. So, I figured my dad was outside gardening. I continued listening to music and laughing at funny youtube videos while cleaning my room a bit. So, when I dropped a can, I didn't think anything had happened. I put in my headphones on the way downstairs and walked towards the laundry room. Mind you I was the only one home at the time as my mom was getting her hair done. That's when I saw him. There on the ground, cold and lifeless. I tried CPR and called 911. I tried to save him...I did try to save him...and so did the paramedics...but he was gone. My dad, the most important man in my life, was dead. There in our kitchen dead. I had called my mom and gotten her home. She collapsed over the body and cried. She didn't want to move from his side. I sat with him until they moved me away from the body for the ME to come and get him.


So, my mom is heartbroken because he saved her from an abusive relationship and was her soul mate. This year would have been 35 years of marriage for them. This year he would have been 63. We all planned to go to California together because this is my last year to pass ride with US Airways. My dad was excited and ready to go. He had planned the trip and everything. I was excited because I have never been to California and wanted to go so bad. Now, I never want to step foot in California anymore because I don't have my dad with me to go and enjoy Sushi, Irish Coffee, and all that fun stuff. I guess the thrill of it has died.


Anyways, my mom is always crying and I'm not. I barely cry anymore. I laugh when watching movies and stuff, but my passion has died. I just...don't feel truly happy anymore. All I feel is anger, fear, and guilt. People say I shouldn't blame myself, but I do. I blame myself for not being there when he came in. I didn't hear him come in nor did he shout "I'm home". I should have gone down to see if he wanted help. I thought about going down, but decided against it. I could have called 911 before and gotten them there faster. I know it is wrong to blame myself for the fact he had a massive heart attack, but I could have saved him. I could have saved him. I could have. People don't understand that I blame myself because I know I could have done something. I experience a blood clot and could have gotten the paramedics there faster. People tell me there was no way I could have known, but I've felt the signs of a blood clot and I've been at the brink of death. I could have saved him. I really could have. I blame myself for my mom's sorrow and heartbreak. I blame myself for her not being able to stay in the home they had picked out. I blame myself for my nephew's sadness and lack of understanding. I blame myself for not being able to support my own mother and father because I didn't have a job and couldn't help pay my hospital bills. I blame myself for my brother being unable to grieve. I blame myself for being a failure. I see my father's lifeless body every time I close my eyes. I've gotten drunk the past week and felt no remorse for doing so. I've had a drink morning, afternoon, and evening to calm myself. I can't even hear a siren without my heart starting to raise and my breath becoming rapid. I just feel helpless because I can't help my mom. I feel like I don't deserve love. I feel anger and am taking it out on others. Last night, my brother told me I had ruined their show because of spoilers and I didn't know that they didn't know. I snapped and said that I was going home. I walked out and couldn't smile because I felt angry. My brother says he understands what I am going through, but he was in Ohio and didn't see our dad lying on the floor, trying to save his life. He wasn't there and didn't see my dad's lifeless body. He wasn't there when we went to the Funeral home when they released my dad's body to us and he didn't pick up my dad's ashes from the Funeral home. He didn't do any of that. My brother has every right to be sad, but he can't say that he understands what I am going through. I already had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depressive Disorder. I've lived through family members passing, but hadn't seen one/found one until now.


People keep telling me I'm strong, but why don't I feel strong? Why do I feel guilt, anger, and fear? Why, when I close my eyes, I see my dad lying there on the floor? Why don't I feel like crying? Why do I not feel okay, but laugh at videos and have happy feelings when watching movies after a week? Why do I feel like a failure for not being able to feel sad anymore? Am I just an asshole to my father? He was important to me, but why don't I cry or feel sad? Why am I angry instead? Why am I unmotivated? Why do I feel the constant need to drink?


I just need help. Please help...

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I am very sorry for your loss, Oswinoswald: I see it's only been a week since the passing of your father.


It's an understatement to say you've been through a great deal, beginning with your own illness and brush with death. Then there's the complicating factor of your mother's liver problems. That is a handful--so I'm not surprised that you overlooked your father's health issues: how could you not?  I can completely understand your desire to blame yourself, because I tend to do that myself. But hopefully, as an outsider, I may be able to offer another perspective--especially since I had a recent problem which, although not as traumatic as yours, is somewhat similar.


Nearly two weeks ago, my father fell headlong after exercising on the treadmill. I would have no idea had I not gone to call him for dinner. When I shook him and asked him questions, there was no response for two minutes--after which I called 911. To make a long story short, he was discovered to have very high blood pressure. I started blaming myself as we've had quite a few arguments, and an all-day one that very day: I really thought I must have caused it. After a day in the hospital, the docs discovered that he did not have a heart problem at all--in fact, it was even strong--but rather, that he was severely dehydrated and that was causing kidney and blood pressure. (At home, I'm always reminding  him to drink as water as his primary doc has advised!!) 


I should add that this treadmill accident was not his first: he fell over 2 years ago and I found out when I was going downstairs to get a snack. My mom did not know about it at all as she was already asleep.


I guess what I'm saying is that we don't always know when something has happened or is going to happen: and that the cause may not be what you assume. There's every chance that even had you gone downstairs in time, you may still not have been able to rescue your father. If anything, you did your best to help him when you did find him, trying CPR and calling the ambulance.  That's what matters.


The process of grief is different for everyone and depends not only on your individual psychology and the circumstances at hand, but your relationship with your dad and others around you. I think you may still be registering the shock because of its sheer suddenness.  For me, it was somewhat different as my mother had declined over the last several months before her death: we kept hoping against hope, but alas, it was not to be. There were quite a few depressing days during the first month or so after her death but a few happy ones as well--usually when someone called and was able to chat about my mom.  Slowly, however, it began to change for the worse after her memorial service. I couldn't say if this was because it reinforced the fact that she had died, or because others around us had begun to drift away too. January through March were arguably the worst months as I felt almost completely alone and isolated (Being literally and figuratively snowed in didn't help either.)  I don't get on with my father at all, my best friends live quite far from me, and there are so few here I can confide in--not to mention that I always feel a bit guilty and embarrassed talking about my mom.


You have been through a lot so give yourself some time. Many of us are here and willing to listen so feel free to reach out.  

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I am so sorry for both of your losses.  For me losing both parents close together (over an 11 month period) had me going through so many feelings.  Guilt, fear, extremely loneliness, sadness, anger, anxiety,and on and on.  I've never experienced so many feelings over a single event in my life prior to this.  


Oswinoswald ... in reading your post, guilt is an emotion you are going through at this time and that is an emotion that I had also.  It is an unwanted emotion that will only keep us feeling other unwanted emotions like sadness, anger at ourselves, and anxiety.  


I had to really break down each of those feelings and work through getting over them and I came to these conclusions;  I believe that when our time is up ... our time is up and there is nothing we can do about it.  We are not in control of when our own time is up, not yet someone else's life.  We often hear stories like this ... a young person in excellent shape who goes to the gym every day, doesn't smoke or drink, eats healthy, goes to church every Sunday, goes for regular yearly check ups ... and out of the blue they drop dead of a heart attack.  


Of course you would have been there to try to help your dad if you had known that this was going to happen but the truth is .... you didn't know.  None of us know what lies ahead in the next year, month, week, day or moment.  We don't have crystal balls and we can't predict the future.  


It is so obvious in your post how much you love your parents.  They sound like such wonderful people and of course you are going to miss your dad a lot and you always will.  


For me, the passing of my parents has made me so much more aware of things.  I am on top of my own health more that I was.  I take nothing for granted.  When I think of my parents I look at the blessings like having them in my life for as long as I have (I know people who lost their parents at the age of 10).  I think about the love we had while they were here.  I think about the fun things we did as a family.  I think about all of the good things they taught me.  Thinking about these things makes me feel sad sometimes but I can get through the feelings of sadness a lot easier than feelings of guilt.  


I hope this helps you Oswinowald.  We are human and all we can do is be the best person that we can be and in doing that we are honouring those loved ones who have passed on.


Take care

Cindy Jane 

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