It’s been nearly 6 mos since my dad died. I still have no idea how to deal with it. I’ve had small break downs, but I won’t let myself fully cry. I’m afraid to. I’m afraid to let the tears really fall. They start, I panic, and I shut off. I become numb. I can’t grieve this, I can’t accept it, I’m too scared.
I feel responsible. Why? I KNEW he wasn’t going to make it through the surgery. I just had that feeling. When he DID make it, I was shocked…only to then deal with the month of his suffering in the ICU before his death.
I feel responsible because I was the only one who drove the hour one way each day to see him. I saw his condition worsen. The few times he was conscious, I saw the misery and sadness in his eyes. But I wasn’t the one able to make his medical decisions. I couldn’t stop the procedures. I honestly feel like he was tortured to death.
I worked to convince my family to stop. Stop further procedures. Stop life saving measures. Stop hoping for a miracle.
I feel like I failed him because I needed it to stop. But I think he did too. But it doesn’t feel good to say we need to accept he won’t make it. It doesn’t feel good to say he’s too sick. It feels like guilt. It feels like giving up. It feels like torture.
Finally, the doctor declared his chance of survival as “nil.” A procedure had a complication, and he aspirated stomach acid into his lungs. Lungs that were already struggling. Lungs that would now never recover.
My family finally heard this doctor. They finally agreed it was time.
A few of us were there with him. I had seen him every day of his horrible end. I wasn’t going to abandon him in these brutal moments.
My dad liked it when I rubbed his head. I often did this when he was well…as a good.bye gesture of love. He’d sit in his desk chair, and I’d rub his very thin hair and say goodbye. Each time I visited him in the hospital, I’d rub his head. The few times he was awake he nodded when I asked if I should do that.
The took his ventilator away. Disconnected. No air. I can hardly imagine…
I rubbed his head, and whispered calmly to him how much we loved him and how proud I was to be his daughter. I didn’t cry. I wanted to…but knew I’d never pull it together if I did. It took just 3 minutes for him to die. I wonder if he felt it.i wonder if he heard me. I wonder if he’s ok.
Even as I write just 2 tears escape. My chest heaves with sobs held back. I can’t let myself grieve.
My sweet 4 yr old boy prayed each night his Pa was in the hospital for him to be strong again. The night he died he started to say it, paused, looked at me and declared, “and God, I just love Pa.” Almost 6 mos later, and he prays for his Pa each night, still. From the ” I love Pa” to “please keep PA safe in heaven” each night includes a prayer for him. Each night my heart swells, and I tear up, but would take cry.
I don’t know how to do this.