My beloved father passed away on December 27, 2014.  I was his only child and his caregiver.  We had lived in the same house together for all of my life (55 years).  My parents divorced when I was only five and I was raised by my father, so my bond with him was extra close.  He had been sick for a long time, he was 86, but his death still came as a terrible shock to me.  Twice I found him in distress, unattended in the ICU, and then I watched him die from respiratory failure in Comfort Care for 36 hours straight. 
 
My father was my best friend and my hero.  For the first time in my life I am completely alone, no husband, no children, no friends or relatives close by.  I feel lost without my father.  He was the kindest man I ever knew.  Our favorite pastime was to watch classic movies and listen to music together.  We watched at least one movie together almost every evening.  Sometimes we would binge watch Masterpiece Theater and Boardwalk Empire.  Now I hardly turn on the tv, because it makes me miss him too much.  I can't even watch Downton Abbey anymore, because he's not with me.  Hearing the music we used to enjoy together makes me sad and anxious.  Some cousins and friends have tried to keep me company when they can (which isn't often).  I appreciate their kindness, they have given me comfort, but it isn't enough.  They go back to their loved ones.  I have no one anymore.   
 
My father and I understood each other almost perfectly.  He taught me to like everything he liked.  The only thing I didn't understand about him was why he liked staying home so much.  I loved being home with him all those years, but I also feel like life passed us by.  There were so many things I wanted my dad to enjoy, but we ran out of time.  Life isn't fun anymore without him.  I knew this would happen, but it doesn't make it any easier.  It's natural for our parents to die before us, but I feel like a huge part of my life has died with him.  There is no more meaning or purpose in my life.  People tell me to live for myself, but I don't know how.     
 
My dad lives on in my memory, but I don't think I will ever be as happy again as I was when he was alive.  I told him I loved him every day, but I wish I had spent more time with him, even though I was usually just in the next room when I wasn't beside him.   I feel like I wasted time on my hobbies and trying to fix up the house, when I should have spent more time with him, keeping him company and cherishing every last moment with him.  I did spend a lot of time with him, but I could have spent more!  Sometimes he watched our favorite movies by himself, because I was busy doing something else.  How could I leave him alone like that?   I acted like we had all the time in the world -- how could I be so stupid!   I should have asked him more questions and written down his answers.  I guess I didn't think of this before, because I was in denial. I had too much faith in his will to live.  He had been through so many crises before and always recovered until this last time.  I helped save his life more than once, but this time I feel like there was something I did or something I didn't do that led to his demise.  I trusted his doctors and the hospital, but they made mistakes.  I feel like I should have taken him to another hospital, but they all make mistakes.
 
I cry every day. I have chronic insomnia and tingling feelings in my arms.  I miss my dad terribly.  I feel like I took him for granted.  I wish I had never complained about anything to him.  I should have just been happy that he was with me.  He was so stoic.  He didn't like to worry me.  Now I wonder if he was suffering more than he would tell me.  For many years I was a caregiver for four elderly relatives in succession, but the loss of my father is the hardest thing I've ever experienced.  I thought I was strong, but I can't take this!  I have endured the loss of other loved ones, but my dad was always there to give me moral support, so I didn't feel as lonely and hopeless as I do now.  My mother died just two months before my father, but she didn't raise me, so I don't miss her nearly as much as my dad.   With her I mostly mourn what might have been.

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Oh Gilda, your story sounds so familiar with mine.  I am an only child also, will be 56 in June, and my Dad was 86 when he passed at the end of October, 2014.  I don't have any relatives in Michigan either.   My parents stayed married, but my Mom died in 2000.  I miss her, but the sting isn't there like the recent loss of my Dad.  I have cousins in New York and Arizona that I am close with.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I wish there was an easy way to help you through this, but there is not.  I went through all the guilt also (still do sometimes).  I take reassurance that my Dad is not suffering any longer.  We were very close too.  And that it was my Dad's fondest wish that I live a long happy life.  I am lucky  I have good friends here at my workplace, at church, and close neighbors.  If you need to talk to a professional, do it.   Otherwise, just take it one day at a time.  Try to do the things you enjoy as much as you can.  My Dad loved to travel with me, although the last few years, he wasn't really able to go far.   I took my first long trip without him last week.  Can't say I didn't tear up, but I just tried to feel his spirit with me.   It's a long process finding your own path.  Rely on faith and friendship.  People here know what you are going through and are willing to share and listen.  Let us know how you are doing.    

i livd wth my dad evn mum fo 37 yrs till he died in 2012 im my dads only blood but he tret my brthr sistr lk his own he did my dad wz 76 he had copd hrt failr wz getng bter frm a strok he wz thn we had him b for a wk hrf thn bk in hosptl on fryday on wrd frm hell not strok unit  but he died on satday 3.3.2012 at 220am me mum got thr 2 lte we did now mums got memry probs

my dad luved old movies lk randy scot 1s baled songs he did luvd art he wz happy wen i did art iv got his habit sketch doodln he luvd sweets i miss him a lot i do i wz a big daddys grl u cud say 

i god so sad lst yr coz my dad z not hear 2 sea me get 2 40 

sorry for yore loss glida u 2 debbie im sorry for yore loss 2

aftr he died iv had loss non stop funralls is os mush hrdr nw hes gon 

sorry if im ramlin on or rantin on

Dear Debbie, thanks so much for your very kind reply.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I am also relieved that my parents are no longer suffering.  We are the ones who are suffering now.  I have tried going to two support groups,  three therapists, three doctors, four churches, and six bars, but nothing seems to help.  The first grief support group was cancelled because of low attendance and the other one is too far away for me (I don't drive).  It only meets once a month.  I finally found a good therapist on my fourth try.  I see her once a week. I saw her today, she said I need to accept that losing our parents is a normal phase of life.  She said I was lucky to have my dad and he was lucky to have his daughter for 55 years.  The trouble is that I still worry about my father.  I told her I even worry that he needs me to guide him to the pearly gates.  He was very dependent on me later in life. I would gladly die just to help him again, if he needed me.  I know that sounds crazy but that's how I feel.  He has plenty of relatives on the other side, but it's all so mysterious since nobody really knows what it's like in the afterlife, if it exists at all.  A lot of relatives here on earth didn't go out of their way for him, even though they claimed to love him.   I'd even go to hell to keep him company, I loved him that much.  And yet, I'm one to talk, since I spent so much time on my hobbies and dealing with home improvements when I could have been watching more movies with him.  Movies were his way to take his mind off his health problems.  I'd give anything to be able to watch one more movie with him.  The therapist told me we all have to have balance in our lives -- nobody can live completely for another person.   

I know my presence calmed my dad, and that's why I feel terrible about the times I wasn't there in the hospital when he was suffering, because I had to sleep.  One time I found him in the ICU in respiratory distress -- the cannula was out, his oxygen saturation was low. My poor father was begging for air, water and God's mercy.  When he saw me, he thanked me over and over -- it broke my heart.  I was able to get the nurse to put him back on the oxygen mask because he was breathing through his mouth more than his nose.  The nasal gastric tube was blocking his breathing.  I also asked the nurse to raise the pressure on his oxygen, but I shouldn't have had to do that.  When I had left him on a previous night,  I had told my dad that the nurses were watching him on the camera.  My dad who hadn't yet been weaned off the ventilator at that point, made a scoffing gesture to indicate they weren't watching him.  Little did I know that they were NOT watching him.  Before that there was an ICU nurse from hell who made a difficult situation even worse with her attitude.  She told me she didn't believe in prolonging people's lives artificially -- I was worried she was going to pull the plug on my dad.  Even before my father was dying the hospital wanted him to choose DNR or  “no code” status, because of his multiple admissions.  I felt like I had to plead for his life by telling him that his quality of life between admissions was still good.  He loved life and that's why he was willing to try the ventilator to see if it would give him a chance to recover.  He had recovered other times when his outlook was grim.  I don't think the hospital did all they could for my father on account of his age and health history.  It would take too long to go into all the details and the mistakes that were made.  I sometimes wonder if the mistakes were made on purpose just to hasten his death, because treating an elderly patient like him was no longer profitable.  There's no way I can prove it, so all I can do is grieve.

        

  

Dear dream moon, thank you for your very kind reply.  My heartfelt sympathy for your loss.  My dad liked old western films, too.  His favorite cowboy was Buck Jones.  In one of my dad's photos I uploaded, he looks like an oldtime cowboy in the desert.  My dad loved sweets, too.  I miss him every day and always will.  Like Debbie said, we have to take it one day at a time.  It is comforting to have a place to share and listen.  Writing about my memories and feelings seems to help me work through the grief.  Take care of yourself and God bless you. 

Gilda, everyone handles grief in their own time.  I feel like I'm doing okay, but something still makes me tear up pretty much every single day.  I don't want to assume you don't work because you don't drive?  I think it is harder for people that have time to think about it all day.  I have a friend that has a husband and four kids but doesn't work and she is having a tough time also with the loss of her mother in January.   My Dad developed Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia a few years back and took meds for it, but it came back as they weaned him off the meds.  He had kidney problems, Parkinson's, and some heart blockages/valve replacement also.  He was pretty active; the Parkinson's was stopping him golfing but he was still bowling.  He wanted to try chemo.  It was actually a new treatment for older people and he was the first in our area to get it.  That with everything else took it's toll on him and his legs started giving out.  He was also having breathing problems.  He fell a couple of times and the hospital suggested rehab.  He was in the rehab place a couple of weeks and then got pneumonia, which pretty much took him out.   So it was coming on for awhile, but felt really fast.  I had left the hospital for a couple of hours to clean his room out at the rehab place and when I came back he had told them he wanted to be DNR.   When he didn't respond to the antibiotics, they put him in Hospice in the hospital.  It was just a few days later he was gone.  I feel guilty like I should have fought harder and not just let him go.  Although he was very peaceful and not in any pain.  But then I think if I had kept him alive, he would still be facing all his problems and it would have just gotten harder for him.  He was used to being very active.  It has been a crazy time.  I work in Financial Aid at Michigan State University and out of my small processing department, three of us lost parents since late October when my Dad passed.  One of the other women's husband is 88 and they keep giving him up for dead, but he is still doing pretty well.  Just funny that he hung on and the rest of us, who's parent's were still pretty active, are gone.  We also had about 5 or 6 deaths at our church in a six month period.  Plus one of my good Facebook friends that I talked about before lost her mother in January.  I think it is harder with you not driving, but you really do need to find things you enjoy and do them.  Can you get a bus or a cab?   LIke doing volunteer work.  Whatever you enjoy - art, books, music, theatre (my passion) try to do something enjoyable every day.  I know how hard the guilt is too.  I will pray you find your way through the grief and find peace and happiness.  I know that is what your Dad would want for you.  Feel free to come on here and chat if it helps.  I try to check every day if I can. 

2 day i had a cry day im not fealin sorry for y slf lk evry wud say stop fealin sorry for yore slg juts get over it its easy but its not 

i always say if i meat rht man i hpe his lk my dad well his persnalty i shud say funny kind carng 1 it luvs me for bean me 

sorry if i sond weid i go for perlaty i do mre thm loooks i do

my dad had bretn probs 2 its in famly it is iv got copd 2 lk my dad but its my dad i miss so mush i do im wored abot mum coz wen shes gon im on sts coz of tax law bedroom tax  law i no its silly 

but mum im wored abot her not coz of bedroom tax law coz i dont wnt 2 loozw her

Debbie, thank you for your helpful reply.  I'm sorry for all the sadness that you and your colleagues are going through.  I agree that had they lived,  our fathers would still be facing all their problems and it would have just gotten harder for them.  My dad didn't like not being able to work around the house like he used to, but I still think he wanted to live for my sake and for his own.  However, after his heart attack in the hospital, he needed a heart operation and he did not want to go back onto the ventilator.  The doctor said his chance of surviving the operation were virtually nil.  The dialysis alone would probably have killed him and the recovery period would have been very long and painful.  While I believe hospice/Comfort Care was the right choice for both our dads, given the circumstances, my doubts are about the events that led up to my dad needing to be placed in Comfort Care.  He was hospitalized twice during December for pneumonia of unknown etiology.  The hospital failed to have a sputum culture done during his first hospitalization, even though I reminded the nurse and the doctor, and even collected  a sputum sample myself to ensure it was done.  The hospitalist said it was "disconcerting" that the sputum culture was not done, because of some mixup at the lab, but he still discharged my dad after a couple of days just with antibiotics and without treating his CHF.  He could have tried switching his diuretic or even tried aquapheresis, a light form of dialysis, but they didn't offer it.  Since my dad had been treated successfully for pneumonia six months earlier, I thought they knew what they were doing, but that previous time they did do a sputum culture and prescribed a suitable antibiotic.  This time they prescribed antibiotics without even knowing if the infecting agent was bacterial, and they continued to prescribed powerful antibiotics during his second hospitalization without knowing what was causing the pneumonia, until his kidneys gave out.     

About six weeks before my father passed away we had gone on a rare shopping trip with relatives after which I got bronchitis and my dad caught walking pneumonia.  I'm pretty sure we caught it from a relative who should not have joined us since she had chronic bronchitis.  I have not said anything to her, because what's done is done.  I think she already feels guilty about it.  I don't usually get sick, so it was a sad coincidence that the one time in years that I was sick was the time when my dad died.
 
My father seemed to be getting better during his second stay in the hospital that month, but suddenly he got a massive heart attack after they gave him two pneumonia vaccines.  I think they should have waited until he had recovered from his current pneumonia.  I feel that if we had not gone on that shopping trip, he would not have caught pneumonia or been given the vaccines or those nephrotoxic antibiotics, and he might have lived.  My poor father went on that shopping trip just to please me, because I had complained that I wished we could get out of the house for something other than doctor visits or funerals.  Relatives would call us and brag about all the fun they were having on various trips and it was driving me crazy with envy.  I haven't been on a vacation in 14 years!   My father asked me, "Is fun so important?"  I replied that to most people it seems to be. Some relatives talked about their vacations right in front of my great uncle when he was dying in the hospital.  How can people be so insensitive?   An aunt by marriage said she couldn't make it to my dad's rosary service, because she had to take her granddaughter to a make-up consultation to find out which season she is.  I'd rather that she had not come to the funeral at all than hear her say that a makeup session was more important than my father's vigil.  Now I know that fun isn't so important.  I would gladly stay home for the rest of my life if I could spend it with my father. He was the only person who truly understood me and whom I could trust completely.

Another tragic incident is that several years ago, I had hired some brickworkers to repave a patio area.   My father, always eager to help out, was carrying bricks to the site when one dropped on his foot.  An ulcer developed on his middle toe and that eventually led to gangrene and six weeks in the hospital.  The surgeon botched the toe operation by not ordering proper post-surgical wound care, so the gangrene spread, and he had to have two more surgeries on his toe.  On the last surgery, the surgeon postponed the operation from morning to afternoon, so my father was not give food or water for 22 hours!  My father started vomiting from low blood sugar.  Thankfully, one of the nurses called off the operation that day or he might have aspirated while under the anesthesia.   My father lost a lot of weight in the hospital, because of meds making him sick and that was the beginning of his decline.  My dad recovered from the gangrene at home after about a year, thanks to xeroform gauze dressings and Medi-honey.  With dietary changes he reversed his diabetes.  The surgeon thought my dad would have to have his leg amputated below the knee on account of peripheral arterial disease.  She called his recovery a miracle and commended me for taking good care of him.  And yet,  I feel that if I hadn't wanted the patio repaved and asked him to accompany me on that last shopping trip together, he might still be alive.

It's true I am not working at this time though I will be looking for a job as soon as I start feeling better.  I can't even finish the work I need to do here at home.  I take cabs quite a lot these days but for longer trips the cab fares really add up.  My father stopped driving when I was 9 years old, after he accidentally hit a dog which ran onto the street from between two parked cars.  He discouraged me from driving ever since.  I never bought a car, because money was tight.  As a caregiver for several relatives in a row I wasn't drawing a salary.  Right now I'm living off savings from an inheritance, which has been mostly consumed by home repairs.  Ever since my father died, I have not been able to enjoy much of anything that I used to enjoy.  The only thing that gives me pleasure is Peruvian food, something that has no associations with my father, because he never tried it.  I feel guilty that I didn't buy a car and learn to drive years ago, in spite of my dad's warnings.  We would have had so many more happy memories to look back on if I had been able to drive him to various fun places.  Now I'm getting all kinds of invitations to travel to Europe, Mexico and other locations, but I don't feel up to it.  On Valentine's Day a cousin took me to the beach and I cried watching the sunset, because my dad wasn't there to enjoy it. A couple of weeks ago, I rented a car and another cousin drove us to Half Moon Bay.  It was nice, but again I wished that my father could have enjoyed it.  He did travel with me a handful of times when he was in better condition, and he ended up enjoying himself, but he was happiest at home.  I'm glad that your dad loved to travel with you, so you have those happy memories to cherish.
 
Thank you so much for your prayers.  I will keep you in my prayers, too.     

I hope you meet a nice man, dream moon.  At my age, it's not so easy.  I signed up for an online dating site and got dozens of replies from men, but about 90 percent of them were scammers!  I know how to spot them now.  I haven't had much luck with female friends either, because they don't share my interests.  It's hard not to feel sad when I'm lonely and miss the person I loved best in all the world.    I don't want just a roommate, I want a soulmate.  I think personality is more important than looks, too.   

dream moon said:

2 day i had a cry day im not fealin sorry for y slf lk evry wud say stop fealin sorry for yore slg juts get over it its easy but its not 

i always say if i meat rht man i hpe his lk my dad well his persnalty i shud say funny kind carng 1 it luvs me for bean me 

sorry if i sond weid i go for perlaty i do mre thm loooks i do

I'm so sorry that your dad had COPD and that you have it, too.  I hope your mom will be with you a long time yet.  It sounds like the bedroom tax should be abolished and if enough people complain maybe it will be.  I will pray for you and your mom.

dream moon said:

my dad had bretn probs 2 its in famly it is iv got copd 2 lk my dad but its my dad i miss so mush i do im wored abot mum coz wen shes gon im on sts coz of tax law bedroom tax  law i no its silly 

but mum im wored abot her not coz of bedroom tax law coz i dont wnt 2 loozw her

I laughed at your Dad's comment "Is fun so important?"   Too funny.  It's good that your family is asking you to go places with them.  I just go where I want to go by myself.  It's hard the other way too.  My friend at work with the 88 year old husband can't take any trips because her husband needs 24 hour care.   I think we both spent a lot of time with our Dad's and have nothing to feel bad about.  I tear up sometimes too because I wish my Dad was experiencing something with me.  I just try to imagine that he's watching me!  I think if it is possible, our Dad's are watching over us.  My house needs a lot of repairs also.  My main worry was we would get water in the basement.  Just funny this year there hasn't been any - one time a tiny tiny bit.  But with rains and snow melting, I haven't even had to use the water vacuum or whatever it's called.  Coincidence?  I wonder!  LOL!

A friend of mine in Cincinnati mixed a drink, coke and bourbon, last night before bedtime. It was three quarters full. She took a few sips and didn't want anymore and set the glass, half full, about, in the fridge. She was going to toss it, but thought, she can do it tomorrow. This morning when she opened the fridge to get the coffee creamer the glass was empty and clean. She looked at it, smelled it, no residue. She didn't drink it over night, so where did it go? A little liquid might evaporate after a while, maybe, but close to a half glass over night?  She thinks her late dad decided to finish it for her. :)

Debbie Winans said:

I laughed at your Dad's comment "Is fun so important?"   Too funny.  It's good that your family is asking you to go places with them.  I just go where I want to go by myself.  It's hard the other way too.  My friend at work with the 88 year old husband can't take any trips because her husband needs 24 hour care.   I think we both spent a lot of time with our Dad's and have nothing to feel bad about.  I tear up sometimes too because I wish my Dad was experiencing something with me.  I just try to imagine that he's watching me!  I think if it is possible, our Dad's are watching over us.  My house needs a lot of repairs also.  My main worry was we would get water in the basement.  Just funny this year there hasn't been any - one time a tiny tiny bit.  But with rains and snow melting, I haven't even had to use the water vacuum or whatever it's called.  Coincidence?  I wonder!  LOL!

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