I lost my dear Grandfather on August 23rd 2009. My Grandpa was like my father. I was his caretaker for the last 8 years of his life when he endured cancer, diabetes, CHF, atrial fibrillation, stroke and just the complications that come with each disease. It was so hard for me to see him deteriorate within a two month span of time. He lived in a nursing home because he was not able to maintain himself and my grandma is also very ill and she could not take care of him by herself.

On August 6th I received a phone call from my aunt that the nursing home had called and advised that they had sent my grandpa to the hospital because he was vomiting coffee ground blood. I knew this was a very bad sign and things were very grave. I immediately called my family doctor who was able to look up test results and he told me to leave work and get to the hospital ASAP. When I got there they brought the family into a room and told us he had a complete blockage in his bowel and he was not a surgical candidate. His BP was so low they told us he probably would not make it through the night. I was devastated. That night I stayed in the room with him because if he was going to die I didn't want him to be alone. When the family left he looked at me and asked me what was going to happen. Over the years he had always told me he hoped to die in his sleep so I told him that hopefully he would close his eyes and not wake up. He was so happy with that answer. He made it through the night and was put on hospice the following day. We also found out that his cancer had spread to his spine which explained his sudden deterioration over the summer.

I had to return to work and knew that family from out of town were with him during the day so he was never left alone. I would visit with him every day after work. Watching how quick he deteriorated was so difficult. He was always such a strong man and to see him in this condition pained me.

The part that I am having such a difficult time with is that I had a trip to Disney planned for that month and when it came time to go I didn't want to. My family said that grandpa wanted me to go and that I needed to get away because of a different tragic event that had occurred to me earlier in the year. I more or less was forced by my husband and family to go on this vacation. My last night with my grandpa was me crying at his bedside trying to tell him goodbye and how much I loved him. I told him if he needed to let go and stop suffering I was okay with that but if he could hold out until I returned home, he would be the first place I went to visit. My last week with my grandpa he was so drugged up that I never had the chance to speak to him. When I spoke to him he was heavily sedated and unresponsive to me or my attempts to wake him. On Sunday morning August 23, 2009 at 2am I received the phone call that he had passed away. I returned home that same day. I have felt guilty ever since with the feeling that I let him down. I took care of him for years and in his time of most need I abandoned him. I have heard every reason/excuse from my family as to why I shouldn't feel this way but I do. My vacation could have been rescheduled spending my grandfathers final week of life with him can't be. I was not expecting to be in the room the moment he died, if I was so be it but I felt I should have been there to support him. In his eyes I was his nurse. I was the one who took care of him and in his final moments of life I wasn't there.

This weekend is the first fathers day without him and I don't know what I am going to do with myself. I miss him so much and visited him every fathers day. My grandpa played a big roll in my upbringing and on fathers day he was the father I visited each year.

Since he has passed I have spend every day thinking about him and crying about him being gone. I have such a void in my heart and I will never get over his loss. Since we live in the same city there are so many reminders of him which at this point are painful reminders that he is no longer here. I miss him dearly.

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