Old 09-17-2019, 11:58 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,804

My dad died tonight

My dad had been sick with COPD for years - seven maybe? - and had a serious heart attack in the spring, after which he opted for hospice. The past few months have been heartbreaking as he lost more and more ground, and became weaker and weaker. The past couple of months have been pretty bad, and I kept praying that he'd die before he lost all of his dignity and discovered new levels of suffering, and honestly, I know he did too: he woke up disappointed every day that he was still here.

Apparently, just before I got home from work tonight, he fell and my brother, who'd come over to help him, couldn't get him up, so the fire department came to help him. Dad was pretty embarrassed by that. He asked me to help him to bed around 8:15, and I did. He was upset that he needed help getting undressed for the first time, and I wasn't thrilled about it either.

Less than fifteen minutes later he was gone, and he only seemed to be in distress for a couple of minutes. Hospice was very helpful to my brother and I tonight with getting him pronounced, and eventually the funeral home came and went.

I'm sad, but also relieved. He won't suffer any more, and I won't be tortured anymore by wondering when he'd die or how bad he'd get before the end, because what paradoxically seems like both at last and so suddenly, it's all over. As for Dad, if he's anything right now, I'm sure it's also relieved. A few weeks ago I thought that he seemed like his bags were metaphorically packed and he was just waiting for his ride to his next destination.

We weren't ever super close, even though I've been taking care of him for the past three and a half years since my mom died, but I will miss him. I already think that a lot of that is going to be missing having parents more than missing him specifically, but I guess we'll see.

We're grown ups so it's not tragic, but I'm 42 and my brother is 36, and it's strange to be completely parentless this soon. I have so many coworkers who have both parents, and they're themselves older than my mom ever got...

And after taking care of Dad for so long, I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. Whatever it is, I hope it would make both of my parents happy for me.
Old 09-18-2019, 12:04 AM
AK84 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,432
A parent is a parent at whatever age you are. Your feelings are completely understandable. You were ax good, responsible person.
Old 09-18-2019, 01:18 AM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,721
I'm so sorry. Don't forget to take time to grieve properly. After the service and family leaves is when it will come apparent the need to honor your feelings of loss. Take as long or as short a time as you need. No one can tell you what's right for you. I wish you peace.
Old 09-18-2019, 06:26 AM
casdave is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 8,348
Condolences to you and your family
Old 09-18-2019, 06:32 AM
steatopygia's Avatar
steatopygia is offline
Experimental FOC Test Pilot
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Idaho mostly
Posts: 1,816
It is a wonderful thing to be there for someone. Sorry for your loss,
Old 09-18-2019, 06:48 AM
not what you'd expect is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,898
I'm sorry for your loss. Do be gentle with yourself. Grieving is always painful and I wish you peace as you go through this period.

As for your dad, May he Rest in Peace.
Old 09-18-2019, 07:40 AM
StGermain is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Toon Town
Posts: 10,849
My sincere condolences. I was a similar age when I lost my surviving parent, my mother. I remember thinking that now I was really on my own, even though they'd needed me more than I needed them in those last years of their lives.

Old 09-18-2019, 08:26 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 56,420
Very sad news. Condolences to your family.
Old 09-18-2019, 10:07 AM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,454
My most sincere condolences.
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
Old 09-18-2019, 10:36 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,263
I'm sorry for your loss; and glad that he went relatively easily.

The loss may hit you at unexpected times and in unexpected ways for a while. Bear in mind that all sorts of reactions are normal.
Old 09-18-2019, 10:46 AM
FloatyGimpy's Avatar
FloatyGimpy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 3,565
I'm very sorry for your loss. I understand what you're going through. My dad's memorial service is this Saturday and I cared for him through a long illness as well. One thing I've learned since he died earlier this month is to be so kind to yourself. Don't want to make the bed - don't. Want ice cream for dinner - have it.
Old 09-18-2019, 10:46 AM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 59,074
Sorry to hear it. Take care of yourselves.
Old 09-18-2019, 11:28 AM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is offline
Isaiah 1:15/Screw the NRA
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 51,632
Been through it. My sincere condolences.
Old 09-18-2019, 11:45 AM
Infovore's Avatar
Infovore is online now
Doltish Snackhound
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Somewhere fictional
Posts: 11,534
I'm sorry for your loss.
Old 09-18-2019, 02:11 PM
Hampshire is online now
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 11,110
My dad passed away 2 years ago in a similar fashion. Time had just gotten the best of him and he was pretty miserable. Lost interest in everything when his sight and hearing slowly went, all his friends had already passed away, got short of breath when moving around the house. Even if we could wish him back tomorrow I don't think we'd do it and he wouldn't be happy being back, not in the condition he was in.
We're just grateful for the years we had him, grateful we didn't lose him when we were young. And he was probably grateful he never had to bury any of his kids, and lived long enough to see all of them into adulthood.
That's about all you can ask for in life.
Old 09-18-2019, 05:30 PM
Magiver is online now
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 28,586
I'm sorry for your loss. Both my parents were slowly consumed by cancer and I watched them both pass away.

Your father's dignity was in the care your family gave him. Better you than some stranger in a hospital.
Old 09-18-2019, 05:59 PM
Sunny Daze's Avatar
Sunny Daze is online now
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
Posts: 12,817
My condolences on your loss, and best wishes as you move on to the next phase of your life.
Old 09-18-2019, 09:17 PM
skyr is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Sorry for your loss. Whatever age it happens, losing a parent is not easy. Your parents were lucky to have kids who were there for them like that.
Old 09-18-2019, 11:45 PM
VOW is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NE AZ
Posts: 2,926
I grieve with you.

And there is no time limit on grief. If you find yourself overwhelmed or nonproductive, see your doctor. Grief messes with the chemicals in your head, and fortunately, help is available, through counseling or short term prescriptions.

And the Dopers are always here.

Klaatu Barada Nikto
Old 09-19-2019, 12:24 AM
Guinastasia's Avatar
Guinastasia is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 52,893
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Old 09-19-2019, 12:28 AM
galen ubal is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Central VIC Australia
Posts: 2,706
I'm sorry for your loss.

There is no "right way" to feel, I think - deal with your feelings as best you can, recall the good, and the pain will ease, in time. Be kind to yourself, and the ones around you, and honour your memories of him in that way.
Old 09-19-2019, 01:12 AM
nelliebly is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,770
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I'm sorry for your loss; and glad that he went relatively easily.

The loss may hit you at unexpected times and in unexpected ways for a while. Bear in mind that all sorts of reactions are normal.
This. There are little land mines that may catch you unaware. I once burst into tears because the car salesman wore a shirt identical to my late father's.

I'm sorry for your loss and hope your grief is gentle.
Old 09-19-2019, 10:24 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,804
Thank you all.

I now need to learn how to take care of just me. Well, me and the cat. It's going to be very strange when I go back to work a week from Monday and don't need to run any errands for him on the way home, cook or clean for anyone but me, or let anyone know when I'd be home later than 6:30 so they don't worry...besides a lot of crying being the only one in the house right now it doesn't feel so very different than all the times when he was in the hospital, but I know it will hit me differently then.
Old 09-19-2019, 10:30 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,796
I'm sorry for your loss.
Old 09-20-2019, 08:07 AM
Sternvogel is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 12,242
Sorry for your loss, elfkin477. I'm 60, and both of my parents are still alive -- Dad is 85, Mom 83. Neither is in the best of health, but at least we're not yet to the point where it would be a blessing for either to die in their sleep, in contrast to your dad's disappointment each time he woke up to another day of pain.

I can't imagine what it would have been like to be an orphan at 42, but obviously you're finding out more about it each day. Hope you have more good days than bad ones in the months ahead, even as the "missing Dad" moments hit, as they inevitably will.

Last edited by Sternvogel; 09-20-2019 at 08:07 AM.
Old 09-20-2019, 10:23 AM
gkster is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,180
elfkin477, so sorry for your loss, and good on you for stepping up to care for your father and being there for him. It's an extended grieving process and no matter our age, being an "adult orphan" is tough--it takes a long time to get used to that feeling of somehow being uprooted or not having our parents there.
Old 09-21-2019, 09:25 AM
Johnny L.A. is online now
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 61,676
My condolences. Two decades later, and I still miss my dad.
Old 09-22-2019, 12:40 PM
Patx2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,864
Iím very sorry for your loss and Iím sending a hug your way.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017