24yrs old.. My dad died infront of me before Christmas

Hi everyone,
So my story begins on the 21st December 2019. I had just made a sandwich while chatting to my mum and dad in the kitchen. I don’t recall the conversation but I took my food upstairs and was munching away watching something pointless on Netflix. About 5/10 minutes later I hear my mum scream my name and to call an ambulance.
I run downstairs dialling 999 and see my dad in the kitchen looking like he is having a seizure his body is rigid and his eyes have rolled back and he’s making this awful groaning noise which I later found out is called the ‘death rattle’.
We lay him on the floor as he’s going purple and he’s completely non responsive. The paramedics on the phone talk me and my mum through CPR and I took over compressions from her.
All I can feel on my hands is his ribs cracking and I’m trying so hard to make him breathe but he just won’t breathe and he just keeps going more purple and his eyes are blank… I knew he wasn’t with us any more. He died right infront of me.
The paramedics turned up and managed to get an electrical heartbeat but he couldn’t breathe on his own so he was put in to a coma and rushed to hospital.
We got to hospital and they needed to transfer him somewhere else to have an emergency heart surgery as he had had a major cardiac arrest. When leaving the hospital in the ambulance he got round the corner and had a second heart attack and none of the doctors were able to bring him back. He was pronounced dead just before 9pm.
But I knew that he wasn’t really there anyway… he had died in the kitchen… the cpr me and mum performed only prolonged the inevitable.
It’s now Christmas Day, 4 days later, as I’m writing this and I haven’t felt a thing since he died. I see his eyes rolled back and empty, I see the colour of him, I hear the death rattle clear as day and all my hands can feel are his ribs breaking. I see him laying dead on the table In the hospital cold as ice and completely void of colour and life. But still I feel nothing. I can talk about what happened and what I went through without shedding a tear. I suffer with anxiety and depression anyway but don’t take any meds as I didn’t get on with the last set of pills and decided to go it on my own.
But since his death, although I’m completely numb, I’m constantly having anxiety attacks and I have a looming sense of doom that I’m going to die instantly exactly the same way he did without warning.
My hands tingle my feet tingle I have pains in my shoulders and I’m constantly short of breathe, I’m dizzy all the time like I can feel the world spinning. I’m sure this is just my anxiety and it’s now heightened even more since my experience. But I just don’t know what to do.
Is it normal to feel like this after what happened? Surely I should feel something at least? Is this just shock?
If anyone has been through or felt anything like this, please share some advice because I really don’t know what to do with myself. I feel so isolated I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone.

Wow what a shocking story. I am so sorry you and your family have had to experience this awful event.
I can honestly say and I’m sure that others would agree with me that whatever you feel after just 4 days is totally normal whether that be extreme tears or no crying at all. It sounds like your are in shock, again normal. Don’t worry yourself about how you should feel or act. There is nothing in what you say that makes me think that you are abnormal. I had to see my mum die in front of me. She was on holiday with my family when I discovered her sat up in bed on the morning of the last day with breathing difficulties. Despite my and the medics best efforts including 40 minutes of CPR she didn’t make it. Previous to this she was having a lovely time with us. I still have horrible flashbacks with images of the look on her face and the last efforts of her body to breath. I find it hard to go into exact details of those moments even today 16 weeks on. I went into shock afterwards and had to go through the motions of getting home from our holiday cottage. How I managed that I don’t know now. I remember being shown around the cottage owners orchard the following evening while sipping gin and tonic and checking out the various types of apples. Totally bizarre looking back but I was in shock and just trying to deal with it the best I could and they were trying to distract me.
Please keep talking here on this forum. There are a number of lovely people who have lost a parent who have had some horrible experiences. The chatting here is helping a lot of us deal with our emotions and what we have to do today to continue with our lives.
My thoughts are with you at this horrible time.

Tt951, I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t think I can express it better than Shaun. You are probably in shock and who wouldn’t be! This shock is at the moment protecting you.
The most important thing you can do at the moment is make sure you eat and rest. Look after yourself. I lost my Mum 11 weeks ago from a sudden heart attack. My advice is on bad days take it hour by hour. Your body will feel wrong. Grief and shock has a heavy affect on the body. Gently does it.
Take care.

Hi Shaun,

Thank you so much for your reply.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss too. That sounds awful, nothing can prepare you for this whether it’s sudden or expected.
I’m finding some comfort knowing that it’s not just me that isn’t reacting with endless tears… as morbid as that comfort may sound but hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say by that.
My mum and sister cry constantly which is so hard to see but I just can’t… but I guess you’re right it’s probably just the shock of the whole thing. I’m just so glad my sister was at work at the time, she’s 21 but she’s a very emotional soul and I don’t think she could have coped with what me and mum saw and had to do.
I’m so sorry you had to go through what you did, I empathise with you so much and I hope you can find some comfort in this group as well.
Sending you all the best wishes and support


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Hi Daffy123,
I think it is and to be honest I think I’m very grateful for the protection… I’m not sure if it will benefit me in the long run but for now I don’t think I’m prepared to deal with it.
Doing my best to eat but all I want to do is sleep and wake up from this nightmare. I’d just met a lovely guy after splitting with my partner of 7 years who whisked me off to Paris after 4 weeks for a Christmas surprise and I thought everything was perfect. I flew back on Friday and on the Saturday my dad died. I just don’t understand how one minute you’re on top of the world and the next everything is falling apart around you. Life can be so cruel.
Oh bless you my heart goes out to you as well. It’s so awful but hopefully we can all help each other on good days and bad days.
My thoughts are with you


Don’t worry about not crying. My dad passed away nearly 20 years ago. I certainly grieved for him, but I didn’t cry much at all.
With my Mum I cry a a great deal
There is a lovely group of people here. They have been a blessing.

Hi Tt951,

I wont go on too much other than to say that both shaun and daffy are right. You certainly arent alone. I’m on this site because I lost my mum suddenly to a brain hemorrhage in june and there was nothing I could do to save her. 21 years ago when I was 27, my dad who was only 53 had a massive heart attack at home. I stood by helplessly as I watched my mum try to save my dad in vain.
I’ve cried for 6 months constantly this year but when dad died i was numb. I’ve experienced such a wide range of emotions with both deaths that nothing is abnormal.
You’re so early on your journey and in such shock. Just take each hour as it comes. You have alot to get through in the coming weeks.
Cheryl x

Thank you for your kind words. It’s ok to say you find comfort in knowing others think or feel the same as you. It is a comfort and one of the reasons we are all here. Your emotions will change over time and there is no way to predict what they will be next week or indeed even tomorrow or the next hour. Just make sure you don’t place any expectations on yourself. You may find in time that the tears will come or maybe they won’t at all. It’s horrible to see other family members suffering but at least you are there for each other.
As Cheryl indicates, the journey is long and sometimes very painful but we are all here to support each other. I have no doubt you are dealing with all sorts of practicalities right now and sometimes shock helps us get through that stuff before we can really think about everything deeply.

I am 27 and my father died right in front of me when I was 12. I can promise you one thing, and that is that 4 days… 4 weeks /months/years… There is no right amount of time to start or stop feeling the pain of what you have experienced. We all deal with these things differently and in different ways, our individual stories can only be understood fully by ourselves. But you need to know that it is normal to have felt the way you did and may still do. I will tell you about my experience just so that you know that you are not alone in having felt that feeling of being empty.

My father was diagnosed with cancer of the lung and liver when I was 11, we were told it was terminal, that it was found too late to treat. 8 weeks they said he had, so in my mind I felt prepared, what I wasn’t prepared for was to watch him suffer for the following months, much longer than they expected put it that way. By this time I was 12, and by this time he had developed severe brain tumours and memory deterioration. On a daily basis my father would call me by a different name (he thought I was my older brother only younger), but I answered him anyway as it made him happy and it meant I got to speak with him. Fast forward a few more weeks, it’s April 1st 2005, the night before I just knew the next day was his last. I’m sat next to him, and the death rattle has come, he can’t really talk anymore and is struggling to keep his eyes open. My family has slightly olive skin so it was clear to see the colour draining from him, I am still not crying even though I know what is about to happen. He looks to me and says ‘Daniel, my boy’… He remembered me…

I get up and leave the house, and don’t really recall what I did next, I came home late in the night. The bed now empty, in my head it represents how I feel. My mother, sat in a cloud of smoke in the kitchen, can’t even look at me. I don’t know if she knew I even left before. I know that at this point I have to look after her.

Fast forward nearly 15 years, present day, I am married with a daughter and another on the way. I didn’t cry or grieve about my father until just before my daughter was born. It took knowing that my life still has meaning, and that I can still be happy for myself and other to move forward.

Knowing that he remembered me at the end allowed me to remember that love concurs all.

Dont pressure yourself, the raw emotions we go through don’t ever go away, but they can be the foundations of the person you will become.

Long story short, you may not feel anything right now, but that is absolutely okay!

P. S. You are not alone.

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Hey Thalia

I read your post and was struck with deep empathy for you. I’m so sorry you had to go through something so horrific, how are you feeling now? I notice it’s been a while since this was posted.
I’m on here because I’m 27, and just lost my Dad in November, he was 64. I found him lying dead in his bathroom floor, freezing cold and stiff after a sudden heart attack. The shock sent me to panic attacks straight away, I cried a lot and still do sometimes. We were insanely close and I did a lot for him during the last few years due to his illness.
I think like everyone else has said, it’s ok to grieve in whatever way works best for you. Some people just can’t give in to the pure raw emotion and have to focus on other things. I understand every way to be honest. For me, 3 months on now, the tears aren’t every day anymore. I’m becoming more numb I think, sleep is the worst. Lie wide awake and just stare at the ceiling. I still get the odd panic attack exactly like you’ve described: just fear of the sever jolt of harsh reality, fear of dying like that, fear of losing someone else… it’s normal, whatever that means. It’ll take time and run whatever course it needs to. Just go with it, you’re not wrong in any action or feeling you feel you have to.

Please keep using this forum, it brings everyone on it so much comfort.

Love x

Hey Dan,

That’s such a tragic story I’m so sorry you had to go through all that and at such a young age. Life can be so cruel!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and letting me know that there can be light at the end of this even tho it really doesn’t feel like it right now.

And congratulations on the news of your second! Wishing you and your family all the best x

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Thank you for you message. That’s an awful thing to have to have gone through I’m so sorry.
I’ve suffered panic attacks for the past two years but since his death they’ve been so much worse and frequent. Only the other day my partner was driving us to do something fun to take my mind off everything and he had to suddenly pull the car over because out of nowhere I went in to complete panic and couldn’t breathe.
I can completely empathise with you about sleeping, I won’t sleep till about 4/5am sometimes later and even then im lucky if I get an hour… I don’t quite know how I’m still functioning if I’m honest! Sometimes I manage to get a short nap in during the day but it’s never ‘good’ sleep it’s just nightmares and constant waking up.
Since I last posted I’ve started to feel more now but I’m just angry… I’m angry and my dad and that sounds awful but I’m just so mad that he left us like that and he made me watch him die and made me try and save him and there was nothing I could do (and I know it’s not his fault and I know he didn’t do it on purpose but it sure as hell feels that way right now) I just can’t shake this anger and I hate everything right now and it’s making me isolate myself and push everyone away. I barely speak to my sister and she lives away at uni but we just don’t talk and even tho I’m living with my mum we rarely talk and when we do it’s about anything other than what’s happened because I just can’t. And it’s also now affecting my relationship with my partner because he’s trying to understand but he doesn’t which I do get that it’s hard for him but I just don’t trust anything anymore it’s affected the way I think about him and our relationship I’m just so confused and so angry and it just feels like everything is spiralling out of control :frowning:


I can also mirror the panic attacks. I’ve had them a few years now, I’ve put down the worry and stress I’ve had on my little shoulders for 9 years caring for Dad and worrying and dreading about this day. I’m sorry it’s having such an affect on you, it’s an awful thing. I’ve had similar with having to get my partner to pull over the car because I’ve been sat in silence (usually in a loophole of memories with Dad) and then it’ll just build and all I want to do is go visit him and talk to him but then it’s like jolt reality I can’t. I hyperventilate, feel dizzy like I’m away to faint, feel like I’m gonna spew violently or it’ll come out the other way, and my palms sweat like crazy. What’s it like for you? Are they still so frequent? My Dad passed on a Sunday, it’s 14 weeks today, and Sunday’s always seem worse. But then I reflect on Thursdays as that was the last day I seen him, Friday was the last time I spoke to him and we had his service on a Wednesday. I’m still so struck by that.
Your sleeping routine is exactly like mine. I’m still signed off, so I’m losing track of time/ days/ they don’t really mean anything anymore? Like another day of getting through hell before I have to struggle to sleep and do it all over again. But 4/5 is when my body goes beyond exhaustion! But I’m the same with nightmares and waking up. Have you tried any medication? I smoke weed myself to be honest, it was mine and dad’s thing!
That must be hard feeling so angry at him when you’re really needing to just grieve. Grieving seems to be a wave of emotions. I don’t feel angry at mine, as I watched him suffer and seen how much it destroyed him and how he had no quality of life. I wish I’d done a Post Mortem so I had definitive answers but I have a pretty good idea of what happened. I’m sure your Dad never wanted any of that for you. Do you ever hear him? Sometimes I hear my Dad in my ear, ‘Chin up toots’. That’s a comfort.
I totally understand how you feel in your relationship. Not long ago on a post, I was questioning if it’s better to ‘love and lose, than never love at all’… should I break up with my partner who I love to pieces? I’d rather hurt now than hurt later if he ever left me… it’s such a horrible thing :frowning:
What I’d say now is I couldn’t dream of it. My partner loves me, and is literally my reminder to keep feeling things other than pure heartbreak. I’m actually glad he’s never had to go through pain like it cause I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!

I’m very similar with the sweaty palms, dizziness and hyperventilating I don’t really feel like I’m gunna be sick but I get painful pins and needles in both my hands and feet and Feel like someone is sitting on my chest so I can’t get enough air… that hurts a lot sometimes the next day my chest aches cause I was trying to breathe so hard! Yeah they are still frequent and I’m home alone all day Monday - Friday which makes it worse because sometimes I forget he’s gone and cause of his job he used to come back and forth all day so I forget sometimes that he’s not just gunna pop back for a cuppa and a ciggie.
Oh bless you I’ll be thinking about you today, sending lots of love.
Yeah I know exactly what you mean with the days/sleep… I don’t even bother trying to remember any more it just seems pointless every day is the same so why does it matter if it’s a Tuesday or a Friday :woman_shrugging:t3: No I feel a bit weird about taking meds I’ve taken some prescribed anxiety meds before but they were hell so I came off those and I don’t like things that make me drowsy I feel like I’m even less in control of myself than I already am if you see what I mean? Haha if only I could! But I get really sick if I smoke it! I’m glad you’ve got something that helps tho.
Yeah I know that’s the thing, but apparently anger can be a stage in grief that some people can feel so I guess I’ve got that one lol :frowning: it is hard cause no one really knows how to grieve and I don’t think there is a way that fits everyone but it’s just hard when I see my mum and sister so sad and I’m just full of anger I just feel like I can’t relate to them about it.
I’ve had a few dreams about him 2 which really struck me where only I could see him in a room of people and I shouted at him asking why he was here and he said to me ‘I will always be here’ and I woke up and felt really odd, kinda spooky. The other one that resonates with me is I was in the kitchen with my mum and sister and all of a sudden he came through the door like ‘hey guys it was just a mistake I’m fine’ and we laughed saying it was gunna be awkward having to tell everyone he was alive cause we’d just posted about the funeral. That one really sucked I think I cried for ages after I woke up cause I knew he was never actually gunna come through the door again.
Yeah that’s sort of how I’m feeling about it like I feel like I’m trying to push him away so it doesn’t hurt if he leaves or if something happens to him but really that’s the last thing I want but it’s almost subconscious that I don’t realise I’m doing it nor can I control it. He’s had to go through something similar a couple of years ago with a family member so I thought he would understand it more but our problem is we have only been together not even 2 months and my dad died 3 days after we got together. And we’ve only known each other for a few months before that so this has put a real strain on getting to know one another cause his death has consumed everything. I struggle to talk to people anyway I’ve never been good at it but sometimes I feel like I can like on here it’s not too bad and a couple of friends I can but with him I just don’t feel like I can talk to him and when I do I don’t get the response I want or need and I just feel like I’m being such a burden on him cause this wasn’t how it was supposed to be we were supposed to be having fun and getting to know each other not listening to me drone on about how shit everything is right now :frowning:
No I wouldn’t either! It’s awful

That’s so weird what you said about a sore chest the next day! I thought I was going mad, or convincing myself that it was due to something worse, if I had some underlying medical issue I don’t know about! I’m also alone a lot because everyone is back to work, back to their normality and I’m still stuck in my grief.
I feel weird about taking medication too, I was prescribed anti anxiety’s called Propranolol and they just made me feel really weird? Really tired, it’s like I could feel them literally slowing my heart down! I took them one day and haven’t tried again. I study Counselling so I also agree on not taking medication for things you don’t have to, but sometimes we need the crutch! My crutch is weed haha, what’s yours? We all need one.
Anger is definitely a stage in grief. I have felt it but I get angry at other people, incase they say a triggering word or angry cause they’re having fun and I’m not, angry at others talking about their Dad and knowing everything we do. It’s HARD.
I think you’re lucky in a way of having your mum and sister there. I literally don’t have anyone. My Mum and Dad weren’t together, and if anything she just disliked him and tried to make it really hard on us having a good relationship at the beginning. Nothing could keep my Dad away from his daughter though. My Mum actually gets jealous over how much I’m grieving him, said my posts on Facebook feel like a knife to the heart or whatever. A ‘grief thief’ I’ve been told is the term. We haven’t spoken in over a month, it hurts so much that she knows how much I’m hurting and literally doesn’t seem to give a fuck. That’s why it’s also so hard not having Dad, he was always there for me. I wish I had someone to share the grief, who knows how devastating it is to lose someone you love so much.
Ugh the dreams can be so hard, I can empathise with you there. Sometimes they can be so comforting but a lot of the time i wake up in floods of tears, just hearing his voice, seeing him live again. It’s the worst :pensive:
Our situations are so similar! Like you, I’ve only been with my boyfriend for 5 months. We were only together a couple months when I lost Dad. That was the next thing planned: taking my partner to go meet him. It’s the first thing I said when I found Dad, that he never got to meet and I was devastated cause I knew he’d love him. My boyfriend was there when I found Dad and was there for everything following that. He let me do whatever I needed to and never tried to force anything else on me. I’d also only known him a few months before too. We’ve now moved in together because he mainly didn’t want me to be alone. at the start when I was alone at night, I found it the worse. I couldn’t even be in my own room cause it was just filled with Dads things, I couldn’t sleep either so mostly just stayed on the couch watching mindless TV to avoid silence. I think if he cares about you, he’ll be there and understand you’re going through a traumatic time. When it all happened, I said to Jamie y’know, this is your chance to walk away, I’m not gonna be myself for a long time, I’ll be grieving forever cause Dad was the worst one I could ever have lost and some days it might be hard to be around me… Jamie just gave me a kiss and a hug and said he wasn’t going anywhere and spoke up to Dad and said ‘I’ll look after your girls, Dod’. :broken_heart: he’s been amazing, he’s cried with me so much. I never knew what people meant when they said ‘you’ll know if he’s the one’… I know.
Feel free to ever give me a PM, inbox is always open if you need to chat with someone who understands. X

@Tt951 I’m so sorry to read about the sudden death of your Dad. I only joined this forum today after having a particularly bad few days, and already I’ve come to realise from reading some of these posts that everyone deals with grieving differently and at their own pace. There are no right and wrong answers on how to deal with it and at the pace you deal with it. Just look after yourself and take all the time that you need. I’ve already found great comfort in knowing I’m not the only one to feel the way I do, I hope you can find comfort from this lovely bunch of people too.

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Not doing well at all atm guys :frowning:

I can mirror that. I’m so angry at everything.
What’s going on for you?

Well my relationship is on the verge of ending right now and I just can’t do this anymore. Everything hurts I just don’t know how this has all happened I’m losing control of everything.

Why are you angry?

Is he not coping with your grieving?

I felt like that a little while ago. My life was over: everything was fucked. I’ve withdrawn from University, I’ve not been back to work in 4 months and in therapy for 2, I’ve lost a lot of friends/ just not faced a lot of people still. I still can’t face the fact everyone knows my Dad is gone and I have to go on dealing with that. I’ve fallen out with a long term friend because they’ve been so absent as a friend. It’s not fair and definitely not how I wanted my life to go. I think it’s okay to do whatever you feel is right and definitely to be kinder too.

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