I lost my lovely dad yesterday morning.
He came to live with my husband and me at the end of October last year when he decided he didn’t want to live alone any more.
I work 2 jobs (48 hour weeks) but I did my best to look after him and spend time with him with the help of 3 carers a day.
Dad was always smiling and joking and we had a good and loving relationship.
His health and mobility were not good so he needed a lot of help to get around but last weekend he couldn’t get out of bed and was very weary. The weariness got worse, he stopped eating and we realised his illnesses were catching up with him. The GP was wonderful and supported us to understand that this was probably the start of the end of life process for him.
My brother and sister came over every day to give me a break, but I stayed with him day and night, looking after him. I was happy to do this for him, knowing that we wouldn’t have him for much longer.
He became delerious and was hallucinating but right at the end he kept trying to get out of bed. We would calm him down and he would go back to sleep. In the middle of Friday night/Saturday morning I was on my own with him and he started to try and get out of bed, He was very frustrated and cross and was asking me to help him. I said ‘Dad, you need to stay in bed, your legs are a bit wobbly at the moment.’ He looked straight at me with such fury in his face and shouted ‘Gaby, you are a complete waste of space. So disappointing. If I’d have known I would never have come here’.
He died a few hours later and those were his last words to me. My head knows that it was his delerium but I was/am so shocked and hurt. I keep having flashbacks and it’s starting to be all I can think about.
It hurts so much. How can I get past this and remember how he really was?
I lost my lovely dad yesterday morning.
@Gabs1960 its not quite the same thing but i moved 200 miles away to uni and didnt go home very often as my relationship with my mum was somewhat strained. My dad said to me about a week before he died “i so thought you would be the one to come back home but you stayed away”. Like i said not the same thing but I felt and still feel incredibly guilty because of that. I honestly think theres no getting over it as such. I think you learn to live with it and as you remember more about his illness and the last few weeks of his life, it becomes slowly easier to realise it probably wasnt meant.
You should be incredibly proud of what youve done for your dad. The best thing i can suggest is to talk about it. Over and over if you need to.
@Gabs1960 | @vivmt
Me too, whilst not the same thing i remember a lovely elderly neighbour. i had moved away and my employer at the time provided a day out out of work for charitable deeds. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands so I was able to visit her for the day and offer to help in any way I could around her home and enjoy a nice long natter which we both missed after I moved. I’d told her how great my employer was to give me the day for charitable works and never realised she would take that as a slight. just a few months later I learned that she was in hospital with terminal cancer. I got there as soon as I could (she passed away within the next couple of days). She was sleeping/wasn’t conscious but while I quietly said hello the one thing I heard her say and the last thing I heard her say was “I’m not a charity”. I felt awful as had never meant any slight in what I had said and always remember those words. The only comfort I took from it was that my friend was able to acknowledge that she knew it was me by her bedside for that brief farewell.
@whitefeather777 @Gabs1960 I think the problem is (not to make a sweeping statement) that its such an emotionally charged time, that everything takes on much more meaning. In my case it meant dad just missed me. We were close and the more i travelled home, the more we could meet in Glasgow and sneak an extra half hour in the coffee shop before the next train. He missed me. And while theres still some guilt there, its not as strong.
I know in your case @Gabs1960 it was quite a specific comment that is likely harder to come to terms with but, like you said, its frustration likely from not being able to do what he used to do. My dad could never come to terms with needing our help to do things like toileting and washing. He felt much more vulnerable and frustrated.
@Gabs1960 I am sorry to read of the passing of your father and your experience.
I know in time you will be able to rationalise his behaviour and hopefully remember him and the time you spent caring for him, more in the round, than this one time.
You must know in your heart that your father would not have wished these words to have been the last that passed between you.
Regret and guilt are two of the most emotional impacts of bereavement and will play a big part in how you currently feel.
Please, be kind to yourself, you will come through this.
Hi everybody on this subject.My experience of last words is a bit different but the pain wont go away.I am a widow 12 years my husband was never ill and died at 68 in his sleep.A painless way to go but it was devastating. Our only son who was grieving too was a wonderful support he was such a comfort wonderful son.My son had COPD Non Hodge Lymphona and went through alot of ill health.He was so unwell one weekend that against his wishes I dialled 999 .Paramedics said he was so poorly he needed to go to hospital.He wouldnt go but said I could take him next day which I did.He was on a ward for few days then into Intensive Care when I arrived they said he had hours to live my body went into shock.It was the most horrendous experience it came as such a shock because we thought he just required health with his breathing.He was so agitated restless etc that night but as he was a Roman Catholic they asked me if I wanted a priest .The priest came to give him the last rites but my son could obviously hear him and lashed out so the priest stood back and spoke to me briefly.My son the next day through his semiconciousness said to me MUM AM I DYING ?Horrendous I didnt know what to say so I just said NO MY LOVE THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET YOU BETTER.I stayed with him 24/7 till he passed 3 days later.I so wish I had not called the priest.They were the last words my lovely son said to me its unbearable going over and over it.I miss him so much.So sorry I have nothing of comfort to say to anybody I just wanted to put into words how I am feeling.Its 12 months now since I lost my boy.He was a man 51 but still my boy xx xLove to you all xx
Oh bless you, what a terrible situation you were in. You should know that you just tried to do your best at the time. As a parent that’s all anyone can do. Best wishes to you, try not to torture yourself about this…xx
I am so very sorry for the shock and grief you have been through. Your son probably like yourself thought he would be admitted, treated and discharged and neither of you were aware of the sudden deterioration of his condition. You did what you thought was right at the time and had he been in a similar situation might he have also called a priest for somebody else? When my dad was in a hospice with just a few days to live he was better aware of his situation and whilst not a church goer did have belief and asked for the chaplain before he passed. Another dear friend who died in a hospice during covid also had a very sudden deterioration and asked for a priest before she passed. Clearly it was a very sad and desperate situation for you both and you did your best for your son no matter what. xx
Hello Rosiepink and Whitefeather thank you for your lovely responses it means alot.My love and blessings to you both in your grief too.I am still in bed sleep is only respite will get up soon.Take care xxxx
Bless you Marg1 … following a recent loss I have found going out walking through a local park seeing spring flowers, buds on the trees and bird song lifts the spirits. Also some time in a cafe just being around others and feeling connected can be very comforting, interrupts sad thoughts and can feel much less alone. xx
Oh so like me where I live lovely parks and coast road has marshs and bird conservation area. My sons passion birds.The daffodil displays this year along the roadside have been breathtakingYes I often take myself for cuppa or lunch.I do have some lovely friends too which helps.Raining heavy here now but I want to go cem to my mens grave will go for hot chocolate then.Please keep enjoying the spring flowers you are so right it does help when sometimes you may feel you dont want to carry on.My love to you xxx
you too! xxx