His wave was his last!

My father was nearly 94, a strong gentleman who as his years portray, very health conscious hence why he lived so long. He had suffered from psoriasis and heart problems, had been hospitalised 7 months ago last year, due to lack of support with medication due to covid as he had lots of swelling everywhere, this helped stabilised him with drips and new tablets etc. Unfortunately, post hospitalisation he returned home but Covid struck again so he did not receive the appropriate follow up etc. His health deteriorated. I was called at work by my sister and mum who said he had had another fall and they needed help in getting him up from the floor in his bedroom. With my mother’s help, she described how he had got up in the middle of the night looking for her thinking she had gone out. He fell and banged his head on the dressing cabinet. He dealt with all this like a soldier smiling up to us whilst holding onto the back of his head. After ambulance had been and checked him over, she said we need to take him to hospital for x ray as possible broken bone. I helped him up on the bed by pulling him up in my arms and using my legs to take his strength, and helped him to lie on the bed whilst we waited for the paper work etc. I put my arm around him and he then put his arm around me too. He reassured us, that they were only taking him to to hospital as they do not want to get sued. They helped him with toileting, then took him out in a stretcher. My dad waved to everyone like a brave soldier as they took him out to the ambulance. They told us nobody could go with him, but then we found out after that one of us could have gone or met him at the hospital as it was between covid. The rest is just so traumatic, as he had an operation under general anaesthetic, and when seeing him I can never forgive myself. I cannot forget the images of dad lying in a basic side room, in a state of semi conscious state but obviously with brain damage. I was devastated, the whole family were he was gazing, glazed look up to the ceiling, he was gone, he was not with us. The verbal sounds and the non reassurance from medical staff were just too horrific to describe. It did not take long for pallative care to be announced when all medical help would be withdrawn. My dad died before he reached that stage. I remember about a week ago he had told a family friend, ‘this is it’. meaning he knew the end was close (by the way he had been a doctor/surgeon/GP, so he knew what was happening am sure, and then spared us all the worry! The guilt is if only I was with him before his operation, so that he was not alone in making his final decision or the decision was made for him, as I know there are other ways than just general. Poor man had to go through a hip operation as well! Why hadn’t he slipped away peacefully at home instead. Why wasn’t I there to protect him.

You’ve been so brave to share this with us. I’m hearing how difficult it’s feeling for you since your father passed away which is understandable to hear. It sounds like it’s been quite a traumatic experience for you and it’s left you feeling a lot of guilt. It can be really hard having those thoughts and wishing things could have been different. Are you receiving much support at the moment from your family or any other support services?

You’re not alone in what you’re going through and we’re here for you anytime you’d like to talk. Keeping posting here whenever you need to :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for your message. I had some bereavement via webcam. . My family would rather not talk about it, mum brushes it off saying don’t start me off. I have to be brave for her. It helps to talk to people with similar experiences. It would be great if we could have face to face support groups with similar in the future. I had contacted cruise they took my details but were inundated

Hello Anne,

Thank you for your reply, it brings so much comfort and am so sorry about your mum, she sounds like such a lovely lady, I have always admired people who reach such a good age and think of them as strong and still behave like 50 year olds as you say… That generation also had a lot of respect for people my dad always showed such interest in others whatever their background or status and I can well imagine how friendly your mum would be too. . They were the young people after the war and am sure like me you enjoyed listening to your mum and her stories. I am glad that I managed to ask my dad a little about his life story before his passing. I know what has been done is something that happens and only when we go through it personally do we realise that it happens most probably in similar ways for so many but we don’t get to hear that side of things. My guilt eases when I think at last he is at peace as he was suffering a lot before and he sometimes would tell us he’s had enough and wouldn’t we feel the same if we were in the same boat as his condition psoriasis, meant he was constantly scratching his skin with so much discomfort. I try to think that the long sleep during his op helped to put his misery at rest. I just hope and pray he was not suffering after as he could not communicate this except with strange groaning sound which sounded like pain but was told it was end of life sound. During the desperation of trying to find answers from the medics we were being told so many different things about the various drugs etc that there was nowhere to turn.

Hello Anne,

Thank you for your comforting words, the heartbreak will continue, but I feel comforted that our loved ones are now in a more peaceful place and they are no longer suffering! I also take comfort in believing that even though we were not able to save them, something higher than us has helped them lift the burden off us.