I miss my dad and have so many regrets

At the end of 2019, my dad was taken into hospital because he became very unwell. Previous to that I had visited him at home, and he was unwell (he had been on/of all year), he said a few words but was too sick to speak and I remember feeling awkward, which is what I feel so terrible for, but I just didn’t know what to say in that moment.
There is so much guilt from that day, because that was the last time I would ever get to converse with him but I had no idea. I thought it would be okay, we could talk another day.

Few days later he is taken into hospital, and I was so naive, I thought he would get better like all the other times, I thought he was invincible. There were glimmers of hope, but ultimately it never worked out. To this day, I think there were failures, and to find out he died of something he could have survived really hit me hard. Earlier in the year , A&E doctors had sent him home with constipation, even though it was actually something a lot more serious that he ended up getting admitted for when we called out an ambulance again. After being released, he was given no aftercare, was taking morphine to deal with the pain, and was later admitted to hospital again. There is a lot more to address regarding issues concerning his care, and the reason I’m addressing it is because it has affected the grieving process for both me and my mom. There is a continual ‘what if’ hanging over both of us.

The morning he died he had been conscious, he had even asked to go home, but he knew I was coming, Only moments before arriving at the hospital, he slipped into being semi-unconscious. I was with him, and spoke to him (hoping he could hear me) until he passed which was around 30 minutes after I arrived. My mom believes he tried to hold on until I came, but I can’t stop thinking if I had just arrived even a half an hour earlier we could have spoke one last time.

I visited him in the Chapel of Rest, and I thought it would help, but it is actually something that I have flashbacks from, to the point where I can still smell the room. That night I couldn’t sleep alone, and asked my mom to stay with me.

I miss him terribly, barely a day goes by I don’t cry and reminisce about things and think of things I should have done. I can’t comprehend that he’s gone forever, and because I’m in my twenties, I feel like I have been robbed of so much time that we could have had. That my children won’t get to meet the man that I absolutely think the world of, and it breaks my heart.

Even as I’m writing this I don’t think I still really understand that this isn’t temporary.
Is there a moment when it just hits you that he’s gone from living with us?
I thought it would be the chapel of rest, then I thought it would be the funeral, but it hasn’t happened.

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I’m am so sorry for the loss of you Dad. I know how very hard it all is, as I lost my Mum suddenly 6 months ago to a pneomonia and a heart attack.
I have terrible regrets, as Mum and I had an agruement in the days leading up to her death. We made up, but an air seemed to hang of the arugment over us.
The ending troubles me a great deal. Try and remember the love. Focus upon the love. I do believe that eventually that any regrets will go and just mostly the memory of the love with remain.
I’m still have not fully registered that my Mum is not longer here. I lived with her and was her care for 20 plus years.
I think it takes a very long time to come to terms with it all.


Sorry there were quite a few grammar and spelling errors.


I think we go into shock and that remains for a long time.

Try & remember that you were not to know that the outcome this time would be different to the other times.

Try & remember that you were there at the end & I’m sure he heard every word you said to him.

The people in your future will know him as you will show pictures of him & share stories about him, that way he will still be a part of your life.

I feel sure we go on somewhere & he will be watching over you & urging you on for the rest of your life.

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@Elondon I have tears pouring down my face reading your post. I’m so so sorry your lost your Dad. I relate so much to you as I’m also in my 20’s and lost my Dad 5 months ago very suddenly. You see, I find it incredibly lucky if you got to be with your parents in their last moments. It’s something Dad had told me he wanted, but the reality was that I found him at home after a sudden heart attack alone and since that day I have been totally crushed. I think your Dad did wait for you. The thing I’ve read so much, several times, is that the ‘dying’ (I hate that word) are so intuitive, they know what’s happening without being able to describe it sometimes. I don’t know if that’s true for all cases, but I think my Dad definitely knew his time was getting short which is why he did so much planning for me behind the scenes.
I’m so sorry that you had so many complications with the hospital - what an absolutely horrible thing to also have to deal with considering nurses and doctors are supposed to be someone you can trust. Alas, human beings are not always trust worthy despite what coat they wear.
I feel the exact same as you about going to visit my Dad too. I hate that it’s a memory I even have of my Dad’s last moments. I can also still smell the room, I can still smell him actually and how it just wasn’t my Dad.
But to answer your question, no. It never sinks in. I still go to text my Dad and ask him what food he wants in. I did a lot for him in his final years as his condition got so bad he couldn’t walk down his stairs anymore. I regret a lot too, how I didn’t just force him to the doctors more. It might’ve kept him with me longer.

Please message me if you ever want to talk. It’s the one thing I found that gave me any kind of reassurance that I wasn’t totally alone and going crazy.

Take care, take it day by day, minute by minute. Be kind to yourself and try to get some sleep x

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Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry you didn’t get to be with him in his last moments, I am thankful I at least was able to be with him at that time, especially now during this pandemic where so many are not being given that chance.

I think he knew was dying too, he had said it himself weeks before but I thought it was just because he was so fed up of being ill and was feeling depressed. However, after he passed we found out he had been putting money away for his own funeral because I think he was worried that we wouldn’t be able to financially cope with a funeral (he never saved money all his life).

One thing I’m trying to tell myself, as you should also, is that you supported and loved him in his time of need. There are many children out there who have no time for their parents, no matter how ill they are.
You didn’t make him ill, it’s not your fault that this happened, and in most cases there is nothing else that you could have done.
I know it’s hard to reassure yourself of this, even as I write it, I’m not fully convincing myself. I guess it’s just a very long healing process.

It doesn’t hurt any less as time has gone on, but it’s best to think of all the time you spent with him, the happy memories, the stories that you will tell people in years to come. I try to make sure he’s a part of my life in many ways, I speak of him, I have some of his ornaments and pictures in my living room, and I wear a necklace with his fingerprint. In the cupboard, I have a box of his things which I fetch out when I want to spend some time thinking about him and seeing things that remind me of him.

I hope that somehow it gets easier for us both. Just remember you don’t need to move on, we simply just move forward. They never stop being a part of our life.

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When my dad died, he hung on until my brother had arrived from London, it wasn’t until our John said, “Let go old soldier, you have earned your rest”, that he passed away. It was a beautiful moment, the sun shone on my dad’s face, there was a tear in his eye and a smile on his face. All of us were heartbroken, but it was so peaceful, it was a relief in a way that he had passed and was free from pain.
We all have regrets, please don’t beat yourself up, even though I saw my dad every day, I have always felt that I should have done more for him.

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I know one thing: wherever they are, they would not want us to beat ourselves up. They will know how short life is, how much they love and care for you, and they would hate that you waste your life, hurting yourself, in a rather unmanageable world. I think we all spend time with regret, and I think it is normal. But, too much will eat up the time we have. You know, one day we will be like them, too. Dying was not just their affliction but one day, ours. They know this. They want us to enjoy the time we have. I am quite sure this would be their reply.


Thank you. It definitely is a privilege to be with them but after reading so many books now about death I’ve accepted it is just not the way all the time. He wasn’t alone alone, I know his Dad, my Granda would’ve been with him.

Very true what you say about us looking out for them when other children would’ve been too busy. I think I’m glad I don’t have the responsibility of children but that also comes with some sadness knowing Dad will never get to meet them… if they do happen!

I too have a box full of Dads clothes that I like to put on when I want to feel close. I also received a beautiful gift at Christmas of my dads jumper made into a pillow so it’s good for hugs… just never the same. I also got a necklace with his ashes but I love the idea of your fingerprint. It is comforting to know we’re physically taking them everywhere with us. I also braved a tattoo haha! Something I’ve been wanting but too terrified yet I Mustered up the strength to sit for 3 hours.

Do whatever brings you comfort, that’s what I do. Never stop speaking about him and he will live on through you until one day they’ll be waiting when it’s our time.



Guilt makes grief more complicated. My sister and I had fallen out months before she became I’ll and we were never the same , we had been so close, it was my inability to forgive that I have always regretted. We need to be less hard on ourselves also to get through the grief.

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