I wasn’t there at the end

I can’t cope with guilt please someone help. My dad has had a lot of health problems and was admitted by ambulance with suspected sepsis on Friday afternoon which it was. He had had sepsis before but this time they thought he might not make it due to his age and frailty. At 11.30 pm we got a phone call to say they suspected he was end of life so myself mum and brother raced up to hospital were he had stabilised we stayed till 6am (my mum is 84) The nurse said if there was any change she’d ring us again but he was fine the following day so we just went up to visiting again he was stable no improvement but no worse on antibiotics and fluids. On the Sunday we did the same my mum and myself visiting from about 12- 3 and then my brother and sister from about 3-7 he was still stable the hospital didn’t think he’d recover but I hoped and prayed that he would. That evening unknown to me but known to my sister And brother they gave him morphine from a syringe driver that I knew was available For him if needed. Then my sister and brother went home. My sister said she didn’t tell me as not to upset me. If I had known I would have gone straight up to the hospital and stayed with him as I’d have known there was now no going back. The following day he passed away in hospital at approx 11am on his own without any phone call from the hospital that he’d declined and we needed to get up there. He died alone I’m heartbroken that my sister didn’t give me the information that he’d declined and needed the morphine. She said she thought he still could have had a couple of weeks left. I’m struggling so much I’ve always been there for him and I’ve let him down when he needed me there x

Dear Penny,
I am so sorry that you could not be with your dad when he passed away. Please stop thinking that you have let him down. As you write: ‘you have always been there for him’ and you would have been there if you been given the opportunity. It sounds like the hospital staff was not expecting it to happen that quickly, not did your brother and sister. Even if they had told you about the syringe driver and you would have phoned the hospital, I doubt they would have asked you (or allowed you) to spend the night with him. Unfortunately, with morphine, it is hard to tell how people will respond to it. When my dad was given morphine at the end of his life, his GP expected him to live at least a few more weeks, (and like you I hoped and prayed) yet my dad passed away 3 days later. If your dad was on a high dose of morphine, he most likely would have been asleep and not aware if he was alone or not, but I am sure that before he fell asleep he would have known how much he was loved by all of you, and it must have been a great comfort to him that you had been by his side for several hours.
Sending you a big virtual hug.

Thank you Jo - tbh they had let us stay as much as we wanted that’s what I’m struggling with I know they would have let me stay with him. There’s even a fold out bed. I was frustrated with my sister and said why didn’t you tell me and she said I could have rang the hospital which I think is unfair as I’d trusted her to update me like I had at the afternoon visit. Keeps playing over and over again in my head. I know it’s early days but can’t bare him being alone.

It’s a long time ago but the hospital let us down when my gran died and she died alone too. I also felt guilty. I took comfort in these words.

God took you when I wasn’t there, I know the reason why. He knew I thought the world of you and would never have let you die.

So sorry over the loss of you’re dad.


Thank you such beautiful words Xx