Thank you for your reply and kind words.
I do understand that I’m ‘lucky’ to have gotten the chance to sit with him.
I’m a medic and so was very, probably over, involved in his care during his hospitalisation. Very involved in his care throughout my life I guess.
We got the call early Thursday morning that my dad was not going to make it… the doctor allowed me, my Mum and brother in to see him but only for 2 hrs until her shift was over as a gesture of good will to us, we couldn’t stay beyond that otherwise her job was on the line. This was how she put it to me.
2 hrs went like 2 mins. There was no way I could leave my Dad to die alone. He was scared and lonely in there… he was my dad so would never let me see that fear… told me go home to your kids… thats your priority now… and said this is the circle of life.
I said no… im staying dad…he didn’t argue. I told the doctor… im already exposed. In that moment, I actually didn’t care if anything happened to me. I know that sounds selfish but that’s how it was… uncensored version which sometimes you can’t say out aloud.
The doctor said, only I could stay. I would have to wear full ppe… not eat or drink anything and not to leave the room at all and it could hrs or days. I agreed in a flash.
Sat by my Dad all day and all night… 26hrs. Helping him, nursing him… talking via text as he couldn’t talk over the ventilator. At various points, the nurses and doctors taking me aside telling me to speak to my Dad about taking his ventilation mask off… to speed things up… told me I’m prolonging his suffering. I did ask dad if he was in pain, if he wanted to take off the mask… no he said… im fine… that was his wish and he was fully capacitated. I was not going to force him to do anything he didn’t want to. They said it would be a more dignified death… there was nothing dignified about it at all. It felt like we were being rushed… covid has made them inhumane almost. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all that they are doing in the hospitals but it feels a little too easy to say ok… its covid… not much we can do… sign the death cert as covid… job done.
Eventually he tired and his body gave up and his body decided when it was time… im still haunted by all this… felt so helpless. Not knowing what to do for the right… he agreed to remove the mask… then it was just me and him in that room… he slipped away with me lying next to him on the bed. I didn’t scream then… but many times I let out a soundless silent scream in the bathroom when I have 5 mins alone or when I’m driving to work in the car.
I then had to come home and tell my mum, my brother and my children that their grandad is not coming home. My son was my dad’s little side kick… he dotted on my kids and esp my son… they were always together.
I suffered for ages with hair fall due to blisters around my head from the rubber on the ppe face mask. But it was all ok… as I got to be there with him.
I’m sorry for those of you all who didn’t get that opportunity. I really feel for you… my heart goes out to you.
My dad taught me everything in life… just not how to live without him.
I never would have thought about finding a group like this… I feared for so long for my dad. Ever since he was diagnosed with heart failure. I guess I suffered anticipated grief for the last 8 yrs. Now I feel so empty. That Dad shaped hole in my heart and life is not going to get filled… ever.
We are left with memories and photos/videos and I’m fiercely holding onto these because im scared and feel like… do memories fade with time?
Going back into a routine feels so hard when a huge part of that routine is missing… and the grief comes in waves. It hits you when you least expect it…
It’s a long road… but day by day we will get there. Xx