Losing my dad

I lost my dad to coronavirus on 14 April. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in November aged 70 and had been through 3 gruelling rounds of chemotherapy to start recovery and then be hit with this evil virus when he wasn’t strong enough to fight it. Fortunately the hospital staff let him come home to die (he just kept asking to come home) and we nursed him through his last 3 days. His lungs filled with liquid and he died gasping for air. I wish we’d given him more morphine but we were scared it would run out. I then developed the virus but only mild symptoms but I was terrified and had to stay at my mums away from my husband for 2 weeks. My mum and sisters already had it and recovered and my brother didn’t get it. We were very lucky as this virus doesn’t care and doesn’t discriminate.

I am now at home coming to terms with this tragedy. I am starting to feel angry. Why did my dad have to be ill this year of all years? Any other time he might have had a chance. Why did fate decide this for my dad. He was so kind, gentle and trusting. He didn’t deserve it. Were we given the right information in hospital? He was told he wouldn’t be intubated because he was too weak so he decided to come off oxygen and go home to die. What if we had fought for longer in hospital, but ultimately it was his life and his choice and I can’t criticise the NHS. I have lost my dad, my walking and quiz and choir companion. He was only 70 and so fit and healthy before AML landed (his own dad chain smoked and lived to 81). I would give anything for just a few precious more months or years. I would have videoed him playing guitar and talking and telling me about his life. I missed my chance. Sorry dad xxxx

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Dear jen27,
The last few weeks must have been so difficult for you. I am so sorry that you lost your dad to this horrible virus just as he had started to recover from his leukemia treatment. It sounds like you and him had a very special relationship and that you are part of a loving extended family. I hope you are able to share your feelings with each other and support each other despite the lockdowns. Your feelings of anger and what ifs are completely normal. I am sure that you have all done all you could for him, especially granting his wish to die at home. Nursing him for 3 days and seeing him gasp for air must have been heartbreaking, but he must have been so grateful to be surrounded by members of his family. We did the same for my dad 3 years ago when he came home from the hospital where he had recovered from a heart attack, only to get something else on top and die within a few days. I spent the last few days and nights beside his bed and those were the most difficult days of my life, but they were also precious because I felt it was the last thing I could do for him. He too was on morphine, but it was his GP who decided how much he needed. I am afraid I do not have the answers for you, but i do want you to know that you are not alone. I hope that you will find support on this site from many others who know what grief feels like, Sending you love and a big virtual hug.

Hi. Jen. Welcome. Please try not to blame yourself for what has happened. I have no doubt you all did your best. Your questions are unanswerable. We all are angry at first. Why, Why! None of us deserves what fate dishes out. If we knew why would it make any real difference? It all seems so unfair.
Regrets often turn into guilt which is a very painful emotion. But what have you to feel guilty about? Most of us do our very best and it’s all we can do. Events over which we have no control happen, and if we continually look for answers that will never come we can finish up exhausted.
I am sure your dad would not have wanted you to feel so bad.
Try and take care of yourself. In grief it’s so easy to let ourselves go and feel lost. Blessings. John.

Thank you Jo,
It’s comforting to hear your words and I did feel privileged to care for dad in his last few days. We were all doing our best and he knew we loved him. I think that knowledge will help in the time to come.

Thank you John, I know dad wouldn’t want me to feel guilty. He just wanted me to be happy and I have so many happy memories to draw on when I think of him. I hope these angry feelings will fade and be replaced with acceptance in time.

Dear jen27,
I’m heartbroken to hear about you losing your dad, I too lost my dad to this virus on 17/4, he caught it while in hospital with a totally unrelated illness. We didn’t get to see him again after he went in the ambulance he died alone and we had no contact with him in the days before he died, it was horrific and will affect me forever, I too feel guilty that we couldn’t protect him. Gone way before his time xx Sending Huge Hugs xx

Thank you TCT,
I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain, but it’s utterly heartbreaking to hear you couldn’t be with him at the end. Remember that wasn’t your fault, it was just cruel circumstances. I don’t want my dad to be remembered as a victim of the virus but as a loved dad, brother, uncle, grandad and cousin who was our rock. He was a gentle giant, who was brilliant at quizzes, loved singing, hiking and playing football. Remember all the good times you shared together and know that the pain and grief you feel just shows the amount of love you felt for him. Take care xxxx