So sad about dad

My brilliant dad died in April, and I am devastated. He had health problems for many years and it was great he managed to make it to 85, but then he caught Covid19 at hospital, and died a horrific death, away from his family, which I am still too traumatised to talk about. The hospital did not treat him well and at some stage I will have to discuss this with the PALS team.

I miss him a lot because he was an incredibly caring dad, but I also feel really sad because he lived a difficult life and I did not see him get the happiness he deserved. A lot of people here lose their loved ones at a much earlier age, so I do not want to sound ungrateful, I am very happy dad reached 85, but I just feel a bit cheated because I always hoped he would see some happiness before he died, but he didn’t really, and that is just very difficult for me.

My dad was born in 1934 or 1935 in the British Raj. He left Pakistan in the 1950s and lived and worked in Iran, before moving to the UK in 1960. He then worked in Germany for a few years from 1962 onwards, then went to Pakistan and married my mum, came back to the UK, and had three sons. So far his life had been good. But then he got made redundant in 1980, had to look after my mum and us as mum had health problems, and life became difficult. Money was very scarce, we couldn’t afford most things, dad had no car and had to walk to the High Street which was three miles away, each day, to do the errands and get out of the house, he was extremely depressed which I did not realise then as I was too young but realise now because he would often be cursing his life and saying things like he wished he had died when he was born (his mother had had miscarriages before him), so that was basically our childhood, we never went on any holidays, some family in Pakistan would mock him that he went to the UK but lived in poverty in a council flat. There were some positives, education was very important to dad, so when I graduated with a postgraduate degree from Imperial College London in Computing, he was very proud, he was also very proud that my brothers and I had been raised in a bad environment but never got in trouble with the police, he would always say how proud he is at how law abiding we are, and he was also very happy at what a good wife my mum was, so I am glad about those things, but I just feel really sad that he didn’t get to do much, his depression improved in the past 20 years once he was diagnosed and given medication, but he was still generally sad. He went on one holiday in the last 43 years of his life, and rarely did anything except just go to the High Street and home. He always used to say when we were young that life will improve, but it didn’t really, his biggest desire was for his kids to get married and for him to have grandkids, that didn’t happen, my brother got divorced and I developed depression 5 years ago after I was made redundant and my dad’s health was deteriorating, and so that stopped me from getting married.

A few years ago my dad was in hospital, and he was trying to cheer me up when I was so sad he might die, he said to me “look, be happy, who could have imagined I would make it to this age?”, and he was smiling, and I said “yeah, you made it to this age, but it isn’t just about age, you didn’t enjoy your life”, and suddenly he lost his smile and there was a frown and sadness in his eyes and he just said in a very sad voice “but we can’t change that”, and that makes me so sad, I wish he could have had some happiness before he died, but people don’t seem to understand, so many people say “wow, your dad lived to a great age!” and expect I will just be able to move on, it isn’t easy, all the things he really wanted me to do, like restart my career, buy a house, get married, have kids, all of those things will happen without him being there and that just makes me so sad and I cry every day.

I’m so sorry you lost your Dad. Thank you for sharing his story. Could it be that his family gave him the greatest happiness? Perhaps, that thought could be something to hold onto. Our connection to people and our love are probably the most important thing in life.

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Hi Abdullah
I’m so very sorry about your dad. My mum died very suddenly in April aged 74 and although she was diagnosed with cancer nearly 33 years ago she was cured but unfortunately suffered considerable side effects from her treatment for the rest of her life and which ultimately contributed to her death.
It really doesn’t matter how old your lovely dad was when he died, if you love someone you never want to lose them. There is always so much more that you would like them to experience for themselves as well as the possibility of creating so many more shared memories whether they are 70 or 100.
It is so very sad that your dad didn’t experience much happiness in his life but I truly believe that he would have felt the greatest happiness through you and the rest of your family.
I totally understand your despair and that all of the things you wanted to do and share with your dad now seem pointless but there absolutely will be a day when you see a chink of light and feel able to grab hold of it and your dad will be helping you every step of the way.
Take care.

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Hi and thanks to you both for replying to me, not going to lie, bit sad not more people replied but people here are hurt and probably don’t have time to reply to all posts, I am so sorry to hear about your mum, @Ali1, it makes me very sad that she suffered for all those years. I had been reading this site for a few weeks before posting, and I had bookmarked your “Overwhelmed” post and a few others that had made me very sad and to which I wanted to reply in the future, and it is strange that you ended replying to my post before I replied to yours.

Hi Abdullah, I read your post as you already helped me so much these last days and I was curious about how you arrived here.

It is heart breaking to think your dad was not happy despite the brave move he made and all that he created in you boys. I cannot imagine your sorrow of the manner of his death. It’s all a lot to bear.

Are you close with your brothers? Can you still do some of those things that you think would have made him even more proud of you?