Watching my dad die

My dad passed away at the end of May October. We knew his death was coming but as much as I tried to prepare myself for it, what I wasn’t prepared for was the actual act of death itself. I always thought that you simply fell asleep, with a possible death rattle beforehand. What I wasn’t ready for was 48 hours of waiting, with my dad unconscious but his body going into overdrive, with very loud rattling and unwanted body fluids. It was incredibly tough for those of us there but I was certain I wanted to stay with him. Three months on and I’m angry he didn’t get to die like I’d expected. I want to know that he wasn’t in pain and understand why it happened like this. It seems so unfair and just awful. It makes me so sad thinking about it. How did others cope with this?


I can relate to your experience. I was with my mum for her last 48 hours and she was gasping for breath and her legs turned blue. Like you I was expecting a quiet slip away but this felt so distressing to watch.
I read something somewhere where thet said its seems to be fashionable at the moment to expect people to ‘die at home peacefully surrounded by loved ones’.
It doesnt always happen like that…not pretty or beautiful. Obviously I dont know if your Dad was in pain. If he was it doesnt sound it lasted long? You wanted to be there for him and thats the best you could do. I do know the unsettled feeling youre having about it though.
Mazza x


I experienced similar, like you, I hoped she’d just peacefully go to sleep, but it was loud, frustrating, and of course heartbreaking. At times she was looking around, but once the syringe driver went in, I don’t think she could see my h although her hearing was still there and she responded to my touch. The night she passed I even convinced myself it was the final drink I gave her using my water bottle that finished her off, and I’d be in trouble (mum had aspirational pneumonia and VD so was too weak to clear secretions)
The whole experience was traumatic to say the least. We were on a ward two days before thankfully securing a side room where we were ‘left to it’ which was good, and bad. It was the worst time of my life, funeral is Monday.