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Dad passed away almost two weeks ago
mountainloon
Posted: Saturday, February 5, 2022 9:30 PM
Joined: 6/6/2021
Posts: 3


My dad suffered from dementia for years. My mom cared for him up until last year when he fell and broke a hip and was subsequently hospitalized. From there the dementia worsened and along with other health problems he had to be put in memory care. I live 3000 miles away and went back as often as I could to visit. At first there were still covid lockdowns so we couldn't visit, but gradually it opened up and we could. Otherwise, we couldn't really communicate well over the phone due to the dementia and hearing loss. I would send cookies as he loved sweets. One day I realized the staff really didn't know much about him as he couldn't tell them so I made a memory book for him. It began with pictures of his parents, he and his sister, the house where he grew up, and through his life, occupation, marriage, us kids, and stories that I remembered about him. The book was a big hit, he looked at it over and over until it became worn and dirty, with the covers falling off and the pages dirty. But he was able to recognize people and it helped the staff know how to try and engage conversations with him.

When it looked to be the end, we flew out there but did not make it in time. When we landed in Chicago for our layover, I received numerous calls and texts that he had already passed. It was a nightmare of a trip as our flight was delayed due to weather, we then missed our connection in Chicago, had to spend the night there. The first flight out the next morning was then cancelled and we were rerouted to another city with another connection that was delayed but finally made it at 1 pm the next day.

I really wanted to be there at the end to hold his hand and let him know we were there. My mom said she couldn't see him"like that" and did not go, so he died with only a staff member from the nursing home. I know that people go when they are ready but it's still hard to process. My mom did not want to have a service so we did not have that closure either.

I know all the stages of grief and that it will take time. Just needing to write a little about it. Thanks.

 

 


TessC
Posted: Sunday, February 6, 2022 4:20 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 5213


I'm very sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man and he and your mother raised caring children. 

 You did more for your father living 3000 miles away than many children do who live in the same town, so please give yourself credit for being a loving person. My sister was also unable to be here when mom died. It was something beyond her control, so she didn't make it about her.

 I believe it is a blessing to be with someone who dies, but we don't need to be at every death. I was with my dad while he was dying, in fact, us girls and mom were with him for 3 days, 24/7, but the moment I step out for a walk, he passes. Thanks a lot dad, lol! We are at the deaths that we are meant to be at.

Take heart that your father loved those cookies and that book, so be kind to yourself during your grief. He loves you very much.