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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
Dad passed away New Year's Eve...
I am going through so many emotions right now but anger towards my family is tearing me up inside. My Dad passed away December 31, 2016 early in the morning and as he had feared, he died all alone in a nursing after being transferred there from the hospital. My mother took him to see his Primary Doctor who then admitted him in the hospital for CHF. While in there he had to endure 3 days with a catheter which he made him hostile towards my mother, the nurses cursing and throwing things and although I know it was the disease, I was still left with that image of him imprinted in my memory. She and my older sister ( who lives at home with them and helped take care of him ) kept telling me about his bad side and how they couldn't deal with it anymore but I kept telling them that he couldn't help it because of the Alzheimers and they needed to be strong for him.
Well he was in the hospital for 3 days and then transferred to a Rehabilitation/Nursing Home where he stayed for a week. The last time I saw him which was on Thursday afternoon, he was with the therapist who helping him eat, when I saw him in that wheelchair, he just looked defeated, like he had given up ( which I believe he had )so I sat hugged him and sat down with them and he held my hand and smiled. He was eating a cheeseburger, or trying to rather and ice cream. The therapist was asking about his past and grandkids just to keep him focused and awake but he kept nodding off so she had me take him back to his room where he had to wait for over 30 minutes for someone to come help in the bed.
It's really sad, before he wet to the doctor, he was able to walk although he needed some assistance at times and had to hold on to furniture but he was upright and walking. The last images I have of him are slumped over I a wheelchair being fed and lying in a nursing home bed hooked up to an oxygen machine. I believe he felt abandoned by my mom because he was so clingy to her at home.
And then there was no funeral, he was cremated, his ashes are in an urn an American Flag is encased in frame and I don't even know what she had put o the urn if anything. I have a brother and sister who hadn't seen my dad in years and made no effort to come and see him while he was alive. I know I shouldn't harness these feelings of anger but I just can't let it go. I just feel like my family has just thrown my Dad away as if he never existed and I was very close to my Dad and it is breaking my heart.
Thanks for letting me vent.
While there are no words I can think of to soften the loss of your father I may be able to lessen your feelings about no funeral.
First of all my husband never shared any idea at all about what he would want or where he wanted to be. If he had I would have followed through. There was no funeral and he was cremated. He had 4 children, 3 of which I simply could not have dealt with because of their total lack of attachment. I just could not have been around them. He had a fourth child who lived 2 hours away but came often and was with me by his side when he died.
I have received a bit of criticism for not "honoring" my husband but the fact is that those who were close to him stayed by my side for days...this included my 2 children.
I do not have a flag but instead 15 stars from his flag.
Still wondering what to do with his ashes. It was over 2 months before I could even ask for them. Right now he is in a temporary container from the funeral home in his flight bag (Navy Pilot).
Unconventional I know and a story I pretty much do not share but perhaps it will in some way help you to understand how circumstances can affect our choices.
Your pain and anger will subside but you are always going to miss your daddy. I am 75 and still have an occasion to want to crawl up on my fathers lap ...it is a hole that is never filled.
i am so sorry for the loss of your father. Have you expressed your feelings to your mother as to what the plans are, if any? It may make you feel better if you could propose some sort of a memorial service or gathering or something to honor your father.
Acb10 offered a great possibiity. If I read it correctly perhaps you could coordinate a funeral/memorial/rememberance (sp) event/day/evening in a religious or secular place for your father
Search keepsake urns and see if it would be of benefit to you.
JFKOC I love the ashes in the flight bag! You have mentioned this before and I liked it then and now. I'm quite serious when I say this because pilots possess a deep lasting love for flying (I am a retired flight attendant and therapist)- my pilot friends can attest to this.
Also, former military personnel (my father was US Army and pilot friends are Airforce and Navy retired) were proud of their country and military service. . (of course you already know this too)
I cannot stand the library book like urn the mortuary placed my mother's ashes in so I am shopping for something more suitable.
I've seen online numerous military and flying inspired urns for sale. Online offers inspiration but I would prefer to order directly from a mortuary.
I too am very sorry for your loss.
Hello there Leigh Ann,
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father on Dec. 19th, 2015.
In your post, I hear the anger you feel for family members who act like they didn't care. I understand it, and I also lived it for all the years I cared for my dad. My brother never came home once in 4 years to see his dying father. My RN sister would make one (or possibly two) unannounced visits for an hour and a half per year. But darn if these weren't the people standing proud and tall, first in line, with the words biological HEIR tattooed on their foreheads when it came to inheritance. So yes, I truly understand.
The only thing I will caution, is to not place judgement on what the primary caregivers (mom and sister) were capable of doing with your dad. Some people are just not good caregivers, and a person can decline quite rapidly. He may have been better off in your care, because of your close relationship, but it doesn't sound like that was possible for you to do.
What I can offer is to focus on what you and your dad shared. We can't change who people are, or how they react. That is totally beyond our capability. What we can do is decide if these are the types of people we want in our lives. There is nothing wrong with you, if the answer is "no". For me, the only good thing I could think of with my father's death, is that I would never have to see or speak to my siblings again. It doesn't make me sad, it's actually a relief.
So go ahead and feel your anger. Remind yourself there is nothing wrong with the words, "Do unto others". Do anything and everything you need to to honor your father. And when you have had some time to grieve this loss, you can make a decision whether or not those relationships are worth holding on to.
I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. Please except my condolences. I lost my dad 11 months ago, so I can probably relate to a lot of your feelings and emotions and my heart breaks for you and just the loss. If there was something I could do to make it better I would. All of us would. This form isn't as active as the others, but there are a few if not more that always check this board and most of us will reply when someone post something. I'm sorry it's taken so long, as I haven't been on the board really for a while.
Please try and take care of yourself, know that the big huge emotional waves will subside, but it will be a while. You are a very strong and wonderful daughter!
I'm sending you extra cyber hugs, some pop tarts, and a nice warm cozy blanket to wrap yourself in
Always be VK
I also wanted to comment on the sibling/family, or lack there of. My brother and sister neither one were here when my dad passed. My brother lives 40 minutes away, and my sister only 4 1/2 hours. It was on a Saturday when I call them in the afternoon and let them both know that dad was in the active stages of dying. They both had time to get here. I'm not sure why they didn't, and that's not up to me. The resentment and feelings of hurt that you have for their lack of respect to your dad, I'm still struggling through that . Yes, we do have to work through it and get past it, but I don't think will ever understand, because we were not like that and art like that. Their guilt also, whether they admit it or not, plays a factor in their absence. Quite possibly when they see you or think about you, it triggers in them what they did not do for your dad. That is something they have to live with and answer for one day.
You did the best that you could, your dad knew that and he still doesn't know that! Your love for him as shown in your posts and even though it will take some time, that will be of comfort to you.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for your well-wishes and I'm sorry that it took me so long to acknowledge them. I have since been able to sort through my emotions and accept the fact that my dad is in a better place free from pain and immobility and holding the baby I lost and watching over me and that makes me happy. Also today is his birthday, he would have been 87.
I have also been able to make amends with my mom and sister. I understand that is was his wishes to be cremated and not have a funeral but what I could not understand was the lack of emotion. My mother gave me some pictures and some clothes. I also got his favorite jacket hanging on the hall tree.
It's really hard losing a loved one whether it's expected or a total shock, it hurts but as long as you have family and friends around you to support you know you'll get through it. I'm truly sorry for the loss of you're loved ones but know that you're in my thoughts and prayers, and thank you again for you're kind words....they have really lifted me up.
this is an afterthought....when I die, I too wish to be cremated and I told my husband to have my ashes made in to bullets so he can use them when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs that he keeps talking about!
I am glad you were able to find some peace.
BTW...love your sense of humor...would you, by any chance, be Irish?
I added a post earlier but for some reason it's not here so I will repost:
I do have the trademark red hair and green eyes just like my dad but I don't know about our ancestry. I have always claimed to be Irish and when I pass I want my cremains spread over the Cliffs of Moher or the Saint Patrick's Cathedral ( but I don't think that would be kosher ). My son and his fiance want to be able to visit me, so I told them to put my urn in a family vault in a memory garden but just please don't put me in the ground or I will come back and haunt them.
There's a website that gives several ideas on how to memorialize a loved one's ashes but I can't think of the name but if you can find it check it out.
My husband's ashes are still in the temporary container from the funeral home.The container is in his flight bag with his Air America tag.
The idea was to go to Arlington but that is so far away.
MY hospice SW son's ashes were scattered over those cliffs. He had always wanted to go to Ireland.
Humor eases the grief. The night my father died unexpectedly, and family friend got a laugh out of me by saying, "What SOME people will do to get out of cleaning up their messes!" My dad was a notorious clutterer.
Ashes are very versatile. At first my father's urn was placed in the driver's seat of his Classic sports car down in my basement garage. The car was sold and now he's up in my home office on his drafting board. Jfkoc, I think your husband would enjoy being in his flight bag.
Unforgiven - That's funny and it sounds like something my brother would say!
Another idea I came across is to have your ashes used as coral reef. There is a website that shows 15 unique things to with your cremated ashes. I found it very interesting.
Dick's flight training was in Pensacola and he was always wanting us to go there. I had heard about the coral reef options and when they said one of their reefs was off Pensacola I thought I might have the answer as to the ashes.
It is a lovely program and worth looking into. I can wait and have us "reefed" together. It is quite personal and you are given a specific location and the "rock" has a plague.