father passed away few weeks ago

betz 

normal father passed away few weeks ago

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Just popping in
Joined:
2003/3/27
Posts: 1
Hi,
My dad passed away a few weeks ago. I have so many emotions -from anger to sadness. It was a difficult journey since September. He had congestive heart failure. We have been on such a roller coaster ride. In Feb, 2003, my dad had scar tissue from a previous surgery wrap around his intestines. It blocked his intestines and he needed to have emergency surgery. He made it through the surgery - was in the recovery room joking with the nurses and his heart stopped. We were told he was not responsive and probably would not make it through the night. He did - miracles - to end up in ICU a week later and be on life support for 1-1/2 weeks til his heart stopped. I was a Daddy's girl and I am really hurting. I have issues with my family - basically I dont care if I see them or hear from them in the near future. My husband is a great support. Just doing menial tasks takes up so much of my energy. Is this normal? Trying to go on in PA


Posted on 2003/3/27 17:53




Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Webmaster
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2003/4/26
From: Dallas
Posts: 261
Barb and I want to express our condolences in the death of your father. I can tell that he was a very special person to you.

There are three elements that complicate this for you (as if you didn't already know this): lack of support (and even anger) at/from siblings, the suddenness of his death, and the clse bond that you shared.

Each of these elements notch up the sense of sorrow you experience just a little more (or maybe a lot more). Each one of them has some facet that makes the experience of the pain a little worse. For instance, the suddenness: Sudden loss has extra pain because you weren't able, perhaps to be with him at the end as you would have liked, because the end came without warning, and perhaps because you didn't get to say some things you wanted to.

So, yes, your grief experience, as you have described it, is normal. Normal asks tend to feel like they detract from where we are at, processing the death of our loved one. The main work you are doing is processing the death of your father: For most people, everything else is just stuff.

I hope that this helps and that other visitors can share their experience and encouragement. I'm glad your husband is there for you! I hope you will continue to express the emotions that this experience brings to your heart. Also, you may want to try journaling: writing down some of the feelings that you have about your father, his death, and related experiences. Sometimes, too, people tell me that it helps to write a final "goodbye" letter to their loved one, even if they aren't alive. Share all that you would like to have said to him (like all that could be expressed on paper). In my experience, this letter thing and the journaling seem to resonate with people more than any other thing that they have tried.


Posted on 2003/3/28 8:06




normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Quite a regular
Joined:
2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear Betz,
As Mike said, we are both so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to add one other sentiment . . . I, too, was very close to my dad - so when you said that you were a "Daddy's girl," it really reminded me of how hard it was for me after my dad died because I felt like Daddy's girl too. I believe that the stronger the connection was with our loved ones, the "stronger" may be our feelings of grief after their death. I didn't understand very much about grief in 1984 (when he died) but have learned much since then - on a personal level and professional level. Nevertheless, I still miss him and always will . . . please take care and be gentle with yourself - I'll keep checking this board and will try to add what I can, if it helps . . .
Barb


Posted on 2003/3/28 8:55




Guests 

normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

Hello,
My dad died October 28, 2002. My family had the same sort of ICU drama too. He was 84. I miss him so much that I ache. I'm 56,divorced, two semi-grown children. I have a mother and sister. Regarding my mother and sister, (we are 3 women) I am the odd one out. I grieve alone. Honor your husband's support. I guess these experiences are what make us better people. Compassion. I know there are issues to complicated for this message. Bless you and bless the child who has yet to grieve. I was daddy's girl too.
Love,
Susan


Posted on 2003/5/10 14:29




Re: father passed away few weeks ago


Webmaster
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2003/4/26
From: Dallas
Posts: 261
Dear Visitor:

Barb and I offer you our condolences, also.

I remember one day when I was visiting a nursing home patient. As I was walking into the home, another man was going in to see his mother. It was a day that was beautiful beyond compare. I told him that it would be the perfect day for being out on a lake fishing. He replied that it would be, with a very wistful tone. I asked him which lake he would go to, and he mentioned the name of a lake that was nearby, but added, "But, I haven't been fishing in twelve years. Haven't been able to. The last time I went fishing, it was with my dad, just before he died suddenly." We talked for a few minutes more. He mentioned that he felt like it might be time to try and go fishing again.

I just remember that even after all those years intervening, he was still taken back in a heartbeat to the very special time that he had with his dad, and the pain of his dad not being able to fish with him.

I guess I thought I heard some of that pain in the tone of your posting. I'm sorry for the lack of support. It's very sad, both the loss you have experienced, and the level of support you are receiving. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as the original poster. Additionally, you may find some help HERE. Thanks, also, for offering a listening ear to the feelings of the person who started this thread.


Posted on 2003/5/11 2:02




Guests 

normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

Dear Mikethechap...
Thank you so much for the 'fish story’ and you have a great point. Where's that fellow? I'd gladly take him by the hand and help him down that path. Everyone should have someone who won't break when it's time to only bend.

What is even more sad, is those who can't or won't hang on to those who are here and love them with all their heart. Our troubles started after my dad died. The void my dad left is horrible, but the void created by the three of us literally echoes. I think I detect a distant cry, so maybe there's hope.

Everyone has their own story to tell and with grief, the story always begins from the same place. The heart. So, as long as the heart is involved there is always hope. That's what I'm counting on. That is what I was taught.

Oh, and... that precious face aside your replys, who lit the world with that one?

love,
Susan


Posted on 2003/5/15 15:55




normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Susan:

And thank you for your comments.

You're so right. We would be ever so much wiser to learn from the lessons of grief and loss: to cherish and love while there is time.

The pain of alienation from those we love is at the heart of this reflection we wrote a couple of years ago: To Love Too Late. It's near the end of the reflection and it's by the real-life detective, Fay Faron, owner of the Rat Dog Detective Agency. She also writes a syndicated column, Ask Rat Dog. The story is very real, very poignant, and very thought-provoking. Every time I think of the mindless pain and cruelty we inflict on loved ones, I'm reminded of her story.

Quote:

Oh, and... that precious face aside your replys, who lit the world with that one?


My Mom is responsible for that. Indeed, that's yours truly. Thanks!

Blessings...

Mike!


Posted on 2003/5/16 0:01




Guests 

normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

I had the most difficult time resolving the grief
associated with the passing away of my Mother. I am an
only child so you can imagine how challenging this period in my life was !

This site below was very helpful.

www.majacreations.com/gpage.html

Click the SignUp button

Hope this helps you like it helped me.


Posted on 2003/5/21 16:38




normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago


Webmaster
Joined:
2003/4/26
From: Dallas
Posts: 261
Thanks for leading us to a site that looks very helpful. I will add it to the links database. The resources look like the kind of thing that might really make a difference. I signed up as you suggested. I only had time to look briefly at the resources, but was pleasantly surprised. A nicely designed site, too.

Again, thanks for the recommendation...


Posted on 2003/5/23 0:28




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normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

THIS POST WAS EDITED BY WEBMASTER AT POSTER REQUEST: For visitors background, it reflected profound sadness at the death of the poster's father (a caregiver himself) and the uncertainty as to whether or not she should tell her mother, who has dementia. It was a very touching post.


Posted on 2003/5/24 19:05




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normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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I'm so sorry that you lost your father. My father died on Sunday so I know how you feel. You and I have no regrets, or guilt, only miss them terribly. We were there for them when they were well and when they were sick. I'm so grateful for that and feel a great deal of sadness for some of my family whom for whatever reason weren't. Please forgive them because you know that's what your father would do.


Posted on 2003/5/24 20:39




John 

normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago


Just popping in
Joined:
2003/1/4
Posts: 1
"No matter how eloquently spoken, or sincerely intended, words tend to trivialize our pain." Actually I used those words at a memorial service at a children's hospital in 1996. I have discovered the inadequacy of words to communicate deep feelings. John in FL


Posted on 2003/5/25 12:29




Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Barb and I extend to each of you our deepest condolences. It saddens our hearts to sense the losses that you have gone through. This has been one of the most touching threads in the ElderHope forums in a very long time. It is marvelous to see the mutual support, also.

As to telling someone with Alzheimer's that their mate has died, I think it is almost always better to tell them. In our experience, there is often an uncanny connection between lovers and spouses (in this case, one and the same ) by which they are able to sense either the death of their spouse or at least that something isn't right. Maybe they can tell it from the demeanor of the survivors, maybe from the fact that they don't go to see their spouse any more, or maybe their lifelong connection continues to linger even after death (I believe I've seen this last one many times). In any case, they often know, in one way or another, even before they are told.

I have had numerous Alzheimer's patients who were told that their loved one died. They understood in their own way, mourned to the extent of their ability to understand, and then continued living. Often the grief lasted two or three days.

Sometimes, it was a meaningful time for family, too, because the patient would occasionally have a window where they were able to share the grief of their children and others. This was most important - sometimes I thought the window occurred because the surviving spouse sensed that their child needed them, and they felt pushed to access that part of their thoughts. At least, it seemed, they could share in the pain of their remaining loved ones and give them comfort.

I sense that you fear that it will cause her emotional harm to hear this news. I don't think that it will. She may grieve, if indeed she understands. But, I have often thought that the blessing of AD, if there is one, is that patients often do not remember the pain.

I can't promise that your experience will be like this. But, I think the way people react when they hear the truth often surprises us.

Maybe it's best to ask yourself if you would want to know?

Thoughts?

If you do decide to tell her, perhaps you could share how in went in a new thread?

Again, our prayers are with all of you!


Posted on 2003/5/26 0:24




normal Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Quite a regular
Joined:
2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear ElderHope Visitor,
As Mike shared in his message to you, we are so sorry for your loss . . . thank you for your tender story about your parent's relationship and you continuing to be there for your father during his dying process.
Many adult children have asked me the same question that you asked - should they tell their parent with dementia that a loved one has died - a spouse, child, sibling, or other family member or friend. There are so many variables to consider. For example, if a person is in the earlier stages of dementia, he/she will probably know that something is very wrong if their loved one is no longer visiting them or calling. Their fears, doubts and questions may be harder to cope with than the truth . . . again, it can really be different from one person to another. However, when a person has more cognitive impairment, they may still sense that something is wrong, may express the desire to see or speak with their loved one again, and may even ask if he/she has died, but may not remember or fully comprehend that their loved one is dead, after they are told of the death. So, I agree with Mike that telling your mother that your father has died may not cause the grief that you fear your mother may experience. Maybe try to respond to any questions that your mother might ask about your father in as simple and forthright a way that will reassure your mother of your ongoing care and support . . . she may not remember that you told her about your father's death but she may sense your love and reassurance which is so important at this time.
I do wish that I had a better answer - more definitive. But I sense that your love, concern and support of your mother will be the most important factors in your mother's well-being. We will surely keep you in our thoughts - please take care of yourself during this time, too.
Barb


Posted on 2003/5/28 9:16




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