by R

For the last 2 years my father kept forgetting small things, but as he was in his 70´s, I thought it was normal and let it be. My dad has always been afraid of going to the doctor; he hated needles, exams and all related to that. Over the years his memory got worse and he started to lose some weight, even so he was so stubborn that it was impossible to take him to the doctor. I got him to go one time, but then he refused to get all the exams done, he sat on the couch like a child and said he wouldn´t go… A few weeks later, we got a social worker to come here and try to convince him to go as it was getting dangerous for him to be alone during the day (I was working) and his health was getting worse by the day.
She came here one morning, I left her here alone, trying to convince him, but he refused. On that night, after work, I got home and my sister called me and said he hadn´t left he bed all day, except to try and cook his lunch, but forgot the pan there and it burned it (our stove cuts the gas).
When I went to see him, he kept saying he was ok, but he was having a hard time breathing, so I called 112 (our 911) and we rushed to the hospital. We were there for several hours and the doctor said he had seen some weird thing on his lungs and he´d be there for the rest of the night. So we came home. During that week he kept being transferred from hospital to hospital and they had to induce him into a coma as he had developed sepsis and need help breathing and taking his meds.
As he was always sleeping I only visited him twice on that week, even when he woke up, he was extremely confused. The doctor said he had a bad infection and we had to wait and see.
During that time he had some improvement and got transferred to another hospital. A few days later his new doctor calls us and says she needed to speak to his family (my parents have been apart for more than 20 years), so me and my sister went there. She starts by asking us unusual questions, so we thought, and then drops the bomb, she tells us that he had terminal aids and was infected for more than 15 years.
When she said that, I didn´t even know what to think, I even left her office for fresh air. On that day I couldn´t see him, I was devastated and didn´t want to see my dad like that. A few days later, I tried to get it together and went to see him, it broke my heart, he had lost some weight couldn´t walk or even eat alone. I had to control myself so hard and keeping busy there, so I wouldn´t crack in front of him.
It was so hard seeing him like getting so sick that I avoided visiting him and to make things worse, everytime I went there and said goodbye in the end, I´d see tears in his eyes, only for me. As his birthday was getting closer, I said to myself that I had to see him and bring some of my friends so he´d feel a little less alone (his notion of time was already off). On the 27th of March he celebrated his 76th birthday. On that same day, advised by a friend, I kissed him on his forehead and said I love him very much (the first time I ever said that to him like that), he got tears on his eyes again and I went home.
On Easter we went there, but I didn´t want to see him, it really made me feel sad, so I waited outside. A few days later, after we got calls saying he was getting better, my sister showed up at my work with a weird conversation, something like, we have to go, get your stuff, and I was like, I can´t just leave now… Then she said, one day it would happen and I said, dad died
I can´t describe what I felt, I thought I was going crazy, faint, all together…
Since then, 3 weeks have passed and it´s been so hard, like the worst time of my life, I got extreme anxiety, panic attacks, mixed emotions, mind racing, hard time sleeping, all that together.
I miss him so much, he was my companion for years, I lived with him, it seems part of me died and I feel abandoned. Every night I cry, during the day I feel anxious or depressed…
Sorry for the long text, but wanted to share my story with all of you

Comments for Dad

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May 13, 2013
by: R

In a way I understand what you mean about not knowing, but even with all the dementia caused by severe infections on his brain, in some level I think he knew, for some periods, something was wrong. My dad never cried, in my 29 years I had only seen him cry 3 times, for my brother and his parents. But anytime I´d go there to visit him, when the visit was over and I´d tell him goodbye he´d have tears in his eyes, but only with me :-(

I wish I had go there many more times, the last day I saw him was on his birthday and it broke my heart, seeing my dad like that was so hard to bear...

May 13, 2013
by: Doreen U.K.

Hi R. To answer your question. YES! It did happen to me. Knowing you are going to die soon and not know when is so very hard to bear. I sat with my husband every day and knew he was going to die but denying it because I didn't want to believe this. I couldn't take my eyes off him. I wanted to capture this memory of how he looked and his behaviour and just the way he talked and walked. The way he held his toothbrush and how he worked it round his mouth with such style I never noticed before. The way he let me brush his hair and he sat like a child just waiting and wondering when his breath would cease. So much pain and sadness from one you love is so very hard to bear.
Perhaps it is good your father did not know he had aids. He was spared this added stress. As time goes by you will notice some of the positive facts that your dad was spared from. This will help your grief.

May 12, 2013
by: R

Hi Doreen and thank your for your comment. I´m also very sorry for your loss :-( Dad never knew he had aids, he died without knowing. I don´t know if it happened to you, but hearing your loved one is going to die was a shock on it´s own, than when I was starting to get out of the shock he dies... I never thought he´d go so soon, I was just starting to get ready to accept the fact that he´d not come back home. My days have been awful, if for a second I Forget what happened, it comes back a while later like a punch.

May 11, 2013
by: Doreen U.K

R I am so sorry for your loss of your dad. I guess your dad knew the outcome of his sickness and so was very resistant to going to the hospital until it became a priority and desperate measures dictated the outcome.
To hear sudden news like this that your dad is going to die is the worst news you ever have to deal with. I had bad news like this 3yrs. ago. The doctor said to my husband you have a rare and serious form of lung cancer incurable, inoperable, and aggressive. Our lives together flashed before me so fast as if fast forwarding which said. "You are going to die." We know we are all going to die someday. But to hear the news this way and know that you have a terminal illness. Was the worst day of my life. Life flashed before my husband's eyes which said. "I don't want to die." I was caregiver to a man I loved who was going to die and there was nothing I could do, but get on with the job of caring for him till he died 1 yr. ago. Grief is hard and painful and feels as if it is never ending. Life will never be the same again.
Daughter's need their father's so much in there life like forever. I know how hurt you must feel at this moment. The anxiety and panic attacks may need attention if you don't get over them. There is no easy way to get through grief but one day at a time. If you have good supportive extended family and friends to walk with you through this grief journey will make it a whole lot easier. I am so sorry for your loss.

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