I feel like it's my fault my Dad died...

My dad suddenly had a massive heart attack out of the blue and died. The DAY before he went to the cardiologist and they said everything looked great. He was thrilled. The next morning he died, it was a huge shock. No it was not the doctors or anyone's fault.

He was happy that morning. Joking and laughing with his friends on the phone and happy about his positive EKG results. He was ecstatic. Then he had a grimace and scowl on his face. I didn't ask him about it just assuming he was in a bad mood or something. Ten minutes later he told me he had chest pains and if I could drive him to the ER only a few minutes away, I asked should I call 911 first and he said nah, just drive me there because it'll take them 10 minutes to get here and the ER's so close. I started driving but was also on my cell with 911 just in case. He asked me why was it so cold? in a baby voice that just broke my heart. He died in the middle of the road. Paramedics came 30 seconds later, they met us halfway and they told me that normally they wouldn't recommend this, but in this case I did the right thing by driving towards them because we saved 5 minutes, but it was too late. I really don't know, at that point I don't think there really was anything I could have done differently?

But man, do I wish I had asked him about that grimace, I wished I had asked him ten minutes earlier "hey Dad, what's wrong? Why the scowl?" It would have saved his life because he only died seconds before the paramedics came...

A few weeks earlier we had gotten into a huge fight over something stupid and he told me I was a horrible daughter and that I should get married, have kids, and move out, and I slammed the door in his face HARD... it really shocked him and he was really upset about that, he never got over that, now I'm worried, did that cause his heart a big shock and made it become weaker? Ugh I feel so guilty and frustrated and regretful...

Comments for I feel like it's my fault my Dad died...

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Apr 29, 2014
I feel I coulda helped my dad
by: kim

My dad told me about just chest pains nd I thought Nothing of it I thought it was heartburn and I stayed up with him and he said not to call 911 and the next morning he was gone

Sep 26, 2013
I know I killed my Dad
by: Doreen UK

Temple Ray If you were guilty of killing your dad you can be sure that the law enforcement would be there to arrest you for his death.
Accept what the Dr's and nurses say. "YOU DID NOT KILL YOUR DAD" It is YOUR INTENTIONS to do him harm that make you guilty. If your intentions were to help him then you had your father's best interests at heart. Which is why in a court of law the judge and jury weigh up a persons intentions whether it was pre-meditated. Do you understand the point I am making. Look at what happened from every angle. Do not waste time torturing yourself for what you did not do. You need to free yourself of GUILT. Grieve you loss of your father, and then Honour Him for the man he was. Forgive yourself for what happened. Even if you don't know why you pressed his arm. Your father had serious health issues that compromised his life. Now go and live the rest of your life in Peace and make something good of your life that will make you happy.

Sep 25, 2013
I know I killed my dad
by: Temple ray

My dad was 66 years old I been working to get my dad a car my dad was in the Hospital he had gallbladder surgery five days before I loved my dad my mom died when I was 3 years old he was in the rehab part it was 2 in the morning he had a lot of other stuff to like end stage copd ards I did not evein know his heart was week I wake up in seen him with his eyes open snoring real loud I put my hand on his right upper arm and press hes arm came up in I press his arm 5 times till it would not move any more held it for 3 seconds each time that was the it re retarded thing I ever done and my life the reason I did it makes no since at all a lot of times I wish I was dead still do I cry every day it happen all most 6 months ago I told the dr what I did he said I insure you it did not have anything to do with it I ask a nurse she said she did not know I ask a notre narse she said the same thing then she said what the dr say I told her she said it did not do any thing then I know the dr is lying to me thats is what happen

May 02, 2013
I understand your pain
by: Doreen U.K.

Dear Anonymous Thank you for your reply post. I am so very happy for you now you did therapy and discovered the reason for your unhappiness and guilt you carried over you dad's death 31yrs. ago. This should give HOPE to other's that it is never too late to RECLAIM your life. It is never too late to do something about our life to make it better. I did this in my 40's. I only started living then. Now even if life throws me sorrow I cope better with it.
Resolving our losses in life including losing someone in death is so important. My parents didn't do this and so passed on all their unresolved hurt (not planning or knowing they were doing this.) to 6 children and then we have to go on then and try to resolve our past. The quicker a person deals with their life issues the quicker they will live a happier life.
I have discovered that NOT DEALING WITH GRIEF is one of the major causes of our life difficulties and when we pass it on to our children they then have to deal with their own losses. Some of which could have been prevented. But such is life. Thank you again for your lovely encouraging post. Best wishes on your grief journey and in your future life.

May 01, 2013
I understand your pain
by: Anonymous

My dad died 31 years ago and I'm still suffering! I fought with him on the day he died and when he wasn't feeling good and said his arm was sore - i didn't help him one bit! He collapsed and died at home on the living room floor! My entire life I have been contantly feeling like I was incomplete - like I never fit anywhere and always feel lonely. I just recently sought therapy and discovered that it has been because I have not gone through the grieving process of losing my dad all those years ago! I am no starting my journey to finally say goodbye and letting go of the guilt I have carried around since that day! It's hard hard road but feels good to have others to connect with, even if it is online!

Feb 15, 2013
My dad died of a heart attack, too
by: Barb

I, too, felt guilt over my Dad's sudden death of a heart attack when I was 14. Today, I am 67, and I still remember seeing my Dad die right in front of me, as you did with your Dad. The night before my Dad died, I went out with my friends to meet some boys, and told my Dad I was going to the library! I am telling you this because as kids or young people, we are going to do some silly and thoughtless things: I lied to my Dad, you slammed the door in his face. These are mostly normal things that happen in families, and we all need to get over our guilt. It's hard, but not impossible. At least you know there are others out there who have said and done things they aren't proud of, but we are human, and our Dads and Moms love us and forgive us, as we do them for anything they may have done. Peace and Grace to you.

Feb 12, 2013
Sudden death
by: Anonymous

My husband died at age 50 with no big problems, he also died very suddenly I gave him dinner on monday night 12/10 /12, in the morning I saw him snoring at the computer, did not think anything, off I went to drop my kids, came back to see him on the floor still did not think anything thought he was tired after a court appearance the past Friday and he was sleeping off the beer he had the previous night, he never woke up, he was gone forever, when the time comes I don't think anybody can prevent it. I was told you cannot even take one extra breath when the time comes. But explain that to the person in total grief, what a life I am a widow even before I turn 50 how fair is life

Feb 11, 2013
Follow Up
by: Original Poster

Turns out my dad did not die from a heart attack at all, he died from electrical activity suddenly shutting down. All of a sudden his SA and AV nodes just suddenly stopped firing and he died instantly. There is no way for a doctor to predict this in advance, it's called Sudden Cardiac Death and it's very scary, people just drop dead. Doctors can predict heart attacks and other problems, but not this. My father had no chance at all, it was just his time. I still secretly wish I had asked him about that scowl and grimace 10 minutes earlier obviously, I mean everyone does.

Even he himself was shocked this was happening. At least I was around to get him some help, I think he was confused as to what on earth could be going on and he wouldn't have called the paramedics himself. Or god forbid, he would have driven to the emergency room himself, crashed on the highway, and killed other people.

He was too goofy, too young, and too fun to die like this. He had so many hopes and dreams for my future. He'll never see me finish my education and he'll never see me get married and meet his grandchildren. Sad man. Hopefully he will see it all from heaven :(

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and kind words, I greatly appreciate it :)

Feb 11, 2013
I feel like it's my fault my Dad died....
by: Doreen U.K.

It is not your fault that your Dad died. We all say things in life that we regret. In your case your dad died soon after. We have stressors on our heart all the time. Your father is responsible also for his part in the argument. You shouldn't shoulder all the responsibility. It is hurtful for your father to have said to you, that he hopes you would get married, have kids and move out. If you had died instead of your father. He would have felt guilty for what he said, which is cruel. I think there would have been enough love between you and your dad for him to forgive you. If he held onto this argument for whatever reason and it caused him stress. This is his responsibility. Your father had time to talk to you and resolve the issue. For your father to ask you to take him to the hospital and you to take him and call 911 at the same time shows an immense responsibility on your part and enough love to still carry on a relationship. FORGIVE YOURSELF for the stupid argument. WE all have something to feel guilty about but GUILT kills. It stops us moving forward and takes away the joy out of life. I spent years feeling guilty and a good dose of counselling resolved this. In counselling any guilt usually evaporates and this doesn't become an issue anymore. It worked for me and I don't hold onto guilt now. It is such a FREE and liberating experience.

Feb 11, 2013
Numbers up
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately this happened...I beleive when your number is up, no matter how, one way or another, you are going. I just lost the love of my life in pretty much the same way. Nothing, I repeat, nothing you did or didn't do added or subtracted. You Dad passed knowing you we're helping him, don't ever forget that.

Feb 11, 2013
More information
by: Andrea

I really don't think that the argument you had with your father, or the shock you believe that it gave him could have caused his heart attack. But what I really think you should do is to speak to a doctor about the condition that he died from and be clear in your own mind if you could have caused it or not. Good luck!

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