Lost my Dad suddenly on February 24, 2012
by Cindy S.
(Woodstock, Ontario, Canada)
Hi, as I write this I have tears streaming down my face and can hardly even see the screen. I’ve never even read a blog before, much less posted on one, but here goes…I lost my Dad very unexpectedly and suddenly on February 24, 2012. He had a massive heart attack, with absolutely no warning. Dad was out plowing snow in a neighbours driveway with his tractor, and my Mom was heading out to pick some friends up at the bus station. As she left, she waved good-bye to him, and he waved back. Within 20 minutes after that, he was gone. Mom had no idea that was the last time she would see him alive. My sister was on her way to the house, and intersected with Mom at an intersection, so they talked for a moment and Mom told Donna to look for Dad and see if he needed help with anything. Donna didn’t see him on the way in, so went into the house to get changed, then went out to look for him and found him a few driveways up, on his back in the snowbank. She told me later that he looked like an angel with his arms by his side, with his forearms bent at a 45 degree angle. He wasn’t clutching his chest, and the Dr. at the hospital said that he was gone before he even hit the snow. Donna called 911, and started CPR right away, but it didn’t make a difference; apparently his heart was defibrillating and they weren’t able to get a rhythm back. I thought I was actually handling this fairly well, up until the last few days, and especially this morning. I haven’t slept well the last few nights and I’ve been up since about 3:00 a.m. and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, and have been crying a lot, especially the last few hours. I can’t even imagine how my Mom and Donna are handling this. Mom and Dad were married for 53 years, and still loved each other, and Donna spent a lot more time than I have with my parents…additionally, and I feel selfish saying this, but Thank God it was Donna that found him and not me...she will have that memory and image with her the rest of her life, and I’m not sure I would be able to cope with that. I know I should consider myself very blessed to have been in the minority with both of my parents still living and married to each other, and I can’t even imagine how awful it must be losing a parent at a younger age (I am 42, and my Dad was 78). There were about 250 people at the memorial service (in spite of crummy weather and most had to travel a distance), and the firefighters had an honour guard. It was a real tribute to who my Dad was, and the eulogies were very touching and described Dad to a “T”. I had to kind of laugh when one of them said that Al (my Dad) lived his life by the “Golden Rule” (you know, Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…Dad constantly said that to me when I was growing up…lol) A little over a year ago, at Christmas 2010, I was spending a few days with my parents for the holiday. Mom and Donna had gone out, and it was just Dad and I in the house. I was sitting at the table with him watching him design something for a neighbor, when out of the blue, he says to me, “I don’t want you to cry when I die” and continues to tell me he had no regrets with his life etc, etc. Naturally I was a bit alarmed and uneasy at him saying this, and initially I was a bit bothered by him bringing it up and certainly didn’t want to think about losing him, much less talking about his death. Now, I am so glad that he said to me what he did that day, I have gotten quite a bit of comfort from that. At any rate, I grabbed my winter coat and my laptop about 6:00 this morning and came outside (it’s only about 55 degrees out here), because I just wanted to be left alone when everybody started their day, and wanted to be invisible. I just sat on the back porch for quite awhile, kind of numb, then the waterworks started, and have been pretty much ongoing since it started. I’ve been distant with my boyfriend and his 13 yr old son lately, and my emotional walls are up bigtime! I was beginning to wonder what the blazes was wrong with me, and was I somehow purposely sabotaging my relationship with them for some screwy reason?? Finally after crying for what seemed ages (how can one person possibly have that many tears to cry???), I wondered if this related to Dad, and did a search on Dogpile.com for the grieving process, and found this website. I was just looking for information, and was relieved when I read through the grieving process steps, and realized that I’m not losing my mind after all, and this is actually kind of normal, even if I’m kind of all over the place with my “symptoms”, and have symptoms from different stages all at the same time. It’s kind of amazing actually, this seems to be therapeutic somehow, ‘cause I stopped crying awhile ago, and actually feel a lot better than when I started typing. Thank you for having this site, and the information available to those that need it. I will get the membership, and just want to say how much I appreciate this service being available. I love you Dad, and miss you more than I can say.