My Dad

by Julie
(Hastings, PA)

My Dad died the day after Christmas as a result of an accident. It had snowed in recent days, and the snow had been along side the road from being plowed and had started to melt falling down an embankment onto the road . He was taking his dog to a routine vet appointment that day. A witness said his back tire slid off the road and he came back onto the road into the water and ice . His truck began to fishtail, it went up a tiny embankment and struck a tree. He was alert and oriented but trapped for 40 minutes as his leg was bleeding. He had open fractures above and below his knee and a crushed hip, maybe both hips broken as well. He was concerned for the dog and asked for my mother to be called, "she will probably have to have the dog put down, she was tossed around in the truck and is hurting" . Blankets were brought by a kind person . My dad asked that the dog be wrapped up, she was cold and shaking. See, my Dad was 84 years old, gave to others and helped others his whole life. He was the primary caregiver to my quadriplegic brother, who still lives at home." Ironically" , as my Dad said to the police officer, "my son hit a tree and is paralyzed, I take care of him" . My mother is 83. My father would die after being extricated from the truck and taken to the hospital. He asked what he was allergic to, his reply, "work". He was the hardest working man I knew. He died 2 1/2 hours after the accident, on a CAT Scan table. He bled out from the trauma and had a heart attack. I happen to do CAT Scans for a living. This has been and is a tough journey. I think about him constantly and how much pain he must have been in and yet did not complain. He drove on terrible winter roads back and forth to Niagara Falls for 38 years from Pennsylvania, and had the accident on the same road he was born on. I miss him terribly. I cannot sleep. My own family thinks I need counseling, "I want my wife back", "you're not the same" ... you should be better now, learn to cope"... I feel like I am smiling falsely just so I don't talk about it.

Comments for My Dad

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Apr 29, 2014
by: Ivy

Julie, I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad on March 11 2013, he was 82. For the first 6-8 months, I was a complete basket case. I tried counseling (which I have done before) and got very little to no relief. I cried daily, could not make a decision and was in a very deep depression. However, I did not realize how bad it was. While lying in bed, I searched grief recovery and found this site. It was my turning point. Just being able to read others post about their grief made me realize that I was grieving normally and that everyone grieves differently. No one has the right to tell you that you should be doing better. This is your journey and you take it. We both know that it is not an easy one, but everyone takes it at some point. Hang in there and cherish the good memories. May God give you peace!

Apr 26, 2014
Hang in there
by: Stacy C

First, I'm very sorry you have to go through this. My father also died suddenly in a car crash last August. There are a lot of answers that I think we search for because we didn't wake up that day with a sick family member that might pass (not that that scenario sounds easier). You're left wondering how this could happen and why him and why now and why you didn't get a chance to tell him what he meant to you.
I have been to counseling but I didn't start until 5 months had passed. It has helped me. I suggest you wait until you're ready for that and you decide it's time, don't be pushed into it at someone else's request because it won't be effective that way.
Most days I focus on how extremely lucky I am that my dad met my children and saw me move into a new home that I'll spend many years in. He walked me down the aisle and watched me have succes in my career. He knew that he influenced me in positive ways by watching me do volunteer work. Your father was much older than mine even, so he got to see you grow and watched your choose Radiolgy as a career to help others. He watched you have a passion for work that gives you a chance to touch so many in a positive way and potentially save lives (your scanning abilities especially with cardiac scanning can allow for this- don't be modest in your thoughts because you are saving lives)!!!
That doesn't always work or make this easier. There are bad days that come that will make you mad or sad. My advice is to hang in there. I can promise you that the good days will soon outnumber the bad and you will grow a respect and deeper understanding of life as a result of this. It will make you a better person and, therefore, he will teach you something even in his passing.
I don't know if you're spiritual so no offense if you are not, but I pray God will stay close to you and help you to remember the years you had as you begin to live without him. You will be ok and he will always be with you. You'll see signs of that soon if you haven't already.

Apr 26, 2014
My Dad
by: Doreen UK

Julie I am sorry for your loss of your Dad. No child can ever forget the love and care which their parents put into their lives to make them the person they are today. The only way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. And even this at times feels all too much when each day feels the same. It is only when looking back that you will see how much easier it gets each day. WE are richer in life belonging to a family who loves us, and often we want this to last forever. You may have many people in your life who think they know best how you should handle grief. BUT. Not even us who are going through this will ever tell you to "Get over it" "Learn to cope" etc. These are cruel statements made by people who don't know what to say so say anything so they get you back the way they want you to be. They probably have never had an encounter with grief so the best thing to do is to IGNORE these people and their comments. And if you are ever in their presence and hurt by such comments. Be ASSERTIVE and ask then to keep their opinions to themselves because they are not helping you. If they don't know what to say THEN SAY NOTHING. I found this out when going through grief. I actually uttered the statement to my sister. "I want you to take me for ME. Not what you think I should be." "I want to be myself." Often we have to communicate how we feel so people GET IT. If you are stuck in grief and not able to move forward then you could benefit from seeing a counsellor. When you have spent years with someone and then they are suddenly gone and not there anymore it feels as if an explosion has gone off inside us and we can't get up. I hurt for days and felt weak and unable to go on. I did nothing for 6 months. Grief will be different for each of us, but in time you will grow and learn what your needs are.

Apr 25, 2014
thoughts of regret and feeling selfish
by: julie

Thank you Barb, I appreciate your kind words. I feel almost selfish if I talk about him because he was a good 84, and I feel so lucky to have had him in my life all those years.Others have loss of their parents at such a younger age.I think of him being trapped in his truck and how much pain he had to have been in. I think of what must have been going through his mind. I worry for my daughter who was able to get to the hospital before me, but had to call me and ask the crucial questions regarding his code status and what he wanted done. She witnessed his lifeless body being taken out of CAT Scan with the blood soaked sheets beneath him and covering his fractures. He was my Dad, her grandfather, these are things I can't seem to get past either.If only she or I could have been able to hold his hand in his final time, to say good-bye, to tell him we all loved him and what a good man he was. These are more of my struggles. Thank you for thinking of me.

Apr 25, 2014
Dear Julie,
by: Anonymous

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry to read about your father. I lost my father in January 2013 - he was 81 years old and he died suddenly- no chance to say goodbye. I still cannot grasp the enormity of what has happened. I go through each day, no longer talking about him, but he is in my every thought. I know exactly how you are feeling, and I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. Know that you are not alone. I will keep you in my thoughts and I wish you peace, strength and comfort in the days ahead. Barb

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