My Guardian Angel/My best Friend:
My father was 71 with a history of COPD/Emphysema. I had spoken with him on the phone Aug. 26, 2011. We talked for an hour and he said he felt fine. I got a phone call on the 27th, from a neighbor he wouldn't answer his door. I called him and he tells me he's having a bad day. I stopped by his house two hours later, I had a key and let myself in. Daddy was struggling to breathe and had his head tilted downward, but he was coherent and understanding everything I said and asked. He couldn't speak, but squeezed my hand to answer me. I got him some water and he sipped it. With him in his recliner, I sat at his feet begging his approval to call an ambulance. Each time I asked he squeezed my hand "no". I checked his pulse and it was 40. I should have known the end was near, but I did what my daddy wanted. When I asked if he was in pain, he told me no. He gently lifted his head to look at me and a tear rolled down his face. I wiped it away. Even though he saw me...I don't think he REALLY saw me, It was like he was looking straight through me. I took care of his dog that evening as he sat and watched. His dog was his life and I knew that was important to him. I tried to make daddy comfortable and explained I couldn't sit and watch him like that. He slightly nodded and gave my husband this look to get me out of the house. I gave him a hug, told him I loved him, and that I would be back first thing in the morning to check on him. On the 28th at 7am, I went back to let myself in daddy's, opened the door, and saw him sitting in his recliner, the same as when I left, with his dog in his lap. Daddy died 30 min to an hour after I left..he put his head down for a nap and didn't wake up. I feel so guilty, so heart broken..why didn't I just stay with him. I know I honored his wishes and I did what he wanted/hoped I would do. I just don't know how to forgive myself. I feel like I failed him, when he needed me most. I should have been there. He was my best friend, and with each passing day, I find it harder to go on. We talked almost every day. I miss his voice, I miss him, He was all that I had left. Now I have his dog, and it's a small part of him he's left me with. So we grieve together and just try to get through the days. Not a moment goes by I don't remember how it all came about. This memory I live with, my family doesn't want to hear it, I can't talk about it or share with them. This overwhelms all the happy memories. I can't get it out of my head. Maybe this release will help to ease my mind.