Not enough time


My dad passed away four years ago next month... I keep waiting for it to get easier, for the pain to lessen... sometimes it seems like it's gotten better, then the anniversaries of things, and the holidays show up and I'm a mess. Dad was 83 when he passed, I was 32. I felt I didn't get my due time with him, I was 32, most of my friends were in no way worrying about losing a parent. My children were 12 and 8 at the time, too young to lose their grandfather.

I feel so much guilt still... he had a brain tumor that was misdiagnosed as a stroke... why didn't I question the initial diagnosis? Why didn't I look up more treatment options when he said no to radiation? My family left it all up to me and I wanted to do whatever Dad wanted, but why didn't I convince him... and I keep thinking of the past... why didn't I visit more, I only visited every other weekend in the last few years... I was only an hour away! Why wasn't I a better child? I'm writing this out just to get it out, but I can't stop crying... shouldn't it be easier to cope now?

Mom lives with me now, but I don't talk to her about these things, she has enough pain on her own without me laying all of this on her. Now it's Christmas time, which Dad loved... I can't go to a store without crying, can't hear a Christmas song without crying. Dad was such a happy spirited person, he'd hate to see me like this, but then I think others see me that way as well, what if he had this kind of pain inside of him and I never realized it? My brother passed when I was a baby, and what if Dad was always ripping himself apart inside like I am now? What kind of a daughter was I that I didn't see it and help him with it? Why was I so selfish, and why am I being selfish now, letting myself dwell on these things when my family needs me to be there for them 100%?

Dad first collapsed in early July of 2009, mom called me shortly after... he had been working in a machine shop until right before... I made him go to the hospital, he had all the symptoms of a stroke and was diagnosed with one... he went to rehab and seemed almost back to normal within weeks... in October he was reverting so we went to a neurologist... in November we got the results, it was never a stroke, it was a tumor and it had multiplied greatly since July. I found out just after Thanksgiving... I spent what time I could with him and took a week off for Christmas so my boys and I could stay with him. I visited every weekend after... one Monday mom called and said dad wasn't talking or walking suddenly, time was near. I told work I'd be gone, drove out with the boys. My oldest and I took care of dad day and night, and on Wednesday we had moved him to the living room on a hospital bed. I knew, I just felt like it was time, and I sat next to his bed all day holding his hand, and that afternoon suddenly his breathing slowed and then stopped, and his eyes opened and he looked up, I remember thinking it looked like he was looking for help and why couldn't I help him????? And he passed, and I did nothing. I couldn't save him. I was useless. I had six months in which I should have figured something out, and I was useless. I will never feel it wasn't my fault, I know that now. I will never stop feeling guilty... I have given up on ever feeling better. I just want to be there for my family and not let them know, I don't want them to have to deal with this. I'm hoping writing this out will help me, but I don't see it happening. I'm not looking for help or advice or sympathy, I'm looking for a little release, though I am doubtful.

Thank you for reading.

Comments for Not enough time

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Dec 27, 2013
orignal poster
by: Anon

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. It does help a little to know that these feelings are not mine alone. Barb, your story really hit home with me for some reason, just the way you tell it, your emotions sound so familiar to me. I constantly belittle myself for not living up to who my dad was, and keep trying to make him proud as much as I can.

Dec 17, 2013
not enough time also
by: charlotte

I read your post and I know how hard it is.I lost my dad on September 25th,2007. I was 33 and he was 70. He had cancer and he had it since 2000. I called him on a friday and he was really sick we talked for a few minutes and I let him go because he said he was so sick he could hardly stand up.That night he went to the hospital and he had pneumonia.They said give him a few days and he would be fine.I have 3 sisters and we dont live close to each other or my dad at that time.I got a call 1 week later that they didnt think he was going to make it.I rushed to the hospital about 3 hours away to see him.It wasnt good. He was taken to another hospital put on life support and died.It was the worst pain I ever felt in my life.I didnt get to talk to him or tell him bye. I have alot of guilt for not going to see him when he first went to the hospital.He could talk then,but I thought he would be ok.I understand how bad the guilt is and how you feel.Just know that he loves you and he would not want you to feel that way.It has taken me a long time to get through the sadness.I hope this helps you knowing other people are going through the same thing.

Dec 16, 2013
not enough time
by: Anonymous--MI

I read your post and that of Barb and I pray that in time, we can manage to get past the 'what if's and 'why's and should have's'. My husband died 13 months ago of SCA and I have felt many of the same emotions that you both are feeling---I still do. I was so angry with my husband's physician AND myself for not seeing the subtle signs of a diseased heart. In hindsight I can see many things that should have been addressed by his doctor and were not. I go back over the signs that are now so obvious that my husband needed a full cardiac work up and his inept doctor never ordered the proper medical tests. I am a person of great faith in God. I believe we are given a number of days to live and work and run the race that God has set before us and when our work and time is finished God will call us to heaven. I believe this. However, being human and so missing my good husband of 43 yrs it has been and is very difficult not to blame the doctor and myself. I know it is useless to blame ourselves as we did the best we could under such trying times; think about our love for these men and how much we cared for them and didn't we give them all the love we had? We must look to God every day and especially when the doubts creep in as to why and how and what was done or not done to save our loved ones. These doubts paralyze our ability to move forward in the grieving process and make us 'stuck' and not moving. I know all too well the feelings of anger and questions that do not help me or my family. will this bring our loved ones back? Will these thoughts help us to heal? I am trying to work on getting past these horrible nagging doubts and pray to get to a place of some peace of mind and out from under this heavy black blanket that has been surrounding me. We must make an effort to move forward and know that our bodies are wearing away every day and we all must die. I am so heart broken and missing my dear husband, my best friend and only love of my life that I feel no happiness. What I realize is that I cannot allow the mistakes(? perhaps--perhaps not) of a doctor or my lack of a crystal ball to see the future to take over my life---this anger I do not need. I pray for you both, myself and all on this site for God's great mercy and love to surround us and give us peace.

Dec 16, 2013
Dear Anonymous
by: Anonymous

I am sorry to read your post, and to read about your father. I lost my father in January, and I still cannot get over the fact that he died. My father died suddenly. He suffered sudden cardiac arrest, and was gone. I had seen him the day before - he came to my son's basketball game and he was fine. I replay that morning in my head all the time. My mother called to tell me that he had collapsed while playing golf. She was sobbing as we drove to the hosppital - she had a feeling that he was already gone - his poor friends administered CPR, but by all accounts, he died when he hit the ground. By the time we got to the ER, he was hooked up to machines, tubes, etc. His eyes were wide opoen, but they were not focused, and I knew at that instant that he was gone. But the doctors "worked" on him for hours, and I sat there in complete shock. I asked no questions. I just assumed that everything that was being done to my father was right. I ask myself every single day, "What if there had been more that could have been done?", "Why wasn't the cardiologist there?", "How long DID it take for the ambulance to get to him?", "What were the doctors doing while they "worked" on him?"...But instead of asking questions of the doctors, I sat there. Silent. In shock. I am a grown woman, with a family of my own, but on that day, I was a little girl who watched her father die. I couldn't help him and it breaks my heart. My father was the light of my life. He was the best father anybody could ask for, and I feel like I let him down. He was 81 years old when he died, my children 14 and 11. I am thankful for the fact that we lived close by and that he saw my children very often. I am thankful that my father didn't suffer, but for me, the shock of it all has shaken me to my core, and I will never recover. I understand completely how you feel, you are not alone. I live each day trying to be the kind of person that my father was. He would be heartbroken to know that I am suffering this way, but the hole in my heart is so huge, and the pain is so raw, and it is so hard. I wish you comfort and peace during this difficult time, and in the new year ahead. Barb

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