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.