One month later

by Jordan C.
(Colorado)

One month ago, I lost my dad from a sudden, massive heart attack. He had just turned 60. It was two days before Christmas. He died immediately- one minute he was alive, and then he was not.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the days and weeks leading up to his death. I remember things that seemed insignificant at the time, not realizing that it would be the last. My family happened to be spending the weekend up in the mountains at a condo. Miraculously, we were all together- sisters home from college and the Peace Corps for the holiday, husband and I off of work… When I woke up on Monday morning, the first thing I saw was my dad sitting in a chair, reading a book, in the dim morning light. I felt safe and at peace. That day, he drove my family back home. He bought groceries for Christmas dinner. He cleaned the house. We made plans to go for dinner with my husband’s family, and see Christmas lights. I decided to meet him at my parent’s house so we could head out together. We said a brief hello, I helped him make a bed. I chatted with my sisters, he went upstairs for his coat. When my sister went up for shoes, she heard a gasping sound. She found him on the floor in his room. She yelled to call 9-1-1.

We did CPR. The ambulance came. They could never revive him. When I think about the speed with which our plans changed, our lives changed, I feel like I’m in a fog. I think maybe I’m dissolving; my eyes don’t want to focus. It seems we entered another universe, jumped right out of time and space and our lives and became another family, other people, in a new place where we don’t have a dad. I remember my thoughts, my feelings, before it happened, and it seems like another life. I can’t imagine ever having the same joy, lightness of heart. I can’t imagine ever being the same person I was.

On Christmas we still had his presents wrapped under the tree. We had leftovers from a meal he had cooked. His dirty laundry from the weekend sat in his bag. Now, a month later, the immediacy of his life is fading away. I remember in the first 24 hours after his death, horrible as they were, I dreaded the passing of time. I felt that each hour was carrying me further from a life in which I had a father. In place of the sharpness of the early days, there is a numbness now. Some days, I can almost pretend life is normal. Other days, like today, I wake up and feel like there are heavy weights on my chest. My shoulders slump, my face is limp. Each daily task seems like am impossible chore and I can barely muster the willpower to get in the shower, drive to work, sit in my chair...

Comments for One month later

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Mar 29, 2014
Angry and Lost
by: Doreen UK.

Helen Anger is such a huge part of grief I didn't think I would be feeling this today nearing 23 months I lost my husband to a deadly cancer. Such pain we bear is CRUEL. It is ENDLESS SUFFERING. I can only take ONE DAY AT A TIME. It is still HARD. Today was another of those Saturday's The day of the week my husband died. I can't get use to Saturdays. Every one is bad. I don't anticipate this. IT JUST HAPPENS AUTOMATICALLY.
My husband liked BOXING this was his sport. I can't watch a game. It is too painful.
Being from the UK I understand the RUGY sport. and The banter between your husband and father would have made life a fun thing to do. My husband and brother-in-law's would do this with the football. NOW NOTHING. What happens when one of the group is missing. HOW DOES ONE GO ON?????
I feel the depth of your sorrow and your tears in your post and I feel so helpless to be of support to you. I didn't think I would feel the way I do nearing the 2yrs. mark of grief. I will lose my father soon at 92yrs. and even though I will accept it because of his age I will hurt so bad. He is in a care home now and I can't get to see him. My younger sister put him there. Whilst I was nursing my husband dying of cancer for over 3yrs. I feel angry about this also. Can't resolve my hurt or anger. Your Dad was young at 65yrs. My husband died at 65yrs. just 16 days before his 66th birthday, we had to do at the graveside. We released balloons in memory of all those who died of cancer like my husband. The only Hope is that TOMORROW is another day and I hope it will be a better one for all of us. God be with you!. I am sorry for your loss.

Mar 29, 2014
Angry and lost .
by: Helen . Wales UK

How do you carry on without your Dad . Who do you talk to when your Dad has gone . Dads love you no matter what , they don't judge just love you unconditionally . I seen Daddy every day and still had to phone to say Good morning and night night . I was there that afternoon showing him how to use his new mobile phone ,we went up to watch the game. Wales were playing England in the rugby . This is such a competitive game to my family as my husband is English and we are Welsh . Ha we won ! Dads face was a picture when we left Dad was still teasing my husband at 7:30 when we left for home . I went up to have a bath and pottered about . At 9:30 I phoned Dad as I always do to say night night , he was still in good spirit about the game and teasing John . Told him I would call tomorrow morning . Mum phoned at 10:05 and said Dad was not answering the phone , he was collecting her at 10:00 . I don't know why but I knew , just knew . I jumped in the car and sped to Dads , he only lives five mins away . All the way I kept saying please God let him be ok , but I knew in my heart he was gone but I don't know how . I raced up the garden path and through the front door . He was in his chair , sitting there the lamp was on and he was sitting here . GONE ! I just remember saying oh No Daddy , No . For 25 mins I did CPR I remember the phone kept ringing but I didn't stop I just wanted to blow my life into him . My husband came in ,then the paramedics close behind . I didn't want to stop I just wanted to keep blowing my life into him . John pulled me away from him and they shocked Dad . Nothing ! Nothing ! I feel so angry it's two months since that awful night and I am so angry , I can't cry I feel sick inside and I am so angry . I want my Dad back my world has stopped spinning , I can't eat or sleep or cry . All I can see in my minds eye is Dad siting there and the colour of his face , it won't go away it haunts my every second . Dad was only 65 that's not old . He didn't drink or smoke his heart just stopped beating . I can't come to terms with his death I feel robbed angry and lost . X

Feb 07, 2014
9 weeks ago
by: Christy

Hi Jordan,
Your story really touched me, as I am feeling the same unspeakable pain. My dad died of a massive heart attack on December 7th. We had just gone to get the Christmas tree that morning. We ran errands together that day, and he joked and laughed as he always did. My mom, sister and I went shopping, and my dad and husband stayed to cut wood. My dad went in before my husband to take a shower and get ready to decorate the tree. Meanwhile, we came home. We walked to the back of the house to find my dad collapsed on the bed. I screamed without stopping for hours. My dad was my best friend in the entire world. He was only 64. I feel so cheated and so angry. He will never meet my children, never walk my little sisters down the aisle. He wasn't even sick; there was nothing wrong with him!
Not that anything can bring us solace right now, but know your pain is shared with someone who is also suffering unbearable loss.

Jan 30, 2014
There too
by: Stacy

Jordan

It is awful. We are all here and going through that similar processing. Reading stories has helped me to feel connected to others that get it. Keep this site handy. May God be with you in your time of need.

Jan 30, 2014
So Sorry Jordan!
by: Martha

So sorry Jordan for the loss of your Dad at such a young age...I understand your overwhelming grief at this time. I lost my 35-year-old son in June of last year. I share that feeling that I am not the same person. It will take you a long time to recover. Seven months later, I am still having some days that are better than others but it is a lot better than it was. It always makes me so sad when people lose their loved ones around the holidays. Perhaps it was God's plan to take him when you were altogether...Just hang on to your family and friends and look to each other for comfort...it is a long journey of grief but one we have to take...it is different for every person. Wish I could give you a hug. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers..

Jan 30, 2014
One month later
by: Doreen UK

Jordan I am so sorry for your loss of your father to a sudden death.
We go through life feeling comfortable with life and our family and then tragedy strikes. Why shouldn't we enjoy each other. This is what we are here for. To forge family relationships and build up a life and continue the circle of life. We daren't focus on what life would be like if things changed and we lost someone. Because in reality we can't even imagine what we are going through when we lose a significant member of our family, till it happens. It then is as you describe. As if we were catapulted into a new universe and life has changed. We are in a new environment and we don't like it. We want the old life back with all the same people in it. We don't want our comfortable life tampered with and spoilt. We want life to just go on and on without disruption. The pain and bruising from grief is so hard to go through. It hits you in the body and causes you to feel so weak that you can hardly put one foot in front of the other. Almost as if we ran on batteries and they were failing. This is how grief feels and worse. WE each have a different way of expressing this and it helps many of us who can't quite express this grief. It goes on for days, weeks, months, and maybe years. Assaulting us each time we try to move forward. For me it is like moving through an explosion. It feels like having a breakdown and needing someone to come and put us back together again. The best way forward Jordan is ONE DAY AT A TIME. Even one moment at a time. I have been grieving for 5yrs. from diagnosis of my husband's cancer, and 20 months since he died. I structure my day and do what I need to most days. But there will be days when you can't quite do anything. Accept these days and be kind to yourself and DO NOTHING. Take yourself of somewhere and nurture yourself. Make them good days where you do something for yourself. This is like ointment on a wound. VERY HEALING. The healing process is slow but know that you will HEAL and one day RECOVER FROM GRIEF. This gives us hope to go on each day. Surround yourself with family and friends to support you and each other and you will cope better with grief. I wish you better days ahead.

Jan 29, 2014
one month later
by: Anonymous

I lost my dear husband last year. In 1993 I lost my father. They were the two most special people in my life, now I am all alone, everyone else has their own thing thinking of me very little. The selfishness of people is beyond comprehension. I totally understand every detail you describe in respect to time/space/ physical feelings/ that strange disconnect and most of all the unbearable pain of the loss, the magnitude of the loss as it grows ever more heavy and a void that our special men held--it can never be filled. I am angry that nothing will ever be the same and we go on into the future without them. My lovely husband was also in the present and then the past--just like flipping a switch.

Jan 29, 2014
Dear Jordan,
by: Anonymous

I read your post and had to reply. Sadly, my experience is similar to yours. My father died suddenly from cardiac arrest on January 14, 2013. One minute he was here, then he was gone. Despite CPR, and efforts in the ER, he never regained consciousness. I look back at the days leading up to his death, and everything was so ordinary and so safe. We went for coffee, he came to my son's basketball game, took a drive in my new car, and then he was gone. Just like that. I manage to get through each day taking care of my husband, my children, and my mother. But I feel like a different person without him in my life. I can't get used to the new normal, or the new me. I appear "fine", but I feel like I am losing my mind. I remember coming back to their house from the hospital that afternoon, in shock and disbelief. There were breakfast dishes in the sink. I remember thinking "He just ate breakfast, it was an ordinary day, and now he's gone??". Sometimes I still can't process what has happened, everything seems so unreal, and there is no longer a comfort zone for me. I have found such comfort and understanding on this website. Everybody here understands what you are going through and knows how difficult it is. Take your time, and be kind to yourself. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you can find some peace and comfort in the
days ahead. You are not alone, Barb

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