My Dad passed away last month. I am finding it hard to function. - Mothering Forums
Grief and Loss > My Dad passed away last month. I am finding it hard to function.
greenfeet's Avatar greenfeet 11:00 AM 03-06-2012

This is going to be a long run on sentence I am sure:

I lost my father last month and it has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I have lost family members before in my life, my grandparents and two brothers, but this is unbearable. I was younger for the other deaths and this is my first death as an adult and I don't know if that has anything to do with it.


The events surrounding his death are what makes this the most difficult for me, I think. I live about an hour away from my parents so I drive over every few months to see them. At the time of his passing my Dad was actually working out of state and staying at an extended stay hotel. My Mom called me the day that he passed and said she had tried to call him but he was clearly still half asleep because he would answer the phone and hang up and she could hear his CPAP machine in the background. She then tried to call him a little later and it just went to his voicemail and she figured he had gotten up and realized he was late and went to work. She didn't think much of it, and honestly neither did I because I didn't frequently talk to my Dad on the phone. So, I just figured he did that to my mom on normal occasions from the way she made it sound. The next day, Valentines Day, my husband and I just found out we were preapproved for our mortgage so we were both very excited to be buying a house. I called my Mom to tell her and in the conversation she mentioned that she was starting to worry because she still hadn't heard from my Dad. At this point, I became a little concerned, and mentioned her to try and call where he was working or the hotel he was staying at. She said yeah I think I have his work number somewhere around here, and we got off the phone. I honestly really at this point wasn't too concerned but it was in the back of my head. At some point after I got off work I fell asleep and was napping and my Mom calls me. I don't answer it the first time she tries to call me because I am still groggy and haven't quite realized what is going on. She then texts me "911". At that moment I know. I know it is my Dad, and I know he is dead. My heart starts racing and I try and call her and get her voice mail 3 times. And just keep hanging up and calling again. She finally answers and is clearly sobbing and I am even more sure. And then she says it. I find myself constantly thinking about this and replaying my voice during this conversation. I was by myself, my husband was at work and it took me at least 10 minutes to figure out how to call his work. Then I get put on hold because they can't find him. My brother (who lives across the street from me) knocks at my door and I see him and we both lose it. And I know he knows. And it is so hard. My brother and Dad were really close and had a good relationship and I am really close with my brother so that breaks me down even more. My husband finally calls me and my brother tells him and he comes home and I lose it again when I see him. My brother's girl friend who I love, is with us and is such a help. We drive the hour to my parents house and I start crying again as soon as I see my childhood home, where I last saw my Dad on New Years.


Over the next few days we find out more, and they are pretty sure it was a heart-attack not long after my Mom called him. Because he had taken off his CPAP, put on his glasses, and fell on the floor. The guilt of thinking there was something we could have done is overwhelming. That if I would have just thought about it when my Mom was telling me about it, I might have thought something was wrong and had her call the police or something. I don't know.


Also, the last conversation I had with my father we said we were going to keep in better touch. This was mid January. And that was the last time I ever talked to him. If I would have known I would have said so many more things. I would have called him more.


I found myself wanting to be where my Dad was just to feel his presence. I was searching for that. I wanted to be the first one to see him at the viewing, and I felt nothing. I went 2 hours before the viewing and just waited for everyone else because I wanted to know he was still with me in some way.  I could tell he wasn't there but it did make it real for me. We debated cremating him before they flew him back into our state but I knew I needed to see him, or I would never believe it was the right person, or I don't know. I noticed my Dad had big ears which I somehow missed all these years.


We went to the state he was staying in to pick up his things and I wanted to go in the room he died in because I feel the overwhelming desire to feel his presence and to know that he is still with me somehow. I felt nothing again. The room was all torn up and the mattress was up against the wall, so I assume they were replacing everything in the room. They basically had everything out of there, but I did open up the cabinets to make sure and saw brown rice in the trash can. And I keep thinking about that brown rice. He tried to do things that were healthy for him, even though he was overweight and had diabetes and heart problems. He was always taking vitamins and eating things that were supposed to be good for you. That just tears me up thinking about it.  His room number was 130. And the whole 13 thing now creeps me out.


I loved my Dad so much, but our relationship was weird. I never really felt comfortable around him, and I don't think he ever really felt comfortable around me. I always though, we would end up close again when I got older. I would have kids, and he would love being a grandpa. I am so heartbroken that he never got the opportunity to be a grandfather. I just got married in November, so I am so thankful he was there to walk me down the isle, but there is still so much left. My kids will never know there grandfather. They will never hear his stories. I never even got to tell him my husband and I were buying a house.


My husband and I were just talking about how good everything was going for us, not two weeks before we found out. And on Valentines Day, when I had found out about the house I remember thinking that this may be the best Valentines Day I have ever had. If I would have only known what I would find out a few hours later.


I am finding it hard to function. I rarely cried before this happened. My husband had maybe seen me cry 6 times in the 6 years we dated before we got married. And I have cried everyday since I found out. I am even considering seeing a psychic or something to see if they can feel his presence. I know this may sound weird but I have an overwhelming desire to know I will see him again someday. But I don't have really any firm beliefs. I would consider myself agnostic. Or open to the options but unsure. It's just knowing that someone spent 63 years on this earth impacting people, and making memories with people, can just suddenly be gone. It clearly isn't fair. I just have so many memories and it just hurts unbelievably bad. I could have never imagined this kind of pain. I am lost.


Thank you for taking the time to read all or some of my story.

MoonWillow's Avatar MoonWillow 02:10 PM 03-07-2012

I read every word and I am in tears because your story is SO reminiscent of my own that its almost shocking.


I lost my dad suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. We lived 6 hours apart so we didn't see each other regularly. I kept having a hard time getting a hold of him and I would mention it to people who would just kinda brush it off  (he was a bit of a recluse so it wasn't out of the norm for him not to be available). But it kept happening (so did my nagging feeling) so my brother finally went and broke the door to Dad's apartment down, and found him (after having had passed probably about a week previous). He had atherosclerosis so it was something to do with that.


I said a lot of times, "I knew it" and I heard a lot of, "yes you did" but it was NO comfort.  He was SO close to meeting his first grandchild. SO close. greensad.gif


It's like you say, you replay EVERY detail, I knew when I saw a call coming in from my brother late on a Saturday night that it was bad. And I replayed the horrible moment many, many, many times. But I don't really anymore or at least I don't emotionally "wince" whenever I think of the loss. I do cry when I try to tell my kids about him. Because you know you just can't do them justice in their absence. My dad was such a unique character. But it gets easier. You need some time under your belt and the obsessive running through the sequence of events in your head should subside. One month is not much time at all. 


Please don't hesitate to seek help though. I wish I did. My first birth was traumatic and the postpartum depression period happening right on top of my shock/grief was something that is almost indescribable! And looking back, I didn't realize just how dark of a place I was really in at the time.  


My dad also walked me down the aisle at my wedding just a few short weeks before he passed in November 2004. He did know about (and get to see) our first home, but just barely. I am thankful that he was at my wedding but its so bittersweet because he misses literally everything else, my siblings weddings and kids etc, etc *sigh*. Actually I do believe that he is with me. There have been unexplained things (but that's another conversation). If it helps,*I* believe that your dad is with you too though.  


And I wanted to tell you that you're not alone!



Caneel's Avatar Caneel 10:34 AM 03-08-2012

My dad passed away a little over a year ago.  I also wanted you to know you aren't alone.



MoonWillow's Avatar MoonWillow 02:16 PM 03-08-2012

Hugs to you Caneel. 

Brandy Chard's Avatar Brandy Chard 03:05 PM 03-08-2012

Your future kids WILL know their grandfather because YOU will tell them who he was, what made him tick, what he believed, etc... And you will tell them the stories he told you and your brothers. Although it may feel as though death has won, this is not true! I believe our spirit, the very essence of each of us, is alive forever! As you said, your dad lived here for 63 years and he made an impact in the lives of others. His life was not for nothing. I don't even know you or your dad, but I feel the connection we all have to each other, and I think your dad's spirit will be with you and your family. He will still take your hand and guide you. Although you cannot physically feel or touch him, and that is hard, you can still feel his spirit and all that he taught you and said to you. I promise you, one day you will be able to be happy again and speak of your dad without crying. You may not have faith in God, or faith in anything right now, and that is okay. My faith is very weak sometimes, a lot of times actually, but faith is just a HOPE that you have. And I hope there is a heaven and we will see those who have gone before us one day. I hope like hell this is true, so in that regard.... I have a LOT OF FAITH. My gut feeling has always been that we don't live and die for nothing. There are more things unseen than seen by the eye and one day we will see it all!  What did your dad believe happened to a persons spirit when they die? I am not a "bible-thumper", nor have I been to church in 11 years or so, but I have faith there is more and I have found comfort many, many times, reading the word of God. And, by the way, I don't think it is a coincidence that I have replied to you. I  am not on the computer much and I have NEVER responded to anyone in any forum, nor have I ever visited whatever site I am on. Maybe God wants you to turn to him in this hour of need and you will get some peace over this. I am praying that you will. I hope you see this, my friend!! Your fellow sister, Brandy C.

greenfeet's Avatar greenfeet 02:56 PM 04-07-2012

I notice now, I kind of made my post and disappeared for awhile.  I am sorry about that. I so appreciate the kind words and stories. And MoonWillow I am so thankful that you told me about your story.  I guess it is just nice to know that I am not the only one who has experienced this situation.  Even though I know others have, it is just nice to know that I am not alone. I wouldn't say that things have gotten easier, but I have good moments now too.  It is just really hard.  I think the whole situation has spawned a change in me. I hope it turns out to be a good one. I miss my dad all the time. I never stop thinking about him, and I am so mad that I didn't spend more time with him while I still had the chance.  It is just hard. Thank you all for understanding and caring. 

riversong's Avatar riversong 03:17 PM 04-17-2012

I lost my mom and dad last year, to two different illnesses.  I know exactly what you mean about wanting so badly to feel someone's presence after they're gone.  My mom was the one I was close to and I miss her so much that I cry almost daily even though she died a year ago.  I'm also sorry that I didn't spend more time with her.  She was sick, but her death was sudden and unexpected.  I thought I had more time.  It's so hard to let go of the guilt.  Just wanted to let you know I've been there.

Tags: Grief And Loss