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My father passed away last month...


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Last month on the 16th my father passed away in the hospital. I've been going through a great deal of depression. Two weeks beforehand, he suffered a stroke. I called 911 after seeing him suddenly not responding and reaching out to feel something or understand what was happening to him. Blood clot in the brain. He had to be positioned with the hope that the blood would leave the brain on its own allowing him to come back to some sort of consciousness. His chances were slim, so the hospital prepared us for the worst.


A week later his vitals stabilized and we were able to Facetime with him. He was able to confirm he could understand us. I asked him to blink twice if he could hear and or see us, which he did, but he couldn't talk due to the swelling from having to use a ventilator for quite so long. We were relieved because he offered us a smile. With Covid-19, the ICU was packed, so they decided to move him to a regular ward since he seemed stable and talks started to create an environment at home that would allow us to help him recover. Morning of the 16th, I wake up and just stare at my phone next to me for only a few minutes before at 5:37am my phone starts to ring. It was the nurse tending to him. He said my father was confirmed dead at 5:20am. Two days of being in the regular ward, his blood pressure suddenly fell. Since he wasn't in the ICU and the staff stretched thin, he didn't get the immediate attention he needed and his heart seized up. 


I needed a few minutes to absorb the information. Then I walked over to my mother's room to tell her what had happened. Then we had to tell my brothers. Just after 6am we're at the hospital sitting outside in the cold. They were only going to let my mother see him and collect his things. She had to beg with the head nurse to allow us to see my father. After so much begging, the nurse relented, but only one at a time while wearing a gown, gloves and a mask. First my mother, then me, then the the second eldest son and finally the youngest. Only allowed 10 minutes each. 


I've spent almost everyday making the necessary calls to move things forward. I've driven around the city to organize his final arrangements (such as getting his naval uniform together and getting the plot and funeral scheduled). Stayed up so late at night regularly looking at piles of paperwork and paying bills. And now this Thursday and Friday, we'll finally have the viewing and burial. Originally his brother from Canada asked us to consider holding off the funeral until summer when travel restrictions might lighten up. Emotionally speaking, we thought it would be cruel undignified to force my father to remain in cold storage until May at the earliest. 


I've done almost everything by myself so my family could carry on, but I feel so worn out and I hardly gave myself a chance to cry. They still don't know that I had sudden heart palpitations and collapsed in my room. I just spent several minutes propping myself back up, fixing my appearance and wiping away tears so they wouldn't be the wiser. 


Sorry all for the long read. I just needed an outlet.

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My condolences to your family and you.


Yeah, it is important not only strong where your family is not but to let them know the burden you are carrying is manifesting as health concerns too. You are only human and no one wants a repeat that happened to your father happen to you. Tell your family when you feel ready and prepared, when you can see a doctor about that heart palpitations. I'm no doctor but it sounds like the anxiety of doing your best for the family probably produced that.


Take care my friend.

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Kind of been there with my dad several years ago, he was in hospice here at the house and we were told it would be soon....  see him on the way out to work Saturday AM then get called a few hours later he had actually passed and so I came on back home.  I had already notified work what the situation could be and had padded out the following week's schedule to account for me not being there because I would be the one taking care of all the details in his death.  Tough day that Saturday was--even if we knew it was imminent.

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I can't even pretend to imagine what you and your family are having to work through here.  You're a strong one taking on those final responsibilities on your own but that's a heavy weight to bear.  Be sure to take time out for yourself to recuperate so you don't overexhaust yourself but also to have time to grieve as well.  So sorry to hear DN, condolences and all the best to you and the family.

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