Dealing with loss

I called this post “dealing with loss” because I didn’t know what els to call it.

I thought that I should let everyone know that I lost my Dad last Tuesday night. It was sudden and very unexpected, but I was there with him, and got to say goodbye even though he didn’t seem to know I was there.

I got a call from my step mother, Ann, on Monday evening. She let me know that Dad was in the hospital. He had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia, but that he also had gone into respiratory distress on Sunday night and was intubated. He had been “bucking the vent”, so they had to sedate him. At the time we spoke on Monday, she knew that he was stable, but didn’t know if I should come or not. He had a good day that day, so she wasn’t sure what to tell me to do. However, I had a feeling. 73+ aggressive leukemia + intubation + possible infection or sepsis = bad outcome.

So, I set up coverage for my patients at work, and made arrangements for the kids and husband, and left on Tuesday morning to drive to NC and see him for myself.

I got in at around 6pm and we went to the hospital. Of course we got here during the ICU quiet hours (if anyone can remember the term for this, let me know. It’s been driving me crazy) and had to wait until 830 to see him.

I don’t have the words to express how hard it was to see such a powerful man, who I always knew to be so full of life, obtunded in a hospital bed.

I spoke to him. I told him I loved him, and that we need him, and how sorry I was that he was sick. I held his hand, stroked his forehead, and fussed with he blanket. I reviewed the name and rate of each drip, and I felt so lost.

His pressure started to dip, and continued to slide, and the nurse watched closely until she called the code team. They worked hard on Dad, but I knew in my nursey mind that he was in septic shock, and that they were just going through the motions. I’m not sure what time it was, because this weird fog sort of rolled in on me and hasn’t left yet.

I spent the week in NC with Ann. I helped her with Dad’s service, and the obituary. I wrote and delivered his eulogy. I came home yesterday with his straw hat that he always wore.

Now, I’m at my mom’s house, being mothered. However, that fog is still hanging over my head. I am new to this grief thing, having only lost my grandfather prior to this. I was much younger, and the death wasn’t as close to home. I haven’t figured out how to function yet. I guess it will come eventually, but right now I feel emotionally and physically beaten up. I still feel very raw.

I wanted to share with you, because I was hoping it would make me feel better that hiding it felt.

Those who know me know my religious background. Please do not respond with platitudes about my Dad being with god now. He is not. He is in a box on the mantle and he would have wanted it that way. I got my heathen ways from him. :slight_smile:

I DO want to know how you made it through and how long it took to start to feel normal. I also would like to know how you maintained your health, or if the stress triggered flares or anything.

Oh Grumpy I am so sorry for your loss.

I lost my Dad in 20000 on Christmas Eve. He raised me and he was my everything. I did survive but it took awhile. Be kind to yourself. Grief takes it's own time. You can't sped it up nor slow it down. But it does abate.

I also lost my step son in Iraq in 2007. He had only been deployed 42 dyas. His father and I just gotten use to his deployment and missing him around the house in our daily lives. I miss Adam every day and I still cry but it is less often usually when I hear one of his favorite songs or find something of his.

Now I am losing my sister. She has stage 4 cancer and has failed chemo, radiation and surgery. She is in Switzerland getting a natural cure. My heart aches again. She is my little sister so I feel guilt as if I should protect her even though we were raised by different parents in different towns.

I can tell you each death re-lights the past ones. But it also brings an understanding that this is the circle of life. I do not understand nor like it but I do understand that life begins anew which I now abreciate with each new life and eath.

I wish you peace dear Grumpy.

Grumpy,I am very very sorry for your loss. There are no words to make it easier. Time is a great healer but your pain is still very raw. You need to take care of yourself & remember the good times spent with your father. You will always have your memories,nothing can ever take that away from you. Take care of yourself & know that your online buddies are always here.

I have no experience with this type of loss, just with grandparents. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I'm glad that you were able to be there at the end, and it sounds like you are getting some good mothering right now. It takes time. . . . Allow yourself time, and allow yourself to grieve. Take care of yourself.

We love you. Anything you need ...please message me. It will be a rough road. Take each day as it comes. Do not be afraid to cry.


I'm sorry a grumpy, religion aside, your dad isn't confined to that box on the mantle. He was driving like a bat out of hell to NC, he was part of that beautiful tribute and obituary, He was part of that beautiful post that started this thread. He was in part waiting for you to get home as your children are also a reflection.

You, your kids, every generation following is a reflection of your dad. Every person here whom you have had an effect on here, your patients is a bit reflection not to mention the millions your dad reported to over the years.

We do indeed ALL care

It’s such a difficult loss, Grumpy, and I’m so sorry. I know that fog from the death of my parents, but I’d be at a loss to describe it. But it does lift, with time it goes. What I found the most helpful was reminding myself of all the good things and happy times. But that was me. We all have to do the grief work in our own way.

A question for you. Your Dad was a very special person, and a powerful teacher for you. What would your Dad be saying to you now, about grieving his death? Your Dad, as Lamb says, is still alive in spirit: he is part of you, part of your children, and his teaching is what drives you to live life the way you do.

Be good to yourself, Grumpy. Let yourself be mothered, and hold your husband and children close. I wish I could reach out, give you a hug, and bring you some comfort food.

Know that we care about you, and you are in our thoughts.

GrumpyCat, I am terribly sorry for the loss of your dad. I can relate to how you feel and my heart breaks for you. I lost my mom 4 years ago after she lost her battle with stage iv colon cancer. It was very difficult to see her suffer as she did and was probably even some relief mixed in with the grief after she passed just knowing her suffering was over. My siblings and I focused our attention to our father, both he and mom had been married for 54 years when she passed and he was utterly heart broken and devastated.

To see such a hard working, powerful, strong, determined man reduced to a mere shadow of himself was very difficult to witness. Dad had lots of health issues but none in my opinion that would take him away from us suddenly so it was almost inconceivable when he developed a sore foot and was admitted into the hospital on a Wednesday for tests. Thursday we found out it was a blood clot, Friday his organs started to shut down and the family who lived away was advised to come home immediately, the same day Dad was put in palliative care. Saturday all my siblings were home and Dad went into that deep sleep and was no longer able to communicate with us and by Monday night he was gone.

Like you, I was fortunate to be by his side when he passed, just 20 months after losing our mother. The biggest difference in grief from losing mom to dad was with mom we were sort of prepared if that makes any sense but with dad it was a huge shock. I think the shock makes the grief harder to handle cause you feel like your life and your emotions are in limbo and you have no idea what to do or think next. My beliefs are different than yours which maybe makes my thought process different than yours when grieving and that is ok. How you feel when faced with these situations is very personal and no two people will feel exactly the same, regardless of their beliefs but what I can tell you is no matter what you are feeling this minute, the next hour, and in the days to come is ok. You will have moments when you smile with a memory and many moments of tears and even more moments of total disbelief that your dad is actually gone.

I hate the phrase that time heals everything because it don't, what time does do is provide you the opportunity to learn to live with your loss and to focus less on actually losing your dad and more to the memories of your dad. Lean on your family and let them take care of you for a while, take time for you and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, don't try and push the pain away, go through it and deal with it, that is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.

Its so difficult to know the right words to say to a person suffering such a devastating loss and I hope I didn't come across as being uncaring or unfeeling to you, I wrote this response from my heart and just wanted to let you know I understand where you are right now. Please take care of yourself and each other

So sorry for your loss! I recently lost my grandmother, and even though it was not unexpected, it was definitely sad and stressful. It helped to keep moving, even though some days I just wanted to curl up in bed all day. For me, it was therapeutic to go through pictures and share memories with my kids.

Please give yourself the time and space to mourn, and remember to be gentle with yourself.

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad to heart disease when he was 62 and I was 28 (and healthy). It took many years before I could think about my dad without crying and missing him. Now I just try to remember some of the funny things that he used to say and do.

It just stinks, doesn't it? While a sudden end was probably best for your dad (sounds like he was up against some bad stuff) you had no time to get used to the fact that this was really truly it. That makes the grieving process harder- it's the ton of bricks rather than the thousand paper cuts.

You don't ever "get over it" and you have the right to make your favorite gesture of disapproval at anyone who suggests you do just get over it. You do learn to live with it, day by day, loss by loss. You loved your father, and you'll find yourself wanting to call him to tell him this or that, or it will cross your mind, "Dad will know the answer to that one!"

One of the best pieces of advice anyone gave me one time while dealing with my husband's critical illness was to be super careful driving. You think you're fine, but you are actually as distracted as all get out. Doing something stupid behind the wheel is all too easy. You don't need a ticket, or heaven forbid, an accident to further mess things up.

Eat well, sleep if you can. I've never been convinced that stress causes flares. Just be easy on yourself for awhile. It's difficult stuff. Yes. everybody goes through it, but that doesn't make it any easier.

When I lost my mom 6 years ago very suddenly. She was 60 I was 25. (She was healthy, ended up getting a hernia from coughing due to a cold died of a blood clot after surgery). That fog you speak of lasted months. I still hurt and grieve but it’s fading. I’m sorry for your lost. You just have to give it time, nothing really makes it easier for awhile.

I now smile thinking about my Dad saying or doing this or that. He had a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes it as if I hear him saying something very funny and I smile. It is probably memories but what ever it is I love it. I never cry any more about my Dad though Christmas is still a bittersweet time for me.

I did find Grumpy, every once in a while doing something with my son there would be like a shift in reality and just for a second it was as if I was mothering my father as a boy. It was a very odd sensation and it only happened once in a while. I had not noticed they were a lot alike but every now and then I could see my Daddy in my son.

I hope things like this bring you peace Grumpy, as it has me. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

Grumpy, since my dad passed away, I often feel like he is present when something I do or say reminds me of him. We were very much alike, and the older I get, the more I feel myself to be like my dad. He loved to help people. He loved art and nature and animals. Whenever I do or say something that feels like something he would have done or said, I semi-seriously call it "channeling my dad." I'm guessing that you will feel this, too -- after the deep grief has passed, it is a comforting feeling.

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad Grumpy. Unfortunately I was one of those people who grew up without mine, he was killed in an accident when I was six. I have often wondered what it would be like to have grown up with a dad and to experience life with him. I can't imagine what life would have been like with one. I can only imagine all the fun and exciting times you had with him; think about the great times you had with him and let him help you thru this. Think about how much he loved you and your family. Love and cherish every moment that you had together. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. If you need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, I am here.

Sending lots of love your way, Grumpy.

Grumpy, sorry to hear about the passing of your father.

How long does it take to feel normal…

Well, my dad died suddenly at the age of 66 on April 12 last year. I still have the order of service on my kitchen bench, with the cheeky photo of him when he was young and happy :slight_smile: mostly now I remember him just with fondness and lingering sadness, not the gut-wrenching emptiness that I had immediately after he died.

Every now and then though a song reminds me (he loved music), or something else, like your post, and I have a good cry. But I don’t see that as a bad thing - it would certainly be sadder if I didn’t miss him!

As for maintaining health, I didn’t do that terribly well. But the two things that seemed to be effective were to get as much sleep as possible, but always go out once a day, and be truly present with people who had no connection to the grief. This was especially important for my mum, but I knew I needed to do it as well, so we made it a rule together.

As for flares, if you don’t normally get stress flares, there’s no reason to expect one now. I didn’t have a PsA flare (seems there is no obvious stress link for me), though my stomach was truly awful (it seems to have a different set of triggers, and was completely untreated at that stage).

I suspect when I’m 66 (if I make it that far) “sunshine on my shoulders” will still make me want to cry. But almost 1 year on, I feel like that’s ok. That raw feeling is still there, but it only happens occasionally, for a short time.

This is just my story. Everyone’s is different. I hope you find peace and comfort soon, knowing that sadness and vulnerability can be a part of that. Take care :slight_smile:

Hey there Grumpy. I'm very sorry to read about your father's passing. Your lovely words about him and obvious sadness at his parting are a clear sign of just how much you loved him. As happens often on this site, I am moved but not surprised at the depth of real caring being shown as you attempt to make sense of your feelings. And, as is par for the course, Lamb's comments about your father's living legacy are perfectly on target. It is the memories of those we love and lose that help lessen the pain of their departure and give us strength to get on with our own living. Thinking of you. ~Jane

Sorry to hear your sad news Grumpy, sometimes our brains hide in the weird fog because its just to scary and hard to let the grief all out. I loved my father dearly, he was the best person I have ever met. He died suddenly at an auction with none of the family with him. I felt cast adrift, brittle, lived in remote control world where I watched myself live as normal, completely hollow. I only grieved fully for him during therapy 20 odd years later. But even though I was only in my early 20’s when he died, I am so thankful I had the best father a person could have.

If you can, let yourself grieve honestly and openly and for as long as it takes. Thinking of you x