Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fathers Day

I often hear people say 'it was their time'. On a normal day I'd believe it, but on Father's Day I'm reminded how it often isn't 'their time' but it happens anyway.

In 2009 my Dad died after an 'accident' in hospital, a series of mistakes and misjudgements that meant that my sister and I had to make the drive to the hospital for one last visit before the machines were turned off and the tiny spec of Dad that remained left too.

I don't intend to mislead you. Dad was old and frail. He'd blacked out in the car one week before and drove into a power pole. He seemed vague and forgetful, and I had started to think that maybe he couldn't stay at home alone any more. He just wasn't well. Then one morning he called and said he wasn't good, and I told him to get off the phone and I'd call an ambulance. I told him I would see him at the hospital. I never saw 'him' again.

But then they didn't want me to come to the hospital until he was on a ward, hearing my baby in the back ground and saying they'd call me, he was alright. I should have forced the issue, gone anyway, but I had no idea of what was coming so I didn't. And then there was the brief phone call from an un-named nurse who said 'They've overdosed him' and it all just went to hell. If it had not been for that man, whomever he was, telling me the truth of it, I may well have bought the stories and lies they told until they were forced to tell the truth.

When they briefly got him back after the overdose he said he wanted to go home, but they didn't let him. He said he wanted me but I was never called. Instead they told him to lie down and wait, to be patient. But he didn't want to... scared, alone, angry, frightened... and when he took off his oxygen mask there was no one there to stop him or help him or explain that he wouldn't survive without it... and he didn't.

I feel a huge weight of responsibility for his death; knowing I sent him to that place. That I believed them when they said he was alright. That I didn't just go there anyway when they said to stay at home with my baby. My baby who hardly knew her Grandad before he left. Four years and I doubt it will ever leave me.

I remember he said Emma was the happiest baby he'd ever seen. He was so proud. I wish he had been here to meet Harry. To be proud again.

My little family are in bed as I'm typing, knowing I've been silent and thoughtful this afternoon as I run over it all again in my mind. Familiar thoughts that sneak in when ever I see a burgundy sedan or an old man in a flannelette shirt and trousers. When birthdays and holidays pass, or it comes round to Fathers Day again and I miss him.


  1. Just warm, sweet, loving hugs to you at this time, it can't be easy. I will hold you in my thoughts. In time you'll find your way through your thoughts.

  2. It is so sad when these sorts of thing happen and we second guess our actions at the time. Thinking of you and praying that you will find things easier in the future.

  3. aw, thinking of you and sending you big hugs.

  4. Catherine your story reminds me of the circumstances in which we lost my grandma. It's so sad and I'm sorry for your loss. I'm certain your dad wouldn't want you to feel responsible, it wasn't your fault. Thinking of you and hope you find today a bit easier.
    Cas xxx

  5. Thinking of you and I am sure your Dad knows Harry and is watching over both of your kids-love dee x

  6. aww Catherine that is so sad, what an awful thing to go through, and Father's Day of all days :( I am so sorry you lost your beloved Dad in those circumstances. I guess we are taught to respect medical 'professionals' but eventually we learn they are only human too. I have some regrets about things I wished we had done differently when my husband's parents got ill and then died...I wish I could change some stuff, but I can't. What we went through with my husband's father is part of the reason why I decided to train to work in Aged Care. Just got my cert 3 and signed my job contract today...I start in 10 days :) Part of my reasons are selfish too...I want to be on the inside of the profession to be the best advocate I can be for my own parents when their time comes.

    xx Karen

  7. Catherine my heart is breaking for you, how amazing to share your story. I hope by sharing it has lifted a little of the burden you feel you must wear. I can imagine how you must second guess the day you lost your dad, but you did what you felt was right, based on what you were told. Make sure your children know they have a special angel watching over them always, I'm sure your dad in sitting in his flannelette shirt and trousers watching over you all, beaming with pride at both you and your beautiful children. Xx

  8. I'm so proud of you for sharing this...I know it wouldn't have been easy for you.
    Not really sure what else to say other than I'm sending you a big virtual hug and thinking of you and your sister. Xoxo

  9. Alison has got the words right, you did what you felt was right, guided by what the hospital told you. You have lots of your Dad in you and good memories to share with your lovely two small people xx

  10. oh Catherine, I just read this post and shed a tear. I too lost my dad in 2006. He went into hospital yet again as he too was frail and needed a lot of medical attention for his heart. I thought it not necessary to visit him as he would be out in a few days as always...but got that dreadful call in the wee hours to say he had gone...I feel guilty I never went to see him!
    He did visit me a week later in the night...I know it was him...!
    our dads are always there!
    Bec x

  11. So sad to read this Catherine -don't let it burden you, it sounds like your wonderful dad would hate for you to be left feeling it's your fault. So hard losing a parent isn;t it. take care
    Fiona x


I'd love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...