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Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Guilt over dad's death

Posted by

Hello all , my dad passed away this week after only showing symptoms and being diagnosed last week . Over night he started to become confused and in pain and I had to call an ambulance . He didn't want to be alone In Hospital but I couldn't see him suffer at home . He was nearly unconscious when they wheeled him out the house. All I can picture is his face / looking so unwell . I was not strong enough to go in the ambulance . I couldn't see him like that - I just broke down . When I got to the hopsital they said he was unconscious but breathing but would die soon . I hate myself for not being able to go in and be with him. I just couldn't see him . I feel traumatized . I hate myself right now for not being with him . I feel so guilty and really feel like a faliure . 

Posted by

Hi DanieC

Welcome to the community.  I'm sorry to hear about the recent loss of your dad.  Guilt is a normal part of the grieving process (see link below) - we all wonder if we could have done this or should have said that.  Remember that your dad would know that you loved and cared for him always.  He would also know that you did call an ambulance so that he could get the best treatment available.  Seeing anyone like that is a very traumatic experience and is difficult for everyone even if it is a loved one.  Your dad would know that you were near by and would also know that you could not bear to see him like that and lose him.  Your feelings of guilt will ease with time and you will find it easier to cope with your emotions.  Your dad will always be around you to guide and support you as best that he can.  Talk to him often, visit one of his favourite places on your own and talk to him there and quietly await any response - he will find a way to let you know he is near and understands how you feel.

If you need to talk to someone, please contact the support line free on 0808 808 0000 which is open daily 8 am – 8 pm for a free confidential chat.  You can use this link your area to find support near where you live.  This could be 1-2-1 or group and is also free and confidential.  Also, post as much as you want whenever you want here and someone will always respond to you.

There is some useful information on coping with grief and information on the symptoms of grief.

This link allows you to download the Macmillan book Coping with Bereavement which is full of useful information and has support contact details at the back.  This booklet about bereavement is free and can be downloaded as PDF or as an ebook.

This link takes you to a leaflet called In Memory which is very useful.

Lastly, here are some words which I hope will bring you some comfort -

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.

Put no difference into your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost in it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around

the corner .......

All is well.

Hope this helps and sending you a big hug.

Posted by

I agree with the other poster that guilt is common after the death of a loved one. As someone who lost my mother after two and a half years of multiple surgeries, hospital, chemo, misc. visits all away from home before she passed away, I would consider it a great blessing that your father was able to live a peaceful and happy life up until the final week.