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Guilt after death of father

Posted by
  • Hi there. My father passed away recently from cancer. He was in his 80s but was extremely fit and active all his life. He had been deteriorating since the beginning of the year and was offered a hospice place after being admitted to hospital with general deterioration and a fall (No injury). After a few weeks in the hospice he was discharged to a nursing home on site as they didn't think he really warranted hospice care but more nursing care and help.  He seemed to be getting on ok for a few months but developed nausea towards the end of July and they transferred him back over to the hospice to adjust his medication and get the nausea under control. We were due to go on our family holiday for a week the following day so I went to visit him (I live over 150 miles away but i drove to visit him regularly). I was worried but really thought they would be able to sort his nausea so we decided to go. They did make him comfortable with changes in medications but he became weaker and sleepier over the next few days (we were in regular contact with staff) and then my brother (who lives nearby and saw him daily) contacted us to say he was no longer responding and was more or less unconscious so we booked the first flight home. He passed away a few hours after we got the call so we didn't make it back in time. I was very involved with my father's care over the years since he was first diagnosed. I looked after him after all his ops and took him to nearly all of his doctors appointments. I arranged to have him well looked after throughout both during treatment and once he couldn't look after himself anymore and we always had a very good relationship over the years and visited each other very regularly despite the distance.  However I now feel incredible guilt that I wasn't with him for the few days before he died. I feel I let him down terribly at the last moment. My brother said he didn't think my father thought time would be so short and knew we were going to be back from holidays in a few days so he wasn't asking for us or anything (which i get some comfort from) . In my head I had imagined that we would all be there when he died and now feel so awful we went away. This is having a huge emotional toil on me and I just cant stop going over and over it as it was my choice to go. I just feel so guilty.
Posted by

Hi and welcome to the Online Community but so sorry to hear about your dad and as to the reason you are joining us.

I have some understanding of this as my father died (not from cancer) a number of year back and were living a 3 hrs run away from him so it was hard not to be with him in his last days. But the best help you could get is to talk with folks who have been in the same position as yourself so could I recommend our Bereaved Family and Friends Forum.  

Just go over and hit the 'Start a Discussion' tab and introduce yourself, you could just copy and paste this post and I am sure that someone will be along to help out.

If you have a local Maggie's Centre go in as this is what they do.

Warm ((hugs)) from Inverness

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela