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man o' the year

Bereavement

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I am finding it pretty difficult to cope with having landed back in UK to find my father had passed away earlier that morning. That and jet lag keeping me awake.

It is strange how despite the extended time period ( you may recall I have been in this strange no man's land of looking after Mum with Dad in care for virtually 2 years now) and his advanced age (nearly 94) , the situation of returning to never see him again is very diificult. I know it is still fresh (yesterday) but I am finding it difficult reconcile. I feel I have let him down. I really wanted to be there when it happened. To comfort him. I am an only one. Will be driving up (to Notts) today to take Mum out of respite but am back in Somerset from 3rd to 14th so funeral will be after that. I have no experience of this sort of thing. Mum with dementia at the funeral doesnt feel like a good mix either.

Just wish I had chance to say goodbye properly. As it was it was a rushed affair and emotionless.

Edited by man o' the year
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I'm sorry for your loss. You've not let anyone down. I've a little understanding of how you feel. I missed my Mother's passing, by being out of the country. Then had to get my Father to the funeral, who was terminally ill at the time. He passed away two months later. Condolences. Stay strong for your Mother. 

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My condolences, I can't imagine what you're going though, but you definitely haven't let anyone down.

You've got a tough time ahead, my only advice would be to try and find good people, friends and family, that you can spend time with and will provide a sympathetic ear, or will eventually be there for a bit of banter to take your mind off things and make you feel a bit more human again. I have a friend who's Dad is very ill and and that's what I'm trying to do - get him out to the pub once a week for a quiet drink and bit of banter and also be there for him when he needs to talk about the tough stuff.

If you feel completely isolated socially then talking to a councilor of some sort might help if you can find a good one.

Edited by JoeDavola

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Humanity builds up a lot of psychological protection from the uncertainty in life but it's always there and if it wasn't life probably wouldn't be worth living. It would knock anyone for six when they've just got back off a plane, without another parent with dementia to worry about. When your thoughts are more clear you'll realise it's an impossible expectation, to be there at exactly the right moment, that neither your parents, or anyone else would place on you and you can't reasonably place it on yourself either. People rally round very well and funeral directors do their job well so it will probably all go a lot more smoothly than you imagine. 

Edited by SNACR

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29 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

You couldn't be with him all the time. Don't beat yourself up. Just a suggestion but if necessary get professional help with your Mum to deal with the funeral, a carer/companion for the day to prevent you needing eyes in the back of your head.

 

Agree with a carer for your Mum for the funeral. I am an only child and didn't get to my Mum in time either so I do know what you are feeling, we do the best we can and I know now that I did the best I could. Take care.

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Sorry for your loss.  Having gone through this with both parents, all I can add is that you will beat yourself up.  Don't do it, just don't go there. Your dad would not want you to do that.

be kind to yourself and take one day at a time.  The professionals (funeral director/religious man) will be incredibly helpful. They see this on a daily basis. Lrean on people and take advice from those with experience 

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I am sorry for your loss. Nothing will ever prepare you for the loss of parent.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote that guilt is the worst companion of death. Guilt / beating yourself up are the two awful outcomes of the death of someone we love. I think it is impossible to not go through these emotions at such a time. But if you know that such things are normal, and that most people go through it then at least you can rationalise it in your own mind that what you are experiencing is a normal part of grief.

The practical advice about trying to get someone to be at the funeral for your Mum is a very good one.

Below is a book by Elisabeth Kubler Ross on working through your emotions after the death of a loved one. Something to consider.

On Grief & Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss

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An elderly parent with dementia will be less likely to be emotionally affected by such an event as a funeral, which is a small mercy I know. Both my parents have this, one in the later stages and it is horrendous. I take a little comfort in the fact that they can still take pleasure in simple things, a cup of tea or a chocolate biscuit for instance. 

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Sorry for your loss. It is very early yet and so many mixed emotions. You have been there for both of your parents, especially over the last two years, which is a wonderful thing to do (and many don't). You have clearly been a very loving son. I'm sure your father would be both grateful and proud. Try to recall the good times with him throughout your life.

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16 minutes ago, The Idiocrat said:

Sorry for your loss. It is very early yet and so many mixed emotions. You have been there for both of your parents, especially over the last two years, which is a wonderful thing to do (and many don't). You have clearly been a very loving son. I'm sure your father would be both grateful and proud. Try to recall the good times with him throughout your life.

This. One thing that helped me was to gather all the photos and videos I could find of my dad into an archive for my kids. It was an obvious attempt to hold on to him but it did make me focus on the good times and what he meant to all of us rather than the manner of his passing.

Edited by Turned Out Nice Again

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11 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

Thanks for all the comments. They were both helpful and moving. It makes me happy to  part of this community.

Today has been a weird day. I went back to bed about 2 hours after making the initial post. We (wife and I ) woke around 10:30 am (UK time), so I had to rush round to drive north. Kids were still asleep but I said goodbye to them last night. Then went (arrived about 2pm) to the hospital (KIngs Mill in Mansfield). Directed to the bereavement centre. They were excellent. Took some info and then asked what I wanted. I was able to see Dad and spent 15-20 mins with him, talking things through and shedding a few tears. It was far more helpful then I ever thought.

I also need to reconcile the period of his admission to him passing in my mind. I have been told a doctor was with him when he passed and the bereavement centre understood and tried to get hold of him/her but they obviously were busy but contact is promised which will be helpful.

Then fetched Mum. The respite care home were good and sympathetic.

I need to go back down south, and poor Mum back in respite care home, from 3rd to 14th. I will be able to get some things done before then but they may do a post mortem and presently passed to choroner to make that decision so my absence will not really delay things. 

I feel much better than I did in the early hours.

Thanks again for the sympathy, help and advice.

 

Talk to us whenever you need to.  Just being to voice how you are feeling will help and is important for you to.

I talk to my Mum & Dad every day - Dad died in 1990, Mum in 2006. You should hear the conversations that I have :)

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5 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Talk to us whenever you need to.  Just being to voice how you are feeling will help and is important for you to.

I talk to my Mum & Dad every day - Dad died in 1990, Mum in 2006. You should hear the conversations that I have :)

Dad wanted cremation. He has often said his visits to me at Swansea Uni in the early 80s was some of his happiest times so we will be scattering most of his ashes in the sea at Mumbles. There are a few other places but most of him will be in front of Promenade Terrace where they stayed so often with Ray the newsagents sister, having asked Ray for help when the tourist office in the bus station square had just closed. We used to sit under the illuminated tree in the park just behind there and have a posh meal at the George or the Mermaid or The Bees Knees.

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4 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

Dad wanted cremation. He has often said his visits to me at Swansea Uni in the early 80s was some of his happiest times so we will be scattering most of his ashes in the sea at Mumbles. There are a few other places but most of him will be in front of Promenade Terrace where they stayed so often with Ray the newsagents sister, having asked Ray for help when the tourist office in the bus station square had just closed. We used to sit under the illuminated tree in the park just behind there and have a posh meal at the George or the Mermaid or The Bees Knees.

 

That area of sea in front of Promenade Terrace is now a scientific study area so that is a lovely place. I remember the illuminated tree well. Often my parents would get us fish & chips and we would sit under there eating them.

I still have the ashes of both my parents. I intend to scatter them on Langland head one day.

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