My dad died today

(20 Posts)
xaphania Thu 08-May-14 01:04:39

I feel numb. I've shed tears, but now none will come.

He was an alcoholic, had been for years. He refused help and had no intention of stopping drinking. So although this was theoretically on the cards, he had been his normal self recently and this was a massive shock. We don't really know what happened. It seems likely there will be a coroner's post mortem but we'll know more tomorrow.

I'm not sure why I'm posting, but maybe for acknowledgement...

He wasted the latter part of his life, he forfeited his chance for a relationship with his grandchildren, and I'm sad that my DS and DD won't really remember him.

And I have no idea what happens next, what we need to do, who we need to tell... And I'm sad that his funeral will be pretty much just me and my siblings. He could and should have done so much more with his life, he was a teacher, then a councillor for the Labour Party (his true love), a school governor... And yet I get the feeling that he will be unmourned by most of those that knew him.

Life is short.

fortyplus Thu 08-May-14 01:06:44

Sorry to hear of your loss. There's a really helpful booklet called simply 'What to do when someone dies' - you can get it from a registry office or CAB

SecretWitch Thu 08-May-14 01:14:37

Xaphania, I'm very sad for you and your family. We still love our parents even when they disappoint us deeply. A sudden death is so hard because we really didn't get a chance to say goodbye or say things that maybe needed to be sad. I am sending thoughts of peace and comfort to you..xx

mummylin Thu 08-May-14 01:19:23

I'm sorry for the loss of your dad. When you have arranged to see a funeral director, they will guide you through things.

xaphania Thu 08-May-14 01:22:30

Thank you both, I don't think I really expected replies.

secretwitch, I think you've hit the nail on the head there. Thank you for your thoughts.

I should be asleep, I'm exhausted, but I get the feeling tonight will be a restless one.

Roll on tomorrow, and maybe some answers.

LiberalLibertine Thu 08-May-14 01:25:46

xaphania I'm so sorry, how old was he?

One step at a time flowers

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-May-14 01:28:23

Xaphania, I don't know what to say.

I'm sorry for your loss.xsad

xaphania Thu 08-May-14 01:32:14

He was 65. Not young, but by no means old. He was aged by his 'lifestyle' though, and I think his body probably just gave up in the end.

It just doesn't feel real. I'm an HCP, sadly used to death, and yet I feel numb. Being with his body (not him, so very clearly not him anymore) in the awful cell of a relatives room just felt unreal. Such a horrible room, a pretence at comfort and yet a room of such horror.

SecretWitch Thu 08-May-14 01:34:39

The exhaustion is numbing, isn't it? Feels like you have run over by an auto. Your mind is still racing though, reliving the events of the day. Perhaps something warm might help you relax and get some rest. Please know we will be thinking of you flowers

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-May-14 02:06:15

What were you horrified by Xaphania?

fortyplus Thu 08-May-14 07:48:53

Xaphania the loss of a parent is something that most of us know we'll have to suffer at some time - doesn't make it any easier though. Maybe speak to other people who've lost their dad? It's certainly a strange experience - a few friends lost their dads around the same time that mine died and we even joked that we ought to form the 'dead dads club' because no one who hadn't gone through it could really understand, especially if your dad (like mine) was a slightly flawed character. I remember telling one friend that I just wanted my dad to come round and annoy me like he always did! But now it's 10 years on for me and I remember my dad through totally rose-tinted spectacles smile

xaphania Thu 08-May-14 09:49:12

Well, I managed to sleep at least. Lots of dreams of my dad, the hospital had got it wrong, he wasn't dead, and I was the only one that knew. Strange.

Dione Maybe I wasn't horrified exactly, I don't know. It was an awful room, cell like, no windows. Keys had to be found to open it (we knew my dad was in there). There was a first relatives room we sat in, tiny, dark, no window - token calming print on the wall, and then the room where he was. Bigger, but again no window, 2 sofas, plastic lilies on the table. And then Dad, on a trolley. There was a cupboard (with bibles and 'helpful' stuff inside), and it had a Moses basket on top.

My sister was first at the hospital, at that stage we didn't know he'd died, only been told that he'd had a cardiac arrest and was extremely poorly and to rush to the hospital (I live 2 hours away). As she was sat waiting, she was aware of certain things happening that suggested to her they were moving someone who'd died. Then they called her name, so she 'knew'. They then took her a different way to where she knew dad was, so she 'knew' again. Then they took her to the relatives room. So she absolutely knew. And no one had said a word.

There's no good way to do it, is there? But maybe it could be better. The nurse who looked after us was lovely, thank you Laura.

So today, phone calls to the hospital and coroners office and we'll see where we are.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, it brought me comfort last night, and again this morning. It's funny how you feel like you're the only one this has happened to, and yet so obviously not.

flowers

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-May-14 10:18:11

Glad you managed to sleep Xaphania. I wish you and your family strength and peace in the days ahead.thanks

xaphania Thu 08-May-14 12:38:58

Coroner's office haven't heard from the hospital yet, so we're still no further on.

Anyone know if it's worth speaking to a funeral director yet? And if so how do we go about choosing one? No experience of this at all sad.

Limbo state continues...

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-May-14 12:54:15

It's just all so surreal, isn't it Xaphania.sad

You can google funeral directors near you, if you have no preference or word-of-mouth recommendation. If possible, you and your siblings should chose together. The funeral director will be able to talk you all through what happens next and help with paperwork and notices.

duchesse Thu 08-May-14 13:00:26

xaphania, sorry for your loss. My dad died this time last year leaving a similar trail of destruction and unanswered questions in his wake. If anything, it's got harder as the year has worn on and we have to properly face the fact that this enormous and often unpleasant personality is no longer in our lives. Be kind to yourself.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 08-May-14 13:12:57

I'm so sorry for your loss thanks
From what I can remember the funeral director came a few days later, first of all I had to register the death, tell all those who needed informing.
The numbness is normal, my love and you will maybe be like this until the funeral.
You will find them advertising locally or the hospital may recommend one to you.
Be kind to yourself and take things steady, the registrar will help you.

fortyplus Fri 09-May-14 07:43:14

A funeral director will talk to you in general terms but can't make any firm arrangements without official notification of death. I'm hoping that this is all sorted out by now.
My best advice is don't rush the funeral arrangements. Have a think about what sums up your dad. We had a traditional religious service for the benefit of other family members who we felt would be comforted by it, even though my dad was an atheist. He wouldn't have minded - he enjoyed hymns. We had one little laugh at the very end - as the coffin disappeared behind the curtains we had Vera Lynn's 'Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye'. It was something I'd once read in a newspaper and my dad roared with laughter and said 'You can do that for me'.

xaphania Fri 09-May-14 09:42:19

Thanks fortyplus and all.

We heard from the coroner's officer yesterday afternoon, and there is going to be a post mortem. To be honest we expected that, and actually in a way I'm glad because we would like to know the 'why'. Unfortunately, being medical I know what happens and I'm trying desperately to block images of my dad going through that from my mind. I strongly feel that it's not 'him' anymore, which helps, but it's upsetting my sister a bit more I think.

So we're still in limbo. PM will happen within three working days, hopefully they'll have enough information to issue a death certificate and we can register the death and start doing everything that needs doing. I did ring a funeral director yesterday, just to feel I was doing something really, and we're meeting with them on Monday.

I feel so lonely. I'm here with my sister and her family, which is lovely, but I'm missing my husband and kids so much. DSis has so many friends offering help, hugs, 'thinking of yous', and I just don't have that. My kids don't even know yet, for goodness sake, as it wasn't confirmed when I rushed off, and I want to tell them face to face.

Anyway, I'll probably head home for the weekend then come back down on Monday to start sorting stuff. Really dreading going into dad's flat, he did not live well and refused virtually all help offered. It's a health hazard, frankly.

Numbness continues sad

telsa Fri 09-May-14 17:32:10

all I want to say is - I am so sorry and, if it helps, you have my deepest sympathy. Stay strong - let the happier memories emerge, as times goes on.

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