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My dad is dying. What should I do?

(341 Posts)
squeaver Wed 08-Apr-20 19:08:24

My dad has Covid 19, plus a chest infection, plus a weak heart. He is at home with my mum who has no symptoms so far. He is getting hospital-at-home - nurses/doctor 2 or 3 times a day.

The doctor told my mum today that nothing is helping and to prepare for the worst. That could be hours or days.

He is 400 miles away from me.

My sister, who lives closer, has 'visited', to stand in the garden and see him through the window.

I know the answer to this question, but do I have any options here?

Get on a train for 6 hours, stand in their garden for an hour, get another train home for 6 hours?

Drive for 7/8 hours, stand in the garden for an hour, drive home again for 7/8 hours? Or stay somewhere? Not in their house, of course. Sleep in the car?

And if I did do either of the above, what would I do when I get home? Self-isolate away from my dh and dd? All of us self-isolate?

I know what the answer is going to be. I should stay at home.

What then would happen about the funeral? Would the above options still apply?

Sorry, rambling here. Just trying to see if anyone has any thoughts or advice or a different perspective.

Lumene Wed 08-Apr-20 19:11:30

I would talk over face time or zoom if you can as it seems pretty similar to standing in the garden.

But if not possible and you feel you need to be there ‘in person’ through the window then I personally would do that and file it under essential care.

LilacTree1 Wed 08-Apr-20 19:11:42

If you go then you’d need to self isolate as a household on return.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

I’m not sure but I can’t see the police fining you because you went to see a dying parent. flowers I call it an essential visit.

Lumene Wed 08-Apr-20 19:11:47

Also flowers

FlibbertyGiblets Wed 08-Apr-20 19:12:32

What you should do and what you want to do are so far apart sad

Re the funeral. Would your family consider direct cremation or direct burial with a service of celebration at a later date?

I am so very sorry.

dudsville Wed 08-Apr-20 19:13:31

Can you bear the risk to your own health? Honestly, I've self isolated for 3 weeks and would feel, if i didn't have to stop for petrol, that i was reasonably safe for my mother, and therefore i would go be with my father and then stay for the duration of lockdown there.

squeaver Wed 08-Apr-20 19:13:34

Thank you. Unfortunately the wifi doesn't work in their bedroom and mother's technical skills won't stretch to trying to fix that. He says he doesn't want to talk to anyone on the phone.

squeaver Wed 08-Apr-20 19:14:23

Sorry that was to @lumene

squeaver Wed 08-Apr-20 19:16:04

Thank you too, everyone else.
Would have to stop for petrol for sure. But, gloves etc, I don't know.

We could self isolate as a family (other than the dog!).

It feels pretty essential to me.

Noworrieshere Wed 08-Apr-20 19:16:17

This is everyone's worst nightmare right now, I'm so sorry.

I don't think I could travel all that way and just stand outside the window, I would find that too hard and upsetting. I would want to hold his hand.

So I guess I would have to stay at home and use Skype or phone or whatever.

I would want to be there for my mum afterwards but I don't know how that would work either if you have kids at home.

I am sorry this is happening to your family, it's not fair.

Porcupineinwaiting Wed 08-Apr-20 19:19:48

I think in your position I would facetime/zoom every day to speak to him (and your mum). If/when the worst should happen, you could look at attending the funeral, maybe driving down and booking a night of accommodation. Or it may be, by then, that movement restrictions have been lifted.

flowers I am so sorry. Losing a parent is hard enough in normal times, without such complications.

Spied Wed 08-Apr-20 19:20:11

I'd buy and send the technology to dp's if they don't have it or buy the technology for myself and set it up to speak and see them daily.
I personally could not cope with the journey and the physical goodbye.
How would your df feel seeing you through the window etc.
Lots to considerflowers

Porcupineinwaiting Wed 08-Apr-20 19:21:07

Ok just seen that wifi doesnt work in the bedroom. Could you film a message for him and would your mum then be able to play it?

LilacTree1 Wed 08-Apr-20 19:21:09

If OP mum can’t use the tech, it’s not a feasible suggestion

OP what does he want?

Strawberrypancakes Wed 08-Apr-20 19:23:16

If it was me, I would go. Not through the window, I would go to the house and go in and sit and hold his hand.

CookieDoughKid Wed 08-Apr-20 19:23:50

Doed your mum have a mobile with 4g signal? That would be fine for a video call.

CaroleFuckinBaskin Wed 08-Apr-20 19:24:05

Why would she need to self isolate in return if she hadn't gone into the house and just stood in the garden?

I don't have any advice OP, but big hugs to you, what a shitty situation. I guess it's up to you, you sound like you do want to go?

Lumene Wed 08-Apr-20 19:24:55

I would go, OP.

Saying goodbye to a parent is essential care in my view and you don’t get to do it twice.

If it’s what you and your dad both want and you don’t interact with others how is it any different to getting an emergency plumber around for eg.

MarshaBradyo Wed 08-Apr-20 19:26:08

Oh I’m sorry to hear this
So hard I’m not sure but I really feel for you

Lumene Wed 08-Apr-20 19:26:20

In the sense that people are still getting plumber so why should you not do this.

Not comparing your visit to plumbing sorry clumsy phrasing.

bellabelly Wed 08-Apr-20 19:26:23

If he doesn't even want to speak to anyone on the phone, I doubt he will really want you watching him through the window. Sorry to be blunt, you're understandably very upset but it's clouding your judgement. Stay at home.

LochJessMonster Wed 08-Apr-20 19:27:05

Quite honestly if my dad was dying I would be standing right next to him holding his hand. Fuck waving through the window.

I would then stick around after for my mum and self isolate for 14 days with her before returning home.

squeaver Wed 08-Apr-20 19:27:13

The problem with my mum is she has to do 14 days isolation whatever happens.

I’m speaking to her 4 or 5 times a day. She has an iPad but the Wifi doesn’t work where my dad is. I last spoke to him last Thursday.

I could go up there and just take the chance and move in for 14 days, I suppose. My dd is 15 so between her and my dh they can look after themselves.

TemoraryUsername Wed 08-Apr-20 19:27:17

I'm so sorry you are in this situation flowers

Northernsoullover Wed 08-Apr-20 19:27:29

I'd go. I would see it as essential.

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