Here we talk about our experience with losing family members and friends, in comparison to losing our Dad. Please see Background Story:
We have lost many family members and have memories of attending funerals as a child. At those times, I wasn’t aware of what was happening .
Although when my grandfather passed away, I will always remember that as I now realise my sister and I witnessed him take his last breath. That is something that we’ll never forget.
In later life, I would say that losing one of my close friends that was practically like family felt like the first real death to affect me. I took it really hard. I didn’t even realise the effect it had on me. I lost two stone in two week’s, it was really tough sad times. However, when I realised how much it had affected my health, I told myself I must do something about this, I need to try and look after myself and tell myself I can’t do this everytime someone passes away otherwise I’ll waste away. Sadly, two weeks later my great uncle passed away. We were with him the night before he died. The look I saw in his eyes, and the way he was talking I could tell things were not good. He was scared and could tell something was wrong. I feel he knew he was going. (I now realise I’d seen this same look before in the eyes of my close friend the last time I visited him in the hospital before he sadly passed away).
Although I was really sad, I had to remind myself of how quickly my health was affected by my friend, and so I couldn’t let this happen again. Also, this was my mum’s uncle, our great uncle, we were all very close, we needed to make sure our mum was okay.
My mum, sister and I sorted all the arrangements. Funeral etc. At this time the main thing we learnt was that funerals are expensive. We really couldn’t believe how much.
I’m mentioning these situations, as even with how these deaths really affected me, and what we learnt. Nothing could have prepared us for losing our Dad.
Loss changes who you are as a person, your life will never be the same again.
It is one thing losing a parent, It is also another losing a parent and having to see them suffer unnecessarily and despite all your best efforts they pass away.
It is also another thing when this happens in a hospital. A place where you believe your loved ones will be looked after and their best interests are at heart.
This sadly was not the case for our Dad. As a family because of all these things we’ve not been able to accept what has happened, much less come to terms with it or even grieve.
Our Dad passed away 6th March 2017. It still feels like yesterday. We miss our Dad immensely and feel we were:
- Robbed of him
- He was robbed of his life.
- Robbed of seeing his grandchildren grow.
It wasn’t until our Dad passed away that I came to realise that not only was our Dad and his eldest Grandson close, they had a bond. I was able to see this myself when preparing a slideshow of pictures for the reception after the funeral service. Watching this was magical, but also very sad.
What is very nice is that a part of our Dad is within my eldest nephew. Too many times he says things and it feels like, hang on a minute, is this our Dad talking to us. Other similarities would be; his facial expressions, the way he sits, his intelligence and creativity, even the way he dances, and we are pretty sure he never saw our Dad dancing. Even though it’s sad this bond was cut short abruptly. Seeing these things through him brings us joy. My youngest nephew was just six months old when our Dad was hospitalised, and almost a year old when he passed away. So, they didn’t have a long time together.
Since our late Father passed away we have:
- Been trying to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer with us
- Trying to come to terms with the outcome (our Dads treatment and suffering in the hospital, as well as our own)
- Dealing with unsympathetic coroner staff (which led to us making a complaint). We received an apology and were thanked for bringing this to their attention. We have been informed that procedures have been put in place in the hope families in the future would not receive the treatment we did
- Arranging a funeral
- Dealing with probate and our late fathers affairs – still ongoing
- Making a formal complaint to the hospital – still ongoing
- Preparing to sell our late fathers property
From our own experience, we would advise you must be prepared to be making many big important decisions, and most of the time with little or no time to process or understand what you are doing. Despite this, try to remain strong, keep the faith and remain positive.