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Eight months on

JennSymo542

Registered User
Nov 6, 2017
18
0
I hope it's OK to put this here. I don't think I am looking for anything but just wanted to write something down.

My dad passed away eight months ago. Ever since, I wonder if I am grieving right. I know that sounds silly, but something doesn't feel right to me and I think it is to do with lingering guilt that maybe I didn't do enough for him. He declined quite quickly following a stroke and because we couldn't look after him sufficiently, he moved into a nursing home that specialised in supporting and looking after dementia patients. I saw him several times a week but we spent most of our time watching television or playing dominoes. I thought I was doing the things he wanted to do and things that he was capable of doing (he lost dexterity in his fingers and due to bad arthritis he couldn't really hold things). He had little interest in socialising with other residents so he rarely left his bedroom. I think I should have encouraged this more, though, and should have made more of a fuss. I wonder if he was depressed but I didn't recognise it at the time.

When I think of the last couple of years, it makes me so sad because that is not how I wanted this to end. I see other families enjoying day trips with their loved ones, making memories etc, but we didn't do any of that. I really failed him and I can't make it better.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,062
0
Kent
Hello @JennSymo542

I don't believe for a moment you failed your father.

You did make memories. You visited him several times a week, you gave him companionship, doing the things he was able and happy to do, even if it was watching television and playing dominoes.

It's so easy to think of how it could have been better with hindsight but realistically it might not have been possible.

When my husband went into residential care I planned to take him the short distance to the seaside, in his wheelchair, to sit by the sea which he loved.

By the time the weather was warm enough to do this, he had become agoraphobic and as soon as we got out he wanted to return to the care home telling me he didn't`t feel safe.

Please don't dwell on what you could have done because it might not have been successful or even appropriate. Try to concentrate on what you did which was regular visiting and giving your father what he needed at the time.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
17,497
0
68
Toronto, Canada
@JennSymo542 You did the best you could. That is all that can be expected.

Although my mother died over 5 years ago, I still have my moments when I think I could have done better. These are natural feelings for us all but they are not realistic.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
350
0
I saw him several times a week but we spent most of our time watching television or playing dominoes. I thought I was doing the things he wanted to do and things that he was capable of doing (he lost dexterity in his fingers and due to bad arthritis he couldn't really hold things). He had little interest in socialising with other residents so he rarely left his bedroom. I think I should have encouraged this more, though, and should have made more of a fuss. I wonder if he was depressed but I didn't recognise it at the time.

When I think of the last couple of years, it makes me so sad because that is not how I wanted this to end. I see other families enjoying day trips with their loved ones, making memories etc, but we didn't do any of that. I really failed him and I can't make it better.
I think you did exactly the right thing! If he was anything like my Mum, he would’ve been content to sit with you and just know you were close by. Your presence meant something to him. The staff could have persuaded him to socialise, if he’d really wanted to.

As to the sadness of his last years that’s the fault of dementia, unfortunately. You didn’t fail him and you’re feeling bad because you loved him and had to watch him suffer, as we all do. And it hurts 😭💔💐 xx
 

JennSymo542

Registered User
Nov 6, 2017
18
0
Thank you for your support.
I appreciate what you are saying and I know that one day the pain will ease and I'll feel more comfortable with how things were. I need to focus on the happier memories we have before this awful thing took him away.