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my dad has died... a caregiver's needs, a dying person's wor

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hello all you wonderful caring people

my most beloved and dearest wonderful father died yesterday morning at 2:10 am. my pain was indescribable. I believe he had no pain, and am so eternally thankful for that. The days and weeks before, i had been so fearful of my dad's impending death, so scared of "that moment," and so afraid of being alone for fear that i might go crazy crazy with grief at that moment. I had been alone taking care of him for the last six weeks with evenign assistance from my brother. yet wednesday evening when he started to "actively die," my mother came over (they are divorced), we had a home health care helper, and my brother came. then later my fiance arrived by plane from washington. suddently there were too many people. dad went on breathing that loud breathing for several hours. we talked to him and about him for some time, but then conversation went to everyday things. i felt the time's importance was diminished. after having being afraid of being alone for so long, sudddenly i found that i wanted all of them to go away (except eric, my fiance, who i wanted him with me).. i wanted all of them to go away beecasue it had, how can i say, we had had something special him and I. i had cared for him everyday and suddenly i wanted to be alone with him. selfishly i wanted to be with him, only me with him (and my fiance), when he took his last breath.

by about 130 am or so we were all very tired and everyone thought they would go to bed, at least to lie down, and we all figured out where everyone would sleep. the night before our 24/7 home health aide had slept in his bed while he slept in the hospital bed. (I really needed a good night's rest and felt guilty for sleeping in the other room but obviously didnt realize the end was so so so near..... ) but the night he was dying, Wednesday afternoon into early morning Thursday, i wanted to be near him. So everyone got ready for bed. i got the bed beside him ready for me and eric. everyone was moving pretty slowly. but finally i was alone with my dad, and my fiance eric.

i went over to my father. I notice that before where he was breathing through his mouth, now he was breathing through his nose. we had had oxygen on him for a few hours earlier, but he was breathing not through his nose so as I imagined it was probably uncomfortable to have this tube across his face, i took it off as it wasn't getting into him anyway, Then when his breathing changed to nose breathing, I quickly ran to reconnect the oxygen to him. Little did I know that he was minutes away from dying.

as i was adjusting the oxygen, I looked at him, and knew. I called eric to me, had him take my hand and we held hands across my dad's bed. the home health aide came in, looked at him and said, "i better call everyone." I said, "no, i don't want to." A few seconds later he was gone, and at that moment my mother walked in followed by my brother. I said, He's Gone.

I feel in some way my father knew or God intervened to give me that special moment with my father. I hope you do not think I'm selish. I don't know how other caregivers feel or have felt at a moment like this. I'm sure there are a range of feelings..... in any case, I feel honored to have had this precious moment with my father. I was also suprised that I needed so badly to have this moment with him and not a crowd of people around.

sorry this post is long, i hope it's not too long, but i wanted to share seomthing else with all of you. Tuesday, I think, my dad talked all day long. Almost nothing of what he said made sense to me, except he said TWO things loud and clear....

First he said: "my mother, she died in 1984. If you come across her, send her over here." and then a couple of hours later, he said "my brother George, why he is contacting me? He says it's okay over there, i don't know about that. I'm going to take him off my email!"

What do you think? Do you think this is a person knowing they are dying and thinking of family members who have gone before and wondering what became of them? Do you think it's a dying person's hallucinations? Or do you think it's possible that the spirit of those who have passed before who love my father come to help him make the transition to the "next life?" Do any of you have any experience with loved ones making similar statements while dying?

I have more to say but wow, this is a long post. I eagerly await notes back as I hunger for contact with those who have been there as I feel lost and seek understanding. Right now, after a hysterical day yesterday, right now i am a zombie and it takes so much concentration to write this to you. I hope that I have communicated well. Thank you so much for reading my post.

With love to you and yours

let's all bring more kindness to this world,


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I do NOT think you are selfish to want that time with your Dad. It is a profound moment to watch someone you love slip away. It is too profound for anyone to share with anyone who doesn't understand how momentous it is for you. I think you wanted to experience the moment without any distractions, focused on your father and what he means to you.

My heart goes out to you. The next few days will be a busy blur, and then you will face the hard work of getting on with your life without the your father. That is tough, but you will also feel peace that you were with him to the very end, giving, caring and honoring him. That will matter for the rest of your life.

Please stay with us if we can help at all.


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My Dad and I had a very strong connection also. I wanted to be with him and hold his hand, and he hold mine, when he died. I wanted that desperately. You had a wonderful, holy, love-ly experience. You were there to witness the power and Love of God first hand.. Beautiful.

I am so sorry that you Dad passed away. I am sorry for the pain that goes with losing someone so dear to you. I know that pain. Pamela said it all very well. I feel like I am spoiling something with every word. I just want to affirm that your experience was exactly as it was meant to be for whatever reason. The reason may not ever be known to you. But, it was as it was. I take heart that you could feel how profound life and death is.

Blessings to you, Lori and Eric, and your family as you get through your grief.

Cindi o'h

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Sweet Lori....I don't think you're one bit selfish.

I also believe that it would be incredibly difficult to leave this earthly body with a full audience like you described. I believe your father chose the time and chose to be with you....

It is excrutiating pain to watch someone you love so much die.....but what an incredible honor to be the one they chose to share it with.

I shared that moment with my father 13 years ago and with my mother seven short months ago....

Your father shared the gift of his life and his death with you....he trusted you, he loved you. Nothing could be more beautiful.

God bless you and your family as you move towards the "new" normal.

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Lori, I'm so sorry for your loss and no, you're not selfish, you're normal.

And yes, I know MANY others have had similar experiences with their dying loved one talking to loved ones who've already passed away. I think that's very common. I don't think they're hallucinations, I think they're very real. My husband's best friend died last April of pancreatic cancer and near the end, every night, he talked to his brother, who had already passed away.

((hugs)) and prayers for comfort for you.

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First of all Lori, my condolences on the loss of your dad. You shared a very special moment with him. I am so glad his passing work out the way you wanted it too.

You asked a question about the transition. I will share my belief with you as I have with so many others. I hope this gives you some comfort.

Yes, I definetely believe that your dad is in a better place and that he was somehow comminicating with his mother and brother before he left his physical body.

I posted the following to Kerry yesterday, who is losing her father. Iam sorry I did not see you post before today.

However, I wanted to share what I wrote.

Just picture in your minds eye, when his spirit finally leaves that sick, deseased physical body behind, picture him floating, then flying in the air, whooping it up because he is free and the pain is all gone.

It must feel wonderful. His mom and his relatives who passed before him will be there to bring help him cross over. The transisition will be the most beautiful moment for him. If you are there when his spirit leaves look up, not down as his spirt is now floating up, not staying down in that deceased body. His sick body is gone but his spirit lives on. Just like all the memories of all your love ones who have gone are living on through you.

We are the ones who are left to grieve. But know that one day way, way, way down the road, you will see all your beloved father again. And he will help you with your transition.

Lori, he knew what you wanted and he passed at that convenient moment that was your last wish. He will be with you always and will watch over you. He did that for you. That was his way of giving back to you.

You dad loved you so much. You shared so many private thoughts when you alone caring for him. You are a wonderful daughter. He was so relieved and will be eternitally greatful that you were there for him.

I pray for strength for you to get by the difficult days ahead. You are fortunate to have Eric by your side. He was there for you and will be your rock.

Get through that grieving process and hold all those precious memories of him which will always be in your heart.

Peace be with you.


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Lori, I am so sorry to read of your loss. I hope you will find comfort knowing that your Dad is at peace now and is feeling no more pain. I am so glad that you and Eric were with him when he passed. I am sure your Dad knew you were with him, as you had been all along. Like others, I do believe there is a transition that takes place before death actually occurs. I believe that during this time, our loved ones are guided along by loved ones that have already passed. Please know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!!!

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Dearest Lori,

I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad.... what a wonderful daughter you were to him, he truly was a lucky, lucky man and I am sure he knew that and so appreciated all you did for him when he needed you the most. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Much Love, Sharon

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thank you all for answering my post. i t mean so much to me. i'm sorry i've not written earlier to send thanks, it's all i can right now to take care of basic force feeding myself and sleeping when i can... but i want all of you to know how wonderful it is to get each and every one of your messages. i treasure them. thank you. love lori

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