On the 31st July 2015, my darling, funny, intelligent, witty, kind Daddy lost his fight with Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully at St Giles Hospice, Whittington.
He was transferred to the hospice exactly a week before and we were all called on the Saturday to get up there ASAP if we wanted to see him. We all did. I got there at about midday, my brothers were already there and I found dad very unwell but at least conscious and talking, if what sporadically.
I spent until the Monday with him by which time his speech was less and apnoea lengthening. We had to come home as I have no one that can look after Noah, David had to go to work and a Hospice isn’t the place for a 20 month old, it’s simply not fair on the patients nor my father who deserved some peace.
This is where it begins. The debilitating, unimaginable and unchangeable. The Guilt.
You see we were all there when my beautiful mum left this world. My brothers, my Dad (they had divorced many moons ago and my dad remarried, but they had remained friends and he was there), my ex. This left me scarred for a long time, the only memory I had of her for a very long time being the moment she passed but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were there for her in what was probably her most terrifying moment and I’m glad the last thing she saw was all her children and I would suffer my entire life and be happy knowing that she felt secure in that moment.
We had planned on going to see Dad again the following weekend. I phoned the hospice daily for updates ‘very poorly, unconscious, no change’ was the reply each day. This gave me hope that I would be able to be with him too. I felt that I owed him at least that.
My eldest brother went up on the Thursday and he told me Dad was unconscious but the same, on the Friday morning at about 0900 he told me his breathing had changed, by 0930 he had gone. The day before I was due to be there. The day before I wanted to be there. The day before I needed to be there… for him, for my Dad, but I wasn’t.
So much guilt is wrapped up in grief. So much I wasn’t aware of. Along with the incredible sense of loss, heartache and anger comes this new emotion I hadn’t experienced in grief before. You see with mum I was there, totally. I felt lots of things when grieving her loss but I never felt this level of guilt. I’m not saying I didn’t experience it, I felt guilty about some things but they were things I couldn’t have changed and were done for her benefit (or what we thought was her benefit).
This guilt with Dad is slowly eating me up and I know nothing I do or say can change anything or take it away so have to somehow come to terms with it, deal with it and get over it, but I’m struggling.
I should have spoken to him more.
I should have gone to see him more.
I should have taken Noah to see him more.
I should have told him I loved him more.
I should have known him better.
I shouldn’t have stuck my head in the sand.
I should have been there. I should have been there, at the end. Like I was there for mum. I feel I have let him down. I feel that he must think I love him less because I couldn’t give him what I gave mum at the end, my time.
On Wednesday we say goodbye for the final time and I’m dreading it.
I love you Daddy and I’m so terribly, terribly sorry.