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rob
03-31-2012, 07:15 AM
Hello Everyone,

Yesterday morning, my father's battle with lung cancer came to an end. Dad's passing was both peaceful, and dignified. He left this world surrounded by his family. I held his hand as he took his final breath, and as an extraordinary life came to an end.

There were many tears, but there were also many laughs to be had as we recalled Dad's neverending sense of humor and love of practical jokes. And, there were many proud smiles to be had when looking back upon a life defined by incredible generosity and a constant drive to help others in need no matter the cost.

Last week, when we learned that impending life support procedures would cause Dad to no longer be able to speak, his last words to his family, were to tell us an incredibly funny joke. He was about to enter the final days of his life, yet his final act was to bring smiles and comfort to the frightened, and tear filled faces of his family surrounding him in the emergency room. That's the kind of man he was.

Dad will be laid to rest in the Veterans Memorial Park at the State Capitol in Augusta. There will be a motorcade, and the service will be conducted by the USMC Honor Guard and Chaplain in recognition of Dad's service as a United States Marine, and for his nearly three decades of service as a Special Agent with the United States Treasury Department.

My family and I would like to express our utmost gratitude to all of the wonderful people here at WHL for the endless prayers and support given during this difficult time. Thank you all, so very much.

And now, my family and I will face the future as my father lived his life- Straight on, with steadfast determination, and with a smile.

Sincerely,

Rob & Family

Manderson
03-31-2012, 08:15 AM
My condolences Rob. So sorry to hear; he went with dignity.

debbie-b
03-31-2012, 09:11 AM
My deepest sympathy, Rob.
He must have been a remarkable man, you are very lucky, to have had a father like him.

Debbie

SleepyInSeattle
03-31-2012, 09:44 AM
I'm so sorry, Rob...love and best wishes to you and your family.

BonusMom
03-31-2012, 10:05 AM
An extraordinary man; an extraordinary legacy; an extraordinary family.

My deepest condolences.

Lana

magistramarla
03-31-2012, 12:03 PM
Rob,
Condolences to your family from Jeff and I.
The memories of your father's extraordinary life will live on in the good memories of him that you and all of your family will always cherish.
Take good care of yourself, my friend. We're here for you when you need to talk.
Love & Hugs,
Marla

DrinkofWtr
03-31-2012, 12:40 PM
My deepest sympathys to you and your family, Rob. Your father must have been an exceptional man!

running girl
03-31-2012, 12:50 PM
Wishing you and your family peace and comfort.

Brenda

n.mac
03-31-2012, 12:51 PM
Sorry for your loss.

Niall

Marine wife
03-31-2012, 03:31 PM
Sorry for your family's loss of a wonderful man.

kim,l
03-31-2012, 06:02 PM
dear rob i am so very sorry for your loss your father even though i didnot know him personally in these last few months i feel i have a sense of who he was through you. and he was a exceptional man with a sense of humour and love of life. hang on to those memories my friend as you grieve my thoughts are with you and your family luv and hugs kim.

tgal
03-31-2012, 07:27 PM
Your father had to be extraordinary because his son sure is. My love to you, karen and your entire family at this difficult time

steve.b
03-31-2012, 09:42 PM
i remember many comments about the apple not falling too far from the tree.

if you are anything like your father........
he will be greatly missed.

thank you for sharing this at a very difficult time.
my thoughts are with you, and your family.
please hug mum for me.

Nonna
04-01-2012, 08:38 AM
My thoughts are with you and your family. Remember the good times.

Hugs to you all,
Toni

Hunniebun
04-01-2012, 09:38 AM
So sorry Rob, my thoughts are with you.

red246
04-01-2012, 10:07 PM
Rob,

Just having got back from vacation and getting caught up. I am so sorry to hear about your father. Just like many of the others have said, even though I never met him, I feel as if I knew him from your talks of him. He sounds a lot like my father was - a wonderful man! Keeping you & your family in prayer.

chikititalinda
04-02-2012, 08:26 AM
So sorry for your loss Rob, sounds like you had an amazing father. Sending hugs, strenght and blessings to you and your family in this time of dificulty.

rob
04-03-2012, 09:29 AM
Hi Everyone,

The memorial service for Dad will be tomorrow. The actual funeral at Veterans Memorial Park will be in two weeks.

I'll be delivering a eulogy and speak about some of Dad's funnier exploits over the years tomorrow. If I can make it
through without breaking down, I'll be happy. I still can't believe he's gone.

We'll be playing some music, starting with one song we chose as a family called Into the West by Annie Lennox-

Into the West-Annie Lennox

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across a distant shore
Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away

Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home
And all will turn
To silver-glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows' falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home
And all will turn
To silver-glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West

Oluwa
04-03-2012, 10:49 AM
Tight, tight hugs...squueeze. From my heart to yours and your family. I am truly sorry, Rob. I pray the love of God enfolds you and your family during your journey through grief...I am sending you thoughts, vibes to find comfort and peace in your journey through grief. I am sorry, Rob...hugs with love.

BonusMom
04-03-2012, 05:05 PM
I read the lyrics to the song and wept at my desk for all the hurt that you are feeling-not a pretty sight while at work:-).

Telling of your Dad's funnier moments of his life at his memorial service would be exactly what your Dad would want. He'd be wanting you to get a chuckle out of the crowd.

Know that all of us at WHL will be right there with you, Rob, supporting you, as you give homage to this extraordinary man-your father, your friend.

Afterwards, take out your favorite car for a cruise, roll down the window and ask some young punks if they have any Grey Poupon. As you drive away blast Highway to Hell on the way to your favorite watering hole for a nice cold Guinness--raised in memory of your Dad.

You can bet your best chowder that Dad would be proud of that one.

magistramarla
04-04-2012, 02:12 PM
Rob,
My thoughts are with you today.
Love & Hugs,
Marla

steve.b
04-04-2012, 11:01 PM
wishing you a peaceful day.

rob
04-05-2012, 06:16 AM
Hi Everyone,

Well, we made it through Tuesday's visiting hours, and Wednesday's memorial service for Dad. Scores of people came from both near and far, and the outpouring of love and support from friends both old, and new, was absolutely uplifting.

I discovered something quite surprising and remarkable. I thought that the last two days would be just heart wrenching and terribly difficult. They were anything but. The best way to describe the service was that the laughter to tears ratio was ten to one. There certainly were solemn moments that brought a tear to many an eye, but there were far more moments that brought laughter, smiles, and inspiration.

Many people spoke, including me. I was afraid I would break down while speaking, but my fears were unfounded. Once I looked out upon everyone there, and saw nothing but smiles, I was home free, and the stories just flowed.

I knew that my father touched many lives in a positive way, but I didn't realize just how many until yesterday. The pastor who conducted the service said that he had never before seen such an uplifting and positive service. At the end of it, we played my father's favorite song, a song that describes my father's outlook on life perfectly- Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World.

Yesterday afternoon, for the first time in weeks, my family and I felt peace, and a degree of happiness. That's what Dad would have wanted.

Thank you all again for all of your prayers, kind words, and support,

Rob & Family

PS-Bonusmom, we did indeed drive the Rolls yesterday, and we did had a few pints of Guinness afterwards. I couldn't find my AC/DC CD though!

debbie-b
04-05-2012, 06:39 AM
Hi Rob,

I am glad that you have made it through those difficult days and actually feel at peace.
It really sounds, like the service was beautiful, just like your dad deserved it.
We are all still here, if you need us.

Debbie

BonusMom
04-05-2012, 06:42 AM
So pleased you found peace as you honored your beloved father.

And you had it all wrong in looking for a AC/DC CD--you shoulda been looking for the 8 track ;-)!

bunny28
04-05-2012, 11:03 AM
What a wonderful way to pay tribute to your father and his life. I am so sorry for your loss. I am also so happy to hear that you are celebrating his life in such an amazing way. Sending you courage and strength as you approach the coming days.

steve.b
04-05-2012, 08:14 PM
i am glad you were able to celebrate the life that was your fathers.

i have unforunatelly seen people lost in sorrow and self pity of what they have lost.
it is far better to celebrate the life that was.
especially for someone like your dad who touched so many lives.

he made you.........
and i like what i "see"
he had to be a good man for that alone.

enjoy your memories...
and treasure his wisdom.

Oluwa
04-05-2012, 10:41 PM
Rob...what a wonderful service. I can envision, the smiles, the tears, the laughter...your Dad's legacy being told.....tights hugs.

P.S. On a more personal note, I sent you a PMer.

rob
04-06-2012, 08:09 AM
Well, it's now been exactly one week. I keep having these incredibly realistic dreams right before I wake in the morning. I dream that Dad is calling me saying he's OK and will be home from the hospital soon. And there's another one where I look out to see his car in my driveway, the shop doors are open, and he's out there working on the last car restoration we started together. They are so real that I believe they are true for a few minutes after I wake. Then reality hits me, it hits me hard.

I've decided that I'm going to finish our final car project for Dad, but I can't go out in the shop yet. All of his tools are laid out, the portable work light is still hanging under the open hood of the car, and his workstool is still there, all exactly as he left it the last time he was here. I keep hoping to see his car pull into my driveway, but I know it never will.

There is an absence and void in my life that can never be filled. I miss my Dad terribly.

Rob

Oluwa
04-06-2012, 01:19 PM
I know you miss your Dad, Rob...and yours and his plans...future. I am sorry.

I know those vivid dreams, they are nice aren't they. They bring comfort and reality all at the same time...wow. Amazing how two opposite emotions can run parallel with each other. Eventually they will merge with acceptance. I know in time, it will bring more comfort and not such pain of reality. It may feel like it won't now, but it does. Little by little we begin to laugh out loud as we remember them and without such pain from the missing. You will always miss him, the pain will lessen. All will be well...it will, Rob...hugs..

Linda From Australia
04-06-2012, 02:35 PM
Rob I have just been catching up on some of the news, and your dad's passing was the first I read. I have thought of you and your dad often which brings back many memories of the precious times I used to spend with my dad before his passing exactly 10 years ago.

Mum and Dad used to walk the Bibbulmun Track in stages. Around 1000km or 620 miles. They only had one more section to walk before they had completed the whole walk when Dad passed away. After a period of time grieving, my brother went with Mum and they finished the walk together. Such an achievement.

When you feel up to it Rob, make plans to finish the car you and your dad worked on together. Take your time to reminisce as you work. My thoughts will be with you.

magistramarla
04-06-2012, 03:45 PM
Rob,
Linda's idea is wonderful. It will be a wonderful tribute to your Dad for you to finish that car restoration.
Keep taking one day at a time and you will slowly adjust to your "new normal".
We'll all be here to cheer you on and to "listen" when you need a shoulder to lean on.
Hugs,
Marla

LINDA - I've missed you! Glad to see you back!

kim,l
04-06-2012, 06:17 PM
i agree what a fitting tribute to your dad for you to finish the car. hugs kim

Saysusie
04-08-2012, 10:20 PM
Well, it's now been exactly one week. I keep having these incredibly realistic dreams right before I wake in the morning. I dream that Dad is calling me saying he's OK and will be home from the hospital soon. And there's another one where I look out to see his car in my driveway, the shop doors are open, and he's out there working on the last car restoration we started together. They are so real that I believe they are true for a few minutes after I wake. Then reality hits me, it hits me hard.

I've decided that I'm going to finish our final car project for Dad, but I can't go out in the shop yet. All of his tools are laid out, the portable work light is still hanging under the open hood of the car, and his workstool is still there, all exactly as he left it the last time he was here. I keep hoping to see his car pull into my driveway, but I know it never will.

There is an absence and void in my life that can never be filled. I miss my Dad terribly.

Rob

Rob;
I've just returned home from a short hospitalization and was so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. His service and memorial sounded wonderful and I am not at all surprised by the many lives that he touched. We know how wonderful he was because of the man that you are.
I mentioned to you before that you would have the most vivid dreams about your Dad; he IS letting you know that he is OK. These dreams will continue and you will find that they happen when you are missing him the most. Soon, these dreams will bring you comfort because that is what you Dad wanted for you, even in his final moments. It was important to him that his family find comfort.
I am convinced that there is life after life and that our loved ones do come to us in our dreams to comfort us and to assure us. As I said earlier, these dreams will start to bring you comfort. I still dream about my sweet Lauri..that she is alive, healthy, and happy and in my dreams, she spends days with me, tells me what she has been doing, lets me know that she is happy and she always says something like "OK Mom, I have to get back but I will talk to you soon. I love you Mommy!" When I have these dreams, I forget about Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and everything else that may cause me unhappiness....I awake happy, calm, and filled with hope.
I pray that you will also find a way to keep hopeful and to find peace in knowing that there is no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears....only unending love and serenity.
Warmest hugs
Saysusie

rob
04-16-2012, 04:11 AM
It's been over two weeks now since that awful day, and instead of maybe having just a little more ability to comprehend and understand what happened, I seem to have less. We had to make the decision to withdraw life support. I was part of that decision. Knowing that you are carrying out the wishes of your loved one, does not make the decision any easier to make, or any easier to live with.

rob

steve.b
04-16-2012, 04:24 AM
i am sorry you find no peace.

i know you understand the logic.....
that you did not actively partake in removing his life.
but i do understand the hollow feeling.

all i can offer is a shoulder.
i wish you peace.

kim,l
04-16-2012, 04:20 PM
i am sorry rob. i can understand somewhat when my father was on life support they gave us an option of taking him off life support or having a operation in hopes of saving him ultimetly it was my mothers decision and she chose the operation even though the doctors said he would not survive operation. all my family went and said there goodbyes to him before the operation but i could not. because in my mind then they were all giving up. and i was not ready to let go. he died during operation. so in someways i know what it is like to want to hang on. and not let go.and for a long time i was haunted by my decision not to say goodbye. but i realised after awhile everybody does what they have to do in that situation. and in time i made peace with my decision and you my friend will make peace with yours. you were there holding his hand and he knew that. and your father left this world on his terms. i am here anytime you need a shoulder to cry on. luv and hugs kim

running girl
04-16-2012, 04:33 PM
Hi Rob,

I understand. My mom and I were incredibly close, just like you and your dad. She was my best friend. We did everything together and there was seldom a day when we didn't speak. Anyway, I miss her as much today as I did 3 years ago; however, it's different now. It's easier to miss her. I've become used to not seeing her. I can call up a memory and revel in it with joy, not sorrow.

Peace will come, but it takes time. Give yourself that. Be patient and allow yourself the grief.

Hugs.
Brenda

magistramarla
04-21-2012, 09:26 PM
Hi Rob,
I'm just catching up after a busy week.
Jeff went through a lot of guilt and what ifs after his Mom passed. He kept kicking himself for not insisting that she move in with us so that we could take care of her. However, she wanted to live independently and had her own circle of friends and resources in Florida. She was a nurse, so I think that she fully understood what was going on, and wanted to deal with it in her own way. I don't think that there was ever any way that Jeff could have done anything to change the outcome, but he still had a hard time convincing himself of that.
As others have told you, time will make the memories sweeter.
Just hang in there, my friend.
Love and Hugs,
Marla

Bonita
04-23-2012, 01:47 PM
I am so sorry for your loss but it seems that you had a wonderfull father and family. God Bless you all

rob
04-23-2012, 04:55 PM
Thank you all for the kind words, and support.

I thought that the grief, the sadness, the total feeling of emptiness was supposed to slowly get better with time.

For me, it's just getting worse with each passing day. Each day, yet another dozen things come to my mind that will never happen again. Each day I go to do something like call Dad for advice, or whatever, and then it dawns on me that I can't do those things anymore, and it's like being punched in the gut. It makes me suddenly nauseous for real, not just figuratively. With that I get the shakes, and rubbery legs. It's a horrible feeling. Up until that awful day, I had never seen a person die before, let alone a person who meant the absolute world to me. It was the most heart-rending, devastating thing I have ever witnessed.

I hope coping starts getting a little bit easier soon, because all of this is really taking a toll on me both mentally, and physically.

Rob

running girl
04-23-2012, 06:05 PM
Hey Rob,

I'm sorry you are struggling. It's so hard to lose someone so special.
I'm thinking of you.

Hugs,
Brenda

steve.b
04-23-2012, 07:41 PM
i have a large sholder.
and a nice thick shirt on....
to soak up your tears.

tgal
04-23-2012, 07:46 PM
I am so sorry. You know I am always here for you. My heart breaks in knowing what you are going through.

kim,l
04-23-2012, 08:16 PM
i amsorry rob it so very hard after my dad died everytime i visited my mother it felt like something was missing he was always the life of the party and then there was silence and it was hard to cope with. your emotions are all over the place at the moment. some of things i did to cope was to write him a letter i know you can not post it but getting your feelings out help. i also planted his favourite flower in garden. these are only suggestions but you will find something. that will be right for you. time is the only thing that helps my friend. and you can talk to me anytime luv kim

magistramarla
04-24-2012, 10:40 PM
Rob,
I'm sorry that you're hurting so much. It will take time - lots of time, but you will adjust.
We're all here for you, and we understand.
Take care of yourself, my friend.
Hugs,
Marla

debbie-b
04-25-2012, 03:23 AM
Rob,

It is quite normal, that you feel worse right now, because everything is so new and you miss him more every day.
Like Marla said, it will take time.
I wish there was something I could say or do, to make it better.
If you feel like talking, you know, we are here.

Debbie

Saysusie
04-25-2012, 09:05 AM
Dearest Rob;
It is horrible to watch someone whom you love dearly die. I've been there and it is a picture that will never, ever, ever leave your mind's eye.
The whole issue about the pain getting better over time, in my opinion, is a falsehood. It does not get better; what changes is the way that you react to it. I am sorry to say that, after 13 years, I still experience exactly what you described, when the memory or the pain hits me. Only now, after 13 years, it does not occur as frequently as it did previously. But, it still happens and I still get those feelings that you described.
I, too, found that writing to Lauri helped me immensely. I started a "Dear Lauri" journal wherein I talked to her about everything that was in my heart. I did this for about 3 yrs, then suddenly one night, I pulled out the journal and it was like she spoke to me..I mean I heard a voice say, "Mom, don't do this anymore, I know what is in your heart!" I literally COULD NOT write another word. It was a very surreal experience, but now I talk to her - constantly, but silently. My best friend knows that when she sees my lips moving ever so slightly with no words coming out, that I am talking to Lauri :-)
We are here for you Rob, we will all walk this path with you.

Peace and Blessings
Namaste
Saysusie

rob
06-07-2012, 08:56 PM
Well, it's been over two months now since Dad died. I've been trying to move forward with the "grieving process", but I haven't made any progress.

For the life of me, I can't wrap my head around the fact that I took part in the decision to withdraw life support. I had a hand in deciding the day and time my father would die. And then I sat there and watched the results of this decision. I held his hand, I watched him stop breathing, and I felt his pulse slow down and stop.

It doesn't matter that we were doing this in accordance with his wishes. It doesn't matter that death was inevitable whether we took him off the ventilator or not, I still feel like some kind of horrible ghoul. I feel like I made a terrible mistake. What about miracles? We could have left him on life support and a miracle might have happened. Something could have happened. What have I done. I don't know anymore.

I've never seen a person die before, let alone somebody who meant the world to me. I don't know how to deal with this.

Derrie
06-07-2012, 09:13 PM
Rob,

First, I want to say that I am so, so sorry you are experiencing this right now. There are no words I can offer that will make it better, but know that I sympathize.

Second, I want to say that the emotions you're experiencing are completely valid. But I also want to say that you are not a horrible ghoul. Not at all. No, you are incredibly strong and brave and loving. It takes an incredibly amount of courage, strength, and -- most of all -- love to respect your father's wishes and make the decision to withdraw his life support. It was what he wanted, I can only guess, to pass away among his loved ones, peacefully, not tethered to machines and suffering the pain and indignity of repeated interventions to extend his life by a few more days, a few more hours. It was the most caring, loving, selfless thing you could do to subject yourself to the grief and pain of taking the action to remove his life support so that he could die the way he wanted to. You made an incredible sacrifice for your father. That is an amazing thing to do.

Finally, I want to say that few, if any, of us know how to deal with this kind of situation on our own. Because you are still suffering greatly, I hope you'll consider finding a bereavement counselor who can help you process the trauma and grief you're experiencing. There are wonderful people out there who have experience helping people get through these things. My mother had to make the same decision you made for her mother, my grandmother, and my grandmother died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her six children. It took my mom close to a year, though, to find her balance again, and it was only after she began working with a counselor that she was able to fully process the experience of carrying out someone's wishes to remove life support.

Again, I am so sorry you had this experience. Thank you for your strength and your love for your father. You are an example for us all.

debbie-b
06-08-2012, 04:02 AM
Well, it's been over two months now since Dad died. I've been trying to move forward with the "grieving process", but I haven't made any progress.

For the life of me, I can't wrap my head around the fact that I took part in the decision to withdraw life support. I had a hand in deciding the day and time my father would die. And then I sat there and watched the results of this decision. I held his hand, I watched him stop breathing, and I felt his pulse slow down and stop.

It doesn't matter that we were doing this in accordance with his wishes. It doesn't matter that death was inevitable whether we took him off the ventilator or not, I still feel like some kind of horrible ghoul. I feel like I made a terrible mistake. What about miracles? We could have left him on life support and a miracle might have happened. Something could have happened. What have I done. I don't know anymore.

I've never seen a person die before, let alone somebody who meant the world to me. I don't know how to deal with this.

My dear Rob,

My heart is aching, seeing that you are hurting so much. It is our heart that keeps saying, " what if", even though our brain knows better. It always takes a long while, until the heart and the brain finally agree.
I pray, that you can find a way, to deal with all this.
There is nothing I can say, to help you, because I have never been in your situation. All I can say, we love you and that we are here for you.
Take care and find peace, my dear friend.

Debbie

steve.b
06-08-2012, 05:51 AM
i am here to talk to, whenever you want to.

Oluwa
06-08-2012, 06:27 PM
Rob...tight hugs.

When we pray, we pray asking to heal, we pray asking to stop the suffering, we pray asking to make them whole again. Your Dad is all of these now. Believe that.

Guilt is a natural part of the grieving, and the guilt comes from a variety of circumstance but it is because of all the ifs, should've, could've before they passed. Regardless of our decisions, even if we did the opposite those feelings would still rise. Ones' passing is never without guilt especially if the passing is from an illness. I even feel guilty towards Bola's passing. Guilt for different reasons..like why didn't I call that morning to tease him about the Christmas tree like I wanted to..maybe I could have delayed his time, the accident then would not have happened...guilt for any an all disagreements...thinking I may have wasted a second of his living life. Guilt still ensnares me, but not as great as it was the first six months.

Two months is relatively a short time on this 'journey'...this part of life. They call it, the thick of it...the raw.

Rob, remember when we 'talk..message'..it is all about the emotions outweighing your coping skills...emotions outbalancing logic. Not that death is logic per se, well in a sense it is because it is inevitable for all of us. But you need to find coping skills....for each of us it will be different. Maybe you need to attend a bereavement group for support, to find people like us. The hospital where your Dad was at should have meetings. One on one counseling perhaps. I belong to an online group and I did one on one counseling. Which has helped me some to put things into perspective so I can learn to accept Bola's death and all the changes that come with it. I contacted a psychiatrist to help me with the prescription drugs to tame my anxiety and depression down. My DR prescribed drugs were making my emotions worse or I would have physical side effects. Hopefully they will be able to find the right combination. Maybe a few months of a prescribed drug might help you to see things differently....

For me, I tried to fix me...as if I was broken. You can't fix grief. You have to go through it and not around it. There is no set time..but they say it is what you do with that time makes a difference. So the circumstances that evolve around family, friends and the one who passed...the family, social dynamics is different for each of us as in what we do with the time.

Rob, you followed your Dad's wishes...and he would not want you to feel guilty for something he wanted you to do for him. An act of love not an act of being a decision maker over life and death.

Grief is love...without love we would not grieve. The pain inside is from love. We can lessen the pain without losing our love for them. Changing our thoughts, our perception of their passing, our losses...the day they died. Attaching a different emotion other than guilt to the day.

I am a work in progress. I learn. I grow. My beliefs change...I am opened to that because I know Bola would not want me to feel like I do...and neither would your Dad.

Be kind to yourself Rob, be good to your heart and mind. You are a good son and never forget that. Your Dad loves you and does not want you to feel guilty..listen to your Dad in your heart. He is telling you that.

Tight hugs...

kim,l
06-08-2012, 09:21 PM
dear rob i am so sorry for what you are going through when my dad died my mum attended grief support groups and she found that helped. we all find our own way to grieve some take longer than others. it is my fathers birthday on the 14th and he has been dead 7 years and still it is hard just to get through the day. i know how you feel about life support i went through same thing after he died always beating myself up about not fighting to keep him on life support. not doing the operation. feeling guilty that there could have been a miracle. unless you have been there you do not understand. i cannot be there personally to help you with the grief but if you need someone to talk to who has been through same situation i am here anytime take care my friend hugs kim

running girl
06-08-2012, 11:35 PM
Hi Rob,

For what my opinion is worth, I think you are a very brave man. The right decision is most often not the easiest one. And it is never more true than in this situation. You took your dad's pain from him - and you are still holding on to it. He would want you to let it go now.
Missing him is quite another issue. That will never stop, but you will get more used to it. You had a lifetime of love and friendship with your dad, that's what makes it hurts.

Hang in there my friend.
Brenda

Desleywr
06-09-2012, 01:39 AM
I am so sorry for you and your family!

rob
06-09-2012, 04:20 PM
It was a couple of days before we made the decision, and I was with Dad, just talking, hoping he could possibly hear me. Some say that people sedated on a ventilator can hear, some say they can't. I just assumed that he could.

There was a doctor, a "Hospitalist" was her title, who was in charge that day. I'd met her a couple times before. Really a sharp lady, and very honest in her words with me about Dad's condition. I really appreciated her frankness and honesty. Anyway, that day, she came in and started talking about the stories that were going around about my father, about his life, and his accomplishments. His life's story is like something out of a movie, almost hard to imagine. And you would never know it talking to him. He was one of the most humble, regular guys you could ever meet.

I told the Dr. about some of the things he'd done in his life. And I told her about what kind of father he is, or now, what kind of father he was. On one hand, he was a strict disciplinarian. Yet at the same time, he didn't treat me like a kid. When I showed an interest in things he did, flying, shooting, he would never tell me I was too young, or that it wasn't for me. He allowed me to have responsibilities at a young age that most kids would never have dreamed of. As a man who grew up without a father, he gave me opportunities that he himself never had. His discipline and standards were very, very high. But the rewards for meeting those standards were even higher.

I finished by telling the Dr. that he was not only the best Dad a kid could ever hope to have, but as an adult, he was also the best friend I ever had. The trips, the adventures we went on, were so filled with a sense of discovery, and with so much laughter. He was funny, and I mean really funny. In his obituary, which my oldest sister wrote, she called his sense of humor and practical jokes "legendary", and indeed, they were, but never at the expense of someone else.

When I finished talking, I looked up at the Dr., and she was crying. I was so surprised, I didn't know what to think at first. She told me that she's seen many people as sick as Dad, and that most of them were all alone, with no family or friends to visit, or care. She said that the love between Dad and I was just so rare, and that it was something she hardly ever saw. I just thought that most every father-son relationship was like Dad and I.

To think that only two months down the road that I'd start to be OK again, is unrealistic. I guess you get so tired of the pain, that you can fool yourself into thinking you're somehow past it. I know I need to find some outside help for what's going on with me. I'm going to start looking for that help, be it a counselor, meds, whatever I have to do.

SleepyInSeattle
06-09-2012, 05:04 PM
I have no great wisdom to offer...I wouldn't wish this pain on anybody. But I am SO GLAD you had a Dad like him - I WOULD wish that for EVERYBODY.

So for now, just (((((((HUGS)))))))) and I am glad you are reaching out with your pain. Let some of us help you carry it as best we can, even if it's just walking beside you.

rob
06-09-2012, 05:55 PM
I've been thinking about all the different phrases and sayings my Dad always used.

Whenever he got stuck in a slow moving line at the grocery store, and the cashier would apologize for the long wait, he would smile and say "Well, I figure there are already enough impatient a-holes in the world, why contribute to the cause?"

After he retired, people would always ask him if he missed his work. He'd simply say "I'd rather be a has-been, than a never-was."

Back in the early 60's when Dad made the big jump from local law enforcement to being a Treasury Agent in DC, the story is that my Mom would laugh and jokingly say that yes, now's he's a bigshot, and next thing you know, he'll be having an affair with Marilyn Monroe.

When Dad was taken from the Veterans Home to the ER, we were told that he would have to be intubated, and that he will no longer be able to speak. We were told that this may be the last time we could ever talk. My sisters, my Mom, and I talked to him about many things. When the time came to take him and put him on the ventilator, my Mom asked him if he had anything else he would like to say to us. He looked at us all, and he saw the tears, and the fear in all of our faces. Then he pulled his oxygen mask to the side, and said "For the record, I never had an affair with Marilyn Monroe". We broke out into such laughter, it was just, unforgettable.

Those were my father's last words. He was facing what he knew was probably the end, yet his concern was for his family, not himself. Making us laugh when he saw how scared we all were, was his final gift, and a perfect illustration of the kind of man that he was.

I've never talked or written about many of these things. Maybe now is a good time to start.

kim,l
06-09-2012, 06:53 PM
dear rob i think writing about how you feel is a good thing to do start a journal go to bereavement groups or if medications helps take it. we all have different needs , i wrote a letter to my dad after he died i know you cannot send it but it made me feel bettter putting down on paper what i would have like to say before he died. they are some say they cannot hear you but some say they can when they were on ventilator i believe my father could because when i talked to him tears came from his eyes, i truly believe he new i was there. my father was also the comedian in our family and would make us laugh. my way of coping is on his birthday i cook his favourite meal. and at christmas atime he loved we place a ornament with his name on it on christmas tree and my daughter goes out side on christmas eve and looks to the sky and wishes her poppy a merry christmas. everyone copes differently with my father inlaw we planted his favourite flower in the garden. my heart is with you my friend hugs kim

steve.b
06-09-2012, 06:57 PM
your father is a great man.
i say is because he now lives on in his family.
he lives in you.

you honour him by remembering his greatness.
you honour him by following his guidelines.
you honour him by being you.

i am a better person because of our limited friendship
so i therefore honour your dad also.
his widom lives on through all of us.

magistramarla
06-09-2012, 08:32 PM
Rob,
I'm so sorry that you are going through so much pain. I watched Jeff deal with the same guilt and sadness after his mother's passing.
I agree with Kim and others that writing about your Dad and his extraordinary life and wisdom may be the best medicine for you.
Jeff's Mom was also a wit, and she loved to write. She had begun to write a book about raising her four boys with the fantastic title "Four of a Kind in a Full House with a Wild Queen". We have what she wrote, and Jeff spent many hours putting it into a digital form. I think that helped him a lot.
Someday, he hopes to return to it and perhaps add to it from his own perspective. I think that it would make a wonderful thing to pass on to our children and grandchildren.
Write about your Dad's life and write down all of that wonderful wit and wisdom while it is fresh in your mind. I think that it will prove to be healing for you, and will give your family some concrete memories to treasure.
Love & Hugs,
Marla