The pain of losing dad is still so very raw...it's been a week and half and yet it in ways it seems like just yesterday but the pain feels like it's been a lifetime.
Mom needed to go back up to the Veterans home yesterday to get dads walker and the cash he had left in his spending account. Well, with her car not working, she asked me to take her up, so I did. When we got up there, I left mom in the car with the kids and ran inside to get the stuff. I didn't imagine that it would be hard being back there....wasn't I in for a surprise?!
I stood at the reception desk for about 2 minutes...no one in sight...I look out the window and what do I see? A hearse! I couldn't believe it...of all the times to be there, it would be when someone had passed and was being picked up! I suddenly felt a bit nauseous. I walked through the doors and down the hall...and it felt like the walls were closing in on me....there were patients sitting in the hall slumped over...staring into space...the room of the man who passed away, the door was open, curtain barely pulled....there are carts of stuff in the hallway - looked like bedpans and what not...nurses trying to weigh an elderly gentleman ....I went to the nurses desk, asked for dads walker and who to see about getting the money. The nurse told me to check with so and so...and I turned to walk back down the hall...what do I see but the man who they were trying to weigh, being pushed purposely into the cart of bedpans and the nurse yelling at him to watch himself.
I couldn't find anyone who could help me get dads money, so I went back outside...and with that they were bringing out the man who had passed away...his body draped with the American flag. I couldn't help but cry...it was still so fresh in my mind...loosing dad...wondering if they did that for dad when they came to get him...wondering how long his body was left at the hospital since it was after midnight when he passed....it was just a flood of emotion all over again.
Back to the Veterans home...I have to say I hate that place. The level of care is horrible...we've heard from so many people who either have loved ones there now or have had in the past how horrible it is.
See when dad was alive, he was on oxygen...and several times he was taken to the ER and told that he had too much oxygen in his system...who was upping it? Why was it being upped? The day dad passed, when mom and Gail went up to see him and he was out of it, couldn't open but one eye for a second, couldn't eat, couldn't drink, couldn't speak, the nurse said it was a reaction from the Ativan and Xanax....too much on his system....why the hell was he being given both of those medications together? There are so many questions left unanswered! See, dad was still of sound mind and wasn't afraid to speak it...he might of been in the nursing home but unlike his counterparts, he was still had full mental capacity. We wonder now if they got tired of dad speaking his mind...you know give him a little something extra to keep him "calm and quiet"? Let's face it, when the rest of your patients are in a daze and have no idea who is coming and going and what is going on around them, and then you have the man who isn't afraid to tell you where to shove it, you have to wonder?! I mean, he went so fast - yes he was sick, but who authorized these medications? Why were they given? The nurse had told mom and Gail that he'd sleep it off and be fine...obviously that wasn't the case. I will go to my own grave forever wondering if perhaps all wasn't done that possibly could have been done to save him! Wondering if perhaps there was some sort of foul play there.
When mom and Gail got up there to see him - he had no pants on - he was half exposed....not cleaned up....his shirt had red jello stains all over it...he was wearing red socks - and if you knew my dad, you'd know it would be a cold day in hell before he'd willingly put on red socks. He was all dirty. It was as if they hadn't given a rats ass about him.
When we went back to the nursing home at 4am that morning to collect his things, his light was still on...TV still on...he'd been out of the room for almost 12 hours and no one had noticed?
It kills me to wonder about what kind of care he received in his final days....and just hurts my heart so much.
I just want the hurt to go away...I want to feel like I can breathe again without this weight on my chest...but part of me is so scared that if the hurt stops that will mean I no longer remember dad, and I don't want that either.
I am dealing with extreme guilt...it had been two weeks since I had seen dad....between him being in and out of the hospital with pneumonia and the kids and I being sick, I hadn't been up more - for fear of making him sicker. And of course, dad would always tells us 5 minutes after we got there, that we could go...I think he didn't want to feel like anyone was making a big deal out of him...so here it had been just about 2 weeks since I had seen him alive, breathing, smiling ....two weeks....and then the last time I see him, he isn't even responsive and has no idea I am around....it breaks my heart so much...I wish I had seen him more...I wish I could have one more chance to tell him how much I loved him...to tell him he was my hero....to tell him he was the best daddy....how he shaped and made me who I am today....how he was the first man I ever fell in love with....I want to say all of that and so much more to him and I hate myself for never having that chance...I wanted to write him a letter...and kept thinking I had time...and before you know it, he was gone.... I don't know if I can ever forgive myself!
I will say that dads passing has softened me a bit....I've had issues with my mother for years...and while I still do - I mean, I haven't forgotten those things, they are in the back of my mind now....it makes you realize how short time is and how you don't want to focus on stuff like that. This is a time to support each other ....grieve together, not argue and hold on to hate.
On another note, we leave tomorrow for our trip downstate - Trevor has an appointment Friday with a specialist. To be honest, I don't care about this trip - if it hadn't taken so long to get into this doctor, I'd cancel it, because right now the last thing I want to do is go away. I want to stay here and continue to grieve in my own way. Everyone keeps saying this will do me good, but I just don't know. I don't want to have a bunch of fun right now...it doesn't feel right....