Thursday, 1 October 2015

Free At Last - Goodbye, Dad

When the phone rang at 6.48am this morning I already knew. Dad had gone. It was no surprise, we'd made the decision not to proceed with a feeding tube any longer. The kindest thing was to allow his failing body to naturally decline. It was only a matter of time. The doctors told us days or maybe hours, but he clung on for fourteen days, diminishing before our eyes, always a slightly built man but towards the end, his form was almost skeletal.

Dementia is a cruel disease, robbing sufferers of their personality and their dignity. My father, intensely private, a man of few words, with a past packed with adventure, globe trotting, fine wine and fast cars* disappeared. Just weeks after Mum's death he changed almost overnight. Haunted by hallucinations and terrified, he'd turn up on our doorstep begging us to help him to get the intruders out of his house. He'd ring the police in the middle of the night, convinced that Mum was being held captive in the house next door and that I was part of the plot. Neighbours and visitors would complain about his odd behaviour.

The day I spent with a team of medical staff and social workers, trying to calm him while he ranted, raved and foamed at the mouth, culminating ten hours later with him being sectioned under the Mental Heath Act as being a danger to himself, taken away against his will and held in a psychiatric ward, is the day I finally felt like a grown-up.

After weeks of tests his condition was recognised as dementia rather than schizophrenia. His behaviour was modified with drugs and he was eventually calm enough to be transferred to a nursing home for his own safety, never again to return home. There he was cared for, treasured by the staff and treated with love and respect but the person we visited wasn't Dad. The man who disliked physical contact, popular music, commercial television, baked beans and sweet tea relished full English Breakfasts in front of This Morning, he'd hold hands with the staff, sway to songs on Radio Two and drink mugs of tea with three sugars. At first he vaguely recognised my brother and Jon but with me he was clueless, getting agitated and wandering off, preferring to march up and down the corridor in his own world.

Over the last five years his condition continued to deteriorate. Conversation was impossible and if he sat still long enough he'd simply mutter a jumble of words, often related to the RAF, Interpol, missed flights and border control. The staff suspected he was once involved in some form of military intelligence, something we'll never now know.

Towards the end he stopped eating and refused to leave his bed. For the last month he hadn't opened his eyes or even spoken.

How do I feel? Is it awful to say that I'm relieved? For the last fortnight I've gasped every time the phone rung, fearing the inevitable. Finally that awful knot in my stomach has unravelled, the overwhelming sense of guilt that I don't visit him as often as I should and the feeling of utter powerless when I did and he turned his back on me and walked away.

My Dad died today but we lost my father five years ago.



Norman Ernest Brearley

29th May, 1929 - 1st October, 2015



* Dad's adventurous past HERE

132 comments:

  1. Oh Vix this is so sad :( Sorry to hear that he, and your family, have been suffering for years.

    Sending lots of love xxx

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  2. This is a powerful post. Thank you for sharing your words. Much love to you and I wish you, and him all the peace in the world. xx

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  3. I work in a state psychiatric hospital and many of our older patients suffer with dementia. You describe eloquently and honestly the heartbreaking effect this condition has on all. I am sad for your loss but so much understand the relief you feel.

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  4. You are so right, dear Vix once the mind is gone you are not longer there.
    Iam sorry for your loss and sending lots of love and hugs.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  5. 5 years is a very long time to suffer for the both of you. You did a very good job at being a grown up for your dad. So many people don't have anyone to advocate for them when they need it most. Loving thoughts sent your way from Canada. - jill

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  6. I understand completely, no need for anyone to question your meaning,, I know its hard to lose ones parent even under the circumstances you described,
    I was shocked to read tthis,, it is almost to the letter the path my father took to leave this world,, life can be cruel.
    I am sending a big hug to you ,, take care my friend,,I shed some tears for you today,

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  7. Oh Vix, I'm so sorry for your loss- both then and now. Such a horrible thing to have to bear witness to. xx

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  8. I'm so, so sorry for your loss xxx

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  9. SO sorry vix , Like you say dementia is a cruel thing , My nan suffered badly and i felt guilty about not going to see her as much as i thought i should but it hurts when they dont know who you are even if they cant help it ,Relief is just another mourning emotion xxx

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  10. I'm so very sad to hear of your family's prolonged suffering. What a horrible difficult situation. Both my grandparents suffered similar fates that also went on for years and I know how devastating it is to watch someone that was once so strong deteriorate before your eyes.

    Big hugs to you and your family.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  11. So sorry, dearest Vix, for your loss and all the suffering that came before. Peace to you. xox

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  12. Darling Vix our hearts go out to you, Philip's Dad had dementia too so we know what you have lived with.
    All our love to you and a big hug xxxxxxx

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  13. Sorry for your loss x blessed be xx

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  14. Oh Vix, I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. Both now and five years before and all the suffering you both went through. There is nothing more painful than this part of life. Love to you.

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss and what you've gone through.

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  16. My condolences Vix. It seems like a very similar path to the one my darling Nan took towards the end, refusing to move, talk, open her eyes or eat. People just know when they've had enough. I'm so sorry for your loss but completely understand your sense of relief. Love and light x

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  17. Hugs are coming your way. One lot of worry is now over. Your dad will live on in your memory.
    xx

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  18. My condolences Vix, my sweet Grandma went this way. And my mom's last few months she was so sick she could barely carry on a conversation. You feel like you've said good bye long before they are gone. But you miss them every day. xoxoxo

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  19. Dear Vicky, You have my deepest sympathy and I send truly heartfelt wishes to you and your family ♥ This is a sad time, and it's normal to feel relieved, because his suffering has finally ended. xx

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  20. He is with you in a better way now. I hope your memories of him keep mostly to the good times of the past and not on his suffering. He is truly in a grand adventure now!

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  21. So sorry to hear about your loss. You couldn't have done anything more.

    I hope you find some comfort during this difficult time.

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  22. Oh honey I'm so sorry for the loss of your Dad. I understand the relief that comes when people and animals we love are free from suffering. This has been a long time coming and I'm happy that your family can move on peacefully. I love you to death and beyond! Sending you a big hug and all my support.
    Xxxxoooo

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  23. Oh im so sorry to hear about your loss but you said it so well . Big hugs !
    xxx

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  24. I'm so so sorry for what you've all had to go through, including your father of course. Dementia is cruel and seems like a meaningless joke played on the unsuspecting, a story with no happy ending that tortures anyone involved. I can completely understand your sense of relief and knowing he's out of (mental) pain and anguish now. I hope all your wonderful memories of him throughout your life can help outweigh the ones at the end. Sending big hugs.

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  25. I understand, and I'm so sorry for your loss.
    We are just entering the whole new world that is dementia with my Grandad, and I understand.
    Much love to you x

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss Vix, sending virtual hugs through the internet. Be kind to yourself xx

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  27. So sorry to hear your news, it's as if you lost him twice, thinking of you x

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  28. I don't feel bad that I also felt relieved when my mum finally went. It hadn't been really her for ages either. I like to think that at the end when she said, 'Thanks for taking such good care of me.' she actually knew what she was saying. It's hard to see people with such vibrant personalities change so drastically. My heart goes out to you. xo

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  29. I can relate to the relief you're feeling. I had the same emotions when my Mother died. She'd suffered many years and when she finally died I was "happy". I was also 13 and instantly felt like the worst child in the world. Now I realize what I was feeling: my loved one was no longer in pain and was at peace. Hugs to yo and Jon.

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  30. I am so sorry for your loss now and five years ago. I hope that your father is in a better place, back with your mother and feeling himself again. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. <3

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  31. I feel for you Vicky. All the grief and guilt twirls around our heads. "You did your very best that you were able to", was phrase that was said to me in group counselling and it was the best set of words, ever, and not from the counsellor, but one of the group, probably because, he too, had lived it.
    If I can help in any way, however miniscule, let me know. Call, cry, scream at me in you need to. You are my friend, a mate and I love you to bits.
    Zxx

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  32. So sorry for your loss. And no its not wrong to be relieved that someone we love is no longer in misery.

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  33. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Though words, I know, cannot ease the pain of losing a parent hopefully the support of knowing that people care can help a little. My nana died after a period of dementia which saw us lose her long before her actual passing. It is a cruel disease. When my own father died it was after a long and very painful illness and though we were lucky enough that he escaped dementia. The feeling at his death was also grief coupled with relief and it is not awful to feel this way. Feeling relief that your dad is now free of his illness in no way lessens the grief. (Incidentally my dad was called Norman too and he also shared his birthday with 29th May with your dad.) ((Huggs)) xxx

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  34. No, not awful at all. Your father will be at peace now. Sorry for your loss. Best wishes. xxx

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  35. So sorry to hear of your loss Vix, but your relief is totally understandable - he is no longer suffering. My Nan had alzheimers and we lost her a couple of years before she actually passed away.
    It sounds as if he was happy in the home for quite a while and there is nothing more you could have done. You can cherish the happy memories of him.
    Sending you a huge hug xxx

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  36. Dementia is a cruel and terrible disease. XOXO. May your Father finally rest in peace. Thinking of you and your family.

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  37. I am very sorry for your loss.
    I have experienced a similar story with my grandma some years ago. It is heartbreaking how dementia makes a personality disappear. In the end she could not even remember how to swallow even though before the dementia she had been able to keep hundreds of recipes in her head without a problem without writing them down.
    I felt very touched while reading your post because I can relate to all these feelings. My mother adored my grandma but in the end she was relieved and I was too. We were glad gran didn't have to suffer anymore.
    I'm sending you my warmest hugs.
    I don't know you but I know your dad is in heaven now enjoying fine wine and fast cars again (just like my grandma is happily gardening and cooking up there).

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  38. Sorry to hear this, love. Although you knew it was coming, it's still awful. It's not wrong to feel relief at all and now his suffering is over. Dementia is horrendous.
    Bloody love you.
    xxxxxxxx

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  39. Sorry for your loss Vix - but happy your Dad is free now and your family too.

    Dementia is a cruel, cruel disease - it robs a person of their personality and dignity. I am full of admiration for the nursing care in the care home my loved one was in and their unceasing desire to reach out. They often played music and soundtracks and hymns that would bring someone back/give them peace for a minute or two.

    Thinking of you as you move through this xx

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  40. Oh Vix. I am so sorry. But you are right. You're both free now. He must have been a wonderful Dad because he had a wonderful daughter in you. Much Love.

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  41. No, love, it's not awful to feel relieved. You knew this day was coming, and as you say, dementia had changed your dad beyond all recognition years before. You have written eloquently and beautifully about the man he was, and the tragedy of his decline. It's a hard, hard thing to watch anyone, but especially a parent, become utterly dependent and afraid, particularly when their old self had been something so very different. Being bed-ridden and unable to speak or eat is no life for a man of intrigue and adventure.
    Sending loads of love. xxxx

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  42. dear lady, I'm so sorry, and sending you lots of love. It's not strange to feel guilt and relief, both at the same time. Dementia is really cruel with families: my grandpa suffered from dementia for years and my mom still feels guilt because we had to take them to a residential home, when it was impossible to take care of him at our own home. Feelings work their own way!
    Send you all my love and support, once more!
    besos

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  43. Oh Vix, I'm so very deeply sorry for your loss. I've got that familiar lump in my throat, and my eyes are holding back my tears. My Dad suffered from Parkinsons and Alzheimers, and although it's been ten years since he passed, there are moments when I feel like it was yesterday that I lost him. And...like you...I feel I lost him long before his physical death. It is a blessed relief, for you and for your dear Dad. He's flying free on the wings of an angel right now. I always like to think that on some level, my Dad's soul was able to escape the trappings of his body and experience bliss in those last painful years of his life. Godspeed!

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  44. Vix, you are the strongest woman I know.
    I am so incredibly saddened by your loss, your agony and your hurting. I know that life can be so cruel. Nobody deserved this, certainly not the great father you spoke so fondly of.
    I wish you peace and hold out a piece of my heart for you.
    I know, undoubtedly you will carry your Dad’s love in your everything – he will always be a part of you, don’t you ever forget that.
    x x x

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  45. So sorry to read this. At least now he and you are free from the terrible cruelty of dementia. Sending love ... M x

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  46. Dear Vix,

    You are such an excellent writer. As hard as this post was to read, it was also beautiful to read. No matter how difficult it was, you have clearly been an excellent daughter. Big big hug from the Netherlands.

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  47. Your dad is free now, and clearly you loved the man, even when it may not have been easy during his dementia. The relief must be welcome after so much anxiety. My heart goes out to you. Big hugs.

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  48. Big hugs to you, very sad, this happened to my best friend's Mum. Her Dad died two years ago, her Mum had a series of mini strokes, dementia made her melt away. When she died this year, my friend said when Dad died 2 years ago, really so did Mum :( look after yourself xxxxx

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  49. I think you are quite right to feel relieved, dementia is a truly awful disease both for the sufferer and for those who love them. Glad to hear your Dad is now at peace. Sending much love and virtual hugs to you.

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  50. I'm so sorry for your loss--the circumstances--the tragedy that surrounds this illness. He is free and you are beautiful to see it that way. Sending you my best wishes of a lighter heart soon.

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  51. I am so sorry for your loss. Today and five years ago.
    As a not native english speaker, I'm always afraid to find the wrong words in situation like this, so I keep it short. But my heart and thoughts are with you and your family.

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  52. Hugs to you. So sorry to hear about your father Vix. I agree, dementia is such a terrible illness and even though you knew it was coming I know it doesn't make it easier, may he rest in peace. My mum has been going through a lot of illness lately, but fortunately she is doing a lot better and a breast cancer survivor. xxx

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  53. It's not awful to feel relieved when someone you love stops suffering.

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  54. Ciao Vix,
    I am so sorry: for the loss of your father in this Oct. 1, but especially these five, long and difficult years ... I recognized my own discomfort in you reading your words. I know how cruel the Senile Dementia. I lost my grandfather in February 1997, even though he died in mid-December of 1999. My grandfather was my lighthouse, and then one night he stopped recognizing me, he could not remember my name; he no longer knew my grandmother; spoke only of his old home, his mom ... It 'was a chock, a terrible discovery that still torments me, because I'm afraid it might happen again ... It is not easy to understand that those who did not know the disorder, but every day I try to solve this my fear and be more positive ... A big hug from the heart

    Serena

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  55. Do not ever feel guilty for being releived. I watched my husband grow more and more ill for 25 years. He went from a vaery active military man to one who could hardly get out of bed without assistance. The last 5 years were very difficult. When he flew away home, I thanked God that his journey was finished.
    You should feel free, knowing that he is free as well.
    You can remember him with love, laughter and peace.

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  56. You are not a bad person for feeling relieved. My granny spent my entire teenage years with ever worsening Alzheimer's and I was incredibly relieved when she went when I was 21. I then felt guilty for feeing relieved, but this is normal. You are right; the person you love has gone years before.

    I am sorry that you have lost your Dad, please accept my condolences.

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  57. Oh Vix, I'm so sorry. Your way of seeing things is, as always, positive. It's perfectly normal to feel relieved when someone you love has stopped suffering and declining. We are fortunate when we long for their release. It's far easier to bear (for us)than the shock of losing someone in their prime, out of the blue.
    Your father is free at last from his cruel condition, and any guilt you feel is part of grief. They go hand in hand, you can't have grief without guilt. There's always something to feel guilty over. It doesnt achieve anything. You loved him, found him a good, safe home and made the toughest decision. The right decision. We did the same with my mum. It was what she wanted.
    I know you're not religious but I'll pray for your dad and you at this difficult time. xxxx

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  58. My condolences Vix to you and your family and thank you for sharing a most personal part of your life with the internet community.

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  59. Oh Vix, I'm so sorry. I must be very hormonal as I've just cried on your behalf on the bus. I'm sorry that you were robbed of your Father by dementia. We lost my Grandma to it and for 10years, she was a stranger so I know the sense of relief. Hugs and best wishes. X x x x

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  60. Such a tough decision for you to make, hugs to you. We are facing much the same with my Mother-in-law. She is getting worse each year, now calls us multiple times a day forgetting she has already called us just a few minutes ago. Your father is in a better place and maybe you can now have a bit of peace too.

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  61. Live with good memories of your dad, the daft and silly things will always make you smile and that's his little bit of immortality

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  62. So sorry to hear about your Dad. Dementia is cruel, but now he is free. Loved the link to his life story; I'll bet he was a spy! A truly interesting individual. Peace and hugs.

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  63. So sorry to read this Vix. It is not awful to feel relieved, or if it is, I will join you in awfulness. My grandmother died this January, but we had lost her years ago to dementia. It's a bastard of a disease, robbing people of themselves.
    Thinking of you and your family. xx

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  64. Bless your dear dad, Vix, he has led a full life, loved and valued and you have ensured he passed on with dignity. I do hope you will not feel guilty now the burden has been lifted, I had similar feelings after my father died from cancer - often it is much harder for a family to witness someone they love deteriorate than it is for the person themselves to come to terms with their destiny. Hang on to the happy memories and treasure them, as time goes on, they are the ones that will stay strongest. Betty x

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  65. So very sorry for your loss.

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  66. It is such a sad time, I know from personal experience that it is a very reflective time. My thoughts are with you x

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  67. Vix, I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I know from experience that dementia is the cruelest of diseases, robbing people of their selves and families their loved ones. It must have been very hard for you to see him that way but at least now he will be at peace. Sending you and your family the best of wishes. Kelly Xx

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  68. dear vix i'm sorry it all had to go down this way. i lost my mom after battling alzheimers disease for 12 years. like your dad she was just a figment of of former self. it is a cruel, cruel disease and highly misunderstood still by experts. my mom who was a registerd nurse for 45 years became quite randomly violent. some of the "experts" thought it was her mean self resurfacing. nothing could have been further from the truth. i'm glad you dad and you are both free of this wretched slow death. thoughts love and prayers...x

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  69. Having lost my "real" Dad to a stroke years ago, then more recently completely to a 2nd stroke, it is only natural to feel relieved - for him, for yourself - and saddened. I try to think how much better mine is than living his life in a nursing home, unable to communicate or to understand, and hold on to my memories of a younger, stronger Dad.

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  70. This is such a powerful and dignified tribute to your dad. I have never experienced a loved one with dementia but I can only begin to imagine the suspended nightmare it must be and the gamut of complex emotions it must evoke. Be gentle with yourself. Thinking of you xxx

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  71. I am sorry for your loss. Here's to the good memories and the comfort in knowing you did all you could to make his final days be in dignity.

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  72. Dear Vix, I wish to send my sincere condolences for the loss of your dear father.

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  73. Dear Vix: I am so very sorry for your loss, and no, it is not wrong to feel relief. xox

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  74. I'm so sorry about your Dad. Dementia is a horrible, horrible way to go. Please take care and know that there are so many people out here in Blogland thinking of you.

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  75. My parents lived well into their 80s, spending their last years together in a nursing facility that provided excellent care. I knew it was impossible for me alone to care either in my home, much less both; but on bad days they felt abandoned and I felt guilt and resentment.

    They died by inches, by weeks and by days. Toward the end my phone rang daily and I spent many weekends commuting from nursing home to emergency room to hospital room. Every Sunday afternoon was dedicated to coping with the insurance and medical billings. When they passed I felt relief rather than grief -- and more guilt about the sense of relief.

    I feel your grief, and your relief, and your guilt, dear Vix. You, and your brother and Jon, have my sincere condolences. Try very hard to be kind to yourself, and to remember your Dad as the man he was.

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  76. Five years is a very long time to spend losing your dad, and a long time for him to be losing himself, there is no shame in relief at the end of that. Wishing you all the peace in the world. xx

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  77. May I offer you big hugs, dearest Vix... it must have been so, so hard for you, all these years... Sending you lots of love, feeling sad for you, but at the same time, yes, it is a relief, and there is no shame in feeling it. Many hugs, my dear!

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  78. A relief for him Vix. You lost the man you knew and loved a few years ago- it's a cruel disease. My husband felt the same when his Mum died two years ago.
    Arilx

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  79. So sorry to read this. My Mum's got dementia and is safely tucked up in a very good, care home, full of lovely staff. But she spent years being 'independent', wanting help but refusing it, behaving in ways that were infuriating and bewildering. I felt guilty for not visiting her, but frustrated and pushed-away when I did go. She dreaded being put in a care home, but we had no choice when she became a danger to herself.
    It's good that we can talk and write freely about such things. There's got to be an end to the stigma surrounding dementia. I wouldn't judge anyone for being 'relieved' when someone dies after a lengthy illness. It's a natural reaction, I'm sure I'll feel the same mix of emotions when Mum goes.
    Best wishes, Valerie

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  80. hug you!!! much!
    i totally understand your relief! such long suffering is so hard for everyone involved. you are a good daughter for sure - you have him in your heart like he was before the disease took away his personality. and he will be better now - he has his peace!!!
    much love! xxxxxx

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  81. My dad (or the one that I thought were my dad, well ...)was sick for about 9 months before he died and I thought the mourning was over, but it turned out not. However, I was relieved for him and understand you completely. I guess this is nevertheless a turbulent time for you and Jon although I understand that you have the ability to remember your father's true colors.

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  82. It's not awful to say you're relieved. Anyone who does think it's awful has never had to lose a relative to dementia. Both my granddad and stepnan had it. You lose the essence of them before they're actually gone, and do a lot of the grieving while they're still alive. It sounds as though your dad had the same form as my granddad, from what you say about his behaviour, and that can be very, very difficult to live with. You've done brilliantly.

    Thank you for sharing your dad's adventures - he must have had quite a life.

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  83. I wanted to add my two cents worth, even though I can't really add to what the others say.
    Thinking of you at this special time.
    Thanks for sharing your heart. The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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  84. I'm so sorry, Vix. It must have been hard to write all this but dementia is a crueler disease than people realize. When his personality changed and he couldn't recognize you anymore it must have been unbearable. As someone who lost her father-in-law a couple of years ago--who I was very close with--to cancer, I certainly understand your feeling relief that is no longer suffering, confined to a room, a TV and meds. It will get worse though as you feel the void of your dad in your life but then after that period you'll find yourself really only thinking of the times when he was healthy and himself. Good and bad memories of course--but healthy. Again, my condolences. Hugs from across the pond.

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  85. I'm so very sorry to hear about your Dad, and no feeling relieved is a very natural reaction, especially as they get worse. I'm not ashamed to say in the last few days I was actually praying for my Nan to go so she would just stop suffering, it was unbearable.

    I struggle with guilt over my Dad and feeling I don't visit enough but it's so hard when they look like the person you love but the personality has changed beyond all recognition. You never know if you are going to have a good or bad visit and if it's a bad one you just have to try and chalk it up and hope the next one will be good.

    Big hugs my love I'm thinking of you x x

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  86. I'm sorry for your loss honey. I'm sending you love across the oceans. X

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  87. Oh Vix. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad and the hardship you've all faced over the past 5 years. xo

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  88. Oh Vix. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad and the hardship you've all faced over the past 5 years. xo

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  89. So sorry to read about your Dad, Vix. Sending you big hugs xxx

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  90. Thank you for sharing this very personal and revealing post. So true what you said "He died today but we lost him 5 years ago". Now you can let go of the guilt, feel free and have your memories to remind you of how he actually was (not who he was in the last 5 years). You have done so extraordinarily well in coping with this whilst having your own "real" life.

    I wish you shed loads of more peace, love and happiness from now on.

    xxx

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  91. What an eloquent post at such a sad time Vix. So very sorry to hear about your Dad and the tragic end of his life. Of course it is not awful to admit you are relieved he's gone, that is no way for a human being to exist. Dementia is a bloody cruel disease, I will remember my nan's vacant eyes staring at me forever. It sounds as if you were an exemplary daughter.... sending much love to you. xxx

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  92. So sorry to hear about your Dad Vix.
    You write beautifully and at this sad time too.
    Wishing you peaceful days and a happy new chapter just beginning. Sending love and hugs.
    Pam in TX.xx

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  93. So sorry that you have lost your dad. I definitely understand the relief. Dementia takes loved ones away from us long before they actually leave us. Thinking of you x

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  94. I am so sorry Vix, sending you and your family best wishes at this time. I had the same experience with my Nan declining into dementia and I understand the feeling of relief.

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  95. Vix, I keep thinking of you and what you've been through. I understand dementia and the rollercoaster of emotions that you have lived through. You are so honest about all the emotions. The last few weeks sound awful. I'm glad your dad and you and your family have been released from any more trauma. You did your very best in the most testing circumstances and now hopefully you will be able to find peace, same as your dad. With lots of love xxxx

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  96. I'm truly happy for all of you. Most of all your Dad. My Mom went much the same way and I'm sure she was very pleased when she reached her new destination. I will think happy thoughts about the recovery your family will go through. Best wishes.

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  97. I know this was a long five years for you and your family. At least your dad is at peace now. You have great memories of him to keep you warm as your grieve. Much love to you.

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  98. My thoughts are with you. I spent lots of time with people for whom the passing of their families with dementia is a blessing as well as being a time of mourning. Take care x

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  99. This is such a beautifully written post, it bought to tears to my eyes. Dementia is an incredibly cruel and upsetting disease. My grandma had it for years and years and it was (and is) hard to see and now think about her in that state. I'm so sorry that your dad had to go through it, it sounds like he was very inspiring man. Relief is what we felt too. It is hard to explain to those who haven't dealt with the disease but I think much of the grieving is done a long time before they psychically depart. That doesn't make it any easier of course. Sending love and hugs your way. XXX

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  100. Such a beautifully written post Vix dementia is indeed a wicked disease you have no reason to feel guilty about feeling relief as you so rightly said you lost your dear father 5 years ago. Just remember him for the wonderful intelligent man and dad he was and remember how proud he was of his beautiful daughter (you ) love and hugs, dee xxxxxxxxxxx

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  101. I'm so sorry to read this, Vix. How heartbreaking the past few years must have been for you and your family. But you are not wrong to feel relief, your father is now free of the shackles of dementia and at peace. Sending you love and virtual hugs xxx

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  102. So sorry for your loss. My Dad is the same age as yours and fought off cancer and all sorts in the last couple of years.I am lucky to still have him, stubborn but strong in mind Lost my mum round about same time as yours.
    Anyway, just wanted to say ((((hugs))) and take care

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  103. I'm so sorry to hear this Vix, thinking of you *big hugs*

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  104. I hear your relief! I didn't realize how long ago you actually "lost" him. I'll be thinking of you as you sort through the remaining details. How well you express the ravages of this disease. I'm only a few steps behind you as we continue to watch the slow death of our mother. ♥

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  105. I'm so sorry to hear this Vix, but I fully understand what you mean. I lost my Mum almost 5 years ago, but in reality had lost her a couple of years before that. Dementia is a very cruel disease indeed.
    Hugs to you.
    xx

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  106. I'm sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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  107. So many comments on this post - it has obviously touched so many people who have had similar situations with loved ones. I'm glad your Dad's suffering (and the suffering of everyone who cared for him) has ended, and I would think that relief would be the first response, as you had lost him years ago.

    When I read about situations like this, I wonder which is worse: to have your mind fail, and your body keep going, or vice versa. I hope that we don't have to find out. XO

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  108. I am so sorry for your loss.

    We made the tough decision to discontinue my dad's feeding tube after his third stoke. So I understand your emotions.

    My prayers are with you.

    (I love reading your blog. This is my first comment. You brighten my day.)

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  109. so sorry to hear about the passing of your father ~Heather

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  110. So sorry for your loss Vix my thoughts are with you at this sad time xxx

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  111. Sorry for your loss, even if you did 'lose' your Dad five years ago. Dementia is cruelist to those who have to sit by and watch them fade. Hugs xxx

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  112. Hi Vix,

    I am so very sorry to hear about your dad. Lots of love from fogville.

    <3 gabriella

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  113. Fucking gut wrenching stuff. I was lucky that my father didn't linger once the dementia set in, but the pain was none the less.
    Much love. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  114. Somehow I missed this post. Sorry to hear your dad has passed away, it is always hard when a loved one moves on. My grandfather died in a similar way and I remember wishing I could have just ended it all for him, simple and fast. Thanks for sharing this traumatic event, and remember, life is for the living, so carry on. xx

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  115. I am so very sorry to read about your Father's dementia. I think nothing prepares us for this happening. We know our parents will die before us, but to watch them diminish is a much worse pain. I am in awe of how you dealt with this, how difficult that it must have been, and carried on with your life without complaining and drama. You are a brave woman. Many hugs to you and your family. x

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  116. Dear Vix. I'm so sorry for your loss, even though your father has been gone and has been suffering for a long time. A sense of relief is to be expected. I know that you thoroughly loved your father, and how difficult it must have been to watch his decline. Thinking of you as you grieve his loss. Love, Judith

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  117. Longtime lurker popping in to say that I am so, so sorry to hear that. I lost my father when I was 22, and the one thing I've learned from it is that there is no right way to grieve, no right way to feel. We just all shuffle through the best we can, and let the grief become part of who we are.

    Much love to you.

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  118. I'm so, so sorry to hear the news of your Dad passing and I understand everything you said, I send you all of my love and all of my thoughts right now, love always x x x

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  119. My love goes out to you. I just went to see my mom tonight. She was concerned that I couldn't give her a ride home. I feel everything you describe. They were an amazing generation and it makes me so sad that they're gone. Whenever i see a small plane flying overhead, I know it's a sign from my dad. He flew briefly in '43-'44, then went back to school and "started his family". All five of us.

    Even when I don't show up to comment, please know I adore you and admire you. I think our dads are proud of us, on some level. :-) XXOO

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  120. Oh Vix, I have come late to this but it was so beautifully written and I am very moved by your words. I am very close to my parents and they are aging before my eyes. They have friends who are dying and developing dementia and I keep reminding myself that I am going to see this happen to my own parents too. I am sorry for your loss five years ago, and it makes perfect sense to feel relief now, to know that your Dad is not suffering in any way and his dignity is not precarious. I am sending you big hugs and thank you for sharing this story. xoxoxo

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  121. I remember you posting about your dad, he was quite a personality! Sad to hear he is no more but I can understand the relief you felt. My dad died from cancer and the last two months of his life were full of pain and suffering. When he passed away I felt relief too because I knew his sufferings had stopped finally.

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  122. I am so sorry for your loss. We traveled that same road with my mom for 10 years. First not so hard, but later the most difficult road I have ever been on. Most of the time she didn't trust my three sister and myself. She threatened to poison my dogs and burn down my house. And then friends would tell me "That's not your mom." I knew that, but also it was my mom. And that is so difficult to explain to people that have never dealt with Alzheimers. I am sure you know what I am talking about. It makes it so difficult to be around them. When I would bring her to my home the last few years, I always drove in different directions so she could never find her way to my home. I never doubted for a minute that she would kill my dogs or burn down my house. How can you enjoy visits with someone like this? And I am embarrassed to say I didn't visit her enough. It has been nine years since she died and I remember thinking I was relieved she was away from all the terror and pain of her daily life. I didn't cry. I hope you find some peace in knowing your dad is finally at peace. Alzheimers is the cruelest disease I have ever seen. The cruelest. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. May you all find blessings.

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  123. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom two years ago to terminal cancer and watching her waste away was the most devastating thing, feeling lost and powerless she and I along with the rest of our family grieved the vibrant active woman she had once been. It was like witnessing her go through two deaths; the loss of who she was and eventually the loss of her life. I hope you are able to remember your dad as he once was and get through this terrible time with your charm, strength and great sense of humour still intact. If you get a chance I would love it if you could give me some feedback on my bog if you need some distraction from your current situation. I would love it if you could check out www.vintagethrifter51.com. Thank you so much and chin up wonderful gal. Cheers, Michele

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  124. i'm so sorry about the loss of your father Vix. Dementia is such a cruel thief stealing memories and stories, never to be told. I hope he is at rest now and that you can remember him as the warm loving father that her was xo

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  125. Hi. Sorry about your dad. Mine went the same way las year. Still miss him. He was 95. Hope you are ok....x

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  126. Dearest Vix
    I've been out of the blogging world for a few weeks, and have just been catching up with your news.
    I am so very sorry. It is just so sad that you had to witness your dad slowly decline like that. He sounds like he was an amazing man, and you have all those special memories from when he was well to cherish.
    Keeping you in my thoughts
    Nat
    xxxx

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