I never got to say ” Good bye”.

Daily Prompt: Regrets, I’ve Had a Few
by michelle w. on September 6, 2013
What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

For those who follow my writing regularly,
you will know that I loved my Dad dearly.
He was a huge presence in my life,
and died of Motor Neurone Disease in his early fifties.

I have written at length,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/werkman/2046135197/">Peter Werkman (www.peterwerkman.nl)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
about my childhood with him,
and how to me he was the perfect Dad.
I have also written about his diagnosis,
and the effects his death continues to have on us,
even after twenty years.

But I have never once spoken of his death.
For this is in fact without hesitation,
the biggest regret in my life.

I was a young third year nurse,
the year my Dad was dying.
I was twenty one.

My Fathers dearest wish,
was to always remain at home.
I had promised him,
that we would do just that.
Even when he was very sick,
we mostly managed to care for him at home.

That final week of his life,
all the signs pointed to his body shutting down.
At work I carefully monitored such patients,
and would speak gently to their families,
trying to prepare them for the end.

I would ensure all family members were informed,
and would support them when they came to visit.
I would make sure,
that the patient was comfortable,
their every need cared for,
and that they were never alone,
but always surrounded by family.
It is a time when nurses are most valuable.

However at home I was not the nurse.
I was a daughter, a sister, a child.
I did not see a patient,
I only saw my Dad.
I did not see the very sick man,
with only days to live,
I saw my Dad who I could not imagine life without.photo credit: pesbo via photopin cc
I did not see him sleeping more than usual,
only the moments he was awake.

So I did not alert my family,
or spend any longer in his company.
I did not see him slipping,
nor did I anticipate,
the sadness the end of the week would bring.

And worst of all on that Friday morning,
I did not stay at home.
Before I left early for work,
I did not creep into his room,
and hold him tight.
I did not lie beside him,
and hold his hand one last time.
And I never got to give him one last kiss.

That Friday morning,
I did not tell my brothers and sisters to come quickly,
as we had only hours left with our Dad.
And I did not tell my mum,
the love of his life,
his companion for over thirty years,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/7686073874/">h.koppdelaney</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
that soon he would be leaving her.

My Dad died at 9am,
my mom by his side.
His large family all somewhere else.

We never got to sit by his bed,
We never got a chance to collectively say “we love you”.
And worst of all,
we never got to say “Good bye”.

It will always be my biggest regret

Other posts featuring my Dad you might like.

Miracle or Co incidence?
More than words can say
What it takes to be a real Dad

photo credit: Peter Werkman (www.peterwerkman.nl) via photopin cc
photo credit: pesbo via photopin cc
photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc


12 thoughts on “I never got to say ” Good bye”.

  1. So beautifully written. So sad.
    After my grandmother died, after a long period bed-ridden at her home. My daughter who never had a chance to meet her before she was “here, yet gone.” Said in her nightly prayers, “And God bless Rose.”
    This gave me goosebumps, because she had never really met her and we all called her Nana, never Rose, her birthname. For three nights this went on. I was not at all religious at this time, but I sensed my grandmother in my daughters room for these three nights very clearly, as of course did my daughter. (Children often do.) And I knew, that even though Andrea never had a chance to meet Nana in this world, she did meet her after all.
    I think your father was so proud of you for caring for your patients with such love. I think he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were with him at his death, and always.

    1. Thank you I am sure beyond doubt he knew we loved him but it was sad not to be there. I remember reading another blog and she said in her belief the person dies but returns the next day in another form. It is truly amazing what someones passing inspires in us. And I am sure the presence of your nana for those three days was a source of comfort. My four children never met my Dad, but since I have begun to write this blog, my children have read about him and got to know him better. I like that.

  2. tric, i think it is always hardest to see things when they are closest to us. he knew without a doubt that he was loved, you honored and supported his wish to be at home, and it is no surprise that you became daughter at home with him rather than nurse, you being his daughter, who he loved so much was more important to him than you in a nurse role ) hugs

    1. Yes and now I have a daughter older than I was I can really understand that I was too young and inexperienced to read the signs.
      Thanks a million Beth. I also think it was a case of “none so blind as he that will not see” I just didn’t want to know. Thanks for the hugs.

  3. This was so beautifully written. And I suspect your father went with peace in his soul and love in his heart. Maybe our dads left when they left so they would not have to say goodbye. He left you with you expecting to see him again, and maybe that is exactly what he wants you to remember. You will see him again.

    1. My Dad would certainly have rathered the understated alright. And I have no real guilt only regret.
      However I have had the privilege of being with quite a number of families when their loved one passed away and it always struck me that I never had that.s.
      Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated as always

  4. I’m so sorry. I like to think we will see loved ones again…so maybe you will get your chance to tell him those things. I imagine he knows your regret and probably wishes relief for you. Xo

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