Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by cynthisizer6 on Mar 19, 2020 3:32 pm

Hi everyone,

This is the first post ive ever written because for majority of my life ive been able to cope with the stressors that come with it. Recently ( 5 and a half months ago) my life changed for me and I am having a very difficult time with coping and getting back to work as an RN (registered nurse). I express gratitude everyday for my well being and I do not have cancer, but my dad did at 66, and he died suddenly of it without even knowing he had it. First i will explain my biggest issue of why im writing to you all. I am a new RN, graduated in 2017, but in 2018 I lost my best friend to pancreatitis so I took some time away from my career. I got a job in July 2019 and by Oct 2019 had been working on my own for 2 months --> finally felt like I was an RN and everything i worked for was right in front of me. Oct 3rd 2019 my dad coded and died. Since then I have not been back to work and so this is my BIGGEST challenge as of now as well as dealing with the death. Now to go even further into details I will explain why I am struggling so much. I work in 2 hospitals - pediatrics and womens and it is a very very very challenging. I have become super anxious/nervous in my more recent years of life because of school, insecurities, family history (thats for another rainy day) and just adjusting from my early 20s to late 20s of being done school and adulting. So bc of this I was very focused on my career come July 2019 and less on my family and such. During these months is when my dad got extremely sick -- > now he was a 66 year old stubborn Ukr old man who hadnt been to the dr in 2 years for a physical. He had a chronic cough for over 3 months and he thought he had a virus (he did go to college but was more a streets smart). He then lost 20lbs in the 2 months of that summer and by September my family (mom bro and sister) finally started to speak up to him (my mom had b****ed to him the entire summer about his cough but he just got mad) . He went to the drs and they gave him an inhaler to help with his breathing bc they thought it was a virus too.. this was in the beg of July when things were happening. Then he ended up having hematochezia beg of September and decided to finally take more action. He was scheduled for a coloscopy oct 3.  It finally got to the point where I started to notice my dad not coming around to my place ever anymore and I also dreamt of him in a hospital gown so i finally realized he was not doing good, so i spoke up to my sister (bc my dad even though i was a nurse was very stubborn and would listen to my sister more bc she was the Golden Child --> (this also kind of plays to my insecurities).  What made him end up in the hospital is he ended up fainting in the bathroom once, then in the stairwell. My parents are the only ones in the house now, my sister lives with her husband and new baby of 6 months 5 minutes down the road. My brother lives in Arizona for the past 10 years ( i should also mention my siblings and I are 5 and 7 years apart and have never been close growing up). So my sister finally took him to the ER on Sept 28th. They did scans and found blood clots in his lungs 9mm. They werent sure if it was cancer. His bloodwork all came back normal. I should mention my dad did have a heart condition that I was not entirely aware of-> i thought he had just arrhythmias but he also had hypertrophy. So bc of this his entire life he was a very fit healthy athletic man. I never once ate mcdonalds with him.
Bc of his history and not ever been in the hospital the residents did not seem too concerned with this more so if he had cancer. When i saw his ECG rhythm in the ER i voiced my concerns about it and said u know i dont want this to be overlooked and 3 days later my dads on the floor coding. He said to me I do see some anomalies but I am not greatly concerned. I also had a pen and paper with me so I was recording every single thing so I could look back bc I just had such a bad feeling. He ended up getting moved to a pulmonary/cardiac unit. The hospital I work at and the hospital he was in are combined. I stayed with my dad in the evenings and as late as I could because I was used to working nights so it was hard for me to get there in the early a.m. (here is where i feel the guilt of my grief bc I saw him get sicker and I should have been there more especially during the dr rounds to advocate for him). My brother in the states was messaging me and my sister a ton of information to and was wondering if he should come home. We all said no. We asked my dad and he got very upset and did not want my brother there -- obvs was too painful for him and he was also in denial of his death to come (my brother also has so much guilt for this and bc im an empath i feel it too--> im trying to heal this)
Also when we were done with the drs in ER he had impending doom and wanted to go home... I had to convince him to stay. I stayed with him till 5 am and told the ER nurse to tell me when he got moved. To call me. I lived 5 minutes away.. I get we are busy. I GET IT. I KNOW as a nurse. Ive seen it. But it would have taken 2 seconds to call my phone say hey u need to get back and hang up. If that was all i would have been back in seconds--> this is where i get upset also bc after ER u are decided by bed coordinator where u will go. There is another area in the hospital specific for cardiac continuous monitoring. This is where i felt my dad should have been placed instead of the pulmonary/cardiac unit bc of what i saw on his ECG and they also found the only abnormal lab value was his troponin levels. I cant recall but they were higher. They did his vitals q4h. He was tachypnea and sats <89% going from 2L to 3L to 4L. He was tripoding. Bilateral edematous to both ankles +4. His perfusion was terrible. Cap refill 8-10 seconds. On Monday they decided to put him on blood thinners. They did spirometry testing, more scans and still could not figure out what was wrong with him but they were finding black masses all over his bones. The next check was a bone biopsy. Apprerenty the hospital only does these on Thursdays.... i dont even want to get started.. But the nurses and drs kept telling us he could possibly go tomorrow (wednesday). Bc of this procedure they need to take him off of his blood thinners. Bc they thought maybe hed get in Wednesday (which later the dr said No they only do them thursdys) they took him off them Tuesday night. This is where i almost hate myself. I worked nights 7pm-7am that night. I went in at 530pm. He could barely talk, but he was still talking. At 930 I went on my break. The last time i would ever see him and he was the worst ive ever seen. And i didnt call for a MET team or anyone. I went back to work. And at 230 am I heard the code for his unit and i knew it was him. I told the staff i had to take my break and when i went to his unit they were doing CPR on him. He died 25 minutes later just before 3 am- i dont know the time not one of the 15 people in the room could tell me (some of where my anger lies) . I obviously have a lot of anger and I feel like he was neglected but i also know how busy our hospitals are and im just looking to blame and its the easy way at the moment is what most books are telling me. But its also hard bc i work with people and Ive seen above and beyond and ive seen the people who do it for the money ( i have always tried my best to not judge the people i work with but on the other end it was extremely noticeable) 
For example when a nurse was doing his vital I would count his RR and he was 28-30 RPM and she would tell me 20....I know this a world known meme joke to just write 18 or 20 for RR... but someones life can depend on it. I feel like my dad was just suffocating more and more bc the drs would just see 20 RR, 18 RR... So bc of this I have been wanting to get his documentation so I could try and find some peace. But i couldnt even go back to the hospital for over 4 months yet alone think about getting this. To be honest what i needed, what i still need bc i havent done it, is just a helping hand. Someone to just guide me. My mom has been there for me but she also is angry at my dad bc they did not have a good, healthy relationship, but chose to do till death do us part. To put it in as few words as I could they never slept in the same bed and fought everyday. And like i mentioned my sister and brother dont talk to me. My friends were there for me at the beginning but its mostly just texts, going to bars to drinks and thats it. Tbh- the friends i needed (which is what I am trying to become for myself) is someone who wanted to be active and healthy --> working out is soo good for grief as ive read. Going on a trip or something. Idk thats what i would do for my best friends if thats what happened to them. But i felt like its more of a convenience sympathy than anything. Now i rarely see them. I get with corona virus now its different but I rarely get a phone call text or videochat. It comes just when theyre not busy. --> and please dont get me wrong i know we all have lives and need to move forward. But my point is doing things to help me, picking me up and going to visit the grave or just even a drive to talk... but I also know grief is uncomfortable for many.. I know. I get this is probably the answer to all my problems. But its way easier said than done. I go visit the grave by myself, I eat dinner by myself pretty much everyday, I go to the gym by myself, walks by myself, and I do want to be alone for majority. But I also wouldnt mind having a friend join in with me on those times :/ 

Right now, im trying to find motivation to review things to get back into work. But my ego has taken over all of me. My spirit is very weak and to be honest i feel stupid. I judge myself so hard and i feel guilt for my fathers death. Not in the aspect of stopping in from dying, but how he died. Some say his spirit chose me to be there with him and I do believe it but it doesnt take the pain away. The nursing friends I had have all gone their seperate ways and the others just simply could care less for me .. which is fine bc i could care less for them. But its amazing how you can really feel and see who is there for u when u really need it and who isnt. And at this moment I feel like im the only one...

I should also mention ive gone to therapy 4-5 times. The first lady told my mom to shutup bc we did a group on... bc we kept interupting eachother. So that was a really bad start. I also believe tho therapy is like dating and its just not working for me at the moment. So that is why i write to u internet. I dont know if anyone will read this all or reply. But like i said my spirit is weak and has led me to this point. I do thank you in advance for taking the time to read this if you did. I also hope that no one has to experience what i have. Complicated grief is really a complicated thing. 

And to all you souls who are battling cancer and any health disadvantage. I want to send endless love your way. May whatever journey lies ahead for you lead you to peace as this is what I try and tell myself everyday, but what really helps is knowing im not alone. I hope i did not offend anyone by sounding ungrateful bc i am healthy and things could be so so so much worse for me. I just need ur help bc all i want to do in life is help others bc it makes me feel good. Take care. 

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Wendy Tea on Mar 19, 2020 5:20 pm

cynthisizer6‍  Hi, welcome, and above all I am so sorry for your loss. I read your story. I am here. I am listening. You are going to need time. It took me almost a year after I lost my dad to realize that although I was functioning I wasn't really coping. It would have helped if I had someone close who understood what I was dealing with. I should had gone for counseling. It is so easy to look back and see the solutions but when you are in the midst of grief, it is very challenging. 
You have found a safe place to vent. It's ok to be mad, sad, and scared. We understand. It is so easy to beat ourselves up over the What if, Should have, or I wish scenarios. It is easy to have regrets but hard to live with them. I couldn't change my past actions. I can only go forward.  There was that old Bon Jovi movie Pay It Forward. That is why I am here. I look forward. I try to help others. When I need a good cry I watch Pay It Forward. 
So we are here. We are listening.  Please keep in touch. I hope you find comfort here.

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Brighty on Mar 19, 2020 5:21 pm

cynthisizer6‍   Thank you for reaching out and pouring your heart out here on the site.   I am heartbroken for you.       There are so many things now you are battling and struggling with and I hope we can help you here.      First I'm glad you reached out here, because the members here are so kind and caring and I know many will join in to offer their support.  I can relate to a lot of what you said, although my situation was different.      I lost my fiance to cancer and had some of the same feelings that you are struggling with.   The anger, the guilt, the loneliness, the flashbacks.   I found my fiance in my bed when I came home from work one fateful day.    I called the meds and they did CPR on him, but it was too late.    That scene in my head repeats itself over and over to this day.     He was like your dad in some ways.   Never went to a doctor.   Didn't even have an up to date health card.     I couldn't get him to a doctor for love or money no matter how much I begged.........no matter how many symptoms he had.....he was stubborn as they come.    The guilt nearly ate me alive...............maybe if I begged more, maybe this, ,maybe that.     But there was nothing I could do.     I did the best I could, and I know you did too.      Sometimes you just have to forgive yourself.    You mentioned seeing a councellor.   Not every councellor is a good fit for everyone.      I had a social worker, and a grief councellor.........and went to grief group to work on my feelings of guilt and anger.       If you don't talk with someone, the grief and the anger can eat you alive.   I still struggle with it to this day, and it was almost 2 years ago.  I call my councellor whenever I need to and she gets me back on track.      I also get where you are coming from about people disappearing on you.   I had that happen with me too.    People had no idea how to act around me, or what to say to me, so they kept their distance and I felt so alone.       I posted here, and the wonderful people here suggested I be the one to reach out to them.     I had to let them know i"m still me, and I would like to still see them and do the things we always did together.     I wanted things to go back to normal as much as possible.      I had to be the one to break the ice and you might have to as well.      I wouldn't rule out seeing a therapist.   This particular one may not have been a good fit, but try another one, a specific one that deal with grief and the issues surrounding it.    Trust me, if you don't the feelings will not go away...........the issues need to be dealt with before they interfere with your entire life.       My heart goes out to you,   Your family doctor can be a good referal to a grief councellor in your area.      I hope you find peace and please reach out any time you need to.      
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Mar 19, 2020 11:58 pm


Men can be so damm stubborn. A lot of times we patients don't realize the load that caregivers carry. And you are carrying a load for sure. Complicated families, friends, grief can make one big tangled ball. And one you have a professional perspective on the whole mess it makes it even more complicated.

Reading a lot of your post I realized that there is a lot anger at the failures of the medical system. And not unjustified I might add. I guess the question is what is more important - your sanity or getting justice for misdeeds. I don't have the answer for that. You too are carrying a load of guilt for things that if you had to do again you would do differently.

In all the darkness of your post though I see glimmers of light. Coming and telling a bunch of anonymous people that it hurts goes a long way to clearing our hearts. The desire to get back to work is the beginning of healing. It won't happen instantly. Recognizing that finding a therapist is like dating - good analogy btw - is a sign that you know you have to get back on that horse and ride it. You are recognizing the need for help. All these things are good.

Don't beat yourself up. Recognize that as a buddy of mine used to say - one at a time is good fishing. Pick something and go to work on it. Simple success will help with taking the next step and the next and the next.

We aren't therapists but many of us have walked similar paths and we are here to say it can be done.

I'm going to finish with a story cause that is what I do. My wife died about eighteen months ago from pancreatic cancer. Six weeks from diagnosis to death. She had spent the day keening and we knew the end was near. I went home to get one last night of sleep before I settled in to spend my time at her side. At 3:00am I got the call that she had died. I felt horribly guilty that I wasn't there when she passed to the other side. And one of the nurses, as if she could read my mind said, "Sometimes they just don't want any one there when they go." Simple words but such comfort.  You can be one of those nurses. You know what this feels like. Use your experience to help others.

Thank you for honoring us with your story. Let us know if there are specific things we can help with.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Laika57 on Mar 20, 2020 8:28 am

cynthisizer6‍ I am so sorry for your loss. I would say I know how you feel, but so far I've only ever lost my dogs. It is a less complicated grief. Nowhere near the baggage. Who can stay mad at a dog anyhow.
I am grieving the life I lost with my husband, he was diagnosed in December and is fading away. We are fighting more than ever now about silly stuff. Him telling people he is going to die really upsets me, so I yell at him meaning to say he needs to take better care, though it might be a whole lot of other things that spill out instead. And I know I will regret this. And I may be taking it out on the nurses. Especially the ones who do not call and even more the ones who make mistakes. A doctor told me not too long ago that he wasn't sick enough to warrant special attention. I so tore into her.
I'm saying all this because I think you will be a great nurse when you get back to it. You are one of those gems that care for the patient, and think along with doctors orders rather than just doing what's on the chart...
Like, yesterday a nurse gave my husband insulin though he wasn't supposed to eat and already hypoglycemic - because the chart said to. (Even if she didn't want to defy orders, she could have picked up the phone and asked for what to do). As opposed two weeks ago, when a doctor specifically told another nurse to rapid infuse an entire bag of saline over 30 minutes, whilst his BP was 70/50, that nurse decided it wasn't safe, because of possible internal bleeding, and "miscalculated" the drip to slow it down. I have so much respect for that second nurse, he thought along, ahead, and was there all the way. Heck, he was everywhere, the Energizer bunny had nothing on him. I think with a bit more experience and confidence you'd be very much like him.
Though I might suggest looking into a different hospital. One with fewer memories. There are also different cultures at different hospitals. We've been to many lately, really racking up our frequent flyer miles. Good doctors tend to attract good nursing staff. Our oncology nurse is a mover and shaker for example. (Hey, if you're in the area I can pass her your number, she's an avid cyclist :p  )
If you're off work for a while yet, and you're split on wanting company. Why not foster a dog? They're not very demanding, but make you get regular exercise, fresh air, and I have yet to meet one that doesn't make me smile. Yes, my world revolves around my dog. He is my sanity in times like this.
Take care of yourself. I think you'll do great :)
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 20, 2020 8:34 am

cynthisizer6‍, OMG, you are amazing! I read your whole story, and after pouring out all of your angst, you had the presence of mind to write this?

And to all you souls who are battling cancer and any health disadvantage. I want to send endless love your way. May whatever journey lies ahead for you lead you to peace as this is what I try and tell myself everyday, but what really helps is knowing im not alone. I hope i did not offend anyone by sounding ungrateful bc i am healthy and things could be so so so much worse for me. I just need ur help bc all i want to do in life is help others bc it makes me feel good. Take care. 

You have clearly found your calling to be a nurse! I sincerely hope that you can find your own healing and continue in your profession.   

There is SO much in your post I want to talk about, but I really want to read the other responses, too. I’m going to go and do that, but I wanted you to see my “last impression” first!

Sending endless love YOUR way. I’ll be back...

... and here we go...
I agree with the others, you have all the characteristics of a great nurse, and I, too, have known the machinations of a stubborn man. (I’m caregiver for my dad, but he’s no match for his sister’s husband!)

I love that, even through your grief and all the emotions that go with it, you can still find gratitude and empathy for others. Sometimes, I think that empaths are harder on themselves, especially in the judgment and guilt departments, so I encourage you to be kind to yourself.

Sometimes, I imagine that a situation such as yours is made all the more difficult because you are a nurse, and you know so much about the procedures. You’ve pointed out several places in your Dad’s situation where your theoretical knowledge, experience, and opinion differed from that of your colleagues during your Dad’s treatment. That’s given you more room to be analytical of your Dad’s experience than, say, I would have been, in my position of not knowing. I know that part of you is looking for a place to lay blame, but laying blame rarely helps you heal, and you alluded to that in your post. You are very wise “for your age.” 😉

Speaking of age, the 20s is an interesting decade in everyone’s life. We’re still learning to manoeuvre our way into our careers (as you are), and it’s often an age when we start to lose loved ones (for me, it was my Grandma), so we have to learn to deal with grief, too, among other things. It’s complex, but it does get better. I found that it’s also a decade where we tend to reach out to find love from others, and I’ve learned in the ensuing decades that we are far better served to find love of self, and I so wish that for you!

As for family and friend dynamics, sometimes friends “fade away” because they can’t deal with what you’re going through - sometimes they just don’t know what to say, sometimes they think whatever it is (your feelings, your loved one’s condition) could be “contagious,” and sometimes they have things going on in their own life that they can’t cope with it and “yours,” too. It’s ok to “lovingly release those people back into the Universe.” It makes room for people who are better set to serve your highest good to come in to your life. (I think I count 4 so far today.) 🙂

The same holds true with siblings. I look at it from the perspective that I didn’t get to choose to have these people come into my life, so, once I’m out on my own, if they prove to continue abusive tendencies or some other toxic behaviour toward me, I am free to put distance between us. Before I do, though, I check to make sure I’ve resolved my ownership of what’s in the mix. The goal is to take that stance from strength, and not because I’m fleeing. 

What was your relationship with your Dad, and what is your relationship with your Mom? You indicated that you and your mom talked at once in your therapy department. Do you think either of you could take that pause to listen to one another? In my parent’s case, everyone thought that Dad would pass away first (due to various lifestyle and health issues) but it was Mom who left us first, leaving Dad to try and navigate a life on his own that he felt ill prepared for (and then he got ill.) Has your mom been able to process any of this with your sister?

When I was growing up, my sister thought I was the “golden child,”  because I applied myself in school, and “did no wrong.” I thought SHE was the golden child, because my Dad lavished attention on her and they seemed to connect on a deeper emotional level. I always figured that if something happened to Dad, she would be asked to look after him because of their bond and her natural abilities to nurture (which I had by-passed completely), so I was shocked when my Dad picked me! (Sorry, I haven’t said before now that my Dad has metastatic lung cancer.) That doesn’t necessarily mean that I was or am “golden child,” I just wanted to point out to you that if you drilled down deeper into it, you might be surprised. And, you could be right - that could be why you were put by his side at his end - either by profession or divine plan.

It has only been six months (not even) since you lost your dad, and you already had a lot on your plate. Everyone grieves at different rates, so it’s ok for you to take the time you need. I’m told (and believe) that anger is a (perhaps misguided) manifestation of fear and frustration. Can you identify what your fears and frustrations are? 

 You know., you respected your Dad’s wishes by not calling your brother up from Arizona. It’s another way you honoured his (stubborn) wishes! As WestCoastSailor‍ said, sometimes they don’t want their loved ones near at the end. I have a deep belief that toward our own end, someone comes to us — it might be a dream (as you had about your dad being in a hospital), or it might be a daydream or just a feeling - sensation - that our time is coming. The day my mom passed away, I held her hand and said, “I know you’re scared, Mom.” And she looked back at me as if to say “What are you talking about? I’m not scared!” She was able to speak, but she didn’t, and I think she knew. Perhaps your dad did, too.

You have learned so much from this experience, and your services are so direly needed right now. But, you need to heal and I believe you will. As Laika57‍ said, you have all the makings of a great nurse, and those lessons will surely add to your capabilities. When you’re ready. 

I apologize for this post being so very long, but you gave me lots to think about and share. Please do come back and let us know how you are doing. 
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by eav on Mar 20, 2020 10:11 am

My heart breaks for you.  You have reached at great place not only to vent, but to find friends and support.  You have witnessed your dad's death not only as a daughter but also as a nurse - one that can see where things need to change but also one that can see where compassion, grace and a listening ear to the patient as well as the family can be of so much help.  Give yourself time to heal with the help of God and others and in your time go back to work in a place where you feel you can use your experience to help others.  Take care of yourself, eat well and exercise even if its just going out for a walk (love the suggestion from another post of fostering a dog - they don't judge, they just want love)

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Vox on Mar 20, 2020 10:27 am

hi, as with the others i am sorry to hear of your loss.... 
if I may just say some things about your post.   1.. it is NOT your fault - you did the very best you could with the knowledge, head space and time.  so I repeat it is NOT your fault........ 2...re therapy.... you have to find someone who is the 'right fit' not all therapists are the same.  i hope you will take some time and see another, if he or she isnt a fit, then find another.   3.  re hospital.  when my husband was in hospital for cancer surgery, i was very concerned about treatments.  although i spoke to the doctors/nurses, i wasnt satisfied....for example... one day they said my husband could go home... i fought saying he was not well enough to go home.... the doctor said yes, he was.... thankfully, they didnt get the paperwork done in time as at 11pm that night he had to go for emergency surgery.  when i saw the doctor the next day, i was so angry... and said to her, you almost killed my husband, sometimes the patient knows better then the doctor..listen to them....... in any case I wrote a letter to patient relations about my concerns... and it was looked into, and there were meeting with me and the doctor and nurse.  They both had to go for some sort of training.......or it would be reported the the colleges (the regulatory board)

Again, none of this is your fault.  You will return to work, I have faith.  But I feel, you have to make peace with yourself.
Time doesnt heal all, but sure helps with the coping

take care of YOU


Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Essjay on Mar 20, 2020 11:25 am

cynthisizer6‍ I am so sorry for your loss.
The hardest thing we face in life is seeing a loved one die.
It takes time to get over it, and anger is an absolutley understandable reaction, and its a known phase in grief recovery.
I am glad you have had some therapy - I encourage you to have some more, one to one.
I recall when my mother in law died of pancreatic cancer with all of us around her, it was just awful. Father in Law fell apart, and my husband and i pretty much put our lives on hold for 3 months to support him. Only then did we start grieving and it took me a very long time to deal with it. I had night terrors for 2 years, which was my grief manifesting itself.

Please be patient and kind to yourself. Self-care is important just now. Eating well, exercising, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, managing sleep, meditation or mindfulness - these are all things that will help you recover. Also finding alternative activities to ruminating, and shutting down those angry thoughts when they happen. It may be a while before you are ready for work again, but you will get there. Meanwhile, are there folks in your community needing help from a fit and healthy person eg. grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, a chat through the window shile we distance socially.

As you can see, you have heaps of support through this community - we are here, listening.

Essjay xx

Do you have some pictures of your dad you like? You need to change the image in your mind from his death, to his life - on your home screen on your phone so you can check in when the thoughts come etc.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by KerriKerri on May 11, 2020 4:57 pm

Could've. would've. should've; we spend so-o-o much time and energy beating ourselves up for things we did or didn't do, things we did or didn't feel, did or didn't say and most of that is based on the mores set by our particular closest group in our daily lives. 
Step back and look at what you wrote and picture it as someone else's journal. If someone else had written that, your response would be much like ours, sympathy for your pain, empathy for your confusion of feelings, a mad rush to go in and give the author a great big hug, and many more reactions. You'd look at it and say, much like us, "Wow, you made it through!"
About 40 years ago, I learned a very valuable lesson; the hard way, I might add.  Sometimes you have to let go. We do the best we can with the circumstances we face, with the skills we have at that time and the influences which try to regulate our responses.  We can only control our actions, imperfectly most of the time. We can control our response, imperfectly. And we are not responsible for circumstances which have been existing for years, sometimes generations.
At the risk of sounding like the aging hippie I am, you've just come through a life experience that is a difficult as anyone's. But you came through. As confusing and painful and debilitating it was, you came through. It's going to haunt you for a time, but it's done, it's past, you can't change it but you can put it into perspective. It's all contributing to make you a stronger person, with more empathy and understanding than you know yet. It will take time, be good to yourself. Forgive yourself for all the real and imagined things you could've. should've, would've done.
You're stronger than you know. We can see that. You will too, someday.

Re: I saw my dad die and I need your HELP

Posted by Tilly59 on May 12, 2020 12:10 pm

Perhaps I'm being too simplistic, but I believe your father is at peace.  I used to volunteer at the Heart Institute in Ottawa assisting families visiting patients in the IC units.  I saw how the families suffered.  I remember one family in particular, whose patient was having a serious heart operation.  I was talking to the mother , a little gray-haired older woman.  I told her to try not to worry so much, because no matter what her son would be okay.  Either the doctors and nurses would succeed with the operation, or her son would be taken care of by God-above.  I told her that we needed to worry more about her and the rest of the family.  She looked at me, and asked if I really believed this.  I said yes.  Now, I know you may not believe in God, but that is okay because your father is at peace regardless, even if there is no God.  And I firmly believe that your father would like you to experience some peace right here on earth, and get back to the job you love.  I bet he would be very sad to see your anguish and pain.  Perhaps there is a way you could use what you have learned about the inadequacies of the health care system to make it better.  And you are guilty of only one thing, and that is loving your father, a great gift to him.