U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-20-2016, 09:26 AM
 
7,237 posts, read 12,646,436 times
Reputation: 8513

Advertisements

My father was told he had at best 18 months to live. My husband and I decided to move out to Tennessee from Seattle with our kids in tow and help out till then. It was a very difficult process, but my dad managed to live on until this morning. Last month, he was told he had liver cancer, and everything just went crashing. The last two weeks, the swelling was so bad he couldn't walk very well, and I had to help out more, like helping him into bed, walking him around, putting his shoes on. He started falling down a lot about 2 weeks ago, and I notice he was eating less and less and just not going to the bathroom. I just had a gut feeling he didn't have 6 months to go. I tried telling my siblings they need to come see him before his time's up. They didn't really get severity, so no rush on their part.

I was finally able to get my brother to come. On the day that he came, I was picking him up from the airport, we get a call from my dad that his doctor saw his blood work and urgently told him he needs to go to the hospital now. I-24 was pretty bad with traffic, we were 90 miles away and it was a 2 person job just to get him out of the house. I told him to call for an ambulance since my husband is not going to be able to handle him and the kids. That night we found out that he had very low sodium. The liver was starting to take down his kidneys. He was somewhat alert for the one day, then the next, he went into the ammonia fog and never woke up from that. Last night, I had to approve the morphine, which meant it would start shutting down his systems, but at least it would be painless and he'd breathe easier. My sister never got the chance to see him one more time -- for whatever reason, she chose to come later tonight because she had "business" to deal with first, we told her not to worry about it and get over here.

I'm just beyond sad now. My father really was the most selfless man, but he also wasn't very communicative. I will never know the story behind his Vietnam medals. I stumbled upon them not too long ago. I didn't know he had them or what exactly they were for. There were 3 in particular. I thought they were 2 purple hearts and a bronze star. But my husband tells me you can't have 2 purple heart medals, that they'd give an Oak for additional. And that the third one was a silver star. I really don't know what one must do to get them (other than the purple heart is for injuries). I did ask my dad, but he would never answer and ended up putting them away. He never did like talking about that period of his life. My husband was the only one out of the entire family that got the most answer to the question. Which was: "It was late at night and everything got so f###ed up..." That's it. Is there an online resource I can use to find out?

I know my sister is going to be beating herself up, this is going to be a long week. I'm sad more couldn't be done for him.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-20-2016, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Duncan, Oklahoma
2,583 posts, read 1,184,063 times
Reputation: 1934
I am very sorry for your loss, Inkpoe.

May you have peace in the near future. I will be thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 10:12 AM
 
2,412 posts, read 1,178,886 times
Reputation: 5719
I am also very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as well. <HUG> In many ways your father sounds a lot like mine (who I lost 4 years ago), both in life and at the end. You will, I hope, have many good memories to comfort you as time passes. Take good care of yourselves.


I am truly sorry for your sister too that she didn't realize the urgency of the situation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,849 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27693
Sorry for the loss of your father.

"My husband was the only one out of the entire family that got the most answer to the question. Which was: "It was late at night and everything got so f###ed up..." That's it. Is there an online resource I can use to find out? "

There was a reason that he decided not to share that episode. Trust his judgment and just recognize it as a part of his life that was private to him. Some parts of life are experienced and lived-through, but not something to be shared.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,539 posts, read 3,006,146 times
Reputation: 9433
So sorry for your loss.

The reason a lot of Vietnam Vets won't talk about that time is because of the horror they saw/went through. Two good friends were there & what they each saw changed them completely.

The best comparison 1 friend could give me was to take me to see Apocalypse Now & that was mild compared to the reality he said.

Your father is at peace now. We had to do the same thing for our mother & the one thing I am so thankful for is that I moved close to her & was with her the last few months. I too, had 2 brothers who decided to drive rather than fly. They missed seeing her before she went by mere hours.

Letting your sister know he was in a coma may be the kindest thing you can do for her.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 03:14 PM
 
3,963 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
So sorry about your dad. My dad was a WWII vet. He was a medic. I also have his medals and I don't know what they were for because he never talked about it. It seems that is pretty common. I know one can get service records from the VA. They won't tell the inside story, but may have some information. One of the VA buildings burned down in 1971 and took all my father's records with it. But your dad should still have records somewhere.

Its a hard loss. Thinking of you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 04:10 PM
 
7,237 posts, read 12,646,436 times
Reputation: 8513
Thank you all.

Harry Chickpea, I have to acknowledge you're very right. I just wanted to know so badly what he went through, even though clearly it's a traumatizing event. It's just hard not knowing. I've been only able to glean a little, funnily enough through that movie, Gump. The part where Gump goes on and on about all the types of rain, my father was all Yeesssssssssssss. So I guess that part of the movie is true enough. I also learned then, my dad hated helicopters and vowed to never go in one again. I saw on a Vietnam War documentary many years later just how precarious helicopter rides were. I just want to know and understand what he went through. But you're right, it was an intensely private thing for him.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2016, 09:06 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,432 posts, read 18,144,759 times
Reputation: 18814
My condolences, Inkpoe. I can understand why your dad did not want to talk about it. My late husband threw his medals away before he died, unbeknownst to me. I would have liked to have had them. 'Nam was terrible. Rest easy now that Dad is at peace.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2016, 06:58 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,103 posts, read 3,923,269 times
Reputation: 18777
Inkpoe - I am so sorry for the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2016, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Mt Shasta , Ca.
1,806 posts, read 1,243,339 times
Reputation: 3795
Inkpoe- I too am very sorry for the loss of your dad. He reminds me so much of my late dad all around . Before I married I had several Viet Nam vet BF's and no matter how close, rarely would they speak of it .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top