My dad passed away suddenly

eashawFebruary 21, 2005


I just signed up for this forum with hope that I can deal with some of my grief and learn from other people.

My dad was 65 and died suddenly about 1 month ago. It was very shocking because it was a massive heart attack and he was never sick.

My father and I were very close and I feel lost.

It is hard for me to get to sleep and think that I need to put 100% of myself into my job tomorrow. Things seems so trivial compared.

Thanks for sharing.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It must be terribly difficult to have someone here one moment, gone the next.

I lost both parents due to illness (cancer). My father died in 1994, at age 67. He'd had liver cancer for a year but had gone through chemo, etc., and kept working. He got really sick just the last month. My mother died last September of brain cancer. That was awful -- it was a long, slow goodbye.

You need to be gentle with yourself and understand that you are NOT going to be able to give 100% to your job (or anything else!) for a while. You're still in shock, which is normal, and you simply need time. Hopefully you do not have a high-pressure job where they are on you every moment of the day.

Is there a grief support group in your community? Check with churches, hospices, etc.

Do you have family support? Are there other siblings? Losing a parent changes your perspective on the world forever -- as I told friends after my father died, in the blink of an eye the kaleidoscope shifts and your perspective on life is never the same again.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 10:02AM
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet dad. I too lost my dad this past August. Lasershow is right. I had not thought about it like that but it is true that once you lose a parent, your perspective on life is never the same. Give yourself time. And share more about him with us.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 3:01PM
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It must be extra hard to have it come as a shock like that. My dad and I were very close, too, and I was lucky that he lived to be 90. I remember when he was in his early 70s he said something to me about not being around forever. I was appalled, and said, "You can't think like that. I need you!" And I did.

Things are trivial compared, and that's a piece of wisdom you'll never lose. The pain won't always be so acute, but you'll always miss him. And that speaks volumes about what a good relationship you had. And that was surely something that gave him great joy.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 7:35PM
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It's not easy to lose anyone suddenly. I lost my youngest son 2 months ago; he was 27. It's a terrible shock to you emotionally. I am still grieving. I live in Australia and lost my Dad in 1991 and my Mom in 1983(USA). We were close and I didnt get a chance to see them. Even worse, I cant even visit their cemetery plots. I have been reading a lot about Near Death Experiences and they portray death as beautiful and that we should not be afraid of it. I found that by writing my feeling down on paper...all the happy and bad things that you and your Dad did together...and keep a few days and then burn it. This will help release those deep emotions that we too often harbor. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 8:59PM
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I am so sorry and I can so relate to how you are feeling. It takes a long time to get over the shock of losing someone so close to you - it has been three years since my sister died and yet it seems like yesterday. Now I am starting all over again.

The two things that I have learned from my sister/mom's death is that you need to live each day like it is your last and the importance of telling the people you love how much you care each and every day.

I can't give you any advice or words of encouragement on how to deal with it since I am still trying to figure it out myself. But just know that I am here and I am living it too.

Take care and talk to you soon.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 9:43PM
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Thank you so much for all the support.

I do have a support group in my area which I think I will attend. I only have 1 brother and he is in San Francisco.

Although he feels terrible also, I was always very close to my parents whereas he moved away from home very young.

One thing is true I definitely feel that most things are trivial and that I shouldnt worry so much about silly things. I have also learned that the working world has no patience.

I have a job in NYC, it is kind stressful but is almost like a mental vacation from being home where I tend to feel worse.

I did visit his cemetary plot last week for his birthday. I finally contacted someone to engrave his name on the headstone.

I especially miss him on Friday nights when he would buy pizza and we would watch movies. They say you need to make a new routine but I still cant. They also say when someone close to you dies a piece of you dies which is true.

About the comment to celebrate death like we celebrate life, thats interesting, when I feel a little better I will read up on it.

Thanks again for your support and I will write in occassionally to help others and let you know my progress.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 10:11PM
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I, too, lost my dad suddenly. He was my hero,my best friend, the star in my life. I felt robbed, and went thru the whole gamut of emotions, anger, anguish, lost without him, numb. That was many years ago, but that day is still fresh in my mind. I learned to manage my grief and I did eventually make peace with him leaving, but it did take some time. Its so hard, its devastating to lose someone so special in your life. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Prayers sent to you for strength.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 7:20AM
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You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your dad. My Dad died under similar circumstances a little over a year ago. One thing that stuck me during that time was how we spend the better part of our lives focusing on the "trivial" matters and very little on what is "important". Then when something like this happens, our focus is suddenly reversed completely and it is a bit of a shock to us. Couple that with all the other emotions and stuff running through our mind, and it's no wonder we are a mess when we are grieving.

Trust me when I say that these feelings will pass. You will get back to "normal", but it will be a different normal. Eventually you will return to focusing on the "trivial", because, let's face it, that is the stuff that makes up most of our lives.

Peace be with you.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 3:41PM
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad, but I'm glad that you found us.
I also know grief well as I lost my 19 year old daughter very suddenly to an accident and lost my mom this past June from Alzheimer's. I was very close to both of them and even after almost 7 years of having lost my daughter, the pain is still with me, although it is better.
It helps to focus on the happy times that we were given with each other. Those times were a gift that many people don't have. Even though I only had my daughter for 19 years, I realize that many people don't have daughters or children at all. I'm blessed to have had that. The same is true with my mom. We were very close and always had a great relationship and I am so grateful for that. Nothing lasts forever and we have to adjust our lives to what we are given at the time.
You will always miss your dad but try to replace the pain of losing him with happy thoughts of what you had with him and remember that you will see him again. This life is only a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Web Site

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 11:06AM
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You made a comment about the working world having no patience. It is hard to sit and watch the world going along as if nothing has happened or changed. For us, it feels like our lives have stopped and have totally changed. Co-workers asking constantly, 'how are you doing?' Do you tell them the truth or lie? Say 'I'm great' or 'I'm terrible - how are you?'

I hope things are going okay for you.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 10:02PM
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My dad died last Sunday of a heart attack at the age of 82. It was completely unexpected, as he had not been sick (or at least he never let on that he was). I'm at work today, and it's hitting hard. My mom is holding up surprisingly well. We were all very close to him(I have 3 sisters and a brother). I'm happy to have the support of my husband, family and friends, but I feel an empty spot.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 11:05AM
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eashaw, I hope things are somewhat better for you and I would like to hear from you again.

My father passed away unexpectedly on March 29th. My two young daughters and I had just had a week long visit with him and my mom. We left two days before he died. Obviously, I flew back to help mom with arrangements, we had a memorial service (I even delivered a eulogy) and then a month later we scattered his ashes at his birthplace.

I got through all that okay, but it all seems so unreal to me still. I have good days, but many bad times as well. Seems I spend every night from 3am-5am crying and thinking about him. It is like I can't seem to grieve in public and so I can't seem to move forward on this.

Reading your post helped a bit to know that we all go through these times. I also completely understand your point about other things feeling trivial now. I am in the midst of building a new house that I had been very involved with before dad died. Now I could really care less if it is ever finished.

My heart aches for your loss because I know what it feels like. I do hope you find peace.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 1:58PM
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eashaw- yes, it's true that you need 'new' routines...

but trying to push that closeness away so soon strikes me as disrespectful.

I'd keep up that friday night movie tradition- either alone or with people. i'd go back and watch all the movies that he'd especially cared for- and a few that we argued about, because it's sometimes a thing that you learn the most when talking about things you don't agree about.

the gods gave my dad one more chance this past week (he's on his 12th life- must have been a siamese twin cat in his last incarnation) but I'm kind of in the same spot with you- and no, the working world doesn't care about triumph or tragedy, for the most part- some people do, but most can't see past the end of their nose.

my brother has also taken himself out of the family- and when I'm not annoyed because it's upsetting my dad, I feel kind of bad, because he got stuck with the bad years, quit, and is now missing my mom and dad at their best.

good luck with things.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 1:43PM
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eashaw: Let me give you a very condensed version of my story then give you something to consider that has helped me. Last September I was on my way home and used my cell phone to call my husband and ask him about some plans we had with friends for that night. I was only 10 minutes from home so I don't know why it couldn't wait until I got there. We spoke briefly. When I walked in the house was quiet then I heard some odd sounding breathing - which was one of my husband's last breaths. I worked on him until the ambulance arrived - which seemed forever. I couldn't tell if he had a pulse or not because I was shaking so hard. He didn't have one when the paramedics started working on him. A few days later I was talking about it to one of my friends and I shared with her the perspective that I've had to take to keep myself in check: I didn't get to say goodbye because it was so sudden but, also because it was so sudden, he did not have to suffer. That's a trade off I can live with. Consider that with your dad. I know there are lots of things you wish you could have said but because it was a massive heart attack the amount of pain he had was brief. I know you would have liked to say goodbye but not at his expense. Most things in our lives are trade off's so why not look at this as the last sacrifice you were able to make for a man you love with all your heart? I wish you well.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 7:06AM
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hi, First I would like to give you my deepest sympathys. Also I would like to share my story because like yourself I lost my dad at the age of 50 who so suddenly had a massive heart attack. My dad was a great man who loved me and my 3 girls unconditionally. He was starting a new job on Monday and died on Thursday night. We had gone shopping together that day for his new uniform. All day he was fine just a little tired but he always worked hard so it wasn't unusual for him to feel tired. Well, that evening I went to work and my dad decided to go shovel ontop of a roof which my aunt was gone to Florida for a month, so with nobody being there, my dad had started having chest pains and got off the roof and put his stuff in his car,sat there for a bit and finally took the chance to drive home, he made it there but walking from his car to his house, he had emptied himself, which is a sure sign of death. My grandmother decided to call him and he said he chest hurt and he felt like passing out and vomiting. She called 911,and me afterwards. I got there before the ambulance did and I live 10 mins from both destinations. My dad was laying on his bed, cold, no pulse and in and out of conscienseness. My uncle had come down the street to help and he did chest compressions until the ambulance arrived. They put a heart machine on him and it was beaping and then he flatlined, as I cried out his name he came back to me. Off to the nearest hospital, we waited in the waiting room in complete agony. The doctor came out and told us they had to use the difibulator twice and he was in critical condition, they wanted to place an external pacemaker but before they got the chance, he died. He died on March 14,2008. It hasn't even been a month. I just started getting out of the terrible shock my body has endured. I have nightmares of how I last saw my dad. Now I cry because I miss him so much as well, I am having such a hard time dealing with this. My daughter who is 5 is asking questions and mad at jesus because he won't give her pepere back. Being that I am sort of in the same situation as you, The advice that I can give that is working for me is to stay busy and keep him in your everyday life. Someone recently told me not to live in his death, but to celebrate his life. I am trying hard to do that, but it's not easy and it won't be for a very long time. My dad and I were best friends, he picked me and the kids up everyday when he wasn't working and we went shopping together, he would play with the kids like a big kid. Why do these things have to happen to such good people I ask myself so often, but the answers are with god and all the good people will gather in his arms someday. I am not much of a spiritual person, but this has totally shown me a bigger light. well, i do wish you the best and I just wanted you to know that I know how you are feeling because everyday I miss my dad. I hope you know that you are not alone and also if you have medical questions that never seem to be answered enough times, read on them over and over again. I've been on the internet reading on the condition and story's of others and so far, it hasn't done much but I understand it better. Come to find out, my dad's massive heart attack was caused by long term diabetes and high colestrol and blood pressure. He didn't have medical insurance so he never got to a doctor in time to find out. He was going to have insurance at his new job just 4 days away. Shows how screwed up the government is too some people who don't work and are mentally disabled will get medical insurance but someone who worked 40 hours a week regularly doing labor work won't get any. well, that's my story and i'm so sorry for your loss. I hope as time goes by your pain as well as my own will get just alittle less intense.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:13PM
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A song that sums up how we feel about our Daddys. I remember dancing with mine at weddings and being twirled around by him when I was a kid. My Dad was a great Dancer! Who will I dance with now? My Daddy is gone... Boy, am I missing him. I expect, though, that he is Dancing in Heaven.

Dance With My Father/Luther Vandross

Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around 'til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end

How I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way, I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance, one final step, one final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end

'Cause I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again
Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don't do it usually
But dear Lord she's dying
To dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

Listen to the song:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 1:34AM
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My dad died suddenly on the 10th July 2008. He was laid to rest 19th July 2008. The doctors had indicated that he would survive the brain tumour operation. Life will never be the same. I lost a brother in 1988 and another in 2004. I am dumb stuck and just living the motions for now. I hate questions such as are you Ok. Hang on. It is going to be well. Just let me be.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:09AM
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My dad passed away suddenly 2 weeks ago and I feel empty and sad, like it's still unreal. I'm glad he didn't suffer with a lengthy illness, he had a massive heart attack and there was no real indication of him being sick beforehand, but I feel cheated I didn't get to say goodbye.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 1:31AM
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Hugs going out to everyone missing their Daddies. I have been having a tough time of it today. Stopped with Mom at the grave today to bring him flowers. Thanksgiving is coming up and this will be the first one without Him. I keep thinking how sad Dad must be not being here to enjoy the Day. So many precious Thanksgiving remembered with Him sitting at the head of the table. Remembering his preferences for sweet potatoes, rice pudding and ethnic dishes which were always included along with the turkey. He was such a Character and so filled with life and joy. He was the sparkle that made the Holidays fun and festive. His enthusiasm was infectious. How his grandchildren all adored him! Never impatient and ever ready to give his time and energy. I have been sad and crying off and on today and hope this was pass but feel a sense of doom descending as the time grows closer and the Holidays approach.

Even though I believe in Heaven and that my dear Daddy has found his way Home and that we will meet again, I can't help but think about all the years ahead (G_d Willing) that we (DH, me and my children) will be missing Him til we meet him again in Heaven.

Feeling so sad today....

Peace to all who lost your Daddies and Loved Ones as we struggle thru those first years of Holidays and important events that can no longer be shared with them.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 12:27AM
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Tenderchichi, I'm sorry it's a sad day for you. You are always such an inspiration here and I look forward to your posts. But we all have our days, I sure do understand that. Sometimes it is a bad day, or just a bad moment, hour or even a string of days. One never knows where this bad feeling sometimes comes from. Just the other day a song came on the radio as I was pulling into the garage: "Yesterday when I was young". I pulled the truck in and sat there and wept like a little baby hunched over the steering wheel. Where did the years go? Bittersweet memories. I too believe we will be reunited in Heaven with our loved ones and it will be amazing. But it is so hard to be here now sometimes when the gut wrenching loss envelopes us. Please take care and hope for happier days ahead.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 9:10AM
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My dad died suddenly 3 months ago in his assisted living facility. I placed him there, I thought I was putting him in the best place, I'm an only child and didn't know how to check things as good as I should have. He choked to death while the nurse talked on the phone right in front of him. She never called 911, she called the owner instead....the home was unlicensed...I didn't know. My dad was able to get up, shower himself, feed himself, walk outside for a cigarette, he just fell sometimes and had a bit of dementia and post traumatic syndrom from fighting in Vietnam and so he needed to be someplace to be watched over. The home was referred to me by the home he was in at the time, they said it was a small facility where he could get more personal attention.
I sat at his bedside for 2 straight days while he had strokes and seizures until I finally removed the oxygen and let him pass, he wasn't responsive the entire time.
His facility never called, never came by, never even sent a card. I feel that I caused my dad's death and now I and my grandmother, who has the final stage of Alzheimer's are all that is left in my family...we were all only children.
I feel for your pain, I have days where I can barely live with myself.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Thank you dukerdawg, I needed a little pat on the back. My Dad's last few years were tough ones. Makes it more difficult knowing he struggled so before He went Home. Life does not always end nicely.

mrswhatacop, I'm so sorry you had to go thru that. It must have been very painful for you to make that final decision. You are a strong person. Try to keep your chin up.

It is difficult when our natural families shrink down and we are left lonely. Many others must also find themselves in the same situation.

Wishing Heavenly Blessings to assist you and new connections for a "family" of friends to fill your life in the Future.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 1:35PM
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if this is the duane i know i am really sorry to hear about your dad i cant amagine loosing my mom it has come very close with breast cancer and still pending, my heart goes out to you and your family. thinking of you always.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 2:02PM
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My dad just past away last week on March 14, 2011, from a sudden heart attack. He was 53 and was in Illinois when it happened. We live in Pittsburgh so we didn't even get to see him until his viewing this past Friday... I'm still in shock, but also feel anger and pain and just feel lost.

He even called me the night before he died and I purposefully ignored his call because of other family issues that we've been dealing with... I've never wished I could turn back time so much in my life so I could answer his call and hear his voice one last time.

I know I'm in shock, but when the thought of him being no longer alive floods into my mind I feel an overwhelming emptiness and horrible sadness of how unfair it was that he was taken from us so suddenly.. I didn't even get to say goodbye and hear him call me pumpkin one more time.

I feel so alone.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Hello everyone-
I am not sure if anyone visits this page anymore, but I am like many of you that have lost you Dads. I lost my Dad on February 21st to a massive heart attack while he was driving his semi. As I am reading along we all share so many things in common. There are so many things to be angry about, but at the same time so many things we should be greatful for. I am having a hard time getting passed the anger and the sadness. Today will be a month since we laid him to rest and my brother and I have to pick out his headstone tonight.
There are so many times I cant even function! I cant go anywhere without crying. I am hoping to find someone that would be intrested in being a support person. If you are intrested please e-mail me. I would love to share stories and be support for eachother. Prayers going out for everyone that is missing their Dad's!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:36AM
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I'm so sorry. I won't say i know your pain, because i don't, but i have also lost my father suddenly. two weeks ago today i found him in his truck. The medical examiner said it was a massive heart attack. I never and i don't think he knew either that anything was wrong.

I love my dad so much! He was the greatest dad ever. He taught me how to fish, hunt, play golf, and anything else i wanted to learn. When i grew up (i'm 34), he was still my favority fishing buddy and golf partner. I can't tell you all the good my dad did for our community. I was so proud of who my dad was, and would brag about him to my friends all the time. he was a great man.

Now i can't even think of fishing again, or playing golf. I know he would tell me to go and have fun, but i don't want to. I just want my dad back. I feel cheated. I should have been there, my dad should have never been alone when he went. It probably wouldn't have mattered, but at least ... i maybe could have comforted him in some way. I hope that he wasn't scared or hurting badly. God, why?

the weekend before he left us, we were suppose to go fishing, but it poured down the rain. my question is if God knew he was going to take my dad, why couldn't i have that last trip. i know that's selfish, but that's how i feel. I miss him so much.

I still need him. Just the other day i said to myself, "dad would know what to do here" and started to call his cell phone, only to realize that it was on the table beside of me.

I love you dad, just want you to come home.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I feel your pain n i lost my father on last June 2011 due to his lung cancer.
I m still feeling the pain of losing him.He was on my mind all the time.
I m worried of him in another.
I can only pray to Lord Of Buddha to guide him to the right path.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 1:23PM
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