UPDATE: Today, I will be turning off life support for my father... (He passed away quietly...)
Last edited Wed May 31, 2023, 05:03 AM - Edit history (10)
He's 78. Living in Arizona, west of Phoenix. I'm here in the U.K. for the past 18 years.
My mom passed away last July she was 82 - died in the ambulance following a long period of immobility and declining health. very sad, but that's another story.
My dad was hanging on, had multiple health issues. Terrible heart health - but was managing.
Unfortunately, he was under the care of my brother who is not the brightest bean in the jar.
Monday he decides to take my dad out for a "big lunch" - consisting of pot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, coffee, and a slice of pie.
An hour later dad collapses in a gas station parking lot. Hot tarmac at noon in Arizona.
The back of his arms burning to the second degree. My brother (untrained in anything medical) attempting to do what he thinks is CPR.
The cops show up 15 min later and tell him he's doing it wrong. They take over...
The EMS team shows up and take control 15 minutes after that.. They restart his heart...
Dad is transported to the ICU. Multiple heart failures on the way.
He arrives at the hospital and my brother sends me a text (a text mind you not a phone call - WFT?) to inform me about the situation.
Now... Here I am living in the U.K. trying to manage the situation remotely with the 8hour timezone difference.
Tuesday and Wednesday are focused on life support and getting the appropriate tests done to determine the amount of damage.
Meanwhile, my brother is complaining that he can't afford to keep dad alive so he has "to pull the plug". In the meeting with the palliative care physician he starts complaining about his personal finances - WFT?
Today, this morning here in the U.K. (about 2am in AZ) I get all the tests back (MRI, CT, blood, EEG, etc.) now finally having all the info needed make a logical and empathetic decision.
It's a sad situation, but a necessary one. And one I can't be there in person to attend.
Thanks for listening... It's a small thing for the world, but I frighteningly big thing for me. Life will go on, but still... it's tough.
UPDATE: 9:30am AZ time is the planned time. My brother says he overslept and wasn't thinking he had to go - except that I told him to hear there at the hospital. Looks like my dad my die alone. At least I'll be there in spirit over the phone. I can't tell you all how angry I am at the situation.
AND THANK YOU TO ALL SO FAR. its funny (in a good way) how this little community is more family than my own family - I deeply appreciate that. I want to respond to each of you individually, but I just can't do that at the moment.
UPDATE 2: Its turning into a piss-up at the brewery. My brother has decided to call in all the opinions of extended family members (not immediate only as the law and hospital policy require!) and so now we are waiting... meanwhile my dad remains in situ. we are 2 hours behind the schedule. I was on the phone, and there my brother was cracking jokes with the med team. I could just scream. Told them to advise me when they were going to be finally ready. Still waiting... If my dad were knowledgable of this he would be spitting nails! I've resigned myself that I can no longer control the procedure in a way that provides any level of dignity. So, I quietly made my peace with the situation, hung up the phone with the Dr. agreeing to call me once they get the process going.
UPDATE 3: (Friday Morning 8am GMT) it was nearly midnight in the UK when they FINALLY started the procedure. FOUR hours of waiting for people to bring paperwork to sign, etc. There was no indication from the palliative care doctor that this was part of the process. Such ridiculous process management. Once you make the decision to terminate life support, they revert to an impersonal administrative procedure. Very little human thought or emotional empathy from the hospital. I have woken up here in the U.K. at 7am and checked for an update... It appears that my dad is still hanging on. Supposedly, he is not suffering, but it's hard to tell with so little information coming from the Med Team. Not to mention my brother's antics. This might go on for days. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE HERE! It's cathartic to be able to voice my inner frustrations and know there so many of you out there with kindness in your hearts. I hope to over time reply to each and every one's kind messages...
FINAL UPDATE: Sorry it's been a few days but it's been a bit of a rollercoaster... My father died peacefully under hospice care on Friday at 12:45am local Arizona time. As you can imagine I've been focused on cleanup of the domestic situation, financials, will, etc. It's a mess - similar to my parent's and brother's living conditions. It's a long story. My apologies in advance, I intended to respond to every message from all of you but it will take me some time. I've made my peace with the situation and circumstances, now it's just dealing with the fallout of parents who failed to plan appropriately for their death, and a parasitic brother who is only concerned with property and money. I guess we've all had a bit of that in our lives... Thank you ALL for your kind words. My words are not enough to convey my thanks.
Following all the logical steps with intelligence and compassion.
Even though it is very difficult, doing the right thing.
Sending you good vibes and kudos.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
I'm very sorry that you are going though this, especially so far away. Take care of yourself.
Im so sorry. Seems like an impossible situation that you are navigating as best you can.
Please keep us updated and remember that DU is here if you need to talk, rant, yell, scream, cry, commiserate - whatever.
I wish a peaceful and quick passing for your dad and peace and comfort to you.
especially as, sorry to be unkind, your brother sounds like a selfish idiot. My family is very much the same in some ways, letting people who have had heart bypasses eat things no heart patient should touch. Be prepared to hear relatives bitch at you, even though they could not/would nto do anything. When this happens, remember, the guilt they are trying to accuse you of, is THEIRS, and they know it. Also, watch the relatives when they try to divvy up Dad's money, especially as your brother seems to have hungry eyes already.
..with your father. Take care of yourself y paz.
Its a very big thing, and you are doing the heavy lifting, so far away.
You are strong and brave and dearly loved.
Thank you for sharing these tough times with us here. I know its not easy but thats a very good and smart move because you have much support and care and concern from so many good people here. Anytime.
Be especially kind to yourself today and in the days ahead, okay? Im holding you and yours in the light, and sending you much loving kindness and sweet Shalom. May peace be with you.
(((hugs))) and feel free to keep us up to date....
My sister & I had to make that decision for my mom.
Let us know how you are doing.
In doing what is best for your Father. It is never easy but rest assured you made the right choice.
Dont fret, you will feel him around now more strongly than ever. My dad has never left, teases me, pokes me to remember stuff, always there with a memory.
time. You know that you are doing the best for him. Know that your DU family is here for you. Lean as hard as you need.
May he be at peace.
You are doing the best you can for him under horrible circumstances. I'm so sorry for your loss.
You have given your father every chance and that is the best you can do. These times are difficult under the best of family communications. My heart goes out to you being so far away and dealing with your brother. Know that you have done all you can for your father. 🙏💗💗💐
When my mother was in a coma in GA (I live in Europe), I asked if a telephone could be put up to her ear, and I was able to talk to her. There was no answer, of course, but I told her I loved her and i spent about 15 minutes telling her of some of my fondest memories. It wasn't quite the same as being there, but I felt better. If you have that chance and it is important to you....
During the 10 minutes mom survived off the vent, my sister and I talked to her and told her how much we loved her and what a great woman/mother/wife/sister/friend she had been to soo many people. She was so frustrated by her inability to communicate, but we told her not to struggle, we knew she loved us so much and knew we loved her deeply too. I think it comforted her, know it was necessary for me.
I'd never wish that on my worst enemy, it's just gutwrenching. Or at least it was for me. There does come a time when a decision has to be made and I'm glad you now have the necessary information. Doing it in person is devastating, especially if there's even a glimmer of hope. It's so tough to lose that last bit of hope and deal with the ultimate loss. My thoughts are with you today and I hope you can get through this as gently as possible.
I understand completely where you're coming from. Take care of yourself during this time.
I had to turn off life support for my dad several years ago. It was a very difficult day for all of us. I'm sorry you're going through this difficult time.
and his long, well lived life. 💗💕💗
so sad to hear this; I wish you strength and peace at this hour. ❤️
Knowing it's necessary and the correct decision doesn't make it any easier. Please remember to take care of yourself...at times like these, it's easy to forget to do the things you need to do for yourself. The DU family is here for you whenever you need us.
Hugs for you and your brother. May your pass peacefully. Take care of yourself and know you have done the right thing, as hard as that is. Peace!
at such a sad and difficult time. Please know that you did all you could, and may you be surrounded by your best memories of your parents and the love that all of you shared. They will live on in your heart and in the good deeds you do in the world.
Unless he agreed to pay those bills for your Dad in writing, he is not responsible for the hospital costs. Though the hospital won't tell you that.
Your Dad's estate however could be charged those bills. If your Dad left a lot of money or a house that is Not in your brother's name, the hospital could collect from those assets if those assets are in your father's name.
This happened to me when my spouse died ....in a very similar way you described minus the meal and the hot tarmac. I never had any bills from the hospital for their care.
The healthcare insurance company though was responsible.
I know it's seems heartless to think about costs as the person you cared for is dying. But in the US it's something every citizen has to be plagued with.
Or his insurance doesn't cover longterm life support measures? In which case, yes, hospital could want to be reimbursed from the estate.
Is the brother living with the father? In which case they could have shared assets and so on.
What you've been through and going through is so hard. Being so far away must be terrible.
My mom had a strokeluckily while someone else was in her house. She called an ambulance, and my brother who lives nearby (Langley, VA area). My sister was in central NJ and I was in the German Rheinland. When my brother got to the hospital, a surgeon told my brother to decide that instant, not in 5 minutes, if he should operate. My brother asked for a 15 second best case scenario. The surgeon said her brain was already gone, but they could keep her on life support for maybe six months. Our mom had told us all quite specifically NOT to do that. He told the surgeon, who said she had been very wise. My brother called my sister, who drove down from NJ. Then he had his wife, whose English sucks, call my wife, since I was on my way back from somewhere. When I got home, my wife told me to call my brother, as she knew something was bad, but not HOW bad. I called him, and when he said how bad it was, I asked if I should fly over to America the next day. He said no, there was no one left to say good-bye to. So my sister drove down from New Jersey, and they pulled the plug.
No one do id anything wrongit was just her time. It was pretty hard to take, all the same. Nothing I could do but make a few phone calls. It sucked.
I'm sorry that you can't attend to these matters personally. Letting your Dad go on to the other shore can be most compassionate for him. Death is in the cards for all of us. Who wants to drag around a tired old worn out body? I'm a 76 yr senior with heart issues, and believe me, getting old is not for sissies.
I'm a Buddhist, and my perspective on death is that unless I am completely and perfectly enlightened, I'll just come back yet another time. So my thought when someone dies is that he/she has the most auspicious rebirth possible.
but it's still so difficult. We're here for you, and I'm sending virtual hugs. I hope, too, that you have loved ones there in person with you today.
I hope you will be able to say good-bye to your dad, with someone holding the phone to his ear, as flor-de-jasmim and lark suggested. But I believe he's aware of your love for him, that his spirit senses it and will continue to sense it, even after he crosses over.
I hope and assume your dad had his last wishes "ducks in a row"; many elderly and even those younger, are in complete denial of the necessaries of progressive and sudden terminal illnesses striking without much warning. You've done a remarkablable service from so far away under the most trying conditions. Likely there may be a few more tough thoughts and hard decisions in the coming days. Here's hoping there's much comfort and peace for all: you, family, and friends at this extremely difficult period of time and as you and those that knew him best move through the stages of grief and loss. My condolences and sympathies.Thank you for sharing the hard facts and the vulnerability a sudden family death often brings with it. We are here for you at any time of the day or night.
It's never easy. I had to do it for my Grandmother. I was told her wishes and it still wasn't easy. I hope your brother can support himself, but that is for another thread.
You have my condolences.
So sorry you're having to go through this. May your dad pass gently. Don't beat yourself up for not being there. Accept that you're doing the best you can under extremely difficult circumstances.
Likewise, don't beat your brother up. He might not be the "brightest bean in the jar," but hopefully he cared about your dad, did his best for him (ridiculous as it might have been!), and will also grieve his passing.
Forgive, if you can. Anger does nobody any good.
If he did this. It would be a good thing that I wasn't there.
Talk about frustration,wow, and all you can do is watch it unfold from thousands of miles away.
his father actually die. It seems (bright or not) very likely he is feeling some guilt, remorse, and probably fear. Focusing on money may have been his way of not dealing with the harder business of facing his real emotions. "Oversleeping" is easier than watching your father die. "Oversleeping" is easier than dealing with unbearable emotions surrounding his inability to save your dad.
The death of a parent leaves family members with distorted emotions, usually dialed up to 11.
Be good to yourself, first. Be the best version of yourself that you can be right now, when you can -and give yourself grace when you can't.
Comprehensive, affordable health care for all is needed in our country. We would have fewer health insurers with all the rules and restrictions they impose. No one should go broke seeking care.
I hope you and your brother will be able to come together enough to set anger aside. It serves no point and your memories of your Dad need to be reviewed without it in order to comfort you.
May each step become lighter and good memories abound.
I held my dad's hand when he passed away. I talked to him for a couple hours as he slowly drifted off.
I hope you find peace.
feel for you being so far away. Condolences to you and everyone who loved your dad. Sending healing heart vibes!
I hope that some happy memories are there for you. You are a good advocate for your father.
That sounds like a delicious lunch. Not a bad way to go.
your brother can't understand or chooses not to understand simple directions.
It's a blessing for your father that you can face the reality of death and help him suffer less.
Please take good care of yourself in your own suffering and grief.
Your DU community is with you.
decision in life. All the DU crowd , Im sure send our sincerest thoughts to you. Stay strong.
What a sad way for your father to spend his last moments alone. I wish you comfort and peace.
So sorry to see you in this situation. My parents passed a few years back and I still think about them a lot. I feel bad about your situation with your brother too. You deserve better.
Be gentle with yourself.
Sending you my best DU vibes
be as much at peace as you can be.
Be good to yourself.
Terrible situation and traumatic -- in addition to the sadness from losing your father, I hope you will be able to take some time for yourself to process and allow the anger to work its way out of your system.
(I'm using voice text so excuse my non punctuation)
It's so unfortunate when we have to deal with uncomfortable sibling situations especially surrounding our parents demise. Last year when my mom passed my sister and I had not had a real relationship in probably a couple decades and so I found myself overcompensating because I thought that she didn't like me and she ended up in charge of everything of course because she's older.
I'm lucky, I have spent the last year doing grief counseling and cultivating my relationship with her when I thought that it was going to be non-existent once our parents passed our dad just passed away this week almost 12 hours to the dot exactly before Mom's Day of passing and we were both much better equipped to handle it and more there for each other because we had been dealing with taking care of dad over this last year and all of that clusterfuk.
It's such a hard decision to make we had to do it with both my parents to just basically tell them to give palliative comfort care and stop poking with them.
I can't imagine how you're dealing with it from afar and especially with the sibling who doesn't seem to have all his ducks in a row.
I'm grateful for this du family they have definitely been comforting me in this past week and I hope that I can send you some comfort too.
It's hell, middle age your kids leave the house and your parents leave the planet.
Huge hugs we're all here for you.💔❤️🥰
similar, in that a bunch of relatives acted so awful I am still angry. It is something I have to deal with every day. If I can offer one but of advice, it is to mange the anger, to realize that some members of the family will always be what they are, and that as much as you would think the occasion might shock them into their senses, it does not. You have to keep living. As far as the estate, do not be ashamed to fight for what is your share, even a teapot. Your brother sounds like he is stupid, which is to say, the sort that can be manipulated as a weapon by clever types who will use him as a weapon.
He obviously cared about your father to attempt CPR for 15 minutes, and is probably blaming himself for not doing it correctly.
While it's so hard to lose a parent, I lost both of mine to Alzheimer's after a prolonged, heart-wrenching ordeal that went on for years.
Take comfort in the fact that your father didn't suffer. I once interviewed a heart attack survivor who was without a heartbeat for nearly 20 minutes but miraculously survived with very little brain damage other than short term memory loss. He said he didn't remember anything from the time he was jogging in front of a fire station just before collapsing (where a nurse and firefighters all worked trying to save him) until he awoke in a hospital many hours later.
I found it comforting to know that if a loved one ever passed of a heart attack, they wouldn't have had any pain or fear.
That said, do ask to be able to speak to your father by phone. They say that hearing is the last sense to go if there is any mind left to know what you are saying.
It is hard to be far away when a parent dies.That happened to me when on vacation overseas,and my Mom passed away in a nursing home. They tried to reach me, but unfortunately I was on a plane with my phone in airplane mode when her time came.There was a hospice nurse and chaplain with her, but my brother couldn't get there in time, either. It sounded like she probably had a massive stroke and was in a coma, so hopefully had no realization that family wasn't with her, but still I wish I could have been.
May your father pass peacefully, and may you be able to say goodbyes and comforting words to him when the time comes.
I'm so sorry, can't imagine how frustrating and hard this has all been.
Your brother. Just know he's got your dad's best interest at heart! It may not seem like it but I just know he does - anyone would
Let it all go and think about the good times? Just my immediate reaction.. of course know zero.
I went through this with both my parents and my dear mother-in-law. There are times of so many mixed feelings. There are the moments when you dont know what to pray for: a miracle recovery or safe passage. Part of you wants them around forever but other parts of you want them released from the pain and suffering that sometimes seem to drag on so cruelly.
Just know you have many friends here. You wont have to carry this burden alone.