My Father's Death and My Wedding Day

My Father's Death and My Wedding Day

Postby Mindful Mel » May 23rd, 2016, 10:48 am

I needed a place to be able to put this story out there, so thank you for having this forum so I can do that.

My father was sick for as long as I can remember. When we were very young, he had a heart attack and open heart surgery. He stopped smoking after that, but was later diagnosed with emphysema because the damage was already done to his lungs. He started out using an inhaler for his breathing, and then progressed to needing oxygen to sleep at night and then eventually needing oxygen all day. When I was 16 he went to the hospital and his lungs collapsed. He died and they brought him back. After that, my only wish was that he would live long enough to walk me down the aisle at my wedding.

My dad and I were VERY close. We talked every single day. At the time I didn't realize how chaotic my childhood was because of my mother's decisions. He was always there for me emotionally and was the calm and sanity through the craziness. When I was 8 my mom filed for a divorce and she remarried when I was 14. My dad never stopped loving my mom and would even babysit for us AND our step-siblings. That's the kind of person he was. He was kind, gentle, caring and had a heart of gold. Anyone that ever met him, loved him.

When I was 23, my (now) husband asked my father for my hand in marriage. He proposed and we planned our wedding for the following October. My dad and I disagreed over what our father/daughter dance song should be. He wanted "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride and I wanted "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Of course, in the end, he ultimately let me choose. The weeks leading up to my wedding my dad was in and out of the hospital as his breathing was getting worse. He had to be put on a biPAP machine on and off to keep his oxygen levels up. He joked that he was getting a "tune up" for my wedding.

The night before the wedding we all stayed at the hotel, so we could get ready together. That morning we woke up early and all of my bridesmaids came to our suite to get their hair and make up done. Someone brought breakfast and juice, so after I was done, I called my dad's room to see if he wanted me to bring him something to eat. I tried calling his room, but he didn't answer. I assumed he was probably in the shower and I had a key, so I figured I would just bring him something. I went to his room and he was still in bed. So I start calling his name, telling him that he really needed to wake up. I went over to his bed and started shaking him and he wasn't responding and I couldn't wake him. I called my mom, who is a nurse. She rushed to his room and then tried to wake him up. When she couldn't, she looked at me and yelled "Call 911, now!" So I called 911 and the rest is sort of a blur.

The paramedics came and took him to the hospital. My mom went with him and he called me after they got him stable. He said he really wanted to come back and make it to the wedding, but he was scared. I think he was looking for me to let him off the hook, which I did. I told him that it was more important that he was safe and not to worry about it. My step-father walked me down the aisle and I had my father/daughter dance with him but not to either of the songs my dad and I chose. I sobbed the entire dance. Later on that night my dad called, so I stepped outside to talk to him. We both cried. He said he was sorry for missing it and I told him it was ok and we would go to the hospital the following day with pictures. And we did. He was so happy and put them up on the wall in his hospital room and bragged to all of the nurses about how beautiful his daughter was.

We got married on a Friday and my husband and I were scheduled to leave for our honeymoon that Monday and would be gone for 10 days. I joked to my sister that if he died while we were gone that they shouldn't call me and to just put him on ice until we got back. We got home from our honeymoon and I went to go see him at the hospital to bring him a souvenir from our trip. They were literally wheeling him out to go have a minor procedure done. He had some type of blood cancer that was causing clots, so they were going to put a screen in his leg to prevent clots from going to his heart. So I gave him a kiss, told him I loved him and would come back later when he was done. That was the last time I spoke to my father.

I got a phone call later that day from my sister and said there was an issue that he wasn't waking up from the anesthesia. We all gathered at the hospital and waited as his condition worsened. By the second day, everyone decided it would be best to take him off life support. That morning I went to the funeral home with my half brother to make the arrangements. It was so surreal. When we got back to the hospital we were told that he was somewhat responsive. If you spoke really loudly, he would shake his head yes or no to your questions. He knew we were there and could hear us, but his condition was just too bad at that point. Later that night, it was suggested that I go home to take a shower and take a break. Before I left, I asked my dad if he was cold. He shook his head no. Then I said "you know I love you, right" and he shook his head really hard yes. I cried and told him that he didn't need to hold on for us and that when he was ready he could let go. I told him that we would all be ok. The last part was a big fucking lie!

I went home, took a shower and when I got out, my husband knocked on the bathroom door. I opened the door and he was standing there with the phone in his hand. I knew. I took the phone from him and my mom said two words "he's gone" and my world crumbled!

If the events of his death did not coincide with one of the happiest days of my life I don't think I would be here today. My wedding memories are very bittersweet for me. It has been 11 years since he died and I still sob every time I hear one of the songs we chose for our father/daughter dance.
Mindful Mel
Posts: 6
Joined: May 20th, 2016, 8:22 pm
Gender: Female
Issues: BPD, cutting, generalized anxiety disorder and nightmare disorder
preferred pronoun: She

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