I Was Holding My Dad When He Died

On March 1st, 2008, my father died.

He had been ill with kidney failure, but was a few months away from his transplant. He had been so excited.

On the 1st, my dad had gotten up to go to the bathroom. My mother had just brought home groceries and was putting them away. I heard something loud in our hallway, but I was half asleep, so I didn't get up. My mom went to the hallway to see what had happened, and my dad had fallen. She asked him what he had tripped over, and he said "I think I tripped over the fan". We kept a box fan in our hallway to drown out noise from the street.

My mother woke me up so I could help her get him up. I sat my dad up in a sitting position, but when I let go, he kind of slumped up against the wall. My mom thought that he was really tired because he had taken an ambien the night before. She told me to hold him up so she could get a neighbor to help us get him up. While she was gone, I tried talking to my dad to keep him awake, but he wouldn't respond. I tried talking louder to get his attention, but nothing would happen. Then, he made a movement sort of like a hiccup. I thought he had responded to me shouting, but then his head started drooping forward. I started shouting louder, and then I picked his head upright and started screaming for my mom as loud as I could. She ran in with a neighbor and she started CPR while our neighbor called the ambulance. When the ambulance got there, they told us that he had no pulse or blood pressure. They took him to the hospital, but they weren't in a hurry because they knew he was dead.

At the hospital, we went into a special waiting room. The doctor came in and told us that his heart was beating on its own, but he couldn't breathe on his own. After two days the doctor told us that he had gone without oxygen for so long the day that he fell in the hallway that his brain was dead. He didn't respond to pain reflex tests or anything.

We had to take him off life support, but there was nothing else we could do. My mom has said that he really died that day in the hallway, and we were just taking life support off of a shell that looked like my father. His soul was gone on March 1st.


I think I'm still in shock about everything. I just keep hoping that I'm in a really long dream and when I wake up I'll get to see my daddy again.

alexandriab alexandriab
18-21, F
3 Responses Apr 13, 2008

I am so sorry for your loss.

I am so sorry. I'm not really sure if there's a right response, but I hope that knowing someone is listening and wants to comfort you is of some comfort.

I am so sorry that you had to join this club. There's a lot of us out there. Your story has me in tears and I am desperately trying to think of something comforting to say, something that will make you feel better. But the truth is that this is an awful, awful thing. It changes you forever. All I can think to say is that if you ever need to chat to a complete stranger who also lost her father at a relatively young age I am here for you.