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Hospice Care/My Dad Cried An Hour Before He Passed


My question is Do you think my dad cried because he had to leave me? I want to let you know what happened leading up to this! My dad did not have cancer this was a sudden death. My dad was fine then suddenly he started throwing up couldn't keep anything down getting lightheaded for 3 days on that day he started throwing up blood so I told him he needs to go to hospital he said we could go in the morning so some time overnight he passed out without no one knowing. Time frame between (12am-8am) That's when we found him and called the ambulance when he got to hospital his blood sugar was 0 and his temp was 76 and he was unresponsive so they shot his heart with nitro and gave him a lot of sugar which I think brought him back. Well he lived for 7 days never waking up again, He didn't have any movements except what the nurses say was nerves. Now Ill get to my question an hour before he passed I whispered in his ear "Dad I love you so much I wish you didn't have to leave me" Of course I was crying the whole time well when I got done talking to him 2 tears 1 out of each eye came out and went all the way down both cheeks. Do you think he was crying because he had to leave me? Also I thought I'd share this after his heart started to drop it went to 34 I whispered to him "Dad I love you so so much" His heart rate went up to 81 oh how I we had so much hope at that moment. I hope you can help me just a little bit and if anyone else has anything similar please share. Thank you very much

Dear Jennifer, please accept my apology for the delay in answering you.  It's rare to get questions the past year or so (comes in waves) and health issues in our family have distracted me from my usual watchfulness.

I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad.  I do not think two tears are crying, necessarily.  With changes in blood pressure, pulse and other factors, eyes can become especially moist and the usual drainage (tear ducts, so the moisture goes into the nose and back into the throat) sometimes aren't enough.  So the extra tears leak out over the eye lids.  But this doesn't necessarily suggest any sadness or grief.  I want you to be reassured about that.

There are a number of questions which, if answered, would help me help you understand what happened to him.  It sounds to me as if his sudden death (ten days is pretty fast, generally speaking) was cardiac in nature.  Feeling sick and throwing up, feeling lightheaded,  passing out, all that can be a lot of things, but heart issues come to mind first.  A blood sugar of zero suggests the device wasn't working, since death would occur way before blood sugar got to nothing.

Your dad was fine until he suddenly became ill, so I must assume that either he did not see a doctor regularly for check ups and so could have been ill but was toughing it out, or he had a sudden crisis of some kind which, from the sounds of it, involved his liver or pancreas or both.  The bleeding suggests his problem was more likely his liver.

Without more information I cannot really help you very much.  You deserve an explanation.  If the doctors did not know what your Dad's problem(s) was(were), you must push for an autopsy and more studies.  Many conditions are hereditary and it can help you avoid this kind of problem if you know what it is.  Another consideration might be poisoning, accidental or otherwise.  In any case, you deserve and must demand answers.

I am truly sorry for the loss of your father.  I do believe he could hear you, and I think the 81 beats per minute when you said you loved him was him saying back to you, I love you, too, Jennifer.

I can tell you this.  Even when people worry about dying and don't want to go, when they get close to the end, as your Dad did so quickly, they are able to do what they need to do and get things right with themselves.  Many experience the presence of people they loved who had died before them and are comforted by this.

I share the following only as my personal belief, with no basis in fact or science and strictly what makes sense to me.  I believe that death is a temporary separation.  I believe that just because we cannot see or necessarily know the presence of our loved ones who have died, this does not mean they cannot hear us.  I have suggested to others that they continue to talk to their dead loved one.  You don't know that they cannot hear you, and you will feel more connected.  You should also allow yourself to cry if you are drawn to do so.  Try to cry every day.  It will get where you need to push yourself in order to do it, and you should.  Tears are cleansing and soothing, and can bring about changes in body chemistry which support your grieving.  If there are others in your family available, or friends who knew you both, take advantage of any opportunities to talk about your Dad. Remember things that were special about him, things that made you laugh.  All of this helps you heal.

Again, my apologies for not seeing your initial request, a week ago.  I am normally online much more and am able to answer within hours, if not minutes.  I hope my delay did not cause you additional distress.


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Christine Johnson


I can give suggestions, encouragement and direction on what hospice is and is not, when it is appropriate, and how to go about getting it. I am familiar with Medicaid and Medicare hospice benefits. I can answer general questions about disease process, what dying looks like, how hospice handles pain and other symptoms, what to expect from a hospice when end of life nears. I can provide support, direction and encouragement related to spiritual matters and psychological matters related to death and dying.


I am a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, and have been the director of nurses for three hospice centers, under two different companies. I have also worked as a contract hospice nurse for a large American hospice company. On a personal level, my father died without benefit of hospice (it was not popular then). I have taken care of dying patients in hospitals and recognize that for most of us, it is preferable to die at home (or in our residence, wherever that may be), comfortably and without anxiety. Also I had no support when my father died; hospice clients are the whole family (however that is defined by the "patient"), and support is provided at least a year after the patient passes. These are the sorts of things (and probably others) that I can help with.

HPNA (Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association)

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Registered Nurse (TX), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (TX) ADN Nursing, Excelsior College, Albany, New York (2004) 4.0 GPA BA, Psychology (minor Social Work), Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1986) 3.67 GPA MHR (MA) Human Relations, Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1988) 3.5 GPA

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