Have you lost one of your parents suddenly and if so, do you have any regrets?

United States
October 4, 2008 4:46pm CST
I lost my father when I was 9 years old. We took him to the hospital in the early morning hours, the day before my mother's birthday, because he was so sick. He thought it was because he had a nervous stomach (that's what they called irritable bowel syndrome back in 1969). The intern thought my dad had an ulcer and was going to check it out. We went into the room to sit with him but we hadn't been there more than 3 minutes when he told my mom to get a doctor because he felt like he was going to pass out. They kept us out of the room and the next thing we know, the doctor is telling us that my dad died of a massive heart attack. My sister was devastated because she was always the "daddy's girl". I didn't really understand what was going on...I was very naive and at my age, I had never lost anyone close to me. When it hit me that my father was never coming back the first thing that came to mind was "Why had I been such a bad little girl? Why couldn't I have been as good as my sister, so that my dad would love me as much as her? I am much older now but I still feel that I let my father down. That although he loved me, I was always getting into trouble and disappointing him. Not bad trouble. Just things like putting dead snakes in my aunt's mailbox to scare her, throwing tantrums when I didn't get my way, not paying attention in school and getting into trouble for talking....that sort of thing. But I was never as good a child as my sister. Straight A's, always did what she was told, never lied about anything unless it was to cover my butt. I remember right before he died, I had gotten in trouble at school for talking. My teacher sent home that terrible note teachers always doing, telling my parents that I was misbehaving in school. They were supposed to sign it and I was supposed to take it back. I begged my sister to sign my mother's name on the note and she finally gave in. However, the teacher didn't fall for my carefully thought out ruse and immediately informed my mother. My mom demanded to know who signed the note. My sister and I always looked out for each other and I wasn't about to give her away so I told her it was me. Naturally, mom could tell from the handwriting that I hadn't signed it so she kept on asking. I never told her and got more punishment. However, they never thought about my sister doing it. As my father said, "I know it wasn't Pam who did it. Cathy....we expect this kind of behavior out of her but Pam would never do something that like, not even to cover for her sister." He sounded and looked so disappointed when he said that that it broke my heart even at 9. Sometimes, I still look back on that moment and cry because I feel my father was disappointed in me. I know that he would be proud of me now and of the life I lead but I never got to show him that side of me. That's my biggest regret.
3 people like this
2 responses
@deedeehall (1144)
• United States
23 Nov 08
you really should not do this to your self .you were just a child there is nothing you could have done to disapoint your dad if he were here he would tell you that .just remember he does see you in heaven and does see how good you are .he loves you and would want you to know that. he sure would not want you to feel this way.
• United States
24 Nov 08
Thank you for your kind words. I do try to remind myself that I was only a kid and that even though he might get upset with me, I think he would be proud of the life I have made with my husband and three kids. I know he would have adored his grandchildren, especially my son since he always wanted a boy. Of course, he would have loved all 6 of his grandchildren the same (my sister has 3 girls), but he always wanted a boy to do "guy things" with. I was a tomboy so I was the closest he ever got. I think I feel this way sometimes because my mother is so close to my sister. With good reason of course. My sister is the one who goes to her house every weekend and helps her do chores and calls her every single night. I am the daughter who calls whenever I can. So I get that, I really do. However, whenever my children and I are around, she is so quick to point out the things I did when I was a kid. Maybe that's why I can't help but think I was a bad kid. If someone keeps telling you how bad you were, you believe it, you know. I don't think my mom does it to make me feel bad, or maybe she does because she's angry at me because I don't put her above everyone else like my sister does. Who knows? But you are right. I shouldn't think my father wouldn't be proud of me if he were here, just because of that. Thanks.
@Erssyl (617)
• Philippines
7 Oct 08
I lost my father in the eve of my 44th birthday.He was left watching television that night.When my sister woke up the next morning they found him lying on the floor.He suffered from a heart attack.He planned to visit me the next day.What I regret most was that no one saw him while he was in pain.If only someone was around he could have been saved.