Lessons learnt through life's Hard Knock's.

#1
It was brought home to me, at the weekend about those lessons in life that you hear about and are told, but do not always take on board....or sometimes too late, even when the warning signs are looking you right in the face.

My much loved father passed away early Sunday, after a long period of declining health and to be brutally honest, having lost the will to look after himself. After going through the various phases of desperately trying to get him to look after himself ( at home with mum ) by using ...bribery.. emotional blackmail.. getting him involved in planning future events.. constantly running around, doing everything for him ( even though he could do it himself )...and finally I was at the stage of bollocking him constantly and even avoiding him to try to get him to get up from his chair and do what he needed to and look after his health.

He then passes away, and I am left with the very unpleasant thought, that will not leave me, that I have been purposely avoiding him and arguing with him for the past weeks.

Lesson Learnt.

If you are on good terms with your parents, bloody well cherish them, and let them know on a regular basis, how much you care.



Anyone else had the bleeding obvious shoved in their face like this?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
If you are on good terms with your parents
Yes, and there's the clincher. You may not be on good terms and it may not be your fault. It doesn't stop those who are/were on good terms from pre-judging you, though.

You may only get one set of parents but if they make it impossible to have a relationship with them, cherishing them is pretty pointless.
 

westendboy

On ROPS
On ROPs
#3
Everybody feels this way after the fact.

We have to deal with death in our own ways.

I didn`t get all teary when my parents died because I didn`t miss them.

Horses for courses I guess.
 
B

Beans-on-toast

Guest
#4
Wise words indeed. Don't tear yourself up about it, you are expressing regret over your actions during a very unpleasant and stressful period. You sound like one of the good guys, yes, we could all have behaved better at times. To err is human. All the best to you.
 
#5
My father passed on a few year back , Mother lives about 35 miles away , I am on a constant guilt trip about how often I see her , it's very difficult with work commitments and my own family etc. I have another brother who sees her more often , he lives considerably closer though. My Mother understands , but it doesn't make me feel any better regarding this situation.
 
#6
I have often thought over the last 4 years about what I could have done differently when my wife died.

Although I am fairly sure that I couldn't have/wouldn't have.

As said up there ↑ it's a trait that makes us human, so don't tear yourself up about it.

Try and recall the good times as you move on.

I am sorry for your loss.
 

Rod924

LE
Kit Reviewer
#7
Firstly, sorry for your loss. Whilst you can't alter events which now make you question yourself, the reality is that you did actually do all you could under the circumstances for the very best of reasons. It's bloody tough watching your folks grow frail and old; that was not in the script.

Your focus now is on looking out for your Mum
 
#8
My father was in many way's very similar to yours by what you have written. He was found to have asbestosis and the writing was on the wall. A large part of his illness was paranoia setting in. It wasn't his fault, he was ill but there were some obvious comparisons between his behaviour when he was ill and how he behaved when he was in good health. My father was often prone to be a selfish man. The difference was that when he was in good health, he knew when he was crossing the line and he adjusted his behaviour. When he was ill, he lost that ability to either recognise it or to want to do anything about it.

His selfish streak wasn't an ugly thing. He didn't harm anyone by it. It was often more of an inconvenience and sometimes an unnecessary one from the point of view of others. My father was a genuine product of the school of hard knocks.

His parents were poor but very hard working. When he left school he took labouring jobs on building sites and back in those days, that kind of work was back breaking graft. He then got drafted into the war firstly serving in the Royal Navy on Atlantic convoys and then being transferred across into the army where he served as an infantryman firstly in the far east where he was wounded and then back in Europe where he fought in Germany until the end of the war.

When he left the army, he joined a welding firm where he gained his welding papers but after a few years, he went off on his own finding work as a general builder. He took on anything that came along although his main bread and butter was groundwork. Back in those days before earth moving equipment was around, everything was done by hand. He had roughly fifty blokes working for him, most of them were Irish lads and he had to be on top of it all otherwise people would try to take advantage. My father used to say to me that he could fight and beat any of the men who worked for him. That wasn't so much of a boast but a statement that he needed to be tough to make it all work as it should do.

That's why he was sometimes a handful to be around and of course when he became ill, it amplified itself enormously. He was as skinny as a rake. This was down to his diet. He often ate a couple of shredded wheat with fat free milk instead of a proper meal. He insisted the milk had to be fat free because he had been told to cut back on his cholesterol. It was obvious that he needed beefing up to give him a fighting chance to fight the illness. My brother and myself went out to Tesco's and filled a shopping trolley up with good tasty food. We took it home and cooked him a decent meal. He tasted a couple of mouthfuls and then asked his partner to get him some shredded wheat with the fat free milk. What a waste of food and we couldn't make him see why he should eat properly whatever we said to him.

The bottom line was that my father who had run his business and given instructions to those who worked for him all his life thought he could control all the processes that involved his illness. He right from the very first when he was told the diagnosis all the way through until his death roughly eighteen months later refused to accept the opinion and often the practical help of anybody else in the belief that he knew best what he needed to do. His state of mental health declined but his attitude and stubbornness remained resolute.

The hospital where he was for the last few weeks of his life had to have him sectioned to stop him leaving. He blamed everybody, particularly myself and my brother for him having to stay there. I knew he wasn't going to be around much longer and when the hospital started saying they were going to look for a nursing home for him, I spoke to them about bringing him home for a while. I wanted to give him his last wish although I knew it was going to be a trial for us all but I wanted to give him what I knew would be his last wish.

The hospital were dragging their feet because of the funding. It was cheaper for the health authorities to keep him in residential care than it was to send him home. I insisted that he was coming home and was trawling around the various agencies looking for what help we could get so he could come home.

My father though didn't survive long enough to get out of the hospital. The day before he died, he seemed very angry and was talking forcefully to me and my brother but his illness was so bad, his lips were moving but he couldn't make any noises. I got the impression he was telling us how disappointed he was with us because he was still there and not at home.

So it wasn't an easy time for us and I appreciate what you have been through. Life is often ugly. That's something that many squaddies learn when they are sent to places where sad and ugly things happen. It's still a real shit thing though when it's your own family. You have to just crack on with life.
 
Last edited:

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
@BaldBaBoon - might I suggest that the very fact that you're questioning yourself suggests that you probably got a lot right. It's the unthinking, carry-on-regardless types who tend to be the sh1ts.

My post above was a knee-jerk reaction following another weekend of dealing with two parents who seem determined to drink themselves to death. I should have added my condolences.

C_C
 
#10
I see mine every day when I'm home, nip in for a mug of tea, a use of their washing machine and to check they are both still breathing

It can be painful sometimes but they are gonna shuffle off at some stage and i need to keep an eye on the prize
 
#11
My Nan had a fall at 97, went to hospital & moved to a local care home.
She told my mum is did not want to live or be in a care home.
48hrs later she died, local GP put down old age on death certificate.
Up until her fall & hospital stay she was going to London most days.
Knew all the staff at the underground and just loved life.
 
#12
Working abroad and both mine are still alive. It's their 63rd wedding anniversary today. But when ET phoned home yesterday mum sounded terrible with a chest infection and dad has got arthritis in both feet. I am an only child (adopted) but luckily my cousin checks in regularly and I get home regularly. But I am aware that one day I will get a telephone call I don't want:cry:
 
#13
Dear ARRSE,

Having read the recent thread about lessons learnt through life posted by BaldBaBoon I thought to proffer my views.

I know that the baldy bugger only had his dad's welfare in mind and that he tried his very best. Please tell him it's okay, I carried out his dad's induction and familiarisation training up here and BaldBaBoon (Snr) said he loves him and to stop beating himself up about this...things will get better.

He also said he can have the last of the beer in the fridge and can he take the bins out this week as mum will probably forget.

Yours aye

God
No.1 Front Street
Heaven
WC1
 
L

lumpy2

Guest
#14
@BaldBaBoon - it's natural to wish we could have done things differently after the event.

Your reaction to your father's declining interest in looking after himself is sometimes called "tough love" - i.e. you behaved that way in the hope that he would respond. People do this all the time with their relatives (especially teenagers!), the only difference being that your Dad sadly passed away.

I'm in a similar situation with my mother who, at 94, has no interest in anything and basically has not wanted to live for many years now. I am not a trained carer, and I bet you aren't either, but one thing I'm certain of is that your father appreciated being able to stay in his own home - better the "devil you know" rather than surrounded by strangers at the end of his life.

Don't beat yourself up any longer.

Condolences and best wishes to you and yours.

(Sorry if this is not very eloquent)
 
#15
@BaldBaBoon - it's natural to wish we could have done things differently after the event.

Your reaction to your father's declining interest in looking after himself is sometimes called "tough love" - i.e. you behaved that way in the hope that he would respond. People do this all the time with their relatives (especially teenagers!), the only difference being that your Dad sadly passed away.

I'm in a similar situation with my mother who, at 94, has no interest in anything and basically has not wanted to live for many years now. I am not a trained carer, and I bet you aren't either, but one thing I'm certain of is that your father appreciated being able to stay in his own home - better the "devil you know" rather than surrounded by strangers at the end of his life.

Don't beat yourself up any longer.

Condolences and best wishes to you and yours.

(Sorry if this is not very eloquent)

Dunno about tough love Lumpy.

Sometimes things like this impact so much on someone that it's more a case of having to walk away for a bit or get some distance as opposed to anything else. I did it for a bit when I was nursing me dad through terminal cancer.

Felt like a bit of a sh*t for doing it, maybe it's a little self preservation brought about by a feeling of inability to change things.

And when me son baby jebus was on the cross I just left him there, the beardy bigheaded magical twat.

Yours

God
WC1
 
#16
Dunno about tough love Lumpy.

Sometimes things like this impact so much on someone that it's more a case of having to walk away for a bit or get some distance as opposed to anything else. I did it for a bit when I was nursing me dad through terminal cancer.

Felt like a bit of a sh*t for doing it, maybe it's a little self preservation brought about by a feeling of inability to change things.

And when me son baby jebus was on the cross I just left him there, the beardy bigheaded magical twat.

Yours

God
WC1
A few years back I saw a counsellor to straighten a few bits of the head out. One of the most valuable lessons to come out of the experience was/is that it's okay to be selfish. Sometimes, it's very necessary - otherwise, others will just use you up. You hit the nail on the head with self-preservation.

The 'convention' is that you must keep on and keep on giving. It's right to challenge that convention sometimes and it does not make the less person for doing so or stepping away. Sometimes, stepping away is also bloody hard, too.
 
#17
Being from the north-east, hugging wasn't a thing my dad and I ever did, and saying 'I love you' to your dad just wasn't done. After I moved to London and spent time with the shandy-drinking southern poofs I got in to the habit of hugging and being a little more demonstrative, so when I went back to the Boro on the odd week-end I'd hug my dad - and tell him that I loved him. He was surprised at first, and not comfortable with it, but he soon came to accept it and like it.

We moved to HK and just 4 months after we got here I had a phone call from a nurse to say my dad had been admitted to hospital. We got back 24 hours later and it was too late. At least I know that the last time I spoke to him on the phone I told him that I loved him. That's one regret I don't have.

It's something that I've carried over to my daughter. She's almost 11 and we fight like hell, but when I drop her off for the school bus in the morning I always tell her I love her - just in case.
 
#18
A few years back I saw a counsellor to straighten a few bits of the head out. One of the most valuable lessons to come out of the experience was/is that it's okay to be selfish. Sometimes, it's very necessary - otherwise, others will just use you up. You hit the nail on the head with self-preservation.

The 'convention' is that you must keep on and keep on giving. It's right to challenge that convention sometimes and it does not make the less person for doing so or stepping away. Sometimes, stepping away is also bloody hard, too.
Whilst I was going through an excruciating divorce many years my Dad offered a few words of advice (and this from one of the most unselfish people I know)

"It's OK to be selfish at times like this son. If you don't look out for yourself and end up jobless, homeless and broke, you'll be in no position to help your family, friends and parents when we need you to be there for us one day"

I was selfish for a while whilst I got my shit together, and he was right. My daughter needed me when she started self harming, I think I talked a friend out of topping himself, and when Dad contracted cancer 3 years ago I paid back all the support he'd given me. In his last days when he was on enough morphine to fell an elephant, he apologised for his condition affecting the rest of the family. All I said was, "It's your time to be selfish Dad, you've earned it"
 
#19
It was brought home to me, at the weekend about those lessons in life that you hear about and are told, but do not always take on board....or sometimes too late, even when the warning signs are looking you right in the face.

My much loved father passed away early Sunday, after a long period of declining health and to be brutally honest, having lost the will to look after himself. After going through the various phases of desperately trying to get him to look after himself ( at home with mum ) by using ...bribery.. emotional blackmail.. getting him involved in planning future events.. constantly running around, doing everything for him ( even though he could do it himself )...and finally I was at the stage of bollocking him constantly and even avoiding him to try to get him to get up from his chair and do what he needed to and look after his health.

He then passes away, and I am left with the very unpleasant thought, that will not leave me, that I have been purposely avoiding him and arguing with him for the past weeks.

Lesson Learnt.

If you are on good terms with your parents, bloody well cherish them, and let them know on a regular basis, how much you care.



Anyone else had the bleeding obvious shoved in their face like this?
Without sounding blunt, Everyone of us have.

A couple of years back my eldest brother died aged 50, fit no signs of anything..then same year my old mum past away, it makes the whole world seem different when its close to home, as much as you ask , could I have helped in anyway, could I have done something else, should I , could I have cared more, Its just sometimes very difficult but you never see it coming:
 
#20
Being from the north-east, hugging wasn't a thing my dad and I ever did, and saying 'I love you' to your dad just wasn't done. After I moved to London and spent time with the shandy-drinking southern poofs I got in to the habit of hugging and being a little more demonstrative, so when I went back to the Boro on the odd week-end I'd hug my dad - and tell him that I loved him. He was surprised at first, and not comfortable with it, but he soon came to accept it and like it.
Your welcomed in my part of the south..
 

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