Diary – 22nd December 2020: I’m Sorry, Dad.

For the last few weeks, my head has been constantly spinning; the progression of Dad’s illness has taken a catastrophic turn. I’m exhausted, constantly concerned, and above all else, heartbroken to see what this disease has done to my determined and courageous father.

On Friday evening, following a serious incident, the decision was made by his medical team and (reluctantly) myself as Power of Attorney, that he was no longer safe and his care package needed to be reviewed urgently.

The consequence of that is that today – just three days before Christmas and after the worst year to date – I have the heart-wrenching responsibility of packing a bag and driving Dad to a full-time care home, where he will stay.

To make it worse, because of Covid and Tier 4 restrictions, I don’t even know when I’ll be able to see him again; a fact I’ve purposefully omitted from discussions with Dad. Perhaps selfishly, because the magnitude of that fact, is just too much for me to take.

Deep down, as tears pour down my face, I know that this is the right decision, and the level of care and support the home will provide is beyond anything I or his current team could. More than anything, I hope he will be happy there.

But beneath the rational “positives”, I feel hurt and guilt on a new level and I just want to tell Dad that I love him and how sorry I am;

I’m sorry that I’ve had to lie to you and tell you it’s a ‘holiday’. I’m sorry I’ve had to take this choice away from you. I’m sorry I couldn’t get social services to move faster and support you to live independently for longer. I’m sorry we don’t get to have this final Christmas together. I’m sorry I don’t know when I’ll next see you.

I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger.

But I will be strong for you today. I owe you that.