Something that has been very present this year in my life is the pain and struggles of losing my dad. My mom, my brother and I have been trying to get through each day and not really looking at the future. Yesterday for some reason smacked me in the face with the sudden and depressing realization that I’ll never hug him again.
I was listening to music at my desk, settling into a usual Monday when all of a sudden, I remember a very scary morning with my parents. We were out to breakfast and my dad went outside to “get some fresh air”. He was out there for a bit and it was pretty cold out. My dad was on blood thinners because of his heart condition, so we paid and left to check on him. Turns out he was coughing up blood and didn’t really want to make a big deal of it. It was everywhere. I called my boyfriend who was down the street freaking out. He came to help and try to talk my dad into calling an ambulance. My mom was very upset, but trying to give him water. He was conscious, standing up and leaning against the truck, looking off into the distance just swishing water around in his mouth. But I’ll never forget how distant his eyes were. He had very blue eyes, but one was slightly green, which my brother inherited. And he stood there, not really talking, just trying to make the blood lessen. He was getting cold and started shaking, so we got him into the warm truck. The bleeding started to slow down.
Later we found out it was because of very dry sinuses and throat that was causing the bleeding. But I’ll never forget the look he wore standing there in the cold, wishing for everything going wrong with him to stop. He didn’t have to say it; his facial expression said it all. He was sick of it. Sick of the doctors, the ambulances, the poking and prodding, the blood, CT scans, surgery…he was sick of the pain.
For some reason, it just seemed too much yesterday. Too real. Too hard to deal with. Too aggravating. My dad didn’t deserve what he was going through – I understand that no one does, but for a 52 year old who had a lot left to do in his life, it feels very unfair that he had to go. It feels like I was robbed, my mom was robbed, my brother and my dad all cut short of life, laughter and love. It took a long time to get to an okay point where I could openly and vocally say he was gone. But as the year anniversary comes closer, it seems so impossible that it has been almost 12 months. I remember things like they were last week, a day ago…I dream he’s still here: happy, laughing and able to walk and function without pain.
It’s coming out of a coma…that’s what this feels like. It feels like I’ve been asleep, dreaming of every day after he passed –but now ready to wake up and find him sitting in the kitchen. But my reality is intact and I know that he isn’t there. The sadness sets in, and I’m left at square one – trying to figure out the next week, the next month, and the next five years.
Death is the price of life. But sometimes, I feel like the price is higher than what was received.