My dad died.
It was sudden and absolutely unexpected.
A cerebral hemorrhage.
I’ll never be able to hug him again.
Talk to him again.
He won’t get to travel with my mom, or enjoy the rewards of the work and hell and pain they both went through when he had both knees replaced and worked so incredibly hard in rehab all summer.
He’ll never be able to walk me down the aisle.
I’ll never bless him with a grandchild.
There are a few model kits in the garage that I’ve sent him as gifts, but he’ll never build them.
There was a load of his clothes in the dryer when we got back to my parents’ house Wednesday, and I folded them carefullly, but I knew he’d never put them on.
Doug and my brother Jeff spent Wednesday raking leaves and cleaning up the yard, which would have been his first priority if he was home. They did an amazing job. He’d be glad.
The pastor who will conduct the service came over today to talk to my mom and all of us, and he asked me if I’d want to speak during the memorial service. I know I should, but I don’t know if I can.
I’m so bereft, so ripped up. I’m trying to help my mom and do what needs to be done. I can get through the logistical challenges (as long as they’re nicely sequential, one by one, hour by hour). But I don’t think I’m capable of writing a eulogy at this point. Which makes me feel useless. Disrespectful. Uncreative. Disappointing. Cold.
Friends and neighbors have stopped by all week and brought/sent flowers, amazing food, desserts, a gigantic and gorgeous plant, so many condolences. My dad, even in his disabled state, got out into the neighborhood and made a difference in all these peoples’ lives. They adored him. I see a reflection of his kindness and personality in the people who have visited in the past couple of days. They’re shocked, stunned, and they miss him.
My instinct is to retreat, curl up with Doug and get as far away as possible from what’s expected of me. I’ve been trying to help my mom, but it’s not easy. And when I’m asked by the minister to talk about what my dad meant to me? I’m struck dumb. It’s huge, it’s private, I can’t compose a eulogy as much as I know I need to.
I guess I don’t want to.
I think it’s going to take awhile to figure some of this out. His death was so sudden. I’m scared. All my thoughts about him these past several months have been positive, praying he’d be able to start living a life free of pain and enjoying retirement with my mom. Traveling. Making the most of this precious time together, and getting the better of the disability that had hamstrung their life. Now everything that’s happened this week feels like a slap in the face from the god I’ve prayed to, so cruel and deliberate. And I never got to say goodbye, at least not when he could hear me. All my goodbyes, and I’m sorrys, and I love yous happened when he was brain-dead but still warm and “breathing” and seeming alive. None of that makes a whit of difference. And I know it’s not very Christian, but I am so fucking furious at any god who would do this. (And subsequently, I’m pretty angry at any pastor who’s going on about all our salvation and deigning to ask me about my relationship with my father.)
I feel entirely broken, and my main comfort has been my wonderful Doug, who is weathering the weird family dynamics, and many personal emotions that I don’t feel right trying to describe. All I know is that if he weren’t here? I couldn’t have made it through these past five days, and certainly couldn’t in the days to come. I don’t know how I got so lucky.