Monday, March 24, 2008

What the...

I was looking at the date of my last post. September 5th, 2007. The next day was my dad's birthday. The next day was the day he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. He passed on November 12th. I think. I'd have to look up the exact date. I haven't burnt it into my memory. It was brutal to watch him go like that. He was such a strong, proud man. He had his faults but don't we all? Watching him waste away to nothing was like going to a never-ending horror movie.

We (my sister and I, plus Letty and Scott, our spouses) went through all the stages of grief that they talk about. Him too. I think it's a lot harder to look our own mortality in the face than we think. At least for me. Maybe for him. At the end he really looked like he wanted to go. The hospice came in, medicated him up, and just like that, about 10 days later, he was gone. Maybe less, maybe more. You lose track of time, of days, and weeks when you are going through something like that. Just like that, in two months that seemed like two years that seemed like two days, he was gone. The end.

I wasn't there when he passed. Shelly called me. "I think he's dead." I told her I would be right over, I was sleeping, Shelly and I had been taking turns watching him. Me, during the day after I got off of work in the morning , and she when she got off of work at night. The last week Shelly stayed with him constantly. I would come over in the morning for a few hours, sleep on the couch, and just give her a little company and relief. He just layed there. The medicine had rendered him incapable of communicating with us.

Letty dropped me off at my dad's place. I ran up the stairs. Shelly was crying. Scott and Tory (my niece) were sitting on the couch, I think they were numb. I walked into his bedroom. His eyes were open. He wasn't breathing. It's not like in the movies. You don't just walk over to a corpse and gently pull down the eyelids. Those suckers aren't moving. Needless to say, it was a little unsettling to have your dead father staring at you. That's not the proper choice of words. He wasn't really my father anymore. The life force, soul, or whatever you want to call it had left him. It's noticeable. The first time I experienced that was seeing my grandparents open casket. When I was about twenty I started losing friends and noticed that about them also. Our bodies are only vessels for our souls. I don't know what happens to them after we pass, but they definitely leave.

Wow. This post wasn't supposed to be about this. I was just going to do a brief update of what I had been up to. I guess I needed to write about it. It's funny how you react when you go through trauma. The different levels of denial and rationalization that you go through to make yourself alright at that particular time. Part of mine was to lose the desire to write about what was going on. Maybe putting this down in black and white will get me back on track. I don't think that I feel particularly better writing this but sometimes we need to take action and that's what I am doing. Action.