I have always been a daydreamer my whole life. My dad and I used to joke that on the 45 minute ride to Newington my first year working when I would ride in with my dad that neither of us spoke because we were too busy daydreaming. About a month ago I was thinking of a friend at work whose brother had died and I began to daydream about my worst nightmare (other than something happening to my husband or kids) was my dad dying. I started to think about what it would be like to have to deal with that kind of loss...I quickly pushed it out of my head as morbid and something not ever worth thinking about. Little did I know that my nightmare would become reality in less than a week.
On the 20th I happened to hear my phone buzz on my desk while my student teacher was teaching to see a text from my mom saying my dad had collapsed and he was being taken to the hospital. I quickly called her and realized that this was no fucking joke...that it didn't look good and my mom clearly was scared and used the word...unresponsive. Thankfully my friend Gina drove me the hour to the hospital and I will forever be thankful that she was there for me in that moment. Gina dropped me at the emergency exit and when I asked at the desk about my dad...I knew it wasn't good when they had my name on a list and quickly escorted me to the back....then my world crumbled when I saw that I was being taken to the hospital chapel. All I remember was crying and yelling that I didn't want to go in the fucking chapel....I just said over and over again that I didn't want to go in there....I knew what that meant.
Apparently after spending the morning shooting with his best friend he slumped over in the car while talking on the way out of the club. His friend quickly turned around and at the club a male nurse started CPR immediately. Despite his efforts and the EMT's and the dr's there was nothing they could do. My father was gone in an instant. A am oddly comforted that he wasn't in pain, that he never knew it was coming, that he was gone in a flash. The emergency doctor said based on how he presented it was most likely an aneurysm...they asked if I wanted an autopsy done. For me...the why no longer mattered just that he was gone.
The rest of the next days are still sort of a blur......I remember living them but I swear that I didn't breath for days. There are still some days I don't. I can honestly say I have lived a privileged life that I have never experienced a loss like this in my life. The gravity of this loss I can't even being to put into words. There are no words for it.
I know I spoke at my father's funeral and I sort of rehearsed what I said about my dad but I honestly don't remember what I said. I just know I wanted everyone there to know just want I want everyone who reads this to know.
I HAD THE BEST DAD....I did. I was one lucky girl. I had a dad who loved me. Endlessly every moment of my life. The only thing my father loved more than me was my children which made me love him even more. The loss of that kind of love is immeasurable.
I am a devastated mess. I cry ever day on my way to work...I cry when my kids say they miss my dad. Or like tonight I weep as my daughter asks me why grandpa can't come back. The only thing worse than my own loss is to the loss that my kids are suffering. I can't even address how devastated my mom is. I am usually one to pretend I am ok....but I promised myself I wouldn't bottle this up. Pretend I am ok-please. I am not fucking ok.....I am so far from ok I don't even know where the land of ok is. I get up every day because I have to go to work and have a family who needs to me. All I want to do is sit around and have a pity party. Some days I do have one. For those people in my real life who read this...please know I need you-Even on the good days I am hanging on by a thread. I know this is part of the grieving process....doesn't make it suck any less.
I think what is also overwhelming is I have several friends and coworkers, and shockingly several students and former students who all lost parents at a much younger age then me. I don't know how they did it. How they managed to continue to function. To be "normal". The thought of how hard it must have been for them...and maybe still is. Yet, it is also good to know that there is another side of this. One where this hurt-the hole in my life won't seem so big-so insurmountable.
Yet...I know what I have to do. That is one foot in front of the other. That is exactly what my dad would have wanted. My father always said his biggest fear was dying a slow death or becoming an old falling apart man in a nursing home. I take solace in knowing that he lived the last years of his life doing what he loved. I know he would argue with god about the time frame and missing out on seeing his grandkids grow up. I know he wouldn't want us to be sad for him...this is what he wanted. So I will try and remember that in those moments where the loss of him takes my breath away.
I have realized through this that I am a lucky girl. I know the reason this hurts so bad is because I did have such an amazing dad. I know some many people who didn't have the kind of dad I did. They weren't loved the way I was....for that I will be grateful everyday of my life. My dad loved me and I loved him....there is nothing left to say other than that.
I loved him and he loved me....and that will never change
|My dad and my kids on their picture day before he took them to school-4 days before he died|