Saturday, July 12, 2008

He Left Us on Wednesday

Hello everyone. I wish my first post after my semi-long hiatus was a good one, but the news is not good. My father passed away last week, three months after he left home for good to be cared for in a convalescent home. A reflection of that day's events is posted on my sister's blog and is written so well that I'm going to provide you with a link to her site rather than recap it here myself. You can go to .

I do want to talk about my own emotions of that day because, after all, that is what blogging does best. It's serves an important role as a therapeutic outlet for emotionally difficult and incomprehensible events.

I was on pins and needles the whole day. The convalescent home called at 7 am to say he was taken to the hospital unresponsive. Being unresponsive had happened just a few days before, but Gladys was there and with the nurses' help they were able to revive him. With no further information, I held out hope the same would be true this time with the aid of top of the line hospital equipment and specially trained staff. When I called the ER and spoke with the nurse she told me his vitals were critical. With each passing phone call I grew more worried and agitated, but I refused to extinguish the tiny glimmer of hope. I continued to work with my dogs, but my heart and head were not in it. In fact, I had very little patience with all of them, and that in turn upset me more. I was on a dog walk when my sister called to tell me the end had come. I fast walked him home, pulling him along every time he wanted to stop and sniff, raising my shaky voice to him, literally crying out "let's go!". I was annoyed that at that moment I was stuck in public working and I couldn't just sit and grieve. That moment passed and I have not felt that again so far. Therefore, I have not properly grieved. I'm sure when I am out in CA with my sister the moment and feelings will arise again and I will be able to let go for good.

Later that day, when I could just sit and ponder, I felt relief at his passing. It is what I've wanted for a little while now because I thought it would be best for everyone. I also felt overwhelmed by the planning that was ahead for me. There was travel to buy, and mortuary arrangements, and coverage for my business while I'm gone, etc. We had one travel snafu where we booked our fares before we knew for sure when the memorial would be held. We assumed it could all happen within a week of his death. So, I was on the phone with customer service three hours before my scheduled flight departed getting it changed. Alas, we are not the ones in control this time. Gladys is handling affairs at the mortuary and the American Legion where his memorial will be held. Interestingly, while Dad was alive and sick, Gladys was always too upset to be very helpful with his care, but now she is on top of details and doing all the right things. Truthfully, I am happy to let her run with it. We just have to oversee the spending because Dad has left nothing. He had good intentions when he took out a life insurance policy 18 months ago for burial costs. However, if the person has not had the policy for at least two years, they can review his medical records and may just determine to withhold the benefits. They can find he has been "sick" with cancer for years and years even though that is not what he died from.

I am looking forward to getting this behind me. I can't wait to see my sister and leave my demanding life so I can properly focus on closure. One more week.