Sunday, August 28, 2011

The messy business of dying...

Dying is messy... Especially when you die slowly and not instantly (i.e. from an accident). I don't think I will ever forget the "beep beep" alarm from the monitor in my dad's last 36hrs. It keeps replaying on a loop in my head, ringing in my ears for the past 2 days now.

I am afraid  I will forget his voice... I have so many regrets. I fear I did something wrong and he is angry with me.
When they told us it is hopeless, I accepted it and said I didn't want him in pain.. but when he was slipping the only thought in my head was "No! I was wrong! I changed my mind!! Do everything, ANYTHING, just make him better!!"
I don't know if he made peace and if he wanted to die. I know he didn't want to die but maybe in the last moments you make your peace and you are OK... I don't know if he was/did. All I know is when he slipped into a coma, they gave him a shot that woke him up very briefly and Andrew, my brother, asked him if he is in pain, and he moved his eyebrows upwards in a "no" motion. That's all he wanted, not to be in pain, however he did not want to die...

I wish my last memories of him weren't the ones I have. I wish I had the luxury of not seeing him in a coma, struggling, I wish I hadn't heard the agony moans, I wish I hadn't felt his breath under my fingertips and his heart's last beats. Dying is messy... it is not peaceful like you see in the movies. I saw it, and I've felt it and it was not easy or a "release" at all.
But I was determined he wouldn't die alone. Even though we had never discussed it, in my heart I felt he did not want to go alone, he was afraid and even though I hadn't slept in two days, even though my pain was unbearable, I stayed there and held his hand and I kept saying "I love you" over and over again until the burdens and the pain of this world got to be too much for him.
His heart held on for 36 hrs. He fought valiantly, he was SO brave.. I want to be just like him...

Now, there are a hundred little details I need to take care of. He was expecting to die, he hadn't made any back up plans... he hadn't any money saved up for a funeral. He hadn't paid his bills or the rent. Silly little things, I know, but still, these need to be taken care of.
Dying is messy... and painful for us left behind. I need to make peace with things as well.

My dad was a great man, one of those honest, good men, joking and laughing his way until the last minute of his life. I miss him more than words can say..


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