Friday, June 9, 2017

Goodbye, Daddy

I lost my father early this morning.

I'm just... I don't know. I don't know what I am right now, what I feel.

Yes, we were expecting it, but not this fast, not this quickly. I wasn't quite ready, damn it. He started declining fast a couple days ago. We'd been told weeks to days, probably days as fast as he was declining. I spent the afternoon with him yesterday and went home to sleep. I wasn't with him when he died. My sister was... she knew it was happening and didn't call me to wake me up to come be with him when he passed. 

As a matter of fact, she posted it on Facebook before she called me around 1:30 this morning. 

I wasn't with him. I spent the last nine years since my mother died taking care of him, and my sister stole my final moments with him, my goodbye, for reasons I don't know. He'd already been gone for about an hour when I finally got to him. The warmth was already gone from his body. 

I wasn't there. And he left. 

She had no right to steal those moments for herself. 

I'm hurt, I'm angry... I can't grieve yet because I haven't been able to accept yet that I wasn't there when he went. I wasn't with him for his final breath. 

I'm numb. I'm humbled by the outpouring of love and support I've received today. I'm tired. I'm so, so damn tired but I don't want to sleep. 

Maybe it was purposeful. Maybe he couldn't, wouldn't, let go while I was with him. I can understand that. I'm his baby. I was the youngest and I was... hell, I was his favorite. He told me that. Between me and my sister, he loved me best. My sister knew that. Maybe that's why she stole that final moment from me. I can let her have that, I suppose. Because in the end, I was the one who was always, always there for him no matter what. 

Whatever... that's not really what's important, is it? I'm 47 but I feel like a child right now. I have no parents now. 

He was there for me every single day of my life, no matter what, no matter when, no matter how. If I needed something, my father was there. He never, ever let me down. 

Amazing man. Simply amazing. I don't have the words yet to describe the incredible things my dad did. 

He made me. He loved me. Unconditionally. He was my hero. 

I just can't accept that he's gone. Not yet. It doesn't feel real yet. Tears come in fits but I've not be able to just... break down like I know I need to. My job is done. I was the caretaker. What comes next is all on my family. I had the responsibilities before death. After is theirs. 

I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. Spent the afternoon and evening with my family. There is no funeral to plan. We don't do that in my family. He will be cremated and his ashes scattered in several beautiful places of his choosing, places where we scattered Mom's ashes, and my brother's. In a couple of weeks there will be a going-away party. I'll be consulted, but I won't do the planning. I suggested the place, the rest is up to them. 

So I've got nothing to do. It's been less than 24 hours and I have nothing to do. I didn't get to say goodbye, and thank you, and I love you, and now I have nothing to do. I should be doing something. I don't know what. 

Sleeping, probably. My brothers are at the hotel bar, toasting Dad with the finest Kentucky bourbons. My nieces and nephews are taking the rare opportunity to hit the bars together. My sister is pouting because we're not all sitting at her house in our mourning clothes consoling her.

And I'm just sitting here, mindlessly typing, listening to my phone chirping across the room with more condolences. 

I'm not religious. I'm not an atheist but I'm not really spiritual, either. I'm agnostic. I have no idea what happens after we die. More than anything, I'm hoping that there is something, and somewhere my mom and dad are together again, finally, continuing their storybook love affair. 

I'm surrounded by confirmation biases everywhere I look. Everything is a sign. When I was driving home early this morning, a streetlamp burned out. I took that as Dad saying goodbye. When Mom passed away, the power went out during her going-away party while Dad and I sobbed watching a slideshow of photos of her. I took that as her telling us to stop crying and start laughing. When I got home today, my power had gone out. I want to believe it was her and Dad, together, goofing around and letting me know everything was okay.

When I was a little girl, Daddy and I danced a lot. He was a jazz musician... a sax player. He loved Sinatra and when we'd dance, me standing on his feet as we swung us around the room, he'd often sing this song, our song. He'd change the lyrics every time to make me laugh... "the way you blow your nose, the way you twinkle your toes..." Nonsense lyrics, never made sense, never mattered... the laughter and giggles mattered.

No, no... they can't take that away from me.
I love you, Daddy. Forever and always, every second, every moment between the seconds. You were, and are, my everything. 

1 comment:

  1. Sending you and your family my warmest thoughts, sympathy and condolences


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