Right now, as I sit on the pink polka dot floor of my room, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew are rearranging furniture in our house, and I am crying as I write this, unable to help, or see clearly (through my tears).
My father is dying. He’s getting weaker and weaker, sometimes unable to talk clearly. The man who filled our house with singing his own made up songs about everything from taking pills to brushing teeth, making our lives a musical, sometimes has a speaking voice so weak that we can’t understand him.
I know he is dying. I’ve known for months. Time doesn’t make it any easier. Watching him get sicker, and knowing there is nothing I can do to make it better hurts a lot.
This furniture moving is making it worse. I know we are getting rid of a couch, and moving an old antique radio, and an antique sewing machine downstairs, to make room for a new medical chair we are getting. It will allow him to sit up, stand up and lay down all in the same chair.
But for me, it’s not an improvement, it’s one step closer to death. The part of our family, who doesn’t live here, is in the process of making our house a hospital room, where Dad will eventually die.
In a few weeks…
I don’t know. I have no idea, but I can see it getting closer and closer, and it hurts.
It hurts so deeply, I can’t express it.
I felt this pain before, when other’s died. My grandfather’s death at age 11, was the first death. I never knew there was a pain that was so unimaginable until then. He was alive in my dreams, but when I woke up, he was dead again.
And then my other grandparents, and an uncle died.
To help me deal with the death of one of grandmother, I read almost every book Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote. I knew about death, and the stages of dying, and I was reassured that I was going through all the right stages.
I’ve almost died myself, not once but many times. The first was when I was a baby, and my parents were told I would died in infancy. I didn’t.
The second was when I turned blue, and wasn’t crying as a baby. My mother shook me until I gasped a breath of air, and started to cry.
The other’s included escaping a house fire in only my pajamas, and a car accident that involved a semitrailer, among other things.
The last was when I crashed in the ICU on Christmas Day, two years ago. I saw my grandparents walk by. I wanted to follow, but my Grampa turned around and said “where we are going, you can not come.”
That has haunted me ever since. Why couldn’t I go? Why didn’t I have more time to visit?
But all of that, doesn’t make my father’s death any easier. It doesn’t make the guilt of focusing on myself, through this blog, through my physiotherapy (I waited 18 months to see a physiotherapist after being in the ICU), through my writing, through the countless other things I do for myself, any less.
It doesn’t make the pain of knowing that I will be there for my father’s last breath, and then…
He will be gone and he will never come back.
I fought so hard to make my mother healthy, when she had untreated Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, but I can’t fix this.
I don’t know how. I want to be super daughter, like I was for my mother. I want to get a cure, the right doctor, anything, but I can’t because I just don’t know what to do.
And emotionally, I am falling apart. I cry everyday. I hurt. I feel guilty. I’m overwhelmed. I’m paralyzed with fear. I can’t make decisions (even the simplest), and I burst into tears at the smallest provocation.
I don’t know what I’ll do when Dad is dead, but if he lingers for years, and everyday is like this day for years, I don’t know if I’ll survive. I might completely fall apart.
But… I think he might die soon anyway. Everyday gets worse and worse. He’s not sleeping well, but he sleeps often. He’s talking softly. He’s saying his good byes to friends and family.
And through I it all, I am losing more and more places that I can be comfortable and that I can just sit and heal, and be calm, because the house is being taken over by medical chairs, and equipment, and my favourite places to sit and be are being encroached on.
Ironically when it’s all done and over with, I’ll probably cry just as hard, about the furniture being rearranged into a better and more livable space for Mom and I…