I’ve been with my mom for three weeks now, a week and a half since my dad passed. All the other relatives have returned home, but I’m still needed here to support her and tidy up all the loose ends. Yesterday, we chose a burial plot for his cremains. We also went to visitation for a good friend of his who passed a week after he did.
All of life seems to be about death right now. Maybe that’s why I broke down last night and cried for my dad to come back and tell me it is all OK. I opened his bedroom door, hoping to see his ghost, but didn’t. I lay in bed, hoping his image would appear at the door with a twinkle in his eyes and a loving smile, but nothing was to be seen. I, his 50 year old daughter, cried and cried for the father I had lost.
It was his time to go, but I NEED to know that he was OK with it and how his life had played out. I had hope to have that conversation with him during his last days, but, although he was not in pain, breathing was so difficult as his lungs filled, he couldn’t talk because of the effort. At one point, when palliative care was decided (hospice), he asked me if it was the right choice. All I could answer was that we wanted him to be comfortable. I knew, and I think he did too, that nothing more could be done to try and heal him. His heart was failing as the valves leaked and constricted. He could no longer endure or survive surgery. How do you tell someone that the doctors can’t fix you anymore?
So after months of feeling better than I have in years, I feel like I’m about to crumble into a childlike heap of tears and emotions of loss and abandonment. But I can’t. I am needed as a pillar for my 88 year old mom.
Is this, then, my test of recovery? Will I hold strong now, only to fall apart once I am home and she is safe here? I hope not. I don’t want to fall back into that pit. I want to live and flourish in life. I have new friends who support me in ways I never experienced. I know I have to feel the pain, the loss, and know that it doesn’t have to consume me. I can feel it and be OK. I can, I can. I guess that needs to be my new mantra.