A Whole New Stage

Returned home tonight after being gone for a week.  I wish I was on a fancy vacation or even a rustic adventurous one but I wasn’t.  After a few nights in the ICU at a fancy cancer hospital uptown I waited for my father to take his last breath.  A service in Manhattan was followed with a burial in his hometown of Minnesota by his brother who passed away rather suddenly last year and then to my dad’s most recent residence for more shiva.  

 

I sit there and can analyze some things.  

Nobody gets out alive

Nobody.  No matter when you lose a parent it is hard.  I should feel grateful that my dad was not in pain.  His last days were filled with loved ones sharing memories and telling jokes.

 

My dad beat the statics and for the most part had a great quality of life since his diagnoses.  As his doctors said, eventually cancer wins. 

You get what you get and you don’t get upset 

This slogan that parents tell toddlers reminds us that life is unfair. I should be lucky I’ve had the wonderful parents I have for as long as I did. My dad and I had our nonsense but we got past that and had a great relationship and lots of laughs.  

The pain will dull.

Unfortunately I’m an expert at mourning a parent having just done this four years ago.  When my mom passed I did not know how I could go on.  Now I know what lays ahead.  I know I’ll be okay and his absence will feel more normal. 

The pain is acute now and I’m in a bit of a daze.  It all feels so surreal.  I saw some of my husband’s text messages to his brother about how worried he is for me.  Personally, I’d say that my siblings and I are handling the tragedy remarkably well.  I wish I could just fast forward the next month.  

 

It’s supposed to hurt

If losing a parent was not painful, then something would have been missing from our relationship. 

It’s the right order

Every child should be so lucky to bury their parents.  Of course I have two grandmothers now for whom this cycle was broken. 

In the interim, I try to focus on my kids and husband.  And life goes on. And this will define me.  And I am certain I will falter and cry.  And I do have a Caribbean getaway awaiting me next week that was planned months earlier. I suppose i should be grateful that my father’s passing did not interfere with those dates.  

 

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