Monday, March 09, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dad

My father died at 3:45pm on Friday, March 6.

I'm so grateful that I said everything I needed to say to him when he was alive and conscious during the years before his death. I repeated all the stuff I thought was really important when he was no longer conscious and dying at the Sarasota Hospice House.

It was a horrible death. He suffered for each breath during his final week. He was less than 100 lbs. and not able to do anything, even open his eyes at the end. It was painful and even the high doses of morphine couldn't totally relieve his pain until he finally took his last breath and slipped out of his body.

But he is no longer in the ravaged body of a man with emphysema. I want to imagine him breathing big deep breaths and smiling in heaven with Goober, Luke I, and all his other dog friends that died over the years. He is sailing and hunting and fishing and being outside. He is telling stories and smiling at those he loves. He has a head full of curly black hair again and he is showing off with push-ups with a clap in the middle like he used to do in the driveway when I was a little kid. He has started a Craigslist in heaven so he can keep making deals and getting bargains. He is at peace.

I think I am, too...with his passing, that is. I miss him but I know that he is in a better place. That does not mean, however, that I am not a little nuts right now.

I am bruised and wounded by my family's craziness while he was dying. I'm horrified by my ability to pull the dead dad card whenever I want to say or do something inappropriate. I am sad that, for all intents and purposes, I am now an orphan. I am guilty and a little mad that everyone won't agree because my mother is still breathing. I am determined to work through all these feelings and try not to get sick. I want to be kind and gentle with myself and not abuse my body, mind, and spirit with old patterns and escapes. I want to be with my feelings without being filled with self pity.

I'll let you know how it goes.

6 comments:

  1. Julie, My thoughts are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Julie, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. This poem was helpful to me when I lost both my mother and my father. I hope it helps.
    Shaun
    www.roomswithaview.tyepad.com

    Re-Assurance

    Never look down for me after I leave your sight
    Nothing of me is there-for who can imprison light
    Look for me in the starts- on a scented night in spring
    Nearer to you than your heart-for space is a human thing.
    Look for me in the rose-the gold in a sunset sky
    For love has transfigured me-the mortal that once was I
    Look for me in the dawn-when the day is new and fair
    Now and eternally, call me and I shall be there

    As you cannot conceive my freedom from time and space
    Why do you think it's strange that you cannot see my face?
    Trust in that inner sense that you and I hold dear
    Of knowing beyond a doubt, that I am truly here...

    ReplyDelete
  3. My condolences. Hang in there and take care of yourself now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Julie,
    So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated on how you're doing and take care of yourself!

    Peace,
    Kelley

    ReplyDelete
  5. Julie, I am so sorry to read about your father. I don't know you, and you don't know me, but your words are very powerful. I was glad to read that you got to see your dad before he passed. You are (not past tense on purpose) a good daughter and it sounds like you and your Dad had a wonderful relationship. You will hold on to those memories for the rest of your life. I lost my dad in March of 1983, and I now smile when I think of him or smell Old Spice cologne. I will pray that time will help to heal the pain, and leave you with smiles and memories that make you smile.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very late, late, late - but heartfelt condolences nonetheless.
    I need to blog about the neurologist's appt I just accompanied my dad to, it never lets up.
    Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete