The November morning my sister called, I woke up confused. It was around 12 a.m. and my phone kept ringing but my mind was so groggy that I could not decipher if I was dreaming about my phone ringing or if it was really ringing.
Then it hit me as I looked at the screen; my sister was calling me, it was 12 something in the morning, and there had to be something wrong.
I answered and what I was able to understand through her tears was that my dad was in the hospital and the outlook was not good. It was Thursday which meant I had to work that day. I was swamped at work and all I could think about was what about the things I needed to finish, what about the kids? Jake had to get up in a couple hours to start getting ready for work and it was me that takes the kids to school/daycare.
My sister said he was on life support…life support.
Sure, I had heard it and seen it in the movies, but I really couldn’t grasp the idea that he had machines keeping him alive. He was alive because of the machines. No, I kept thinking, he will be fine; the doctors will fix him. I decided to be on the safe side though, that I would wake up my husband and start making the necessary arrangements to get my day sorted out so I could head up to the hospital.
I headed to Hastings to go see my dad. Everything was surreal at the hospital. My dad was hooked up to machines but otherwise looked like himself. My mom was red eyed and not very talkative and my sister was crying. I felt like everything was spinning around me and I was standing still. I couldn’t even feel anything. I kept thinking I should be crying but I was not even able to cry. I had brought my laptop so that I could work on some things for work while the doctors ‘fixed’ whatever was wrong with my dad. My husband called to check in and I let him know that they were running some tests but that otherwise everything was still the same.
Sometime in the early morning, around 8 a.m. or so, we were told they were going to run a test to see if there were any brain waves. It was then that I realized maybe this was more serious that I realized. Yet, I still couldn’t cry. At some point a while later, our family was informed that my dad was officially brain dead.
I immediately went into planning mode. I began by calling my husband, my aunt, and other family members and let them know they wanted to gather the family before they shut off the machines. The hours went by, family trickled in. Phone calls came in with expressions of sympathy. Yet, I was still unable to cry. Prayers were said at the bedside. Stories were reminisced, and yet I still was unable to cry. That evening, they ‘pulled the plug.’ I kept watching everyone as they cried and mourned this moment. I kept thinking everything seemed so fake. It seemed like everyone was putting on a show. I couldn’t wrap my head around this moment.
Then he passed.
November 13th, 2014. My dad passed away on my 32nd birthday. He was 54 years old. As I drove home that evening, I kept thinking, is there something wrong with me? Why have I yet to cry? I felt sad, I felt a loss, but no tears were coming. The next week was a blur. Funeral plans, family that I hadn’t seen, old friends of my dad are introducing themselves to me, funeral, and more family time.
Then it all ended; everyone went back to their lives, the clock kept ticking away.
I got busy with living and tried to not think too much about it but every now and then on the drive to work, a song would come on the radio and I would think about my dad and a few tears would come. Other times, I would see a beautiful sunset and think about my dad and a few tears would come. Otherwise, the mourning felt pretty insignificant.
Then came June; June is when I realized my dad was gone. Every day in June, or so it felt, I was crying, sobbing while I was driving to or home from work. I would play songs on my radio that reminded me of him and cry out all the sadness I felt which made me feel more sadness. I thought about his childhood and how much he struggled through life. I thought about him as a person and how giving he was. I thought about his smile and his laughter and how I always took him being here for granted. I thought about how many times I missed a call from him and would remind myself for two weeks to call him back. I thought about all the times I am sure I hurt his feelings and how sorry I was. I thought about how I wished I could just have one more day with him to tell him those things. I thought about how I would tell him how much I loved him and how great of a dad he was to me.
Yes, June was when I lost my dad. June is when I finally cried.