A little more than three weeks ago, my mother called me to say that Dad had fainted and was in the ER. Then he was in emergency surgery. Then he was diagnosed with stage three cancer. Then he was back in surgery and had sepsis. My cousin called to say that the time had come for hospice.
Ok. I’m fine, I told myself. If he passes, then he does. And he did. I remember that the day was chilly and rainy, as though the weather was mourning him already. My Dad passed away on Monday. May Day. It seems a strange coincidence.
I was fine until this evening, when some friends started hugging me and I told them the story of the final 24 hours of his life. I felt the tears, but couldn’t cry. You’re in public, I told myself. Don’t be that fat woman crying in public. Ok. Grab dinner for the family and get home. The skies were a darkening grey, echoing the way I felt.
All the sudden, the tv at home was overwhelming. A friend texted me to cheer me and sent a Bill Engvall video. As I watched it, it hit me that Dad and I enjoyed watching redneck comedy together. The tears started and just wouldn’t stop. At least the kids are in bed, I thought. Not like they haven’t seen me cry before. It just felt like all the burdens I have– personal, professional, etc.– were too heavy to bear.
I know this is normal. I’m trying to function and feel like I’m letting other people down. Time slips by and I wonder how it got so late.
Someday the pain will ease. At least his pain is gone.