I guess nothing ever prepares you for life. You think you’ve grown. You think you’ve lived enough. You’ve learned. And then all of a sudden there it is. Change. Something unexpected. Something that hits you like a ton of bricks and leaves you shaken and unsure about everything in life all over again.
People say it’s good for you. You’ll grow from it. You’ll be better for it. But are we really?
Are we really better for surviving something that we would have never wanted to live through in the first place? Who cares if it is a part of life. It doesn’t make it any easier. And, at least for me, there isn’t any silver lining in knowing that some things are just inevitable.
I wasn’t ready to lose my dad almost three months ago now. I wasn’t ready to have the difficult conversations about how and who would handle his final arrangements when the time came. I wasn’t ready to obligate him to take the pain medication he was prescribed. I was definitely not ready for the desperation and guilt I felt afterwards when I had to look him in the eyes and squeeze the contents of a syringe into his mouth. I wasn’t ready for the call when it finally came.
I wasn’t ready to be the one to carry his casket. I want ready to drive in a procession. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
And I’m still not ready to let go.
The logical me understands that it was his time. That he was suffering so much that he left when he couldn’t agonize any longer to be with us. I get it. I do. But there were so many things I wanted to say, I wanted to do, I wanted to share with him, that I never will now. At least not facing each other eye to eye the way we used to.
That’s the part that gets me. When I least expect it. In the middle of crowded rooms, in the privacy of my own home. In between work calls and assignments. Anytime. Anywhere. Something reminds me of him, of his final days, of having to say goodbye to my dad, and I’m wiping away tears, speaking to him in silence.
“Dad I miss you,” is the only thing I can usually think to say.
I do. His passing has reminded me again that I am not the shepherd. That no matter how much I plan, life will happen when it is supposed to happen.
el mas sentido pesame, Juan y Angelica. Your family is in my thoughts.
Julie, thank you so much for your kindness and consideration. It is very much appreciated. Abrazos!
Juan, I happened upon your blog on Pinterest while searching for ANYTHING from the motherland (Mty, NL) that I can collect in my Pinterest pin called Mi Tierra. I have lived in the US for 35 years and am homesick every day. Finding your writings is such a blessing… I would say to you que “Dios sabe lo que hace”…
I was moved beyond words at your recounting of helping your father die. I say it that way with the utmost respect; I did the same with my mother 7 years ago. She had delegated everything to my brothers; when I asked her what I was going to do (following her diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer), she took my hand and just said it. “You… I need you to help me die”. And I did. I cared for her the way you cared for your father. As I read your words, I relived all those painful, bittersweet and gut-wrenching moments…moments in time flashing before my eyes. This last and most important request was never a burden; rather, it was a privilege beyond compare. I pray that in time, your pain will settle and change. It never goes away, but it can and will change. No le aflojes.
Thank you for having the guts AND the ganas to reach out to the rest of us out here with your words. You truly have a gift. ?