This blog post and possibly a few more to follow are the account of my experience on the day that my dad passed away and the days following.
If you feel it might be too sensitive to read please do not read further.
This is part of my grieving process and I blog to I can get the thoughts out of my head.
I wake with a start, my cell phone is ringing and I can’t find it. I am searching frantically for it not wanting to really answer it for fear of what the other person on the line might tell me. I find it finally, in my pants pocket, it’s my sister Jill. Daddy is still alive. She was just checking on me and giving me an update.
I’m up now, can’t go back to sleep. I get dressed and gather things for the littles while they still sleep. I think I had coffee with my grandparents and my mom and then as the littles woke I get the ready to go to the hospital with me.
Mom is hanging out with the big girls today. I’m grateful that her boss is so understanding and is letting her have the time off.
I’m out the door in a haze. Little are loaded.
I’m here but I’m not.
Van is parked and we are heading up to the oncology floor. I was born in this hospital. It is a lot larger and different than when I was born here.
When I get to the room my mom’s pastor is in the room. He also works at the hospital. He’s talking with daddy and daddy is nodding and responding still..that is good.
The room clears a bit and I go in with the littles so daddy can see them. They don’t understand but I think daddy is glad to see them.
The day is spent in the small waiting room that is just across from his room. Quiet talking, in and out of the room. My sister has not left his room since the night before and she has been a wonderful advocate for my dad.
It’s evident that daddy is declining. I find it hard to stay in the room.
At some point my sister, brother and myself are in his room and we are alone. Our stepmom and our maw maw are out getting something to eat. They hadn’t left his side either and someone convinced them to get something to eat.
He’s very restless. He reaches up to the mask to try to move it but he can’t. The meds they gave him have made him anxious, the opposite of what it was supposed to do. He wants something but we can’t figure it out. He keeps pointing and I offer him a blanket but I don’t think it’s what he wants. I’m wearing Ace in the sling and I am on the left side of the bed, my sister and brother are on the right. I’m not sure if anyone suggested it but we start praying the hardest prayer that any of us has ever had to pray in our lives.
I cannot bare to watch him suffer. No one should have to go through this.
Sometime after that my sister and brother go get something to eat. I am in the waiting room with my aunts. I don’t remember any specific conversations. My uncle’s wife Prisilla is there. She doesn’t know me well but that doesn’t stop her from being a great help to me from that day and through the days that are to follow.
Jill is back and she tells me that the nurse has let them know that daddy’s kidney’s are failing. Or maybe they told her before she went to eat. I know that this information is what makes me decide to have my mom bring the big girls to the hospital. I also call my cousin and ask her if she can come and get the littles and drive them around so they can sleep.
Prisilla convinces me to go get something to eat while I am waiting for the big girls to arrive.
I eat. Some people can’t eat at times like this but I can. I feel guilty about that.
The bigs are here. Aly stays with Prisilla so she can eat and SiSi goes up to the room with my mom. I asked her to wait until I was up there to take the girls in to the room. I will regret that later.
My cousin calls me to let me know that she is in the parking garage. I take the littles out and install their car seats. I have them loaded in and I kiss them goodbye. As I am turning to close the door I lose my breath for no reason that I can think of. It catches me off guard but I don’t say anything.
I’m heading back into the hospital and my cousin Jenn calls me. I’m updating her when I hear my name over the intercom system. I have no idea where to find a phone I can use. I pop my head into a room of cubicles and ask to use the phone. I call the operator and she tells me that I need to get back to the oncology floor.
I’m racing to the elevators. I push the button and it takes an eternity for the doors to open. I step on and my little sister and my stepmom’s friend are there. We exchange glances but speak no words. I am wishing the elevator moved faster.
The elevator opens and my brother is hugging my aunt. I run past them and I am running as fast as I can to his room. I hear people crying. I see my mom holding SiSi in her lap and I turn into the room and he is gone. I hit the floor at the head of his bed and begin to cry and tell him that I love him and I tell him to breath and rest because now he can.
My granddaddy is trying to get me up off the floor. I can’t hear him. I can’t hear anything.
At some point I move to the door and I meet my oldest as she is getting to the room. My heart hurts because she and SiSi didn’t get to tell him goodbye. I feel guilty. I’m holding her.
They decide to go in later and I remember Aly telling him goodbye.
He looks like he is just taking a nap. My brother thinks the same thing.
At some point the nurse tells us that we will need to leave. Leave, leave him so they can take him, leave. It doesn’t seem right.
Somehow the littles are back with me, the bigs are loaded in and my little sister is with us too.
The rest of the day is a blur. It doesn’t seem real. My heart hurts and I just want to go to sleep and wake up from the nightmare.