Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Of Loss

Nothing stalls my heart more than a text message from family that says, "I heard your dad is in the hospital. Is everything okay?" The whole world felt melt-y. I know that's not a word, but everything, the seat that I was in, the road that I was on, the reality that I thought I knew rippled and shook. I just saw him two days ago. What could have possibly happened? I called my mom. His primary care physician recommended some tests after he complained of pain in his shoulder and there was some abnormalities with his heartbeat. He is essentially fine.

Two weeks ago, my uncle-in-law passed. I was there in those final moments when he stopped breathing. My aunt lifted up his blanket and his body was so frail from fighting the cancer. I thought I would be frightened, but I wasn't. I barely recognized his face.

We prayed, all the loved ones in that room. The respirator was removed. My aunt hesitated in calling hospice, worried that his body would be removed from the home before she was ready. She was dry eyed and calm and it wasn't until I hugged her and wouldn't let go that I could feel her ragged sobs. My dad didn't know what to do with it, tried to offer some words of comfort, but I knew better. Sometimes the grief just has to wash over you, before you can start healing.

So today, I feared the worst, but I thought back to our last interaction. The last time I saw him, I hugged him goodbye as I usually do, and am grateful for these little rote, built-in niceties, because he'll always know how much I love him every time we part. 

1 comment: