My Father is Dying

That’s about all I have to say, at the moment. He had a stroke late this afternoon, a type of stroke the neurologist tells us is fatal 97 percent of the time.

He’s 800 miles away from me, so I can’t be with him, but my sister is there. The four of us siblings agreed not to keep him on a ventilator, but it won’t be removed until tomorrow morning, since some of the team has gone home.

I’m mostly numb. The bits of me that aren’t numb feel confused.

20 comments

  1. Ah Q. Your whole system must be in such shock; such a huge thing takes months to process. Sending you love and gentle wishes; please treat yourself as someone who is in shock and needs gentleness and care. Bw pink

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    • You are right when you talk about shock, Pink! I keep telling myself, “my father has died; he’s really gone,” because my brain is having a hard time believing it.

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  2. Oh dear Q. What a terrible shock out of the blue like that. It is so strange how life goes; that you managed to have the contact you had this year with him. I am so sorry you heard this awful news today and can imagine the mixed feelings you may have when you stop feeling numb. Do take such good care of yourself, I’m so sorry for your grief ♥️

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    • I am glad about every kind word I exchanged with him. I regret not doing more to be connected while we could be. I am remembering joyful outings to the woods and to the beach with his as a kid. I am for the most part not remembering (not paying attention to) the parts of him or our relationship which I did not like. This week, at least, I am missing him.

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      • I can really imagine it. The Dad relationship is so much different, in my experience, to the Mum one. I know I’m going to have so many regrets with my Dad when he’s gone but I don’t even think it’s possible to do anything about them; as much as much about him as it is me. But I know in our own dark aged ways we love each other. And I don’t know your full story but from what little I’ve gleaned recently from your posts about your new contact this past year, it comes across as though you and your Dad do have a love for each other. But our frail humanity sometimes gets in the way and leaves us with such longings and unfinished business. I think this is not new to mankind but an age-old situation some of us find ourselves in, more than others.
        You were so brave to meet him halfway with that contact, it could have gone either way and you chanced it, which says a lot about you and your courage. I’m really sorry you’re going through this. And I can understand the confusion of feelings, when trying not to think about the parts of him that you struggled with.

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    • That issue of support is, indeed, so important. I have sent cards or flowers before when someone has died, but I haven’t been on the receiving end before. Now I see how very good it feels to have others take time out to acknowledge your grief and want to be there for you. Of course because of COIVD–fucking COVID–people can’t give hugs and come over. But my younger son and his girlfriend have brought food two different days, a friend brought flowers, my siblings text constantly, my one sister calls daily, my husband is always a rock, and my neighbors are often checking in to see if I want to go for a walk. Each act of kindness is a real gift. Also each tells me that, contrary to what I believed for many, many years, I am not alone. Thanks for understanding that.

      Also this experience is teaching me that I will want to make an even stronger effort to be there for people when they lose someone close to them.

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  3. just came back here to offer love and condolences. I’m so sorry – -death is hard when everything is resolved and tidy, and even more so when it isn’t. I wish you peace and steadfastness as you all sail through this transition. ❤

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  4. I’ve been thinking of you, Q, since reading this. I lost a very dear loved one back in May, and I can empathize about grief during COVID. It is especially painful and complicated because we can’t be with our people, or participate in rituals, or really anything we’d otherwise do after a death.

    I can imagine that the death of someone with whom you have a complicated relationship might make grief more, well…complicated. I hope you can be gentle and loving with yourself, like you did when you rocked Little Q on the porch awhile ago.

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