Thursday, March 19, 2015


This is going to be a tough post for me to write. A lot, and I do mean a whole fucking lot, is happening. So forgive me while I ramble thru this mess.

My father died. He was 82. He had pneumonia and dementia. It is hard for me to admit the dementia because he was always so intelligent. My mother told me over a month ago that his mind was going and I did not believe her. But after talking to him for a while I had to sadly conclude she was correct.

Dad was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night, March 8. On Thursday, March 12 he went to a hospice house. On Friday the 13th, I went to visit him. My mother had just left. He was asleep. My cousin came in. We talked. I remember many years ago, Dad told him he could have one of his guns. I wasn't sure which gun. I asked Monte if he remembered. He knew it was a shotgun. He felt bad about talking about it while my father lay so close to dying and I said I wasn't trying to be morbid or give away his things before he died, I just wanted to make sure I did what my father wanted.

And then I realized I could not hear my father breathing anymore.

I don't know. Maybe Dad heard me say I wanted to follow his wishes and he decided he could rest because he knew I would do the right thing. It unnerved me because I was not expecting to be present when he died. I knew the end was near. He knew it, too. While he was in the hospital he told me three times he knew he wouldn't make it and he wanted to be sure I knew he loved me. But knowing someone is dying does not mean knowing when Death comes. I thought I would get a phone call in the middle of the night. It never once occurred to me that I would see him die.

After that, things got horribly stressful. We had to follow hospice rules and funeral home rules. My mother is still alternating between sadness, nostalgia, spite, and anger. She has never had to be responsible for anything. I made all the decisions and signed all paperwork. When the doctors would give her options, she always said she had to talk to me first. This is not because she values my opinion. She simply can't decide.

I've argued with Mom a dozen times this weekend alone. I saw my father's pocket watch laying on his dresser. I gave it to him for his birthday. When I was searching for pictures to show at the visitation, I remember the watch had a family photo in it. I couldn't find the watch. I searched the entire bedroom without luck. I asked my mother. She said she didn't know where it was. I searched the house. Couldn't find it. I didn't want the watch, I just wanted the picture inside. Finally, I realized my mother didn't want me to have the watch so she hid it. This is the kind of stuff we fight about.

Besides the stress of death, my family cannot behave. I've had cousin hit on a pallbearer even though she knew he was married. She hit on Cecil at the funeral home. In front of the casket. I've had an aunt and another cousin stand at the door waiting for people to come to visitation so they could tell them to leave. This is the third funeral where they have caused a scene.

My sugar has been high. My baby is okay (a girl, btw), but I am terrified my sugar levels will keep rising and my baby will have some health problem because I couldn't control my illness. When I found out I was having a girl it suddenly hit me that I wouldn't be able to tell Dad and I burst into tears. I fear I will be a horrible parent.

Everything on this Earth irritates me. My shirt is too small. I'm too hot. The wind is cold. The neighbors irritate me because they are clearing the fence which causes my dogs to bark loudly. The chaplain did a terrible job of the funeral; he never mentioned Dad by name or rank or when or where he served and the not-so-good captain disappeared IMMEDIATELY after the funeral. Shortest funeral I've ever been to in my life, so that's another phone call I have to make and I am sick of the phone.

I could keep going, but I'm getting really depressed.


Kenneth Roberts said...

I'm so sorry sweetie. My father's death was not dissimilar. Here are some words that might help:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
-Steve Jobs

Jeanne said...

Oh honey! ♥ My heart goes out to you! ♥ I think dealing with the relatives and all the legal stuff afterwards is absolutely the worst! Take a moment or two or three for yourself. Go to a place (yard, park) where you can be alone for a few moments - just to remove yourself from the madness and to regain your center! {{hugs}} ♥