Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Been One Year Since My Dad's Passing

A year ago today, I lost my loving dad quite suddenly.  I'll never forget that day.   I was washing dishes when the phone rang at 9:20 on Tuesday morning.  I never expected to hear the news that I heard when I picked up that receiver.  My sister was on the other end of the line and I could barely hear her.  She was sobbing.  I asked her to repeat what she had said and she replied:  "Dad just died."  What?!!!!  My heart dropped to the floor and I felt sick, dizzy, disoriented.   Then I thought it was a really bad joke and told my sister that it wasn't funny.  She told me that she would never joke about such a thing and that it was true.  I then just cried and cried and cried.  We were on the phone for several minutes just crying.   My husband looked over at me and I gave him the news.  My youngest daughter was standing there too and she just cried out and ran to her room, crying her eyes out.   My husband was just in shock.  He left the house, most likely, to cry in secret. 

It was the worst day of my life.

I immediately packed a bag and left for Mass.   I live in Maine so I had an hour and a half drive to get to my mom's house and see dad before the funeral home came to take his body away.   I'm not sure how I got myself down there in one piece because I was crying so much and could barely see the road.  It was like driving through a torrential downpour!   My husband stayed home with Zachery and was planning on coming down the day of the funeral.   I went down earlier to help my mother with the arrangements and such.  

It was so hard to walk into his bedroom and see him lying there. 

I said my goodbyes, kissed him and told him that I loved him.  I was feeling a bit better but after about an hour, someone said something (I can't even remember what it was), and I just lost it.  I cried worse than before and my heart actually hurt.  It felt as though my heart was actually breaking in two.   It was painful.   I felt like a little girl who wanted her daddy.   It just hit me that I would never see my father again!   The pain was like a knife through my heart.  I felt weak and sick and I wanted to curl up in a ball, but I needed to be strong for my mother.   My mom was strong.  I couldn't believe how well she was holding up.  She had been married to my father for almost 57 years!!
My mother stayed strong until the men from the funeral home had to remove his body.  My sisters tried to take her outside and that's when my mom lost it.  She cried so hard and said over and over again---"This is the last time he'll ever be in the house."  She didn't want them to take his body away.  Oh, it was so awful and heartbreaking to watch.  My sisters finally got her outside and had her face the backyard so she wouldn't see what was happening.  I stayed in the house.   I'm used to people dying and seeing the bodies be removed to the funeral home because I work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home, but when it's a family member--it's so different.
My mother was like a limp rag-doll once it was done.  We went through the motions of daily life--eating, sleeping, etc. but it was sooooo different without dad there.  I was asked to give the eulogy and to make some memory boards.  I drove home that night and pulled out every photobox (and trust me, there are alot!) to gather pictures of my father.    I sorted them out and as I created the memory boards with my daughters, we shared stories and it was very therapeutic for me.  We laughed and cried and remembered. 

So, on this day--one year later, I will remember my dad and his life and be forever thankful that I had such a wonderful Dad as him. God Bless you, Dad. I love you!!

1 comment:

Gayla said...

Hi, Honey... I love your sweet tribute to your dad. I understand everything you said because seven years and a half ago... My sweet daddy died suddenly, as well. Things are never again the same. And the most unusual, unexpected things can trigger the tears. Our Dads never really leave us, even though we miss them as if they have!