This is an excerpt from my book, that I think captures what went on 7 years ago.
I am hoping to be finished in a couple of months.....enjoy!
.......I prayed out loud to God, making absurd promises, if only he would spare my dad, and keep my entire family healthy and safe. Looking back now, seven years later, I can see just how egocentric my life was. My dad dying was happening to me. Losing him seemed like I was being punished. Like I had all the control and the world revolved exclusively around my needs.
I think that perhaps everyone in the family felt that emotion in some form or another, and in the weeks following his diagnosis, our family came completely unglued with grief.
Most days I felt like I was dreaming. The sun kept shining and the flowers kept blooming, and my dad was still dying. Every day on replay that’s the scene that played out.
It was a fucking nightmare.
Watching my dad in his most vulnerable state felt wrong and invasive. I didn't belong in the room staring at him like a fish in a tank, but I didn't know any other place to be.
On April 25th 2008 my dad passed away. My husband and I drove down to the Cape and made it within seconds of the coroners taking his body from the room.
I remember stepping into the room and hugging him, kissing his face and telling him how much I loved him. Choking back sobs, but also filled with relief that he no longer was suffering.
It was a weird sensation the hours that followed.
I was almost filled with relief. I was altogether grateful that I had received the gift of “closure” with my dad. That we said “goodbye” to each other, without really acknowledging the fact that he was really going to die. It was like this private dance we did, I fell into step with him, and we both promised to keep checking in from the other side.
When he finally let go, when he died, I felt almost proud of him.
Life would resume, not in the same way as before, but in a new normal.
That night I curled up on the couch of the guest house and watched cartoons with my husband and aunt.
At about 11 pm that night, my mother came to the guest house, and considering what she had been through that day I was surprised to see her. It was late and I just figured that maybe she didn't want to be alone.
I pulled myself off the couch, catching her face, remembering the look that flashed in her eyes. She kept fidgeting with her scarf. I wanted her to stop. I knew whatever she was about to say was going to destroy me.
“It’s Jonah, honey,....................... he’s gone.”
That sentence has replayed over and over and over in my mind. I can see her face, I can feel everyone around me. I remember thinking, “but, where did he go?"
Gone, meant dead.
Gone, meant dead.
Jonah is dead.
I saw myself reacting. I could see myself and hear myself, and I still was confused as to what was happening.
You know when something drops on your foot, or you slam your finger in a drawer, and you start running around like a crazy person, hoping to get away from the pain?
Instinctively that is what I did, I wanted out of my body, immediately. Shock played out in awkward hyperactivity, and I remember needing to wash my hair.
To this day I cannot wash my hair with coconut scented anything, without remembering seeing my husband perched in the bathroom, with tears running down his face.
I had no idea why he was crying.
Shock, that shit is real.
Every single day from then on, I woke up and remembered why it hurt to breathe.
Jonah is dead.
Dad is dead.
My life as I had known it had come to an end.
Let me say that again, my life, as I had known it, had come to an end.