It's been four days since my father passed away and for some reason the grief didn't really hit me until today.
Of course there was enormous sadness in the hospital while my dad was suffering. It was so painful to see him hurting, not even aware of his surroundings. But after the hospice nurse talked to us and the doctors and nurses did everything they could to make my dad comfortable, that sadness turned into relief. Even when my dad stopped breathing, there was more relief than anything else.
The last three days weren't bad, either. But today has been absolutely miserable for me. From the moment I woke up this morning, all I've been able to think about is the fact that my dad is gone forever and that I won't see or talk to him anymore. I went in the garage this afternoon and saw the box of tools he gave me just a few months ago...and I cried.
This is the first time I've lost someone in my immediate family and I'm not sure I know how to grieve properly. Or if there even is a "right way" to grieve. I feel kind of lost and mixed up. And it's unsettling.
I had also never seen anyone die before. Now the event that provided so much relief just four days ago is sort of haunting me. I don't think I'll ever be able to forget being there with my dad, holding onto him while he took his last breath. That's something I was never prepared for.
I'm probably just rambling now. But I felt a need to get these feelings off my chest. I feel a bit guilty, too, because right now my entire family is gathered at my sister's house. My mom, my two sisters, my brother, my wife, and my two sons are all there for dinner. I was also there for a very short time. But I was only there physically. Mentally? That's another story. So I had my wife bring me home. I just needed to be alone, in my own space. At this moment in time, this is how I'm choosing to grieve.
I'm not sure what the days ahead will bring. I've never been through this before. I'll just take it a day at a time. That's something I've gotten pretty good at, I guess.
"We sang your favorite hymns and we held your hand/You took your final breath and that was that/But I'd never seen a person die before/I tried so hard not to cry, you know/'cause maybe sometimes we've got to trust ourselves/That when you die you go someplace else..." --Kathleen Edwards (from her song "Scared At Night")