Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

15 Days Without You

on November 13, 2017

This is an incomplete blog post from just two weeks after losing my dad last year. I stumbled upon it by accident, and considered keeping it private, but as I say in the post, I feel like it’s important to post about my struggles for those that may be in similar situations. This post is raw and full of thoughts that were probably not fully formed, and it ends rather abruptly, but it is an insight into the fresh grief of losing a parent at a young age.

 

Ever since the day, 17 days ago, that I received the text from my mom that said, “Doctors told your dad there isn’t anything else they can do” I have wanted to write a blog post. It’s hard to figure out what to say, though. I like to be eloquent. I like to have my thoughts gathered. But how can I do that while in the midst of an event that completely turns my world upside down? The answer is: I can’t. Pain, loss, emotion, grieving, mourning…these are all real and raw. There is no fancy way to word it. It is what it is, and the truth is that it can’t be tied up with a pretty bow.

I blog for a few reasons:
I love to write. It is a passion I have had my entire life.
It is therapeutic. I’ve never been much of a journal person, so having a blog is the next best thing.
I want to help others. Through my journeys in life, I have come across moments when I experience something others don’t easily relate to. In these moments, I go to the internet in search of someone that can understand. Sometimes it is hard to find someone that has gone through the same thing, and so it is my hope that I can be that person to someone else someday.

My process of grief has fueled my need to talk about what I’ve been going through. For one, there is (thankfully) only a small percentage of people in America that suffer the loss of a parent so young. The second thing is that my grieving process has not been what I expected, and there have been moments where my process has made me feel like a freak. I have lost loved ones before, including my grandfather. I was extremely close to him, and there were many similar elements between my loss of him and the loss of my dad. I knew that it would be different, but I expected my grief to be similar. I was so very wrong.

When my dad first became really sick 9 months ago, I cried. I panicked. I was terrified. Things were up and down for a while, but it seemed like things were improving. Fall semester started and things began going downhill again. My entire Fall semester was a roller coaster of “This could be it” to “The doctors are amazed at how well he’s doing.” It became a pattern of rushing to see him to potentially say my goodbyes, to being told that there was hope that he could still get the liver transplant that he needed. Throughout, new health concerns would come up, and generally they would be somewhat resolved. I cried when I thought about losing him and I cried (tears of joy and relief) when family would relay the message that the doctors thought my dad would make it.

In my head there was this huge painting of my life thus far and all the life events I anticipate in the future. My dad was in those events. I saw my childhood with him, but I also saw him walk me down the aisle, dance with me to “Butterfly Kisses” (which I’d like to add was our song before it became the fad at weddings), watch me get my degree, meet my children, and take numerous trips we had yet to take. Each time I was told we were losing him, he would fade from the canvas of my future life. Each time I was told he was probably going to make it, he would reappear. It became an exhausting pattern. Tears of pain began to be joined by tears of frustration. I didn’t want to believe in the hope the doctors were giving, because it always just ended up hurting worse when they would be proven wrong, but how can one not hold onto hope for a future with their dad? I kept telling myself that I was prepared for whatever happened, but I found out just how badly I had been lying to myself when I received that text from my mom.

That night, I walked out of my apartment attempting to hold in the tears. My roommate is super supportive, but I hate to let anyone see me cry. Tears streamed down my face as I walked to a meeting on campus. I held them in as I ordered an Iced Chai and managed to remain composed through the meeting. As soon as I was back outside, the tears returned. I returned to my mom’s house, thinking it would be a temporary stay. The plan (in my head) was that I would get through the shock of the fact that my dad was dying and then I’d return to life on campus. I thought I would have a few months to try to remain strong before the loss would come. The next day I learned that doctors were only giving him a couple of weeks at the most. My visit that day revealed that it wouldn’t likely be that long. He woke long enough to say “love ya” and then returned to sleep. The next day, a couple of hours before I was going to see him again, he went Home.

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