Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For then it hath no end

"Your grief must not be measured by his worth" for then it hath no end- Shakespeare

Ironic that my last posting was simply "do not fight the current of life" just days after my Dad passed away somewhat shockingly and suddenly. He had been having trouble with chest pains and finally went in to the walk in clinic. They sent him by ambulance to hospital. When my mother called me at lunch and sounded rattled I managed to remain calm. I was happy to arrive at the hospital to find him visiting with my older brother in the holding room. I spent the next several days popping in to say hello and taking care of my Mom while she took care of my Dad. He seemed to be doing pretty well considering aside from not sleeping very well and a bit irritable. But who is really that comfortable in a hospital with nurses poking at you all night and IV's and hoses and patches and cords connected all over? On the 4th of July my whole family paid a visit again and we kept it short as he seemed tired but he visited with us some about liking his new, bigger room that was no longer in ICU. I still don't know why they moved him out of ICU.
But, it's just the way it is. If I've said that once through this, consoling myself and my family, I've said it a thousand times.
I was happy my husband got him to laugh hard when he recalled the "flying turkey" TV episode of WKRP as we all listened to the life flight coming in the rooftop near Dad's room. The next day I was very busy but was able to make it up for an hour to relieve my Mom and brother who had still been trying to get him to rest. I regret not talking with him but a few words as I tried to get him to breathe deeply and relax so he could rest. I adjusted his pillow as he moved from chair to chair. I wondered when he could go home again to rest better in his own bed. I never thought it would be the last time I sat with him.

The morning he died seems like a nightmare you wake from and shake off for days. I called my Mom on my way to work and was happy she was already at the hospital a little after 8. I could hear disappointment in her voice that he hadn't slept again. I began my voice work session with my cell phone on and at my side as I had the entire time he'd been up there. And then the call came from her just a half hour later "You better come now. We're losing him" Shock. Disbelief. I walked up to his room and he was essentially already gone as a Cardiac code blue team of over 10 were trying to revive him. I told him I love him and left before I passed out. I still have trouble shaking that image from my mind. I sat with my Mom and prayed. Grateful that I had gotten there so fast so she wasn't alone and to be with her as they came in and said "They are still trying to revive him" or "They have a heartbeat but this is hard to say if this is the medicine" and then as they wheeled him past us to ICU just long enough for us to see him with his eyes closed but say "I love you" as soon after he was gone for good. I wonder if he was with us then and if could hear us and thinking how afraid he must have been.

The moments and days that follow are again like a dream. We stayed strong for each other but I was a deer in the headlights trying to figure out why "It's just the way it is." He was deeply loved not just by myself but my two children and my husband as well. Not to mention the many that came to share their love in person or by email. One of my younger brother's friends drove 26 hours from Texas to attend the prayer service. When I visited with him it moved me to hear his love for my Dad. My Dad would take my younger brother and a hand full of friends to concerts every weekend about an hour an half away in Minneapolis. In recalling this friend of my brothers said my Dad gave him all that he is. His sense of humor. His love of music which is now his career. Much more then his own Dad ever did. Yup,that sounds like Dad.

It will be a long time before it's not strange to walk in to their house and not find him there giving me a hard time or shootin' the hay about this that or anything. Everything feels the same but is now completely different. Forever. Or to see my Mom not interacting with him for first time ever. In my 43 years of being their daughter I can only recall one small stretch where they were apart more then a day or two. They were married 47 years. I am consoled by the feeling that he will be my families guardian angel now as we move forward somehow one day at a time. I'll never forget his laugh, how he'd put out his pinky to hold in church when I sat by him even in adulthood, how much of a youthful heart he had, how he could start a conversation with anyone anytime about anything. Or how much I love him and will miss him.

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