Saving Daddy's Soulmate

My Journey of Forgiveness

Is It Ever the Right Time?

on August 13, 2013

acimRecently, I opened my inbox to check my emails and this was the message I received.  Ahhh, another sign that this is my right path now.  Thank goodness.

Last night I dreamed of his death again.  I was there when he died.  Sissy, Mom and I were surrounding him as his heart stopped.  He did what I asked of him which was perhaps the only time he had ever done it ~ and I was truly grateful.  Did I wish him death?  No.  But I knew that if he lived, he wouldn’t be the same and it would kill him inside if he knew that his brain hadn’t been getting enough oxygen for awhile now even though he’d been on a ventilator.  So his brain, the part of him of which he was so proud (and perhaps in truth we were so proud of as well) wouldn’t be anything more than mush which would be too hard to handle for all of us.

He was on a ventilator which he had specific instructions to never be on and everyone knew.  But somehow Sissy and Mom got him to say he wanted a ventilator and I arrived 10 minutes into the procedure with the Living Will which I held in my purse for a week.  His last day I was alone with him in intensive care and I finally had privacy in which to talk with him.  I told him that I loved him, that I was sorry that he was enduring this as I knew he never wanted to be on a ventilator.  I’d known that fact since I was old enough to understand.  He had always made that abundantly clear.  I told him that I’d notified Palliative Care and was planning on meeting with them tomorrow.  I told him how his brain wasn’t going to be right if he ever got off of the ventilator.  I begged him to please stop his heart himself.  I told him that I didn’t want to be the one ‘to kill Daddy’ by turning off the machines, even though I knew it was what he had wanted.  I told him that it would shred our little family unit (Mom, Sissy and me) if I did it and the only way out was for him to stop his own heart.  In a surreal moment I truly thought he understood and could hear everything I said.  Of course, he was paralyzed by then with the ventilator breathing for him.  He lay perfectly still as he had for a week with no signs of life.  But then suddenly the power went out in the hospital, his nurse came rushing in to bag him so that they could keep breathing for him and I began to cry.  It was so scary.  My first thought was ‘oh my God, I killed Daddy” but then the generators kicked in and his chest began the rhythmic rise and fall.  I swear my heart stopped then as well.

Looking back, I understand now.  He told me with the huge lifeforce that was his, that he had heard me.  For when Sissy and Mom returned to the room 3 hours later, within 15 minutes, his heart began to slow and as we surrounded his bedside, his heart finally stopped

It’s funny how my feelings for him run hot and cold.   There are moments whenI can see the abused little boy he was in my head and feel sorry for him ~ even wanting to scoop him up and love him.  And then there are moments when the rage and anger that I feel for him make any sort of understanding null and void.  So I try for middle of the road ~ acknowledging the anger and the pity for his life and choices and look at him through a stranger’s eyes and not the eyes of a daughter.  By the way, that doesn’t help either.

Why is it then in my mid-40’s I’m still wrestling with the dead ghost of my Dad and the heartbreaking memories that haunt me when I’m quiet?  Why can’t I let the ugliness go, let it be buried with him and move on?  Why is his life still affecting mine and why do I let it?  How in the world do I let it go?  Would someone please tell me?

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3 responses to “Is It Ever the Right Time?

  1. starrystez says:

    Oh I’m so sorry. I don’t have any answers but I feel your pain. Human emotions are complex so there’s rarely a simple way to feel or explain the events – or indeed people – we have to deal with. That must have been an agonising decision to make and I’m not surprised you feel so bad, and so guilty, even though you have no reason to as it sounds like you made the only decision possible for all of you. I don’t know your life story but both my parents were abused themselves and I know what it’s like to feel that empathy for their vulnerability on the one level, but struggle with their adult selves and all the hurt they’ve caused on another. Be kind to yourself right now. Maybe some therapy would help work through the emotions? I think you need to accept what you had to do and come to terms with it, but it’s not an easy process so having professional support might help. I really wish you peace.

  2. Anna says:

    It’s not the same thing, I know, but I had an end-of-life moment with my grandfather that often haunts me. I’ll write about it on my blog when I’m ready, but wanted you to know that though I don’t know your circumstances, I feel for the pain you’ve experienced. Hope that this blogging process proves to be as cathartic for you as it has been for me. Love and light to you.

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