- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
On January 15th my dad passed away. This is the first time I’ve logged onto this site in several months, but this past weekend has been so hard, that I just needed to get this out. It has been just over a month, but the reality of it is only now starting to sink in. I told my Fiance that the crappiest part of denial is you never know when reality will rear its head.
As I’ve mentioned on here before, my dad was born with genetics that would eventually cause his body to reject his own liver. His mother had it as well, but she lived to be well into her 80s before she passed. My dad was not so lucky. He was diagnosed with it in the mid 90’s, and only started seeing symptoms the last 4 or 5 years. He was put on the liver transplant list last March, and received a new liver on December 3rd—we jokingly all refered to it as his new birthday (the doctors didnt think he would have made it very long if he didn’t get the liver). The new liver worked great, and believe it or not, the very next day, he was awake, and chatting away excitedly like a teenaged girl (no offense, teenaged girls)—he even told my mom that he FELT like a teenager again—and thats a HUGE deal because this past year he has been miserable. The doctors and nurses were so impressed by his recovery! The doctors said infection and rejection were expected to some degree, but that would be alieviated by adjusting his medicine until they perfected it.
Well, his other organs started to fail and he had a few bouts of infection — one that caused him to be unconcious for several days. When he came to, he told my mom that they pulled him away from the light. You have no idea how much I wanted to ask him about that—-did he literally mean that, or was he joking around (my dad was a funny, upbeat guy—allllll of the nurses LOVED him—they said they never had such a delightful paitent). Well, unfortunately I never got to ask him about that, because he had to get a breathing tube, and eventually a trach tube, he was in and out of consciousness, so he couldn’t talk the majority of the last 4 weeks. He never complained though. He was so excited to see his kids and he hated when my mom had to leave for the day—-she was in the hospital with him for a solid 3 months.
The last week he got another bad infection. This time they didn’t seem so sure. They called us all back to the hospital — he had sepsis, an infection of the blood, and he was just too weak to fight it. 8 hours before he died, the docs gave us hope that he’d recover, so my sister and I went home, only to be called back to the hospital a few hours later. It took us an hour of driving to get there, but we made it. He was holding on for us. He held on for an additional 2 hours, and I assured him that everything would be ok—that we’d all take care of each other, and that he would be at peace, with all his loved ones he hasn’t seen in so very long. He only had his eyes half open all day, looking back and forth, but never directly looking at anyone, but he would semi-smile when we told him certain things. Right before he died, he opened his eyes and looked at the ceilng. We were so surprised that we all looked at each other, but my sister said in an instant he made a huge grin, and then it faded away, he lowered his lids back down, and took a few last peaceful breaths. If you didn’t believe in the afterlife before then, you definately would have after seeing that. He lived to be 66. So terribly young.
I have been unusually peaceful about the whole thing up until this week. I knew he was in a better place, not suffering, and that any tears I had were purely about me missing him, not about his condition—how could I feel bad when he was so clearly happy to see whatever he did right before he passed?
I am in the process of cancelling the wedding we were to have in June. We were going to have a civil ceremony here since my dad couldn’t travel to see the religious ceremony we will have in Greece in August. We are keeping the date for the August wedding, but my dad was supposed to be so much a part of the wedding here, that I couldn’t imagine having it so soon. No one in my family is able to go to the Greek wedding, some because of financial reasons, others because of non-financial reasons, and my mother doesn’t seem too interested, even though she could afford it. She hasn’t seemed too interested in the wedding in general, and hasn’t (understandably because of my dad’s illness—-but it was a bit more than that, I know, but that’s for another day). We are still tossing around the idea of having a reception here in the fall, but clearly it would have to be a vowel renewal if we were to have a ceremony. I almost don’t want to face the part where my dad would have walked me down the aisle, but I don’t want to get rid of it either, because I know he’d be there in spirit. On the island in Greece we are getting married, they don’t do the part where the father walks the bride down the aisle, so I don’t have to confront my fears there.
Thanks to those of you who read this whole thing. I know I’m not the first to go through this, or the last, unfortunately. I was “daddy’s girl”, and we had such a special bond, that its hard to imagine I can’t see him, hug him, or laugh with him again on this Earth. The moments it does sink in are pretty unbearable, and based on the utterly sympathetic look on my Fiance, I must be a mess in these moments. I’m glad I could get this out. Every little bit helps. Any advice from those of you who have gone through this would be much appreciated.