Hello. I’ve been having a bit of a blogging break. I think it’s because I haven’t wanted to think too much about things. This is a hard week for me. Today is the anniversary of my dad’s death. It was 2 years ago and it was unfair and it was a shock. He died of mesothelioma which is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It was a cruel and swift cancer. It was my birthday this week too and that is the day my dad had his last "festa." I have a lot to say about it but I don’t think I can today.
This year has been different to the first. The first year after he died was raw. The second year, I have tried to not think about things and be really busy. I know those thoughts are simmering under the surface though.
I remember odd things. Mum and I left the palliative care unit at about 11pm on Dec 23rd 2009 and the lovely nurses said they would call if there were any developments. At about 3am, mum’s mobile rang and the ring tone was Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. It was so loud and whenever I hear that song I think of that time. We raced to palliative care and sat in dad’s room. My brother and my godmother met mum and I there.
Watching someone die is an indescribable privilege. Dad’s breathing was hard and laboured. We pleaded with him to let go. It was so heartbreaking but he was suffering too much and no one should live like that. He gestured for us to let him be and we sat in the quiet. We had said all the words that we wanted to say; we had said them over the previous few weeks. We said some more prayers and we waited.
Given it was the week before Christmas I had agonised over what present to buy him and when to give it to him. Ridiculous really; who cares? I bought him a blanket and gave it to him a couple of days before. He couldn’t take it in. I sat in the chair in his room that morning of the 24th of December with the blanket over me while I waited for him to take his last breath.
Just as dawn broke we heard some birds chirping and he drew his last breath…we stood up and rushed over to him. It was such an enormous relief. His suffering was over. The beautiful palliative care nurse had a gorgeous Irish accent and she went and picked a peach coloured rose from the garden and put it on his pillow.
We said our final goodbyes and left that palliative care room. The relief was immeasurable and the emptiness palpable. I remember I had to stop off at the local corner shop to get some milk or something trivial and I remember being greeted by the shop assistant, “so you all ready for Christmas?” I don’t remember my answer but I remember feeling like I had been dropped on Earth from another planet.
I didn’t think I was going to say much today and I don’t know why I chose to say this.
We are choosing to celebrate Christmas Eve and dad’s anniversary with a seafood banquet every year. Dad loved seafood and that will be our thing. I can’t write about how much I miss my dad or how cheated we all feel and how cruel and unfair this situation is.
I just can’t write anymore.