Have you ever lost someone, that it hurts so much? That person you wont see again as they haven’t just left your life but they have left this realm of the living?
“Don’t pity the dead pity the living….”
We all will experience death in one form either a close relative or someone from our extended circle of friends. With every death we all go through each stage of the grief process many will not have all the stages of grief and some will, Kuber-Ross Grief cycle includes;
Each death will go through the 5 stages in some way but they will be handled differently with each death. Some will avoid certain stages, and may never recover from the loss.
Most people know my father had an accident nearly 10 years ago, where he was left as a paraplegic from the neck down. He was able to talk and shout, he wasn’t the same man I grew up with. For 6 years he was in a wheel chair but the majority of the years, he was bed ridden due to a server bedsore and poor medical care he received in one of the care homes which wasn’t equipped for someone like my father to be.
Sadly, in the year the world was watching the UK the most the year of the Olympics, 4 days within my birthday and his birthday. My dad sadly lost the battle against pneumonia. On the 21st January 2012 I was told in front of my father he didn’t have much longer on this earth. As he had already had “surge” he had bounced back the day before as he seemed he was getting better. None of us were ready for the downhill rapidly.
I was in the hospital having to make the call to his family of brothers to get them to come in not for support for me as I am dead to the family, to say goodbye to there brother. The man who was always there for them, but they were never there for him or his actual family. Throughout the day I had to entertain these people going in talking down to me, as if I didn’t know what was going on or how difficult it was for them losing a brother. They sadly forgot about the fact I was losing my father at the same time. Even with my dad’s power of attorney daughter (AKA the toad) tell me how important my father was to her and how she wouldn’t hurt him, also she deserves to be in there more. This person is the same person who outed me to my father, on New Years Day.
On the day I was told my father would be moving on to a better world, I didn’t fear nor did he not being there anymore. I was and am always sad my dad isn’t here seeing me grow up or seeing all the milestones I achieve but also the same milestones he could have achieved.
My father passed on 22nd January 2012 at 00:54. He was told he would most likely pass within 2 hours, this was at 3pm on the 21st. My dad stubborn as they come didn’t want to go just yet at that point and he carried on until he was ready to pass. I have never been prouder of my dad as he chooses to stop treatment, whilst his brothers were against it and I supported my father’s decision he had full capacity to make the decision and he did. He asked for time with just me and for the first time in 6 years he held me, I sat next to him and he told me to rest my head on him, and he lifted his arm something he did rarely due to his condition but he stroked my hair, he was telling me things he had never said to me. One of them he couldn’t stop saying he was proud of me. I had grown up with a difficult hand dealt and he admitted he didn’t shape my life as much as he would have wanted too. My mum and her and my family did. One of the brothers gave me a compliment the one and only compliment I ever got, “I am a credit to him & he should be proud of me” which my dad said he was.
As he is stubborn he carried on and I knew it wouldn’t be till the following day he would pass, even though he was praying he didn’t. everyone went but I stayed with his POA and I sat with him talked to him, helped to cool him down as he was burning up. My dad’s old carer shaved him and the only aftershave we had was mine, for some reason I had my “Paul Smith- Men” in my bag. It’s the last aftershave he put on and he liked it.
Midnight came and it was just the 3 of us, the nurse and on duty doctor gave my dad some pain relief, which was strong enough to help him fall asleep so I stayed holding his hand. Those that know my dad he is a wind up merchant and loved to do it to me. The death rattle happening and then silence in the room, my dad stopped breathing, I was alone with my dad and burst into tears. Then he snored! I will admit I did hit the floor as he is the first person I have ever see pass on. He repeated this a few times, and then the final rattle, he was gone. My father the man who use to be able to pick me up when I fell over. The man who gave me the biggest hug after he found out I was gay. He was now free.
The hardest part for me wasn’t saying goodbye, I had to tell people. I worked my way through and called my dad’s brother and let him know. I was fine as I have said I am not close to my dad’s family by their choosing. I said the usual I am sorry for your loss. Forgetting at this point I had just lost my father. I was still in shock and due to the lack of emotional attachment to them I just wanted to get off the phone as soon as I could. I then had to call my mum, this is where it hit me, my dad was no longer here he was walking on to be welcomed into the skies above. Telling my mum was one of the single most difficult calls and conversations I had. I broke down telling my mum. After calling my mum, I thought of support for her but also for me, I called my godmother also my aunt to be there for my mum.
After making the calls I went back to see my dad, I didn’t want him to be alone. I sat there and walked over to him give him a kiss. It’s weird how fast a body can become cold, losing all the warmth especially after him burning up. I pulled the sheet over to give him some peace so he could sleep.
At 3am we left the hospital and made the long journey home. It was the weirdest journey home even after he past I didn’t cry I just laughed. The taxi back to my home town I was smiling and thinking it is finally over.
When I say that, I mean he no longer has to be reliant on anyone, my dad has/ was very independent and didn’t like to ask for help. He always had a lot of respect for himself and pride and every day his pride was being taken away the dignity he had was no more. Now he has that as he is walking and free of illness and was finally whole. No Matter what I will always love my dad and wish he was here but I am glad he doesn’t have to live the way he was.
I kept it quiet when I woke from a brief sleep, and begun to feel the pain and denial stage, making that call to my mum to see if it was just a dream I didn’t lose my father that morning. Alas it wasn’t a nightmare I had defiantly lost my father and was now in the new chapter of my life. I didn’t tell the world what had happened instead I told a few people, I cancelled my birthday with friends for the following week but told them. The messages began to fly in, about my loss but also my family’s loss. It took me a while to finally find the worlds to say. My last Facebook post about it was “00:54” nothing else I just left the status and any comments associated to it.
Every loss will change and shape our lives in some way, and it depends on who you are to how you deal with grief and you actually grieve some people will avoid the grieving process and fell they don’t need to or know how to. Each person will need to take those steps alone and in their own way, letting in people when they need to.
Four years have passed and each year it slowly gets a tiny bit easier and the memories get a slightly more distant from how it happened and pasted. Each day is the same, moments and memories come back and can bring different emotional moments. Reality for me is, my father actually passed when his accident happened, as he was no longer the big strong father I had. I turned into his carer and slowly seeing the guilt I had for what had happened but he also slowly losing who he was as every day passed.
For me a comment that was said above I am a credit to my father. I am but I am also a credit to my Mum, My Aunt & Cousin and those who are walking along beside us. Those that shaped my life I am who I am because of them. I am not like my dad’s family but I am the person he is proud of.
Sleep tight Dad.
22.01.1956 to 22.01.2012
Happy 60th Birthday Dad
He is ONE x