“Dad, You’re Free”

My dad’s declining health and his temper tantrums made me angry.

Why was my emotion of anger?

Because I felt like he didn’t care about himself enough.

Because he should have eaten better.

Because he wasn’t the person I knew and he didn’t know how to interact anymore.

Because I saw no light at the end of the tunnel when it came to him getting better.

I was angry at him AND at the universe.Because underneath it all, I was so profoundly sad I was losing my dad, even though at that point, I already had. He was never the same since September 20th, 2011.

While his stroke attacked his brain, cancer attacked his bones.

If it wasn’t one thing, it was always something else. And I just couldn’t anymore. I was so bitter and frustrated because he was so bitter and frustrated.I didn’t know how to meet him with love in these moments.

His other arm ended up breaking not even 2 years after the first one did, this time, just sleeping on it was enough for his deteriorating bones. I felt like he was slowly withering away right in front of me.

September 2015, 4 years after his stroke, he was half the size he used to be. If you knew him, you’d know he was a big man with a big belly, so to see him so small, was very strange. His hair had greyed 10 times faster, his cognitive function was the worst it had ever been and it was at this point where he was barely taking care of his own needs.

I can’t remember why he was finally admitted to the hospital this time around, but he went in with a different problem and they kept him for many others. We had no idea if he was coming home but I was actually hoping they’d keep him there. It was so difficult to live through some days at home – I felt so much for my caretaker mother but I couldn’t bare to do more than I was.

My heart ached with pain, I couldn’t bare the sight of him. Talking to him made it even worse. He lacked so much comprehension at this point, he couldn’t hold a conversation or answer my questions on things I wanted to hear from his mouth one more time like, “what’s your favourite Beatles song?”

There was nothing left for me here, I didn’t want to see him again in this way. It felt traumatizing to witness.

I visited him only once on his days there; September 19th, 2015.

The night before September 29th, 2015, he had been moved to Hospice, next door to the hospital. When a call in the morning came in to notify us of his transfer, they announced along with it that my dad had actually passed away.

Tears swept over me as I was told the news. But as much as I was sad he was gone, there was a deep cradle of relief.

Reminding myself, “Dad, you’re free.”

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