I know that title is harsh. But it’s real.
I haven’t talked about this much to anyone. But it replays in my mind sometimes and I can’t get it to go away a lot of those times. I struggle with it in silence because I know that people don’t want to hear about me standing over my dad’s dead body and crying. It’s a harsh and real truth that people don’t like to hear. But maybe there’s someone out there that need the truth. If I had read an article like this at 16 when I lost my dad, I wouldn’t have felt so alone. So here’s the story of that day. For anyone who needs it just as much as I need to write about it.
It was May 16, 2012. I had come home from school and then from there we all went to go visit my dad. The reason he was in the hospital is a whole nother story so I won’t get into it. But basically he had a bone marrow stransplant that ended up not going so well. He has been in the hospital since mid April. He was on a ventilator so he couldn’t talk. He hadn’t been that way since April so seeing him that way was still scary. It didn’t feel real. I always had hope he’d get through it. Anyway, we visited him until the evening and the we kissed him goodbye, said we loved him, and left.
We got home pretty late. I remember getting into bed and laying my head down on my pillow and right as I did so, my phone started ringing. It was my mom. Right away I knew something wasn’t right. I answered, and I’ll never forget the way her voice shaked. She said we needed to head back to the hospital right away because it wasn’t looking like he was going to make it through the night. My heart sunk. I woke up my little sisters (they were 12 at the time) and they started to panic. I tried my best to comfort them, telling them our dad would be okay. Because he’s always okay. I said that because I desperately wanted to believe it. After a few minutes our family friend picked us up and we headed to the hospital. That car ride felt like the longest car ride of my life. It’s honestly kind of a blur now.
We get to the hospital and I don’t say anything. I walk into the hospital and power walk all the way to the floor my dad was on. I had been there so many times i knew exactly where to go. It was weird because they told me to go to the waiting room on the side. Which we never did. I always would go straight into his hospital room. But I didn’t think anything of it, probably because I didn’t want to think that he could already be gone. I walk into the waiting room and I see my sister and my brother just staring blankly at nothing. It was deafeningly silent. I sat down and waited for my mother to come in and tell me what was going on (by this time everyone already knew except me and my little sisters).
My mom walks in the room and tells me and my little sisters to stand up. She huddles us up and says something about his blood pressure going down and then his heart stopping. I think she said something else like he went to heaven. I remember not being able to stand anymore. I couldn’t see anything. I sat down and started crying harder than I’ve ever cried before in my life. My eyes wouldn’t stop. My heart was racing and every time I thought about it I would cry even harder. I remember looking out of the waiting room and seeing all the nurses looking sad and not saying anything while they sat by the front desk. I felt like I wasn’t living in real life. I didn’t want to believe it. My older sister hung on to me and I tried to breathe the best I could.
After a while, we went into my dad’s room and I saw him laying there. Not breathing. He usually had tubes and IV’s everywhere but they had taken them all out of him. He looked normal again, even though he wasn’t even there anymore. I walked over to him and he still felt warm except for his hands. I don’t think I let go of him the entire time we were in that room. I just kept looking at him. How could he be gone? How could he be dead? He’s right there. Right in front of my eyes. I don’t think my heart had felt more broken. In fact, I know it hadn’t. I felt like I had died, too.
I don’t really remember much after that. I don’t remember driving back to my older sisters house. Or falling asleep in her bed. I remember waking up and for a second I had forgot why I was there. And then it hit me soon after that. I don’t remember the rest of that day. Or the 2 days after leading up to the funeral. I remember sitting in the church pews crying while I held my older sisters hand. I remember getting to the gravesite and leaving it. But not much in between. I think I was so heartbroken that my brain is kind of sparing me those memories. It hurt too much to remember. The brain does funny things to you when you go through something traumatic.
And that’s the story of me losing my dad. I could have gone into much more detail, but I think I wrote enough to where you can picture how traumatic is was. And how scary and heartbreaking. It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. But I’m thankful for it. I miss my dad. More than anyone understand. And I still need him. But it happened. And I learned how strong I am. Now I just want to make my dad proud.
I hope this helped someone out there. Losing someone you love like that is one of the worst things of this world. And I’m so sorry for whoever else feels the same loss and pain. I’m here. And you’re not alone.
Thanks for reading, if you got this far. It means so much to me.