A year ago today, my father was taken off life support. In the early morning, unable to sleep, I penned this as my final farewell to my Dad. The holidays can be a hard time for people, to lose someone so close to Christmas makes it even harder. For all of you out there who have lost someone and are struggling to put into words the grief that you feel, maybe mine can help.
My Father will die today….
In a few hours, as the sun comes up, I will get out of bed. Like every other morning, I will start the coffee, and take a shower, brush my teeth and my hair. I will pick out clothes to wear. I will pick out something that I won’t mind ever not wearing again, for today is the day my father will die.
Today, I will get into my car and drive to the hospital, like I have done every day for a month. I will go into my Father’s room and tell him again that I love him. I will hold his hand and tell him it’s going to be okay. It’s important to say these things because I will never again have the chance to tell him. Because today is the day my Father is going to die.
Today, the hospital staff will come in, and with quiet words, tell us that they are going to turn off the machines that have kept him alive this last month. They will pat our shoulders and say words that they hope will help. Because they too know that today is the day my father will die and they want to help, but know that they cannot no matter how much they try.
Today, I want my Father to know that I forgave him for my childhood, many years ago. I never told him out loud before, I guess I didn’t think I needed to. But I have. I think it’s important now for him to know, to have no doubts when he leaves us, to know that. I want him to know how much I have grown to like him as a person, that I understand now that when I was growing up he suffered from severe anxiety and it was fear that made him act the way he did. I want him to know that I am thankful he had the courage to get the help he needed that allowed us to have a relationship as adults that had not been possible when I was a child. It’s important that he knows this, because today is the day my Father is going to die, and I do not want to be one of his regrets.
Today, I will tell my Father all the things I never said out loud, because I always thought I would have time. I will remind him of the times he made me laugh, and the last lunch we had together, the times he stood up for me and the times he made me proud. Because today is the day my Father is going to die, and I will never have the chance to do so again.
Today I will smile and celebrate my Father’s life. I will stand strong for my family, and I will say the words that will help them deal with their grief. For today their father, husband, brother, uncle and grandfather will die.
And tomorrow, I will cry, for my Father died today, and I will never see him again. I will never again be able to pick up the phone and talk to him. I will never again sit terrified in the passenger seat while my Father sits behind the wheel of his truck. I will never again take him to lunch or be able to invite him over to my home, for anything. He will never again sneak a brat or a beer behind my stepmother’s back while begging me not to tattle on him. I will never again look up to my strong Father and see him smile back at me.
My Father will die today and I will miss him.
Source: My Final Farewell to my Father