Cheaper than therapy

It’s been almost a year since Dad died.

It is inconceivable to me that the planet has continued to rotate and has actually gone all the way around the sun since then. Time didn’t stop. The world just went on as before. But not really.

My dad is gone. I don’t know where he is really. He may be in heaven, whatever that is. Maybe a fishing hole in the north woods? On a little boat with good cigars? At the final clinching game of the Cubs World Series? In his big recliner with his many children and grandchildren running around him? At an all-you-can-eat buffet at a casino?

Or is he nowhere? Just gone. Or is he all around us? Or in us?

I don’t know. I wish I did. Then I could know that I’ll maybe see him again.

I take meds now. The original dose made me numb. I couldn’t cry even if I tried. I cut it in half and now, if I concentrate, or if I write, I can bring my feelings out for air. I am glad I finally found this outlet. Or re-found it, I guess. So I may be writing again.

I had a few dreams a week or so ago, and Dad was in them. He wasn’t a main character, and the dreams weren’t about him, but he was there. He was a benevolent presence, encouraging, comforting. I felt relaxed, calm, happy with him around. I felt like I knew where he was, and that he could find me if he wanted to. But I couldn’t find him at will, I could only hope for him to pop up from time to time to make himself known. I could live with that. Begrudgingly.

Times when it is very quiet and I’m alone are hard. I think too deeply and I cry. The relief is welcome, but I am left drained. I am doing the work. Still.

Dad did the work. He worked hard, and he did it for us. He wanted to be alive for us. I thanked him for his work, I praised his effort. I reassured him that it would be worth it, he would be better than ever by Thanksgiving. I wanted to believe it so badly. But each ‘episode’ killed another piece of his heart muscle. He was running on fumes and will at the end. Even Greg, the strongest man I know, who exerted every effort and devoted every waking minute to Dad’s loving care, couldn’t keep him alive.

It was beyond our control and our powers. Dad was taken in his sleep. I hope it was instantaneous and that he didn’t have to fight. I hope it was easy at the very end. I feel bad he was alone, but he was in his bed, in his home, with the people he loved.

I can only hope for such an exit.

I miss my dad. I love him and I miss him. And that is all.