I feel as though I am dying too
(Las Vegas, NV, USA)
Just yesterday, I committed my 88-year old father to hospice care because we both knew that he could not recover from further orthopedic surgery, but I feel as though I am a murderer. I had to do the same for my mother back in 2006, and now the story repeats, but this time it is unbearable. I feel as though I am lying beside my father right now, dying along with him. After my mother died, I became my father’s constant companion. We lived together, cooked and ate together, had real fun together, and we were both happy, even though I know that he was never quite the same after my mother died, and hence, his health was declining in small ways. He was a tremendously strong man, physically and in every way, and I always felt safe and protected, even during the years when I did not live near my parents. Just to hear his voice over the telephone made anything and everything all right, and I can hear his voice now, and I feel as though I am dying from grief. I am alone in the house we shared, and I don’t know how I am going to survive. I have no friends anymore because all were moved away by the time my father and I were living together, and what few acquaintances I have do not want to be bothered with someone’s grief. I do have an aunt and some cousins who live in the same city, but we have not been close for years because they always want to borrow money – my father was very successful and has left me financially secure for the rest of my life, and I shall always be so grateful to him for that, among so many other reasons, but right now, I would give away everything I have just to bring him back. The next-door neighbor is a very nice elderly lady, but she is Mormon, and all she cares about is trying to get me to go to the temple with her, so she pretends to be interested in anything I might talk about only for that reason. I feel completely alone. I have not eaten anything, just drunk tea, for many days. Technically, my father has not even died yet, but I am coming apart from missing him already. I have been praying that his death will be soon, but it may not be because, as I just described, he has always been strong of body and mind, so he will probably fight the Reaper too. I have never felt this devastated before about anything. I was bereaved when my mother died, but I remember being glad that my mother went first because my father has always been such a strong authority figure for me, which made me closest to him. I am an only child, and I am single, with no children, all by choice. I had a very good job elsewhere but quit it to return home when my mother died, and then my father and I lived together after her death, and now I feel lost and empty and dead to life. My face is so raw and swollen from sobbing that I look like a different person. My birthday is in a few weeks, and so is my father’s – we were born two days apart. I think, forever more, I’ll spend my birthday in grief because we used to celebrate together. I do try to look at a bright side, which is that I was my father’s round-the-clock caregiver, and that was sad and hard work, and so was going back and forth to the hospital, but I feel now as though I would do it all over again just to have him back. I love him so much that I hurt all over. I feel as though a knife is lodged in my heart, and I am literally bleeding to death.