Where Are You?
My dad is dead. He passed away on the 15 of August 2013... he died. Passed away sounds so euphemistic. I've heard so many people talk about how you feel as if the person you've lost should walk through the door at any minute. People tell me that for a while it won't feel real. I don't get that. It's hard for this to feel anything but real, I was there. That morning we were working together at his shed, putting a new track on his excavator. I had just moved back home from across the country. We hadn't lived together since I was 17, and he was disappointed with me for some mistakes I had made. We were always too alike, even though I was the daughter and my brother was meant to be the one to take after him.
It was a normal day. I went inside to put some laundry on. When I came back out, he walked up to me and said he wasn't feeling well. Ten minutes later I was holding his hand telling him I was with him and the ambulance would be here soon. He looked at me, in that fierce way he had, and said, "It doesn't matter if I die, as long as your mum knows how much I love you all." He lost consciousness less than a minutes after the paramedics took over... but the kept working on him for over half an hour.
My dad was the simplest and most complicated person I will ever know, a mix of pride and insecurity. He loved my mother with a passion so fierce and so common place, it made their relationship something there were always willing to work for, and something I'm scared I'll never live up to. I never in my life have doubted that he loves me, but he could hurt me more than anyone else I have known. He's the only person I have ever felt safe being angry at.
I lived away from home for a long long time but i always knew he was there some where, and that he loved me. I don't expect him to walk through the door, but the feeling that hits me hardest is when I remember that I can't call home and hear his voice, that I won't be seeing him again, won't fight with him again. When the paramedics were trying to resuscitate him I remember curling into a ball and just saying please please please please. No matter how much I feel he is somewhere, I can't find him, I can't see him or hear him or touch him. I just want him back! The intensity of this scares me... and yet even know, like I did with the knowledge he was there in the past, I still feel like I'm taking him for granted.