Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Ones Left Behind

The weight of my father’s death is hitting me right now. I’m not sure exactly what triggered it. I have been editing family pictures from my childhood, and came to the folder for my father. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t open the file and study the photos, looking for flaws, reliving the moments. I felt a knot in my stomach as reality set in again. I am without a father. I have a mother. I have a brother and sister. But, my father is no longer living. I saw a picture of his friends from a Halloween party in the 90s. I couldn’t remember their names, and my first thought was to ask my father. But, I cannot. The only memories I will have of my father are what have already happened. We cannot make any new ones.

Maybe this all seems obvious as you read it.

But there is a realization that goes along with accepting that my father has died. It’s hard to accept that reality, because for the entirety of my almost 30 years of life, my father has been alive. He has been a phone call away. Or a drive away. Or even a “Hey, can you tell daddy _____” away. But now, all of that has changed.

My dad was sick for weeks, without knowing how sick. He thought he had the flu. But, the reality was that he was very ill. I believe that if he had known how sick he was, he would have found some way to get medical help. But, he didn’t instead, he passed away of sepsis. What probably started as an ulcer ended his life.

Now, the rest of us are left to sort everything out. My brother is in charge of all the legal stuff as executor of the estate. My sister is the beneficiary to his life insurance, which puts a burden on her to decide what she is going to do with the money. Although nothing was legally left to me, as his middle child and baby girl, I feel responsible to support my sister and brother in all the decisions they are required to make now. My mom…. Well, she is trying to mediate and be there for all of us.

In addition to his immediate family, there is his sister. She just lost her only sibling in the middle of their mother getting older and sicker, she has to deal with the loss of her younger brother. Their mother, my Nana, also has to deal with this loss somehow. She was somewhat confused at first, not really digesting that he was gone. Now, she has to figure out someway to move forward without the son that she sacrificed for, raised without a father much of the time and took care of whenever he needed no matter his age.

In the middle of all of this, God is stirring tons in my heart. No worries, there will be a seperate post on that. Not everything about death is depressing :)

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