My dad died 3:22am June 18, 2018. It was one of the worst days of my life. I sat by his bedside for 26 hours waiting and watching. Listening to doctors come in and out, taking tissues from his wonderful nurse Carley and crying so hard and so much I had an asthma attack. My dad never wanted to be connected to a ventilator and I spent all day telling people, "he didn't want that" "he doesn't want this". And when the moment finally happened and it was all over I was numb.
I arrived home at 4am and slept until 9am. That was all the sleep I had. I spent all day Monday and Tuesday crying, every muscle in my body hurt, they still do. I went to the funeral home with my mom and helped make arrangements. I went into the dreaded casket room and helped pick out the beautiful silver, casket my father was laid in. I cried as I held his clothes, trying to pick out something nice, but not something that he would hate if he was still alive. And I held my moms hand as she picked out the short poem that went inside his memorial cards. It was long, and draining but I am so glad I did it.
We had his funeral on Friday. The Beach Boys played during the viewing as I stood next to my mom and hugged and thanked over 200 people. My dad never knew a stranger. It was a beautiful service, one I will remember for the rest of my life. The party we had for him afterward out the biggest smile on my face. All of my dads childhood friends were there, all the family and massive amounts of food and music. It was everything he always said he wanted.
It's been one week since my dad died. One week and one day. And I think about him all the time. I think of the "what if's" the "remember when's" and I cry. Not all day long like I did, but I cry. I fight back tears every minute of every day. Everything in our house reminds me of him, everything in this small town reminds me of him. I wonder if he would still be alive if I would have texted him back, I wonder if he would still be alive if I would have talked to him more in the past three months. I wonder all the time.
Most people suffer from survivor's guilt, when they lived and the person they were with did not. I however consider my situation Survivor's Grief. I am a live, I don't have a head trauma, I am not suffering from chronic pain or autoimmune diseases. I survived, but I am I drenched in grief. I am drowning in an ocean of emotions and I can't figure out how to swim to the top, I can't figure out how to make my lungs contract and push oxygen into my body and keep my heart pumping. I have Survivor's Grief, and one day I will be okay. That day may not be today, it may not be months from now, but I will eventually learn how to put the pieces of myself back together and live without my dad.