Grief during Christmas Season
Hello dear readers.
I never thought I'd write a hub on my father's death. But after much reflection and the current circumstances, I need to reveal the secrets behind what it is like to grieve and in my case during Christmas.
My father to tell you the truth, was a difficult man, an authority figure, who was often a yeller. I do have fond memories as well from childhood and our love of music.
My father was shy and didn't have a lot of friends. He did his very best though to create an atmosphere for us at home. When he came home we ran up to him and kissed him. He cooked all the meals including Thanksgiving and Christmas. And he loved children- he had 10. I'm the youngest.
I have always felt special being the youngest in this family of 10. I feel like a cute teddybear who can hug anyone. I have an affectionate heart.
I am grateful really that I spent the last three years with my father. It enabled me to be at peace when he died. It was a relief after all that suffering he went through, all those times he almost died in front of me and calling 911. This was a rollercoaster of emotion for such an amount of time.
No one, according to a grief leaflet I read from my local church, accepts a death easily. And it is advised to let yourself FEEL what you need to feel, for as long as you need to. This was a surprise to me but appears to be the most reasonable way to heal.
In my father's last days......
It began when he was in the ICU in Norwood Hospital three years ago. He pulled thru and was surprised he said. He was in his home for awhile, making his own breakfast while wheeling around in his chair. Very independent. He was still quite himself, a loud speaker.
The best times for me were at night, when if I couldn't sleep, I came down to his room to speak with him. He was always awake- as he sleeps off and on- and he was grateful for my company. Mom told me he slept better when I spent time talking. We chatted. I got him gingerale. Sometimes I rubbed his feet with lotion. He told me how kind I was. This made me feel good.
Over time dad was in and out of rehab, back home, back in the hospital. He got weaker and in diapers. My sister became his nurse; she had to change his diaper and hoist him from the bed to the wheelchair. He sat outside in the sun in his chair. He rolled around; my nicece was there some of the time, he still yelled at her some----as he was known to do if she or any kid misbehaved.
Up until the end-----till 4 days before his last ICU, dad was coherent and himself. He at times did seem like he had dementia but it was only temporory. He was seeing people who were not there at times. Or he thought he had something in his hand that wasn't there. This did not bother me, I just wanted to be of help.
LOVE AND LOVE
Dad never was affectionate ever. I guess all his brothers are not either. But as dad got older, and since I am a huggy person, I began hugging him and it became a ritual when I visited him to give him a kiss on the forehead as I leave. I know he liked it. He felt loved. I said "I love you dad" and he said "thankyou for saying that". I know that although he was unable to express his love, he did love us.
CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN
Where credit is due.
All of my sisters and brothers did their very best to provide comfort for dad at those last three years. It's pretty impressive really. These are the ones and some of the things they did:
bob- used his carpentry skills to provide safety in the home
mary- came to visit from far away and had spiritual talks with dad--he often asked for her
john- did pick dad up many times when he fell
joan- came to visit, was a nurse for a couple days, always brought his fav blue cheese
wally-shopped and bought 50 yogurts or more at a time. dad loved to stock up on food.
louise-worked geniously as a caretaker for dad the last year, and was compassionate and kind
joe- joe was very close to dad. Dad always smiled when Joe was around. Joe took pains to make dad happy and spent countless overnights keeping dad company in the hospital.
cathy- she did alot of shopping and bought and cooked his favorite foods.
bill- took dad to doctor appointments.
rose (me)- spent lots of one on one time.
You can never tell the good things you do, and leave out the rest.