A difficult time

8 March 2007

Whoa — a lot’s been happening this year. Basically my dad had an operation that left him in constant severe pain, and having his bladder removed left him having to deal with living with a colostomy bag. I had a call last November to tell me that he was losing the will to live, and I flew up to see him. He confirmed that he did indeed want it to end — and was fed up with people telling him not to think like that. I got across to him that I accepted and understood what he was saying. He went from hospital ward to hospice to nursing home, and finally died on January 4th. The last time I saw him (about a week beforehand) he had looked grim: thin, weak, miserable, barely able to keep his eyes open. But I think he was reassured that there were no loose ends. I also wanted him to know that I was happy in life, though I’m not sure to what extent he could take it in.

So there was a flurry of difficult activity at the start of the year: flights, funeral details, bank accounts, registering the death, and so on. One thing I noticed is that what makes one want to cry over a loss is not simply the loss itself but—perhaps more so—the kindness of others when they acknowledge your loss and offer help.

Throughout all this I meditated and maintained an even keel, though my earlier mood of elation changed into something more hum-drum. It was an emotionally challenging time after all, and there are still repercussions to deal with. I feel like I have a deal of introspecting to do, but not the time or energy to do it.

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