Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Missing him...

It's been almost 2 mos.  since my father passed away.  I still miss him.  I still feel the guilt because I was not able to take care of him as much.  I was too busy with my life.  I thought I still have time.   I never thought his passing will be swift.  I thought we had more time than that.    I just applied for my FMLA leave the day before he passed.  I was hoping that he would somehow make it to Christmas 2011.  I think he believed he would make it to Christmas too.  I am haunted by the look in his eyes the last time he was conscious.  His pupils were dilated from anxiety.  He was  fish out of water.   The hospice nurse (and I) believed that he had pulmonary embolism which caused labored breathing and rapid decline. 

I feel tears swelling up my lower lids everytime I pass their apartment and places that remind me of him.  My heart stops whenever my baby mentions the word "tatay," which he does everytime we visit the apartment that my father shared with my  mother who still lives there. 

My grief is still fresh and raw.

Our relationship was far from perfect.  It was dysfunctional at best, hostile at it's worst.  It is a long story.  However, since he passed, I just remember the good times, the good Tatay (Filipino for father).  I think of his sacrifices, his hardwork so we could have good education and life.  The thing that I would never forget  is how his hands looked.  I remember how his fingers had gotten crooked as he aged from arthritis and decades of menial jobs.    I remember he told me to cut my home-made soap smaller as he had difficulty holding it.  When he died that's the only part of his body that did not really changed.  He lost a lot of weight.  His muscles atrophied.  His skin discolored and pale.   He lost his hair.   But his hands remained the same, immortalizing in my memory his life of hardwork and sacrifices for his family.

It is difficult to lose a parent, no matter how imperfect the relationship was.  I prefer him alive.  I know my life was better when he's just 11 miles away.  I love you, Tatay..  Thanks for everything.

P.S.  Despite the breathing difficulty at the end, my father passed away peacefully in Hospice.  He was given meds to slow down his breathing and relieved his pain and anxiety.

8 comments:

Ed said...

I offer my condolences to you again. I am thankful that you were only eleven miles away and got to share time with him before his passing instead of thousands of miles away across an ocean.

Hang onto those memories. From experience, they grow ever sweeter as they age.

geri said...

Lorraine,

He was too young to die. I feel sorry for your loss. I hope the pain will go away in time.

malor said...

Thank you Geri and Ed.

Makis said...

I felt a big thug in my chest while reading this post. Eversince my dad passed away more than 3 years ago (and tears still well up in my eyes everytime I think about him), I have such a different relationship with death. I won't forget the first time I came home to Manila after 4 years & seeing my dad like he aged for 20 years. I was crying every night for a week in bed. We're never ready to see our parents growing old & weak, much more gone. Let's try to spend more time with the person who is hurting more, our mother.

malor said...

@Makis, I agree. You are such a good daughter. I saw your picture with your dad...

malor said...

@Makis, I agree. You are such a good daughter. I saw your picture with your dad...

haze said...

Just remember your Dad in this photo, young, smiling a alive...just to ease your pain. I still have my parents but I know how hard and painful to lose someone we love. Hang on there Malor and am sure things will be healed....in time! Take care.

malor said...

Thanks Haze, The thing is he was young. We are young. I have a baby and job, and household to run. I did not give him the attention that he should have. Thanks for the encouraging words. That's how I will choose to remember him.