My dad died yesterday. I’m crying even at writing that. I didn’t think this was something I’d have to deal with for at least another 15-20 years, but life is unfair like that. I’m not really even sure why I’m writing this, but I feel I need another outlet for how I feel, and Facebook isn’t really cutting it.
Yesterday was kind of like two days. We went to bed Saturday evening, but got a call from the hospital at 2am Sunday saying his condition had worsened. We’d been expecting this, but it was still pretty horrible. We sat with him and cried. I think he was conscious we were there; after about half an hour he reached out for my mum, who hugged him and said ‘You can go if you want to; you don’t have to fight any more; you’ve been so brave.’ I told him he’d been the best dad ever. Slowly his breathing became more and more shallow and, after a time, we realised he’d left us.
You don’t really know what to do. The hospital staff do – they’ve seen it all before. We felt like we were abandoning him when we left. Came home and sat about stupidly until about 5am, then went to bed. Didn’t sleep too much.
Sunday morning proper and it wasn’t all a dream, but still didn’t feel like reality. Still doesn’t. Busied ourselves – there’s quite a bit to be busy with, when someone dies. You don’t realise til it happens. Letting people know, trying not to cry when people are sympathetic (I need a ‘please do not rub, pat, hug or say “I’m so sorry”‘ sign to wear, seriously.)
Told close family. Still didn’t seem real. Went to the fridge to get a drink and saw his absolute favourite blue stilton in there. Howling after that.
Today was another busy day; funeral planning, probate, inheritance tax, pensions, bank accounts, death certificate, life insurance. I feel if I keep moving from task to task, from room to room, I won’t have to think about it. It won’t have time to be real. It’s like skating on thin ice; if you keep moving you won’t fall through.
I want to speak at his funeral. I want to say what he meant to me. But I know I won’t be able to hold it together to manage it. How do I fix that? How do people do it?
Total selfish moment; my sister has worked alongside my dad in running the family sailing school business for a long while. Because I’ve lived in London for 12 years, very few of the students/instructors etc. know who I am. All the messages of condolence are to my mum and sister. I feel invisible. It used to be like that with Christmas cards – all for my mum, dad and sister. Didn’t bother me so much. This does. But I know how petulant that sounds and I’m not proud.