For My Dad

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know that my Dad has a terminal illness, Interstitial Lung Disease. This basically means that he has scar tissue forming on his lungs.  It is progressive and eventually it will kill him.  He has already outlived the average life span for someone post-diagnosis by taking really good care of himself.  However, over the past few weeks we’ve seen him go seriously downhill, and from Thursday to Friday he went from having a slight cold to serious pneumonia and having to be hospitalized.  He was sicker than I’d ever seen him before, not able to communicate with us, just opening his eyes briefly and then falling back to sleep.  I thought that this was “it”.  After two antibiotic infusions and several breathing treatments, he improved dramatically, but he’s still in the hospital.  Regardless, we know that it’s just a matter of months, or less.

Seeing someone you love and knowing that they will soon cease to be alive is so acutely painful, it’s almost numbing. After all I’ve been through with my illness, I’ve ceased believing in God or any Loving Presence that wants the best for us.  However, I can’t help but pray for my Dad.  I’m asking his previously passed sisters to come and be by his side.  I wish I could have a sign that they’re here with him.  I want him to be comforted.  He has been such a tremendous caretaker and provider for his wife and six kids, I know he doesn’t want to leave us.  He needs to know that we will be ok.  For me in particular, as sick as I have been with my Bipolar, I need to let him know that I will be ok once he’s gone.

I’ve found Dad’s hospitalization and near-death to be extremely stressful, but I’m coping. I’m still stable.  I’m lucky enough to have some mechanisms in place to help me deal with the feelings.  I have close, supportive sisters.  I exercise.  I take time to myself.  I write.  Sometimes, I just sit down and cry.  And that’s appropriate.

I don’t know how much longer I get to have my Dad alive, but I want to be brave enough to be with him, and be with him with an open heart. I want to be brave enough to talk with him about death, if he wants to.  I want to honestly reassure him that I will be ok, and then back that promise up with positive action.  This is one of those times where life isn’t easy, and the most important thing is to be present for the moment.  I’m hoping to put into practice every life lesson I’ve learned so far, to be my best me.  For my Dad.

24 thoughts on “For My Dad

  1. ” I want to honestly reassure him that I will be ok”

    That’s really all we can do. I went through something similar with my mom many years ago, and was with her until the very end, and know that hearing is the last sense to go. I continued to reassure my mom until she felt comforted and safe enough to let go. I’m certain my dad and her parents were there to greet her at heaven’s gate.

  2. BPoF, I’m so sorry. I never knew. Having lost my mother years ago I can imagine what you’re going through. Your approach is brave and realistic. Draw from your life lessons, use your support system, and as you say, live in the moment. You are wise and brave and resilient and I am here for you too. This comes with much love xx

  3. You know I love you! Gotta state for the record that first!

    I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful you’re stable and doing the the absolute best things you can do to take care of yourself!!!

    I was very, very close with my Dad. When his system started to fail the first time, I flew down to L.A. and rushed to be by his side at the hospital. He miraculously pulled through.

    The second time, though, he went downhill so fast I wasn’t there when he died. I can’t tell you how important it was that I be with him when he died, one of the reasons was because he was terrified of death and he couldn’t even talk about it when he was WELL and much younger, but for various reasons I wasn’t there.

    I bring that up because the fact you can be near your Dad and that he has you there is a precious, precious thing. It ain’t easy, it ain’t no picnic, but it will be something you’ll carry with the rest of your life, knowing you were there for him when it truly mattered. You’re an amazing, loving daughter and he couldn’t ask for more, sweet friend.

    I believe that our loved ones will be there to help us pass over to wherever we go, so his sisters etc. will be there for him. I also think that wherever the next existence is, it’s a helluva lot better one than here.( I read shitloads of books that say it’s true, and hell, I’m gonna buy it.)

    Sending you all the good juju in the world, beautiful! Keep doing all the good things you’re doing for yourself, okay? This is the most important time to do that.

    I’ll be thinking of you a lot!!!!!!!
    Sending you my love always,
    XOXOXOXOX

    • Thanks so much for the words of wisdom, DyDy!!! I was with him until almost 9pm last night, got to feed him his dinner (his arms aren’t working) and it was a sweet/bittersweet time. Just trying to be present. He knows I’m there and didn’t want me to leave. Dammit! Of course I had to but I will be with him again tonight. And thanks for the love, I send it right back!! Appreciate your support and everything you do ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Thank you Hazel 🙂 The comments are very supportive. Life is hard sometimes. I’m trying to walk through this with grace and be there for my parents. So far so good. One day at a time.

  4. I offer prayers for you and your dad. My mom also has Interstitial Lung Disease. I am quite familiar with watching your parent decline because of this. She too has outlived her “expiration date” that was given, but her continual coughing just makes me sad. I hope your dad gets better soon.

  5. Dammit, BPOF…I’m crying over here for you, for your dad, your family, the crap-tastic way life can be sometimes. Were I in your shoes, I can guarantee that I would be a complete mess. I don’t deal well with death, and I’m not the strong person that can be there for family, or can be there very well. Kudos to you for holding it together. Your dad is seeing how you are handling this, and I am sure he is proud, even if he can’t say it. My prayers and thoughts and good juju to you, my friend. ❤

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