I was able to take time off of work to be with my mom. I slept poorly on the couch in the hospital room for what felt like hours. I wanted to try to get back to work but, at this point, I can’t remember if I went the next day or not.
It was too traumatic, and when I am faced with trauma, I repress it. It keeps me fresh, but also drives me bonkers.
My mom had friends bringing food to her and the like. Doctors weren’t able to tell us what he ingested, what was happening, any of that. Throwback to part 1: we did not know until basically when we had to pull the plug that he had seized and stopped breathing for 10 minutes in the ambulance over. And because those dickheads didn’t tell us, it prolonged our suffering, and he was kept on basically life support for a week. The machine breathed for him, fed him, went to the bathroom. He basically wasn’t doing anything. Several times during the week before we had to pull the plug, they tried to remove the breathing tube to get him to breathe on his own and he refused. Also, several times he tried to rip out the tube if they didn’t sedate him enough, so he was basically comatose.
And because of all of the abuse he put us through, this was just a new form of abuse that I had to partake in. Little did I realize, once he passed, I had to become the man of the house, so to speak. My mom came to me for everything. I had to do things I never imagined, find forms, hunt through his phone (where I found out he was a cheating bastard, like he always was), and close his business and deal with his asshole customers who wouldn’t wait until after the funeral to demand refunds.
My grandma came down from Duluth, 2-3 hours north of us. My dad was her only kid. 3 years ago, my grandpa (her husband) died. She was still not over that. So now, her only kid, comatose from a prescription drug overdose, was the next hurdle in her life. I’m surprised she didn’t even die of sadness in the hospital room watching him.
I was in between work and just being too sad to concentrate. Even now (April 2017) I don’t know how to process the time. Lots of anger that lingers on and on.
September 4th, Andrew and I went to the State Fair at night to try and ease our minds. It was a miracle we were able to go, financially. But it was one of the greatest trips to the fair I had had in a long time and I appreciate the lights in the dark and the root beer, cheese curds, and arcade games as a break from this shit show.
Then, September 5th, we learned that my dad kept having heart attacks. When they would try to move his body to clean him or weigh him (from a scale on the ceiling, it was quite an endeavor, but he couldn’t stand, and they had to monitor him) his body would seize again and again. Our options were a care facility, where he’d basically be a comatose vegetable (grandma’s words) or we pull the plug. So at 3 PM, I watched my father die.
And the worst part was my grandma speaking to him and guiding him into that afterlife comfort, telling him it’s OK. That his dad (my grandpa) is there to meet him. And that she lost her only fucking child right before her eyes. That’s why I cried. He would have been 49 his next birthday. That my mom watched her husband of almost 25 years die. That my brother, who never got an apology, watched him die. And I, who refused to reconcile without an apology, watched him die. My mom’s mom and friend were there, and so was Andrew.
It sounded like he was snoring, like he was just sleeping. But then it sounded like he was choking. I know he had sleep apnea, so it wasn’t an unfamiliar sound, but the snoring never came back and all the movement stopped.
What I thought was going to be the end of the sexual abuse nightmare… didn’t end. A relief I expected to feel… briefly came, but it’s been replaced by a melancholy of the dad he could have been and the relationship we could have had, had he not been abusive. That this journey I thought I had been on, would close with his death. But it didn’t. Even as I type, I cry, because I’m so angry, and so sad. And I cannot process my thoughts clearly. There’s so many facets.
After his death, pronounced at 3:12 PM I believe, we just… went home. I took Andrew to work, dropped my mom off, and drove my grandma the 3 hours to Duluth, where she lived alone. We stopped by a roadside cafe to eat. We just… couldn’t think. I remember the food was good, the waitress was nice, but it was a bad day. We stopped at the gas station and it poured rain, I bought milk with her, and we went to sleep. I got a call at around noon the next day (still asleep) I had to be back to the cities by 3 PM because my mom wanted me there at the cremation society, so I left right after the call and met her.
It was all prices. Sales pitch. My mom had the money to do it. I don’t know what we would’ve done if we didn’t have the money. Or other families who don’t. We opted to do a private viewing the day of the Memorial (the following Monday, a week after Labor day). That was hard. They swaddled him in a red velvet blanket, and it was pretty funny looking, but you could tell he was not alive. His face kind of sagged to one side, but they painted him up a bit to look… lifelike. It was hard. I couldn’t even stand to be in the room, but everything I fucking did, I didn’t do it for myself. It was for my mom and grandma. And my brother, but he didn’t seem to realize it, he left the viewing shortly after. We left some books with my dad
At the memorial service… I remember just being tired. I let everybody know on every platform they were welcome to come. We met some of his students, and his friends from work and jobs, and a lot of our friends came too. It was like a reunion of sorts. It was nice to have all these people here. But it was such a strange fucking day. It went by like a blur but I remember being warm and content. My grandma couldn’t make it. It’s been hard seeing her ever since (My mom and I went up for her birthday in October and then I went back up in Christmas. I’ll have to go again soon.)
Because he left no will or named any successors or left his business to anybody, my mom and I went through the process of shutting everything down. And now anything my dad used to help my mom with, I have to. And it’s not even “have”, it’s just… she knows I can figure these things out. Like applying for green-cards for her parents, giving her directions to places, marketing her business, etc.
My brother is obviously depressed. He is basically a mini version of my dad now. He’s gained a lot of weight since my dad died, and he looks *just* like him. That’d be funny, if not for the fact that he also treats my mom like shit like my dad did. And I guess I don’t want to wish death on my family again, but, I cannot go through seeing my mom abused again, verbally or anything.
I wanted this second part to be more artistic, but a lot of time has gone between posts. My life since his death, has been one punch to the face after another. I’ll keep you all updated in the next post. Meanwhile, I’ll post some more poetry that I wrote in 2016. Did not meet my 100 goal, but… I did what I could.