Parting Sorrow

On Sept 3rd, 2011, My Father passed away. He fell 20 feet from a catwalk onto a Press, at his work, and died. He was sent to St. Francis Hospital in Long Beach. The back of his skull fractured and damage was done to the Brainstem, which had control over most of his vital functions. They were keeping him alive artificially, with machinery, but he was showing all signs of Brain Death, at such an early stage. Norm and I were the first ones there, and we were tearing up as we heard the reports. Norm knew when the Neurologist said that there was no chance. I knew when the Priest was passing us by. It just hit us. He was gone. I held his hand before the others got there, and I… I felt such strength in his hands… But I couldn’t feel the life that was once in them. He was gone.

He was my Guide, and I had still retained in the back of my mind, that he was the Strongest man I knew, in all sorts of levels, he knew everything I didn’t. I always looked up to him as a par of what it means to be a man. A standard I never knew anyone to have reached, nor will ever reach. I love him with all my heart and soul. He was so happy when we were around him, and I was always happy to see him. I called him ‘Grandpa’ wondering if that will remind him of his granddaughters. I was going to walk next year in his honor, I always knew he’d love to see me walk down that aisle with my cap and gown and my degree in hand… I had prepared myself, mentally, physically and spiritually for the death of my mother, before my father, and I always thought he’d go real peaceful. But he didn’t… He just left.

My mind is stuck on all 5 stages of grief, and I’m filled with such sorrow to think that I didn’t make the graduation date last year, because of my failing at Virology. Now what am I going to do without him?.. All I can think about is how he’s not going to be there to see my becoming a doctor and making him proud that I am his son. That I was worthy of his blood. A couple of weeks prior, I had the sense to ask him if he was proud of me, and I never got the courage to know what his answer would have been.

Mom saw him in white garments, I wish I could see him like that, but all I have instead is empty promises of my future. All I wanted was just to make him proud. He was such a big part of my life, and I miss him dearly. I am tearing as I’m typing this, and I just don’t know what to do. Mom told me to keep going, but– well I guess there are no ‘but’s for this situation. However my Father was the Guide to my Flame, to teach me, either through hard knocks or by example, what it takes to do what needed to be done… God, I loved that old man… All I wanted to be, was him. I know that he’d hit me over the head calling me a ‘Taras’ for just sitting here crying when I should be sleeping, or something more productive than grieving. I know in my mind I have to use it to help me find the motivation to keep moving forward, to keep trying, keep fighting, to keep standing up for what I believe, but, God, it’s so hard. I’m at war with myself, part of me knows to move on, the other part just wants to cry.

But I couldn’t. I can’t cry, he wouldn’t want me to. And now the family is united in our efforts to pull through. We had a family meeting like I never knew we could. Nena flew in from Chicago, the day of. Victor and Dawn came. Josue pushed me by saying my full name and I said to him, in front of 2 Priests, and the family, “Damn it, Josue! SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” And for the remainder of the day, I was quiet. I was trying to process it, trying to connect the lifeless corpse that I had felt, to the gentle loving man, I call Father. It couldn’t be done, I can’t do it…

It’s going to be a tough couple of days, that goes without saying. I just… have to keep going… I have to… I have to…

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This entry was posted in Journal.

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