It’s Over

Well it’s all over now, Dad died early this morning. I just want to say thanks to everyone for your thoughts and wishes, they are greatly appreciated.

When Emjay rang and told me, well it was kind of weird actually because we’d just spoken a few minutes earlier about our plans for the day involving visiting dad. But when she rang back and told me that he was gone what I really felt was relief. I’ve been walking around for the past week with a lump the size of a basketball stuck in my chest. I knew he wouldn’t go easily because it just wasn’t in his nature, he is a fighter and a scrapper and a survivor. But we all knew it was time and he wouldn’t have wanted to live any longer as he was.

I’m glad we had the week to spend with him, mind you I don’t think I’d like to do it again. I’ve already asked my mother just to have a nice quick heart attack when she decides to go.

I have very mixed emotions this afternoon. I feel sad and I’ll miss him but I also feel relieved that he’s at peace now. I feel as if I’ve been walking around for the past year with my jaw clenched, I always seemed to be waiting for a phone call regarding his health. I spent some time with him this morning after he died. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to but I thought that if I didn’t then I might regret it later and I’m glad I did because when I saw him I had this, oh I don’t know what it was. It was a moment. When I walked in and saw him I didn’t feel sad and I sat on the bed and touched his face and I kissed him and then I said to him – you’re not in there. I am never going to worry again about being fat or ugly or wrinkly or whatever else people worry about because your body means nothing. Well sure it’s important for some things, like walking you around and lifting a wine glass to your mouth and stuff like that. But it’s got nothing to do with who you are. When I sat on that bed and looked into Dad’s eyes it was like everything that made him who he was, what he was, was gone. It’s hard to explain. A lot of dad’s presence was physical, visual. He was a disabled man and I can’t talk for everyone but a lot of people judged him by the way his body looked and acted, they didn’t see his inner presence, his great spirit. But when I saw his body lying in that bed it was just this empty vessel. When I looked at it, it was like this useless thing that had just held him back for over twenty years. I just thought that his spirit would be soaring at the moment. I think it’s just out there doing black flips and triple somersaults and handstands and all the things it’s wanted to do for all these years but couldn’t because it was trapped in that twisted vessel of a body.

So anyway, I looked at him and said – you’re not in there. So I sat on his bed and sent some text messages to friends and I looked through his wardrobe and I checked out his CD collection (and I stole one) then I looked at his photo collection and then I sat on his bed and looked out the window for a while. Because I knew that the hardest thing was going to be walking out of that room and never seeing that useless twisted body again.

But it was time for him to go and we would just be selfish in wanting him to stay.

So rest in peace Maxwell, I love you.

You sure taught me a thing or two about true grit.


43 thoughts on “It’s Over

    • Thanks Snowy, what a strange day we have had. You go through every emotion you can imagine before 9am and still manage to fit in a trip to Coles for some groceries before lunch time and then decide what your father should wear to his funeral before dinner. Life goes on but I know that I loved him as much as I could have and that makes it easier.

  1. I cried while reading this. You’ve written so much about your father, I feel like I knew him personally. I hope it’s true, he’s turning somersaults and doing barrelrolls now that he’s free.

    ((Hugs)) for you and Emjay and your mom. What a tough time you’ve all had. I’ll raise a glass to your father and all of you, and hope you can all do the same.

    • I’m just imagining him out there tonight running amok. Just stretching his arms and running and throwing a ball. Hopefully he’s throwing a ball through the windows of that shit hospital he spent so many months in!

      My father was a scotch drinker and today at lunch time Mum said – I wish I liked the taste of scotch so we could have a drink. But Mum and Emjay had red wine. It was funny because one of Mums neighbors knocked on the door and Emjay said – lol, oh and here we are drinking. I am definitely having a few wines tonight I can tell you.

    • Yes, it is good isn’t it. I think it’s good.
      Yeah, my Mum is special. I think the best thing about my family is our sense of humor and our acceptance of life and all it throws at you. 🙂

  2. I’m in tears too. I remember how it feels to be in that hospital room and not wanting to leave because you know you can never go back. I’m sad for you all, especially your mum, but relieved for you all as well.

    • I’m sorry it brings back sad memories for you. But it’s strange isn’t it? It’s like I knew his spirit was gone and that the body really meant nothing, but I thought that when I walked out and left the body that somehow I wouldn’t be able to hold onto my memories of him. And also I just couldn’t stand the thought of never seeing him again. It took a real deep breath, put on your big girl pants moment to walk out of there.

      • Don’t feel sorry about sad memories for me 🙂 Life still happens, and death too. Your memories are connected to the person who was in your Dad’s body, and even if he isn’t there any more, the part that you can see and hold on to and hug is still there and it’s bloody hard to give up. But, as you said, Big Girl Pants and one foot in front of the other. You still have your Dad with you, he’s just given up his useless body.

  3. I offer ma condolences, my lovelyest thoughts and even my tears … You’re right … Your Dad could not stay …he could not stay one more day in his poor body, in this poor coat of misery … He escaped from it ! … He is flying in the dark sky as a great and silent bird …
    Many loves for all of you … Mum, children …

  4. Condolences on the loss. I fully understand the feeling of relief and release. When my mother died someone said to me, “The grieving starts now.” I told her we’d been grieving for years (Mom had dementia), the healing started now – after the funeral.

    I am also glad that Emjay was able to be there.

    • Dementia is tough. My brothers mother in law had dementia and I know they had some very hard times during the last six months or so. It was very sad for the family and she was really still quite young as well. She made it clear in the beginning that when the time came she didn’t want any sort of intervention like Dad did but that week or so of waiting for it to end seems to never end.

  5. My condolences. It’s never easy, no matter how it happens. And there are so many emotions to go through, as you said, it’s like a roller coaster. Hugs to all. I’m glad you are all together (and with wine). You have a wonderful family with a lot of great memories to share.

    • Thanks Cranky – I have to go shopping this morning to find something to wear to the funeral. I’m debating what I should say to those annoying salesgirls when they chirp – how are you today. Stick with – good thanks or freak them out.

  6. My thoughts are with you and your family. You wrote beautifully about your father, and I am happy that now your father is freed from this struggle, and your family can begin to heal.

  7. Very eloquently said. So sorry for your loss, but gladden that you feel at peace with his passing. I cried at my desk at work while reading this this morning. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • We seem to have been expecting him to die from one thing or another for such a long time but he was such a stubborn man, he just refused to die and then we sort of came to believe that he never would. I said not long ago, we’re going to be shocked when it finally does happen you know. He seemed to be invincible.

  8. I am sorry for you and your family. So many of your words and emotions mirror exactly how we felt when my Dad died in 2000. Sad he was gone, but content that he was released from his condition. He was a well loved man, and no one can have a better epitaph than that.

  9. My sincerest sympathy to you and your family. I too was glad that my Dad passed when he did and was saved from more pain here on earth. Having said that, I still miss him so much. I feel that one of life’s biggest blessings is having a wonderful Dad and Mom. So in the coming days when the inevitable tears come, take heart that you had a fabulous and loving role model. Many people don’t. I will keep you in my prayers.

  10. I’m so sorry Cat, my thoughts are with you and your family. A very fitting tribute for a tough old farmer – I love your visual of him leaping about without worrying about a tired old body. I’m sure he’s very much at peace.

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