Last August, my dad died due to lung cancer.. and it was the most horrifying experience for me. I had to ride in the ambulance with him the night where the cancer spread even further into his lungs, causing him to panic because he couldn’t breathe. He was clutching at my arm, trying to get me to stop the pain. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything to mask it and I surely couldn’t tell him that everything will be okay. All I could do was be an advocate for him at the hospital.
After that, it seemed like he was getting better and was brought back home where he was more comfortable. I left since I was there for a few weeks and had summer classes to attend to. A few days afterwards, my brother woke me up one night and my siblings and I made our way down to Mankato.
When we arrived at the hospital, my mom was there waiting and my dad was intubated on the hospital bed. He was technically in hospice care so he should’ve died naturally rather than having a tube stuck down his throat, but my mom didn’t want him leave without us saying goodbye…
The doctor took the tube out, but he couldn’t talk. My brother told him that if he can hear him, he should squeeze his hand and he did. And that’s where we started saying our goodbyes. Or at least everyone else did. I couldn’t say a word. I just rested my hand on his leg and squeezed, and cried, and made sure my mom was okay.
And then it just happened. He didn’t respond anymore. His eyes were vacant, his body went cold, and he was no longer squeezing my brother’s hand back. My mom had kissed him goodbye and shut his eyes. Everyone was just quiet until the priest said that what just happened was the most beautiful thing he has seen.
I understand what he meant, but to me, there was nothing beautiful about standing over my dad’s dead body. Not only that, but he will never see me graduate. He will never walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. He will never get to hold my children. He will never hold his grandchildren again. He will never paint or pick up a camera again. He will never go fishing again. He will never be here again and I still can’t get over that.
My hair is falling out because I’m so stressed…