I’m standing in FedEx Office (fka Kinkos) while my dads funeral pamphlets print at 11pm. Alone. Beautifully designed by CJ over the last months with the intention of being printed on cardstock. The lovely employee, Elle, printed up multiple samples for me on different papers and the stock is very heavy and cracks badly when folded. And it’s hard to fold well.
I sent a few photos to CJ and her response was simply ‘do whatever is best’ and she means it.
The last few days are a blur. Funeral home, church, catering, flower shop, clothes shopping, travelers, slide shows, family relations.
I’m exhausted. I’m emotional. I’m sad. I’m blessed. I’m grateful. I’m trying so hard to be intentional with my energy, to take care of me and how I want to remember and grieve this time. I don’t want it to be too blurry or too busy or to distracted.
This has come off as selfish. That’s a misinterpretation of self-care at a very deep level. Of protecting myself and my heart and emotions. Of choosing me and not spending energy on what isn’t mine.
My only exception is CJ. We’re in this together. We have been the whole time. That’s not changing now. So it’s really not an exception – it’s part of my intention.
I said to my stepdad on Saturday that I suspect my then feelings of okay-ness would be temporary. Maybe like having a baby – you’re euphoric and the adrenaline carries you for a day or so, maybe two, then you crash and are completely exhausted and emotional.
Well, late last night I started feeling a shift. From just pure relief and ability to breath, to sad. The heaviest sadness I’ve ever felt. My eyes burn, my chest hurts. I don’t want to move.
Being here at the house, just CJ and me, has been amazing. To be in a home that is honest and true, with no unspoken expectations, and quiet. It is exactly perfect for this transition.
I took another light snooze. At 6a was woken up. Breathing changes. Words to Dad. Songs – 10,000 Reasons and American Pie.
Deep inhale at the end of American Pie.
One more inhale at 6:34a.
That was the last.
I slept from 2-3a sitting in a recliner at the corner of dad’s room. When I awoke and went to his bedside, his feet and hands were much cooler than prior to my nap.
His rattle seems to have ceased and he’s breathing very regularly, though quicker and more shallow than before.
His heart rate is high.
Before I slept, I read a prayer aloud and anointed his forehead with oil.
Nurse came this morning and said the word I was waiting for – transition.
A day of rotating and pain med administration and drops to help with secretions. Of reading and crying together.
How many women can be the most important in a man’s life? His mother. His wife. His daughter. His sister. This is us.
There’s rattling that’s started. No responses. Reality.
16.5 fucking months and we are here.
I’ve never done this before. It’s excruciating. It’s freeing. It’s life shaking. It’s perfect and the worst thing possible.