The day my father was gone.
I feel guilty.
I was the one who decided that we stop trying to bring my dad back. I was the one who said, let him rest.
He had been revived by CPR more than 10 times in 12 hours. He didn’t wake between any of them.
We couldn’t get a response from him. My mother and brother called me after about the 8th or 9th time to come to the rehab center he was in.
They kept fighting for his life in the hour it took me to get there. When I arrived my mother was in tears and my brother looked like he could barely breathe much less think.
Mom said they wanted to stop CPR.
Dad had asked for a DNR and yet we were still trying to revive him. I knew this wasn’t what he wanted. I knew the rest of my family couldn’t decided.They didn’t want to let him go. Neither did I.
This was the time I wanted him most, I wanted him to decided. I didn’t want to be the one to make this decision, I wanted someone more adult than me to decide.
I looked at him, and I saw nothing of my dad anymore. Just an empty shell. Tears streaming down my face I turned to my mom and said it was time to let him go.
I held his hand and prayed with him one more time. Then held my mom and prayed again. We called his remaining siblings and my mom’s sister.
My brother said goodbye and I just cried.
It has been over a year now I still remember every detail.
Every day I wish I had spent more time telling him how wonderful he was and how lucky I felt to have him.
I yearn for just one more time I could say sorry I wasn’t a great kid, to thank him for being there even when I pushed him away.
I feel guilty for telling them to stop trying, to let him rest. Even though I know it was the right thing, it was so not the easy thing.
I went home that day and told my kids, all of them cried except Zach who didn’t understand. I wanted him to be sad, as selfish as that sounds, for a few minutes I was angry. I hated autism, I hated it for taking that away from my son. I wanted him to understand, to be able to grieve. I wanted him to miss his grandpa, but he couldn’t. I knew it wasn’t his fault, but I wanted him to be able to understand why everyone else was so sad if nothing else.
I was wrong though. He knew, he understood he even grieved. Just not how we did. Most of all, his not crying, not showing his sorrow helped the rest of us. He was still there with lots of hugs, still wanting dinner, making us play with him not sit and cry. Helping us to live life, even in a time when we really didn’t want to. If you ever think I am special, or amazing or whatever, I am so not. He is the amazing one. He is my blessing and I am lucky to have him.
I still feel guilty, but I know I am lucky too, so very lucky.
To learn more about what Dad means to me click here.