October 6, 2011

Raw Wounds Part II - 7 Days of Mind Torture

Today, I received in the snail mail a letter from our local regional hospital.  It was inviting me to attend a memorial service for my father and any other patients that died from April to September of 2011.  The letter was authored by the hospital reverend.

My dad didn't want a obituary announcement, a funeral service or anybody preachin' over him.  He felt that anybody who cares will already know.  He wished to be cremated immediately.  My sister who had been living with my father for a near decade shared this with me.

Sounds pretty straightforward and simple.  Absolutely not.  You would think so, but no. 

While my dad was in the hospital dying from his stroke my sister had this idea to have a 'Living Wake'.  I had never heard of such a thing.  She was very excited to plan this event that she kept referring to as a 'party'.  It will be good to have aunt so and so come and say goodbye and uncle tom, dick and harry were her motives.  When just the evening before she was sharing dad's wishes with me and then this idea - I was surprised and uncomfortable.  If I were dying, my breathing laboured, skin as white as snow, non responsive in any way whatsoever, the last thing I would want is practically strangers touching me and seeing me in this condition.  My father was an only child.  I felt this was a place for immediate family only - his children, grandchildren.  A time for us to have privacy and every last moment holding his still warm hand. I chose to not attendant this event.

My sister was in total control of all aspects when it came to my father's life and death legally, but due to her extensive 30 year weed addiction, I will say that she was totally out of control in mind and body.  It was disturbing and concerning to me.

I returned the following day to the hospital and everyday for those seven days and nights.  I endured the engrossed dysfunction of my mother and all my sibling,s except one who could not afford to fly here.  Nothing had changed in the 10 years since I had distanced myself from all of them.  Day after day my wounds ached and became more raw.  My mind was in a tortured standstill.  I held my head and didn't say much to anyone over these days.  I went to be with my dad who I hadn't seen more than twice in 10 years either.  Never was I given the courtesy of just a mere five minutes alone with him.  I would have whispered so many private things to him.  I was not granted these last moments.  I never and my father never did or said anything to hurt me.  I prayed that he would leave this world quickly because there was no hope.

My sister had carriage of his ashes and he wanted to rest at a lake he fished on.  No one contacted me after my father died.  It's like everything is the same.  So I didn't know when the cremains would be dealt with.  My therapist gave me homework to find out.  I obliged her.  I had no intention of going and suffering another moment around all of them again, ever.  I just wanted to know that it was done.  They did it three months later.  I would have like to have a small amount of my dad's cremains so I could have my own private closure, but I am powerless up against all of them.

Feeling like a victim once again.  Unimportant, forgotten and discarded.  Treated with no respect. 

Even though the hospital is hosting a religious memorial service, I feel this is my opportunity to reflect like a normal person.  It's at a hotel and not a church, so my dad would be okay with that. 

I miss him.  I have regrets.  My missing him started years ago, and now it is permanent.


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The Keyhole to My Mind's Closet

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