I was speaking with a cousin last Friday (after Dad’s memorial service) and he asked if he’d offended me months ago by complaining in a comment that he wanted more Friday Cat Blogging, and if that was why I’d barely blogged for the last year.
Well, no, that’s not the reason, and I wasn’t offended, since I don’t remember it. The reason instead is everything that led up to Dad’s memorial service: the cancer diagnosis, Dad’s illness, and his request that I not tell anyone (which I took to mean, not blog about it; so I didn’t). Since sometime last summer I realized that I could hardly think of anything else, and attempts at blog posts would become streams of consciousness that would naturally head in the direction of Dad and my despair. So I posted little, except in the subject of my own health problems which were a nice selfish break from everything.
My father died on Friday, March 23, at age 68, of lung cancer. He was diagnosed with it, stage 4 even, in August or September, I don’t remember anymore. We knew sometime in the summer that things were really bad but it took doctors months to figure out the problem. I fretted for weeks before we got the definite news; friends and family told me to stop worrying, what’s the point of worrying when you have no control over the outcome, think positive, blah blah blah. And in the end it was worse than even I imagined, but “I told you so” or my preference of “fuck you” weren’t all that gratifying given what truth I’d won. The oncologist gave Dad a year and a half (with treatment) and instead he got a third of that (with treatment).
I feel I need to point out that he didn’t smoke, since the assumption with lung cancer is that it’s partially the person’s fault. Cancer doesn’t even run in the family, either. Dad just had to be a trailblazer.
Grief is a horrible thing. On Friday the 23rd I felt elation and relief that his suffering was over, and thought maybe I’d be fine from then on. That was quite stupid of me. Either I wake up feeling okay, but then the realization hits me; or I’m having a dream about Dad, where I know he’s gone, and when I wake up he’s still gone. I might see something funny and think, I should show this to Dad, and then I remember I can’t. I spend my days having the wind knocked out of me at random intervals.
I know I’ll get better eventually. But at this moment, the person I was most like in the world, and who loved me more than most, is gone, and I feel so very alone.